After the recent excitement down in Ferguson, MO, where the twin joys of “Lootie McRioterson” and “Officer Powermad” met up to do a little dance, I thought it was time to sit back, relax, and think about all the good that a government can do when it has power and the desire to improve peoples natures.

The US Once Poisoned Alcohol Supplies to Scare People Away From Drinking

Short form: during Prohibition, the FedGuv thought it’s be a smashing idea to denature alcohol with stuff that wasn’t just nasty tasting, but downright toxic. The idea: since booze was illegal, criminals were stealing denatured alcohol (alcohol for industrial use, “denatured” by adding other substances to it that made it nasty to drink) and re-naturing it to sell to drinkers… so, why not denature the booze with something *truly* awful, so the drinkers wouldn’t take the risk? After the first 100 or so deaths, the press noticed and the story went wide; but people being people, they didn’t want to stop drinking their booze. And the government didn’t think that poisoning them was a bad idea, so they kept doing it. Death toll: around 10,000. Many more sickened and blinded.

*Maybe* killing off a few people drinking illegal hootch seemed like a good idea at the time, but keeping the process going after the death toll was hitting the *thousands* seems a bit excessive. One would hope that these lessons would prevent the government from doing something similar today… after all, everybody knows that smoking kills (second hand smoke alone has killed, what, forty or fifty *trillion* babies just in the past five years, plus or minus), and yet smokers continue to puff away.

Another fine story to keep in mind when contemplating the wisdom of arming the po-po with weapons systems adequate to take on Imperial Clonetroopers, or giving them the reigns to the health care system as a whole.

An interesting use of visualization tech. Using standard films and videos, the movements of various athletes were digitized, then used to create abstract renderings. While cool, I can’t help but think of the Hounds of Tindalos during the Nadia Comăneci performance, some sort of shoggoth during Michael Phelps, Yog Sothoth or a Flying Polyp during the “Dream Team.”

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Since I’m not there, and since the internet is afire with posts and tweets and photos and vids and such, I have little to add on the topic that is of any value. Really only two points I’d like to raise:

1) On the subject of militarized police vs. rioters/looters:

“Can’t they both lose?”

2) It’s from a few years ago, but the basic lesson stays the same:

more government

It’s interesting that the people screaming the loudest about police brutality/overreaction/etc. in Ferguson seem to be the same who scream the loudest that Tea Partiers (or anyone else who wants smaller government) are racist.

Well, if you want big government, you’ll get big policing to go with it.

An often-made comment is that the military is always preparing to fight the *last* war. The point is that wars of the future tend to be unlike those of the past, and unless you keep up with what’s going on, you’ll be surprised by and unprepared for future events. Well, the Pentagon has revealed that, once again, they are not preparing for the future.

No Plans for Canada Invasion, Pentagon Leader Says

The US Army will once again be caught flat-footed, this time by the hordes of Snow Jihadis sweeping across the border shouting “Allahu ackbar, eh!”

If you were looking for an uplifting story about a US Naval vessel with commanders who upheld the finest martial traditions with honor and dignity…. This Ain’t it.

Navy: Deployed CO Retreated to Cabin for Weeks

In short: Gregory W. Gombert, Captain of the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, has been relieved of command. Why? Because from January to March, he “retreated to his cabin” for an unspecified medical reason… a medical condition described as not needing any such retreat from duties.

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Oh, but it gets better. The Cowpens’ Master Chief Petty Officer Gabriel J. Keeton has also been canned, apparently due to “poor ship conditions.”

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Oh, but it gets better. Captain Gombert is also in trouble because during his time hiding from his duties he was also having an “unduly familiar” relationship with the ships acting executive officer, the entertainingly named Lt. Cmdr. Destiny Savage.

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When I read this, the name “Cowpens” struck a familiar note. It’s not, after all, a terribly common name. So I looked it up on Wikipedia. Where I remembered it from: in December 2013, the Cowpens was shadowing Chinese naval exercises when a Chinese ship parked itself in front of the Cowpens, almost causing an incident worthy of the idjits in Sea Shepherd. But the history of the Cowpens turns out to have further interestingness:

In January 2010, the then-Captain Holly Graf was removed from command. Why? “Captain Holly Graf was the closest thing the U.S. Navy had to a female Captain Bligh.”

Oh, but it gets better. Captain Graf was replaced with Captain Robert Marin. But in February 2012, Captian Marin was booted. Why? Because he was having an affair. Entertainingly, he was boinking the wife of *another* US Navy ships Captain.

Seems the Cowpens has had one hell of a run of bad luck in the leadership department.

Speaking of fires…

Report: Smoke pouring from National Gallery [photo]

There are in fact several photos showing a substantial quantity of smoke shooting out of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. But a search of Google News bring up nothing.

Oy.

So, CNN teleprompter-reader Don Lemon goes on another CNN talking heads program to talk about the riots in Ferguson, Missouri (short form: cop shoots black guy [details as yet unclear], so local community decides to burn the place to the ground), where he says this:

“This is about the treatment of men of color in our society… They are treated differently whether it be law enforcement, whether it be at work, whether it be at a grocery store, whether it be on the street”

This is true. But you know what doesn’t help that situation? Rioting and looting.

Similarly: if you are in a non-state region that has repeatedly fought its more organized neighbor, and lost badly every time, and as a result has been surrounded and put under careful watch… you know what doesn’t help? Shooting thousands of crappy rockets at your neighbor.

“I demand you treat me with respect, and to prove my seriousness, here’s a self-destructive temper tantrum.”

And you know what’s not going to help even more? Publicly suggesting that you rob and murder a whole lot of folks who were in no way involved:

‘Loot … and rob them, not your own’; Twitter users advise black people to loot white neighborhoods

One wonders if it would be considered a hate crime for a white guy to suggest going into black neighborhoods and causing death and destruction. I would think that it would be.

And if the rioters, who look like absolute *morons* when they tear up their own neighborhoods, were to decide to head into the neighborhoods of “others?” What, exactly, do these geniuses think would be the great benefit here? At best, those cities would experience the economic “benefits” of white flight. People who come into your neighborhood to cause a ruckus do *not* earn your respect or sympathy, only your contempt… and quite often a bullet. If you knew that hundreds of people from a few blocks over might very well just decide to come and burn your home or business down, would you stick around? Would it inspire most anybody to treat those people better?

And you know… sometimes when you decide to go tear up someone elses stuff, that someone else might have something to say about it.

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Rick Wiles: ‘Ebola Could Solve America’s Problems With Atheism And Homosexuality’

Errrrmmm…

Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion. … If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.

A few thoughts occur:

1) If Ebola becomes a global plague, having the blood of *anybody* on you is probably not a very good idea.

2) If Ebola becomes a global plague, thinking that your religious beliefs and/or morality will supernaturally protect you is probably a dandy way to make sure that *you* are selected for deletion from the gene pool.

Either that, or what we have here is another academic with too much free time on his hands:

Radio 4′s Gardeners’ Question Time accused of being a vehicle to project ‘racist’ leanings

British people talking about plants? Clearly, that’s racist!

“The distinction that gets made between native species and non-native species and this kind of policing of what belongs and what does not belong I think is symptomatic of a kind of desire to defend the fantasy of the national space.”

Meh.

Apparently I’m three years behind the curve on this. But if you like Lovecraft, you’ll go out of you mind with the music video “Fantasy” by DyE. It’s on YouTube. Am I gonna link to it? Nope. Why? Because it’s NSFW. Holy *crap* is it NSFW (I suspect it would’ve made ol’ H.P. his own self turn green and spew). But if you’re interested, just search for DyE and Fantasy on YT, and it’ll take ya right there.

In short, it starts off looking like it might be an animated slasher flick. Then it turns very Lovecraft, as least Lovecraft as filtered through John Carpenter. And then in the last few seconds, it turns into the best full-on interpretation of the cosmic madness lurking behind the Cthulhu Mythos I think I’ve ever seen. As with the best Lovecraft tradition, the payoff isn’t until the very, very end… and as with the best Lovecraft tradition, you don’t quite actually get a look at the Great Old One.

Because if you did, y’know, you’d be driven insane.

 

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