A Hundred Years

The past year or so I’ve been wondering how the next hundred years might compare to the last.

Today is as good a day as any to bring it up.

1914-2014 can be understood as having been foreshadowed by 1814-1914. Leopold foreshadowing Mr. Hitler, Mr. Mao, et al. So on and so forth. What of 2014-2114?

I can be fairly sure I won’t see all of it. Yes, the longevity futurists say a lot of things. I still feel confident that I am almost entirely certain not to live to see 2114. Fitting a curve to data, then extrapolating beyond the data can be pretty flawed. I also have a better grasp of certain personal factors than some castle in the clouds sort who thinks looking at actuarial tables is reactionary.

There is much that could be said about recent historical choices, and how they have shaped the probabilities and certainties.

I do not forecast two months ahead with complete certainty. I recently had some business I’d scheduled for later take a much higher priority. This is part of why I’m a little bit wrecked at the moment. This is, of course, simply wonderful for my writing. I can’t even remember if I’ve done this topic before.

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Fury

 

I hope this movie does right by my Army brothers. It certainly looks promising.

-BLT

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Timing

Around a year ago, I was trying to expand a comment on Democrat responses to the IRS controversy into a goatgagger of a post. Life happened.

Recent revelations about especially suspect ‘technical issues’ supposedly preventing the IRS from providing documents to the House seem to have made part of that essay obsolete. Showing that certain statements about there being no problem are self impeaching, and in context indicate some degree of problem, is not necessary to show that there are indeed problems.

I have heard it argued elsewhere on the internet that the House should provide Lerner with immunity from prosecution, and put her in witness protection in exchange for testimony. I am not convinced that Witness Protection is beyond ruin at Obama’s hands. That said, I have a nasty suspicious mind, and no faith in the inherent immortality of human works.

For some time there have been rumors about Obama, adulthood use of drugs, and sex outside of marriage. To include mention of gay members of Obama’s church who were murdered prior to some of his political activity. I have not considered these compelling evidence.

Should the IRS matter become more desperate, and should key individuals suddenly die, I would think this could indicate methods and character.

I do not have anything useful or positive to say about the foreign policy situation.

Yes, the current situation is within the expected bounds of my forecasts. That is because I accounted for being hugely uncertain, and thinking Obama would likely screw things up.

When Heinlein wrote the back story for Starship Troopers, he was not writing an instruction manual.

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Still Not Sleeping Much

So I leave you with this.

Marcus

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Sleep

Been gettin’ any?

No?

Me neither.

Marcus

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On Cooling

I’m a terrible wimp about heat. When it gets hot enough, it feels like portions of my brain shut down. Sometimes it seems like a few degrees makes a huge difference in my productivity.

There are reason to try having the utility outlets for a building in the same place.

Having the dryer exhaust right next to the external AC unit can be a pain.

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#YesAllWomen

Since we’re suffering yet another cycle of national misandry (probably since it is an election year), I thought I’d post this story.

Two 12-year-old girls inspired by Internet horror stories lured a girl of the same age into a wooded area near Milwaukee before one of them stabbed the victim 19 times and left her to crawl to her rescue over the weekend, police said Monday.


The victim, a 12-year-old friend of the suspects, was in stable condition at a hospital Monday, two days after a bicyclist found her on along a road in Waukesha, city Police Chief Russell Jack said.


The suspects were arrested hours after the girl was found Saturday, and they were being held Monday on preliminary charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. No names were released.


The girls attended the same middle school and had a sleepover at the home of one of the suspects Friday night, Jack said.


“Both suspects had a fascination with a fictitious character that often posted” to websites dealing with stories about death and horror, Jack told reporters at a news conference.


“Based on our investigation, it is believed that the suspects had planned to kill the victim for several months,” Jack said.


But hey, only certain kinds of violence are politically noteworthy, so I guess we can just disregard this tragedy.

More seriously:  WTF?  I’ve seen a few very scary stories of straight-up CRAZY girls doing shit like this.  What a world.

-BLT

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Most Intellectually Astute

President in, IIRC, 206 years.

See the Wretched cover of the West Point speech.

Right now, Obama is too stupid for me, and Ikki Tousen is too smart. Perhaps I ought to look into Infinite Stratos and see if that is too intellectually challenging.

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Idiocracy

The White House accidentally (negligently?) blows the cover of our top CIA official in Afghanistan in one of the dumbest possible ways imaginable.

Somebody please wake me up after this national nightmare is over.

Marcus

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Whistleblower 40K

“Forget the promise of accountability and oversight, for in the ‘ethical’ ‘transparent’ Obama administration there is only ‘phony scandals’.”

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A Note

I have not been able to write as much as I would like. That has perhaps changed a little, but my focus is probably going to be on the Baen short contest.

I do have an essay seed and an essay outline prepared, as well as a couple of stupid jokes that I’ve been debating whether are too offensive for here.

They may well be delayed enough that they aren’t timely. (Today became a bad allergy day before I finished this.)

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Of Tannerite and Idiots

If you take a quick look over at Youtube and type in “Tannerite” you’ll get scads of links to videos of people blowing all sorts of crap up.  I just recently found a video where they detonated 300 pounds of the stuff and shredded a big tree.  I have yet to purchase any tannerite, though I’d like to some day and have some fun with it out at the range.  Sadly, I think the stuff is going to be made illegal very soon because of the clowns that insist on:

a.)  Using it irresponsibly and unsafely

b.) For posting their unsafe and irresponsible shenanigans on social media

Seriously, if you want to fill the cab of an old pickup truck with the stuff, and then stand next to it when you detonate the mixture, by all means…  feel free.  Your attempts to remove yourself from the gene pool is your business after all, but do the rest of us a favor and don’t post your idiotic videos online.  Some of us would like to enjoy the liberty of using some of these things and we’re about to lose that privilege because there are far too many drooling mouth-breathers out there that possess zero media savvy.

People doing dumb shit with guns isn’t just going to get tannerite banned either, they will be the downfall of the gun rights movement writ large.  Remember the photos of the monkeys carrying military-style rifles into Chipotle for some sort of political statement on open carry?  Yeah…  hey, don’t be on our side geniuses.

Anyway, thus endeth the screed.

Marcus

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CCW

I just finished up CCW training here to get a local carry permit.  There were slightly more requirements than back in Eastern Krasnovia, so unsurprisingly, this new permit will have reciprocity in about ten more states.

Feelin’ the need to bust some more caps!

Marcus

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Whistleblowers at the VA

Yeah, they’be been getting purged there for years now.

Retaliation comes quickly to whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Those who have revealed potentially lethal lapses in health care say they have been ridiculed, transferred, demoted and sometimes fired by agency managers attempting to cover up wrongdoing and silence anyone who dares challenge their dangerous practices.

The fates of those who have already stepped forward are critical now. The agency’s inspector general is investigating reports across the country that patient records were falsified or destroyed to hide long wait times for medical care.


Read the whole thing here.

Time to start cleaning house.

(H/T Ace)

Marcus

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Then Anti-Fracking Crowd

They are shameless liars…  surprised?

(H/T IJR)

Marcus

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Archon owes SFF Fandom an Apology.

The spineless cads who run the Archon Convention Committee have dis-invited Tim Bolgeo as Fan Guest of Honor. His crime? Running an unfiltered, private e-zine. More on Uncle Timmy later. But first a question for the Archon Con-Com:

Have you heard of the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park? It’s where the term “soap box” comes from. In it’s essence anyone can pull out a stool and say what ever they want about any subject. And in the 170 years that people have been speaking there every conceivable topic has been discussed…and cussed.

You can say what ever you want, you will probably be heckled. However, speakers from Karl Marx to George Orwell have spoken there. Without a doubt people have been offended with what they have heard. In the late 1800’s it was the only place in England where socialists could speak without fear; so decreed by the London County Council and Lord Mayor of London.

But only one time has a serious threat to it’s existence been made. A case involving three fundamentalist Christian women who were speaking in front of Wakefield Chapel in 1997. Some passersby were offended by the speech of these women and asked that they be arrested. They were for Breach of the Peace. So Redmond-Bate v Director of Public Prosecutions. In the High Court ruling Lord Justice Sedley wrote:

“Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having. What Speakers’ Corner (where the law applies as fully as anywhere else) demonstrates is the tolerance which is both extended by the law to opinion of every kind and expected by the law in the conduct of those who disagree, even strongly, with what they hear.

From the condemnation of Socrates to the persecution of modern writers and journalists, our world has seen too many examples of state control of unofficial ideas.

A central purpose of the European Convention on Human Rights has been to set close limits to any such assumed power. We in this country continue to owe a debt to the jury which in 1670 refused to convict the Quakers William Penn and William Mead for preaching ideas which offended against state orthodoxy.”

In recent years we have heard speakers from the BNP, Islamist preachers decrying the wantonness of women who don’t don the Bhurka…would we call the London County Council, the Lord mayor or Lord Justice Sedley racists and misogynists for allowing this? But that is exactly what is happening to Timmy Bolgeo. The Revenge is a Speaker’s Corner where Uncle Timmy’s worst offense was spurring debate. He didn’t filter…either the speaker or those who heckled the speaker. Exactly like what happens at Hyde Park every day of the week for 170 years.

What makes SFF great is editors and publishers who spur thought and debate, who do not shrink from topics other would feel uncomfortable about. True fans of the genre have seen this from Heinlein to LeGuinn to Octavia Butler and L. Neil Smith. And everyone in between. Those seek to stifle Tim are no different then the High Church Wardens who drug Penn and Mead before the tribunal. I’ve been to Archon twice, but now that the Social Justice Warriors of Archon have prevailed I’ll never go again, people like that scare me.

Such a rush to judgement is cowardly.

The author of the complaint said he had first e-mailed Archon’s board about his concerns in March after reading issues of Revenge online, and not satisfied with the response, he repeated them at an open meeting of Archon organizers this past weekend. The board voted to keep Bolgeo as a guest, he reports, therefore he resorted to social media in protest.

The committee promptly capitulated:

Moreover, it’s stupid. Not just caving in 24 hours, after they voted to retain Uncle Timmy, but in allowing his name to besmirched and losing the valuable resource Tim is.

They called him “anti-science”. He’s not as Dr. Stephanie Osborn points out.

Uncle Timmy is not some redneck unlearned hillbilly. He is a nuclear engineer who made a successful career at the Tennessee Valley Authority, working on nuclear reactors, only recently retired. He is a thinking man. He puts out a newsletter of information, jokes, and other such that he and his readers (I’m one) run across, and he discusses them, and he invites and prints discussion by his readers on that information. Sometimes this involves putting a distasteful story into the newsletter so that he can point out a fallacy. Somehow some anonymous person took a couple of these and twisted them around to make it look like Uncle Timmy believed that tripe AND AGREED WITH IT.

They called him a racist. He’s not. He volunteered to attend one of the first desegregated schools in his area. He established a scholarship for a dear friend of his who was killed while being a Good Samaritan…who just happens to have been Black.

They disparaged the service he has done for Fandom as a whole and many writers in particular as Hugo Nominee Larry Correia points out.

He helped me out when I was first starting my career, and the first out of state con I ever attended as a pro writer was one that he’d been organizing for 25 years.

And Larry is not alone, I can name over a dozen successful writers who benfitted from Uncle Timmy’s advice. They also failed, as Jason Cordova states, to make use of a man who has helped expand fandom and organize successful Conventions for over four decades!

Let’s ignore, for the moment, the forty years that Uncle Timmy has dedicated to fandom in the South and Midwest. Let’s forget that he started and ran Libertycon for 25 years, which is one of the more popular “small cons” around.

One last comment from Jason Cordova.

The reason I am coming to his defense so vociferously (ah hell, biracial man with a vocabulary is rolling up his sleeves) is that back when I was first starting out on the convention scene, not a single con wanted this no-name biracial guy who wrote a book as a guest. Not a one. Cons who pride themselves for their “diversity” told me to kindly “piss off”. Cons that I lived less than five minutes to wanted nothing to do with a local author. Cons who are always claiming to want to showcase new and upcoming authors wouldn’t touch me with a ten foot pole

Some uptight,white, PC-slave, Social Justice Warrior mounts an internet slander campaign claiming that Uncle Timmy is a racist, yet here are two great authors Of Color saying he’s anything but.

One last thing Archon Con-Com? Here’s a list of LibertyCon’s author guests, artist guests and publishing guests. You didn’t even have that strong a list when you hosted NASFC, you’ve never come close since. And you’ve allowed the man who created that to libeled and slandered and then justified his libel and slander by your spineless acts. Shame on you. Fandom deserves an apology from you.

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The Civilian Marksmanship Program

So the government has been selling us surplus 1903 Springfields, M1 Garands and M1 Carbines for decades now.  They’ve sold millions of ‘em over the years and it’s really never been a problem.  So how come they don’t sell us the M-14s and M-16s?  We don’t use them anymore, so why not let the people have access to them?

Oh I know…  full-auto, NFA-type reasons prohibit their dispersal to us peons.  Except that you could remove the full-auto sears and sell the rest of the parts to us citizens without violating any laws.  When it comes to an M-16, all you need is a small hammer, a punch pin and five minutes to remove the auto sear, hammer and trigger group—then you slap the rest of the parts together and sell them to the public.  John Q. Public can buy the rifles, then go buy a new semi-auto trigger group from Brownells, Natchez, or Gunbroker and install it in his (or her) new purchase in less than ten minutes.  Viola!  A NFA-compliant rifle sold to the public as surplus at minimal expense, and generating tons of revenue for the government.

But wait…  I’ve had another thought.

Why the fuck do we the citizens need to pay for this shit anyway?  Didn’t we already purchase it with our taxes?  Isn’t that equipment already our property?  Why don’t we remove the auto-sears, then give them away in a national lottery?  Pass the NICS, then pick up your lottery number—then someday when your number gets drawn, you get a rifle (minus sear, trigger and hammer group) sent to the FFL of your choice.  You pay the FFL holder for his (or her) handling fee, then you take your genuine U.S. military issued rifle home.

Can somebody tell me why this can’t be done?  Can somebody tell me why the government has warehouses full of our property locked up without us having access to it?

I call bullshit.

Just my two cents.

Marcus

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Draw Mohammad Day

Heard about it again, and decided that I really ought to do something for it this year.

Then I said to myself “you have circumstances and can’t draw /stools/ anyway.”

Me being argumentative, I countered: “Even if you can’t draw much, you can at least do a shoddy job of imitating the iconic Japanese poo pile.’

Perspectives on feces

Maybe next year I will actually attempt to draw out a depiction of Mohammad.

Hat tip to the Phantom Soapbox, whoever he, she, or it is.

Soapbox’s Norris Under The Bus Day

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Got Low T?

BoCNWcmIAAAy7kr

I got nothin’.

Marcus

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Better Late Than Never

Apparently, Harry Reid and others have been putting some effort into claiming that the wealthy Koch brothers have been having an especially harmful effect on political speech in this country.

To a conservative listener, this sounds transparently untruthful.

Firstly, money does not do anything on its own. Secondly, the Koch brothers are not so wealthy that they dwarf other sources of political funding. Thirdly, why are those other sources not being mentioned? Fourth, if the Koch brothers were so wealthy that they had a uniquely powerful, uniquely harmful effect on the political process, Harry Reid likely would not dare attack them.

Why would Harry Reid speak falsely on this matter?

Some conservatives have suggested that it could be mental impairment simply caused by aging. Senile dementia is certainly possible.

I think I’ve seen another possibility suggested. Supposing Senator Reid’s inner life had certain traits, he might well have let them out of control and thereby become deranged. Like someone who thinks refrigerators are magic trying to get an HVAC repairman to fix the weather.

It seems plausible that he might say such things, even in his right mind, and with full mental function.

It might be a shrewd use of the big lie to serve some end.

One possible feasible end is whipping up hate against the brothers. The government isn’t likely to accidentally murder them, so it doesn’t have that limit as a source of emotion to push through projects.

It could also be anticipation of some failure or another. Perhaps Reid wishes to brand himself as a crackpot, to retire for the good of the Party, salvaging the Party’s reputation by scapegoating himself. Or perhaps he wishes to sell an excuse for this administration’s failures to the base. Which would mean someone on the inside of that mess, seeing it as a mess.

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