Jun 152016

The most pathetic thing you’ll read today:

What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud 

And what was learned? Primarily that the author of the piece is a man not to be respected (bolding mine):

It felt to me like a bazooka — and sounded like a cannon.

One day after 49 people were killed in the Orlando shooting, I traveled to Philadelphia to better understand the firepower of military-style weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers.

But mostly, I was just terrified.


The man-child continues:

The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

Oh FFS. As someone on Fark correctly posted:

Ye gods. Compared to most “military style” weapons – the M-1 Garand, the M-14, the M-16, the AK-47, a good shotgun – the AR-15 is a BB gun. The standard AR-15 platform is *small,* the bullet is small, the cartridge is small.  I shudder to imagine what this guy would have done had he been confronted with a Barret. Or Odin forbid, a Ma Deuce.

 Posted by at 6:15 pm
Jun 152016

Obviously Hillary and Trump are out. I’d been considering Gary Johnson, even though he’s pretty lackluster. But now… all I have are people to vote *against.* Why? Behold:

Gary Johnson Shoots Himself in the Foot: Throws Out Austin Petersen’s Gun

Short form: after clinching the Libertarian nomination, Austin Petersen, another Libertarian candidate, gave Johnson a replica of George Washington’s flintlock pistol. A little odd, but I guess a nice gesture. But hotel guests saw Johnson dumping the pistol into a trash can, fished it out and returned it to Petersen.

Weak. Weeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaak.

 Posted by at 12:05 am
Jun 142016

Another interesting tidbit has come out about Omar Mateen: he was a registered Democrat. Snopes has confirmed that in 2006 he so registered… but of course, Snopes then goes on to hem and haw: “His U.S. political affiliation (if any) at the time of the shooting is unknown.”

Now, it’s true: it has been ten years since Omar registered as a Dem, and that’s a good long time. But imagine the media firestorm if he had registered as a Republican or a Libertarian. Yeesh.

So, what have we got?

Gay. Muslim. Person of color. Child of immigrants. Democrat. And has made great strides in the holy quest of getting the Evil AR-15 banned. Omar Mateen is a political correctness wet dream.

 Posted by at 1:41 pm
Jun 142016

Qatar convicts Dutch woman held ‘after being raped’

She got roofied, knocked unconscious, raped and then reported it… and then got convicted of having sex outside of marriage and has been fined $824. The only good part of the story is that she’s also being deported, which, under the circumstances,  is a definite bonus.

The article also points out that further hijinks like this are afoot in 2022, when Qatar hosts the Fifa World Cup. That’s apparently some sort of Gathering of the Juggalos-type get-together for a bunch of drunk British hooligans to come and watch some teams play a paint-dryingly-boring childrens game and riot.

 Posted by at 8:22 am
Jun 142016

WFTV sources: Arrest of alleged accomplice in mass shooting expected

Basically no data beyond the headline, so let the speculating commence!

All kinds of possibilities here. Low-end “accomplices” would be some schmoe who just helped him carry stuff, or did straw purchases, that sort of thing… knew they were doing something illegal, but weren’t really “in” on what the plan was. Maybe it was the gun store owner, arrested as a political showpiece. Maybe it was the imam who might have helped radicalize him. Maybe it was his current wife (?) who may have known the plan. Speculation free-fire zone!

 Posted by at 8:05 am
Jun 132016

Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App

So, the attack was carried out by an ISIS-loving gay Muslim extremist. Expect that this added wrinkle will only make some people more certain that American right-wing Republicans (especially Christians) are to blame. In fact, you can see that in some of the comments there.

This goofball could turn out to also have been a card-carrying member of the Communist Party and some people would *still* blame the Republicans…

 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Jun 122016



Greeson said that Howell harbored no ill will toward gays or lesbians and added that Howell was bisexual.

And from last year…

Two of them referred to an incident earlier in the day in which Howell had pointed his gun at his boyfriend.

So, it seems the overly armed feller from Indiana wasn’t likely going to the LA Gay Pride Parade to blow the place up. He was going there for… well, some other purpose. And he just happened to be hauling his guns and explosives along with him, because he’s apparently none too bright.


After events earlier today in Orlando, police in Santa Monica, CA, arrested *another* guy *apparently* bent on causing havoc at a “Pride Parade” in Los Angeles. This guy, one James Howell,  was from Indiana and had an “arsenal” of guns and a bucket of explosives, and apparently told the police that he wanted to “harm” the event.

You don’t often hear about “buckets” of explosives, but in this case it’s Tannerite. To me this seems a dubious choice for bomb making purposes… it’s a simple mix of aluminum powder and ammonium nitrate, used for exploding targets on a gun range. It’s not a particularly impressive explosive, and setting it off is a chore. Set fire to it? It doesn’t go off. Zap it with electricity? Nada. Whack it with a hammer? Snore. To get it to go off you have to hit it with a relatively powerful supersonic shock, such as you’d get with a rifle round. A pistol round probably won’t do it.

Since it’s a binary explosive, it’s brisance (shattering force) is not particularly good, but it’s heaving force is pretty good. As such it can be used to Blow Stuff Up Good if you use enough of it and shoot it with a high power rifle. Still, to make it really effective as a bomb you’d want to make a pipe bomb of it… which is a problem, since you have to actually shoot it. The pipe *might* play hell with the bullets ability to set off the Tannerite.

This seems like sloppy bomb making. Couple this with the fact that “James Howell” is a perfectly bland euro- American name, this doesn’t seem to indicate that this incident was ISIS inspired. If the bomber-to-be really was intending to set off a bomb  and *isn’t* a Muslim, then things could get politically pretty interesting.

 Posted by at 3:50 pm
Jun 122016

Twenty are dead after someone – identity as yet undivulged – opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The FBI is investigating this as terrorism, which certainly seems reasonable. So, get ready for your new media obsession for the next week or three, at least until Trump opens his yap and says something stupid.

About 20 people dead, more than 40 taken to hospital after shooting at downtown Orlando nightclub

So, since there is as yet no data on the shooter, speculation will of course run rampant. The top four, as it seems to me:

  1. Run of the mill whackjob
  2. Some whackjob with a problem with the club (former employee) or someone there (former boyfriend)
  3. Religious whackjob, tweaked about teh gheys. Note: reports are the terrorist *may* have been wearing a bomb vest, *may* have been strapping bombs to hostages. I leave it to you to decide if that sounds like any religion in particular.
  4. Conspiracy Theory Wildcard: Umm… lessee. Ah, got it. The gunman was brainwashed by Obama to shoot up a Protected Class in order to gin up outrage among the electorate to help ram through new gun control measures and/or divert attention away from Hillarys upcoming indictment

UPDATE: The Daily Fail is already reasonably certain of the motive

UPDATE 2: And we have a winner. Multiple news outlets including CNN are ID’ing the terrorist as one “Omar Saddiqui Mateen” from Port St. Lucie, Florida, American born to Afghani parents.

UPDATE 3: Latest number I’ve heard is 59 dead, confirmed as 50 or more. Worst mass shooting in the US since at least the 19th century.

UPDATE 4: Omar pledged his loyalty to Islamic State on a call to 911 during the shootout.

 Posted by at 5:52 am
Jun 092016

It’s not uncommon that the authors of a scientific paper have to publish a correction at a later time. Even ignoring the occasional bit out outright fraud, it’s neither unexpected not unforgivable for there to be errors in math or problems in data collection or interpretation. What is a little unusual, however, is for the data to be *reversed.* Take, for example, a study from Virginia Commonwealth University, published in 2012:

Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies

The takeaway from this study was that there seemed to be a correlation between psychopathy and political conservatism. This study got some press and is undoubtedly still being used to whop conservatives over the head… “See? The science says you guys are not just nuts, but bad guys!”

Ah, but then there’s this:

Erratum to “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51

Ahem (bolding mine):

The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.


Admittedly this is not really news… the correction was first published months ago. Still, it’s interesting. Ya gotta wonder what happened with the authors… were they teased mercilessly by their fellows? Were they met with rounds of “happens to all of us?” Or, just possibly, “hey, you got a lot of people to think that conservatives are psychos, so, well done?”

 Posted by at 5:33 pm