Thursday, March 29, 2012

Desperate But Not Serious

John Derbyshire on fiscal collapse, societal decline, and preppers.

I'm not sure he understands how small towns really work. Being a New Yorker and all. Still, good sense from a pessimist.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?

My personal favorite defense gun has always been a Beretta Jetfire in 22 short. I've carried it for many years including while hiking. I never leave without it in my pocket. Of course the first rule when hiking in the wilderness is to use the "Buddy System". This it means you NEVER hike alone, you bring a friend, companion, or family member.

I remember one time while hiking with a companion when out of nowhere came this huge brown bear charging us and was she MAD. We must have been near one of her cubs. Anyway, if I had not had my little Jetfire, I wouldn't be here today. Just one quick shot to my companion's kneecap and I was able to escape by just walking at a brisk pace. It's one of the best pistols in my collection.
Dave Hardy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

In the Mail Today

beethoven_les_9_symphonies_cluytens.jpgBeethoven: Les 9 Symphonies
Berlin Philharmonic, André Cluytens

My third boxed set of the symphonies. (How many boxed sets do you need? All of them.) Every set is different and reveals new aspects of the music. Listening to the Fourth this evening I noticed for the first time how much silence there is in Beethoven's symphonies. Like whitespace in good typography the silence makes the rest of the music stand out. Cluytens works with the silence better than anyone I've heard before. No doubt his engineers, Ernst Rothe and Horst Lindner, deserve some of the credit for that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sackett v. EPA

Sackett won.
EPA considered their property to be a "wetland," and told them to stop the development, and restore the property to its former state — or face fines that the government said could reach $75,000 a day. The EPA acted under the Clean Water Act, and it insisted — with the approval of lower courts — that the couple could not sue to challenge the order...
The Court said they could.
The Court stressed that it was not deciding whether Michael and Chantell Sackett will win their court case, but only that they had a right to file it at their choosing, now that the EPA "compliance order" is final. The decision reflected the strongly negative reaction most of the Justices had to the denial of a right to sue when this case was argued in January. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., who was among those protesting most strongly at that hearing, wrote a separate opinion Wednesday complaining that the scope of the Clean Water Act's application to private property is unclear, and Congress or the EPA should move to clarify it.
SCOTUSblog will post links to that opinion, and the rest, as they become available.

Update: Scalia's opinion and Alito's concurrence are here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Naturally Aspirated Tax

Let's see... Form 1040, Schedule A, Schedule C, Schedule E, Schedule SE, Form 8829, Schedule EIC (yeah it was a rough year), Oregon Form 40, W-2s, 1099s, box full of receipts...

Am I the last person in the U.S. of A. that does his own taxes, by hand, with nothin' but a pen and a spreadsheet?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Epidemiology of Meat

Gary Taubes has a long post on Science, Pseudoscience, Nutritional Epidemiology, and Meat.

It's worth your time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Seems that Bob Caldwell, editor of The Oregonian's editorial pages, died in the arms of a prostitute.

Thanks Taranto.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It is on.

Ramirez, of course. Click through for the full effect.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Today Guam

end_times_start_in_guam.pngActually, it's already pretty much over, over there.

The Mitt won all nine.

Friday, March 9, 2012

About What You’d Expect

According to the report, which looked at 72,000 schools, black students comprise just 18% of those enrolled yet account for 46% of those suspended more than once and 39% of all expulsions.
Of course, that's not good enough for some folks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to Win an Election

how_to_win_an_election_cicero.pngPeter Stothard reviews the new book by Quintus Tullius Cicero (102 BC - 43 BC).
Quintus's election book is frank about the gullibility of the masses and firm in its requirement that they be deceived in their own best interests. Rome was a "cesspool of humanity," and its would-be leaders could be excused of behavior to match. An assumed personality need not be maintained for long. But Marcus, his brother advised, must make himself seem to be a man of the people while reassuring the wealthy that the "new man" knows his place.

Electoral corruption was endemic at Rome. Like voters in all democracies, the Romans were both inured to it and moved, from time to time, to clean house. The Cicero brothers were campaigning in one of Rome's years of attempted reform. Their chief opponent, a corrupt aristocrat called Lucius Sergius Catilina, had bribed on a sufficiently massive scale to spur the senate to call for tighter rules. A tribune of the plebs vetoed the plan, as was his right under Rome's separation of powers. Cicero was then able to savage Catiline with his famed rhetorical abuse. A problem became an opportunity, a process that always brings politicians pleasure.
Sounds like fun. Maybe for my birthday (two days before the Oregon primaries).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


It seems that words no longer have definitions — you can only deduce their meaning from what they are not. For instance:

A twenty-something unmarried college student with a $3000 a year sex habit is not a slut.

A twenty-something college student who testifies before Congress that she has a $3000 a year sex habit is not a shameless slut.

And a twenty-something student who testifies that she thinks the taxpayer should pay for her $3000 a year sex habit because she frankly can't afford it is not a shameless whining slut.

Whining sack of sh*t maybe. But goodness sakes! not a slut.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Presto con fuoco

Proof (if you needed it) that Beethoven is classic rock.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Health Impact: Minimal

The people of Fukushima are doing just fine.
“From a radiological perspective, we expect the impact to be really, really minor,” said Kathryn Higley, a professor of nuclear engineering at Oregon State University.
Just like the microbes ate my oil spill story, I expect the press will ignore this one.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flied Lice

I spotted this sentence on the front page of The Wall Street Journal today:
The U.S., in turn, agreed to provide food and and publicly declared it isn't seeking to overflow the Kim Jong Eun regime.
I think that's a typo. I think they were trying to say that the U.S. isn't seeking to overfrow the regime.