Saturday, November 19, 2005

Not harsh enough by half

(Via Drudge)

An Ohio judge has sentenced a woman who abandoned cats in a local park to 14 days in jail. Oh, and a night in one of the local parks so she can get a taste of what it's like to be an abandoned cat.

Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael A. Cicconetti on Thursday sentenced Murray, 25, of Painesville Township, to jail time. But he added a stipulation to ensure that Murray "suffer the same consequences as those kittens."

"You can listen to the coyotes, hear the raccoons in the dark of night," said Cicconetti, who grew increasingly annoyed at Murray's apology attempts in court.

Good for Judge Cicconetti, although I wouldn't have suspended any jail time, and she'd have done the entire 90 days in the park.

Of course, if I'd really had my way, she'd be dropped off 100 miles from the nearest town, with the clothes on her back and a pocket knife. "Civilization is that way," I'd point, then climb back in the chopper and fly out. If she gets back, fine--she's served her sentence. If she doesn't, fine too. She's suffered an appropriate punishment.

Second infraction is a bullet to the back of the head.

The lowest place in Hell is reserved for child molesters and those who abandon animals.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What Hero are you?

(Via the GeekWithA.45)

Me, I'm Maximus.

You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.



Lara Croft


Indiana Jones


Batman, the Dark Knight


James Bond, Agent 007


William Wallace


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Terminator


The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"


El Zorro


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Sony--not done just yet

Wired reporter Bruce Schneier has this interesting piece on the Sony BMG music rootkit fiasco. It's interesting to see how long this thing was floating around out there before it was noticed and the major security software publishers lack of interest in updating their software to deal with it.

Given the cost of using Windows or a Mac, the security issues with Windows and the ever-increasing copy-protection crap on both platforms, open source is looking better all the time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

Benjamin Barton of the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) College of Law has written an essay (abstract and full paper available here) examining the government apparent in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. If his point of view is correct, it's a pretty dark sort of government, run by and for bureaucrats.

Given Ms. Rowling is from the UK, is that any surprise?

Consider this partial list of government activities: a) torturing children for lying; b) utilizing a prison designed and staffed specifically to suck all life and hope out of the inmates; c) placing citizens in that prison without a hearing; d) allows the death penalty without a trial; e) allowing the powerful, rich or famous to control policy and practice; f) selective prosecution (the powerful go unpunished and the unpopular face trumped-up charges); g) conducting criminal trials without independent defense counsel; h) using truth serum to force confessions; i) maintaining constant surveillance over all citizens; j) allowing no elections whatsoever and no democratic lawmaking process; k) controlling the press.

Yep, sounds familier. Overstated, but familier.

I am humbled in the presence of greatness

Now this gentleman is a reloader!

The feminine side of gun rights

Wendy McElroy, writing for FOXNews, explores gun rights and gun ownership from a feminine perspective. Very interesting and chocked full of facts on gun ownership trends in the US.

And the light bulb is finally lit is reporting that Sony has decided to do the right thing and recall their copy protection-infested music CDs.

Of course, this is after several new flaws were discovered that allow enterprising crackers even more ways to take over a Sony-compromised PC.

Somehow, I think it is just simpler to stick to CD players.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #38

A Veteran's Day special edition of the Carnival of Cordite awaits you here.

You gotta love that picture of Patton.

Spec Ops?

(From FreedomSight)

You gotta be kidding. Me?!

You scored as Special Ops. Special ops. Your sneaky, tactful, and a loner. You prefer to do your jobs alone, working where you don't come into contact with people. But everyonce in a while you hit it big and are noticed and given fame. Your given the more sensitive problems. You get things done, and do what has to be done.


Special Ops






Combat Infantry






Support Gunner




Which soldier type are you?
created with

National Ammo Day

I need to remind you that Saturday is

Get out there and buy a 100 rounds. Send a message.

Our financial house of cards

(Noted on TimeBomb 2000)

USATODAY notes that we have A 'fiscal hurricane' on the horizon.

Pithy quotes include:

"We face a demographic tsunami" that "will never recede," David Walker [Comptroller General of the US--FH] tells a group of reporters. "Social Security is Grenada," Holtz-Eakin [Congressional Budget Office--FH] says. "Medicare is Vietnam."

Myself, I like the phrase they didn't use: Inter-generational warfare. Barring changes, I believe it will come to that as Generation X, Generation Y and all those that come after see ever-increasing portions of their paychecks disappear into the ever-widening maw of our entitlement programs.

As someone who was born at the very end of the Baby Boom, I gave up on the prospect of collecting Social Security over 20 years ago when I did the math. I wonder what will happen when the Generation-whatevers figure out that they were well and truly screwed by their grandparents, and decide that "Enough's enough!"?

Monday, November 14, 2005

A weekend at the range

Well, not the whole weekend, but a goodly portion of it at any rate.

As I mentioned earlier, Friday was a trip to the range with my Dad and a certain Mountain Man. I went lightly loaded with the M-1 Carbine (for my favorite veteran to shoot) and my SAR-8, both of which I'm working on sighting in. The Mountain Man brought several items, including his rather incredible AR-10 with the Leupold scope and his Eagle M4gery.

The M-1 most definitely needs some further work with the sights. Some questioning on The High Road led me to the information that M-1 Carbines were all made with over-tall front sights, and sighting in is accomplished by filing down the front sight. I've been a little leary about filing the sight, but after having my Dad shoot it for a while, I've come to the conclusion that it's going to have to happen. It isn't me; it really does shoot consistantly low.

It seems that the same will need to happen to the SAR-8 (which is a clone of the HK-91, made by Springfield Armory). I finally invested in the proper rear sight adjustment tool, and have now discovered that there is "only" about 1' of elevation adjustment at 100 yards. This isn't enough, as it left me about 6" low. Setting the rear to the 300 meter setting adjusted the POI to 1-2" high. So I guess I'm going to have to center things back up, then take a file to the front sight of it as well.

Damn, this is a scary thought. I'm filing on my guns. E-E-E-K!

I guess I'll take the gun vise with me to the range, and just plan on a really long day. Take a few swipes with the file, test fire. Repeat until correct.

Even with the sights a bit off and his eyes bothering him, Dad was pretty much on target. Still, it was frustrating to him, and after a while with the M-1, the Mountain Man let him try the M4gery, which is fitted with a red dot sight.

Warning to Bad Guys. My Dad will hit you, 20 of 20 at 100 yards. In the head. I have the target to prove it. I probably better keep him away from gun stores, or he may have a setup like this soon. Then again, if I can borrow it occasionally....

My Dad also brought two of his war trophies, a Walther 6.35 pistol (that's .25 auto for us Americans) and a Beretta 7.65 (.32 auto), both of which he "obtained" during WWII. Further warning to Bad Guys: He sees just fine up close. They may be little pistols, but he doesn't miss. I can state this categorically after watching him fire several magazines.

Sunday was a "Take the Kids to Shoot" day. This time it was a .22 kind of day, just one of those days to go out and relax with something that goes bang cheaply but often. We took a Marlin 10/22 with a 4x scope, the old Sears/Marlin 81 that's fast becoming my favorite .22, and the venerable Remington Sportmaster 512.

You know, it's strange. My children think it's great fun to see how many holes you can poke in an innocent piece of paper. Of course, the lose interest when you can't find much target to count the holes in, but then they just go on to shooting used shotshells at 50 and 100 yards. Daughter was doing this from a bag rest at 100 yards--with iron sights.

Me, I had to content myself with shooting spray paint can tops at 100 yards with the little 4x scoped Sears/Marlin, using a post for an improvised rest. I'm getting old--I can't even see a shotshell at 100 yards, scope or not.

Survival information from an unlikely source

One of the things I love about being a geek is that other geeks are interested in the most fascinating things. Like survivalism.

Oh, they don't really realize it, and they'd deny it if you called them on it, but they are. Don't believe me? Check out this report from Wired on the long-term edibility of various items stored for as long as 28 years.

28 year old oatmeal, huh? Who else but a geek would have considered trying this? Well, OK, besides somebody who was really stoned out of their gourd....

If this is success...

God save the French from failure, is all I can say.

Overnight, the number of car-torchings "— a barometer of the unrest " dropped sharply, with youths setting fire to 284 vehicles, compared to 374 the previous night, police said Monday.

I suppose it is an improvement over 1,200 per night, but the fact that any cars are burned indicates a continuing problem, at least as I would see it.

Perhaps the French will take it seriously when they graduate to burning cars in nicer neighborhoods.

Perhaps it's time to start getting concerned

(Via Drudge)

I've been watching the "bird flu" story with a cross of interest and amusement. Interest because it is important from a survivalist point of view; amusement due to the near-hysteric play it's received in some of the non-mainstream press.

Maybe it's time to be less amused:

Scientists in Vietnam believe the H5N1 bird flu strain has mutated, allowing it to breed more effectively in mammals, though not necessarily in humans, online newspaper VnExpress said yesterday.

Score one (sorta) for the consumer is reporting two pieces of good news on the Sony rootkit copy protection scheme from Hell story:

Sony has decided that making its customer's computers vulnerable to compromise is a Bad Thing and is going to stop production of music CDs using the rootkit approach to copy protection.

Microsoft has decided that Sony's ill-considered scheme is a danger to the integrity of the Windows OS and is going to wipe it via the Windows Antispyware product.

I'd say that this shows two things. First, Sony, as large a corporation as it is, is vulnerable to pressure. Second, Microsoft actually does seem to be taking the security of the Windows OS seriously. Both of these fall into the good news category.