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Quick Updates

I have partially fixed the issue with the deep dives for mobile users. You can see the images, however the layout leaves something to be desired...

 

Also working on my library, I have books that you aren't seeing and now I know why.

The tragedy of Feminism

The tragedy of Feminism is that it has taught women to be the equal of men, when that is the furthest thing from the truth.

To compare the capabilities and purposes of men and women is like trying to make a Maserati and a Hummer equal. They are equal in the fact that they are human-controlled machines that are able to transport the driver and passenger(s) about, they have four wheels, protection from the elements, and an engine, And that is pretty much where the similarities end. The Maserati is meant as high-speed transport, in relative comfort. The Hummer is able to go where the Maserati can't. When in the same terrain, the Hummer moves a lot slower.

Men and women are meant to compliment each other, not compete with each other. Feminism has tossed the "compliment" concept out of the 12th story window. And we are all the poorer for it. The cry of "I can do everything a man can't do" has been replaced with "I can do everything a man can do!"

Which leads me to this video article at the end of the post. Nora Vincent was a lesbian, and a writer. She decided to write a book, Self-Made Man. She went undercover for a year as a male to understand what life is like for a man. Astonished is probably a good word for her reaction of it.

She joined a men's bowling team, and was instantly and unconditionally accepted. On the women's side of things, she would have had to earn her way into the group. Nora (as "Ned") tried dating women, and found that women treated men horribly on a routine basis. In today's world of courtship, men have to lavish praise, attention and cash just to get the woman to look at him. And the woman can and does say "no" for the smallest of reasons. Case in point, this video is a version of "in-Person Tinder." In this video, a woman starts with twenty prospective suitors, and as she puts out what she's looking for, and after putting out FIVE criteria (if she was attractive to them, likes to party/dance, likes to have a bit of rough intimacy, wants him to be taller then her in heels and older), she was left with ZERO guys. The last one leaving tossed back, "You're gonna be single for a while." They had one guy and twenty women, and ended (after all of the questions) with five women.

I have to refer you to my Fun Stuff article "The Husband Store" to reference the impossible standards women have been taught to have. And they leave as soon as "the butterflies" are gone. Statistically, of course. During a divorce, a woman gets half of everything, plus alimony and child support.

Getting back to "Ned," Nora found out how hard it is for a man to make it. Men are expected to not express their feelings (yes, men have feelings). We are expected to "Man up" and go to work to earn and provide for the (ex-) wife and children. We are not allowed to bitch or complain, except maybe in the halls of men-only social groups. Nora said she prefers to be a female, "I think it is more of a privilege [being a woman]."

This put Nora on a darker path, and trying to be a guy screwed wither head enough, that she ended up spiraling downwards, and ultimately led her to travel to Switzerland and on July 6th, 2022, ended her own life under a doctor's supervision.

Men and women are driven by different things. They contribute different things to the family. Women raise the children while men provide for the family. Women build the social network while men build the buildings. Women protect the children, while men let the children take risks while they're nearby. It is this system over the past 10,000 years that has got all of us to this point. To change all of this, so much and so quickly will destroy us. Our population is declining in every country and culture that is going for this feminism. Feminists don't want to have children because it will interfere with their career, men don't want women because she will destroy his finances as soon as the butterflies are gone.

Can we please get back to team building?

 

Abortion alternatives

For once, no politics in this post. One of my core moral values is maximum personal freedom and accountability. This is one of those moments where my thoughts and views on a subject come into direct conflict with my morals. I have rewritten this a dozen times because my personal views keep sneaking in and bring my sarcasm with it, and this subject is not a time or place for it.

If you are a sexually active woman of childbearing age who decides that you have had all the children that you want to have (which is a whole number between Zero and ‘Leventy ‘Leven), here is a Google docs spreadsheet sheet of OB/GYN doctors who will perform a “no questions asked” sterilization procedure on you. Many women have related to me that it is nigh-impossible for them to convince their OB/GYN that they are happy with the number of children that have now.

While this is aimed at women, guys, if you like “dipping your wick” in every hole that’s amenable, but you don’t want to pay child support, there’s the Bimek SLV, basically an “on/off” sperm switch. The caveat is, it takes a month or so to “purge the queue” and get the sperm count from full to zero and vice versa.

The context for this is in the recent climate since Roe v. Wade was overturned we now have women who are sexually active and either do not want to use birth control, or they are afraid the birth control they do use might fail, rendering them pregnant with an unwanted child. Since abortion as a post-coital birth-control method has been taken off the table in many parts of the country, sterilization becomes a reasonable choice.

On the subject of abortion, I will always speak for “that clump of cells” that if left alone, will grow into a baby. I fully agree, “my body my choice,” as you must have full autonomy over any cells that have 100% of your genetic DNA. Except that zygote/embryo/fetus only has half of your DNA, so while it might be in your body, it might affect your body, it is not your body.

And if there is no baby, what you do is none of my business.

Biden Stew Report

I didn’t want you venturing into the Great Unknown concerning my suggestion to make Biden Stew, so I made a pot. I was a bit (well, a lot) hesitant about throwing the beans in because I hate beans in general, but I did it anyway. Under conditions where you would actually have to make this concoction, you don’t get a choice anyway. It would be this or starve.

I was able to get all of the ingredients at Wal-Mart for $7.16. I splurged on the veggies and got Peas and Carrots for $1.82, and cheaped out with Jumbo Bar S hot dogs for $1.58. I could have gone with Corn or Green Beans for 86 cents. If I had went that way, it would have run me $6.20. Peas, if I had bought a 6-pack, would have run me 64 cents a can. At its’ most expensive, that’s 48 cents a cup.

I cooked it according to the instructions and I got 15 cups of food out of it. My normal servings are in the 2-3 cup range, but if there’s no other food, the limit is going to be a cup a day. I ran the numbers, and out of each cup you get 230 calories, with 35 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein.

And my predictions were correct, the taste was as bland as all get out. I highly suggest adding black pepper, garlic, etc., whatever seasoning you like to give it some taste. Again, if you’re in a true survival situation, taste is not an option until the needs of calories, carbs and proteins are satisfied.

Again, my biggest personal sticking point was the beans. Dark kidney beans are what I get in my chili, that’s why I went with them. And, they weren’t that bad. I had to focus on tasting for the beans in order to notice them.

At the end of the day, if I’m out of town at a class or at home while the family is away, I can cook a pot of this and be happy for a week. In fact, I’m putting a 3 cup serving in my lunch bag and just having it cold for lunch. Considering what I ate in the Navy, this isn’t all that bad.

Biden Stew

(When I publish my Prepper section, this will also be in there)

If your parents or Grandparents lived during the Great Depression, they probably didn’t talk about it that much. When the stock market crashed, my mother was six years old, living in an already dirt poor part of Pennsylvania so far up in the hills that “they had to pipe the sunshine in.” My dad was thirteen and was living in Cleveland, Ohio. What they did tell me was "times were tough."

I happened across this recipe perusing through the Internet. This was originally called “Hoover Stew,” pertaining to President Hoover, who oversaw the start of it. This is a simple, cheap concoction that has bulk and meets most of the basic dietary needs for daily life.

Starting off with the tomatoes, which have multiple benefits all by themselves. If you’re looking to grow your own food, this is first on the list. Then you have a second vegetable, never a bad thing. The beans provide plant protein, the hot dogs provide the animal protein, both of which are essential for people.

Ingredients:

* = your choice or whatever is at hand.
1lb macaroni or any pasta.
2 15oz cans stewed tomatoes
1 15oz can beans (with the juice) *
1 15oz can vegetables (with the juice) *
1lb of pre-cooked cheap meat (hot dogs, sausage, etc.)

Caveats:

This will be bland. Add spices to taste, try spiced tomatoes, fry hot dogs before adding them, etc.

Instructions:

Start with large pot. Cook pasta for half the specified time. Drain and set aside. In the now empty pot combine tomatoes, vegetable and beans. Include juice from cans. Mix well, then return pasta to pot and mix well. Add cut-up hot dogs and mix well. Add water if needed. Simmer 5-7 minutes until pasta is fully cooked. Serves 8+.

Serve!

What we don't know

When General Soleimani was erased from existence last week by a US missile, he was acting covertly on Iraqi soil, in civilian clothes and had just finished conducting an attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad. He had committed an act of war against the United States and Iraq. For a military person to be caught in non-military clothing while/after committing attacks on foreign powers, is classified as a SPY and is subject to immediate and summary execution.

If you don't think Soleimani was a bad guy, his unit is responsible for training, financing and the supply of materials to terrorist groups around the world. His training, financing and supply of war materials is responsible for over 600 US deaths in Iraq, about 20%. If you still don't think he's a bad guy, you have some serious issues and I hope you seek help.

You and I may disagree on how the issue was addressed, but please remember, he was withdrawing back to Iran after committing an act of WAR on US soil (in case you didn't know it, embassies are considered the native soil from that country. Any foreign forces who enter any embassy without invitation is considered an attack on that country).

And there were Tweets made, words said, threats made, back and forth. As a result, my Leftist friends and acquaintances were covering themselves in sackcloth and ashes, while there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, lamenting that they would soon be called up to fight Trump's Iranian War(c).

A few days after Soleimani's erasure, a couple of US bases in Iraq were attacked by Iran, without damage or casualties, and it's been quiet since. Here's why: Swiss Back Channel Helped Defuse U.S.-Iran Crisis.

I said it years ago, Trump is a magician. He does one thing to distract you and does something else while you're not looking. In one week, Trump took out a Really Bad Guy, taught a lesson to the Iranians about strength and restraint, and concluded the crisis by showing mercy and allowing the Iranian government to save face.

All-in-all, an elegant solution, which was resolved through strength. Not by capitulation and giving our lunch money to bullies.

 

Talking the terrorists language

Many people weren't born yet or were too young in the early 1980's to remember the Lebanon Hostage Crisis. Let me give you a history lesson about different approaches on how to address the solution.

Between 1982 and 1992, 104 foreign national hostages were taken by various terrorist organizations, most notably Hezbollah (Party of God). The ransom for these hostages were to stop Western attacks in Lebanon. The victims were 25 Americans, 16 French, 12 British, 7 Swiss, 7 West Germans, 1 Irish and 4 Russians. Five Americans, one French and two British and one Russian were killed or otherwise died in captivity. The ones who were released or rescued usually spent years in captivity. Except for the Russians.

You have never heard about the Russian hostages because the surviving 3 were returned with days of their kidnapping. Arkady Katlov was killed because the Soviets did not acquiesce to the kidnappers demands. After the body of Katlov was found, Colonel Yuri Perfilyev, the KGB station chief in Lebanon, met with Ayotollah Muhammad Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of the hostage takers.

In that meeting, he made an overt threat of a nuclear weapon "accidentally" launching and wiping out Qom, a holy city second only to Mecca itself.

While that was going on, an elite KGB squad captured a family member of a Hezbollah leader. This family member was killed, dismembered and returned to the leader in several boxes. Shortly thereafter, the remaining Russians were "enthusiastically" released, and no other Russian was taken hostage anywhere again by Muslim extremists. The Russians spoke with their actions in a way the terrorists understood and respected.

So you see, you cannot talk peace with someone who wants you dead. When we offer olive branches to terrorists, they whip out a gun and shoot us in the head. When Islamic terrorists shoot Russians in the head, they respond not with words, but by killing their entire family out to their third cousin twice removed and their favorite goat. This is why we get attacked and the Russians don't.

Someone got pranked

And it wasn't me. I received this in the mail the other day. It seems that I ended up on the wrong mailing list. I don't know how this happened, but I am going to have some fun with it.

First of all, this movement will never remove Trump from office. Oh, Trump may be Impeached if the Dems win the House, however if you have actually read the Constitution, you'll know that's only half the job. The other half is 67 Senators must vote to remove Trump from office based on the evidence presented by the House. The actual chances of that happening is pretty slim without a lot of turncoat Republicans.

impeach trump letter

Another thing, since we are a nation of laws, we find evidence of a crime first, then follow the evidence to whomever committed the crime. We do not investigate people until we find a crime, that's what Lavrentiy Beria (Stalin's Secret Police Chief) did. Beria is the one who originated the quote, "Show me the man, I'll find you the crime."

I find this highly ironic (as well as idiotic). The summary on the right side is ironic because this is exactly what Trump is doing. By rolling back bureaucratic red tape and cutting taxes, Trump is "restoring power to the people" over their own lives. "Real progress on our biggest problems" are things like jobs and opportunities for those who want them, not interference from Washington.

I also received this "call to action" flyer that I'm supposed to fill out and return. I think I will.

impeach trump cta

For "Defend Democracy," my response will be, "I vigorously defend the Republic that is the United States. Democracy is mob rule and that I cannot support."

For "Congress," I'm going to say, "If you mean 'act as a Constitutional check and balance to Trump's Presidential power, I fully agree. If you mean 'endlessly hound and investigate until Trump is driven from office,' no."

Lastly, for "Return power to the American people" I can only say, "I already see Trump carrying out that agenda. The majority of Americans are prospering because of it. So why is it you want him out of office?"

For the cost of a stamp, I hope they keep sending me more stuff. That will cause them to expend resources with no possibility of a return.

Let's talk about Las Vegas

Here we are, eight days after the Mandalay Bay Massacre. We have had time to treat the wounded, grieve the dead and learn things about the shooter. Now that things have calmed down, let’s have a rational discussion about this and other mass shootings.

First of all, the shooter (who will not be named because I don’t want to contribute to the perpetuation of his name) was an older White male. He had no contacts with the police other than a traffic ticket some years prior. He was reasonably affluent and outside of a currently unconfirmed picture of him wearing a “pussy hat” at some kind of anti-Trump rally and a voter registration card showing a Democrat Party affiliation, we do not know about his politics. He had no online social media accounts. He is, for all accounts and purposes, “a grey man.” The term “grey man” means a person who is present, but not noticed.

We will most likely never know the reasons behind why the shooter performed his heinous act. The shooter left no online manifesto, no note, he never voiced his thoughts or intentions to anyone, which means forensic investigators have little to nothing to work with and reconstruct.

Which leaves the door open for all kind of crazy conspiracy theories, like that he was a patsy for Operators (I’m talking Special Forces, not the telephone type) who actually did the shooting and all the like.

We do know he purchased all of his weapons legally. Since he had no criminal history or documented mental illness, all the background checks came back clean and there was no reason under the current laws he could not purchase firearms.

The shooter also purchased legal aftermarket modifications to enable a semi-automatic rifle to fire as fast as a fully-automatic weapon. No laws were broken by the shooter as he built his collection.

We also know he rented rooms near other large gatherings, but did not check in. This shooter was doing research and took the time to thoroughly research how to cause maximum carnage.

This presents us with the most terrifying and unstoppable threat we face today: A person on a mission who is willing to trade his life to accomplish his mission and knows his life is forfeit going in.

Now, what I want to know from all the people who read this little missive of mine, outside of a total ban on the civilian ownership of firearms, what laws would stop a person like this? I can truthfully say, zero. Because a person committed to this path would do whatever was needed to acquire weapons legally, or just go to the black market and purchase them illegally.

And I am not just talking about firearms. For those of you who might have forgotten about Oklahoma City on 4/19/95, one hundred and sixty-eight people died when that killer detonated a 5,000 pound ANFO bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. Then there was also a pipe-bomb attack during the 1996 Olympics that killed 1 (a news cameraman also died from a heart attack running to cover it) and injured 111 people. This number was thankfully low because a guard was ordering people out of the area when it detonated.

The bad news is, this is the new normal. Just like when nuclear weapons were first developed, the concept of mass shootings is already out there and like the nuclear genie, this cannot be put back into its bottle and “uninvented.”

Today, any moderately competent grad student in Physics can engineer a nuclear device. The only major hurdles are getting him enough Plutonium and krytron switches. Any precision machine shop can engineer the Plutonium to the necessary tolerances.

I bring this up to illustrate a point. If somehow all of the nuclear weapons on the planet disappeared this coming Friday, By Wednesday of next week every country that had a nuclear capability would be making new weapons.

All it takes for the next “mass death” event is a person who has lost their regard for innocent human life and has the means to acquire the tools necessary to carry out the desired operation, be it by gun, bomb, poison or gas.

 

Free-Form Fun Fridays

I have decided that if there is something that I want to post that has nothing to do with the main purpose of this website (posting about Conservativeism, etc.), These posts will appear on "Free-Form Fun Fridays."

In December last year, Ikea opened a warehouse here in Memphis. Earlier this week I went there and bought myself a standing desk and assembled it. I am trying to improve my health by not sitting as much, since "sitting is the new smoking." This excuse allows me to post the following video, two people trying to assemble Ikea furniture after taking LSD. Enjoy!

 

Unethical behavior

This is literally a first time in thirteen years that I have been running this blog that I am substantially changing the point of one of my posts.

One of the greatest powers a human being has is the ability to change their position on an issue. This usually occurs when new evidence is brought to ones attention that causes a reconsideration. I always try to arrive at the correct conclusion the first time and thus prevent this from occurring. I will admit that I am a flawed person who makes many mistakes daily. I failed to consider the full ramifications of what I wrote below.

If you read the original post, I speak of holding both the company and the people who have done bad severely accountable to the tune of crushing financial fines. After a similar story about Deutsche Bank being "fined" for $14 Billion because another country fined Apple for the same amount, I listened to Dan Bongino talk about the ripple effects if Deutsche Bank being crippled or driven out of business entirely due to this crippling fine.

I still believe that those directly responsible for committing "bad acts" be civilly and criminally punished in the most harshest manner possible. Criminal prosecutions attached with large fines and prison time, plus crippling civil lawsuits from those injured by the bad acts.

The change I have arrived at is that the company should not be fined. For large companies/corporations like Wells Fargo which employ hundreds or thousands of people who did and are doing what they should be doing, if the company is fined out of existence, the ripples will turn into tsunamis. The good employees will be suddenly unemployed, customers are left in the lurch, plus all of the other ripple effects that will hurt others unnecessarily who have no connection to the bad acts.

ORIGINAL POST:

As you may have heard, Wells Fargo has been caught with its proverbial hand deep in the cookie jar.

Over at least the past seven years, there has existed a corporate culture of setting ill-advised metrics for employees. Many employees were given "sales quotas," meaning they had to have customers start so many of their various "financial products" such as credit cards, bank accounts with them and so on. The bad news is when the customers didn't do it on their own, the employees "helped" the customers open those accounts. This resulted in millions of dollars of bank fees, overdraft fees, interest charges and on and on.

This unethical behavior was approved and encouraged by management. Employees who actually had personal ethics and didn't engage in this behavior were penalized and fired.

Now that this scheme has been discovered, 5,300 employees who engaged in this have been fired and a fine of $185 million has been levied against Wells Fargo. That may seem like a lot of cash, however when compared against the 2015 total profits of almost $22.9 billion from total revenue of $86 billion, that fine equates out to be 0.8% of their profits. I would call that pocket change.

Ideally, people and businesses should always act to do positive things and not injure those they interact with. Of course, this ideal will never be reached, however if we apply appropriate external incentives, we can at least hold these grevious incidents to a minimum.

When you consider how hard it is to "pierce the corporate veil" to hold executives, managers and employees personally liable, both criminally and civilly, this needs to change.

First and foremost, the laws need to be simplified and consolidated. To have a thousand ways to be assessed a fine and civil liabilities like I propose below is unreasonable and subject to abuse by governmental agents and agencies. The laws must be simple and clear as much as possible.Instead of working off exact numbers, let's try percentages. Penalties from the government the corporation, let's assign a penalty of 50% of their gross revenues for each year this violation happened. For those executives and other board members who can be shown they were knowledgeable and/or culpable in bad behaviors, confiscate 95% of their net worth. That would still leave the CEO of Wells Fargo John Stumpf with about $2.5 million out of his current $50 million personal fortune. Junior executives, management and employees could be fined lesser but still heavy percentages. That's just the fines from government.

As far as individuals suing those responsible, whatever damages they can show, multiply it by 100. If a customer was bilked out of $10,000 by the company and specific individuals, let's award them $1,000,000.

I can hear some people screaming, "You'll destroy the company and those people!!!" That's my point. Do you really want a company to continue to provide goods and services to you or those you love after a grievous breach of trust? To allow them to continue to do business with many, if not all of the leadership team intact? Really, what is preventing Wells Fargo or any other company guilty of a breach of trust from going right back to doing business just like before?

If there were laws like this in place where you know if you step over that line you would personally be financially crushed and the company along with you, how likely would you engage in this kind of activity? Hopefully, not very likely.

9/11 and Occam's Razor

After any 9/11 anniversary, I get edgy around people who think the Towers falling was an "inside job." They post meme's like this one to try and convince the unknowlegeable that there is a hidden and more complex reason why they fell. They never try to take into account Occam's Razor to explain why.

 

911 meme


I am going to straighten the record out in clear, plain and unmistakable language that a 3rd grader can understand.

Source onesource two, source three. Please, read them.

First rest off, the Towers were basically giant Jenga towers. Perfectly stable as they were built and designed to withstand "off-axis forces," such as an aircraft impacting the building, a massive hurricane or even an earthquake. The Towers were also meant to withstand an out-of-control fire for up to three hours as well so everyone could get out safely. The Towers DID survive the impact of the aircraft.

Second, the base steel used (there were 12 types) in the construction was A36 steel. That grade of steel does indeed melt at 2,750 degrees, and jet fuel does indeed burn at 1,500 degrees.

But that's not the whole truth.

A36 steel (which has a structural strength of 36,000 pounds per square inch) does indeed turn into a liquid at 2,750 degrees. However at the lower temperature of 1,500 degrees, it loses half of its structural strength, well below the temperature that it becomes liquid. There were also other materials burning in the fire as well. Such a conflagration would have caused an updraft, which would have somewhat raised the temperature and increased the intensity of the fire.

Again, the designers of the tower anticipated an event with the same effect in their design, so that the Towers would stand long enough to get everyone out safely. What they didn't anticipate was that the aircraft would dislodge the layers of fire protection covering the structural members. This allowed the heat to get to and soften the structural members.

The result is like when you pop a balloon full of air or water. As soon as that one section of the balloon is punctured, the structure of that part of the balloon fails and transfers it's load to what's left. This is what happened in the Towers. A couple of structural members were destroyed by the initial impact. The surrounding uncompromised members became soft and weak from the heat of the fire because the insulation was knocked off and the heat could get to the steel. Once the weakened structure members became soft enough that they could no longer hold the weight on them, the members failed and dumped that stress and weight to the unaffected structural members. They now had more stress and weight they could handle and snapped. Because that's what A36 steel does when it's stressed with over 36,000 PSI.

When the overloaded floors snapped, they dumped the entire load of the upper building onto the next lower floor. This caused the lower floor to "pancake," suddenly squishing out all of the air, windows and loose items from that floor, making it look like there had been an explosion. This cycle repeated for each floor until all of the now-rubble came to rest.

Now, if you think the Towers were "a demolition job," watch this video:

Watch the time, work and planning it took to successfully drop that building. If you think that kind and scale of work can go on for a couple of weeks or months without anyone noticing, you're an idiot.

Another thing to consider, was how it was possible for two barely-trained pilots to hit a very specific spot perfectly to cause this whole chain of events? If the aircraft had hit too high or too low, the Towers might not have fallen. This is why Occam's Razor beats any massive conspiracy.

When you want to decide and go public on something, please have all of the facts in proper context before you blindly offer someone else's opinion.

 

Sitting down for what you believe in

I want to say this on Colin Kaepernick's sudden decision to not stand for the National Anthem.

I fully support him for his decision. I served so that he has the freedom to have the choice to stand or not on those occasions. His reasons are his reasons which are good enough for him. I don't know his motivations and quite frankly I don't care what they are.

I also fully support those people who have decided to destroy their team merchandise with his name or likeness, to stop buying merchandise with his name or likeness and in general loudly voice their displeasure over this action.

I do NOT support those people comparing Kaepernick to other NFL players who left the NFL and joined the military, implying that he is "less of a man" or "a coward" for not joining the military. The military life is not for everybody.

It does not matter one way or the other to me if Kaepernick keeps his job or is let go because of this PR scofflaw. I don't do sports any more, despite being raised in the Dawg Pound long before it was called that.

Consequences are the inevitable result of our choices. There are good and bad consequences. Learn, realize and accept that.

New material

The writing bug hit me hard over the past couple of days on the subject of Economics. In response thereof, I have put up two posts in my " Other" area. The new posts are Basic Economics and Getting paid for your work. Please enjoy!

The best comic to date

There is a webcomic out there called Day-By-Day. It starts out in 2002 as the day-by-day events of four co-workers. You have Zed, who is in design, Sam who is a female engineer, Jan, who is in marketing and is a radical Liberal, and Damon, a conservative black male who I think was a software coder. if you read the entirety of the archives, you will find out things about them. Such as Zed, who seems a bit ditzy, was a special forces sniper and has a Sam Elliot lookalike for a dad. These four pair off (Zed and Sam, Damon and Jan), fall in love, get married and move forward together. I won't relate the entire timeline, go read it.

What prompted me to write this post today is today's comic. In two frames and three speech balloons, it clearly describes the contempt our current Liberal Elite Ruling Class has for the military and citizens of this country, and the disdain our military has for those who give the orders they are following for the moment. The twist from the last balloon is Haiku-ish, and to me almost perfect.

Day-By-Day Comic 11-21-2015.

Ben Fields Followup

I have been in a discussion with another person about the whole Ben Fields issue. This other person is totally convinced that the officer used too much force in dealing with the disobedient student.

For the record, I have enjoyed the discussion, it has been civil, respectful and polite. Some others break Godwin's Law in less than three exchanges. This one has been a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

This person recommended I read this page, Police Use of Force. That page also references the Use of Force Continium. I did so, and both of those pages support my side of the argument.

I quote:

There is no single, universally agreed-upon definition of use of force. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described use of force as the "amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject"
[...]
Context counts. No two situations are the same, nor are any two officers. In a potentially threatening situation, an officer will quickly tailor a response and apply force, if necessary. Situational awareness is essential, and officers are trained to judge when a crisis requires the use of force to regain control of a situation. In most cases, time becomes the key variable in determining when an officer chooses to use force.

So, the officer is authorized to compel compliance by an unwilling subject. This obstinate young woman is certainly an unwilling subject.

The page then talks about the amount of force used. I quote:

Law enforcement officers should use only the amount of force necessary to mitigate an incident, make an arrest, or protect themselves or others from harm. The levels, or continuum, of force police use include basic verbal and physical restraint, less-lethal force, and lethal force.

The young woman was arrested for disrupting the class by not obeying the orders of the teacher, administrator or SRO.

Looking at the second page, we see the levels of force:

  • Officer Presence — No force is used. Considered the best way to resolve a situation.
    • The mere presence of a law enforcement officer works to deter crime or diffuse a situation.
    • Officers' attitudes are professional and nonthreatening.
  • Verbalization — Force is not-physical.
    • Officers issue calm, nonthreatening commands, such as "Let me see your identification and registration."
    • Officers may increase their volume and shorten commands in an attempt to gain compliance. Short commands might include "Stop," or "Don't move."
  • Empty-Hand Control — Officers use bodily force to gain control of a situation.
    • Soft technique. Officers use grabs, holds and joint locks to restrain an individual.
    • Hard technique. Officers use punches and kicks to restrain an individual.
  • Less-Lethal Methods — Officers use less-lethal technologies to gain control of a situation.
    (See Deciding When and How to Use Less-Lethal Devices. )
    • Blunt impact. Officers may use a baton or projectile to immobilize a combative person.
    • Chemical. Officers may use chemical sprays or projectiles embedded with chemicals to restrain an individual (e.g., pepper spray).
    • Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs). Officers may use CEDs to immobilize an individual. CEDs discharge a high-voltage, low-amperage jolt of electricity at a distance.
  • Lethal Force — Officers use lethal weapons to gain control of a situation. Should only be used if a suspect poses a serious threat to the officer or another individual.
    • Officers use deadly weapons such as firearms to stop an individual's actions.

Let's go down the list.

Did the "Officer Presence" work? No.

Did the "Verbalization" work? No.

Empty Hand Control, Soft technique. Did this work? Yes.

Empty Hand control, Hard Technique. Was this used? No.

Was Less-Lethal Methods used at all? No.

Was Lethal Force used at all? No.

So, by the video evidence at hand, and use-of-force parameters provided by my sparring partner, the officer acted appropriately and correctly in his proportionate response to an unwilling subject.

I win.

Another filmed police encounter out of context

In my usual method of doing the logical and thoughtful thing and “waiting until the facts come out” I am ready to comment on the Ben Fields issue.


These are the established facts:

• A female student (a senior) decided to violate school policy by taking her cell phone out and using it in class.
• She was warned repeatedly by the teacher and an administrator to put it away or depart the classroom. The student refused.
• The School Resource Officer (Ben Fields) was called to remove her from the room. She refused to obey his commands.
• A scuffle then resulted between the student and the SRO.

What came out later is the students mother had just died and the student was placed into foster care.

Reading news reports and social media comments about the incident, I see a glaring level of ignorance about what Officer Fields was there to do.

The police do not “serve and protect” the public. That’s all marketing. They “protect” the public indirectly, as an unvaccinated child is “protected” against diseases because the vast majority of children are vaccinated and don’t get those diseases to pass along to the unvaccinated child. The police “protect” the public by putting those who break the law in prison and thus unable to commit more crimes. The job of a police officer is to enforce the law. They do that by investigating alleged violations of the law, arresting those they believe are guilty and bringing them up for trial. Because of this, a police officer should never back down or walk away from a confrontation. If they get into an altercation, the officer has to win 100% of the time. The recent riots in Baltimore is a classic example of the results of such type of capitulation by the police to the mob.

My personal belief is the number of laws should be as few as possible and maximum limitation on the police on how they can operate. When violence is used, the incident must be investigated, however the officer should not be “Tuesday-Morning Quarterbacked” and have their actions and words parsed to the nth degree.

If violence is authorized, it should be proportional to the maximum end of the scale. As a firearms instructor taught me, “If you’re authorized to kill him dead, you’re authorized to kill him dead dead.” In other words, if I have to shoot someone to protect others and I kill him in three shots, another 27 won’t make him any more dead, just more sure he really is dead.

Another personal belief is we are all responsible for our actions. We actively choose our responses to events before us. We all have coping skills to deal with what life throws at us. There are positive coping skills and there are negative coping skills. The authorities get called when people use negative coping skills.

I also do not believe our chronological age should exclusively define if we are an adult. A person who is 17 years and 364 days old is, under large portions of the law a juvenile and the same person the next day is now regarded as an adult. To me, they are the same person because we change, grow and learn over extended periods of time. I firmly believe a person of the students’ age is mature enough to realize the consequences of their actions. If they delude themselves into believing they are exempt from said consequences, that delusion is on them and not on society.

I have sympathy for the young lady for losing her mother. No matter the circumstances of how her mother passed, she deserves to grieve. Being suddenly dumped into foster care is also a traumatizing experience. All that being said, many people lose their parent every day and 99.9% of them do not act out inappropriately. These admittedly traumatizing events do not justify under her acting out and disrupting others.

I have an acquaintance who is an educator and has the unenviable experience of having to deal with difficult students. This acquaintance spoke about possibly using Therapeutic Holds in this situation, which are designed to restrain children with developmental disabilities who lack the skills or ability to regulate their own actions. These holds not only restrain the child and prevent them from harming themselves or others, it provides a human touch which can calm the child and help deescalate the situation.

This almost-adult who was acting out, being disruptive and disobedient brought upon herself the whuppin’ she received. I am not aware if this student has any developmental disabilities. Based on the lack of evidence she has a developmental disability, I will infer she is a fully rational human being with normal powers of reasoning, deduction and decision making. Because she has the ability to reason and decide, she could have peaceably ended the situation at any point. She chose to push it all the way to the end.

The SRO was given the task of removing this petulant almost adult-child from the room, short of causing serious bodily harm or killing her in the process. We all have ideas and suggestions on how “it should have been done” but we weren’t there. Until we have tried to do so, we do not have the authority to declare unequivocally that “this action is what should have been done.” Maybe he wasn’t trained in didn’t know how or had no knowledge about your “perfect move,” maybe he does know about it and was trained in said “perfect move” and decided that it wouldn’t work or he could not apply it in this case.

Maybe, just maybe when physical confrontation is required, you do what you have to do to insure your personal safety while accomplishing the task. Don’t bitch and moan that he put his hand there instead of there during the confrontation. Don’t obsess over how or why the chair the student was in flipped. You can tear the video apart frame by frame in the aftermath and minutely analyze it. Officer Fields did not have that opportunity. At that point of the confrontation it was all fast action and reflexes.

As a conclusion, it is my firm belief that the citizen should have maximum freedom in their actions by making the laws (and thus police encounters) as few as possible. Any time the police become involved, the officer has to operate within strict and clear rules, not guidelines (because there is a difference between rules and guidelines). Once within those rules, the officer should have wide latitude in the proportional level of the force they use in order to accomplish their orders.

Absolute bottom-line: A spoiled brat wanting to appear “tough” decided to act out and got a beat down for her efforts. She could have acted like the adult she soon will be declared and ended the situation before said beat down commenced. The officer was under orders to remove her from the room and I believe acted with restraint in carrying out his orders. I am sure a quick spray of Mace to the face would have made her a lot less combative. Just imagine the outrage from the Twitterverse if he had Maced or Tasered her, or just beat her with a baton.

I am in awe

I like to think I have a fairly sufficient grasp of the English language. I like to boast that I can insult your four preceeding generations using words that are acceptable at a ladies tea cotillion.

I am blown away by this review.

Seriously, this reviewer of the movie Pixels is a linguistic master. I have never heard or conceived of some of the phrases he coined, like "Skidmark Sumo Thong" or "Advanced Scrotal Cancer" he used to describe this movie.

This review is 104% for certain NSFW. You have been warned.

The Justice System

I do not have the time nor inclination to search for, a television reporter reporting on the "false bill" result for the Grand Jury indictment against Officer Darren Wilson, for the death of Michael Brown. This reporter wanted this to go to a jury anyway, "so all the facts can come out and we all know."

Evidently, this person is not very cognizant of the process the law takes from crime to either conviction or acquittal.

I do not possess a law degree, nor am I directly or indirectly involved in the justice system. This knowledge is acquired by intense reading on a wide variety of subjects. Just as an aside, not all States have a "Grand Jury" system, some use preliminary hearings. Grand Juries are convened to investigate felonies only.

First step, of course, is that a person must violate a law. There are two types of laws from a violation point of view: Misdemeanors and felonies. The difference is the length of imprisonment. Misdemeanors are punishable my no more than "11 months and 29 days confinement," while felonies are punishable by "more than one year of confinement."

Second, the crime is discovered, the police investigate, determine the suspect(s), then apprehend the suspect(s).

Third, the suspect(s) are then referred to the District Attorney for charges. If the DA believes the State can win the case, then the DA assigns a prosecuting attorney, who then files the actual charges and refers these charges to the Grand Jury. In TV trials, you've watched the attorneys from both sides argue over the guilt or innocence of the accused.

This not TV, and this is not that process anyway. The Grand Jury is an investigation by citizens (a "jury of your peers") to determine if enough evidence exists to convict the accused. There is no "defense" side of things here. It is just the prosecutor presenting the evidence that they will use in the actual trial to try and convict the accused. The prosecutor also does not have to present any exculpatory evidence (evidence which shows you are not the perpetrator of the crime). The Grand Jury can also subpoena witnesses to testify. If a Grand Jury returns a "true bill," the members believe that the evidence presented has enough merit and weight to show that a crime has been committed and the accused is probably guilty. Then we get to the TV part, with the prosecution and defense... Just to make it clear, if the prosecutor can't convince the Grand Jury you committed the crime in question, then the prosecutor will not win in a real trial.

 

My Own LifeHack!

Okay, I don't get a flash of inspiration like this every day, so I have to be "Loud and Proud" of it. If you're like me, you bought one of those sets of wooden TV dinner tables, and you ended up with all of the tables constantly in use and the storage rack sitting unused in the corner. LH1 StartI also have a problem of several backpacks hanging around my office. One holds camera gear, one I use for wargaming materials and the other is a "whatever" backpack. Walking by this rack for the umptheenth time today, I had a vision to repurpose it for a rack to store the backpacks. I drilled two holes in the top of the sides and screwed hooks into them:

LH1 HooksThe cross members were a problem. They would interfere with the backpacks while they were on the hooks, but I couldn't just throw them out. So, I used a trick my Dad taught me, and reversed them: LH1 CrossmembersLH1 Rev2All I needed to do now was to hang the backpacks on the hooks, and I was done!

LH1 Finish2It still has feet to stabilize it and you do have to be careful to balance the load diagonally. Enjoy!

The Humorous Chemist

In my perusal of this vast and wonderful Internet, a couple of years ago, I discovered this site, Things I Won't Work With. This is written by a chemist who has a droll sense of humor, bordering on the "British Dry" side. He talks about compounds that he amazingly enough, won't work with because they are unstable and tend to create beautiful and cataclysmic explosions. I have just enough understanding of chemistry to have a glimpse of what he talks about. Here is an example:

You may not have felt the need for a better synthesis of metal azides. Personally, my metal azide requirements are minimal, and very easily satisfied. I can get all I need by looking at a structure drawn on a whiteboard from about twenty feet away, thanks, and have no desire to actually prepare any of these things. I do not see this as an irrational reluctance. For example, last year I wrote about mercury azides, a most alarming class of compounds whose synthesis would be much easier if the two solvent layers didn't keep getting disturbed by explosions. I've also covered selenium tetraazide, a cheerful lemon-yellow solid with the annoying habit of blowing up when it gets warmer than about -64C, which would explain why you don't run into it very often.

I could hear his eyes roll as he wrote this:

... It turns out that silver azide in liquid ammonia slowly does redox reactions with a variety of other elements, giving a wide variety of otherwise hard-to-obtain compounds. The careful reader will have noted a defect in this scheme: you first have to make a supply of silver azide, which is enough of a show-stopper for me. That Wikipedia article drolly notes that "In its most characteristic reaction, the solid decomposes explosively", and because it's a silver salt, that decomposition can be set off by foolhardy behavior like shining a strong light on it.   So there's your starting material - now let's use it to make something lively. Shown is a corundum crucible before and after heating up a sample of the manganese azide product (as an ammonia complex). Again, the careful reader will note a crucial detail about the post-analysis state of this labware: it has been blown to hell and gone. This will surely happen to everything in which you heat up samples of metal azides, and believe me, many of these items will be less sturdy than a corundum crucible. Before performing this operation, be sure to ask yourself: "Do I want this apparatus to be blown to pieces?"   And before making the metal azide in the first place, naturally, you need to ask "Do I want to blow myself to pieces?" That's because this isn't one of those set-it-and-forget-it Crock-Pot azide reactions. No, you're going to have to hand-craft these things...

I'm reasonably sure he could do stand-up comedy while performing these chemical experiments. He would probably get a standing ovation at the end... if there were any survivors in the audience.

 

Happy RamaHanaKwaanzamas

Glenn Beck played a parody song designed to anger the ACLU by throwing all of the December holidays into one, just so you don't offend any major religion or ethnic group.

I like it.

Privacy? We don’t need no stinkin’ privacy!

Via Slashdot: California Police Arrest Man in Bank PC Theft.

The guy who posted the article about this wondered about what kind of data is being transferred when you login or while online. After reading the money paragraph, I had the same question:

Investigators traced the computer to Krastof when he logged onto his own America Online account at home through one of the stolen computers, White said. That enabled authorities to connect the computer’s Internet Protocol address, a number that identifies a computer on the Internet, to Krastof’s home address through his AOL account, White said.

While this was a wonderful crime fighting tool, I’m not sure I like it, even with judicial oversight. In fact, I know I don’t like it. Anyone who wants to can get my IP address, find out my name and link it up with one or more serial numbers in my machine, then track me wherever I take my laptop. This is the kind of precursor that leads to identity theft. I’m just glad I don’t have an identity worth stealing. Who would want to be me?

UPDATE: My friend Mike wrote to me and tells me the inept, inbred idiot (my words, not his) used the AOL account already on the PC. Police, alert to any use of these accounts, had a hit and traced it back to the perp. Which does not change anything on what I said. Anyone armed with my IP address and the ability to hack into systems could still easily find out who I am and everything else they needed to know.

Michael the Molester

I love Law & Order. I watch all of them, and occasionally partake of the marathons that run on TNT. I love the plot twists and how you can never guess if the good guys will win or not.

This years season premier was a two parter, and in the second part had the tragic story of a baby dropped from a hotel window during a fire. The father was a famous comic who had adopted the kid. During the investigation, they discovered he was a pedophile. They could locate only one victim, who had brought legal action, and since the case was settled, the case was sealed.

Using the logic of “how could you let a 12 year old play with a 40 year old man,” McCoy brought charges against the parents. You see, the parents received a million dollar check from the comic/pedophile, plus a stipend from the lawsuit. The parents claimed that the million dollar check was for writing a movie script for the comic/pedophile. During the trial, it came out that the check was cut before the kid went up to the comics house and was molested, drawing the assertion that the parents knew what was going to happen. The parents did it because they had no money and a younger son who had a serious heart defect. They sacrificed one kid to save the other. On the evidence of the timing of the check, the parents were convicted.

Now, let’s look at Michael. He has an amusement park at his house. He likes making kids happy. Those are okay things, to a point. He has admitted that he likes to have slumber parties with young boys. That sets off rather large and loud alarm bells for me. It has been stated that he has an alarm system inside the house, so that whenever anybody gets within 50 feet of his bedroom, an alarm goes off in there. When combined with the slumber parties, this makes my alarm bells ring all over again.

He was already the defendant of one molestation lawsuit. I and most parents would not allow our children to be within a mile of this man. But there are some that hope that his star stuff will rub off onto their children, and all they have to do is play by Michaels rules. Which allows Michael to molest young children.

I can tell that Michael is sick, by no more that what he has admitted to. The other allegations just throw more fuel onto the fire.

All I can hope for is he gets put away for a long time, and that this gets done before he molests any more boys, including his own children.

Anti-Emergency

This made me chuckle. Device Allows Motorists To Control Stoplights proves that there is a sucker born every minute.

Here in Memphis, we don’t use the MIRT, but rather a flashing strobe mounted on the dashboard. The strobe has to be flashing in a particular pattern to trigger the light change. Sure, even if the code is detected, it is no major malfunction to change the code. Then the pirates are stuck with $300 boxes that don’t work. Plus, even if you did get it to work, our system has a red beacon light that activates when it detects a valid code. Go through an intersection like that and if there’s a cop there and he notices the beacons, you have a good chance of being pulled over and having to explain yourself. That I’d pay money to listen to.

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