Credible -giggle-

The study itself comes from the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, an agenda-driven organization created in 1995 and funded primarily with a $50 million endowment from Michael Bloomberg (and joined by other left-leaning funders) for the expressed purpose of developing gun-control policy positions. Asking this source for data, and Hemenway to provide credibility is like asking the Flat Earth Society for maps.
— Alan Korwin, July 15, 2018

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[UPDATED] I wonder how much the Post Awful is losing on these.

I received something in the mail today, and the stamp caught my eye. Darnedest thing. It’s a shot of last year’s solar eclipse, but I realized that it isn’t merely printed; the blacked out solar disc is… thick. There’s a blob of stuff applied over the printing.

I first noticed it when the envelope got folded slightly, and the thick material cracked. Being a suspicious sort, I wonder if something was underneath that. I started fiddling with it.

And the blacked out solar disc faded away, leaving the moon.

Turns out USPS issued these “thermochromic ink” thingies. Same price as regular forever stamps, but they must cost a fair bit more to print. Probably at a loss.

ETA: It seems I have a… former reader who was offended by… his own paranoid delusions. Or maybe his wife made the call to print these stamps.

I’d like to apologize.

To my other readers who encountered “Ken’s” silly complaint.

Words (used to) have meaning

customer: [kuhs-tuh-mer] a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.

Future uncertain for manager fired for tackling accused gun thief
Despite stopping White from making off with more than $700 in merchandise, according to police, Crouch was suspended and later fired for violating Academy Sports’ policy that forbids physically making contact with customers.

Personally, I would have thought that the thug removed himself fro the potential class of “customer” when he grab a gun without paying for it, and ran out of the store.

There is a side issue of risk assessment in physically stopping a shoplifter. Would I recommend tackling a guy for swiping a DVD? Seems unlikely.

But a weapon and ammunition? Simply by stealing them, the guy has demonstrate ill intent, and the damage one with ill intent can do with a loaded firearm is somewhat greater than what can be accomplished with a DVD.

Academy Sports should have given Crouch a bonus, not a suspension and termination. They now have a choice of messages:

  • The thief was — in reality — a customer, and they allowed that unlawful transfer of a firearm.
  • All customers equal shoplifters. Is that what they think of you?
  • Guns are no more dangerous than DVDs. So it’s time for them to put “evil black rifles” back on their shelves.
  • Academy Sports doesn’t give a damn who gets killed so long as no employee makes a worker’s comp claim for a sprained back stopping a shoplifter.

I am in the wrong line of work.

Here I am, trying to draw tip jar donations with useful (see The Zelman Partisans), and sometimes mildly (or morbidly) amusing info. Trying. Never said succeeding.

But some smartass just made $200 for this piece of… humor. That’s like a year, year and a half of donations for me.

Please note that they call that a “shotgun.” But close examination shows — aside from the obvious three loose tie-straps holding the pipe to the 2X4 — there’s…

No trigger.

No firing pin/striker.

No firing mechanism at all.

By that standard, I probably have a thousand bucks worth of shotguns in the garage, some assembly required.

Is it just me, or does  Sarge there look like, just maybe, it’s starting to sink in that they got took?

Well, someone made his — hi-er — point.

And two hunnerd bucks.

ETA: Say! Germany could sell San Francisco a bunch of black broomsticks and raise enough money to buy real gun for their army.

“Petro-Masculinity”

For all I can tell from the abstract, that might be guys who prefer petroleum jelly over KY.

Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire
As the planet warms, new authoritarian movements in the West are embracing a toxic combination of climate denial, racism and misogyny. Rather than consider these resentments separately, this article interrogates their relationship through the concept of petro-masculinity, which appreciates the historic role of fossil fuel systems in buttressing white patriarchal rule. Petro-masculinity is helpful to understanding how the anxieties aroused by the Anthropocene can augment desires for authoritarianism. The concept of petro-masculinity suggests that fossil fuels mean more than profit; fossil fuels also contribute to making identities, which poses risks for post-carbon energy politics. Moreover, through a psycho-political reading of authoritarianism, I show how fossil fuel use can function as a violent compensatory practice in reaction to gender and climate trouble.

Did Hogg ever actually graduate?

Seriously; we heard about the graduation down at Parkland, but I never saw anything that confirmed he graduated. I wondered about that because, at one point, I checked Florida truancy laws, and they have a threshold for days missed that would make a person ineligible to graduate. What with all the time he took off to run around the country doing victim disarmament interviews and protests, he appeared to have significantly exceed that limit.

So does he have a diploma?

If not, is that one reason he “decided” not to start college this coming year? Anyone know for sure?

“Immigrants” and Clearances

I’ve not kept up with military enlistment requirements since I separated in the ’90s, but this sounds like BS.

US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits
Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.

When I enlisted in 1980, it was explained that it was contigent upon security clearance. I seem to recall a couple of folks in my Basic training flight who got dropped during Basic when their clearance applications came back disapproved.

I definitely remember a Canadian citizen in the mid-’80s who was discharged. Security requirements changed, and he couldn’t get approved for a Secret clearance, although he had been allowed to enlist with a Confidential. And he knew it. He thought it sucked, but he’d understood all along about clearance requirements, and knew as soon as the change was announced that he’d be separated. And he knew his AFSC and assignment options had always been limited by his mere Confidential.

So I call bullshit. I’m sure all these people were told about the requirements (and noncitizens back in the day told me they were specifically briefed about the difficulties of completing adequate background checks on them as noncitizens).

A security clearance might seem like no big deal. Just a grunt, right? Who needs a clearance to tote a rifle in the mud?

Who needs a clearance to get briefed on their unit’s movements? To read maps with classified markings? To see classified specs on munitions? To have lists of classified callsigns and challenge/responses for field exercises, and the real thing? Tactical locations of other supporting units? Sometimes a Secret clearance would be required because, even when they didn’t have access to the directly classified material, they’d be bound to see enough nonclassified bits and pieces to deduce the classified whole.

I was a just frickin’ radio tech, and sometimes paper-pusher (well… there was occasionally crawling around the swamp with a rifle, and other little adventures). And once out of training I probably had more days that I handled classified material than otherwise. (And that’s why I know enough about handling classified material to know that — just on what the FBI publicly announced in clearing her — that Hillary Clinton should be in prison for her willful mishandling of classified documents.)