Sunday, June 29, 2008

All Guns are Loaded

Words fail. 17 people injured, 4 critically, including children, at an open house day for the French Special Forces. Apparently instead of the expected blanks, live ammo had been loaded in weapons for a demonstration. I have visited Carcassone and walked past the Special Forces barracks--even seen a few of them walking about. They seemed to have the proper military bearing; no slouching. The area was squared away. How could this possibly have happened?

I've never handled blank ammo, but common sense would dictate it be in some way visually distinct from live ammo. Yes? Please?? If it is visually distinct, did the soldiers with the (allegedly) blank-loaded magazines not check for themselves? Your gun, your responsibility.

But the big question is ... even if you are firing blanks, what in the name of little green apples would possess you to even think of POINTING your weapon at live people you have no intention of making into dead people? Blank ammo can still kill. I am sure there are American military who are curling up into whimpering balls at the mere thought of ever pointing even an empty weapon at civilians. Not as a joke. Not as an exercise. Not even a demonstration with blank ammo. NEVER. What mental giant thought this would be a good thing?

UPDATE: reports coming in that all the live rounds came from one soldier. Who didn't stop when he saw the very realistic blood? Hmmm.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Funnies

- Lackadaisycats has updated! It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for, especially when they get their paws on a tommy gun.
- Gone with the Blast Wave has updated! Lieutenants and maps ... rarely a happy combination. Even in a post-apocalyptic future.
- the kitties of Two Lumps continue shenanigans
- meanwhile, in the secret underground beer garden, Girl Genius continues ... with weaponized polkas!
- Schlock Mercenary attempts to deliver food and medicine to a bunch of ungrateful thugs, who would prefer to *steal* it.
- Dresden Codak ponders why handing over everything to a World Computer is not a good idea

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Hopey Changeitude! Now with extra added clones!

see more crazy cat pics

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Persons of Very Small Brain

Exhibit A: Person or persons unknown who decided to forcibly remove the "Stop Global Whining" bumper sticker from my car whilst it was sitting innocently in a parking lot. On a day even more chilly and damp than usual. In June. I hope you got a wicked thrill, because you probably won't like the replacement much -- "I support the troops AND their mission". See how violence just escalates the problem? Just pretend I'm an insurgent, and anything you do to tick me off just makes more of me.

Exhibit B: Seattle mayor Greg Nickels, who has now banned guns from city facilities. All this in response to a shooting at a big Seattle festival caused by a person with a history of mental issues, who got a concealed carry permit anyway because the mental health people aren't ALLOWED to share information about who is a raving nutcase with the folks issuing the permits. I guess the Snohomish County Sheriff's department is staffed by psychics? You don't suppose a mental basket case would *lie* about being fragile in the head-gasket department, would you? (The person who carries a lot of culpability in this sad case was the guy's father, who knew his son wasn't right in the head but bought him a gun anyway. Fortunately nobody died.) It's interesting, but one of the people who was shot has a very rational take on the whole mess.
Sarah Thorsnes, a 21-year-old who was shot in the thigh, said she appreciates the mayor's efforts but does not support his prohibition.

"It's putting a strain on people who have a right to own guns and should know how to use them properly," said Thorsnes, who lives in Renton. "I still stand behind needing to look at mental health as a problem rather than banning guns from people who have a right to have them and use them properly."

It was against the law for the guy to have a carry permit or a gun in the first place, but more laws are going to help? I'm confused ...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Let's ban "assault knives"

And trucks. No word if this vehicle was fueled with biodiesel. So, seven people (so far) are dead in this brutal attack. All the guy used was a truck and a knife. No guns. Maybe, just maybe, the problem is homicidal thoughts and not the instruments used in homicide? There are some Indonesian folk tales about evil swords that *like* to kill, but my guns are pretty much inert lumps that do what they are told. No complaints about only slaying paper targets.

I don't know if this is just media hype, but there seem to be some strange stories coming out of Japan lately. Like the "monster parents" who ensured a grade-school play featured 25 Snow Whites and no dwarves because all of them wanted their child to play the lead. Now this guy who was "tired of life" and thoughtfully decided he would also help some innocent bystanders out of this vale of tears as well. Hopefully this is just a temporary aberration. I never thought the extreme emphasis on consensus at all costs was a good thing in the long run, and all it takes is one rude person to screw it up for everyone else in a consensus-driven culture. Looks like they figured that out.

Friday, June 06, 2008

BCR Labs approves

We are inching closer to a death ray. Right now this is just a death ray for IEDs and cars that don't stop at checkpoints, but incremental development ensures a solid final product. And testing. Lots and lots of testing. Bwahahahaha.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I want a mulligan

Any day that starts with the phrase "I gave my cat a pill" is doomed from the outset. Now, I succeeded in giving the pill, after two attempts, and the discovery that my little cat can morph into a strange being made entirely of spring steel, 16 elbows, and an air horn. No blood transfusions necessary. Said cat was getting this pill (a tranquilizer) because he becomes overwrought when his happy home is invaded by strange humans with big clompy feet making loud and strange noises, and yes, the contractors were coming. So Kitty floated away on a happy pink cloud of chemicals, I showed the guys where the problem was, signed away a big chunk of cash, and left for work. A few hours after I get to work, I get a call from the contractors. No, they hadn't broken my house (big relief). However, they discovered my old, crochety, idiosyncratic house had done it again and they COULDN'T fix the problem, not without completely shredding my living room and oh yes, more money. So, another fixit job gets shoved to the "After I Rob Several Banks" list. Then, when I am going home, I see a tree on fire. What was particularly remarkable about this was it was on fire in a complete downpour--a pretty neat trick, I thought. Apparently a (wet) branch was bridging two wires just enough to allow a current to dry and incinerate said branch. Given the soggy state of the world right then I did not classify it as an emergency, but thought the local fire department might be interested. Like a Good Citizen, I called the non-emergency number .... only to find that they WANTED me to call 911. Someone should tell these guys they are wasting a lot of money on PSAs that sternly warn you to only call 911 for *real* emergencies, like severed limbs. So, now I am going to pull the covers over my head and pretend today never happened.