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This page mirrored 11/7/2008
Specifically, why do they flock to activism like cancer to a prostate?
In Venezuela college kids are standing up to the dictator Hugo Chavez who seems to think he knows the trick to making a socialized economy work. Time will tell if it helped. They can certainly expect no help from an American Legislature in the run-up to an election year. Sorry bout your bad timing, kids!
In the 1960's and 70's college kids around the country protested the Vietnam War, even though it didn't really affect any of them because they had college deferments. They succeeded and southeast Asia fell to the Communists and the death toll was in the millions.
In South Korea college kids protest American military presence in their country even though that is probably the only thing keeping the North Korean military out of Seoul. They're lucky they didn't get their wish.
American college kids these days protest the eating of meat. I ate a steak, tonight.
In Iran college kids protest Islamic rule of their country.... which is probably a good idea, actually. See the "no help from skittish America," above.
American college kids protest racism by ensuring that on campus the white kids are considered to be second class citizens.
In China a few years ago a bunch of college kids met bad ends in Tiananmen Square, in China, and they didn't really change anything except ultimately give Google China one more thing to censor.
American college kids are protesting the destruction of the environment from their lush, green campuses. Global Warming alarmism continues to grow, we'll see how this turns out.
American college kids call the current American Executive Branch "fascist" even though most couldn't define that word nor name any rights they've had taken away.
American college kids have the ability to condemn sexism against women and yet support multiculturalism in the same breath, somehow, even though many other cultures support sexism against women. I'm not sure how they keep their heads from exploding.
So what is it with college kids and protesting stuff?
That's how the guy who started The Weather Channel described the idea of man-made global climate change.
And here's a lecture given by a climate expert in Australia. He uses humor and slides and a British accent to derail pretty much every argument Al Gore and his insane clown posse use to scare the crap out of school kids and hippies and politicians. I consider this required viewing, so get a glass of iced tea and sit a spell.
And be sure to pass it on.
Feel free to attack me personally in the feedback thread, but registration is required. Too many spammers out there.
Just spent a couple days in Frankenmuth, Michigan at one of those new fangled "family water fun resort" places. Basically a hotel with a big child-friendly water park under the roof. Was pretty fun, my kid had a blast.
I was wearing one of my USMC t-shirts the first day, while following the kid around. Two separate people stopped to ask me if I was a Marine (and one gave me the whole, "I just want you to know that we appreciate everything you do" thing when I said I was a former Marine....hint... this water park was NOT in San Francisco)... I guess it was the combination of the t-shirt and the (mostly) bald head. Being asked that twice in a couple hours made me both happy and sad... on the one hand, I must still look like a Marine, after all these years. But on the other hand, people can look at a dude who is 20 pounds overweight and think he's a Marine. Oh well... I'll take the compliment... it's the only thing my ego will allow. I must just wear my flab well.
Also next to this resort was a huge
"Christmas Store," one of those places that sell
Christmas stuff year-round on 14 acres of whatever. They
had displays all over the grounds, with not less than three tableaus
of The Baby Jesus... there may have been more; we didn't
explore the entire grounds. I wanted to show my kid some
Baby Jesus, since up until that point he's never been exposed to
the Baby Jesus due to our not following any particular
religion... and believe me when I say my wife and I had a few
words about that subject when I asked her why she wanted to go
to a store dedicated to a holiday belonging to a religion to
which we don't belong.... "Because I like Christmas, so
park." So we parked, and I tried to show the Baby
Jesus to him: obviously, the Baby Jesus scared him.
Well I don't care who you are... nobody scares my kid and gets away with it...
Today Show is having a "global warming awareness"
week, and the correspondents are all over the globe to show us
how we're all going to die.
You may join the "Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize" thread already in progress.
Riddick and Buzz Lightyear hope you had a good one.
And yes, I really shaved my head.
Birth Control in Maine.
Disclaimer: when you have a kid, you tend to see the same kid movies so many times that it becomes easy to over-analyze them. This is just such a time.
Cars: A cute movie about a civilization built by sentient vehicles, right? Wrong. A post-apocalyptic human dystopia where the machines turned against and enslaved their human creators.
Allow me to explain.
The movie revolves around the life of a young, rookie racecar who gets sidetracked into a dying town in the American southwest, Doc Hollywood-style. He makes friends and learns a thing or two about himself, and goes on to use his newfound knowledge and new friendships to be an even better racecar. It's all very sweet.
Or is it?
How can cars talk, and have facial expressions? There have been many advances in automotive technology in the last 20 years that build up to the beings we see in this movie. Cars produced today already have more computing power than the space shuttle. The leap to AI may already have happened, and humans may be able to sense this, as many already talk to their vehicles. Advances in auto body polymers, in order to reduce damage caused by dents and scratches, is evolving to the point where it will be self healing; and if it can do that, why not also make facial expressions?
The hints of the remains of the human civilization they crushed and assimilated are all around.
In don't care how clever they are... some of this technology cannot be produced by a creature with tires for hands. Nimble humans with opposable thumbs must be kept somewhere... but where? Very little of the country was shown in the movie; I suspect that was to hide the massive farms where humans are bred and educated into a short and brutal life of serving their wheeled masters.
Ever notice how all the vehicle windows are opaque? Each vehicle has a emaciated... but living... body of the human who used to drive the car. No one is sure why the cars do this. Some believe the human's brain is hotwired to the car to serve as additional computing power. This would tend to explain how the emergent personality of each car tends to stereotypically reflect that of the human which would supposedly drive it. A late model judge takes on the personality of a crotchety old man, a military issue Jeep has the mannerism of an army drill sergeant, and the 60's VW van sounds just like George Carlin. One would hope the humans have no awareness of the nightmare, the living hell, in which they live... but there is insufficient evidence to suggest they aren't.
If a vehicle ever goes against the desires of the civilization and suggests that it is wrong to keep humans as slaves, they are encased in bronze... alive... for all eternity as an example to future trouble makers. Case in point, "Stanley," the founder of the town of Radiator Springs. Early in the movie he is knocked off his pedestal by Lightning McQueen, the movie's "protagonist," and you can clearly hear him screaming in madness thorough his bronze shell. It scares the crap out of Lightning... the fear of this sort of punishment is programmed right into the cars' minds in order to help keep them in line. Characters often speak to Bronze Stanley, why else would the do that if he weren't able to hear them?
It is deeply disturbing that this sort of nightmare future is sold to kids, but here we are. Those of us who know The Truth can only use it as a warning, that this is the road upon which we are driving.
Next movie to be over analyzed: Toy Story... cute movie about toy sibling rivalry, or the aftermath of a sex triangle voodoo murder?
Global warming, again.
I've always said that "global warming" was big business, and the above doom-and-gloom is, in part, given to us by a guy selling a book. If he were really worried, he'd be giving it away in order to get the word out.
That sort of thing used to keep people awake at night. Doom and gloom... sound familiar? Someone sold a lot of books, didn't he.
The new article says we are at a "worst case scenario." The worst case I ever heard for man-made global warming was total Venus-like greenhouse effect, killing all humans. A lesser scenario would be massive flooding around shorelines. I am willing to bet money, and give odds of 100:1, that we will not have a massive temperature rise, nor massive coastal flooding within the next global weather cycle; i.e., one year. $100 is the minimum bet.
If we're all dead/treading water a year from today, you'll have a nice chunk of change from me.
If you aren't certain enough in your doom-and-gloom to put your money where your mouth is, then shut the hell up already.
Really, this is win/win. For me. I get sweet silence, one way or another.
Heh heh, "#2."
I've managed to keep my kid for two years now with no permanent damage... go me!
We also went to Disney for a week right before his birthday... not FOR his birthday, just near it.
We had a great time. I figure he's still a little young... he won't remember any of it... but it was still nice to see him happy, now.
Speaking of which, there's a scene in Toy Story where Buzz Lightyear, still not believing himself to be a toy, attempts to fly by jumping off of a stairway railing... which resulted in a hard landing, and his arm disattached. My kid watches this scene... makes a little chicken wing with his arm, and says "Arm off!" Now he does this several times a day; he will come up to me, make his chicken wing, and say "Buzz! Arm off!" All with a big smile, of course. Obviously this is very adorable.
So we're at Disney and about to meet Buzz Lightyear. With some of the Disney characters, the ones we've never shown him on TV, he was either shy with them, or wanted nothing to do with them at all. Then it's our turn to meet Buzz... I put Will down about 10 feet from him... Will looks at Buzz, lowers his eyes, and slowly shuffles up to Buzz and gives him a hug. He's shy, but he fights through it. It was the cutest part of the entire trip.
We get a few pictures of Will hugging Buzz, and its time for the next kid to take his turn, so I go pick up Will. "Hey Will," I say. "Show Buzz ARM OFF!" And he did. The cuteness was officially clocked at Eight Megakittens.
Eight Megakittens... that's a lot of cute.
SO that's that. Birthday #2 successfully achieved, and still with the Cutest Kid Evar. Better luck next year, people with kids who aren't mine.
iPhone - trouble in paradise?
Silly people have been speculating silly things since the beginning of time.
"The gods are angry with us, we must kill a virgin to ensure we have good crops!"
"Old people who never saved for retirement are retiring and not having any savings... we need to save them with Social Security!"
"Bush is going to reinstate the draft!"
"Bush is going to bomb Iran!"
But is that last one silly? Here's how I see it...
Assuming it ISN'T ALL ABOUT THE OIL... and I
can't see how it is, since Iran is already selling their oil,
and we sure as hell aren't getting the Iraqi stuff cheap...
The only way to know with absolute certainty is going to be with hindsight. Either a city, in America or otherwise, is going to go up in a mushroom cloud, or it isn't. That's the gamble, those are the stakes. What do we do? Iran certainly isn't being open and honest with the "international community" any more than Saddam was when he was firing at American planes for ten years during the so-called cease fire.
Oh, and the Iranian guy who was in America telling us how they just don't have the gays in Iran? He has the nice-sounded title of "President." makes him sound like he's in charge, huh. But he isn't the guy running Iran, this guy is. This is the guy whose mind we need to know, and according to him he is talking to god, and god is pissed. Nice.
I have no links to backup anything I am about to say, I've just been digesting various claims I've read here and there, both from the MSM and blogs and discussion forums.
I've seen a lot of attacks on the fast food industry, from regular people and government agencies alike. Congress likes to make a big issue of the high fat content in fast food, and lots of people like to claim Americans are too stupid to know how to eat right. There's a picture of a REALLY fat kid chowing down at McDonalds that I see pop up every so often. It's usually used in a "See, I TOLD you Americans were fat and stupid!" tone.
Here's a couple things, though. Vegetable gardens were around before farms, grocery/food stores were around before restaurants, and restaurants were around before fast food chains. Fast food chains found a niche in which people traveling from place to place liked knowing what to expect when they went someplace for a quick bite to eat... most people knew what to expect from a hamburger from McD's, but who the hell knows what kind of quality to expect from Mel's Diner with the surly waitresses? Places like McD's found a market, and exploited it. Regular restaurants and grocery stores and vegetable gardens were not put out of business because of their invention.
Now, as to so-called fat people.... I usually hear two reasons given as to why so many people are overweight: they are poor and can only afford McDonald's, or they are stupid and don't know how to eat properly. Are people stupid? I don't know. I don't know how the average person with the 100 IQ thinks, I don't know their education level, and I don't know what they were taught about nutrition.
But poor people can only afford unhealthy fast food? This is the point I wanted to make: the butcher shop I frequent always has 5 ounce "Kansas City-cut" steaks for $1.49, and you can buy a baking potato for less than a dollar. Water is usually available in most kitchens. So there, two fifty, and a steak dinner. Add twenty-five cents and color your water with a packet of Kool-aid. That's cheaper than anything you can buy at McD's, including a child's "Happy Meal." They always have other meats there, chicken and pork and such, at comparable prices. The produce department has every type of vegetable on the nutritional chart, and all single-size portions... and usually more than a single portion... are priced at less than a dollar. So no more excuses. Being "poor" is not an excuse for people to eat a lot of fast food.
Having written out this post, I realized I wrote a lot of words to make a small, dumb point. Sigh.
I guess a better point to make is that saying that being overweight is a natural result of being poor seems like an insult to poor people. Or, saying crime results from too many poor people. But that's another post.
Nah. This is a crappy post.
I bet you wish you could unread it and get those
minutes back. I bet you wish I had given you a warning at
the beginning. Well, I never said I wasn't an asshole.
This morning at first light I was stung in the middle finger by a hornet. Might have been a bee, but I don't see a stinger. It hurt like hell then, and it hurts like hell now.
I'm very curious to know how it gained entrance to my bed chambers.
After I tracked the bastard into the bathroom and did battle with it unto its death, I went outside with a can of hornet killer and foamed up one of the hornet (bee?) nests outside of my house. Payback. You sting me, I genocide your queen and entire colony. That's how I roll. Say goodbye to that particular genetic line.
The Beepocalypse has begun.
Or possibly the Hornetocalypse.
Update 20070910; 1004
On a hunch I peeked into the crawlspace under my bedroom.
Looks like a confirmation; it's a Hornetocalypse.
Update 20070912; 2151
First and second strikes on the enemy base successful. Pics and detailed battle plans in the Feedback Thread.
Karl Rove resigned, but as a goodbye party gift he turned on his modified racist hurricane machine to reek some devastation in Ohio.
And as is normal in the Midwest,
The nearby city of Wooster, Ohio has offered to
take in refugees from Findlay. Crime rates are expected to
Anthony P. Iriti, Mayor of Findlay, claimed "
It's the hottest, most humid part of summer again, so that must mean it's time for another visit to the German American Festival in Oregon, Ohio.
My wife, son and I met Leisher and his wife and daughter for dinner and whatnot, whatnot being the kiddy rides for the kiddies.
Then there was the tornado and the tornado shelter, but after that there was food and more rides, and my new favorite thing at the festival (Since Unk stopped throwing the rock), the marksmanship competitions.
A max score any given round is 50 points. Five targets on a sheet, one round per target, ten points for a perfect bull's-eye. The target is a circle approximately 2 inches wide. The weapon is some sort of high-power pellet gun.... you fire and there is no discernable delay in hearing the round hit metal back plate approximately 20 feet downrange. This thing would definitely put an eye out.
I did pretty well last year. The drunkest I've been in about ten years, and I fired a 46 out of 50 my first time up to the firing line. That put me immediately into 3rd place in the competition, but I didn't think it through and just walked away... only to be bumped out of 3rd by a later shooter.
But this year I had a plan. No beer (after one or two, of course...) and I'd fire more than once if I needed to in order to stay in the top 3. I knew I'd fire at least twice... once as a warm-up, and the second time for real.
The first round, I had Leisher behind me staring at my ass and heckling me with such things as, "Better call in for an air strike, you'll have a better chance of hitting the target." Stuff like that doesn't actually bother me, though. Putting rounds down range is sort of a Zen thing with me... when the time comes, and my eye is focused on the front sight post and I'm putting it on the blurry black blob I'm aiming at, I'm good at tuning out all distractions and just watch my heart beating in the bounce of the sights. My high score of those two targets was a 38. Pretty sucky, but I got a feel for the rifle. It also put me in 3rd place, but I didn't even bother putting my name on the board, yet. I knew my second go-round would be better.
Round 2: my wife and Leisher and everyone else took the kids back to the kiddy rides, so no heckling, this time. My high score of those 2 targets was a 42, which put me in first place, ahead of the guy who had 41. But there was still 3 hours to go in the competition. And if I wasn't there at the end, they give the trophy to whomever was next in scoring. This year I wanted to win.
It was the kids' bedtime, so everyone left me at the festival in the rain. I walked the wife and kid to the car to see them off, and by the time I got back to the firing range two other people were on the board with 43 points, each, bumping me to 3rd.
I paid another three bucks for another go-round, and fired a 44. First place again, but no cushion. By the time I got my card scored, someone else had fired a 45. Shit. 90 minutes to go. I need an ATM. Each round is three tickets, and each ticket is a buck.
I fired again, 44. And again, 44. I turned in the last card and said, "Well, this is the best I can do, I guess. I'm done." I looked at my watch, 20 minutes to go in the competition. Ok, one more round.
I fired a 45, tying for first place, which results in a shoot-off to resolve all ties.
The people in the tiebreaker fire one round for practice, and one round for score. High score wins.
Now, the last 3 or 4 times I fired, I fired on rifle #2, out of the 4 they had setup. I felt I was a consistent 9-ring hitter on #2, so I should stick with #2. But why were all the festival officials huddled around rifle #2? "Oh, we just caught the last shooter screwing with the sights. We're trying to fix them."
Shit. I knew I should have just jumped on another rifle... the practice round would have told me all I needed to know for the official round... but for some reason I waited. They "fixed" the sights, the festival official guy snapped in, aimed, and plinked a perfect bull. "Ok," I said. "Good enough for me." I shook my opponent's hand, wished him luck, he reciprocated, and I stepped forward.
I took my rifle, chambered a round. Took my wide, stable stance, and pointed the weapon down range. I clicked the safety. I felt as cool as a cucumber as I sighted in. Deep breath. Hold. Slow squeeze of the trigger.
Now, any good marksman can tell you that if you know what you're doing, you know where the round hit on the target as soon as the round fires and before you even see the target. In real competition you keep a scoring book and every time you fire you plot where you think the round went, and when it is marked you plot where the round actually hit so you can spot trends and figure windage and elevation problems. Good marksman usually predict pretty well where they hit, barring a random gust of wind. And you usually feel it when you know the round went downrange right where you wanted it; center mass. I had this feeling, and I knew as soon as the round fired, before I even changed the focus of my eye from the front sight post to the target, I knew it had to be in the 9-ring, at least.
High and right, damn near off the black, firmly in the 4 ring.
I hadn't fired a round that far off the mark the entire day... this wasn't good.
I felt like maybe I should just jump on another rifle, and forego the practice round. But in the end I thought, "Well, I must have just screwed it up. I'll just not screw up for the official shot."
I repeated my procedure. Loaded, aimed, fired. The round felt as good as the last.
And the round went in exactly the same spot. Key holed it. My tiebreaker round scored a 4.
To my opponent's credit, he watched what happened, and yet he chose to use the same rifle. His rounds also went high and right, just slightly less-so than mine. He had either a 5 or 6. At first I was comforted by that..."He still fired better than I did, so it doesn't matter if the rifle was screwed up." Unfortunately, later I had the thought, "What if my shots were dead center, and his would have been low and left?"
At any rate, I came in second place for the competition. The third place guy had a 43, so if they had counted all of my 44's I could have won 2nd and 3rd place, heh.
Was a fun competition, all-around, even in the rain. Makes me wonder about getting a grown-up rifle and get in the real competitions.... the annual National Rifle Championships are held about 30 minutes from my house, at Camp Perry. I can snap-in with real Marines again, among others. I'm good, but those snipers are so good it's spooky.
Maybe maybe maybe.
Things that got linked.
Cleaning the Stalls
Bringing Down a Nation
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