29 June 2009

Sitting at my inlaws...

Ok... since we live in a lil' bitty apartment, I end up at my inlaws quite regularly (for things like laundry and suchlike). Dad actually lives here, too (have I mentioned that my inlaws rock?)...

So I'm sitting here, surfing the net and waiting for the latest load to be finished. Father-in-law is working on the new kitchen accoutrements (like completely new, hand made kitchen cabinets). This project also involves playing with the plumbing of the kitchen sink, which has resulted in LOTS of water on the floor. The last leak (as of a couple minutes ago) resulted in the following exchange:

FIL: "But I didn't think it would leak out of the hose"
MIL: "And THAT is why we have three children"

Followed closely by a bellow of "That better not make it on the blog!"

Who, me? Would *I* blog about something like that? >:)

15 June 2009

Another fighting the good fight...

So... hopefully y'all have checked out the Ultimate Evil blog I listed awhile ago. If you haven't, go read now at The Ultimate Evil.

Back now? Ok...

So... last night on BACA Nation, Jade got her mentor to join in: Sue runs another blog, and is involved in the fight against child abuse. Again: go, read Warriors for Innocence.

Please... pass these links far and wide. If you're a blogger yourself, please post these links: these girls are doing a tremendous job, getting information out there.

Remember folks: all that's necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

13 June 2009

Dear Teacher...

I try to stay FAR away from politics on this blog: I figure there are LOADs of better commentators out there, that have already said anything I'd want to say and done a better job than I could. But sometimes, something manages to work it's way past my filters. This is one such instance. The meat of it:

While he answered her father's question about health care, he gave Kennedy a note, excusing her absence from her last day of fourth grade at Aldo Leopold Community School in Green Bay.

"It says 'To Kennedy's teacher: Please excuse Kennedy's absence. She's with me. Barack Obama,' " said Kennedy.

Now, I still don't like Mr Obama. I consider his policies nothing more than socialism. I truly think that he's leading us down the garden path to our own destruction. And I will continue to think of him as our "Teleprompter in Chief". That said...

This one move showed a load of class that is refreshing. This is something that little girl will carry until she passes on: "the day the President excused me from school". And I'll give our TOTUS some credit for that...

Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

There's been a huge kerfufle on conservative and libertarian boards about the dichotomy between the coverage of the murder of an abortion doctor and the murder of a soldier at a recruiting station. I tried addressing this on APS, but decided it would make a good blog post.

To make sure we're all working off the same page here: we have one crime (A) committed by a member of the uber-right, who murdered someone he felt was killing innocents*. In the other crime, we have another murder (B), committed by a jailhouse Islamic convert, opening fire on a recruiting station (killing one and wounding another). Everyone with me so far? Good.

So... two serious crimes, both high profile, and both happening fairly close together in timeframe. One (A), the President has gone on record condemning, and calling for a major conspiracy investigation on. The other (B), our Teleprompter-In-Chief merely called "regrettable". This dichotomy, of course, has the Right up in arms. But there are things to think about here.

First off (and the one that got me right away): the crimes have one major difference between them. One, the victims were soldiers: not a major constituency of the Left. The other, the victim was heavily involved in a "cause" that the TOTUS has gone to extraordinary lengths to back (look up Obama's record on abortion). So we have one crime the Left can decry, and one they would feel ambivalent about (if not outright condone). Yes, it's terrible, but it's also life. But let's look at it from the other direction for a second...

Many on the Right have expressed the feeling that, although they wouldn't have pulled the trigger themselves, the abortion doc's killing was just "a murderer being murdered". While they haven't gone so far as to say the shooter should get off, you can get a feeling of a certain tacit approval from some.

I hate to be the one to point it out, but the shooter in the recruiting station case COULD make a similar claim for his actions: "I was just trying to protect innocent Muslims from American agression".

In crime A, we had someone with strong convictions against a legal activity take the life of someone involved in that activity. Oh, wait: the same COULD be said for B. Hmmm...

Here's an idea: how about we look at the crime committed, ignore the possible motives (beyond checking for self-defense) behind it, and actually condemn the murderers as such? Drop the rhetoric of "terroristic** acts", and simply punish the criminals for the actual crime they committed (without having to go into panty-shitting hysteria)?

One other difference between the crimes: with the soldiers' attacker, I haven't heard of anyone else being implicated. At the same time, the doc's killer has said that there will be more killing, implying that there are more people out there willing to take the life of an abortion doctor. Given that, I guess I can understand a conspiracy investigation...

*NOT going into the debate on abortion here: not now, not ever.

** I have to giggle at the fact that spellcheck tags "terroristic" as a mispelling. Says something, doesn't it?

Don't drink and... drive a sub?

Heh... I had to chuckle.

Seems a Chinese sub collided with a sonar array towed behind the destroyer USS John McCain on Thursday. Why the chuckle, you ask? Because I know something about the "rivalry" between those destroyers (Arleigh Burke class) and subs.

See, when the were originally designed, they were meant to kill subs. During a wargame back in the 90s,, the Burke herself pinged, locked, and "fired on" a fast attack sub... all before the sub in question could lock on the Burke.

Until the Arleigh Burke, subs considered surface ships "large, slow targets". When the Burke hit the waves, that assumption changed.

What does this have to do with the story? Well, there were a couple people who seemed a little worried that this might have been intentional: some form of the Chinese "testing" us. Not likely.

Had that sub actually wanted to "play", there would now be another big steel cylinder resting on the ocean floor near Subic.

As for my title: I just get a giggle out of the image of the "driver" being drunk, and the skipper yelling at him as he tries to stammer "but it was just one beer!"

02 June 2009

Slightly new coverage here...

I've been giving it some thought, and decided to add some more political content aboard the Privateer. Nothing too extreme, but I'd like to cover some of the "local scene" here in the land of Cheddarheads...

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Dave Zweifel. He's the editor emeritus at the Capitol Times in Madison. And he just wrote this , er, interesting piece. Some snippits:

He figured -- correctly, as it turns out -- that he would be able to get his amendment attached to the credit card bill with help from his Republican colleagues and a handful of Western state pro-gun Democrats. That would then force the members of Congress who favor some control on guns to either kill the long-awaited credit card reforms or approve them along with the completely unrelated provision to allow guns in the parks.

Likewise, President Barack Obama would have to live with the amendment unless he was willing to veto the credit card reforms.

This practice has a LONG history in legislation. It's usually called a "poison pill". Gun owners have gotten them shoved down their throats (or up other orafices) many times in the past...

But it has left a bad taste in the mouths of not only many members of Congress, but citizens who believe this isn't the way democracy ought to work. If you want to allow guns in the parks, then vote on it. If you want credit card reform, vote on it. What kind of parliamentary system allows two completely unrelated matters to be joined?

And how many times, laddy-buck, have we seen unrelated "progressive" measures attached to unrelated legislation? Sauce for the goose, no?

The irony may come when the NRA puppets in Congress succeed in adding a pro-gun amendment to whatever health coverage reform legislation eventually emerges this year.

I'm hoping for the machinegun registry to be reopened, myself.

Go forth, read the whole thing. Wow, how they whine when one of their favorite tactics is used against them!

Filler, but funny...

Just read some of the obituaries from Car and Driver magazine. Some choice snippits:

Rest in Peace

After a famously long career spanning more than 200,000 years, human memory died this month. For millennia, memory had been considered an invaluable evolutionary tool, preventing, as it did, Homo sapiens from committing the same stupid mistakes eight to 10 times in a row in front of their spouses. Memory’s slow and sad decline was first noticed when U.S. drivers could no longer remember when to use fog lights and thus left them on always. In the summer of 2008, memory suffered a second—and fatal—blow when North Americans, in the space of 120 days, could no longer recall $4-per-gallon fuel and went back to buying pickup trucks for style’s sake.

Human memory is survived by knee-jerk reactionaries and blowhard radio talk-show hosts, who have promised to fill in.

In Passing

A national survey conducted by Hertz, National, Alamo, Dollar, and other rental agencies revealed the heretofore unannounced death of gratuitous rental-car abuse by white males under the age of 30.

“We were shocked when we analyzed the data,” said a Hertz spokesman. “But it’s increasingly clear that young men just aren’t putting the transmission into reverse at 50 mph, aren’t redlining engines for very much longer than five minutes at a time, and aren’t using the headliner as a napkin anymore.”
The rental community had previously assumed that abuse could be kept moderately healthy by automotive journalists. In lieu of flowers, friends of rental-car abuse are asked to make donations to the Aamco family.

Go to the link, and read the rest.

I promise there will be more posts soon: life caught me this past couple weeks. Maybe Sly will return with news about how his oldest son has been grounded until after the end of the world...