January 2005


Declaration of Independence… 1776.
Ratification of Constitution… 1789.

It took thirteen years here; here there were no former tyrants nor religious zealots violently opposing democracy.

Everyone deserves freedom and democracy.

Watching the democracy dance makes me laugh and cry. I’m so proud of my country.

In joy and sorrow, we’ve sent a donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This fund provides support to the families of American servicepeople who have paid the ultimate price providing the freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people that we Americans take for granted.

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Attn: Lara Coury
One Intrepid Square
West 46th St & 12th Ave
New York, New York 10036

‘100% of contributions from the public for this effort go to support military families; no administrative costs are deducted. The Fund’s Board of Trustees underwrites all administrative costs.’

http://www.fallenheroesfund.org/

Dude. A telephone pole.

The community is discussing a photo of a guy who apparently had a skydiving accident and landed on a telephone pole. This picture was taken in the trauma center and shows the guy on a cot with the pole coming in the bottom and coming out the back. It looks darned painful.

If you might be interested in this, here’s a link to the discussion. If you aren’t sure, please do not click through. The picture is not gory as such, but it is incredibly disturbing. You have been warned.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/onlineambulance/191016.html

Here’s the wig-wag MPEG. It’s 768k, so beware if you are on a slow connection. Also, if you know what wig-wags look like or don’t care, you won’t hurt my feelings by not checking this out.

http://www.divergenttechnology.com/jpayne/images/wigwag.mpg

Too cool by half.

Some interesting commentary here.

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/

Belmont Club tends to be a good source for on-the-ground information as well as strategic and tactical analysis on Iraq issues.

(Scroll down for discussion of Michael Moore rewriting George Orwell to suit Moore’s ends.)

Regarding lower Sunni turnout; not withstanding the higher rates of intimidation among this group comprising the former ruling elite,
James Taranto makes an excellent point.

Still, let’s say the worst happens and a combination of terrorism and boycotts succeeds in keeping all but a few Sunni Arabs away from the polls. Would that really make the election illegitimate? Before you answer, consider a thought experiment: Suppose that, when South Africa held its first postapartheid election in 1994, Afrikaner turnout had been depressed by similar measures. Would that have made the enfranchisement of a long-oppressed majority any less a cause for celebration?

http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110006215

While researching the previous post, I was looking for the Ernie and Bert image (which, for what it’s worth, has been posted over my desk since shortly after the raid). I came across Ernie’s House of Whoop-Ass, or EHOWA.COM.

http://www.ehowa.com/

Share and share alike. Some of the stuff here is hysterical (link to ‘record breaking snowfall’ for example), some of it is out-of-hand disgusting. Think Maxim with a real sharp edge. No, I don’t really look at Maxim, but my female SF roommates get it on a regular basis and leave it in the bathroom.

Note to self; more research required.

Here’s a picture of a tough guy; fully-automatic Heckler-Koch MP-5 with integral light, kevlar everything. Just the ticket for pulling screaming children out of closets. Big strong brave man. You can tell this guy is a well-trained pro; he’s got his finger out of the trigger guard. No poseur, here. No accidental shooting when the hidden AP photographer pops the flash.

I’ll bet the government thug is proud of this moment; a high point in his career. I wish I were as cool as him.

Of course, they didn’t have a warrant, so they couldn’t just show up at the door, flash the papers, and remove the child. Nope; they needed one hundred and fifty one heavily-armed soldiers with gas and machine guns to break the several constitutional guarantees.

Remind me again how it’s the Republican administrations that are evil.

Oh, yeah, right. Dalrymple wasn’t really a fisherman; it was only a hobby of his, so that made it okay.

Here’s the better picture that really sums up the situation.

Let’s not pretend these guys are INS. Forget posse-comitatus; I’d bet a dollar this guy is Delta Force. They did the heavy lifting at Waco, too, according to the tinfoil-hat set.

Not that I’d believe it.

Anyone else paying the slightest attention to this?

http://ap.tbo.com/ap/florida/MGBXVN5XI4E.html

This is your government; or rather, the government under Janet Reno. A federal judge had said that the boy could stay until the legal issues were resolved, but the administration at the time wasn’t going to risk another Muriel-style boatlift for the sake of one six-year-old’s shot at freedom.

The fascists put up one hundred and fifty one agents to pluck the kid from his relatives and return him to the worker’s paradise. One hundred and fifty one agents.

The agents fully admit gassing passive bystanders, but claim the bystanders were gassed from fifteen to twenty feet away. The victims (the ones that weren’t turned over to communist Cuba, that is) claim that they were gassed from two feet away. Does it make a fucking shred of difference? One hundred and fifty one agents gassed unarmed citizens of the United States to kidnap a child that a Federal judge had said could stay.

Ayup. If Ashcroft had done this, people would be, um, upset. Reno did it, so, of course, it’s good and just.

Back to sleep, nothing of interest here.

I just got back from picking up my car from the electronic integrator guy.

Now I’ve got a stylin’ CD player (it plays MP3s, too) in place of the cassette deck that was in it before (as far as I can tell, the only feature lacking in my new ride as it was when I picked it up).

I had the guy direct-wire my front strobes to a switch on the dashboard. The other day, I cut up the wire that attached the strobes to the cigarette lighter (of course, they don’t call it a ‘cigarette lighter’ any more) and made a pair of harnesses; one with the lighter plug on the end and the other with stripped wires. I put a plug on the wires and the end of the wire coming out of the strobe unit. Now I can run the strobes off of the switch or I can put the strobes in a different vehicle by unplugging the direct wire and plugging in the lighter plug. Cool. I picked up a pair of switches from Subaru that fit the cutouts on the dash where switches for foglamps and something else would go, so now the strobes, as I said, run off a pushbutton on the dash, plus, they are independent of the ignition.

I also had the guy install a wig-wag controller for the rear, also run off a switch on the dash. Wig-wags flash the brake lights and the reverse lights sequentially several times a second. These are also independent of the ignition, so I can show up at a call, turn off the car, and still have the various lights flashing; a very handy feature for guiding in the ambulance or other responders or alerting motorists to something unusual going on.

The guy also installed my siren, or as they say in Vermont, syreen. I didn’t play with it too much since I was driving home at ten ’til midnight, but now if you press the horn (assuming the siren head is switched on), rather than a wimpy ‘beep’, you get a heavy-duty ‘whonk!’. And that’s just on the air-horn setting. The siren also has wail, yelp, and piercer sounds. The horn on the steering wheel is now a potent traffic moving tool. Whoop-whoop-whoop-whonk!-blap-blap-blap-whoooooooooooooo-whonk!

I’ll put up an MPEG video one of these days.

I have to have a special permit for the lights and siren, a so-called ‘red-light’ permit. According to the law, when I am responding to a call, my car is an emergency vehicle. I have the same rights and responsibilities as a police car, ambulance, or fire truck. I can pretty much ignore most traffic laws (with the absolute exception that I must stop for school buses). Everyone else must stop and give way. Woe betide the responder who causes an accident through reckless driving, though.

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