October 01, 2015

Umpqua Community College shooting

I've been following the news reports of the latest school shooting. This one happened at Umpqua Community College, about 180 miles south of here, so it's a bit more of a shock than usual.

As I write this now, the reports are that it was a single shooter, 20 year old male, and the cops killed him. Everything else is hazy (fog of war) and it probably won't be until tomorrow before we really have a good idea what happened.

But there are two things that are absolutely certain.

1. Lefties will start droning about how guns are dreadfully dangerous and we need more "common sense" gun control. (Which usually means preventing the law abiding from owning guns, without having any effect whatever on whether criminals and the violently insane can get them.)

2. Righties will start talking (more correctly, IMHO) about how "gun-free zones" are dangerous and idiotic.

And everyone will talk past the real reason for the Second Amendment. (Hint: it has nothing to do with hunting or self-defense.)

UPDATE: There's only one thing that can change the above non-conversation even slightly: If it turns out the shooter had an Arab name, the right will also talk about immigration and about the dangers of Islamic extremism.

But it won't change what the left has to say, including the President -- who has scheduled a speech this evening, in which he will call for "common sense" limitations, yet again.

UPDATE: It is interesting that they haven't revealed the shooter's name yet. That could be because they're having a hard time contacting relatives (which, presumably, will be easier this evening) but it could be because he is a lone-wolf jihadi, or even a "known-wolf jihadi".

I guess we'll know tomorrow.

UPDATE: His name was Chris Harper Mercer, and he was 26.

UPDATE: Here's more on him. Looks like a lone nutcase.

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September 23, 2015

Redhead Liberation Front

OK, Duck, shiver in your flippers. The Redhead Liberation Front has arrived.

Too late for me, though. My hair ceased to be red 10 years ago. For my last driver's license renewal for hair color I put down "White".

...man, there are some really nutso activists out there, aren't there? "Ginger Supremacy"? Ye Gods...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 06:44 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 22, 2015

Only in Japan


The tablet costs extra.

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2015 ROK Integrated Live Fire Exercise

I've had this link sitting around on my desktop for a couple of weeks. I don't remember where I first saw it, though it was probably Ace of Spades.

2015 Integrated Live Fire Exercise

It's interesting in general terms, of course, but it's particularly interesting to us right now because a lot of the weapons they use are the same ones that are featured in GATE. South Korea is using older gear, a lot of which they got as handoffs from the US Army and US Airforce. So they have Cobra gunships and Phantom jets in this video, for instance.

There's also newer stuff, like F-16's. But it's all interesting.

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September 17, 2015

A strange configuration

I was just looking at some pictures of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new carrier that the UK just launched. It isn't ready to go into service yet, in part because they can't get any F-35's for an airwing. For the next couple of years they'll be operating with a USMC F-35 squadron. Which is strange enough.

But what struck me was that the carrier has two islands. I don't remember any other carrier configured like that, and it made me wonder.

I found an answer: the forward island is for navigation; the rear island is air traffic control.

But why separate them, anyway? The rest of the world has done fine with both of those functions in a single tower (on different decks) ever since the 1930's.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 09:21 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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September 16, 2015

Republican contest

I can't claim I've been following things very closely, nor that I really care all that much, especially this early. But Trump's amazing ride is spectacular, and I know that the Republican establishment can't figure out the attraction, or perhaps they don't want to admit it to themselves.

If you care for my uninformed opinion, what's going on is that the grass roots are saying this:

Less "go along to get along."
More "In your face, motherfucker."

The defining characteristic of Trump is that he is unafraid to say what he thinks, and doesn't give a damn if it offends someone. He's a fighter. This country gave the Republicans a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate and the Republicans seem to be afraid to use that. Instead they bend knee to the lame duck Democratic President, who is doing his best to shred the constitution and turn himself into a dictator. They give him what he wants, because they're afraid of being vetoed.

Screw that. Send him bills to veto and make it hard on him. Whether Hillary/Bernie/Fauxcahontas like it or not, he's still the face of the Democrats and what he says, the party is largely stuck with. Force him to get on the record on a lot of issues that the voters don't like.

Use the damned "power of the purse". You've got it, he doesn't. (Or rather, he shouldn't have but he's decided he can spend money without permission from Congress, which ought to be an impeachable offense but that won't happen.)

Force a damned government shutdown. I mean it. In his face, motherfuckers. Then send him a budget bill to veto every single day. Hold weekend sessions and do it on Saturday and Sunday, too. Force the Senate Democrats to filibuster those bills, if they want to.

Yeah, he'll blame you and the press will blame you, but the lesson of Trump is that Republican voters don't care what the press says. All the stuff they've tried to fling at Trump isn't sticking, and that's why.

When the press tries to do that to Trump, he says, "I don't give a shit." That's what I want to hear from you, too.

If we wanted Democrats in Congress, we would have voted for them. The reason the Republicans are in majority is because the voters want a change.

So give it to them. Start by replacing Boehner and McConnell, and putting younger, more aggressive, angrier men in those positions.

Yes, the press will try to parboil you -- but they're going to do that no matter what you do, unless you vote like Democrats. And that's not what the voters wanted when they elected you.

Eventually the other candidates are going to wake up to this, too. The problem is that they've all been so damned careful all this time that if they try to change it's going to come off just as fake as Hillary's "candidate face masks of the month" has been.

Trying to fake sincerity has never been very successful, in the long run.

UPDATE: Another thing: Get those committees off their butts and start working. You've been investigating the IRS for something like two and a half years and haven't even gotten to first base. Start subpoening people. Start jailing them for Contempt of Congress and for Perjury. You aren't going to make any progress until you start hurting people.

You have proof that some of them have lied under oath. Get on with it. Make people afraid. That's your job.

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Tsunami watch

There was just a magnitude 8.3 earthquake off the coast of Chile and it may have spawned a tsunami. If so, it will reach Australia some time tomorrow. Fortunately, Sydney seems to be safe, because New Zealand is in the way.

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September 12, 2015

Personal icon


If I didn't already have a personal icon that I've been using all over the place for years, I'd use this one in an instant. So I offer it, free, to anyone who wants it. (Unfortunately it's not square, but that can be fixed.)

In case you're wondering, it's from chapter 34 of the GATE manga.



OK, here's a better version of it, and this time it's square.

UPDATE: If I was really ambitions, now I'd colorize it. But I'm not going to.

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A sign of the times

Drive-through Marijuana Stores.

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September 07, 2015

What kind of epitaph is that?

Don has this picture in his top rotation:


It made me think of this:


So if Don stops posting to his blog, I guess we'll know he was eaten by a cactus.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 09:22 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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