Wolfe Time Again

I meant to blog this earlier, but I’ve been kind of busy between making phone calls about the accident and actual work. Instapundit had a lengthy post including reader email here, which kind of startled me. The money quote:

A marriage based on an arrangement like that is never going to work. And a nation based on a democracy won't either, because the other side decides two can play that game. And eventually it is going to occur to one side that if the power struggle became more of a, say, "historically traditional" model, there seems to be a enormous differential in the potential of each side to field strength on the physical plane. At that point, it becomes tempting, and less aggravating, for one side to just cut the Gordian knot.

Stripped of the fancy language, reader Scott is talking about the time when some group decides no more compromise can be had and it’s time to start shooting people. The startling thing to me is that this discussion is happening in a decidedly mainstream forum.

In the online circles I frequent, the question of armed resistance to the government is a perennial topic. It may be a discussion on the wisdom of shooting the SWAT team kicking down your door or whether it’s time to refresh the tree. The concept is always there. However, it doesn’t come up much outside of the fringe. To see it discussed on a relatively mainstream site is slightly disconcerting. Is the political discourse in this country that poisonous? If it is, maybe I should be worrying more.

On the plus side, people of my ideological bent tend towards the heavily armed end of the spectrum. I, like others I know, can arm a rifle team out of my closet. Other ideological persuasions (read greens, donks, and wacked out lefties of all stripes) are not generally so well equipped. On the negative side of the equation, I have to paraphrase the Wine Commonsewer from a discussion elsewhere: whoever ends up winning, people like us will be on the wrong side of the barricades.

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Random Thought on the Laffer Curve

Why the hell are we worrying about maximizing government revenue, anyway? Shouldn’t the goal be to take the minimum amount necessary to accomplish the government’s essential functions?



Vacation Punishment

So we departed town and went to New Orleans for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. Ate some food, drank some booze, bought some stuff, had a grand old time.

As punishment for my sins, I was rear-ended on the way into work this morning. Some asshat with a suspended driver's license and no insurance apparently wasn't paying enough attention to notice my truck was stopped. I am so less than thrilled.

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Did I say competent? That might have been too strong of a word.

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Beer Is Brain Fuel

I didn't need any additional justification, but this is good to know.

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Today is the 50 year anniversary of the little satellite that could.

In more from the YPS newsfeed, which is apparently 5 years out of date at times, here's the real story of the plucky little dog that didn't.

As a side note, I wonder just how much more weirdness is buried in Soviet archives waiting to be brought back into the light. I'm guessing it's quite a bit.

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BATFE = Losers

So in my browsing around for research on my previous entry, I found some fascinating reading on the case of the National Association of Rocketry and the Tripoli Rocketry Association vs. BATFE. The most recent documents are listed here.

I’ll summarize for y’all. The BATFE decided, with no apparent basis in fact, that something was dangerous and subject to additional regulation. BATFE was called on this decision. BATFE then proceeded to manufacture data in contravention of general industry practice that supported their predetermined conclusion while attempting to suppress or ignore any evidence to the contrary. The expert witnesses BATFE used have no readily discernible technical knowledge and are unfamiliar with the basic standards of the materials they are purporting to be expert on. When the court asks further questions, BATFE makes up more bullshit and tries to obfuscate the issue by claiming some imaginary peril.

Anybody in the gun community who sees a pattern in this kind of behavior, raise your hand. This is the kind of thing BATFE has been doing to gun owners for years. The problems with BATFE do not appear to live solely in the firearms branch, but appear to be agency-wide.

Again, BATFE should be a convenience store, not a government agency. More importantly, the ignuts at BATFE cannot confine themselves to doing their job competently while remaining within the bounds of the law. I’d call that prima-facie evidence of the need for drastic reform, if not outright abolishment. I think you can guess which one of those I’d choose, but I’ll take the other option, too.

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The Geek Is Strong

Yeah, lame Star Wars reference, I know. Anyhow, via Gizmodo I found the build page from Polecat Aerospace. The Star Wars reference is because they built a 21 foot long replica of an X-Wing and are gonna try to fly it with 4 M class rocket motors.

I am interested in seeing the video from launch, if it becomes available on the net. In any case, I salute these folks for being crazy enough to try it and dedicated and competent enough to pull it off.

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