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25 November 2014

The Federal Budget Issue

Well worth the 20 minutes of your time.







I think he's missed something though, IIRC insurance companies are specifically exempted from the anti-trust laws.

Pity Party

It just hit me that I have never, once, changed anyone's mind on anything.

I've shared my opinion, sometimes people have found that convincing, but only if they didn't already have an opinion on that topic, no matter what it was.

It bothers me that I lack any credibility at all.

Especially so since I've tried several times to be more credible only to discover that the effort always contains some fatal flaw that nullifies it completely in support of the argument I'm attempting at the time.

I quite often feel baited into venturing an opinion because I honestly think some of the people I talk to share the conversation with others as a sort of, "look at this idiot!" thing.  I am sure the response is along the lines of, "wow, he thinks he's smart and he's too stupid to see you're playing him like this?  Bravo!"

It's depressing because I really don't talk about things I don't give a shit about.  To suspect that the things that matter to me are being used as a punchline really does kind of hurt.

Blaming The Victim

Part of the problem that come from "blaming the victim" is not so much the definition of blame, but whether there was a victim in the first place.

"You're blaming the victim," is intended to stop the conversation just like accusations of racism.

What I am seeing is too many SJW cases, there isn't really a victim.

That's what many of these debates are actually about, whether something that was previously victimless has become something that has a victim.  I notice that victim status is something that's sought very eagerly by some and it never leads to anything good when they do.

Responsible

A thing about date rape sex that would be consensual except one or both parties was drunk and then is later reported as rape that's bugging me.  Edited to strike and add underlined portion.

I am responsible for everything I do while I'm drunk, including driving my car into a tree.

Why then isn't a woman aren't people still responsible enough to say yes or no to sex while drunk?

That driving my car while drunk is a bad decision is why it's illegal; but being drunk doesn't let me blame the tree.

Why are does it seem that woman exempt from the responsibility for saying yes to sex while drunk.  Why just women?  I really have never seen a story where a man has felt he was raped once he'd sobered up.  Is this because such isn't reported because it doesn't fit the narrative?  I really don't know.

There's lots of analogies that kind of illustrate something is amiss.

Except for a woman someone getting plastered and having sex she they regrets, we blame the person who got drunk for what happens later.

I get drunk, run over a pedestrian, I'm blamed.

I get drunk, wander into traffic and get run over, I'm blamed.

I get drunk, bet my mortgage payment on black.  The casino is not blamed for the marble landing on red.

It's bugging me.

Offensive

I have two posts battering around in my skull that really aren't meant to be offensive.

But every time I try to write out what I am trying to say...

Three edits later and I have it toned down to racist misogynism.

That's not at all what I am meaning, but it sure is how it's reading.

I'll keep trying.  There's got to be a way to phrase this thought that doesn't come out wrong.

24 November 2014

Have You Seen This Gun


Smith and Wesson M&P357 serial DXW5180.

Stolen from The Lovely Harvey's glovebox between 0130 and 0630 this morning.

Because she works on a college campus, she can't carry at work, so it gets transferred from purse to glovebox and back a lot.  With the hectic short work week and end-of-month crap she had about six times as much stuff to shuffle when she got home from work Friday and it was overlooked in the glovebox.

They took her iPod as well.

The car was locked, but it appears that The Boy may not have gotten his door latched all the way when they got home from running around Saturday.  No damage to the car and not one print to be lifted.

Fucking thieves, may they burn in hell.

Not Dangerous

Geese are not dangerous.

They are aggressive and mean, but they aren't dangerous.

Their stupid bird necks break readily should they decide to get within opposable thumb range because not only are we smarter, we're faster and more coordinated.

What they can do might hurt, might even draw blood, but you're not likely to die from it.

The goose, very likely to die from what most any human can do to it.

Everyone Laughs

Everyone laughs at you for owning a broadsword.

But black friday rolls around and you've got the door-buster 75" flat-screen when you just drove to the store at opening time without camping out all night.

Who's laughing now?

Airsoft

G&P makes a Stoner Mk23 Mod 0 in two configurations.

This tickles my giggler so much!

$400 for a battery powered plastic bb launcher...

More than I got for such frippery, but it's amusing none the less.

Oh Gods Dammit!

See that line behind you Thag?

Yes I do...

Went over the line again!

Like the edge of a cliff in the dark, it's only clear once you're past it.

23 November 2014

Turn Of Phrase

I'm reading a Small Arms Review interview with Reed Knight.

He refers to the system in the AR as, "gas impingement," not "direct impingement."

That's veddy interestink.

Almost as if he considers them separate and distinct.

Lawful Orders

It occurs...

That since the executive order on immigration exceeds his authority, that means that nobody is bound to follow it and those that do are culpable.

I was just following orders is not a positive defense.

It's high time we started enforcing on the enforcers.

I am at a complete loss as to what that would mean, but it feels good.

It seems that we have dereliction of duty at a minimum on many DHS officials, they live someplace and those places have law enforcement, someone should arrest them.

Not that it would happen since they tend to live places where the local law agrees with them.

22 November 2014

Important Disassembly Tip!

If you ever decide to take the stocks off your Baby Browning...

If the small pin at the heel starts moving with the stock, stop pulling!

That pin holds the magazine catch, magazine safety and the associated spring.

Getting everything lined back up for reassembly is a super fiddly job.

But should it happen to you...

The spring goes in first with the open part of the hook facing the magazine well and the main coil going into the recess in the butt.

The magazine catch has to go over the end of the gun first, if you line up the pivot hole first you can't get it all the way in.  So hook it over the end of the butt, then push the pivot hole to line up with the pin hole.

This is harder than it sounds.

I used a 1/16" punch to line things up roughly.

Now that the catch is lined up with your punch, slide the pin in so it engages JUST one side of the magazine catch.

The magazine safety has a notch on the top that hooks the sear pin.  Hook it then pivot it down between the legs of the magazine catch.  The half circle's open side should be towards the magazine well.

Fiddle with it until you can drive the pin through all the parts.

See also this handy picture at Numrich.

More On Stoner 63 Weights

What I cannot find is a complete break-down of what things weigh.

As I said before, I extrapolated the weights of some parts.

What would be nice is to have how much the common parts weigh so the intrepid player can have the parts for a different configuration in their pack.

Having the conversion parts at the ready is kind of a fool's errand.

There are three sight sets: rifle/carbine, belt feed and top feed.  There are two handguards: rifle/carbine and belt/top feed.

The folding stock fits on the belt/top configurations, but will block the ejection port on the top feed and can't be locked folded on the belt feed because it hits the box/drum.

There are five barrels.  Rifle, carbine, top feed (automatic rifle), short belt (commando) and long belt (LMG).  Carrying a spare barrel makes some player character sense because it changes the bulk but the commando MG barrel has an increased chance for malf.

The real advantage that the design seems to have is the common core of the gun is the same, thus cheaper for the Army and simpler for the armorer.

I also discovered that M numbers were assigned thanks to wikipedia.

XM22 is the rifle, XM23 is the carbine, XM207 is the LMG.  E1 is added for 63A and E2 for 1:9 twist barrels...

That last is interesting.  We didn't start thinking in terms of 1:9 until the NATO ammunition trials in the late '70s; long after the Army had rejected the gun for service.

This has me thinking of another alt to add to T2K.  While not simpler than the M16 to make, the Stoner is at least possible with more primitive tooling because it skips aluminum forgings.  Instead of the M16EZ we have the M22...

Absolutely Fascinating

It's about half an hour, but really neat.

21 November 2014

Practice What I Carry

I pocket carry a J-frame.

It's a .357 S&W 640-3.

With pink grips!


That'n in fact.

I admit I was loathe to practice with it at all before I put in the Apex trigger kit (On the recommendation of the lovely Jennifer's Head.)

That made the trigger pleasant enough that shooting it wasn't a chore.  The pink Hogue grips also made it so that shooting it wasn't painful.  Deflagging it made it so that I wasn't worried about it locking up when I needed it.

It's just never occurred to me to not use the same loads in practice as carry.  I'm still a hot mess reloading quickly, mostly because very few ranges around here allow for it during "free range".

I am getting a lot better.  If I "aim" as fast as I can at the head I am making a nice group (5") right around the sternum at about 7 yards.  Which is a lot better than it was, where if two bullets hit the silhouette I was good...  Every time I run through 50 rounds the holes are getting closer to where I think I aimed.

Taking my time I can almost get all five to touch.  Time I almost certainly won't have in a real situation, maybe.  Opinion varies.  I do notice that every 50 rounds of practice slow and sure has a noticeable positive effect on the speed round too.

It's like my old shotokan and kenjutsu classes are still applicable...  Master the form, once you have form, speed follows, once you have speed, power follows; but it starts with form.

I practice with my .38 Super 1911 too, but that thing is so familiar and sweet that I have to sabotage something to get bad groups and even then they're not very large or off.


Ring-Ding-Did-A-Little-La-Di-Oh, Ring-Di-Diddly-Eye-Oh,


Minifig piper, with anti-lego pipe.

Lemonade

I'm not a fan of the Real ID Act.  If any of my more liberal friends had stopped the Bush=Hitler shit long enough I would have mentioned it to them.  I've occasionally muttered to myself that it was a reason for the Democrat retaking of the Senate.

I think I've found a way to make lemonade out of this lemon.

There's a segment of illegal immigrants who don't cause any real problems and one could even make a solid case that their presence is a real benefit.

The huge problem is there's a larger segment that's merely devouring entitlement benefits without making any contribution.

My solution?  You need some form of Real ID to obtain bennies and couple it with requiring such ID to vote.  With the savings obtained from such a filter on services we could make the ID free to any citizen who has the accompanying paperwork to obtain such.

I Noticed Something

Last night I watched Big Bang Theory.

What I noticed was that I wasn't watching the president of Mexico, Barack Obama, stammer his way through an announcement he was taking greater steps to support his core constituency.

I can't think of another time when the networks blew off the president like this, can you?

18 November 2014

Stoner 63A GURPS And Too Much Idle Time

The stoner system is modular, but nobody really breaks out the components.

Here we go!

Loaded aluminum 30-round magazine is 1.08 lb.  0.25 lb. empty.
Loaded steel 30-round magazine is 1.28 lb. 0.50 lb. empty.
Loaded plastic 100-round box is 3.31 lb.  0.21 lb. empty.
Loaded aluminum 150-round drum is 5.6 lb. 0.9 lb empty.  This is what makes the malf 16.

Sling is 0.31 lb.
Bipod is 0.88 lb. (SEALs in Vietnam says they are 0.5 lb.)
Tripod adaptor is 1.875 lb.
Cleaning kit is 0.25 lb.

Fixed stock is 0.7 lb.
Folding stock is 0.75 lb.

Receiver with bottom magazine feed is 5.05 lb.
Receiver with top magazine feed is 5.92 lb.
Receiver with belt feed and box holder is 6.98 lb.

20" rifle barrel is 2 lb.
15.7" carbine barrel is 1.75 lb.
20" automatic rifle barrel is 4 lb.
20" MG barrel is 4 lb.
15.7" Commando MG barrel is 3.4 lb.

I extrapolated the feed/receiver weights from the manuals; same with the folding stock.  I am not sure if that's the solid or wire version.  Other weights are as taken from several manuals.

This gives the actually issued guns...  No slings or cleaning kits.

XM207 LMG: 18.11 lb. loaded with bipod.  SEALs in Vietnam says it should be 17.2 lb.

XM23 Carbine: 8.83 lb. with a steel magazine, 8.58 lb. with aluminum.  SiV says 9.1 lb.

Mk 23 Mod 0: 14.39 lb. without bipod.  SiV says 14.1 lb.

20" barrels will give 5d pi damage and 500/2,300 ranges.
15.7" barrels will give 4d+2 pi damage and 460/2,900 ranges.

Browning To Saive


FN Vest Pocket (.25 ACP), FN Hi Power (9mm Parabellum), and Browning Baby Browning (.25 ACP).

Hierarchy Of Customer Service

This is the abstract, not the paper...

Dear retailer...  You help the customer in this order (barring emergencies).

Customer with product at the register, payment at the ready... before

Customer in the store looking for something... before

Customer on the phone asking questions... before

Stocking the shelves... before

Accepting deliveries... before

Doing your daily paperwork... before

Cleaning the store (unless its the aforementioned emergency).

Even in an emergency, the customers in the store are the priority; get them to safety first.

For the customers who are lower in the hierarchy, "I'll be with you in a minute..." goes a long way.  You have to acknowledge that you've seen them and will help them.  Try to remember that they can almost always go someplace else.  Even someone set on buying a new Ford F-150 can go to a different dealer, so don't get to thinking that since only Ford sells them you're safe as a Ford salesman!

On reason you do things in this order is the level of commitment from the customer.  Blowing off the customer at the register to dust the end-caps means that if they give up on the purchase they are giving up on more than someone price comparing on the phone.  This makes them more likely to remember the experience and to let that color their next purchase.

17 November 2014

Not That Great

Every time I get sucked into the M14 was better than the M16A1 drama, for some reason I always forget what a disaster the roll-out of the M14 was.

While individual rifles might be fine guns, as a whole the manufacture, distribution and issue was a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

Big enough to shut down Springfield Armory forever.

Big enough that every single project concerning general issue battle rifles was moved up and an outsider's proposition was considered...  You know, that strange black thing the Air Force bought to replace their M1 carbines?

It's no wonder that there weren't really any export customers and those few made their own.  Italy even went so far as to completely replicate the process of product improving an M1 Garand from scratch producing the similar in concept BM59, which served until 1990.

It's also telling that the supposedly harder to manufacture FAL didn't encounter such problems in production.

That's Something You Don't See Every Day


The house across the street has been vacant for the past six years.

They're tearing it down today.

16 November 2014

Cleanin

I am somewhat betwixt it on cleaning after a range trip.

On one hand I know it's not really all that necessary for as few rounds as were fired.

On the other, cleaning doesn't bother me and the job is easier when the gun isn't so fouled.

On the gripping hand it is an opportunity to see if anything broke in the firing of the last round and to inspect the general condition of things.  Plus a cleaning now, when I can, resets the round count.  If the gun can go 500 rounds (to pick a number, it's probably much higher) without a filth related malfunction between cleanings I'll have 500 again before the next dirt jam.

Of course, I don't go for mil-spec levels of clean anymore either.  Wipe things down with a solvent soaked rag, boresnake, oil... done.  I no longer have the need to remove all evidence the gun was ever fired.  I cringe thinking about all the damage I must have done to bores with my mil-spec cleaning rods and super tight patches on a jag to get every last bit of carbon out of the barrel.

Since several of my guns do nothing but sit in the safe until someone asks, "do you have a?" a good clean and oil means it's clean next time I remember it's there.

Yeah, I'm making rationalizations and justifying myself!  Off to needlessly clean my guns!

To The Range!

Willard's bud, Ian is in the US for a while.

Turns out he'd never shot a Garand.

Can't think of a better excuse to go shooting!

Because the op-rod can be bended by commercial ammo I was nervous about the gallon zip-locks full of "Yugo" .30-06 soft points.

They shot gentle in the 03A3, so when Marv wanted the M1 experience we loaded up a couple clips.  Light loads wouldn't cycle the first two rounds per clip.  They would eject, but not grab the next round.  Rounds three to eight ran fine.

Greek surplus M2 ball ran fine before and after the Yugo... so...  Hey, free ammo!  Can't complain too much.

Everyone got a try on the Springfield and I confirmed that the magazine cut-off worked.

Ran a few rounds through Willard's No. 5 Mk I Jungle Carbine.  The rubber pad seems to focus the recoil rather than absorb it because it's much smaller than the standard butt.

Tried ZQ1 M80 NATO in the FAL.  First couple shots refuse to eject in typical undergassed fashion.  Two clicks more gas and it ran fine.  Finally shot my novelty Zombie Ammo.  Jasmine really likes the 168gr from Hornady; might have to get more of that.  Let Marv try her out with the ZQ1 and it starts choking again.  Another click of gas and back to normal.  Jasmine has run fine on MagTech and PMC and some corrosive surplus crap without touching the gas.  I think ZQ1 is the problem here.

Marv even drug out his 6.8.  We discovered it makes excellent groups with the XM6.8 85gr stuff Willard found, and it dislikes Remington 115gr.

Loads of fun!  Marv even hung around and played some dominoes with The Lovely Harvey and me.

12 November 2014

Meme Time

You are a: Objectivist Anarchist Non-Interventionist Liberal

Collectivism score: -100%
Authoritarianism score: -83%
Internationalism score: -33%
Tribalism score: 0%
Liberalism score: 33%

Take the quiz.

I got it from Silicon Graybeard who got it from Borepatch.

Standards

The Third Imperium, 11,000 plus worlds.

Considering that the US and Europe can't even agree on what kind of electricity to pump out the wall and Wal Mart will have about fifteen hunting rifle cartridges in the case (optimally) getting something to standardize and STAY standardized across that much space and population is a major undertaking.

For the Imperial armed forces, it's simpler.  "Here are the plans, go for it."  They have a pattern room sort of deal going and anyone who wants to make issue weapons for the Imperium must build to the exacting standard.

It will mean that changes to the armament of the troops will change very slowly.

Some things will become standardized and ossified out of practical reasons.  You're going to be able to find Type A Free Trader parts just about anywhere because it's the most common ship.  It's a risk to introduce a similar class of ship because there's no several hundred years of infrastructure already in place for it.  (I used this as the limiter on the players concerning the Far Trader)

The gear you can find everywhere is going to end up being the most popular and cause it to be more available in a self-reinforcing loop.

Individual worlds might go their own way, some forms of planetary governments kind of encourage it too.  There might not be standard 9mm Automatic Pistol ammo on such worlds! but the high port will have standard ammo, and will likely also carry the local stuff too (for collectors).

9th Circus

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/12/new-court-decision-likely-ends-california-restrictions-on-conceal-carry-permits/

Huzzah!

Vanity

Found out today that I'd be needing glasses.

That's not really unexpected since I was having trouble reading and I am on the downhill side of my 40's.

What is surprising me is how picky I suddenly am about frame style.

I'd been motoring along thinking that I didn't care so much, but now that I have to choose...  Do these make me look [fill in the blank]?

I just know this is going to cost me because I'm going to fall in love with the most expensive frames, lenses and options...

Receiving End

Something I don't see cited much concerning the lethality of 5.56x45mm is that the Russians copied the idea.

Vietnam provided lots of data for them to see if their round was better or worse than ours.

In 1974 they adopted a new version of the AK in a new round.  AK-74 and 5.45x39mm 7N6.

Because they're damn good at espionage, I suspect they had access to our data from Vietnam about the effectiveness of the 7.62x39mm M43 round.  Their picture of the comparative effectiveness is more complete than ours, really, because of our ongoing frustration about the NVA removing their fallen from the battlefield.

5.56x45mm M193 is actually a proven killer.  5.56x45mm M855 works too.  M855A1 should be even better from looking at the construction of the round.

They're all better killers than heavier rounds when you click it into our doctrines.  Past a certain range, it is not a rifle problem, but an artillery one.  Whether this is a sound doctrine is the real debate and if the range where the mortars take over for the rifles is longer, then something like 6.8 or 7.62x51mm would be more appropriate (depending on how much longer).  The debate about doctrine has to include a discussion about whether we're going to have the riflemen engage at ranges where they're supposed to be letting the arty or CAS take it.  Some of our anguish is being caused by taking shots at ranges the gun can't do the job at.  Ranges where the old 7.62x51mm guns would be working fine; but I alluded to something in an earlier post, the average grunt with an issue rifle can't really wring out the performance we're asking of them here.  A lot of the ineffectiveness of 5.56 can be safely attributed to didn't hit anything; and that grunt would miss with a heavier round too.

The Marines might be on a better track than the Army with universal issue of ACOGs and retaining the 20" barrels on their M16A4.  Canada's C7A2 has magnifying optics and the longer barrel as well, and there's no controversy from The Great White North about their small arms choices.

But inside a certain range, a hit is a hit and dead is dead regardless of which NATO rifle round used.

11 November 2014

Scale Reference

I mentioned once that space is big.

With the sun scaled to a grain of sand, the milky way model fits just inside Pluto's orbit.  I mentioned it before.

Another scale model!

Make the sun the size of a ball from a Bic pen (1.2mm). 8.62x10^-13!

Alpha Centuari is 22.11 miles away at this scale.

Pluto is 16' 7-5/16" (5.06m) from the sun.  Earth is a mere 5" (and it's an infinitesimal 0.01mm in diameter).

Glow stick blows up in kid's face

Darwin! Darwin! Darwin! Darwin! Darwin! Darwin! Darwin! Darwin!



HAPPY Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day is one of the few military holidays that's really not a somber occasion of remembrance.

Veteran's Day is the celebration of those who are still with us!

A "holy shit, we lived to be OLD!" day.

Hand me my walker, sonny, let's have a beer!

It's About Time


Google finally remembered what country they're based in and put up an appropriate pic.  Good job!

Bing continues a tradition of doing these days right... (Remembrance Day rather than Veteran's Day)



As always, find your favorite vet and take them to lunch, dinner, strip club, a movie, or buy them a drink.  Listen to their old stories for the hundredth time like you'd never heard them before.

Remind a politician that there's a huge population of vets who are essentially abandoned for having the luck to serve where there was no shooting.  I bring this up because that whole Berlin Wall going down 25 years ago, the Cold War Vets did that without firing a shot.

On Veteran's Day



If you don't have a DD214, this day isn't yours.

10 November 2014

Subtle Starfighter Tweaking

The F-104 is an included NPC plane in Strike Fighters 2.  The CF-104A and F-104G are part of SF2 Europe and the F-104 and F-104C are part of a DLC.

In days of yore, there was an F-104 that came with SF1.

Through INI editing, you could place a cockpit in the plane's folder and make it a flyable plane.

Which worked, but there were some small issues.  Not least of which was the wings roots were visible and not connected to anything.  Plus the late F-104C has a refueling probe that was invisible from the cockpit.

Turns out the issue was solved with extra INI editing.  You had to extract the data.ini file from the games .cat and .dlc files then change the "ShowFromCockpit=FALSE" to "ShowFromCockpit=TRUE" for both the nose and the fuselage.

While this makes the fuselage appear in the mirrors, it also left a double canopy frame visible.

Changing the nose back to false hides the probe, but lets the wings be attached.


It turns out that the old data in the cockpit ini file from SF1 puts the cockpit in the wrong place!  Too high and too far to the rear.

So I changed it.


A little hard to see.  This also has the effect of letting the cockpit model cover the "nose" model so I could have the probe be visible again.


As I said, it's subtle...

With cockpit in original position (before making any changes):


Cockpit in original position after making the fuselage visible.


Relocated:

09 November 2014

Diatribe

The top ten reasons that Libertarians talk down aren't nice to you has really put a burr under my saddle.

I am not sure where to begin.

I guess for openers, most "libertarians" are anything but.  Most of the sites I used to read are anarchist sites (including the one linked notice the anarchy A in his tab-icon).  While there's a lot of freedom in anarchy, the day I decide to keep you distracted while Harvey shoots you in the back means the anarchy is over and the tyranny of Thag has begun.

There's a clue there.  When we band against you, we're stronger.  When they band against me, they're stronger.

Anarchy falls apart at a touch and it's a shitty way to do things because it's might makes right.

Banding together against danger is a very simian way of dealing with it.  Humans are simians.

Our tasty chess club brains and superior banding abilities allowed us to become superior tool users too.

The question I keep coming to about libertarianism is "who is the enforcer?"  Who keeps me honest?  Who keeps YOU honest?  What happens when we both claim to have been cheated?  What happens when we both refuse to agree about an arbitrator?  Fight it out?

The non aggression principle is kinda neat, but...  Lets say you cheated me in a deal.  I'm pretty sure that's rated as aggression on most libertarian sites.  What recourse do I have?  What if you're too strong for me to take what is owed?  What if I convince my neighbor to help?  My neighbor you did not cheat or harm in any way.  Is my neighbor now guilty of aggression?

Look, you're claiming both that you're smarter than I am and that this is simple; why can't you explain it to me so I understand?

Then it hits me!  The person generating that ten point list is dishonest!  They're at least lying to themselves and because they are unable to be true to themselves, they cannot be true to us.

#10:  Ridicule only works if your victim is worried about what you think of them or that your words matter to someone else who matters to them.  Ridicule primarily serves to mask a lack of position or standing on the part of the person being insulting.  The main response to being ridiculed is an entrenchment of their position, not abandonment.  By mocking people you are making yourself look foolish and making it harder to convince anyone.

#9:  If you're not trying to convince anyone, why are you talking; always talking?  Why is it that you're so ineffective at convincing the people who've no ideology already if you're not trying to convince someone like me who has one?  You are literally conceding that any ideology is superior to yours by not attempting to change anyones mind.

#8:  Then stop running candidates.  Stop campaigning.  Otherwise you're lying about winning or lying about convincing people.

#7:  Back at you.  If it didn't come from your team, the "great" libertarian theorists, you reject it out of hand.  I did spend a lot more than ten minutes on this and YOU WERE FOUND WANTING!  It showed me that you haven’t taken so much as 10 minutes out of your miserable life to even make the slightest effort to understand how people really work.  I understand what you are proposing, what you're refusing to see is why it really won't work no matter how hard you wish it were otherwise.  Yes, Virginia, there is no utopia.

#6:  Why are there no answers to these questions then?  "What if" is the damn near the most paramount question a person can ask and your response is "because choices"?  Did you spend more than ten minutes on this?

#5:  I can't teach you economics in 140 characters or less either.  Oh wait, YES I CAN!  "Supply and demand, that's it."  29 characters including spaces and punctuation.  See how unsatisfying cop-out answers are?  Actually studying economics really underlined the portion that I'd seen over and over in anarchist site after libertarian site.  Libertarian economics is very selective about it, and a lie of omission is still a lie.

#4:  I refused membership in Mensa.  "Society of people who should have their IQ tattooed on their forehead" is a more apt description.  What the tests for such organizations actually test for is an ability to learn.  An ability that very few of them seem to apply to anything at all; or apply too narrowly.  What good does calculus do when you need to change a tire?  Besides, if you're smarter than me, why can't you manage to teach me?  Why can't you formulate a convincing argument to get me to abandon my ideology?  You're smart?  Start proving it.  By the way, exactly how valid is a universal moral philosophy that requires a minimum IQ that's three standard deviations above the norm?

#3:  I will agree here.  What's not justified is the smug sense of superiority.  Especially since so very few of you are willing to live your morals.  Paid any taxes once you became enlightened?  If so, you've compromised your moral principles by the mere threat of force, no real force needed to be applied to you, did it?  With all the compromises and concessions you've made, it's no wonder nobody takes you seriously.

#2:  No, you're asking for everything.  Yes you are.  What you are demanding is the abandonment of a basic structure of human interaction that has been hammered into a working system since before we had a way to store knowledge outside of living memory.  To ask people to abandon a flawed, but functioning, system requires you be very convincing.  Your arguments need to be air tight, and account for all of the variables (including "what if?").

#1:  While it's not something I'm proud of, it's human nature.  Something that libertarians flat refuse to fully take into account.  Sooner or later any system of interaction between people is going to resort to force and violence.  It's because we're people.  Divide and conquer works and if you come pre-fragemented you're not even making your conqueror work for the divide part.

Be Honest

You bought the AK because ammo was cheap.

Be honest with yourself even if you're aren't to me.

Happy Birthday Lex!

Never let it be said that we've forgotten him.


F/A-18A from VFA-25 Fist of the Fleet, which I think was Lex's first gig.


F-16N from VF-45 Blackbirds.

I don't have a VFA-192 Golden Dragons skin for a hornet...


F/A-18C from VFA-94 Mighty Shrikes, which I think he was CO.


His last ride and the one that ultimately did him in, dammit.  Kfir C2 from the Smashing Parrots Squadron, I think this tail number becomes N404AX when ATAC puts it into service.

08 November 2014

Former Friend

Every once and a while I'll google people who've left my life.

Many times I am thankful they're no longer present!

Finding recent arrest records is getting to be depressingly common.

Medieval Metallica!

A New Meme

Kitty Facepalm!


Image shamelessly stolen from Tam.

History Repeating

I wrote in Nov 2006...

BAM! We have a Republican Congress.

What this does not indicate: A full-on endorsement of the American people of the Republican platform. What it probably indicates is that people were rejecting the current incarnation of the Democrat party and this was the only way to wake them up and get them to listen.

Which is a damn shitty way to make course corrections.

When you have only two viable parties, you create a situation where the rejection of A is a de facto endorsement of B. And when B acts like the got an endorsement, they tend to get nuked the next cycle.

As in 2006, people don't care who is expanding government into every aspect of their lives, but they've got so very little real choice about who gets to be in congress.

Sci Fi Vs Sci Fy

Fy isn't a thing, but I needed something...

This is science fiction vs science fantasy.

Niven and Pournelle provided the real distinction.

Science fiction is simply a fiction story with a novel setting which is internally consistent.

Science fantasy is a futuristic setting without such internal consistency.

Niven expounded on it a bit too, I'm going to paraphrase from memory about it.  The advanced technology has implications to it.  Internally consistent worlds simply allow the unwanted implications to happen and work with them.

"Safe at Any Speed" was written to express his disgust at how bad his miraculous technology had become in his "Known Space" setting.  The full implications of the autodoc were explored in the last Beowulf Schaffer story too.

Contrast with Star Trek.  How many miracles have been shown stemming from that damn transporter?  Miracles that served the plot for one episode then disappear never to be mentioned again and never affecting anything or anyone else?

Internally consistent universes have rules.  Rules that cannot be broken to serve the plot or the needs of the writers.

You can get away with a lot by simply not explaining things, but once you do you have to remember your explanation and stick to it.

This is how Traveller got its super crunchy reputation.  The universe has rules and they are adhered to, if for no other reason than players and GM's hold each other tightly to such things to prevent themselves from being screwed by the other.  Like an adversarial court system.

Things like looking at how light behaves and seeing how that limits the ranges of staple sci-fi items like lasers; then giving the weapon ranges in those limited terms.  No matter how disappointingly short they seem.

Things like there being no hiding against the back-drop of space and despite this sensors not being much more effective than "there's something there in the right temperature range to be manned" until you're disappointingly close.

Things like deciding the energy density of your battery equivalent then seeing how big that makes the power-pack then concluding that a pistol sized laser is silly.  Think Desert Eagle with a full fanny pack and a garden hose connecting them.  That was LBB Traveller.  GURPS Traveller's power cells are more dense, so the laser pistol is a thing there.  I think that Mongoose Traveller has a laser pistol as well (when the laptop croaked it took my pdf with it).

But making a pistol sized laser practical made all of the rifle sized weapons either lighter and smaller or gave them a lot more shots compared to the original material.  It's a decent example of expectation trade-off.  The stats of the man-portable lasers from LBB Traveller were designed with game balance in mind not physics (although they did back-track the physics).  GURPS had its own tech assumptions before they got the Traveller property and they hammered GDWs creation to fit.  Each is consistent with itself, so still crunchy.

Oddly, Star Wars has played a fairly decent game of being consistent with itself (mostly because Lucas had a vision of how things should look and being consistent with that vision trends towards internal consistency).  The writing hasn't always been great, but...