Saturday, October 20, 2012

Around the blogs

As usual, the blogosphere is full of interesting bits and pieces.  Here's this week's selection.

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Let's begin with a belly-laugh.  Say Uncle describes coming home to find suspicious circumstances, and how he checked his house for intruders.  A sample:

If you decide to through your house making sure everything is OK and you have a laser on the gun, your cats will think it’s a game of chase the red dot the whole time. This is distracting and annoying. They didn’t teach me that at gun school either. I guess if I was really tactical and cleared my house like that, the cats help by being attack cats.

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John Hawkins discusses '5 Revolting Facets of American Culture'.  Reading his list, one has to ask if, where and when culture enters into it at all . . .

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At Hell On Earth, a former (presumably retired) peace officer bemoans the abuse of law enforcement powers and responsibilities by many officers and their agencies.  Having sworn the oath of office myself, I sympathize deeply with his concerns;  but at the same time, I think he's going too far in appearing to tar the majority of current officers with the 'jackbooted thug' brush.  I've certainly met some officers who gave me cause for concern in that regard (mostly in larger, more impersonal urban agencies), but I've met many others (mostly in less large, more suburban or rural agencies) who epitomized what I'd expect a law enforcement officer to be.  Where does one draw the line?  What's the balance point?  I'd appreciate reader feedback in Comments.

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Blunt Object plays 'The What-If Game', offering a libertarian perspective on misfortune and the statist response.  Worthwhile reading.

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Joel and his kitten (whom we met in the previous edition of Around The Blogs) are still having adventures.  Joel managed to save his kerosene lamp . . . this time, anyway!

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Farmgirl responds to animal rights and anti-hunting activists with some blunt talk and pointed arguments.  Having met her and her (numerous) animals on multiple occasions (including Butcher The Wonder Pup at Blogorado a couple of weeks ago), I can only say, "Hear, hear!"

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Several readers pointed me to an article at Draw And STRIKE! titled 'So How DO You End Up With A 'Surprise!' Romney Landslide, Anyway?'  The author goes into a lot more detail than I did, but basically agrees with my earlier conclusion that this isn't a new development - it's just that pollsters are (at last!) providing a more honest measurement of public opinion, as their earlier bias has been exposed for what it is, and they've come to understand that the results of the election are about to disprove their earlier (and patently false) claims.

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Karl Denninger wearily notes that 'The Mouth-Breathing On Health Care Continues'.

If you have a "pre-existing" condition then you're not buying insurance.

Remember what insurance actually is: A small payment made to someone in order to obtain pooled risk against an unlikely but catastrophic event that one either cannot or chooses not to reserve against on one's own.

By its very nature insurance is a negative-sum game.  That is, if you take all the bad outcomes that happen across the insured population and sum their costs, the cost of the insurance purchased by that population must exceed the sum of the costs.  It cannot be otherwise or the insurance company will cease to exist as it will make continual losses and eventually run out of capital.

As such if the catastrophic event already happened you're not negotiating for "insurance"; you are now trying to lay off the cost of mitigating the damage that has already occurred on someone else ex-post-facto.

The common word for that attempted act is theft.

There's more at the link.  Bold and italic print are Mr. Denninger's emphasis.  He goes on to point out that much of the excessive costs associated with medical care are the result of collusion between providers and politicians, and points to the price list (payable in advance) of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma as evidence of the dramatically lower prices that become feasible when a service provider 'opts out' of the politically skewed pricing scheme followed by others.  His entire article makes for very interesting reading.

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Tamara links to an excellent article at the blog of TacStrike Steel Target Systems titled 'The Problems with Panic Buying'.  The author makes the very valid point that far too many people spend a great deal of money on firearms and ammunition, without a commensurate investment in high-quality training to make sure that if push comes to shove, they can employ both assets to best effect.  I've long believed likewise.  Good reading!

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When I was courting Miss D., who was living in Alaska at the time, one of the fun things about visiting Anchorage was to see moose casually walking down the street (sometimes Momma Moose and multiple Baby Mooses in convoy).  Motorists gave way, pedestrians either crossed to the other side of the road or hurriedly disappeared around houses, dogs barked but (mostly) backed off (many of them having learned the hard way that an agitated moose can stomp a dog pretty flat if it wants to), and the Anchorage PD wearily sharpened their pencils and prepared to fill out more reports of moose-versus-car or moose-versus-person encounters.

It was therefore amusing to find that Rev. Paul has put up on his blog a video clip of two bull moose tussling with each other on an Anchorage residential street.  The driver shown in the background has clearly learned that moose have the right of way!  The comments are amusing, too.

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Borepatch points out that "The Ship of State is captained by fools, and all this election is looking to do is replace one set of fools with a different one."  I wish I could disagree . . .

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The Silicon Graybeard offers 'A Simple Guide to Understanding Bureaucracies'.  He uses space and black holes as analogies - very appropriately, too!

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MSgt. B. offers a wonderful military 'Gotcha!' story.  It's enough to make any veteran smile . . .

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While we're talking about things military, American Mercenary offers some cogent thoughts on the concept of a Squad Designated Marksman, his training and his equipment.  Having been 'up the sharp end' myself a time or two, I can't help agreeing with his perspective:  thorough training and basic competence are much more important than fancy hardware.  I daresay most combat veterans will concur.

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Finally, My Gun Culture offers a light-hearted article titled 'A Brief History of Gun Holsters'.  Here's an excerpt (with links added for those who may not know all the connotations).

William Wallace, otherwise known as Braveheart, popularizes the SmartCarry holster design – then known as a sporran. Sporrans were, and continue to be, worn on most fashionable kilts. As guns were not yet invented, historians believe that Wallace carried spare breath mints and a copy of his film rights agreement in his sporran. Wallace’s aggressive attitude prompts officials to ban sporrans in New York City.

Europeans discover that kangaroos were designed with natural inside-the-waistband carry holsters when James Cook's ship Endeavour runs aground off Queensland, Australia. Kangaroos are immediately banned in New York City.

There's more at the link.  Good for a smile!

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That's it from around the blogosphere for this week.  More soon.



Anonymous said...

You asked for comments RE: the Hell on Earth post, so here is mine:

Very true, the number of police who abuse their power, and from thence the citizens, is not large. It is large enough, however, that it merits concern.

It should be noted that bad cops, very bad cops, good cops and very good cops all wear the same uniform, drive the same color cars and receive protection from the same agency management and the same union lawyers.

The citizen's penalty for mistaking a good or very good cop for what turns out to be a bad or very bad cop is sufficiently high that such mistakes are to be avoided, at nearly any cost.

So, one must assume that each and every one is a very bad cop until that officer proves he or she is otherwise.

Yes, that is tarring with a very broad brush, but people like Cory Mays, Kathryn Johnston and a host of others are dead (not to mention a lot of dogs) because police went to the wrong address or conducted an armed raid based on the fabrications of police informants.

A number of people were recently wounded in New York City because two police officers decided to engage in an armed confrontation on a public sidewalk a criminal who had shot his former boss, and the officers failed to consider where their missed shots would go.

Until such time as police no longer have qualified immunity - which absolves them of legal and financial liability for their actions - and they recognize that they are not a sovereign authority unto themselves but are employees of the citizens hired to perform law enforcement services in the best interest of the citizens, we have no choice but to assume each and every one is a threat to our lives and safety until proved otherwise.

Will said...

7:38am has it nailed. The attitude of LEO's in general is half the problem, the other half is bad law. The combination is intolerable.

Minor example: Years ago, I left the passenger door open after unloading my car. In the morning, I found a card from an officer stating that he had found it open but locked, and had closed it for me. BUT, what he did before closing it was to go through EVERYTHING in the car first. A fishing (phishing?) expedition.

Did you know that the court says that an open garage door is a legal invitation to an officer to enter and snoop around? Not sure if this is true for the house itself, but suspect it is.