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Metric

(As stolen borrowed from Brock Townsend…)

Metric?

The Moneychanger

On 28 July 1866 the metric system became the legal measurement system in the US, and we’ve been ignoring it ever since. Why? ‘Tain’t human. Tain’t to the human measure.

Everybody knows an inch is as wide as your thumb, a foot as long as yours, a yard stretches from your nose to your fingertip, but what’s a meter? Why, one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole. Sounds like the sort of “scientific” nonsense that would come out of the French Revolution, and sure enough it did.

It was always interesting to me when I lived in Germany that folks at the meat market didn’t order “grams”, but a Pfund or a halbes Pfund (pound or half pound), & I don’t think I every heard anybody order a kilo of salami.

I tell y’all, metric ain’t human.

I remember when I was in high school, and the chemistry and physics teachers (Wells and Grimm, Dave!) went on-and-on about how the U.S. WAS converting to the metric system, that the rest of the world was doing it, and we WERE getting on board!  I even have a metric stick somewhere commemorating their rants!
But, it never happened…
metric

Doppelganger(s)

Doppelganger (n.)  a duplicate person, as in someone who looks exactly like __________.

I never used to believe in such a thing.  I mean, each human being is an individual, there is no one else like them, right?

WRONG.

I have seen three in the past 20 years(!)

About two months ago, I was grocery shopping at the closest market to home.  Not because it was my favorite, but because it was close.  (Laziness?  Heat?)

I’m standing in the checkout line, and five or six folk ahead of me was a familiar guy.  Tall.  Large.  Built familiarly (if that’s even a word?)  He turned to push out his cart of groceries, and I almost yelled out his name!  He resembled strikingly BOB, my former PI and gun store boss!  Except the previous week I was informed by the original Bob that he just has had the lower part of his left leg amputated.  And I knew there was no way he would have been across the Valley, 30 miles from his home, and so ambulatory right away.  And this guy had more hair, a goatee and a pony tail!  Nope – not Bob!

But certainly closer looking to him than his brother!!

Another time, we were in a Mexican restaurant.  Because it was cheap, not because it was good.  And we were seated by the back door, and could see folks seated outside on the patio.  And there was Marla, a former girlfriend.  Same figure, same face, same laugh and mannerisms.  Except Marla passed away in 2004 – I have a copy of the obituary!

And there was my first observance with a doppelganger.  In 1995, about 4 months after the accident.  You know where I’m going with this…

The ex and I were window shopping at a large mall, largely because it was late Summer and air conditioned.  And a couple walks by with three children.  And number-two child looked exactly like Molly, except with blond hair!!!

I’m not normally the kind of man who faints, but I leaned up against the wall and closed my eyes to keep from losing consciousness.  And to keep from screaming and crying.  And my ex (who obviously had not seen her) asked me what was wrong.

And I nervously pointed.  At air.

There was a couple with children.  TWO children!  And neither resembled our daughter.

Sigh.

To only be able to see her again…

Just In Case You Were Wondering…

Two unrelated graphs, courtesy of Joe Huffman:

gun-ownership-study-state-map

Print

Greece Looking To Be Greased

ATHENS — Retirees throughout Greece mobbed banks as they tried to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in pension payments on Wednesday, as the country teetered on the brink of economic collapse hours after an international bailout expired.

Emotions ran high outside a Piraeus Bank branch in downtown Athens as some 60 customers jostled impatiently after waiting for hours in the sweltering sun.

“This is humiliating,” said Athanasios, an 80-year-old former army officer. “I used to receive a monthly pension of 1,500 euros and now I have to line up for hours to receive 120? This is unfair.”  (in part from The Ultimate Answer To Kings)

I’m reminded of the junior high boy’s joke about the guy being forced to slide backwards down a giant razor blade (using his b***) for brakes, and landing in a bucket of iodine.

And like dominoes, I fear Greece is only the beginning.

Our own government has already made noises about ‘acquiring’ 401k funds, and pensions, and increasing both the amount and items/services being taxed.  And other banks in the World have ‘acquired’ ATM funds and savings of individuals!

The long slide is beginning, my friends, and unless you live largely off the grid in the middle-of-nowhere, bartering gold coin, ammo and water (Joel?), you (we) are in for a wild ride.

If anyone out there thinks bread lines, runs on banks and gas rationing are not in our future, I’d like to heard your predictions.

And ‘domestic violence’ as a result?  A forgone conclusion, I’m afraid.

I truly hope I am completely wrong.

Yep.  This is unfair.  But no one said Life would be.

doom

THE Conundrum Of This Age

Bayou Renaissance Man (from whom I rarely steal quote, as I’d be doing it DAILY! – translation – you should be reading him, daily!) expresses most eloquently this conundrum…

The conundrum of dealing with radical Islam

I’ve written about the military side of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in these pages from time to time.  The trouble is, a military solution isn’t a solution, because it can’t target the mindset that produces legions of suicidal fanatics.  The Russians developed a very direct, pragmatic and utterly ruthless approach to Iranian-sponsored terrorism during the 1980’s.  It worked, because those ‘at the top’ who were controlling the terrorists could be threatened into compliance.  That doesn’t seem to be the case with an organization like ISIL in Syria and Iraq.  When you believe – truly believe, with all your heart and soul – that death in battle, or by assassination, earns you a martyr’s reward in Paradise, death isn’t a threat.  It’s a promise of greatness that you embrace eagerly. The same applies to Hamas and its extreme attitudes towards Israel.  How can you reason with a movement that celebrates death in combat, that indoctrinates its youngest children with lessons about the praiseworthiness of martyrdom and hatred for Israel?  There are many other fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups who’ve adopted similar outlooks on life.

So, how do we deal with them?  It’s easy to say “Kill them all” – but it’s also completely impractical.  Despite losing thousands of its fighters in combat, ISIL appears to have a limitless supply of replacements.  Young women in Europe and America even travel to areas it controls out of a desire to become brides of ‘jihadists’.  Fanaticism is an inbred streak in the human race – not confined to Islam by any means – and as long as there are fanatics, there’ll be those driven to join fanatical movements.  We can’t kill them all without killing the entire human race.  Speaking as a member of that race, I have a profound objection to being included in that process!  There is no way to completely destroy fanaticism.

The mistake politicians make is to assume that they’re dealing with rational human beings.  Rationality is relative.  ISIL’s leaders and its wannabe martyrs are entirely rational, according to their system of thought and belief.  To change their behavior, we have to change that system.  To do that, we have to radically reform the society and culture that have produced it.  Attacking and militarily overrunning that society won’t inculcate contrary values – we’ve proved that time and time again, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The solution has to include methods of changing the situation on the ground.  However, that requires a long-term commitment and huge amounts of money, neither of which are available right now.

The only answer our politicians and leaders appear to have is to keep killing as many Islamist fanatics as possible in order to ‘control the infection’ in their society and culture, even though they must know that doing so will produce still more fanaticsEinstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  That perfectly describes how we’ve tried to control radical Islam for the past few decades.  When will we learn from our failures and try to find a better solution?  Is there, in fact, a better solution?  In my darker moments, I fear there may not be one at all.  History suggests that may be the case, and that the struggle against fanaticism in all its forms may be a Sisyphean endeavor.

Your guess is as good as mine . . .

Peter

We Have Met The Enemy…

…or Send In The Clowns!

I cannot decide which meme is better.

There have been many blog postings of late, some of which even on this humble blog, writing of the growth in worldwide anti-Semitism, government-sponsored violence, religion-sponsored violence, massive surveillance, and wholesale Statism.

And there appears to be a modicum of support against such things.

BUT…

There is a tendency to view such things as off-shore.  Somewhere else.  Another countries’ problem.  And to turn a blind eye to our own versions of such things.

Until it’s too late.

Some folks write as if it IS too late.  That civil upheaval is inevitable.  Others clamor for constitutional conventions.  As though people who control such things can keep the outcome constitutional.

And this new world order of constitution will certainly include or delete a second amendment.

Depending on the flavor of the new constitution’s founding fathers.

What to do, what to do.

Sit on our hands and whine?  Join the convention(s)?  Join the revolt?

pogoOr have the decisions already been made for us?  On the dark web.

 

DON’T BOTHER – THEY’RE HERE!

 

 

Whither Jade Helm 15?

Military watchers – from both the Left and Right – have been watching, warning, and expressing (how do I state this with delicacy?):

DOOM!

It has been reported that regular military folks will be conducting a ‘training operation’ in Texas, beginning July 15.  The Texas governor has even ordered the National Guard to observe the ops, just in case things get hinky.

Following the ease with which martial law was imposed on Boston (post the terrorist bombing), some folks are suggesting this might be the next step.

Practicing to handle civilian populus in a hostile environment (Texas versus Massachusetts) should martial law be imposed THERE!

And obvious comparisons have been made comparing The President to some Austrian-born Reichschancellor who engaged in similar behavior!

Operation Jade Helm 15

Much ado about nothing?  Or should we be concerned?

What do YOU think?tin foil hat

h/t Theo Spark, The Political Commentator, Now The End Begins

Index, Index, INDEX!

The lovely and brilliant Tamara reminded us again of basics.  And reminded me, as well:

Continuing Education

I cannot speak for anyone else, but as much as I lecture others in these pages regarding complacency, I, too, can fall victim to it.  (Duh)

Not just the almighty INDEX (NOT placing one’s index finger in the trigger guard until one is ready to shoot – and where exactly DO you place it?  ALTHOUGH, I’M PRETTY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THIS PART!), but…

When was the last time you checked your weapon for function and safety?  Are all the mechanical parts in good repair?

AND, appropriately lubricated?

How about the magazines (speedloaders or speedstrips)?  Clean and functional?

And the ammunition?  When was the last time you changed it out for newer stuff?  Is your ‘one-up-the-spout’ (aka The Barney Bullet) seated correctly?  Or has months of recharging your sidearm crushed the case mouth?  Or seated the bullet farther inside?

How about the function and maintenance of the holster?  When was the last time it was cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage?  And the belt…

AND WHAT ABOUT YOU?

When was the last time you did a dry-practice exercise?  Including a reload or two?

And do you know the latest nuances in your State’s criminal law statutes?

Not unlike driving a car – one does it every day.  When was the last time you checked the tires?  The oil?  The transmission fluid?  Your brakes?  Reviewed the traffic code?

Do you always wear your seat belt?  (I’m a libertarian, and I do!)

But I’ve not done everything above with regard to my sidearm and it’s equipment.

I need to, more religiously.

Last Minute Louie™, AGAIN!

Well, here it is April 12 , and, I’ve not yet completed my taxes!

APRIL FOOL!

The truth is, I completed them last night!

Down-to-the-wire, true, but not on the 15th!

Of course, being on disability, with no other real income, it’s pretty simple.

And, since 2010, I’ve not gotten much money back.

(Many people dis Arizona for many things, but, if you don’t make enough to pay taxes, AZ does give you $25 to play with!)

Of course, E-filing was $21.99 !

A quick $3.01 !  WOO-HOO!

Whack-A-Mole!

SO…

I awaken fairly early this morning, shower, dress, morning rituals…

And begin my day – with the Internet.

Specifically, my email accounts, news, almanac, and the Guffaw in AZ blog.

Or so I thought I would…

I’ve been having browser trouble, yet again.  And today it was scary!

20150326_090022

WARNING! Will Robinson.

I received warnings like this one using Google Chrome and Opera browsers.  I recently had switched back to Chrome, as Firefox had been giving me some different trouble!  After ‘the troubles’ this morning, I ran both Windows Defender and Malwarebytes (the pay-for version).  WD said there were NO problems, MWB recorded 22, which were then removed.

And Chrome and Opera still ran with ‘issues’.  So I used Comodo Dragon and even reverted to Firefox to get my email and blogging chores done.

Word on the ‘Net is Firefox is going away (so, by extension, will her cousins Comodo Dragon and Comodo Ice Dragon!)  Because Mozilla is lacking in support.  And Internet Explorer is pretty much a ghost, now.  I won’t even mention Netscape, AWOL since she was acquired by AOL.

So, the question remains:  Is there a secure, modern browser with which one may check email, blog and even surf the ‘Net?

Or is accessing the Internet forever to remain a game of whack-a-mole, with regard to bugs, viruses and glitches?

This inquiring mind wants to know

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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