Nov 252017

This story reminded me of the years of wild hedonism that defined my youth:

IUP to remove 170,000 unused books from its libraries

The  Indiana University of Pennsylvania library says that about half of its 486,000 books haven’t been checked out in 20 years, so it’s going to get rid of them.


I spent *years* visiting the libraries of Iowa State University in Ames and the University of Colorado in Boulder, slowly and methodically scanning through the stacks of books in the science, engineering and aerospace sections. I found a *lot* of stuff (oddly, I didn’t seem to find a whole lot of parties, booze and women there, but oh well). The stuff I found formed the beginnings of my aerospace history collection… vast piles of photocopies made from books I’d pull off the shelves, go through page by page, copy what I wanted, then put back on the shelf. A minuscule percentage of what I found useful was actually checked out.

I understand that the engineering library  at UC Boulder has removed the bulk of the books, moving them to an off-site location. Students can still access them… you simply need to put in a request for said books and they’ll show up some time later. That’s fine, *if* you know what book you want. But how much useful research has been done by simply browsing? How often does someone find something useful in the book *next* to the one they were specifically looking for?

The claim for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania library is that they are going to focus their cleanout on books that are available digitally. But how many books, periodicals, papers and such are available as scans that are just *horrible* in quality? The NASA Tech Report server is filled with old reports that were scanned by people who clearly thought that diagrams, photos and artwork were wastes of space, best reduced to 2-bit B&W images that if you squint real hard while at a great distance might vaguely resemble the ghost of the original.

If the library needs money, fine. Take if from the athletic program. Hell, cut the coaches salaries by ten percent, that alone should just about do the trick. Every year have an auction to sell off the naming rights for the next years football team. Charge double tuition for grievance studies courses. Open an on-campus liquor store and pot dispensary, all profits going to the library. Cut the pay of all Socialist teachers to minimum wage. There are better solutions than getting rid of books by the truckload.

 Posted by at 7:51 am
Nov 032017

Memphis police put ankle monitor GPS devices on dozens of domestic assault victims

Yes, you read that right: they’re putting the GPS trackers on the *victims.*

Now, it’s not quite as bad as you might be thinking. In fact, on a certain level it’s a good idea: the system alerts the victim if the person who assaulted them, who is also wearing a GPS tracker, comes within a specified distance. But… there is a more obvious, less distressing way to go here: instead of tracking a monitor strapped to the ankle of the victim, just track their *phone.* These days it’s a reasonable assumption that just about everybody has a GPS-equipped phone of some type and keeps it near them. If the villain gets too close, the victims phone starts going buggo with warnings and text messages. Perhaps authorities would even call or Skype to speak to the victim and warn them and check on them. No answer, or a lack of the proper code response, and the cops are sent to apply a beatdown to the villain.


 Posted by at 11:09 pm
Sep 162017

Venezuela’s dreams are dying

Some basics:

Socialism: the state controls the means of production.

Communism: the state owns everything.

Nanny/welfare state: could be free market capitalist, fascist, socialist, communist.

Venezuela has been pursuing socialism since Chavez; the state nationalized not only Venezuelan oil companies but *foreign* oil companies (and people act surprised when foreign investment dried up). The state has put price controls on things like food and toilet paper… prices *below* the cost of production (and people act surprised when people stopped making and selling those things). The state decided to create a massive welfare state to raise the standard of living of the truly, shockingly poor… by nationalizing everything, confiscating wealth and making enemies of businesspeople and people act surprised that the wealthy and skilled of the Venezuela have been leaving the country in droves).





 Posted by at 11:29 pm
Sep 022017

Last few days the local news has been blowing up over the release of body cam footage showing a cop arresting a nurse. In the end, who’s in trouble here? The cop. Oh, boy howdy, the cop. Every bus the governor, mayor and chief of police can find, they’re preparing to throw him under… and for good reason. Here’s the short form:

1: On July 26, there was a high speed pursuit. The idjit being chased managed to hit a semi truck near Wellsville, resulting in an impressive explosion; idjit was killed, truck driver – who *everyone* acknowledges was doing nothing wrong – was injured.

2: Injured truck driver was taken to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.

3: For some reason, detective Jeff Payne decided that he needed to have a blood sample from the unconscious truck driver, and he needed it Right Now. Presumably this was to test for booze or drugs or some such in the truck driver… reason able enough, I suppose, under the circumstances, but his need fr it seems to have been excessive.

4: On-duty nurse Alex Wubbels knew the law and Hospital policy: they’re not allowed to draw blood from a patient for the cops unless:

A: The patient consents – which he couldn’t, being unconscious.

B: The patient was under arrest, which he wasn’t.

C: The police have a valid search warrant calling for a blood sample… which they didn’t have (but could have obtained easily enough)

5: Detective Payne was having none of it, and threatened the nurse with arrest for obstruction of justice.

6: Nurse contacts her supervisor via cell phone with a speakerphone

7: Supervisor tells the detective that the nurse is right, and that he’s making a mistake in threatening the nurse.

8: Detective goes ape and aggressively arrests the nurse.

9: In the end no charges are filed because, duh, nurse broke no laws

10: And then in late August the bodycam footage is released to the public and the detectives career hits a bit of a speedbump.

The truck driver patient is reportedly a reserve police officer in Rigby, Idaho; the going assumption is that detective Payne wanted that blood sample Right Friggen’ Now in order to absolutely clear the reserve police officer of any taint of guilt in the incident (even though, again, there’s no suspicion that anyone but the original idjit was responsible for the crash). The truck river is still in the hospital in serious condition.


Video shows Utah nurse screaming, being handcuffed after refusing to take blood from unconscious victim

And so now…

SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow

Ruh-roh, Raggy.


Here’s the full near-19-minute footage.

Hard to come up with a better representation of detective Payne than this…

Here are some other angles:

 Posted by at 3:34 pm
Aug 202016

On the one hand…

Bin Laden raid bestseller’s author to pay $7m

Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonette  wrote a book about whacking Osama Bin Laden. But he didn’t submit the book for review by The Authorities, and was therefore in violation of non-disclosure agreements. As a result, he has to pay back seven *million* dollars and forfeit all future profits, royalties, film rights and speaking fees.

So on the one hand, it seems like if you are a government employee and you break the rules, you can get thwacked *really* hard.

But on the other hand…




 Posted by at 7:07 pm
Aug 202016

An autistic Native American kid was spat on, yelled at and struck because of the political message of his shirt. Under other circumstances, this would be a clear case of a “hate crime.” Will that be the case here? Let’s watch!

Oklahoma Native American Says He Was Attacked Over Redskins Shirt

The actual narrative of events, who threw the first punch, differs between the two people involved. But given that the other guy is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative of American Indian and Alaska Native Education, you’d at least *think* that one of them would have had the maturity to not get in a fight over a shirt. but then… it’s *this* White House.

Just wait till the *next* administration. Hoo boy.

 Posted by at 1:14 pm
Aug 192016

I know you’ll all be stunned, but the State Department has essentially admitted that that $400 million cash payment to the mullahs in Iran was actually a ransom payment:

State Dept.: $400M to Iran was contingent on US prisoners’ release

Let me think: did the current Administration say something that indicated that it *wasn’t* a ransom payment? Hmmm…

Groovy. Expect to see Americans get kidnapped around the world at an accelerated pace now that scumbags across the globe know that the US government will pay up to $100 *million* per hostage.

 Posted by at 12:02 am
Aug 162016

Stabbing suspect found biting off pieces of man’s face, possibly high on flakka, police say

Well, that’s spectacular. For those not in the know, “flakka” is a synthetic drug that apparently can cause people to go whacko.

And at the same time that Better Living Through Chemistry is putting a strain on the legal system, the Drug Enforcement Agency is demanding that marijuana remain a federally banned “Schedule 1” drug, punishable with years in prison and SWAT teams shooting your dog. The DEA claims that pot has no medicinal value, a claim that is pretty easily scoffed at.

On the one hand, I’ve got no dog in the pot fight. I use it as often as I use cocaine, nicotine or vodka… i.e. never. If all the pot on  the planet suddenly vanished, it would make no material difference to my life. And as with any other intoxicant, I see a lot of downsides to its use and abuse.  That said… if someone wants to smoke a joint… who the hell cares? People stoned on pot are a much greater danger of eating all your Doritos than eating your face off. The DEA would do better to leave pot alone and go after drugs that are actually troublesome.

 Posted by at 4:27 pm