Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Bomb...

It's book bomb day for the latest release from Jim Rawles: Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. I've been reading them since the old "Triple Ought" days, so I'll be putting my order in now, too...

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "Where'd you get the trash can for a background?"

Me: "It's ours, out back."

RX: "Oh, our government-issued trash can."

Me: "It's from Republic..."

RX: "As the sole contractor with...?"

Me: "It's a public-private partnership. You know, like Fascism."

RX: "Like Fascism?"

Does not work that way!

So, the Syrian rebels that aren't ISIS (all ten of them) have discovered that the very existence of the Islamic State is a sort of universal adapter for getting the West involved in helping them topple the Assad regime. Here's the latest: ISIS might have fighter jets!
Could ISIS fighters be training as warplane pilots capable of turning their weapons on coalition aircraft?

To quote the greatest news commentator of our age:

The tools of industrialized warfare are not things one picks up and uses intuitively, the way one does, say, a hammer. A fighter pilot is much more than a guy who knows how to fly a plane and which button to press to launch the missiles*. 

This takes me back to the turn of the millennium, when people were going bezonkoids about the Chinese acquiring a carrier, spinning yarns about the PLAN sailing a carrier battlegroup right under the Golden Gate on Tuesday morning, when the fact is that even if you handed a navy a complete turnkey CVN, it would take years to develop, practice, and perfect carrier operations through trial and error; naval aviation is a lot more complicated than just "land-based aviation, but with a moveable runway." Similarly, most Armor guys I've talked to were pretty confident that, as wonderful as the Abrams was in Desert Storm, they could have switched rides with the other team and still won, such was the gulf between training and grabassticness.

If ISIS really does have their hands on three aircraft, it doesn't matter what type or how sophisticated they are; without the entire organization of an Air Force behind them, they're just three crescent moons waiting to be painted on American (or French or British) cockpits.

*...and here's where I throw in the obligatory side note that they're called "missiles" and not "hitiles" for a reason.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Sorry 'bout that...

Got into town at 0100 on Friday morning and have been on the go ever since. What with friends visiting, the Fun Show, and other things, I reckon I've gotten nine or ten hours sleep since arriving back in Hoosieropolis.

All I gotta do now is run a couple errands and knock out a few overdue things for work, and the pace of life can slow to normal.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day Out...

Spent the morning with friend staghounds at the Indiana World War Memorial (built back when there was just the one). The shrine was poignant as always: A sacred space that hushes your voice to a whisper by reflex. All that blood spilled pro patria and the walls surrounding the cenotaph were filled with hopeful inscriptions indicating that we thought we'd learned something from it, that surely we'd never, as a species, sink to this low ebb again; we had fought the War To End All Wars.

There's a little museum in the basement, too...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fun Show Time!

Let's sing the Fun Show Song!
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
Again, I've pretty well shot my bolt for the month, but I don't miss an Indy 1500 if I can at all help it.

The Emirati Hillbillies...

The antics of the world's nouveau riche have always made for good entertainment, as everybody from F. Scott Fitzgerald to '60s CBS programming execs could tell you, and the southern littoral of the Persian Gulf is a real world Beverly Hillbillies. Barely a generation out of tents, they've got a collection of skyscrapers and cement ponds that could make Robin Leach pen jeremiads against excess.

Where else would you find Lotus ambulances, robot customs agents, and double-decker rolling courtrooms?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ersatz Blogmeet Thingy...

Wanna meet up at the Broad Ripple Brewpub at 3:00 PM on Sunday after you finish perusing the Indy 1500? I reckon I'll be there.

If do right, no can defense.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Any trainer who doesn’t encourage you to walk the Earf and seek all kinds of training, and instead tells you his kung fu is the only kung fu, isn’t trying to teach you something, he’s trying to sell you something.

Off The Road Again...

Sunset from Sky Harbor, with the Phoenix skyline in the background.
Long day yesterday. Thanks to the magic of hub-and-spoke airline travel, my flight itinerary was ABQ to PHX to IND. At 9:00 PM MDT I found myself looking out a window at FL 350, peering down at the lights of Los Alamos, which I had departed nine hours earlier to begin my trip home.


You can't make this stuff up...

...because people would mock it as being contrived and implausible.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Blame Game

From an ongoing thread at FB...
That the idiot hopped a plane flight is the thing that chaps my ass. I mean, people need to keep a sense of perspective: We've had two diagnoses in a hospital with 4,300 employees in a city with a population of 1,200,000 in a metro area with a population of 6,400,000 in a country with a population of 320,000,000. Your odds of tripping over the winning lottery ticket are still better...

But nobody's liable to cough the winning lottery ticket onto you on your next plane flight because they just got done wiping diarrhea off a lottery winner and didn't take off their gloves right and then went flying around in a germ tube like a dumbass.
Then the news broke that the nurse in question had called the CDC and was told it was okie-dokie to hop on that plane despite recently having been all up in the grill of a terminal Ebola patient and feeling a mite feverish. Everybody jumped on that like Limbaugh on a pill bottle because it's fun to give the CDC a few more well-deserved pinata-whacks since it's sort of a way to also whack Obama at one remove...

...but how about we don't let Nurse Idiot off the hook, either? I thought that Libertarians and Tea Partiers and Conservatives were all about personal responsibility and accountability? I'm reminded of when firearms instructor Sonny Puzikas aired out one of his AIs and some nuthuggers were trying to hang the blame for that screwup on some imaginary "Range Safety Officer", because my response to the two rationales is the same:
It’s not okay to shoot your fellow range patrons EVEN… and I’d like to make this perfectly clear… EVEN IF THE RSO SAYS IT’S COOL.
If you've been wiping diarrhea off a dying Ebola patient in the last 21 days and are running a fever, it's not okay to get into a flying germ tube EVEN... and I'd like to make this perfectly clear... EVEN IF THE DUDE ON THE PHONE AT THE CDC SAYS IT'S COOL.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #114...

A Savage Model 12LRPV in .223 Rem. This single-shot left-hand port/right-hand bolt rifle is seen here in its natural habitat: Someplace you could watch your dog run away for three days. The Accutrigger was nearly thought-controlled.