Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gonna be a busy day

Got back that money that the government takes from you all year long. Need new mattresses. Need some plants for the yard. Paid off one of our debts, which gives our monthly budget just a little more wiggle room. We can now afford to buy things like shoes. HA! I kid! We can only get new shoelaces!

No, seriously, we need new mattresses for our bed. So we'll be off and running around today, getting things that we've been holding off buying for a while. We're also looking at purchasing an embroidery machine so that the wife can make some money on the side with various projects. Getting rid of that debt account was a big step as well.

Just a little advice - if you want to die rich, the very first thing you need to do is get out of debt. Period. Pay off your credit cards. Get rid of your loans. Once you're not paying hundreds of dollars a month just to pay back your creditors, you'll be amazed at how much extra money you have. While the Mrs. and I are still paying off our mistakes from when we lived in Seattle, this was a big first step. And as I said, it'll give our monthly budget some breathing room, as well as allow us to pay off our other debts quicker. I wanted to be debt free by the time I left this duty station, but that's not going to happen. I will be in a much better position, however, and that's worth quite a bit of money in the future.

So, till later, toodles!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Can Jim Zumbo be saved?

Cap'n Jim thinks so. And like anything Jim writes, I strongly suggest you go read it.

It is not too late for Mr. Zumbo to see the light which is indeed, the Black Rifle. It it not too late for Mr. Zumbo to do good for our cause.

It is better....far better, that we reclaim him and help him to redeem himself to a (albiet grudgingly) eventually forgiving community of arms, rather than for us to stack up our straw and wood under his pyre, and torch him though he has recanted..... (or is learning his recantation, however slowly.) I'm not deluded so as to think that Mr. Zumbo will fully grasp the weight of his betrayal in a few days, or even weeks.

But, in a year's time, and with a year's effort, I also have no doubt that he can become one of our loudest, most articulate and most effective voices. As such, I'd (re)welcome him (guardedly?) into the fold.

Not only is revenge a dish best served cold.... but the fact remains;

Success is the best revenge!

Come to the Dark Side, Jim.

It's in my head

And if you click this link, it may just stick in yours.

Sometimes, an artist will hit all the right notes. Something so wonderfully simple, yet a masterpiece. It's a rare thing. And sometimes it'll go all but un-noticed. Sometimes, it's just a little 30 second snippet in a commercial, like this one is.

But that doesn't make it any less.... well, perfect. I have CD's that I bought just because of one song that managed to get everything right at the right time. This might be another one of those.


This was forwarded to me by a very reliable source, please forward to those who might like to help the cause.
This year I challenged my American Legion Riders group to pass the hat and collect enough money to purchase one portable DVD player monthly to be shipped to someone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am pleased to report that our little band of black leather rogues has already purchased two, and we are well on our way to the third. At our first meeting this month, one of our members brought in a whole box of DVD's that he had and was willing to pass them along. He is a VN vet (Army Special Forces) who knows the impact of receiving something from home.
As previous co-workers, I am putting the bite on you to assist us in this most worthy cause. I have seen the responses from kids in the sandbox expressing their gratitude for giving them a line back to the land of the big PX. Getting a gift from a stranger wishing them well and God Speed is a real pick-me-up to these kids. Seeing a movies, watching a music DVD and hearing the album is a real moral booster to them. We may not all support the war, but we ALL need to support the young men and women serving there.
I costs about $125 each for the DVD player, some DVD's and shipping. Not a lot of money when you consider other things on which you can spend your money. But, I do not need $125 from each of you (though I certainly would accept it); a five, ten or twenty adds up to help us reach our goal. I want to exceed that goal and ship multiple portable DVD players out each month. So our group of about thirty riders needs help to get to that level. As they say in network marketing, get five people who each get five people and soon you have a real organization. So if you have friends or relatives who might like to help, let them know about this also.
We are the American Legion Riders of American Legion Post 40, Chino Valley AZ. We are registered as a 501.C3 non-profit organization. If you work for someone or know someone with a business who might make a large donation, but who needs a receipt for tax purposes, we can accommodate that request.
CHECKS: Make payable to American Legion Riders, Post 40 AZ. On the remarks line show for "Goodies-4-Grunts"
MAIL TO: Murrell Worth, 388 W Butterfield RD, PMB # 42, Chino Valley AZ 86323
“Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may
she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.”
Stephen Decatur, US Navy 1779-1820


Kim du Toit had a post up the other day that tied in with Alger's post about public school.

Let me preface this little post with the statement that I cannot, at this point, understand why public schooling still exists. I cannot stand public schools, period. I think they do more damage to the youth in this country than we know at this point, and the damage is going to REALLY be clear in a few decades.

In any case, Kim du Toit and Mrs. du Toit homeschool their kids. Now, I know that not everyone can homeschool, but one of the reasons given by the du Toit's was something I wanted to add on to:

When we talk to people about homeschooling our kids, and are asked what we did about "socialization", our answer is dismissive. Here's the gist of it.

1. We were never interested in having our kids learning to socialize from a group of peers who were as clueless about the process as they themselves were. High school kids, unsupervised, are the most feral little beasts on the planet, and we saw no reason why we should subject our kids to that ordeal. The most common response to that statement was usually, "It makes them tougher" or "They learn how to cope with a hostile environment, like they may encounter in the adult world".

Specious nonsense. In the outside world, when you are immersed in a "hostile environment" (work, university, whatever), you have the means to leave it. That's not the case in high school, where you are coerced into staying together with no options to separate yourself from your tormentors.

Socialization in high school is more like learning how to survive in the jungle without getting eaten or stepped on. One thing that amazes me is how people can send their precious darlings off to a building filled with people I wouldn't allow into my house for the majority of the day, and then they wonder just where their little sugarbuns learned how to swear, or when he started smoking, or doing drugs. "But, but, but, I'm a good parent!" Yes, you are, WHEN YOUR CHILD IS AROUND TO LEARN FROM YOU. Trust me on this, I observed it way too much when I was in high school. You could be the best parent in the world, and I've met many parents who WERE good parents. But when you send your child to public school, you might see them for four or five hours a day, AT THE MOST. Meanwhile, they're spending eight to twelve hours a day surrounded by the very type of people you want them to stay away from.

My family is not a violent family in the least. My father never yelled at me. That might surprise some people, but it's true. He never once blasted me with a yelling rant. I was never beaten as a child. I was never abused as a child. As far as my home life went, it was damn near fairy-tale perfect, and I couldn't have asked for better.

So the people who know me are now asking, "So Dave, where did your temper come from? If your family was so great, why are YOU prone to flipping your lid and destroying things?"

The answer to that is simple: It's what I learned to do in order to survive high school.

Physically, I was a late bloomer. I weigh 205 right now, have a 44 inch chest, with 15% body fat. Back in high school I weighed, at the most, 165-170. And I was skinny. Did some wrestling, but other than that was never all that athletic. I was more into music than football. I hated the social circles in high school, and I avoided them as much as I could. Even back then, I didn't want to be categorized by who I hung out with. And when you're able to step back and look at situations from a distance, you can get a feel for the overall picture.

In school, I learned that smoking pot made you a dumb reject, unless you were rich or hung out with rich kids, in which case smoking pot made you cool.

I learned that drinking was bad, unless you hung out with the jocks and drank with THEM, in which case it was cool.

In high school, I learned that intelligence was a BAD thing and should be discouraged, unless you hung out with the right people, and then it was cool.

And more importantly, in high school I learned that violence will trump reasoned arguments. All the reasoned debate in the world will not stop a bully who knows he can make your life a living hell and get away with it. He doesn't care about anything but making himself feel big and important. Just ask your stereotypical nerd how reasoning and logic fare against a bully. In the school yard, might makes right. It wasn't that I couldn't argue, or debate, or talk a situation down, it was that words did not work. I was not dealing with someone who had a different point of view, I was dealing with people who got excited by the use of force against someone they thought of as "weak".

Believe it or not, I didn't get into one fight in high school, because I would use violence as soon as I saw a threat. Oh, I hit people, but it was never a "fight" as you might think of it. I learned early on that when someone pushes you, you don't just push back, you jump onto their back, or their chest, and start screaming while you hit them as fast and hard as you can. Nobody wanted to fight me, because while they might think that I was a skinny little band geek, they didn't know what I would do if I got pushed. I was the Psycho in my school. My buddies Alex and Jake were the Animal and the Immovable Object, in that order. Alex was the guy who would pound you into a pulp if you crossed him, and Jake was so damn big that all he had to do was push you into a wall and lean on you, and you hurt for a week. And he was too big for you to push back. You might as well pound your fists against a wall.

Together, our trio formed an Axis of Don't-Fuck-With-Us. And it worked, where every other method failed. We didn't care what group you belonged to, we weren't a part of any social circle. We just wanted to be left alone, and if you didn't leave us alone, we would make you very, very sorry that you hadn't minded your own business. Might made right. That alone might not have imprinted on me that violence worked where talk failed. But what really proved that violence deterred violence the way people in school dealt with us. Let me give you an example.

Of the many incidents that occurred in school on a daily basis, there's one that I think highlights the feral nature of teen-agers. There was, at one point, a verbal altercation between one of the Jocks and one of the Stoners. Most people might have just brushed it off as "The other guy is an asshole" and carried on with their lives. But the Jock, who was an asshole from way back, decided that he had been "disrespected", and was going to exact some revenge. So the Jock, with two of his buddies, hunted down the Stoner later that day and beat the holy hell out of him.

I'm not talking a fight out back after school. They cornered him in the middle of the common area in the school and beat him so badly that was in the hospital for days. Cracked ribs. A broken eye socket (can't remember the name of that bone that surrounds your eye, but it was broken in several places). Contusions, bruises, broken bones, you name it, it happened. Now, what do you think happened to these punks? Did they get expelled? Arrested?

Nope. They were suspended for ten days. TEN DAYS. And when I graduated, the family of the kid who was beaten was STILL trying to sue for money to pay the hospital bills incurred as a result of the beating. These thugs put a kid in the hospital, and got nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

At that point, you could see two three distinct groups forming in the school. The aggressors, the victims, and the undisturbed. The aggressors, knowing that if they beat someone they wouldn't get punished, actively went on the hunt. It was like all the petty complaints they had, either real or imagined, could now be physically answered, and they were gonna lay a smackdown. The victims were the kids who couldn't fight back, for whatever reason. The undisturbed were the people who for whatever reason were left alone. Maybe they were the "popular" kids, maybe they just hadn't flown onto the radar. Whatever. The point is that for a period of time, it was damn near a free-for-all, both in and out of school. Kim du Toit calls high schoolers "Feral little beasts". He's more correct than he knows. All the pleading, all the letters to the principal, all the "meetings" between kids and administrators, didn't do one damn thing towards cracking down on the violence that was going on between students. Many times, parents were told "Well, it happened off school grounds, so there's nothing we can do about it." Legally, perhaps that's true. But the victims of this situation would not be dealing with this if they were NOT forced to be tossed into the jungle with the predators on a daily basis. Both the state, and through the state the school, forced kids to be present at that facility, in the presence of these thugs. And the thugs were damn near getting away with murder.

My friends and I, being the Axis of Don't-Fuck-With-Us, were part of the undisturbed group. THAT lesson had been taught a long time ago. However, it got so bad in that school that we started enforcing a new rule. Don't fuck with us, and don't fuck with our friends. We didn't care if you'd run our pal down off of school grounds or in the hallway, we were going to hunt YOU down and show you the error of your ways. If we told you that you were going to feel our pain, we carried that threat out. No empty threats were issued.

And people gravitated to us. Because to be associated with us meant you were left alone. Not because we gave you a stern lecture. Not because we debated your action's impact on society. It was because if you messed with us, we would answer in violence so direct that YOU would become the prey. My friend Alex once had a punk so scared of him that the punk wouldn't leave his house if he thought Alex was outside. And Alex, being the kind of person who loved to play mind games, would go out of his way to be around the punk's house. He would detour there on his way to the store. He woke up early just so that he could take the long way to school, which of course involved walking past the punk's front door. Jake and I would come along for the fun of it. And after Alex was done toying with the punk, he delivered a beating and a lesson. The beating was short, nasty and brutal. The lesson was "If you even look cross-eyed at my pal, you'll never eat solid food again." The lesson took hold.

It wasn't logic that make this punk piss his pants at the sight of us. It was the beating administered to him by Alex. It was violence, and the threat of more violence to come should that punk step out of line again. It wasn't our pleasant demeanor or sense of humor that drew people to our group. It was violence, and the threat of violence directed at the predators in the school that made people run into our private social circle. Alex, Jake and I couldn't turn a corner without running into someone who just wanted to be around us, because so long as they were in our general area they were left alone and unafraid.

The summary of my high school education was this: It's not what you know or do. It's WHO you know or do. Everyone for themself. The Authorities will not help you. You're on your own, so you'd better start swimming before you sink forever. And when in doubt, violence trumps everything else.

Now, if those are the lessons you want your kids to learn, then by all means send your kids to the local high school. But if you want your kids to get an education, go read Alger's post, and Kim's post, and then take a good hard look at where your kids spend the majority of their day.

I got more of an education from my father's bookshelves than I got in most of my high school experience. Short of three very talented, very special teachers, the rest of my high school education could have been done in one year. In fact, if it weren't for those three teachers, I would have dropped out, gotten a GED, and been on my way.

I'll probably edit this post later on, as I smack my forehead and say "Ah crap, I shoulda put that in there!" But until then...

Cooking the books

Over at du Toit's site, there's a link to Climate Audit that shows SOMEONE has been diddling with data in order to reinforce their pet theory.

The effect of the adjustments since 2000 has been to bring the USHCN history more in line with the CRU version. One wonders exactly what adjustments have been performed by CRU and others and the recent admission by Brohan et al 2006 that original versions of many series have been lost (or never even collated by CRU in the first place) leaving only the adjusted versions at CRU (with the nature of some or all of the adjustments undocumented and unknown) is extremely disquieting.

In good Marxist fashion - when the facts don't jive with your hypothisis, toss the facts out and make shit up!

Global Warming caused by humans is a crock of over-heated, messy shit.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

liabilities, taxes owed, and refunds

I have been one of the people who were in favor of getting rid of the IRS and just having a flat percentage income tax. I will even go so far as to say that I think the government rewarding people for having children is ridiculous. I have just finish a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) course . VITA provides free tax preparation for low income people.
One of the things that struck me was credits, particularly EIC(Earned Income Credit) and CTC(Child Tax Credit). The reason these struck me is that the IRS is using these as a social program, not unlike Welfare and Foodstamps, to help lower income families save and financially better themselves. With this rationale I can support these credits, along with all of the educational credits. The reality is that I would rather see the government trying to help hard-working people get ahead, instead of throwing money willy-nilly at people who think we "OWE THEM A LIVING".

Despite the general feeling of the government not having a clue, they actually have some pretty good ideas

I would encourage every taxpayer to take a VITA training, it is invaluable!!!

Profiles in Numbskullery: Andrew Stone

Encounter with one of the Unhinged Masses:

My other roommate called the police while both Matt and I tried to restrain him on the couch, but he kept hitting us. Both of us were yelling at him to leave, but he kept screaming that he wanted to fight us one on one like men, that we're "pussies" for not being in Iraq, and that we're hypocrites. He going crazy. Both of us struck him several times while he was on the couch. We finally dragged him off of the couch and forcibly pushed him out of the door.

Uhhh, loser.

Peace Activists Gone Wild

Busy busy busy

In case you couldn't tell by my unexpected absence. Meh. Anyways, a reader (you know who you are!) was kind enough to send me this link, which had me chuckling.

Pittsburgh police yesterday arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with the death of a drug dealer whose body was cut in half in a bizarre incident in Homewood on Monday morning.

Cut in half? With a chainsaw? A knife?

Nope. A CAR!

Police said he was the driver of a Dodge Neon that sped away from a drug deal on Hamilton Avenue with Mr. Williams hanging partially out of the driver's side window.

When Mr. Williams struck a utility pole, his body was cut in half by the door frame of the car.

Mr. Johnson has been charged with homicide, driving with a suspended license and other traffic offenses.

Witnesses out on the street when the incident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. told police that Mr. Johnson tried to drive away without paying for crack cocaine he had just accepted from Mr. Williams.

I don't know why I find that so damn funny. I really don't. It's like a trainwreck that I can't stop looking at.

Meh. I'll keep chuckling to myself.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nice vacation there, folks!

Here's my question - why in the name of all that's holy would anyone want to vacation in Cuba?

A FAMILY are suing Thomas Cook after their dream trip to Cuba became the holiday from hell.

Elaine Old, 44, claims their luxury hotel made the family sick.
She arrived at the resort only to find dirty beds, her toilet overflowing with human waste and food covered in flies.

Just three days into the four-star luxury break at the Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel, Holguin, Elaine and her family were left ill with a serious stomach bug.

But things turned from bad to worse when their elderly mother, Dorothy, 76, was left needing emergency hospital treatment after she slipped on the wet hotel floor and broke her leg.

Um, DUH! Lemmee give you a clue here, nimrods: IT'S CUBA! A communist shithole that makes port-o-johns in Texas in August seem like the Waldorf-Astoria! But you went on VACATION there?

You were either so ignorant you thought it would be a good idea (which, hopefully, you've been cured of), or you're terminally stupid.

Sheesh. "Hey, where would you like to go on Holiday this year, love?" "Oh, I don't know, let's go to a place where a brutal communist dictator has been destroying his country for years! I'm sure that in a country where everyone is either oppressed or part of the Ruling Party, why, the service must be SUBLIME!"

Found at Val's place, where he's been keeping tabs on fidel for years.


in D.C. By reality.

None other than former Mayor Marion Barry, now representing Ward 8 on the D.C. Council, is waving the white flag of surrender by introducing legislation to provide potential victims a limited window of opportunity to arm themselves in self defense. “We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic,” Barry said.

Duh. When you force law-abiding citizens to live without being able to protect themselves, the criminals, who don't care one whit about the law to begin with, will prey on everyone else.

It's that simple. Nice to finally see a few Donks wake up and smell the coffee.

But Barry’s bill is a first step and it is co-sponsored by Council members Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, Kwame Brown, D-at large, and Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6 — none of whom are gun-toting NRAers. However, all four councilmen face the same intractable problem in their own neighborhoods: The city’s gun control laws don’t work as advocates promised they would...

(emphasis mine)

I am amazed that after years and years of evidence showing that less guns in private citizen's hands equals more crime, that people would still be so deluded, so retarded, and so moronic to think that if they just outlaw guns, then gun crime will go away like Pure Fucking Magic.

Gun control doesn't work.


My father sent me this email, and I thought it was kind of cool. For all you gearheads out there:


* One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic-inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.

* Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to merely drive the dragster's supercharger.

* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.

* At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.

* Nitro methane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

* Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.

* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

* Dragsters reach over 300 MPH before you have completed reading this sentence.

* In order to exceed 300 MPH in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4 G's. In order to reach 200 MPH well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8 G's.

* Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!

* Including the burnout, the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

* The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.

* THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000 per second.

The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter-mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 MPH (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03, Doug Kalitta).

Putting this all into perspective:

You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged & ready to launch down a quarter-mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line & pass the dragster at an honest 200 MPH. The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that moment.

The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums & within 3 seconds the dragster catches & passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it - from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 MPH & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race!

That's acceleration!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy President's Day

Do you think that if George Washington were alive today, he would be advocating for another revolution?

Somehow, I do.

I've got a thought brewing...

But right now it's percolating, getting stronger, until I can pull it out and hammer it into something that resembles a coherent thought.

Until then, go read Alger's post about School Bullies, which is related to the thoughts in my head.


I'm talking, this guy just poured about ten gallons of jet fuel on himself and lit a match.

In a nutshell, Jim Zumbo, Outdoor Life columnist and perhaps the most visible outdoor writer in the United States, wrote a blogpost (linked below) calling for the banning of ARs, AKs and similar “terrorist” rifles from hunting. Nevermind that there are ARs that outshoot almost any bolt-action rifle out there. Zumbo wrote the post after a varmint shoot testing Remington’s new .17 centerfire Spitfire cartridge (which I believe is simply their version of the venerable .17 Mach IV), so he can’t claim ignorance of the perfection of a high-capacity autoloading rifle in the varmint fields. No, the man’s just a bigot.

After a blogswarm of comments by irate 2A supporters canceling their Outdoor Life subscriptions and calling for a boycott of Remington (Zumbo’s prime sponsor for his TV show Jim Zumbo Outdoors), Zumbo apologized, stating that he plans to learn all about ARs on a hunt with Ted Nugent (link below). Well, that’s nice. But Dumbo’s ill-thought comments are already being trumpeted by the Brady Bunch on their website (link is not to Brady but to Michael Bane’s blogpost about it).

Head on over to Phil's place to see just how fast Remington is distancing themselves from Zumbo.




Your attempt to throw me out of the sleigh, hoping that the wolves would be satisfied with my AR and would leave your precious bambi-zapper alone, is the most craven act of contemptible cowardice I've seen in a while. Now that I'm aware of your anti-gun nature, I'll be sure to cancel the one subscription to Outdoor Life that I have control over, and urge everyone else I know who subscribes to cancel theirs as well. Maybe after they ash-can you, you can go write policy columns for the Brady Center or the VPC.

I'm sure they'd love your little camouflage outfit and folksy wit. They'd find a place for you; after all, you're an "Authentic Gun Guy". *spit*

Back when I was an MP, there was something we called the "Career Warning Light". It's that little light that starts flashing in your brain right after you've done something incredibly stupid, and gotten caught with your pants down.

I imagine Jim Zumbo has his career warning light flashing like crazy right now. How much do you want to bet that his magazine editor is ripping their hair out right now? I mean, I don't know about you, but pissing off the majority of the people who buy your magazine can't be a good business model, can it? And since Zumbo wrote his screed in a blog post, the editor has no control, but it'll effect the magazine all the same.

From what I've seen, Remington has already dumped Zumbo on his ass. How long do you think it'll be before Outdoor Life does the same?