Friday, May 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Shortly after the [Minneapolis Internal Affairs Report] was issued, a battalion of MFD firefighters was deployed to MPD HQ to extinguish Chief Dolan's pants."

-Joel Rosenberg

War on Work

Found via Chris. Go buy a cookbook.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Crystal Skull Vodka

A few weeks ago, I ordered a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka from Wally's Wines.

The bottle scores a 10 of 10 for coolness.

The vodka scores a mere 9 of 10, if you were to be rating the taste of rubbing alcohol, as opposed to the taste of supposedly high-end vodka. Yuck. A strong foretaste of isopropyl followed by grimaces, groans, and vodka snobs laughing at me as they wait their turn to make the same faces.

Buy it for the bottle and don't ever open it.

Or open it, dump it out and fill it with Ketel One. An informal side-by-side comparison rates the KO much higher than Akroyd's personal brand.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Local Activism

First, the socialist ninnies:
The Welfare Rights Committee started in 1992. We are group of low-income people fighting so poor families can survive, not just for now, but for the future.

You do NOT have a right to my life, or my work. If you don't like your station in life, go to school, get a better job, do something! Don't try to take what I have worked for.

Next, the pro-terrorist pacifists, presented without comment:
In the fall of 1981, ten women began to meet in Loretta’s Tea Room in Minneapolis to figure out how to most effectively respond to the threat of nuclear war....

Z is for Zombie

Found on My First Dictionary.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Lesson

Sunday, my son went to visit a friend. His bike went with. When I picked him up, the bike got wedged in to the cargo area of my car, hanging over the back seat, tangled in the boxes of stuff that live in my car.

Monday, my wife reminded me to take the bike out of the car. I told her I wanted some help to guide the bike up and over all of the obstacles and snags, without breaking, tearing or beating anything in the car. It would be easier that way. We forgot.

Tuesday, while getting ready in the morning, my son told his little sister that he was going to ride his bike to daycare. I informed him that he couldn't, as his bike was still in my car and we were running late.

He informed me that he took it out of the car, by himself, the previous evening, without breaking, ripping, or beating anything in the car.

There's my lesson in humility.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nanny State Nonsense

Not only is driving without a seat belt becoming a primary offense(we can get pulled over for not wearing a seat belt, now), but adults are now forced to wear seat belts in the rear seat.

Can't let an adult make an adult decision, can we?

Magical Thinking in Government

How does an executive decree create a technological breakthrough?

Cultist Idiocy

...students, staff and community members at Webster Magnet Elementary voted earlier this month to change the school's name to "Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary."

What, exactly, has he done to deserve any form of memorial, so far? He campaigned on "I'm not Bush" and has run his office with a policy of "Just like the last guy, only moreso".

If my kids were in that district, they would be open-enrolled into another school. Not just because of the name, but because of the "service learning" nonsense.

Service-learning is an exciting, hands-on approach to education taking place in a wide variety of settings: in schools and universities, and in community-based and faith-based organizations throughout the country. The core concept driving this educational strategy is that by combining service objectives and learning objectives, along with the intent to show measurable change in both the recipient and the provider of the service, the result is a radically-effective transformative method of teaching students.

Translation: We don't know how to teach, so we're going to skip that, and tell your kids that their entire worth is decided by how much they do for others. No accomplishments necessary, just do whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

Shameful Senate Session

Senator Latz:

I watched the final 10 minutes of the session last night. The way the tax bill was forced through, with no debate, or even time to read it, was shameful. Basic questions were ignored. This is not the way the Senate is supposed to work.

Anybody who voted 'yea' on this bill should be ashamed of himself. You should be ashamed of yourself, not only for helping to force this bill through, unread and undebated, but for voting for a bill that raises the tax burden of every single productive citizen of Minnesota.


Video found via Mitch Berg.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun Little Game

I'm glad this game restricts me to 5 minutes per day, or I'd be hosed at work.

Wanna fight?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poor planning

It's a shame the "green" planners in Troy, MI forgot to scrape the snow off of the solar panels on their million dollar trailer house.

Whodathunkit? Heat, in a cold state? Who needs it?

Water pipes, that's who.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Security in Your Home, Part 5: The Safe Room

Most bedrooms can be converted to a safe room in which you can securely isolate yourself from intruders for a minimal cost. If an intruder enters your house, this is the room in which the family should gather. The door should be reinforced, and there should be a way to call for help. I strongly suggest you put your cell phone charger in this room and keep your cell phone in this room at night. When you enter your safe room in an emergency, first brace the door, then call the police.

To upgrade a room to a safe room, install a solid-core door with a 2x4 brace against the floor using these steps(as explained by Prof. Joe Olson):

    1. Get a 2x4 about 6 feet long.
    2. Cut off two 4" blocks.
    3. Install one block on the back of the door about 3.5 feet from the floor and the other block on the floor about 3.5 feet back from the door. Use three #12 screws about 2.5 inches long to solidly attach the blocks.
    4. The remainder of the 2x4 should slide between the blocks at approximately a 45 degree angle. Shape the ends of the 2x4 so it fits easily.
    5. Once installed, it's easier to go through the wall than the door
Make sure to modify the door the same way that was explained in part 3 of this series. Install a heavy-duty strike plate and secure it with screws at least three inches long. Secure the hinges the same way, and consider adding an extra hinge in the middle of the door.

Put your cell phone in your safe room. If this isn't practical, for some reason, get an old cell phone. Put it, and its charger, in your safe room. Most older phones will still work to call 911. To test this, dial a number that is not 911. You should get a connection and some form of automated system. If this is the case, you now have an emergency phone. Leave it plugged in at all times, to ensure a charged battery.

Windows are a weak point in a bedroom that serves as a safe room. They need to be legal fire escapes, which precludes most forms of inexpensive or discreet barricades. Pegged double-hung or casement(crank) windows provide more security than most other low-cost and discreet options. Windows also provide a possible exit, if you are sure it is safe to leave.

Keep your keys in your safe room. This will not only prevent the easy theft of your car, but, if you have an alarm or panic button on your key-chain, you can wake up the neighborhood with your car's alarm system and provide a loud beacon for responding police.

Your safe room is also the place to store defensive weapons. If a firearm is legally and psychologically available to you, keep it here. There are numerous storage methods that allow quick access while still keeping your gun out of unauthorized hands. If you are not willing or able to use a firearm, a taser, pepper-spray, or even a baseball bat should be kept here.

Zombe Preparation

Z.A.P.T. is a team of people who prepare and train to SURVIVE a zombie apocalypse. Z.A.P.T. and S.T.U.D. are NOT zombie hunters or a zombie elimination service.

It is the belief of Z.A.P.T. that the occurance of the dead returning to life and devouring the living would be a global threat of unparalleled proportions, and by training for this scenario will adequately prepare them for almost any other natural or man-made disaster.

Z.A.P.T. is NOT a private militia.

Z.A.P.T. is NOT open to general recruitment.


As seen on G4 Underground.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Feel insignificant.

Found here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

They've never met

a tax they didn't like.


1) Double the tax on alcohol. At least the welfare folks will start paying taxes. A disproportionately regressive tax? Say it ain't so!

2) Tax the wealthiest 5%. Tax the people rowing the boat. Great plan, if you want the highly trained and mostly irreplaceable folks to Go Galt. Remove the incentive to kill yourself over 10 years of college and six figure education bills. What's the motivation to succeed? So other people can live off of your wealth?

3) Excess credit card interest tax. Boost the economy by forcing the lenders to stop lending because they can't turn a profit. Alternatively, they can raise their rates even higher to accommodate the new tax. There's no such thing as a corporate tax. The new costs get passed directly to the consumer, making this, yet again, a disproportionately regressive tax on the people least able to afford it.

Our politicians are idiots.

A Liar?

Nancy Pelosi would never lie about her knowledge of harsh interrogation techniques, would she? If she admitted she knew, she'd lose her "holier than thou" cred.

It's a shame that stuff is all documented, isn't it, Nancy?
Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.
It's also a shame that your district is to stupid to vote you out.

Freddy's Back, redone.

So now Freddy's murder is justified? He's a good guy who was wronged, and that's why he's a dick? Geez, I hope not. That'll kill the series.
Freddy is accused of a heinous act that he didn’t commit, resulting in the molotov-throwing lynchmob that does him in. Thirteen years later, Freddy returns to gut the kids that accused him of the crime he didn’t commit.
And worse: "Freddy is no longer a wise-cracking jokester with groovy one-liners."

Hair Loss

This morning, after I dropped the brats off at daycare, Brat I looks at me and says, "Dad, we're having a party in Spanish class today. I need to bring salsa."

That's the second time this week this has happened.

Right-wing extremism

So, the problem with right-wing extremists is that we believe in an objective reality, as opposed to consensus reality?

Here's a clue for you, Ms. Robinson:

What is, is. No consensus is needed to define reality. No popular vote can change reality.

When the foundation of an argument is that reality is fluid and subject to "feelings", further discussion is futile. "You need to succumb to my delusion" is not a valid argument.

Found via Kevin.

Woohoo! Responsibility at last!

I cut off your leg, but you can have your toe back.

Meaningless Law of the Day

So tell, folks-who-think-they-can-legislate-behavior-successfully, how do you intend to enforce this? It's not possible. You just passed a law strictly because it feels good.
Sex offenders: No Internet
Predatory offenders won't be able to My Space, FaceBook or Twitter

Associated Press

The highest-risk sex offenders will face limits on their Internet access under a bill the Minnesota Legislature voted unanimously to send to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Starting in August 2010, pedatory offenders put on intensive supervised release won't be able to access, create or maintain a personal Web page or social networking account if it permits contact with anyone under 18. The restrictions apply to chat rooms, instant messaging and popular sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Quote of the Day

This calls for a new bumper sticker. "My C average student wasted your thug-ass kid while breaking and entering." Hopefully the parents of this slimeball will be forced to pay to have the carpets cleaned after their worthless spawn bled all over it.


Public Service Announcement

If someone has your throat in his hands, he is trying to kill you. Don't let him.

FromProfessor LawDog's School of Survival and Mayhem:
Do not practice this at half-speed with a sparring partner.

There is a very real risk of death or serious bodily injury here, and I do not want to hear that you accidentally paralyzed your Pookie during training -- so practice this in super-slow motion anytime you are training with a partner.

Now. Visualize your own personal critter with both hands around your throat, squeezing. If you are a woman, and a man is squeezing your throat -- it is deadly force. Even if he "didn't mean to do it", it is far too easy to damage the airway, damage the blood vessels in the neck, crush the larynx or fracture the delicate bones in your neck. Getting you by the throat just elevated this jackass from 'Critter' to 'Personal Chew-Toy'.

Notice, do, that it is impossible for your attacker to bring his elbows together -- his shoulders prevent it. In addition, 99% of your assailants are going to bend their elbows out at a forty to ninety degree angle to get better leverage to kill you.

It is this space between his elbows that we are going to play with.

First, I want you to spot your chew-toy's chin. Eying his chin, I want you to drive your right elbow straight up between his arms and upwards through his chin to his forehead.

Let me repeat that -- drive through his chin and past his forehead. If you are left-handed, do this with your left elbow.

If his chin is too far away -- doubtful, but possible -- drive the palm of the proper hand through his chin and past his forehead.

Our purpose here is two-fold. One, we want our upper arm/shoulder between chew-toy's hands. Two, we want to slam the Brain Housing Group back on the pivot of the spine.

Several things may happen at this point. Your personal chew-toy may bite his tongue, lose teeth, break his jaw, and/or damage the delicate joint between the Atlas vertebrae (the first cervical vertebrae) and the skull. What we're really going for, though, is the wet squelch when the inside of his forehead slams into his grey matter.

So, you now have your elbow up around your forehead. At this point, I want you to whip your elbow out and down so that your elbow ends up somewhere behind the proper side kidney. If you have the presence of mind, feel free to step back with the right foot as you do this, to provide extra power.

Again, if you are doing this with your left hand, switch the above instructions as required.

Observe that this forces the lever of your upper arm and shoulder against the fingers, and brings the power of your shoulder and upper back muscles to bear against the chew-toy's forearm muscles. You will rip that particular hand away from your neck -- there is nothing he can do with that hand to prevent this.

As your elbow comes back, spot your chew-toy's jaw. On the side towards your elbow, I want you to fix your attention to the spot midway between the point of his chin and the hinge of the jaw. Keeping your gaze on that spot, I want you to pivot your hips counter-clockwise (clockwise, if you're a southpaw). If you stepped back with your foot earlier -- now step forward. As you pivot your hips, crank your waist hard counter-clockwise (or clockwise) and throw your left shoulder back and your right one forward.

Using this whiplash motion, slam your right elbow into that spot on his jaw you are focused upon. Force your elbow through his mouth, continuing pivotting counter-clockwise -- and you are facing to your left (or right).

Again, several things may happen at this point. Any teeth that escaped breakage earlier are probably now gone. The jaw may be broken (again), and you may have damaged the delicate joint between the Atlas and Axis (C1 and C2) vertebrae at the top of his spine. Again, though, what we're going for is a thorough beat-down of his cerebral tissue using the inside of his skull.

Hey, look. You ended the exercise facing left (or right). Time to run like hell for safety and call 911.

Always, always, always call 911, because the first person to talk to the cops has an incredible advantage -- and you don't want your chew toy to get his story in first.

Three simple, albeit brutal, moves: 1)Up; 2)Down/out; and 3)Across. Practice it slowly ten times a day, and let adrenaline add the speed and force should you ever (Goddess forfend) need to use it for real.

Class dismissed.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Taliban vs Iran

Who should get the nukes? The guys who want to rule the world, or the guys who want to burn it down and rule the ashes?

If the wrong people get nukes, expect them to be used in the civilized world within a week.

Survival Guide

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Truth About Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Truth About Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer The Truth About Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum Raw, detailed thoughts and opinions on how to hire a criminal defense lawyer, with tips on being a good client.

Quote of the Day

Death Penalty Lawyers

Murder is no time to be shopping around for a deal or someone with no experience in the death penalty (even if you are not facing the death penalty). Find one and mortgage your home. Murder is a six-figure world.
-Brian Tannebaum
Don't forget, killing someone in self defense is legally murder, with an affirmative defense.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reason to carry a gun, #542,138

Violent thugs do not get cooperation. Cooperation encourages thuggery. At best, you have even odds to escape unscathed if you cooperate with a violent criminal. An armed response is the most reliable method of ensuring you go home in one piece.
He turned around and saw three men about a block away but thought nothing of it and continued walking, police said.

According to police reports, he was then punched in the back of the head and knocked to the ground where he was punched another 10 to 15 times in the head and face by the three unidentified men.
Deter, detect, delay, destroy.

Carry a gun-everywhere, every day. This victim was lucky the thugs stopped at taking his teeth and his wallet. They obviously have no respect for life or property. Unnecessary viciousness is a hallmark of modern street crime. Defend yourself in the best way possible.

Sacred Duty

Every parent has a sacred duty to their children. Our duty is to nurture, protect and prepare our children to successfully navigate the real world.

Sometimes, protecting our offspring comes with a price. A small baby, helpless, crying in his mother's arms as she lay dying. A mother, sheltering her child against a vicious attack, protecting him with her last breath. In my mind, her last words, for nobody but her son, were "I love you, baby."

Requiscat in Pace, ma'am.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Minnesota Socialism

Minnesota Poll: Don't tax me, tax my neighbor

That kind of says it all.

If you tax the productive members of society to fund the unproductive, you are encouraging the people who generate wealth to stop driving our economy and start draining it. It really is that simple. You encourage productivity by letting people keep their money. You encourage sloth by giving people money to stay home and watch Springer.

The comments are full of jealous socialists pining for the easy life, without having the drive to earn it.

Letter From a Soldier in Afghanistan

Sarah Albrycht

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.

~ Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

A few nights ago, I walked a quiet mile with hundreds of other service members. It was a clear night in Bagram, Afghanistan. Although it was late, the birds were singing, perhaps roused by the unusual occurrence of people walking under their trees at the late hour. Soft voices broke the solemnity, but no words were discernible. Suddenly, as if on cue, soldiers, airmen, seamen, marines, broke off the sidewalk and lined the road, spacing themselves regularly and assuming a position of silent watchfulness. The honor cordon had formed.

Heads began to turn right as flashing blue lights appeared far down the road. As the vehicles neared, one by one, service members assumed the position of attention and rendered the hand salute. In the back of an open truck sat eight military members, and between them, at their feet, was a flag draped casket.

As I rendered my salute, I thought about the fallen soldier. I did not know his name, his unit or his home. I never saw his face or spoke to his family. I did not know why he volunteered for the Army or what he was doing when he was killed. But there was much I did know. I knew he had fought and died in an honorable cause, a cause that had little to do with our policy on Afghanistan. This soldier had volunteered to put his very life on the line in service to his nation and his brothers-in-arms. I see no more honorable cause that that.

In a column, Mr. Putney has again raised the debate about the sacrifice of America's "sons and daughters" in uniform. Some have argued that we must continue the fight to honor their memory "so that they have not died in vain." Others argue we must stop the wars to save soldiers from this fate. I think an essential understanding of what motivates those of us in uniform is missing in this debate.

We are not your sons and daughters, whom you must protect and defend. We are your sword and your shield. We are men and women who volunteer to place our lives on the line so you do not have to. We do not decide when or where we will be sent. We go. You are our advocates, not our parents.

We trust you to care for our families, to hold our jobs, pay for our equipment, salary and medical care and yes, to honor our sacrifice. We trust you to vote for good political leadership, to speak out against bad policy decisions and to demand public accountability. However, we do not count on you to explain the honorable character of our service. We are ennobled by the very fact we serve.

Our "high moral cause" is one of service to a nation whose principles we believe in. We miss the point of political debate when we distill it down to numbers of service member deaths. Debate should be about the policy that leads us in or pulls us out of war. I, as a soldier, am personally insulted when debate about war becomes not about policy, but about deaths, because it implies that my service is at best uninformed or ill-conceived, and at worst valueless.

I know my life is in the hands of others because I choose for it to be that way. I am not your daughter, a child who must be guided. I have made my choice and pledge my honor to it. I will thank you to remember that because we serve our nation, none of us dies in vain, regardless of the cause; end of debate.

Every day a new Marine enlists or an airman puts on her uniform is a reminder that our defenders come from people who still believe in our nation and the values it aspires to, as flawed as we sometimes are. War does not make our sacrifice honorable, death does not make our service honorable; service itself is our honor.

We, your American service members, do not see the cause for which we may give our last full measure of devotion, as our nation's goals in Iraq or Afghanistan, and perhaps that is the difference. Our cause is our nation, in all her beautiful, imperfect glory.

So on a dark night in Afghanistan we stood under a velvet sky of a million stars to honor one man who lay under 50. We never doubted what he died for. Pfc. Patrick A. Devoe II died for you, the United States of America. That, Mr. Putney, is no goof.

Sarah Albrycht is a Bennington native serving in the Army in Afghanistan.

Found via Kevin.