“Baltimore and the Betrayal of Black Dignity”

Following my linking to Fred Reed’s thoughts on the Baltimore riots, courtesy of an e-mail from reader Mike T. my attention was drawn to an article with the above title over at Victor Hanson’s Web site.  Here’s how it begins. Baltimore is the latest American city to become a stage for the farce that is our national racial discourse. The swift, politicized indictment of 6 police officers for the death of Freddie Gray––which brought down, for now, the curtain on this performance by abandoning all the canons of procedural justice–– is a fitting end to this sorry spectacle. The winners

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“A race war in slow motion”

That’s how the iconoclastic Fred Reed sees recent events in Baltimore.  I don’t agree with all his points, but in many cases I do (see my previous warnings about urban areas – follow those five links for details).  (For those who aren’t familiar with Baltimore pronunciation, Fred’s use of the word ‘Ballmer’ reflects this.) As a certified member of the curmudgeon’s tribe, practicing our dismal and lonely trade, I am delighted by the events in Baltimore. Among curmudgeons, almost our only joy is the gratification of confirmation of our dark expectations of humanity. In the case of Ballmer, a particular

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Doofus Of The Day #833

Pity the luckless driver of this Russian 2S3 Akatsiya 152mm. self-propelled howitzer.  He makes several attempts to load it before the final one (which is fairly spectacular, thereby earning him an instant Doofus award). Remembering my own military service, I can’t help but wonder how many push-ups he’ll have to do to pay for that . . . Peter

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Spider crab pyramid

Apparently spider crabs form pyramids to move across the sea floor during migration, as a defense against predators.  I’d never heard of it until I came across this video, filmed near Melbourne, Australia last month. (The video is silent, so don’t adjust your volume setting.) All I can say is, it looks creepy – literally! Peter

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I did not know that

I’ve wondered sometimes why almost all the nail salons I pass on local streets appear to be owned and/or staffed and/or run by Vietnamese.  I’ve just learned how that came about.  Apparently a US actress, Tippi Hedren, was behind it all. Forty years ago, the Hollywood actor traveled to Hope Village, a Vietnamese refugee camp near Sacramento, California, to meet with a group of women who had recently fled the takeover of South Vietnam by the armed forces of Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Hedren was aware of the difficulties the refugees had faced and had been trying before her

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The red tape is mind-boggling

El Capitan is in the process of buying a house.  He lists all the forms he has to complete and return as part of the process.  Go read them for yourself, and marvel at the bureaucratic mindset that requires all of these to buy a house.  Just think . . . our forefathers managed to build, buy or exchange houses without any of them!  How inefficient! Peter

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Good tactics, good skills, good outcome

More details are emerging of how a Garland, TX police officer took down two fundamentalist Islamic terrorists a couple of days ago.  Bob Owens has a very informative analysis.  Here’s an excerpt. At the point of the attack, the two suspects apparently drove up and opened fire upon an unarmed security guard who was accompanied by a 60-year-old Garland police officer. The unarmed guard was struck the volley of gunfire. The veteran Garland officer then drew his duty-issue Glock pistol and opened fire on the suspects. The officer killed one terrorist and wounded the other in his initial volley of

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Doofus Of The Day #832

When Borepatch put up this video this morning, I could hardly believe my eyes.  I would never have imagined that I’d see so many doofi assembled in a single five-minute clip of extreme failures!  I can only confer a collective Doofus Of The Day award upon all concerned. A pogo stick? On a treadmill??? Verily, the mind doth boggle . . . Peter

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Mad Mike’s latest is out in hardcover

Last month I mentioned friend, author and blogger Michael Z. Williamson‘s latest book, ‘A Long Time Until Now‘. Tomorrow, May 5th, it’ll be released in hardcover.  That in itself is a sign of how successful Mike’s becoming:  very few publishers put out hardcover editions of science fiction books, because they seldom sell enough to justify the expense.  Mike’s one of the exceptions to that rule.  (Miss D. has already ordered our hardcover copy – we’ll get Mike to autograph it at LibertyCon next month, which all of us will be attending.) Customer reviews of the e-book edition are very good. 

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Family defensive firearms

Following the Baltimore riots, and the posts I’ve done on related defensive subjects over the past few days, I’ve had several queries asking me what firearms should be considered for defensive purposes when a family is involved.  There may be several people, all needing to use a firearm, covering each other, defending a vehicle or vehicles when traveling, that sort of thing.  The inquirers fell into two camps.  In some cases each individual already had a favorite firearm, but there wasn’t much commonality in terms of caliber, magazines, etc.  In others the family were all relative novices, wanting advice on

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