Who I Am
My SCA Pages
Article and cartoon reprints, photographs, news clippings, and reminiscences.
Mitten Gauntlets Pattern, 1/31/13
Gauntlets: Mitten and Half, 1/26/13
Period Inks and Pigments from the Modern Kitchen, 11/1/12
Hand-Crafted Paper, 9/11/12
New GPG Key, 9/6/13
Scroll down for the free SF book downloads.
Look! Another oathbreaker.
David Codrea turned my attention to this disgusting bit of [censored] [deleted] [expurgated] [whoa... you shoudn't say that]:
Lt. Col. Robert Bateman
(If I'd said what he did, I
wouldn't want anyone to
recognize me either.)
It's Time to Talk About Guns and the Supreme CourtWe? So, Bateman, you will have the courage of your convictions to show up at 60-120 million (estimates of American gun owners vary) doors to steal their property?
What? No? Thought not. Coward. Oathbreaker. Idiot.
Idiot? Yep. He thinks the National Guard is the militia. Despite his alleged expertise in the area and what he's aparently been teaching young up and coming officer candidates, he never got around to reading 10 USC § 311. He's completely unaware of more than two centuries of constitutional debate, legislation, and judical precedent that established that he's completely full of shit.
He also missed this minor, inconsequential oath he swore.
Lt. Col. Robert Bateman is apparently still on active duty. They can dishonorably discharge his ass without benefits, or admit that they intend to instigate an armed revolution.
United States offers to help destroy Syria's chemical weapons
Based on progress disposing of its own chemical weapons stocks, the US estimates they could complete destruction of Syrian weapons somewhere around 2053. Or not.
The US has been trying (on and off, between lawsuits, contractor delays, political grandstanding, and DOD stalling) to destroy existing stocks since the 1980s. The US signed onto the Chemical Weapons Convention (banning chemical weapons) back in 1997; sixteen years ago. They still haven't finished destroying the weapons.
But take on the additional job of eliminating someone else's stuff? Suuure, we can do that. Eventually. Maybe. Sorta.
Then again, this is the same country getting all worked up of Iran enriching uranium for reactors because, "ZOMG! What if they enrich even more and make nuclear bombs?" while itself still possessing the second largest nuke arsenal in the entire world (that link claims 7,700 warheads; other estimates are roughly 5,113).
Excellence in Reporting
(source: Fox5 News)
Police chase suspect through several townsOoo-kay. Use of the pronoun "he" and the verb "driven" suggests that it was a male operating a motor vehicle of some sort. Reconciling the headline with the article text, "several" (as in "several towns") now means "two".
So... Some tall/short/medium white/black/latino/asian/purple/Tau Cetian guy between the ages of 0 and [undefined] operating a motorcycle/car/truck/semi/ATV/hovercraft/flying saucer/Barbie Car of no particular description was stopped for an unspecified reason. He then departed for no discernable reason. Officers chased him into Goffstown, but don't really know where they chased him, but possibly a rec trail. Other departments are searching, but given the description are having difficulty pulling over roughly half the population of the freaking state.
Please note that this is the updated version of the story. WMUR (among other lamestream muddia outlets) strikes again. This is the same station that bought a bogus police press release about a guy with multiple illegal machine guns... who somehow was never charged with anything related to unlawful machine gun possession. Because he didn't have any machine guns, lawful or otherwise. WMUR (and other outlets that carried the same paraphrased press release) never issued a correction on that even though they were informed.
I've actually seen a lot* of those in "news" reports.
(*I started to type "several", but that now means only "two".)
WMUR also has an interesting way of dealing with criticism in the comments. I comment over there sometimes. I have never had a simple observation about an article go to moderation. But only once has a comment critical of WMUR's reportorial -giggle-... skills not gone to moderation. But when anyone calls them out for that, they always claim that it isn't them moderating comments, that Disqus does it automatically without any input or guidance from WMUR at all, and that they've tried to get Disqus to stop it but they won't.
Sheesh. So yeah, my critical comment went to moderation.
I have this fantasy that... maybe... possibly... perhaps media outlets in New Hampshire (and elsewhere, but I'm currently most concerned with the state in which I live) will someday consider asking one or two teensy little questions instead of merely reprinting police press releases with mute, mindless acceptance.
But it's only a fantasy. I know it will never happen, except occasionally by purest accident (and the offending reporter will be promptly disciplined for such arrogance).
There's a reason I'm pretty down on organized religion at the very least.
This article caught my eye; mainly because of a personal experience.
'The congregation was besides themselves': Mormon bishop dresses as homeless man to teach flock a lessonSome years back, down in Georgia, I took a security guard job. For a church, which shall for the nonce remain nameless. Over the years, some people have been able to identify the particular brand of Christianity these folks practiced just hearing the story. Folks living in the region where it happened could ID the specific church.
I had various duties. I opened up the church in the morning. I locked it up again at night when everyone left. I made rounds of the facilities while it was open to make sure undesirables didn't wander in. On a certain week night, when the church held activities for the children and young adults, I had to... tactfully... make sure none of those fine, upstanding pillars-of-the-community-to-be trashed the multimillion dollar complex or stole anything too valuable or difficult to replace. I had to watch the parking lot to ensure only congregation members used it, an interesting job since they didn't use parking stickers that might mar those Cadillacs, BMWs, and Mercedes; I had to recognize every one of the several hundred members. The first day. (Happily for me, spookily for the members, the church kept a book with pictures and short bios of adult members.)
But my most important job was to patrol the main entrance before and after Sunday services (and on Mondays when the church gift shop was open) to run off lowlife scum trying to ask for help.
Seriously. No cute, plausible deniability euphemisms. I was to keep "those sorts" from bothering "our people".
I took it upon myself to research other, more accomodating and generous churches and outreach services in the area. I carried cards to give people with office hours and directions for different kinds of aid; one card for abused women with young children in tow; another for employment assistance, a couple more for soup kitchens. Homeless shelters. Directions to bus stations. Police and other emergency services. I carried change for pay phones. (Such peasants were not allowed inside to use a church phone to call for help.) And knew where pay phones (do you remember those?) could be found.
One Sunday evening, the pastor came after me. He had unexpectedly gone outside while I was on rounds. It wasn't one of the scheduled begin/end services times, which is why I was on rounds. At any rate... a beggar saw the pastor and dared to ask for help. The Right Reverend Asshole was outraged and frightened. I asked what the guy had done: grabbed the pastor, cursed at him, what?
Nope. Nothing like that. He... he.... He asked for food. (At which point I should mention that the church did a Sunday congregation dinner that night, and what leftovers weren't sneaked out by the underpaid staff the congregation would certainly never accept leftovers in the kitchen refrigerators, much less doggy bags were thrown away.) I asked what the pastor did.
He ran inside. And wanted me to go look to see if the beggar was still there. Then walk him to his Beemer.
What a place. Parents seemingly taught their kids to treat other people as disposable peons. There was a middle-aged woman who appeared to be out to prove that she was still attractive to men (other than her creepy husband who didn't seem to notice her anymore, since he was eyeing the teens) and her twenty-something daughter out to prove that she was even more attractive to even more men than her mother.
There was one family that took the whole Christian thing seriously. Parents ran the church library. Daughter helped. Son would try to keep the teen activity riots down to a dull roar and tried to fix and repair things when the overly-entitled bastards wouldn't listen (literally: holes in the hall walls, torn up floor tiles, et cetera were a normal thing there, and had to be fixed; preferably that night, but at the very least before the hall was used again later that week.) Because they actually.. you know... worked, that one family was looked down upon and ridiculed by other church members. And not just the kids; alleged adults were the worst offenders.
But the pastor dress up as a panhandler to make a point about Christian charity? No frickin' way. 99.5% of them couldn't spell charity.
To be honest, I find many things about the Mormon faith to be a bit peculiar. Even for faith. But they must be doing something right, because one on one Mormons tend to be some of the nicest people I meet.
In short, if you like what you see, I'd appreciate it very much if you would consider dropping a little something in my Tip Jar. It's the only money I'll ever get out of all that work. It would be great if I could get enough to keep me in beans and rice. If nothing else, remember that it costs me money to maintain this site and provide the bandwidth for the free (to you) downloads.
By special request, I can also provide these in other formats (Kindle, EPUB, etc.)