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The Military

Journal Journal: What's The Big Deal? 2

Apparently some amongst the nuttier elements in today's new atheist movement are apoplectic because bible verses were being surreptitiously added to telescopic sights for rifles sold to the US military. Boo hoo. I see this as a simple matter of changing the contract specs, not worthy of all the hoo-ha currently being voiced. Beretta has their trademark and name on the grips of all 300,000 or so of the M-9 pistols they have sold to the Pentagon. All the rifles and other small arms have their makers names and marks as well. At least they did when I was active duty, not that long ago. If the Pentagon brass feels so strongly about this they should just say so, but jeez. These folks doing all the bitching really need to get a life. Warriors have been carving, writing, etching and doodling on their weapons and kit since the first cavemen carved symbols into their war clubs all those thousands of years ago. And all the tut-tutting from these goofs ain't gonna change a damn thing.
User Journal

Journal Journal: This Would Be A Good Time To Investion In Lithium

If, as seems likely, battery-powered cars are poised to replace cars with internal combustion engines this might be a good time to invest in lithium a commodity that'll be necessary for electric cars to run on. Technology Review has an interesting article about the world's biggest supply of lithium yet discovered in the salt flats of the high desert of Bolivia. Some really beautiful photos accompany the article too.

User Journal

Journal Journal: On Engineers, Terrorists And Pop Culture Studies Doctorates

There was a news item at /. recently as to why so many Third World terrorists seem to have engineering degrees or backgrounds. The typical posts posited that engineers are educated in how to problem-solve and build things or that engineers are by temperament and training very rigid in their thinking. Well yes both of those explanations are to some degree valid as far as they go and if adjusted for individual circumstances, but they kind of miss an obvious reason, perhaps the main reason; there are so many of them. Third World countries tend not to waste what scarce educational resources they have on students who want to study things like contemporary pop-culture and other pointless shit that doesn't require or even justify college attendance. I mean sure if you want to view each one of Quentin Tarerentino's movies and then write books about them, be my guest. The glory and the student loan payments are all yours. But Third World countries want engineers, school teachers, MBA's, physicians, economists and such who are dedicated to the practical arts. Pop culture scholars and experts are not in such high demand in poorer countries. Nearly every single foreign (i.e., non-U.S. citizen) I've ever met in my academic career was studying the practical arts. The only exceptions being Europeans and Canadians. That IMHO is why Al-Qaeda and their ilk get terror recruits that are doctors, engineers, pharmacists etcetera; because that's the biggest pool of likely candidates available to them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Courts Starting To Reign In Taser Abuse...

...and it sure is about time too. In 2005 a California LEO tasered a man on the street who wasn't resisting, attacking or trying to flee. Without a word of warning, the LEO tasered the man in the arm with two metal darts, delivering a 1,200-volt jolt. What happened next?

"Temporarily paralyzed and in intense pain, Bryan fell face-first on the pavement. The fall shattered four of his front teeth and left him with facial abrasions and swelling. Later, a doctor had to use a scalpel to remove one of the darts."

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has now concluded that cops can no more tase people without good cause than they could punch, club or hit them. The irony here is that these weapons were supposed to reduce the level of violence in LEO/citizen contacts. I don't wish the cops and security forces any ill will but this needed to happen.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Final Solution To Air Plane Terrorism

In view of the TSA and the airline companies total inability to properly screen passengers as confirmed by recent events comes my prediction as to where this is all going: Soon airlines will strip all passengers naked and have them don paper coveralls. Then feed them tranquilizers so they dose off or stare contentedly into space in a condition of utter passivity. And no carry-on luggage either. Absolute safety. That's what it'll all come to eventually. It may take another decade or so but that 's what I see on the security horizon. And that's why I don't fly any more either.

Update: And when the above mentioned prophecy comes true then here is the other reason why I'm reluctant to fly. Especially when such items become commonplace amongst the black market arms dealers.

The Military

Journal Journal: Are Americans Overlawyered, Process-Obsessed or Just Plain Nuts?

In recent days we have seen some very successful attacks against foreign based Al Qaeda terrorists with drone strikes. Please note that when the USAF killed these guys with missiles they killed a few others along with them as well. And what was the reaction here in the US? Oh well. Those are the breaks. You hang with terrorists and you get what they get.

True enough. But contrast that reaction with what happens when one of them is captured instead of liquidated. If they get water-boarded or are subjected to other forms of abuse or have their legal rights infringed upon we react with furor and outrage. WE DO NOT TORTURE Americans exclaim. But we can, have, and will continue to kill them as well as any unlucky passersby. That however is just fine. Go figure? Only in America I guess.

The Military

Journal Journal: A Modest Proposal For The About-to-Be Released Gitmo Detainees 2

ABC News has reported that a USAF drone attack on an Al Qaeda base in Yemen killed a terrorist released from Gitmo by the Bush administration. He was supposed to have been rehabilitated from terrorism in Saudi Arabia, but which didn't happen. And according to the ABC story the Obama administration is going to release to rehab about 100 more of them soon. But this got me to thinking. Why not imbed a transponder that relays the GPS coordinates of the perp to the USAF? You know, in the event things don't work out. It's what we do with probationers, parolees, and others who require closer watching than usual, but is still short of incarceration. And if they should decide to rejoin their AQ buddies....why the Air Force can find 'em for corrective action. Just a thought.

User Journal

Journal Journal: "Star Trek" Posters Stops Women From Becoming Computer Scientists!

So says this story at Wired. Who would have thought? I would say in my experience that women tend to pick guys who are "hot" or "kewl" if they wanna date, party, fuck, etcetera, but (the smart ones anyhow) tend to look beyond ephemera like hotness and kewlness when they're ready to settle down into a more permanent relationship. So I guess the point of this article is that if you wanna date or hook-up with women you'd better hide the video games, action figures and sci-fi fan boy stuff until they get to know you better. Or until you get tired of them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: NYC Thug Learned His Gun Handling Skillz From Rap Videos...

And that's what got him killed. Funny in an sickly ironic way. He tried to shoot at cops with a MAC-10 auto-pistol by turning it sideways (like actors in rap videos and movies do) causing it to jam and quit firing. The cop used his pistol properly and scored four hits on the rapper wannabe killing him. The street is a harsh mistress who does not suffer fools gladly. Heh. Rest in pieces you asshole.
H/t: instapundit blog.


Journal Journal: Pirate Party MP Drafting Internet Bill of Rights For EU

News Item: "The lone Swedish Pirate Party member of the European Parliament is drafting an Internet Bill of Rights. Will it be any more successful than the last few attempts?" Ars Technica

No, probably not. State entities (i.e., governments) create bureaucracies to act as anti-bodies to kill off anything that threatens (or could threaten) their dominance. I hate to be so pessimistic but these things alway seem to go that way. Esp. in Europe.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Garden Noam (Chomsky) Figurines For Your Yard!

Those trite garden gnome figurines that decorate the lawns and gardens of the bourgeoisie are just so lame. But now the smarter, hipper left-wing homeowner can get a plaster figurine of MIT linguistics professor and socialist gadfly Noam Chomsky instead. Way cool, huh? I fully expect to see these things all over Ann Arbor starting next spring myself. Nothing says "power to the people!" like a politically astute garden Noam, eh?
h/t:Boing Boing blog


Journal Journal: "Better Safe Than Sorry" Say The Nanny Staters...

A Toronto, Ontario CA game player got raided by the local SWAT team because a "neighbor" snitched to the cops that he was walking around with firearms. He was, but they were made from LEGO bricks. And the irony here is that it's the arrestee that is embarrassed. Sad what low self-esteem the citizens up there have. The government is suppose to fear the citizenry not the reverse, eh?

Lego My Toy Gun-Toronto man's hobby draws armed officers

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