Tuesday, April 17, 2018

RIP, Barbara Bush

The classiest First Lady of my lifetime, Barbara Bush, has died at the age of 92. RIP, Babs.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

People worried about gun violence in the U.S. cheerfully lie to make it seem like they actually have something to worry about

Over and over again, we hear that guns kill more people every year than do automobile accidents in the U.S. The U.S., of course, has more automobile deaths than pretty much any other country, because we have more people driving cars than pretty much any other country. I'm not even going to look up the numbers. The U.S. is a prosperous country, with more cars per capita than pretty much anybody, I'll bet, and more miles driven per capita than pretty much anybody else, too. So it sounds pretty serious to say that we have more gun deaths than traffic accident deaths. And it's true.

And it's meaningless. Some ignorant bitch screeches in a recent New York Times op-ed that Americans are more likely to die from gun violence than car accidents. Um, maybe, depending upong what you're talking about. About 35,000 people in the U.S. die every year in car accidents. Ditto for gun deaths. But roughly two-thirds of those "gun deaths" are suicides. The whack bitch in the New York Times is claiming the likelihood of being murdered with a gun is rising. It isn't. She claims that mass shootings, however you define those, are on the rise, and they aren't. The fact is that the risk of being killed with a gun in the U.S. is much lower than it has ever been, and that the rate is declining every year.

So how about people like her just shut the fuck up and worry about stuff that's actually worth worrying about? I'm not even sure what that is at this point, but I know I'm not worried about being killed in a mass shooting.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Shit is getting real between Iran and Israel

It is possible that the level of nastiness between Iran and Israel -- always high to begin with -- is going up. Early this morning, the Israelis launched a strike at Iran's buddies in Syria:
In the early hours of Monday morning, two Israeli fighter jets crossed into southern Lebanon and launched a number of missiles at Syria’s strategic T4—or Tiyas—airbase in Homs province. The missiles struck a section of the base used exclusively by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its external specialist Quds Force and Hezbollah to house senior personnel, strategic weaponry and sophisticated drones in semi-hardened air hangars. At least 14 people were killed in the missile strike, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later labeled a “very dangerous development” in an unusually harsh rebuke of the sort of Israeli action that Moscow usually has glossed over quietly.
Apparently, Israel has hit this airbase before but, because Russian aircraft operate from the base, has always chosen to notify the Russians before striking. This time, they did not. This could be a big deal. It follows a clash in February in which Iran apparently lured an Israeli response by sending a drone across the Israeli border. After the Israelis launched a retaliatory strike against the Tiyas airfield that launched the drone, striking the IRGC section of the airfield, Iranian and Syrian surface-to-air missile sites shot down an Israeli aircraft. Apparently it took a call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt further Israeli retaliatory strikes. Looks like the gloves might be off.

Yeah, it did.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

I am officially being given shit for not posting

I confess, I have been delinquent in my duties in operating this blog. Basically, I haven't been doing much of anything for a good while. I apologize. That, apparently, is not enough for one of my loyal readers, who sent me an email bitching about the lack of anything to read. Yes, I've been busy with work, with lots of overtime in the last six months or so. On the other hand, in the last year or so I've had a lot of down time, and still didn't post. Yes, I am doing a lot of freelance writing lately, but I also have been lazy when it comes to the blog. Remiss. Delinquent. Call it what you will. Consider me shamed. I shall try to do better.

Oregon governor defies Trump, says she won't do what no one is asking her to do

Not only is no one asking, they can't. Apparently, the governor of Oregon is a little unclear on how the National Guard works. Oregon Governor Kate Brown is boldly joining the "Resistance," and has refused to send Oregon National Guard troops to help enforce immigration law along the Mexican border. Of course, no one is asking her to do that. President Donald Trump has said he will use National Guard troops to protect the border with Mexico, and it is to the states that share a border with Mexico that the request has been issued. The governors of those states are all on board with the initiative:
Other governors welcomed President Trump's decision, including in Texas, which shares a border with Mexico.
. . .
The governor also pointed to previous decisions by the Obama and Bush administrations, in 2010 and 2006 respectively, to use National Guard troops to secure the southern border.
The governors of Arizona and New Mexico also have agreed to participate. California, of course, is attempting to become part of Mexico, and most of us are OK with that so long as they actually secede from the union so we don't have to pay for it.

In any event, the National Guard is a source of reserve troops for the U.S. Army. It is usually under the control of the governor of the state in which its members reside. Every state has its own National Guard, which falls under the authority of the governor. The governor can use those troops for disaster relief or pretty much anything the governor wants and the state legislature is willing to pay for. To use those troops outside of their state, the president has to "nationalize" a state's Guard troops.

Once a state's Guard units are nationalized, their expenses are borne by the federal government and the troops can only be used outside the United States. Unless Guard troops are nationalized, they cannot serve outside of their state, and if they are nationalized, they can only serve outside the U.S. Kate Brown might be the commander-in-chief of the Oregon National Guard, but she clearly doesn't have a fucking clue how the National Guard works.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Odd - didn't see this reported locally

Actually, not odd at all. The Washington Post probably thinks this is OK. They might have done a story, but I didn't see one. Probably was one in the Frederick paper, but this story came from the Charlotte Observer:
A North Carolina Civil War monument at Maryland’s South Mountain State Battlefield was vandalized over the weekend.
The Friends of South Mountain Battlefield posted images of the damage on Facebook early Tuesday and said several acts of vandalism were reported at the site over the past two weekends. South Mountain Battlefield is on the National Register of Historic Places and is infamous as the battle where 58 dead Confederates from North Carolina were dumped down a well after the fighting ended. The site is about 15 miles southeast of Hagerstown, Maryland.
Vandals sprayed red and white paint on the monument of a dying soldier, which honors North Carolinians who fought at or near the battle on Sept. 14, 1862. A symbol of an “A” inside a circle has led many to believe the damage was caused by members of the Antifa movement, which is a conglomeration of anti-fascist groups in the United States. Its members have also taken a stand against Confederate monuments, calling them discriminatory.
 I guess the past didn't happen, right?

Not sure what these vandals think they accomplished.

Seems wasteful, but it's cool

Sometimes, you just wind up with too much ammunition, and some of it goes bad. Might be rust, whatever. It's never happened to me because I use up ammunition faster than I can buy it, but apparently it happens to the Marines upon occasion, especially in Afghanistan, where the rules of engagement practically prohibit the troops from ever firing their weapons. The result is out-of-date ammunition.

What do you do with it? Got to get rid of it somehow. Ammunition that is found to be "unserviceable," due to damage, rust, or whatever, has to be disposed of. After going through a shitload of administrative requirements, this is how they do it: