Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I had a long argument once with a guy in my salle, who has severe Cannot Hit Women Syndrome. For a long time, I even argued with myself over whether I should be bothered by the fact that I have absolutely zero compunction against laying a woman out if need be, merely because she's got tits.
Yes, in response to the obvious reaction, it's more complicated than that. But those of us following self-defense for a while have noticed that there are a lot of women out there involved in violent and aggressive behavior, and they're not shy about taking advantage of the fact that men's better halves generally tie a hand behind their backs. Their numbers seem to be increasing.
Chivalry is dead.
Simone de Beauvoir noted that a lot of women's foibles that held them back were not really coming from men, but were, instead, conformism viciously enforced by their mothers and sisters. Pity that running around gangbanging wasn't one of those things on Mme. de Beauvoir's list.
So it's going to start getting old-fashioned again. I mean, really old-fashioned. As in, 14th-century old-fashioned, where a gentleman treats a lady very well. So in that sense, Chivalry is still going to be alive, especially because most men are inclined and socialized (usually by other men) to assume that women are ladies until demonstrated otherwise.
Ladies, thank you for being ladies.
Gangbanging slut goblin-wannabes, be warned.
Marine, be at peace.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
That said, I have random thoughts.
1. What kind of coddled, reality-challenged white-bread yuppie scum doesn't know the difference between the sounds made by a jackhammer and an assault rifle?
2. I traded shots with my instructor in the salle on Saturday, and hit the ground so hard I bounced. That rocked. Slowly but surely, martial arts concepts that were fuzzy, generalized statements, are becoming concrete, discrete ideas or even techniques. Unfortunately, this means you have to ask your instructor when you think you may have caught a clue... therefore, I posit that martial arts are an act of dual masochism.
3. I think that the gal on PubliusPundit may have overstated her case slightly... but only slightly, when she points out that one of the reasons we have yet another excuse to hate the Baby Boomer scum is their insistence on chopping society up into age brackets. So, don't trust anybody over 30.
4. The big exeriment I was planning on doing gets more complicated. On the one hand, good physics suggests using a nail as a penetrator, so we don't have to worry about impactor topology (far as I can tell, most of the literature on impactor topology is based on cylindrical or ogival penetrators, occasionally on spheres. Go figure, that's where the real-world application is). On the other hand, that makes the entire thing worthless in the context of medieval armor, because a nail effectively simulates a bodkin arrowhead, thus slanting any test done directly in favor of everything except mail armor. And while bodkins definitely existed, they were by no means the only thing out there, and neither do they conform to the topology of western early-and-high-medieval lance heads (though, oddly enough, it does somewhat conform to those from eastern Europe).
5. I ruined the rawhide Chichester sent me a while ago, b/c what we all thought was the grain, was, in fact, not -- what we thought was the flesh was, instead, parts of the grain that hadn't been removed... which only became apparent when I tried to oil-tan it and I suddenly had horsehairs popping up on what should have been the inside of the horse. So, at this point, probably the only thing I can really do with it is to turn it into lacing.
6. Summer is awesome, nice and hot, but not too hot, and Eason came to town, which warms the little evil cockles of my heart. Part of me still wishes I could get the time of day from recruiters so I could go do evil twisted shit to bad people who deserve it... but with folks having no trouble making numbers apparently age waivers aren't being tossed out like popcorn (Note to the irony-challenged: see random thought#3).
7. Somebody needs to simply flay Phelps and his "Thank God for IEDs crowd." Fucking demon worshipper. Hey, dude, even the biggest, hate-indoctrinated opponents of Christianity admit that "loving your neighbor" is one of its most basic commandments....
And now, I'm going to vacuum and enjoy the nice long weekend. Have a good one, folks.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Pity, that. Over the past five years, we've certainly paid enough on this excise tax for The Bunny to get herself a business suit and a new pair of shoes.
Parts of Bush's "legacy" are going to ring big, over a long time. But the progress we've made internationally, and tax cuts at home, are only part of the problem. If he wants to really have this period shine, he needs to start waving that veto threat every time Congress tries to saddle us with more debt.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Here's a quick blurb on Russia's collapsing demographics, and thoughts for the same in Europe.
Now, I'm sensitive to this stuff lately, since the Bunny and I started on the trying-for-kids thing very late in the game, but bear with me.
There's one overriding difference, though: Europeans are sufficiently full of themselves that they think they can ignore Economics 101. Go ahead, ask one, he'll tell you. He'll tell you how brilliant European politics and the "social market" is, especially compared to the obvious failures of the heartless and corrupt American system.
That'll last a while. But when push comes to shove, European egotism will give way. The technocrats, unlike the Vampire, aren't stupid. France is already starting to turn around its demographic issues. The French, for all their many serious domestic problems, are smart -- they understand that quality of life counts. They may choose to get there in a way that makes most Americans twitch, and God help them, they may figure out how to actually carry it off... but they know for a fact that you're not keeping a society alive with a QOL in the toilet.
Putin, for all his aspirations to restart the Cold War and dictate to the world from an angular Eurasian throne, doesn't get it. Paying a subsidy to women so that they'll create babies is a start. But the notion that women are going to agree to this for the good of Russia is nonsense. To start with, so is the notion that anything Putin would describe as good for Russia will trickle down to the average Russian subject. (Yeah, I said "subject," not citizens. Citizens have rights.) The Kremlin and its faction runs Russia for its own benefit. Putin and his cronies love to tout their status as an "energy power," but it's all hat and no cattle for international grandstanding and foreign cash... ask the Muscovites who froze their asses off this winter when the weather got a little colder than normal, because the Powers that Be could care less whether there's something resembling a decent domestic gas infrastructure. Why waste all that good gas on the little people?
QOL, Pootie-Poot, QOL. This dumbass, for all his pretentions to worldly glory, still doesn't grasp that it's not 1850, and still doesn't grasp the reasons the Soviet Empire got its ass kicked in the Cold War.
It sure wasn't the CIA. Hell, our intel guys were so bad, we couldn't turn a Polish agent who knew he was going home to be executed. (Then again, whatever the faults of the Poles are, we all know it isn't a lack of balls.) No, much as I hate the phrase, we whipped the crap out of the Soviets, because we had Human Capital. Human Capital let us innovate and grow the Soviets into the ground during the Arms Race (insert giant nod to Reagan here). In the modern world, middle-class civil society is geopolitical power. That's why everybody wants to do business with China, in spite of the banking practices that would be a national scandal here in the US. It's why the Canadians still punch above their weight in foreign policy, in spite of the fact that their military can't make numbers because they're openly despised at home.
And it's why the US still hasn't had quite had its financial meltdown. Our financial markets are two steps away from a serious fiscal crisis as the dollar teeters over a debt-excavated abyss -- but folks abroad know we have a reputation for economic growth and innovation that makes the dollar a decent bet, for all its many documented faults.
Am I waxing brilliant here? Am I saying anything that any economist who's had his morning coffee won't be happy to confirm? Nope. This is all Bozo territory.
So why doesn't this dumbass get it? Hey, Putin: you want some babies? Try keeping your prospective mommies from freezing their asses off all winter, and stop continuing to foster the conditions that keep your prospective daddies at a life expectancy in the low 50s.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I'm sure I don't need to insult peoples' intelligences by pointing out that the story of how this happened is fishy as hell. (How does one guy get that much info on a disk, and why would he take it home?)
So while I personally suspect that John Q. Dipshit made himself a deal with some crooks in order to score big, and then got caught, let's back up and look at something else.
Government is not a god, not a Superhero, not even a Supervillain. It's just a tool, nothing but violence ritualized. That tool can enable people to do awesome things, or really boneheaded things... but it's still people doing them, whether it's a bunch of suits doing their damndest to destroy America's small farmers in order to give ConAgra and its like a bureaucratic edge, or whether it's thousands of Coast Guard guys kicking ass and saving lives during Hurricane Katrina.
Part of why I'm a libertarian, and not a conservative, is that I have a keen awareness that people can really be boneheads. And to stretch a metaphor, we don't want to loan the car keys out to too many people, and on too many jobs, because one bonehead can take the power of government, and accidentally drive 26.5 million folks right to hell.
So we have powers at the State level, where if folks are going to kick ass and take names, groovy... but if they're going to start swerving mightily all over the road on their Bikes of Government, they're doing it on a 200cc bike, not an 1400cc monster that's so big that even folks riding 650's can't even figure out how the thing manages to keep itself upright. Put a bonehead who's just kinda okay on a 200 onto a 650, and he's going to run that sucker right across the intersection and straight into a wall.
So, asking whether somebody trusts Government is kind of a silly question. The real question is, "what jobs are you willing to trust a complete stranger to do?"
Friday, May 19, 2006
It seems that the 20th century's evils are yet to be scrubbed out in the 21st.
It's not really likely that the Vatican will reinstate its armed forces -- but one never knows. As one of the very few universalist, globally-oriented factions in Western Society (the tranzi socialists being very nearly their only competition), they are constrained in ways that states and other societies are not, but also able to act in ways that would be beyond dreaming for others.
Hat Tip: Winds of Change 5/19 Hatewatch Briefing.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I stepped next door to loan a Petersen's bird guide to the Watercolorist, and BooBoo said "hey, would ya look at that?" (BooBoo's el gato numero dos, so this was in sign language.)
Whiskey Tango, Foxtrot, over.
Now, I know, intellectually, that there are some big moths out there in this great big wide world of ours. I also know, that in over fifteen years around Dallas, I ain't never seen one like this. Usually we get the little grey jobs that eat the hell out of your wool. Since I happen to make felt out of exotic and otherwise hard-to-obtain wool, guess who kills pretty much all moths, on sight, 24/7?
Have alien beings masquerading as harmless third-world villagers planted the Moths of Doom in my house, or what? You know, the ones with the cricket legs who are Secretly Causing Global Warming from their Underground Base in Central America? (No, really, that's the plot of an honest-to-God sci-fi flick, and one of the better ones if you don't mind a little camp.)
"Flap" is ineffective against orange oil.
But she didn't give it up without a hell of a fight, so ya gotta hand it to her there. This is "Mrs. Flap," during one of her less intense moments, in my hand.
Yes, that's not a little moth bed I cranked out of nowhere... that's my hand, and the whole picture should be rotated CCW by 90 degrees to understand this sucker's true scale. Looks like the cocktail dress is only pretty from the outside; she's all brownish-grey underneath.
I was sleepy as hell on my way home... now, I think I may as well put on a pot of espresso, just so it's official. I'm not easily creeped out by bugs: I have, in fact, eaten a roach, just to seriously mess with a girl's head (she deserved it). But I'm mildly freaked by critters that aren't supposed to be living where they're living.
Gotta look this sucker up. What the hell is this thing, and how did a two-inch-long moth get the hell inside my house without me noticing?
Which is apparently monkey for this place is boring, let's go for ice cream.
Also, apparently early chimp-like man interbred with equally early, man-like chimp.
Having been exposed to precisely 9.2 seconds of Farscape Fan-Fic, I find this eminently plausible.
What is this, the 1960s Chevrolet model of tax-cutting? Cut it for such a ridiculously short span of time that it becomes a permanent issue? "Vote for us, or we won't be around to give you another 12-month moritorium against having your paycheck raped by AMT next April?"
Talk about your cynical, election-year ploys. This is ridiculous. At least Soviets pretended to give you a Five-Year Plan.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
And the Mullahs are willing to pay for them? For jets they can't possibly maintain?
I don't know who's further into the bong-water.
Yes, folks, the answer to Democratic malaise isn't
a) admit you're leftists with a populist tinge and run with it
b) admit that the leftists are politically hopeless and reform yourself into a left-libertarian party.
(Editorial note: shit, it's not? Oh well, so much for the Dems...)
Oh no. The real way to get the Dems into office is to combat our current era's, "rampant individualism" with the Politics of Definition!
Best defined as more social programs directed from DC, lots of government regulation, and a heaping helping of anti-globalist class warfare rhetoric, involving using the power of government to make sure that people are able to get access to the jobs that will get them to be happy, contented, lower-middle-class workers.
How new! How bold! How unlike anything the Democrats have tried in the past six electoral cycles! That's how you'll split the Reagan coalition, with the energizing power of economic populism, bay-bee!
Note to Messrs. Halprin and Teixeira. You're both smart guys, but when it comes to having your fingers on the pulse of American society and what it wants, you've got a serious tin ear. Stop drinking the Marxist cool-aid, and go visit someplace that doesn't automatically associate the word "Progressive" with "morally superior." I promise you, that'll leave you plenty of destinations to choose from.
I may be a libertarian, but at least I didn't need four freaking essays in order to demonstrate that all the Dems have to offer is more Know-Nothing "class-based issues." The Seventies have had it, man.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Juan's going to the Sandbox, and when he gets back, for Physician's Assistant training. Not bad for a kid who used to be a migrant worker -- when he's done being "exploited by the Pentagon" (for those of us not steeped in '68er cant, that translates as "expensively and exhaustively trained") he's going to easily double my slightly-above-average middle-class salary). My buddy, The Lizard Queen, has a doctorate now, and is, in theory, an official member of the intellectual elite.
Her Mom grew up in a bamboo hut.
And people wonder why I have no patience for cringing, whinging, suck-ass leftist whiners who bitterly harp about how there's no social mobility left in this country.
1. Lots of leather projects, including a vest for The Bunny, possibly a couple knitter's bags, and a really STOUT reconstruction of a Cuman leather caftan (kind of like a buff coat on steroids). This in conjunction with two different short articles to be written up for next year if I can get them done in time: "Archery technique and battlefield geometry," which deals with how archers get deployed and defended against depending on the techniques in use, and "light cavalry, heavy cavalry, horse archers, Oh My!: What abstract definitions don't tell us about 1205 Adrianople." The last one will hopefully be presented at Kalamazoo next spring.
2. Got about 30,000 words on a story that needs to be finished, so I can decide whether or not I want to write another one... if I'm diligent, I should be done completely by mid-June. All the folks who actually call themselves writers are grinning and saying "gimme more," so it sounds like it justifies the time.
3. Ever notice that Mr. Chavez is *awfully* chummy with Ahmadinejad and his fellows? In the Great Huntington vs. Palmer Debate, score one for Palmer and his "ignore ideology, all the tyrants are in cahoots" thesis...
Updates will come around, but the site will primarily be a linkfarm for the rest of the month while this is going on. In that vein, I'm inclined to add some extra links to the right. Under sci/tech, I'm thinking Speculist and FuturePundit. Any recommendations?