Apr 022015
 

Putin: try to take Crimea away and I will give you a nuclear war

You know, I can understand having an 80’s nostalgia. But come on, there are better aspects of that time to focus on. If Putin were to hang up some Debbie Gibson and Tiffany posters and listen to some Flock of Seagulls, maybe he’d get over his Soviet-style nuclear aggression.

In seriousness: there seems to be a whole lot of crazy over yonder.

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Mar 312015
 

Russian analyst urges nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and San Andreas fault line

The “analyst” is one of those loons who thinks the US and the West are out to destroy Russia. And so he’s proposing to develop weapons systems designed specifically to kill a large fraction of the population of the United States as a way to bully the US into not protesting when Russia gobbles up its neighbors.

From the Google Translate version of the original Russian-language piece:

What’s in the US? First of all, attention is drawn to Yellowstone National Park, located in the caldera of the same name supervolcano, which, according to geologists, close to the period of its activation, which occurs at a frequency of 600 thousand years. About as long ago there was its last eruption. The power of this supervolcano several orders of magnitude weaker than the Siberian, so it has not led to the eruption of mass extinction of living creatures on the planet as a whole, but for the Americas this eruption was undoubtedly disastrous. Geologists believe that the Yellowstone supervolcano could explode at any moment. Signs of growing its activity there. Therefore it suffices to push the relatively small, for example the impact of the munition megaton class to initiate an eruption. The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States – a country just disappears. All of its territory is covered with a thick (several meters or tens of meters) layer of ash.

Another vulnerable area of ​​the United States from the geophysical point of view, is the San Andreas – the break length of 1300 kilometers between the Pacific and North American plates. It passes along the coast of the territory of the State of California, somewhere on land and partly under water. Are parallel to the faults of the San Gabriel and San Hosinto. This is an area of ​​geophysical instability generating earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter scale. Impact powerful enough nuclear weapon can trigger catastrophic events that can completely destroy the infrastructure of the United States on the Pacific coast-scale tsunami.

Sometimes ya gotta wonder if you’re paranoid *enough.*  The one bright spot I’m seeing right now is that even while the current administration seems determined to see the US weakened, that administration will be out of office in less than two years. Hopefully to be replaced with an administration that is sane, sober, wise and devoted to keeping America strong, safe, and, hopefully, dedicated to conquering the heavens. Or at least not getting in the way of American private enterprise as *it* conquers the heavens.

 Posted by at 8:05 pm
Mar 312015
 

Some weeks back, the American news media found a new obsession: frat boys singing a racist song on a bus. Those few seconds of video of kids acting like dumbasses were broadcast an uncountable number of times, jabbered about by talking heads nonstop, and splashed all over newspapers and the internet. As a result, college careers were disrupted, some ended, and undoubtedly careers were ruined before they began.

Another story has very recently hit the news: a short video showing a guy riding a subway train is approached, asked about a political issue and when he refuses to express an opinion is beaten by several people while the rest of the passengers on the subway stand back and laugh. Obviously since I’m linking to a news item on it, it’s getting *some* press. But here we have a story that’s more than “singing on a bus with racial overtones,” we have “physical violence on a train with racial overtones.”

St. Louis man assaulted on public transportation after declining to discuss Michael Brown

A secondary thought: what we have here is violence perpetrated upon a person ostensibly because he refused to give a political opinion. This would therefore seem to be violence against certain political views. Is that not terrorism? Well, two of the perpetrators have been arrested, which is good… but what do you think the chances are that terrorism charges, or federal hate crimes charges, will be applied here?

But my main prediction: the stories that have already been published about this incident will prove to be pretty much *all* that is published about this incident. Unlike the “racist song on a bus,” this case that featured actual crimes, actual violence and an actual victim, as well as being one incident in what is an actual real problem in society, this story won’t be splashed all over everywhere.

 Posted by at 10:05 am
Mar 292015
 

Yesterday on the road I caught a tune on the radio with lyrics something along the lines of “you’ll remember me for centuries.” It got me thinking of similar expressions I’ve heard of late regarding the Germanwings crash… a lot of people, lacking any better explanation, think that the co-pilot was suffering from depression and decided that rather than just shooting himself in the privacy of his own home decided to take out a plane full of people so that he would be “remembered forever.” Maybe that was his thinking. But… he won’t be.

People committing horrific acts are a distressingly common occurrence. But how often does society *really* remember them? Sure, *some* remain household names generations later… John  Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin. But others fade *fast.*If I asked you to name the “Aurora theater shooter,” how long would you have to think about it? The Newtown shooter?  Colombine massacrers? There were nineteen hijackers on 9/11. Quick: name five of them.

Then there were the guys who dressed up in body armor and robbed a bank in Los Angeles a few years ago. The guy in the McDonalds with the AK-47. The Achille Lauro hijackers. The cult leader in Japan who had his followers set off nerve gas. Any of the “we’re taking this plane to Cuba!” hijackers. The DC snipers. BTK. The Egypt Air copilot who crashed *his* plane. Sure, we all remember the name of Mao… but how about his Generals, or the myriad of functionaries who carried out the acts of democide that characterized Chinese Communism?

If you’ve got a *good* memory… sure, you can probably recall them. Or if you have access to Google or Wikipedia. But for the most part, these people make a dent in the news cycle, and then fade. Once the legal wranglings are over and out of the news… they get shoved out of the public consciousness. Hell, who remembers any of the mass murderers from the 1870’s?

So if you are a nutjob who wants to be remembered forever… killing a bunch of folks ain’t gonna do it. Even if you pull it off, your chances of being remember more than a decade down the line by more than a few family members and historians is lower than the chances of some random high school jock actually Making it In The Big Leagues.

 Posted by at 12:47 pm
Mar 262015
 

Germanwings Co-Pilot Deliberately Crashed Airbus Jet, French Prosecutor Says

After a review of the cockpit voice recorder:

1) The pilot and copilot conversed normally until the plane reached cruising altitude and the pilot left

2) The copilot (one Andreas Lubitz, German 28 years old) was heard breathing normally from then on, but remains otherwise silent

3) When the pilot tries to get back into the cockpit, he has been locked out. The door is normally locked, but the crew have keypads to get in… but the pilot had been *intentionally*

4) Passengers can be heard screaming just before the crash

There are no indications that this was religious terrorism. The copilot remained silent during the 8 minutes he was alone; if it was terrorism, you’d expect the pilot to be babbling something akin to “Surt if Awesome” before murdering the plane. Additionally, you’d kinda wonder, if it was terrorism, why the pilot aimed for a mountain rather than, say, a city. But if it wasn’t terrorism… just what was it?

 Posted by at 8:59 am
Mar 252015
 

Ladies: if you want to know why “feminism” has turned into a term of derision among a great many guys, read this:

Feminists told to use jazz hands at conference because clapping ‘triggers ANXIETY’

Organisers at the National Union of Students Women’s Conference made the request after some delegates reported feeling anxious during audience applause.

The NUS Women’s Campaign tweeted from its official account: “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!”

I have no doubt that there are some people who might have a panic attack or the like at the sound of a room full of applause. But here’s the thing: you don’t help these people by “appeasing” their weakness. Indeed, by going along with this request to not applaud, what you are doing is empowering the problem.

It’s a symptom of a much wider problem in society. Some people don’t like certain images, words or ideas… so society tries to cover up or outright ban those things to protect the delicate sensitivities of the more damaged members of society. And what do you end up with? The numbers of people who are easily offended seem to *grow.* And since there have been successes at banning certain expressions, those who wish to ban *other* expressions have that much more ammunition.

If you have anxiety issues so that applause makes you go bugbuts, here’s my thought: don’t go where there will be a lot of people applauding. Or, better yet: go. And toughen yourself up. Inoculate yourself to the thing that causes you trouble but which is perfectly normal in society.

Personal example: more than a  decade or so ago, I went to the doc to get some allergy tests, to try to figure out just what was going on with my lungs. Fortunately, the tests for allergies to cats (and birds, and horses, and dogs, and other critters) came back negative. But the test for various foods and plants? Hmmm.

The test is pretty straightforward: a nurse applies a grid to your forearm (I’ve heard other use the back). In each square, a small drop is applied This fluid is distilled essence of allergenic evil from, say, cat dander or ragweed pollen or whatever. The nurse then gently pricks the skin with a fine needle under the drop. Wait a few minutes; if you have an allergy, the skin under the drop will grow a little bump. The nurse goes away for something like ten minutes, leaving you to watch your arm in suspense.

In the case of my “plants” test, suspense turned to concern. A *lot* of little bumps started rising up. And they kept rising. Then they merged like small towns becoming a metroplex. Then tendrils reached out and started to wrap around my arm, looking for all the world like I had a small spawn of Cthulhu growing under my skin. When the nurse popped her head in the room and asked how I was doing, I held up my arm and asked “is this normal?” The fact that she *screamed* and ran away suggested to me that it was not. The specialist was on the scene moments later. No harm done, but man, did that itch.

Basically, if it’s a plant, I’m allergic to it. Another more limited test was done on foods, with the same sort of result. One of the first food-bumps to rise, and the one that seemed to be the worst, was “peanut.” I recall being amused by that since for lunch I had had a PB&J sammich. I grew up eating peanuts. Hell, I just had a handful a  few minutes ago. Apparently I am deathly allergic to the damn things… but they don’t bother me in normal concentrations. Why? Dunno. But I can bet that it is because I’ve eaten so many of them that my system has gotten used to them. You know what would not have benefited me any? Demanding that everyone around me avoid peanuts. Not only would that have made me (more) unpopular, it would inevitably fail. One day, after living peanut-free for years, I’d bit into a cookie made with peanuts, or someone with peanut butter on his breath would talk to me… and I’d go into anaphylactic shock.

Feh.

Sure, I can understand not applauding at a feminist convention, just on general principles. The whole shindig just sounds *dire.* But replacing applause with *jazz* *hands*? Bah.

 Posted by at 8:07 pm
Mar 232015
 

Yes, that’s right… Denmark.

In short, the Danes are in talks to join the incredibly limited NATO ballistic missile defense system. This system, if it works, would be capable of defending Europe against a *seriously* limited missile strike… such as could be produced by the likes of Iran. It would be able to accomplish approximately *diddly* against an all-out Russian attack.

The Danes would contribute perhaps one frigate equipped with advanced radar. As a result the Russian ambassador to Denmark wrote in an op-ed:

“I do not think that the Danes fully understand the consequences of what happens if Denmark joins the US-led missile defence… If this happens Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles.”

 

Denmark could face attack if joins NATO shield: Russian ambassador

 Posted by at 4:50 pm
Mar 212015
 

Here are two fun items:

Ethnic Minorities Deserve Safe Spaces Without White People

Where it is libsplained that when ethnic minorities declare a place to be a “safe space,” they can exclude whoever the hell they like for whatever reason they like. In this specific instance, it was a “Racialized Students Collective” meeting at Ryerson University in Toronto that expelled two white journalists for being white.

The Law of Unintended Consequences makes for some interesting speculation. Are you a Christian baker of wedding cakes and you don’t want to make cakes for same-sex weddings? Why… your shop is a “safe space” where you need not allow non-Christians (Christians being a minority world-wide, the reasoning works). A library is a “safe space” from filthy bums. The “Racialized Students” were meeting not in a private residence or a business, but in a campus facility. This indicates that publicly accessible spaces can be shut off for racial – and thus presumable gender, religious, philosophical, political, etc. – reasons.

The author of the piece, a fourth-year-should-know-better student in journalism, agrees that someone simply stating that whatever’s going on is a “safe space” can effectively stifle the press and prevent them from reporting on it. Granted, Canada isn’t the US, so “freedom of the press” doesn’t exactly have the same meaning there, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Canuckpress actually buys into that “reasoning.” Imagine if Rob Ford, during one of his rambling weird press conferences, had suddenly shouted that the place was a “safe space” for drugged up whackos and that the press should stop reporting.

This being Canada, and me not being Canadian, I Officially Have No Opinion on whether the idea of racial segregation in Canadian “Safe Spaces” should be permitted. However, I *do* have suggestions in case it is. Journalists of excluded races should make a basic token effort to gain entry. And when not allowed in… speculate. Delve into the deepest heart of old-school yellow journalism. What are they doing in there? What do they have to hide?? We have heard rumors of planned bank heists, crystal meth being cooked up, animal sacrifices. Are they performing female genital mutilation behind those doors? Worshipping Cthulhu? Cloning Hitler? WE JUST DON’T KNOW!!!

And further south…

Person Putting “Whites Only” Stickers Around Austin Turns Out to be Liberal Social Justice Warrior

Color me stunned.

 Posted by at 4:06 pm
Mar 202015
 

Top violator of women’s rights around the world? It’s Israel says UN

And by “UN,” what is specifically meant here is the “Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)” which condemned a grand total of one nation… Israel.

I’m sure the womenfolk of Syria and Iran and Iraq and Egypt and Pakistan and Afghanistan and Sudan and Saudi Arabia are thrilled to hear they have it so good.

Feh.

I’ve said it before: the UN’s time is done. It needs to be replaced not by a deliberative body of *every* nation, but one that selects nations based on common agreed-upon cultural tenets. Sort of a NATO writ large.

 Posted by at 9:24 pm