June 28, 2016

Gross stupidity and carelessness really ought to be crimes, you know...


Josh Van Winkle, 29, one of the horse-carriage drivers at the hotel,saw a dog he thought was posinga threat to one of his horsesand pulled out his .357 pistol, Nixon said.

"The weapon was cocked, and when he put it back into his holster, the gun went off, hitting a 6-year-old male right in the leg just above the knee," Nixon said. The bullet went straight through his leg,Nixon said. ...

Van Winkle was taken to Coconino County Jail and held on suspicion ofaggravated assault, child endangerment and disorderly conduct with a weapon.

I hope so! I hope the kid doesn't lose his leg because of this...

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Playing with fire


Making a statue of one of the Great Old Ones strikes me as being rather fraught with peril, don't you think? (from here)

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June 24, 2016

Press cluelessness

The picture at the top of this news post is strange: the magazines are backward. The cartridges are pointing towards the rear of the rifle.

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June 23, 2016


It's not my country and it really isn't my business, but I have to confess that I hope "leave" wins, mostly for shadenfreude.

But it won't make any difference. Even if "leave" gets a huge victory, this vote is non-binding. If the UK is to leave the EU, Parliament would have to pass a bill. And they won't.

There have been many elections in various parts of Europe about the EU over the last 25 years or so, and they have never made any difference. If the voters give the wrong answer, either the government ignores them or it schedules a new vote, to give the voters a chance to correct their error. It's a slow-motion non-violent political coup pitting Europe's snobs against their slobs. The snobs know the answers (or think they do) and they're not going to let the slobs stand in the way. And so it is, here.

Even if "leave" wins big, this Parliament won't even debate such a bill, let alone pass it. The snobs have already decided that European unity is too wonderful an idea to let a bunch of slobs stop it. The only political effect will be to strengthen the UKIP, and the only way Parliament will consider leaving the EU is if UKIP is in majority. Even in the best of scenarios it would take years to reach this point.

So from the American Schadenfreude point of view, the only amusing aspect of this if "leave" wins will be to watch Cameron explain why the vote didn't actually matter, and why he and his party are justified in ignoring it.

I'm watching the vote count on the BBC, and right now "leave" has a slight edge. But it's only about 1 million votes total so far and that's maybe 2% of the ultimate total. As the wise man once said, it ain't over until it's over. And apparently that won't be until late this evening my time (i.e. morning in the UK).

As you might imagine, over at Metafilter the consensus is that "stay" should win, so another source of schadefreude is reading all the moaning as "leave" continues to lead. And, of course, anyone who votes to "leave" is a drooling racist. It's obvious, isn't it?

UPDATE: At the Guardian, this interesting comment from Andrew Sparrow:

You can always tell who is losing on an election night - it's the side where they start blaming each other. Earlier, when it looked good for remain, we saw Vote Leave have a go at Nigel Farage.

But now the recriminations are breaking out on the remain side, where Labour is blaming the government.

UPDATE: About 2 million votes counted now, and "leave" has about a 150,000 vote lead. This could get interesting. But the fat lady isn't warming up yet.

UPDATE: Now "leave" has a 175K vote lead. This is getting more awesome by the minute.

There will always be an England, and England will be free,
As long as England means as much to you as England means to me!

UPDATE: Well, lots of votes from the London area came in, and now "remain" has a 115K lead. But the fat lady isn't warming up yet; this is still only about 10% of the vote counted. And London isn't representative of the whole country.

UPDATE: And now the "remain" lead is down to 32K. I gotta stop doing this.

UPDATE: And now "leave" is back up to an 18K lead. Yeah!

UPDATE: "Leave" is almost 300K ahead now and has been pulling away for the last hour.

This guy says "remain" has no chance of winning, as in zero. He's using some sort of predictive model.

UPDATE: "Leave" has a 420K vote lead now and more than half the votes have been counted. I think I heard the fat lady starting to warm up.

UPDATE: I've been sitting here all evening with a big grin on my face. Some of that comes from reading the Metafilter thread. Lots of moaning, groaning, and gnashing of teeth going on there.

"Leave" now has a 600K lead and it's hard to see how anything can put "stay" back into the lead.

UPDATE: AND the fat lady just started her solo. The BBC just called it for "leave" and so did CNN International. "leave" is more than 800K ahead with about three quarters of the votes counted.

Meanwhile, financial markets all over the world are going nuts. The Pound has dropped like a stone relative to other currencies. The Dow is reported to be down several hundred points.

I think most of that economic gyration is idiocy and it'll all damp out in a few business days, but in the mean time the headlines in the WSJ are going to be interesting.

I wonder if you can sell schadenfreude futures?

UPDATE: All the cars are off the track, and here's the final result:

Leave: 17,410,742 votes, 51.9%
Remain: 16,141,241 votes, 48.1%

Difference is 1,269,501.

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June 20, 2016

It makes you wonder...

Somebody named Dylan Matthews is either the troll to end all trolls or else he suffers from a case of cluelessness that sets all new records.

Possibly both.

Matthews has a bright idea: Obama should use a presidential decree to stop all gun sales, immediately.

His idea faces a couple of big hurdles. First, the Bill of Rights. (That part's easy; you just declare it obsolete and ignore it.) And Article II of the Constitution. (That's obsolete, too, so you ignore that as well.)

Second, there are already more than 300 million guns in private hands in this country, legally. Stopping new sales immediately wouldn't achieve the goal Matthews thinks he's solving.

And seizing all of them, without "due process" (which, recently, has been another thing lefties find really annoying because it keeps getting in the way of them implementing their program)... anyway, just finding them all would be tough. Once you know where they are, seizing them will use up a lot of police officers. Like hundreds of thousands of brave men taken to graveyards.

Actually, coming up with that many men willing to sacrifice their lives for the Progressive Agenda is a serious problem as well, considering the way Progressives generally treat brave men. Maybe we can get women to do it.

Some lefties have come up with a clever argument: The AR-15 didn't exist when the Bill of Rights was written and ratified, and therefore the Second Amendment doesn't protect them. Nor, in fact, does it protect any kind of firearm except muzzle-loaded black powder rifled muskets.

To which someone else pointed out that offset printing didn't exist then, either, and therefore by the same logic the only "freedom of the press" that should be protected by the First Amendment would be hand-set printing using movable type and screw-presses. On hand-made rag paper, to boot.

The left has always been more than a bit loony in this country but it seems like it's gotten a whole lot worse in the last couple of years. And I can't really think of anything that could happen now that would bring them back to their senses (which assumes that they were ever to their senses, which may be dubious).

I honestly think that if Iran nuked NYC, the progressives would figure out a reason why it was really the fault of Republicans and Gun Owners, and therefore the entire Bill of Rights should suspended and every Republican and every Gun Owner should be rounded up and confined.

For their own good.

It's been a good run, but I'm beginning to wonder whether this country can continue as a Republic for much longer.

UPDATE: Metafilter never lets me down.

I'd like every gun in America to disappear and/or be outlawed. I realize that there are no doubt many non-profits out there who work in this space. Which is the non-profit organization that is most productive/most active/most efficient/most likely to get closest to getting guns outlawed?

If the other side is this stupid, maybe there's hope.

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June 17, 2016

Truth is stranger than fiction

This sounds like something from a "Far Side" cartoon:

Early morning commuters in New Jersey saw heavy delays on Friday after a truck carrying deli meat collided with another truck hauling bread on Interstate 287.

You mean there wasn't a third truck, carrying mayonnaise?

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June 16, 2016

Is this progress?

Used to be that the default "joke" job was "flipping burgers at McDonalds".

Nowadays it's "being a barista at Starbucks".

I suppose that change means something but damned if I know what.

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May 28, 2016


Steven Hayward has trolled me.


I have to admit that it took me something like 10 seconds before I noticed something really wrong with this picture. Which I guess proves I'm Cis, not Trans, and that I'm old but not dead. (Whew!)

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May 18, 2016

21st Century Headlines

"Man admits to using gun in SE Portland hoverboard robbery, records show"

Hoverboard robbery? It must be the future already. I didn't know anyone was selling hoverboards yet.

UPDATE: Sigh; apparently they don't actually hover. It's like a segway without the handlebars.

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Here's your wakeup call

Just in time to remind everyone that the war isn't over, an EgyptAir A320 flying from Paris to Cairo has dropped off of radar and didn't arrive in Cairo. Odds are it crashed in the eastern Med, and of course we all know the most likely reason why, don't we? 69 people on board.

I do hope I'm wrong, of course.

UPDATE: It takes two to make a peace, but only one to make a war.

UPDATE: How long before someone in a position of authority assures us that terrorism was not involved? I say even money it happens within the next 12 hours.

UPDATE: Here's a surprise: a French official says, "It's too soon to rule anything out." Of course, these days the French government is no longer so concerned with anti-Muslim backlash.

UPDATE next morning: Much to my surprise the consensus now is that it probably was terrorism. My guess: it was a bomb smuggled on board, not one set off by a passenger. I don't think this one will be "crazy pilot".

But it definitely crashed. They've already found a bit of debris, though the search is only beginning. (It takes a while for ships to reach the area.)

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