Friday, July 29, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #24

What yours truly the neophyte shoots:

I don't know if a pistol can truly put a warranty on my lifetime... but its judicious application certainly has the capacity to extend it so that I can get home to my wife... whose idea of the same is a little different...

Boo-boo can be a very obedient little cat after my wife has taken him by the paw and, gently and lovingly, explained both the facts of life and her long, heartfelt affair with cookbooks...

Welcome, to the Carnival of Cordite!

First out of the gate, since I've taken a roundabout way of playing "I"ll show you mine," James Rummel over at Hell in a Handbasket has posted the "what's next to your headstand?" challenge. Some interesting replies, both in terms of firearms and books.

Okay, now we're going to change gears a little bit, and go from serious to progressively lighter.


This week has several responses to the shooting in London...

Confederate Yankee points out that they're not fooling around in England after the 7/7 attacks. If you think the bad guy might have on a suicide vest, why shoot at the explosives? Similarly, he has this to say:

London Cops made a mistake when they killed the man who ran from them in a
packed subway car. Under their own doctrine, he never should have made
that far.

Shoot/No-Shoot is a serious issue, and one of the ones most in the public eye. So, for this week's "random question by the host," I'd like to hear some feedback on when theory meets practice. Confederate Yankee just came down with both feet on "theory." Agree? Disagree?


The Countertop Chronicles has a quick update you might want to see: how does our new Supreme Court nominee stack up on the Second Amendment and other rights of the people?

They named this Center, for a guy named Brady,
and they're rabid about no-one having guns;
they bend and stretch the truth just like a pretzel,
but it helps their members raise a lot of funds!
The Brady Bunch, this crazy bunch...

I don't get these guys and the other rabid anti-gun nuts. I've got guns, and I haven't hurt anybody since this kid Terry and I got in a fight back in seventh grade. I even managed to get out from under being mugged by three gypsies in Budapest without having to hurt anybody. But these guys are somehow convinced that the Devil is going to crawl into my pistol or rifle late at night and make it run around like something out of "Not without my handbag." My pistol is a zombie, from hell? ::Shakes head::

Well, these loonies are at it again. Retired Geezer at Blog Idaho got a letter from his buddy, John, a pro-gun Democrat, that has made the Geezer think that perhaps they're not just terribly mislead, after all.

Well, apparently S.397 really got under the toenails of these guys in the tinfoil hat brigade. I think that Zell Miller says it best, when he describes why gun manufacturers need protection from lawsuits:

By any standard, S. 397 is common-sense legislation.
Let's think about it for a second but remove firearms from the equation. We'll
substitute some other products. Do you believe that Ford Motor Co. should be
dragged into court to be held responsible for damage to life and limb caused by
drunk drivers? Do you believe that Callaway Golf should be held accountable
because someone was assaulted with one of that company's Big Bertha irons? Of
course you don't.

And as the Oregon Firearms Federation points out, if lying about legislation isn't low enough, then how about getting the Senators in your pocket to try to load up your bill with anti-gun amendments? (hat tip, GOA)

On the same lines, Kevin at Technogypsy is on the ball with amendment updates, and smells a rat: trigger locks?

Owen, on the other hand, has a much more serious problem with the trigger lock amendment... what to do with all of them?

Also, Why are they suing a gun store? asks Shamalama at Common Folk, Common Sense. Hrm... because they can? Because they forgot their tinfoil hats?

Jay G from Toys in the Attic thinks that to some extent, gun owners are bringing it on themselves, by selling themselves a pile of bunk: It’s the notion that when you pick up a gun you have the “power of life and death” in your hands. Well worth the read.

The Countertop Chronicles engages in a bit of why do we bring these people in alive, again? musing, after reading about, well, a truly hideous mother.

File it under "why do we have a Second Amendment?"

Glenn Reynolds, at Instapundit notes that some Buddhists in the South of Thailand are arming in order to resist the recent Islamist religious ethnic cleansing going on. (Geez, do these guys ever let up?) Glenn says that they should be sent some guns... and having been right next door to the Balkans a decade ago, I couldn't agree more.

Then again, freedom can cost you, as when some myrmidons over at Pacific Northwest National Labs apparently fired a guy for supporting the Second Amendment. Michelle Malkin has the scoop... apparently they're not real fond of the First Amendment, either.

"With my Smith and Wesson, I'm never alone." Countertop takes a quick look at expanding the nation of riflemen (through some GREAT ads that put it right in perspective).

Peter Davis at Shakey Pete's Shooting Shack has installment two of his guide to basic handloading. Thanks, Mr. Davis. If you're a complete neophyte like myself, reading about handloading has always seemed to bear a startling resemblance to translating Linear A. This installment is very heavy on safety, which is a Good Thing(tm).

I'm not ashamed to admit that PawPaw, on the other hand, has just completely mystified me concerning how to modified a standard .45 load so that it shoots like his service revolver. I'm thrilled, on the other hand, to know that there are good guys around who shoot like this.

Cutter, over at Wadcutter, answers one of the exact sorts of questions that newbies like me ask: ”How much heating of a gun barrel comes from friction and how much from the burning powder?” Not only does he do it, he also makes the answer easy to comprehend with a spiffy comparison, too.

The Lighter Side
Mr. Rummel pipes up again with the latest and greatest of modern firearms dressed up in the far future of Battlestar Galactica. NEAT little carbine!
I think this is legit, though. Even in the far future, slugthrowers of some sort will still have a place, simply because they derive their power from chemistry that is very hard to gimmick or shut down at a distance. As opposed to lugging around a power pack. Or will it be like B5, where the battery is considered the ammo for plasma ejectors? (Knowing me, I'd probably push left even with a ray-gun.) My other question was as much about law enforcement as about firearms, so pipe up, especially you guys who went back and forth on Anti-Zombie munitions...

"Stuff to put your stuff in," says Cowboy Blob, home of the harmonica-playing varmint. Because let's face it: if you're going to spend an afternoon having fun at the shooting range, carrying your gear around in a slowly-disintegrating cardboard box just doesn't really cut it. Hmm... I like my pistol's box... but I have to admit that Cowboy Blob is definitely inside the ring on this one.

Bill at the Freeholder lets us in on some serious quality time he picked up with his Dad, 81, and his Dad's grandkids at the range. Dad hadn't pulled a trigger in thirty years: go check out how he did.

Bill, you're the Blog of the Week. Usually that's a Second-Amendment post, but I'm awarding it based purely on putting it all in perspective... if more folks understood just how naturally guns fit into everyday wholesome lives, a lot of the rest of the gun debates would simply fold in the public's eye under their ow weight.

El Capitan over at Baboon Pirates has two posts for us this week. The first is a mine mine mine description of two lovely new rifles in his collection, an FN49, and a custom gal you've got to see, chambered for .257. SWEET rifle, Capitan. Along those lines, he's worried about the expense of the obscure ammo, and wants feedback on whether to change barrels for reloaded 45 long? I'm a total newbie in the rifle world -- I own two rifles, a Marlin and a Mosin-Nagant, both picked because they were reliable and cheap -- so I officially wimp out and punt, even though I kind of like the idea of a fast tackdriver.

Recreation: Matches and Tournaments

Mr. Completely has the low-down on a couple different tourneys:

-->First up, Mr. Completely has some entries in the "Flyswatter" contest... " You just wouldn't think that something that looks so easy could be as tough as it is." Um, Mr. Completely, that's just an indication of how far out of my league you really are. Yours truly took one look at it and realized he didn't even dare.

-->Next up, the CWSA bowling-pin shoot in Coupeville Washinton, and the Missoula MSSA Celebrity shoot from the next day (with some really wild entry classes, too. Bowling-pin shooting with an M-60?)

--->Keewee wins herself "High Lady" at the Missoula shoot, too. Congratulations ma'am!

And "Cabinboy" at the Revolutionary War Veterans Association has an after-action report from the First Annual Wyoming Riflemen's Challenge. And for those of you who couldn't make it, you can still make the Wyoming Riflemen Association's "500 to 50 Challenge" on August 27, as well as the Nation of Riflemen/RWVA Texas Riflemen's Weekend on October 29-30. "Grab your gun and gear, and we'll see ya at the range!"

Thanks for waiting so long into the evening, everybody. My intuition was right, and we had several late submitters. Don't forget next week, when we swing by ... oh, heck, the new host list isn't up yet. Okay, well swing by the Main Cordite Page for updates, and have a great weekend.

Carnival of Cordite in a couple of hours

No hiatus here, folks: having put in a few late entries myself, I wanted to give folks time to put stuff in this morning. And since I can't access outside messaging from work, that means I'll be leavning here in about two hours, and then will have it up directly, probably by about 5:30 or 6.

It's a neat set of posts this week, so stay tuned.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

FairTax Debates

Purchased an advance copy of Boortz and Linder's FairTax book. One of the most cogent rebuttals I've heard concerning the FairTax is that in order not to send deficits sky-high, the national sales tax proposed would have to be something on the order of 30% or so... which would inevitably prompt avoidance behavior, further reducing state revenue. Therefore, it will never pass.

I'm not sure of the extent to which the numbers eventually fall into place: nobody is, because it depends on the specific proposal put into law. FairTax is a real piece of legislation, not an incremental wonkish tinkering. Therefore, it faces higher hurdles than the sort of everyday, out-of-sight Congressional business we're accustomed to getting from DC.

However, even if this is true, thhere are four mitigating reasons to support the FairTax proposal.

1. The US will guzzle the world's capital, as any corporate leader with a brain and the chance to relocate his company to a country with no income tax, but a solid infrastructure and reasonably predictable legal environment will do so. This will create profound economic growth, and mitigate tax revenue loss.
1.a. Budget deficits are only relevant in proportion to the size of one's actual budget. Although we would prefer otherwise, my wife and I carry debt that would crush friends of ours who are still students -- and others who have higher incomes similarly can blissfully service debt that would crush us like a sugar cube.

2. "Values" votes. First of all, no politician who seriously attempts to help get rid of the IRS will ever have to fear for his re-election, particularly (though not exclusively) in the Red States. As a simple increase in freedom, FairTax has an appeal that's hard to beat... only few will actually prefer having to testify against themselves every April 15th, sweating over whether they've accidentally forgotten something that might count as "imputed income," whatever the heck that means in any given year.

3. Class statements. However much the egalitarians don't like it, expensive cars are on the road for a reason: they make powerful statements of financial success. A lawyer can't drive around town in a beat-up pickup: not if he wants to attract the level of client he'd prefer. When "new" is more expensive than used... "new" will become a statement in and of itself. Therefore, avoidance behavior, while likely to occasionally occur, will not be a problem for big-ticket items.

4. Skyrocketing home-ownership. How'd you like to pay no taxes on the part of your income that pays your mortgage? FairTax on its own would do vast amounts to restore blighted neighborhoods. I know this is politics, but let's keep it real for a second, anyway. How many lower and lower-middle-class families are out there buying McMansions? Not a lot. Most of them are moving into fixer-uppers. By taking housing income effectively out of the federal tax scheme, there will be a major secondary-market housing boom.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Carnival of Cordite here this week!

Yes, I, the amateur who knows less about guns than some of these guys do while they're snoring heavily, am being allowed to host the Carnival of Cordite this week. Maybe I'll start off by taking a picture of my *vast* firearms collection, mwahahaha.

In case you're not familiar with it, the Carnival of Cordite is a weekly carnival devoted to guns, shooting, and the Second Amendment (and the issues that come with it, from women's self-defense through specific-bill-politics). It's generally non-partisan, PG-13 (at worst), family-friendly, and very, very patient with beginners' questions.

In short, if you have a post or comments on the subject you'd like to share with us this week (Milbloggers and messages-from-theatre welcome! -- anonymity preserved upon request), please either email me your submission at c a r n i v a l o f c o r d i t e a t h o t m a i l d o t c o m, or else use Ferdy the Conservative Cat's handy dandy "Carnival Submission Form, " located here. If you like, you can also simply pop on by and drop your urls in the comments box below the post.

The deadline is Friday, at 2 a.m. EST. Hope to see you there.

Carnival of the Optimists #15: Future Dreams

So, I'm sitting around wondering "where on earth is my hovercar?"

And (the oh-so not-safe-for-work) Satire sends me his latest missive about a cool new nicotine-enhanced beer that smokers can use to quit the habit... I have obviously sensed a theme.

Welcome, to the Carnival of the Optimists.

This week's carnival is fairly small, following upon Satire's footsteps.

Plain Good News.
Over at Technogypsy, Son #1 is at the Boy Scouts Jamboree, and is doing fine outside of a light heat injury. (Contains some politics, but how can you argue with "be prepared" and "can do?")

Harvey over at Bad Example, has a serious suggestion. If you have a list of items to be achieved that's as long as the alphabet, and you finish even more frazzled than you started... why would you call that vacation?

This week is going to be a touch heavy on Progress.

First, a double-whammy from Wired, simply too good to ignore.
#1: What happens when nanotech won't do the job, and your own field is failing to figure it out, too? You go interdisciplinary, that's what you do. And in the process, create yet another means of snuffing out cancer not only within our lifetime, but theoretically within the decade.

#2: Living animals have regained locomotion as their spinal cords were mended in the lab with stem cells -- theoretically highly-adaptible to humans. Unfortunately, this particular case is embryonic stem cells, which carries truly significant ethical issues when taken to humans... but as a precedent, this is clearly a step in the right direction.

The Third entry is a political entry by Tony Blankley, appearing on RealClearPolitics. Now, I know what you're thinking. Half of you are thinking "finally, he's breaking down and coming out with the politics," and the other is dreading the emergence of the Almighty Political Snarkitude. Well, "I heart the snarkitude." But not in this particular Carnival. This is Blankley pointing out that the debate over abortion, one of the most horrifically, viciously divisive battles in American politics, may go the way of the dodo not because one side or the other triumphed... but because the stellar advance of embryonic viability technology made it a near non-issue. If you've ever known a woman who desperately wanted children in spite of the looming threat of miscarriage... read this link.

And that's it for today, folks. Keep 'em coming, and we'll see you next week.

Somebody in the Senate gets it.

May wind up committing us to World War Five, but at least they get it.
Universal democracy, anyone?

Boxing Alcibiades meets the Wayback Machine

It looks like I'll be able to use Wayback to rescue my old blog posts... (insert happy sounds here).
Now if I can only figure out how to configure my template to allow both a left and a right sidebar, I'll be a happy man (I'd like to break up the blog roll and the link archive from each other, in order to do a better job with both).

Friday, July 22, 2005

Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer and the 2nd Amendment

Okay, this has made the rounds for a while now, but just in case you were under a rock, we had a medic get drilled in the chest at close range (75 yards, easy shooting), purportedly with a Dragunov, and then get back up on his feet, get a fix on the sniper, and then tend the sniper's wounds after helping take him down.

Here are the links:

Army Times.
256 BCT.
Video footage care of JACK ARMY.

Okay, for the record, I'm glad Pfc. Tschiderer is okay. I'm also glad that he's enough of a medic to fix up the sniper, so we can parade him around as a dumbass for all the world to see. And I'm glad our body armor is good enough that we can take this footage and splash it all over the Middle East.

I start to wonder, though, at the ramifications this technology has for the 2nd amendment, which, as we know, is there so that when the boys in charge get too far out of line, we can remind them who's really in charge.

Now, I'm not donning a tinfoil hat here. Unlike the idiotarians, I have no fever dreams about the US Army taking away our freedoms this week. That's a job for Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court, and they're making a fine work of it.

But what are the long-term ramifications when, if things really WERE to go south, the technology, which is continuing to improve by leaps and bounds, particularly with the soon-to-be advent of liquid armor-treated uniforms, an occupying force (anywhere in the world) can simply shrug off the best arms that any civilian can possess?

Granted, I know how to build a mean death-ray, actually, two different ways (one a heat ray, another a lightning gun), but they'd be more than just a little bulky, and REAL easy to take out...

At any rate, let my nagging worry be noted, and I'll be lifting one tonight for Private Tschiderer. Thanks, friend. Glad you made it.

Carnival of the Optimists #14: Being good to yourself

Wow. First our guest took me longer than expected (in itself a good thing), then the next morning I hit the ground running (insofar as maple syrup runs), and last night before training I thought "Okay, let me get fifteen minutes, and then I'll get the Carnival up." Promptly to be woken up by my wife almost two hours later.

In other words, welcome to the (Relentlessly-Late) Carnival of the Optimists.

This week has a little Good News, a Lot of Bootstrap... and something very special. At any rate, I think it's special, and it's my carnival, so nyaa nyaa.

Good News:

A fantastic time was had at a Protein Stability Conference, by Technogypsy. Apparently, the relative gullibility of rainbow trout, and turning a pre-teen into a "mental chew-toy" (knowning Techno, this means big-time teasing), were a serious portion of the academic exercises.

We're shy on Good News submissions, folks. It doesn't have to be anything of earth-shattering significance. Simple reminders that life is good have all the value they could ever need.


First, one of the best things I've seen in a while from Steve Pavlina. There are people to whom I'd like to personally staple a copy of this one... You Have the Right to be Wrong.

Second up, from Bad Example, one simple technique for Time Management.

In lieu of Progress this week, something important. Living. By Cicero at Winds of Change.
Life is a value. Living is itself valuable. Cicero went to the edge of death, and returned.
If I changed the details a little bit, and involved acorns, rather than dim sum, I could tell the exact same story. Like Cicero, I also carry long-term repercussions from the incident that will be with me until I'm not...

but that's the deal with Optimism. The Pessimist looks at reality, decides it's not what he wants it to be, and loses hope -- or even worse, becomes a cynic. The naif simply remains in denial about the world, because it's easier to keep wearing rose-tinted glasses. But real Optimism requires seeing the world for what it is... and finding that what is, is good.

That's all for this week. Go read Cicero, and we'll catch you next time.
And keep that Good News coming!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Highly speculative, but, um, wow.
He's stepped out with a couple of major claims. If they bear out... eep.

Hey, look at the bright side.

You could have had this guy's day.

Melodrama vs. Reality

Off the cuff, as I sit here at work, 33 years old, let me present to you the geopolitical history of my life.

Desert Shield and Storm

The First Wave:
The Scorched Flag of Hungary (The "Trabi" Revolution?)
The Wall is Breached
The Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia
The German Reunification
The Romanian Revolution
Baltic and Caucasian Independence

The Wars Against Milosevic:
The Slovanian Withdrawal
First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Serbian Revolution

East Timor
Tianenmen (sp?) Square
Rwanda and the plight of Sub-Saharan Africa

The Afghan Invasion and Restoration
The Iraqi Invasion and fall of Hussein
The Rose Revolution
The Orange Revolution
The Cedar Revolution
The Tulip Revolution

Upcoming/In Process:
The Return of the Lion (Iran)
Morocco? (reforms from above!)
Syria ?

There are some things I'm not 100% sure how to fit in... for example, the Chechen revolution was one thing, and then another, and now a third. West and Central Africa have not been success stories, by and large. And Eritrea/Ethiopia? I don't have a clue how whether that fits the pattern. Similarly for the Caucasian border conflicts.

But I think it's safe to say that within my lifetime, there is an overarching theme: more people on this planet are free from tyranny than at any point in human history. And to a great extent, that march towards freedom is what has been determining the scope of our current conflicts. It can't be understimated. China threatened to NUKE hundreds of American cities this week. Because we were poised to invade China or North Korea? Nope. Because they feel threatened by our airbases in Central Asia. Nope again. Merely because we stand for, and are willing to fight for, the freedom of 22 million Taiwanese underneath the polite veneer of the "One China" policy.

I think that this needs to be taken as a whole, understood as a whole. However suspicious one might rightly be concerning historical dialectics, this seems to be precisely what we have in motion. On again, off again, cold and hot... is it melodrama, or reality, to call this the Great Freedom War?

Just in case anybody out there is still unclear on the concept....

Tyrants collude with other tyrants, ideology notwithstanding.
Terrorists and gangsters collude with other terrorists and gangsters, ideology notwithstanding.

Why? Because evil recognizes evil, and those who oppress, maim, and slaughter the innocent recognize their own approvingly.

So, why should anybody be surprised when a pro-ETA newspaper in the Basque country supports the 7/7 bombings in London? Of course they do, just like FARC and the IRA collude with Al-Qaeda, and MS13 is hired by "The Spaniard" to smuggle jihadists across the border into the US.

The US and its allies are playing a game of Diplomacy.
China has come right out and proclaimed that it's playing Civilization, (the PLA likes AQ, and hasn't backed off its threats to nuke the US, either).
And the jihadis and gangsters are playing a particularly twisted form (insofar as that is possible) of Grand Theft Auto.

Each game has a different set of rules, advantages, and disadvantages. And, each game is competing with the other games for supremacy.

When presented with the facts, only a Noam-Chomsky-reading Idiotarian could come to any conclusion other than that we are faced with something every bit as globally dangerous as the Cold War, where the only rules are those that define you.

OUR rules happen to involve a sense of fair play. Of not punishing the innocent along with the guilty. Heated discussions involving nothing more than the properly ethical response -- and even the properly ethical attitude.

Theirs involve (PLA) the wholesale oppression of tens of millions, and, (AQ) literally glories in the mass slaughter of the innocent, the bombing of infants, and stabbings little Jewish girls in their beds, simply because of who they are. None of us particularly relish playing Diplomacy for real. The Great Game is something that, in a better world, would be eschewed for Parcheezi. But, our opponents like playing their games.

So we'd better win.

Zarqawi to force sectarian war?

Well, Sistani is out front calling the Sunni bombings a "genocidal war." As well he should.

Yes, I am aware that our interests in Iraq do NOT involve a bloody sectarian war. However, Shia interests surely include not having Sunni foreigners coming in from other countries in order to kill them.

Dicey, difficult, and dangerous.

It begins.

The Iranians are slowly starting to fight for their freedom.
(hat tip, WindsofChange)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Carnival of the Optimists Will be Delayed

It should be up tomorrow morning: this evening went weird, and I'm badly behind the ball....

US in danger of being pushed out of C Eurasian bases?

Opinion: Anti-democratic political shift in Central Asia?

If the last few holdouts are seriously terrified of the "color" revolutions... then this might be plausible. Wouldn't be all that bright, and it would be bad economically... but since when have the tyrants given a rat's pee about how their subjects fare?

East-Central and East-Euro Happenings

Decided to put together some news, since this region is geopolitically critical, yet seems to constantly fall off the newsmap.

Hungarians increasingly skeptical about role of EU: other sources cite discomfort with Turkish accession.

Joblessness dips slightly in Hungary, but stats are mixed.

Chechens a bit miffed with Hungary?
(Pestiside is not a "serious" newspaper, but we'd have to agree that the jihadist website is very clearly tossing out some *weird* propaganda about Hungary. Note the typical islamist racism towards Africans.)

And if you think that's bizarre, how about the Hungarian Prime Minister publicly admitting to the country having little to no low-level air defense?

Hungarian Scientists develop miracle kefir. (That's "funny-tasting yoghurt" to the rest of us.)

Slovakia figures it out, ends compulsory military service:

Indiana Nat'l Guardsmen on exercise with Slovaks. (No unit names.)

Slovak high court blocks EU constitution ratification: on grounds that it should have been settled in referendum:

Czech armored carrier acquisition predicated upon airlift capacity. This suggests that the Czech Republic is taking its NATO responsibilities quite a bit more seriously than similarly-sized members such as Belgium or Hungary.

Abortions in PostCommunist Czech Republic fading -- (not to inflame abortiond debate, but given Europe's incipient demographic collapse, it's relevant)

Vaclav Klaus gets in trouble thanking "extremists." (Note their platform stances, which would be considered conservative-but-mainstream in the US.)

Talking heads bloviate in shock that Klaus would return correspondence with "extremist" constituents:

Polish Minister of Defense visits Pentagon. Press time with Rumsfeld:

Polish-Lithuanian reconciliation ceremony

Putin and Chirac diss Polish/Lithuania as politically irrelevant. (Polish and Lithuanian ministers not invited to Kaliningrad conference, attended by France and Germany despite the EU subject matter being entirely relevant to them. (Shades of the old Great Powers mentality?)

Inflationary Pressures diminishing in Poland

Commentary by Anatol Pasat: "Russian Gas Attack" Pasat comments of Russia's use of its exclusive oil-supplier status as a foreign-policy club.

Redeco to build oil refinery in Moldova

Quick press review of devastating floods' effect in Romania

Albanians to run Kosovo police force: politically sensitive doesn't begin to describe it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

"I'd like to register a complaint!"

The Complaint:

Quote:A wake-up call from Luke's jets
Jun. 23, 2005 12:00 AM "Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank forthe morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over BellRoad at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this ! wake-up call, or werethey trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns' early-bird special? Any response would be appreciated."


The response:

Quote: Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke's jets" (Letters, Thursday):

On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt ------- , who was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed atLuke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.t 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of thejet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of ----- as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the president of the United States and allthose veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviatorsand take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writerwitnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?" The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks tothe widow and parents of ----, and thank them for you, for it wasin their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of theirlives.

(name withheld-BA)
CO 63rd Fighter Squadron
Luke Air Force Base

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Carnival of the Revolutions, July 18th 2005

Welcome to the Carnival of the Revolutions

From Wonkette at Weichegud ET Politics: It's starting to look worse and worse in Ethiopia. Basically, Ethiopia is the Ukraine of Africa, except the world has been slow to come to Ethiopia’s defense. But slowly, Mr. Meles’ true nature is being unmasked—what do you call a government that signs a peace treaty on Friday, and then arrests its opposition on Saturday? No, it’s not a riddle.

A Live-8 concert to help Africa? What about when the famine is cold-bloodedly intentional? From Satire, ruminations on what's really needed in Zimbabwe: the guitar-machinegun, (Not Safe for Work!!) and some material regarding the US Second Amendment. (If humor never entered the scene, we'd never have realized just how potent a weapon in the arsenal of freedom is the "protest babe.")

Laura Bush and her daughters go to Africa. The First Lady pledged American assistance on a broad array of fronts, from Darfur to HIV.

South Africa's Mbeki a Mugabe protege:
The evictions have begun.

Ethiopundit pulls up a ton of background information for the reader trying to get a sense of what's going on.

Mugabe's urban political evictions going rural.

Bush terror strategy Central Asia Human Rights and Democracy Act. Aid would come with strings attached -- long overdue strings.

->Cuba protests over indifference to hurricane damage and general widespread misery.
->Castro refuses hurricane aid, Cubans go out in rare protests.

Chavez setting up death squads: (link requires registration)

From Blogrel : a current Central Asian geopolitical analysis up. The Great Game continues. Or put another way, why is the US interested in Central Asia?

Also, Commentary on Christopher Walker (now with freedom house, link provided)... expect the differences between Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan/Georgia/Ukraine to count.

Deal on disputed Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia close(again).

Kyrgyzstan voting a great success! After Akeyev's ouster, Kurmanbek Bakiyev has won decisively -- and cleanly.

Iran plays cheerleader for the London bombings. Guess who the Chechens suspect was behind it? Has six letters, starts with "R....."

Proof that Al Qaeda sought to influence the Spanish elections and bring about the downfall of "Aznar the Ignoble."

Transdniester positive on reintegration with Moldova: apparently the latest round of discussions would allow for Moldovan suzerainty, and leave the degree of autonomy in Transdinester to be hammered out politically.

Georgia unveils innovative approach to reintegration with breakway South Ossetia: clearly distinguish what Georgia has to offer from S. Ossetia's northern neighbors by offering significant ... concessions isn't the right word. In effect, Georgia is simply trying to make it overwhelmingly in South Ossetia's interest to take them up on the offer.

Regime Change in Iran has the week in review. There's a lot going on, from election updates, student clashes, and news from multiple sources regarding Akbar Ganji.

Middle East:
Syria sowing discord in Lebanon after elections. The "corpse in armor" insists on fighting it out all the way to the end.

Arabs wary of Iran election results: more Sunni/Shia divide, after Zarqawi's earlier threats this week against the Shia? (Outright speculation by the host.)

March held to protest violence in Northern Iraq.

Muslims rejecting terrorism and embracing democracy: the numbers aren't where they could be yet, and the data holds some bad news... but the progress is clear.

Egypt opposition holds rare, joint protests. PubliusPundit thinks it's tactical and decidedly temporary. However, the ramifications of two groups as ideologically juxtaposed as Kifaya and the Muslim Brotherhood getting together even temporarily is large, and good. Should it hold to even the medium-term, it would be serious progress for peaceful politics.

Northeast Asia:
This is good.... Bush doctrine focuses on North Korea. Word on the Korean Gulags beginning to really get out. (great links)

Tangentially-relevant, but great pics: South Koreans protest against relocation of US troops (into area).

Russia fears the collapse of Dagestan: "
Information Block Sickness." One always expects differences in translation... but with the authorities in Russia regularly censoring the English-language media , David McDuff notes that those differences are stark.

Siberian Light has a different take on the same phenomena... commenting on McDuff's work, he wonders, "why censor the English-language material, but leave the Russian intact?" (Worrying trend, or intentional clumsiness? -BA)

McDuff continues to provide provocative reading:
-> André Glucksmann: "Russia is digging itself a grave in Chechnya." Chechen Society newspaper, # 14(52), July 19, 2005

-> Man to watch: Vladislav Surkov, who is making waves... A possible successor to Putin?

SouthEast Asia:
Massive anti-Arroyo rally in Philippines: 30,000+ involved.

Up to 200,000 march in pro-Arroyo counter-rally in Philippines in ongoing election fraud scandal. Shades of Lebanon? This wouldn't be the first government mass counter-rally this year.
UPDATE: A post got bobbled somewhere in the submissions phase, from TomPain at CommonerSense. Interesting Things afoot in Angola.... now, if you think the US Presidential elections dragged out in 2000....

My thanks to Willisms for allowing me to host this Carnival: it is a deep honor. Thanks to all the submitters, particularly PubliusPundit and GatewayPundit, who dredged wide and deep. I haven't been much of a submitter thus far, mostly because of feeling inadequate compared to these two... but the more, the better. I will see what can be done with Glenn Reynolds' "process not event" dictum for next week's Carnival, which will be held at SoapGun Blog on July 25th. General carnival information can be found over at Willisms here.
See you next week at Soap Gun.

Carnival of Cats #69

Well, hello... Posted by Picasa

Welcome into our little corner, BUT...
Answer me these questions three, ere the other side ye see...
1. What is your favorite wet food?
2. How many kittens can pounce on the head of their mommy?
3. What is the blood pressure of a purr-comatose human? (Uh, systolic or diastolic?)

Onward and purrward!
(Disclaimer: I can't get CoC68 to load. I think these are all fresh, but there's an outside possibility that some of these are repeats -- I don't recognize any from before, but I've got a brain like a sieve, and the holes are getting bigger-- and I'd rather err by repeat publication than by omission.)

First, a request for help... if you can, please, help save Wampi, who was senselessly thrown off an apartment building.

This week, Ellison (of Blog D'Ellison fame) bows before The Queen...

And he might pick up a few pointers about doing so, from Cutting Edge of Ecstasy, on Keeping a Woman Happy.

Meanwhile, DrTony waxes artistic, with Catty Warhol.

Now and Zen, as Beth Donovan points out, you just have to stop and smell the roses... and perhaps, eat them?

Barry at Enrevanche shows us Gato, the Sound Engineer (Podcasting). Domo Arigato Mr. Gato! (He is, a modern cat...)

Biscuit finds a friend! Love, leashes, trash cans, and stuffed pouncing, preserved for posterity at BTW.

Spooky-cat hangs out over at the Geezer's Corner, and she likes cigars.

Melange shows us Sleeping Beauties. Not to mention, How Cats Sleep. (Any way they want to, whereever on the bed they want to, as late in the day as they want to....)

and, inspiring rousing choruses of "awwwwwwws" from Bombay owners everywhere, Sabaki over at Middle-Fork, enjoys a Big Toe. (umm... a LOT)

Pixel, on the other hand, supervises online Grammar over at Labkat.

Elevator Up! Elevator Down! Elevator Up! Sophie, at Bootstrap Analysis, is the Queen of Elevator Butt.

At I-Pets, on the other hand, Grace has had a long day. Clearly she needs a nap.

Harley and Tinker, on the other hand, seem plenty chipper... almost Zen-like. Inscrutable. Somebody over at Curiouser and Curiouser, bring a mouse...

Aunt Holly is ready for her closeup...

At Elms in the Yard, it's a bit different. Hillel could really use a home. The Bunny thinks it's a bit far to ship him to Texas, but he definitely looks like a keeper....

And nothing at Lunar Obverse was altered in order to allow Smacky to violate the laws of physics...

Somebody over at Striving for Average has a little Computer-Ownership Issue. C'mon, get your grubby little primate paws off of it, and let the rightful owner absorb the CPU heat...

What are you winking at, Spider? Nobody at Running Scared can tell... (faeries? dustbunnies? random fluctuations of the ether? How can mere humans know?)

Hi may not precisely have a Moosey Fate, but he knows when to yield to the inevitable... it's hot...

It's hard work, napping at AthenaMama's... fortunately, Thalia seems up to the challenge.

Oh, no! Pixel and Smudge play at Trapped at Cathouse Chat! Oh, that devilish human trick... (warning, Pixel gets hers: graphic catgrabbing images enclosed, may not be suitable for some dog owners)

Meanwhile, Resistance is Futile, but Memphis is unconcerned about the Chinese nuclear threat.

Ogre's Politics and News provides the valuable service of a link to a five thousand name database, for the finicky cat who can't decide what she'd like her human to call her...

Hold the presses. I've always wanted a cat like this one, over at Relentlessly Optimistic. One who likes to swim, like Pepper... (note, not R.O.'s cat)

Too funny to summarize, but I bet the mouse is *very* unhappy over at Quite Early One Morning.

From Sisu, Diva Tiny and Baby, complete with cute toe action... plus, how to focus the feline mind.

Ferdy, the Conservative Cat, says that "sometimes, it just doesn't pay to get up."

At Watermark, we see cats, Fashionable, Smart, and Foolish.

Dolphin is planning to get overweight in order to accomodate his masters' lap needs...
you have to make sacrifices, you know...

Maggie wants to point out that Carlos is so cool (and relaxed, or, comatose perhaps?) when the puppy's outside...

Kiril presents The Official Blog Bouncer, who is pondering the ins and outs of his new pad. I'd be on my best behavior, too.

Venus and Mercury (who own their own blog!), are, shall we say, Not Amused.

Hey, I'm trying to get some sleep here! Sheesh, what do you expect folks at the Republic of Seabrook to do, work?

Attention attention, alert at Ego.... Morris is entering the building. This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill.

Hey, the blog may be Full of Crap, but EVERYBODY loves Mister Fluffy Feet!

From Music and Cats.... brotherly love. Awww.

A triple-submission from Mog: Cat Loaf, Too Darned Hot, I've got the lap... booyah! Hahaha...

All this talk of Harry Potter has the fine felines of the Oubliette intrigued... how's this familiar thing work, and what's in it for them? Plus, Mac may not be much for the flashy thing, but he does a great road-kill impression...

Over at Ramble Strip... Cinders didn't make it... is there an afterlife for kitties? (Cinderella and Cinderfella are muy cute, too...)

That's it for this one, folks. See you next time.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fatwah issued against Carnival of Cordite member

Anarchangel has a message for those who would kill him: his bullets are rolled in pig fat, and he is ready.

Hoping for the best. I've been just close enough to this sort of thing to know that it's very, very real. Spread the word, folks. We're not the only ones on the blogosphere. Our enemies read our words.

Our enemies should fear them. Because, two invasions and four revolutions later, our enemies still don't understand a fundamental truth: we're don't play nice because we're weak. We're playing nice, and still kicking their asses. We play with the kid gloves on because we are so powerful that we can do so, and still win, easily. Those gloves can come off, at any time.

Heed this lesson: You do NOT want to see what happens when America decides to take the gloves off.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

New poll: do you support suicide bombers?

And, if so, would you support their bodyweight just prior to detonation? Just a thought.
Here's the results. Apparently support is dropping. It's W-P, so middling reliability, particularly given that they don't tell us how the questions were phrased.

As usual, Muslims taking the poll view Christians unfavorably at best, and are universally comfortable in their Jew-hating. (In other news, hydrogen continues to possess a single proton.)

UPDATE: I've found the original, and will drill through the data. I strongly suspect that WP is putting a nice face on bad news.


"Kiezebrink is one of the most well-known chicken killers in Europe," according to this latest Sports Update from Spiegel Online. In the latest "avoiding avian flu championship," Kiezebrink is known to have managed an astounding ten thousand chickens slaughtered per hour.

Reaction to the news was instantaneous, as it puts him into contention with Pascal LeSangfroid, Europe's reigning slaughterer, a specialist in the particularly difficult field of little lizards whose tails drop off, and potentially in position to make a run on the world record still held by Janos Fejszetbaszni, the famous Poodle Pounder of Pest.

So, Zarqawi wants to take down the Badr brigade?

And now, Sunni militant groups have apparently executed an Iranian agent.

This may be the feel-good comedy hit of their jihadist week, after London, but as covered earlier, this is appallingly bad strategy. The last thing the Salafists need is an open war with Iran and its puppets....

Not that I condone the murder of *anybody,* but accepting that Iran does not have good intentions for either the US or Iraq, this sort of "red on red" action is the sort of strategic blunder we could only hope for in our dreams.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Carnival of the Optimists #13: Lemons from lemonade

Does life ever REALLY give you lemons? I don't think so. Lemons are self-contained. They stack. Handling them is obvious... as opposed to twelve gallons of lemonade, poured surreptitiously on one's head when it's least expected.

Sometimes I think that compromises are a really bad idea. For instance, I was entirely ready to compromise on my archaeological research, which requires odd materials and the services of exotic and uncommon craftsmen, due to a financial mishap involving my house's foundation.

But, in the end, I realized that I had a blind spot in my planning, and fulfilling my goals for the LongsufferingWife and I was still possible. It simply required tenacity, and a determination that everybody involved will WIN, not merely "lose by an acceptable margin."

Welcome, to the Carnival of the Optimists.

Well, that's my good news for the week... pure "bootstrap." We had a big old nasty problem, which both necessitated the need for a change, and perhaps not coincidentally, provided for a potential improvement to the family's general financial game plan.

What else do we have cooking this week?

Good News!

At Willisms, we have "Botswana," a surprisingly successful sub-Saharan African nation, that has taken its lemonade and done all sorts of good things with it.

Bootstrap/How To!

Harvey, at Bad Example, covers how to put an image in a Blogger sidebar, as well as why good manners on the Internet are in everybody's best interests.

And Atlas Shrugs brings up the end of this week's submissions with a mini-carnival (should I call it that? It's not labeled "carnival," but it's longer than mine are...) in praise of milbloggers and the women who love them. Lots of good stuff.

"Progress" for this week will knock your socks off. Literally, it hates socks.
No, seriously, a pseudo-title might be my regular refrain of "Science fiction is here today." Because, just in case you missed it, and it's way too cool to miss, we blew a big freaking hole in the side of a comet (Tempel 1), just so we could find out what the heck it's made from. It may not be a cure for cancer, but it's important... and what's more than that, it's important and cool!

That's all we've got this week, folks: it's a short one. Keep them coming, and floss with those silver linings until they're a regular part of your diet.

Archery Update, Day 4

It's definitely about developing the body strength. Nice, tight groups (given that I'm shooting a self-bow, not a compound) when I can keep the bow absolutly steady on the draw. Broke another arrow on a bad release... but it's fixable, even though it'll be shorter.

Not bad... I'm starting to be disappointed with groups I'd have been thrilled about last week.

The 5-year plan is dead...

This year I'll have probably put in around three months' pay on the house, between soffit and ridge vents, insulation, and foundation repair (we need another six piers, which is over a month's pay. Fortunately, I happen to have just under a month's pay in savings, so I should be able to cover it w/o resorting to financing). Plus, we need sprinklers and about five grand worth of windows installed (the bedroom windows are ancient and not even vaguely up to code. They're alluminum-frame jobs that hemorrhage heat.

Needless to say, I haven't been making an extra mortgage payment every month like I'd intended, and there's a list of things that really ought to be worked on that fill half a sheet of paper.

So, either
a) I'm going to go to town with a ridiculously strict financial regimen to figure out how to make those payments without deferring maintenance on the house.
b) Going to, short-term, say "the hell with it," and get the house really, really nice so that we don't have to muck with it when kids start showing up, and *then*, if we happen to have anything left over from kid expenses, pay the hell out of the mortgage.

Each option comes with costs. "a)" effectively shuts down my research cold. You can't do material research without obtaining materials. "b)" leaves us committed wage-slaves for more years, since having the mortgage obligates us both to work, rather than giving one of us the freedom to quit the 9-5 racket and figure out how to make money from one of our various oddities.

Haven't figured out which yet. But we're way past "nickel and dime," and something's going to have to give a little.

UPDATE: Found a work-around that will let me have most of my cake, and a little bit of icing as well, though it won't allow for any of it to go as smoothly as I'd like. Should still pay the house down notably mroe rapidly, though.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Archery Update,Day 3

I definitely need to go ahead and order those arrows. I ruined three of my good ones today. Why?

Because it's the infamous "second day after," and my body's tired -- hasn't adjusted yet. So when I didn't keep proper form, my string-hand would drop, and inadvertently "skip" the arrow upwards, including putting one over the fence and whacking into Rufel/Jonathon's shed hard enough to permanently warp the arrow (unsafe to shoot). The other two are repairable with a drill and some butt-busting, as they were consciously aimed low, and hit a ground runner that snapped them at the head.

All in all, a very discouraging shoot. On the other hand, when I can keep the form and alignment, the arrows group. Hopefully in a few weeks my body will have adapted to the strain, and the war bow will be as easy to shoot as my 45-lb Crimean Tatar was.

Carnival of the Revolutions...

It is my very great honor to be this week's host of the Carnival of the Revolutions.

The quick description is here.

If you would like to have a story/link/thought on the subject in the Carnival this week, please send a link submission and short description to russnanna at ya hoo dot com, or, even better, use the handy Carnival Submit Form graciously provided here.

The stories need not be current (friends with stories from the Balkan Wars or from the First Wave of the revolution are welcome to post), and also need not be good news: it's deep and serious business, and news of setbacks needs to get out too, so that we can learn from them... and slowly liberate the billions whose lives still hang upon a tyrannical whim.

War Progress Update

From Winds of Change. What Al-Queda has done since declaring war in 1998.
Hopefully they'll do a follow-up so that we can see, side-by-side, what we've done to them in the mean time...

Monday, July 11, 2005

More geekitudes (since Jim requested it...)

a) Boy my knees hurt. Stretching is evil, I tell you.
b) Yellow glove test rapidly approaching at the end of the month.
c) I have finally tracked down a tannery willing to do the rawhide-center tan I need to faithfully reconstruct Joe Skeesick's armor work in England... and said tannery is, thankfully, willing to veg-tan my horsehides for me. So soon I should be able to do a recreation of the "farsetti di cordovano" that Matteo Villani describes the Cumans wearing... a 4-ply horsehide caftan modeled after Cuman sculpture.
d) and in my down time or movie-watching time, I'm needle-felting Squeak's rough felt into shape. Check the Lizard Queen.

Archery Update

Somebody send me three dozen shafts, spined for 80 pounds at 30 inches, with target heads, and no fletchings, okay?

[fake sigh]Oh, well....

I am finally getting to where I can almost shoot reliably with my war bow. It's a pain keeping the bow completely motionless on the draw, especially since my ribs haven't quite gotten the strength and endurance they need for drawing the bow consistently. (That's right, Virginia... guess what happens if you "lay your body in the bow" and draw to the chest? You draw from the strength of the torso... )

But when I can actually keep good form, I'm rubbing shafts, and putting them, if not onto my target (currently a 4"x8" piece of junkmail from AmEx), close to, and my only serious vertical deviations are from bad releases.

I'm not ready for bow-hunting yet, especially given that I'm backyard shooting at 20'. But if my hundred-shafts-per-day program keeps up, I should hopefully be forced to back up another 10' soon in order to preserve the fletchings on my shafts.

In other words, go me!

And, if that last bit of news wasn't good...

how's a bunch of Kuwaitis shouting down an Imam's hate speech? Something good said about America in a mosque? Will wonders never cease...

... now if we can only get the Salafists out of all the bright, shiney new mosques that the Saudis are busy building here in the US.

Weird. Zarqawi's smoking something...

if he thinks that any newly formed "Omar" regiment is going to successfully take down the Badr brigades...

But you know, I dont' recall who said it first, but never get in the way of your enemy while he is destroying himself. (Clausewitz?) If Zarqawi wants to turn Iraq into a serious red-on-red zone by pitting the Wahhabi jihadists against the largest Iranian-backed Shia militia outside of Hezballah... go for it, Zarqawi. We'll see what happens to you when Hiz starts assassinating your jihadis as they pass through Syria and Lebanon...

Salafists/Wahhabists growing in power in Balkans

...from Jihad Watch. I wouldn't normally link it, if I hadn't seen women in Galgamacsa (Hungary) wearing full-out birkas.

Have to keep an eye on this one. If the Saudis manage to take control of the Balkans' mosques, then the normally laid-back character of the region is going to change, and for the worst, fast.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Your basic gun questions...

Lord knows I'm no expert on guns. Nor do I get to the range anywhere near as often as I'd like (I seriously have to pare down some hobbies so that I can actually start to do well at some of them).

Thanks to the generosity of friends, my wife now owns a pretty little .380.
And I have my ugly Llama .45, which definitely required smithing.

No pictures shall be shown of my feeble attempt to decorate the stock on my Mosin-Nagant. The idea seemed so simple... the execution turned out to be so difficult. I should leave woodworking to my buddy Technogypsy.

So I'm sitting here, perfectly aware that in a few months I'm going to be able to stick the llama in my glove compartment (go HR 583!!), which isn't quite "Vermont carry," but is a real step forward... and my wife asked me a question last week that I couldn't answer...

I have a stupid newbie question: how hot can handgun rounds get before they're in danger of cooking off?

It sounds so stupid, but w/o covered parking, during the day there's no question but that my car can get to 120 or 130 on the blacktop during the summer... (hot enough that I will occasionally use it explicitly as a dry sauna while driving home).

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Take THAT, o ye minions of Kyoot!

Kai discovers the hay bales...

And what's this business about dog tired?

Carnival of the Optimists #12: A blaze of glory

I'll give you ten guesses what my favorite holiday is. Or, at least one on the real short list.

I mean, look at it. Who couldn't like that?

Well, I suppose there's some Grumpy Gus out there who thinks it's a complete waste of time... but this blog isn't for them...

Welcome, to the Carnival of the Optimists.

So, what's Good News this week?

Well, Kevin over at Technogypsy got his bowl done, and trust me boys and girls, it's a beaut. Father's Day Dinner grilled by young boys ain't bad, either. Aside from that, he's getting in lots of quality time with the boys. Definitely the most fun you can have with a .50-caliber rifle....

I'm not sure how to categorize the next one. First off, the site's definitely not work-safe. Or kid-safe. It's a borderline submission... but David's idea is funny, and a sweet idea put in satire, for how to spruce up (pun intentional) your I-Pod...

Bad Example, on the other hand, has a lovely suggestion for getting rid of all that loose change: tip the pizza boy. (Lively discussion in comments). Makes sense... he'll probably get a lot more in silver than he might in bills, and won't have to sweat making change, either. Let me tell you as a former waiter, sweating the change happens....

Bill Adams over at Idler Yet, has a total change of pace... simply rejoicing in an upcoming movie. I won't spoil it... but it's a definite "trailer yay." I gotta admit, trailers are half the fun of going to the movies for me. (Though I can get muy snarky watching them, too.)

And, these fireworks don't quite look like photo torpedos, but the ever-thought-provoking Steve Pavlina has lessons from Star Trek.

Progress this week is a little schizo.

For starters, when it comes to breaking records, I just can't help posting the Big Fish story of the One that Didn't Get Away. Oh, my. That's one hell of a fish fry...

otherwise, via those bright boys and girls at MIT, and particularly, a fantastic guy named Dustin Williams, have developed something just ridiculously cool: robots to help stroke patients walk.

That might even be worth not yet having my hovercar....

That's all for this week, folks. Keep 'em coming, and remember, this is a progressive if anybody would like to take a crack at hosting it.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Ladies and Senators, start your engines!

It's official, Justice O'Connor is done. Let the circus begin!