Category Archives: Totty

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Rule Five Friday

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (3)Let’s talk about the War on Women.  No, not the infamous, often-abused Democrat claim about Republican policies (or vice versa, as has happened a time or two.)  Instead, let’s talk about the War on Women being conducted by gun-ban advocates.

“Wait, what?” you ask.  Well, have a read of these two articles, both from the Bullets First blog:

Gun Girls of CPAC – Killing the Stereotype

The Brady Campaign’s War on Women

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (1)Money quote from the second article:

The gun is the equalizer that can protect the 100lb girl from the monsters in the night.  From those who would rob innocence and shatter dreams.  The gun levels a playing field for the small and the weak so that we are not a society run by thugs and roving gangs of strong arms.

The Brady Campaign would deny the right of the small to defend themselves against the large.  They would promote reasoning with rabid animals and the moral authority of being raped over killing your rapist.

I would say to use every method possible that would stop one of the most heinous acts from being perpetrated against you.  If you think that the Yale study and the ISP advice is sound I won’t advise against it, it might work.  But I KNOW that 3 shots to the chest with a .45 will work.  If I were a woman I would prefer to have to deal with the fact that I put down 2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (2)a rabid animal than I would dealing with the fact that that animal raped me.

And that, True Believers, is the whole point.

As a CCW permit holder who carries regularly as I go about my daily business, I am on occasion drawn into the conversation about the merits of carrying a concealed handgun, and the likelihood of it one day saving my or someone else’s life.   Two common comments arise:

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (4)Comment: “You know, that gun won’t protect you in every situation.”

Reply:  “That’s true – but it will protect me in many situations, and if I don’t have one, it won’t protect me in any situation.”

Comment:  “I’d be afraid someone would get my gun away from me and kill me with it.”

Reply:  “If I’m ever killed with my own gun, they’ll have to beat me to death with it, because it will sure as hell be empty.”

My own dear Mrs Animal – a small, middle-aged, visibly disabled woman who always has a firearm and usually a blade of some kind concealed about her person – is even more adamant about it, agreeing strongly with the statement above that “3 shots to the chest with a .45,” or in her case, a .380 or a .40 S&W, will sure as hell stop an attacker.

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (5)It’s baffling why anyone could make the case for a policy that denies women the choice to defend themselves with the only completely effective tool for the job – the only one that will enable a small, disabled, middle-aged woman to defend herself against a six-foot, twenty year old, male attacker.

Do they truly, as BulletsFirst observes, believe a woman that attempts to foil a rapist with urine, defecation or vomit – or a woman who just submits – is morally superior than a woman who effectively and decisively defends herself with deadly force?

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion.  Fortunately, every year more and more women are calling “bullshit!”

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Rule Five Friday

2014_03_07_Rule Five Friday (1)This is going to be brief, as a long drive followed by a plane ride beckons, and that’s coming off a late night (working) last night and a nearly-full day working today.  Add to that no prep since there was no telling when our hosting service’s server crash would be resolved, and add in a touch of procrastination…

…well, sorry.

But the big deal in the news lately?  Well, if you’re interesting in geopolitics, Cold War-like military posturing and possible sparks to regional warfare, then surely the Russian boots-on-ground in the Crimea are on your mind.  Some relevant stories:

Things Are Getting Dicier in Crimea.

What Game of Chess?2014_03_07_Rule Five Friday (2)

Obama Signs Executive Order on Ukraine Sanctions.

Crimea Sets Referendum on Joining Russia (Shades of 1930’s Austria!)

Russia Blows Past Obama’s Off Ramp.

What will the Obama Administration do about this?  Other than some sanctions that Vladimir Putin will laugh off, nothing.  Putin knows this.  He seized the Crimea knowing this.  He will keep the Crimea knowing this.  Down the road, he may indulge in more 2014_03_07_Rule Five Friday (3)military adventurism elsewhere, knowing this.

Remember what started the first World War?  A minor arch-duke got himself popped, and the world was plunged into war.  WW2 was arguably a continuation of the Great War, with a second theater opened in the Pacific.

Is the world ready for Round Three?

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Rule Five Friday

2014_02_28_Rule Five Friday (1)I love Japan.

While all you True Believers enjoy today’s dose of summery totty from the Land of the Rising Sun, consider also the fact that HOLY SHIT IT’S COLD.  Excerpt:

The number of days with subzero temperatures has reached record or near-record levels for many Midwest cities this winter. We have the rankings for several of these cities, starting with two locations that will log day 70 of subzero temperatures on Friday.

Note: A subzero day is one where the temperature fell below zero at any one point during a particular calendar day.

2014_02_28_Rule Five Friday (2)If you grew up in the upper Midwest, like yr. obdt., you’re used to cold winters.  But this year, with the jet stream still stuck somewhere around the Gulf Coast, sucking a bunch of Arctic air down across the country’s midsection, the cold is just hanging on.

And hanging on.

And on.

Now tomorrow is the first of March, and we’re still stuck in January temperatures.  Honestly, Mr. Gore, where is all this global warming?  We could use a little bit of that right now.

One thing, by the way, that’s hard to understand about the whole climate-change controversy.  The fact that the climate changes over time isn’t in doubt.  The question of how much human activity affects 2014_02_28_Rule Five Friday (3)climate is subject to debate.  But consider this; what also isn’t in doubt is that over most of the Earth’s 4.55 billion year history, it’s been warmer than it is now.  As recently as 2,000 years ago, the Romans were growing wine grapes in Britain – an act of agronomy that requires warmer climes than those isles see today.

So who are we to say that the average climate we see today is the “correct” climate?  Who are we to say what the proper temperature is?  Just because this is where it’s been since, say, the Middle Ages?

The fact is, the planet doesn’t have any “correct” temperature.   Many factors affect climate – the Sun, volcanoes, plant life, the positions of the continents as they slide around the Earth at the rate of a fingernail growing, ocean currents and, yes, people.  And all of those factors add up to one thing – an unimaginably complex system that we can’t hope to understand completely, much less model.

2014_02_28_Rule Five Friday (4)And if the Earth were to warm up a few degrees?  Some bad things would happen – coastal areas in particular would have some problems.  But Siberia would blossom into an Asian breadbox.  Alaska’s Matanuska Valley would likewise bloom.

Those who would have us clamp down on all manner of economic activity, like the Keystone pipeline, in the name of “climate change” are peddling a line of buncombe.  Examine carefully their motives- it 2014_02_28_Rule Five Friday (5)generally isn’t about science.

The other side of the unfortunate coin is this:  The unsettled question of climate change has led many – mostly on the right – to include other areas of scientific endeavor in their skepticism, whether their doubt is warranted or not.  And that’s not a good thing.

In the meantime, the deep freeze continues.

Brrr.

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Rule Five Friday

2014_02_21_Rule Five Friday (1)Meet Svante Pääbo.  Who is he and why is he interesting?  He’s the Neandertal Hunter, and he’s uncovering some fascinating new information on what makes up modern humans – at least those of us of European, Asian and Middle Eastern descent.

That information?  Neandertal DNA.  Excerpt:

Fired by his early success, Pääbo announced, in 2006, his group would sequence a full Neanderthal genome made of nuclear DNA within two years. In the end, the project was beset by tribulations – contamination, dastardly tricks by rival geneticists, dwindling supplies of Neanderthal bone – and Pääbo was more than a year late in completing the project.

2014_02_21_Rule Five Friday (2)His results provided a shock for both researchers and the public. When he compared his newly created Neanderthal genome with those of modern humans, he found a small but significant overlap in many of them. About 2% of Neanderthal genes could be found in people of European, Asian and far eastern origin. People from Africa had no Neanderthal genes, however. “This was not a technical error of some sort,” Pääbo insists. “Neanderthals had contributed DNA to people living today. It was amazingly cool. Neanderthals were not totally extinct.”

Most scientists, including Pääbo, now account for this result by arguing that modern humans – when they first emerged from Africa – encountered and mated with Neanderthals in the Middle East. Their offspring carried some Neanderthal genes and as modern humans swept through Asia and Europe they carried these genes with them.

2014_02_21_Rule Five Friday (3)There’s a down side, apart from the effect of the Neandertal genes on a couple of my cousins; as Pääbo’s work has uncovered, those genes may also be the cause of some chronic diseases:

Just what that input of Neanderthal DNA has done for Homo sapiens’s evolution is less clear. Pääbo speculates that changes in sperm mobility and alterations in skin cell structure could be involved. In addition, US researchers have recently proposed that Neanderthals passed on gene variants that may have had a beneficial effects in the past but which have now left people prone to type 2 diabetes and Crohn’s disease. “This is work that is going to go on for years,” he adds.

So what’s the upshot of these findings, when we seek to get a little insight into human behavior?  That’s simple:

2014_02_21_Rule Five Friday (4)Sex.  (Thus making this a great topic for a Rule Five Friday post.)

Humans like sex.  And sometimes – maybe much of the time – they aren’t too picky about who they have sex with.

The Neandertal were a controversy for many years.  Initially the preponderance of opinion was that smarter, more adaptable H. sapiens crowded the Neandertal out of Europe and the Levant.  A few enigmatic skeletons seemed to combine modern human and Neandertal features, but none of them were conclusive.

But now we have genetic evidence.   If your ancestry is European, Asian or Middle Eastern, you likely have some Neandertal DNA.  Interesting stuff.

2014_02_21_Rule Five Friday (5)Oh, and Pääbo’s work also uncovered an entire new species of early human – the enigmatic Denisovans.  (To be fair the discovery was made by Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk, but Pääbo did the genetic analysis that established them as a distinct form.)

It’s a fascinating time to be working in paleoanthropology – or even have it as a particular interest.

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Rule Five Friday

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (1)A couple of tidbits to accompany some warming totty on this frigid Midwestern Friday; first:  Boulder (CO) Considers Banishing People Who “Make Trouble.” Excerpt:

Taking inspiration from Shakespeare, a Boulder city councilman has suggested “banishing” chronic scofflaws creating a nuisance in parks around the city’s municipal buildings.

Councilman Macon Cowles said in an email to his colleagues that the idea came to him while “my mind wandered” and he wondered what The Bard had to say about crime and social misbehavior.

Quoting extensively from Romeo and Juliet, Cowles makes the argument that banishing people from Boulder for the same amount of time they might be incarcerated for minor crimes would not only save taxpayers money, but might be more effective at preventing future crimes.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (2)“It seems a double hit that citizens should have to endure repeated acts of criminal behavior that are peculiarly offenses against the people who live here, and then, adding a financial penalty to the insult that has been afflicted, to pay the high expense of incarceration,” he wrote.

In Colorado, for at least the last 25 years that yr. obdt. has resided in that state, Boulder is commonly referred to as “seven square miles surrounded by reality.”  (Also “the People’s Republik of Boulder,” for 2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (3)different reasons.)  This is a good example of Boulder’s own particular style of wonderful nuttiness; the city never ceases to amuse.

But there’s a darker side to the Councilman’s thinking.  Consider it; Councilman Cowles isn’t terribly worried about solving the problem of society’s chronic misbehaviors; he’s just concerned with exporting them.  It’s the NIMBY attitude taken to an illogical extreme.

Now, while we’re on the subject of nutbars:  Iran:  We’re Ready for ‘Decisive Battle’ with Israel, U.S.  Excerpt:

In the latest in a series of warnings against the US, Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi warned the Islamic republic’s foes that Iran is prepared for a “decisive battle” if attacked.

“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Fars news agency quoted Firouzabadi as saying Wednesday.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (4)He also warned neighboring nations not to allow any attack to be launched on Iran from their soil.

“We do not have any hostility toward regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said.

Let’s be honest; the only thing decisive about a battle between Iran on the one hand and the United States and Israel on the other would be the decisive speed in which the Iranians get their collective asses handed to them – in thin slices.

2014_02_14_Rule Five Friday (5)Even after two rounds of severe military draw-downs from our Cold War height, the United States still has a unilateral dominance on military power not seen on the planet since the collapse of the Roman Empire.  Iran’s leaders are good at making bombastic pronouncements for the benefit of regime loyalists, but they aren’t complete imbeciles – the last thing they’ll do is to engage the U.S. head-on.  They will continue in their role as the leading national sponsor of Islamic terror; they will continue developing nuclear weapons, and odds are better than even that they’ll use those nukes, somewhere, one way or another, at a time of their own choosing.

That’s the scenario that we should be preparing for.

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Funnies

laughing_bearOnce in a while, we see a little good news:  Suicide Bomb Instructor Accidentally Detonates, Kills 21 Students in Iraq.  Heh heh heh.  Excerpt:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Insurgents accidentally set off their own car bomb Monday at a training camp in an orchard in a Sunni area north of Baghdad, leaving 21 dead and some two dozen arrested, Iraqi officials said.

…A police officer said the militants were attending a lesson on making car bombs and explosive belts when a glitch set off one of the devices.

Army slang for these gomers used to be “not-so-smart bombs.”  I guess these assholes were determined to live up to it.

One more; enjoy a Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. ad that was deemed… inappropriate for broadcast.

I’m suddenly hungry.