18 May 2018

“Will These Bastards Ever Stop? Is There Anything They Won’t Tax?”

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18 May 2018

“We’re From the Government. We’re Here to Help.”

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Doesn’t reading this San Diego Union-Tribune story make you happy you don’t live in San Diego County?

Around San Diego County, a hot, salty, buttered controversy has popped up.

Should hardware stores offer free bags of freshly popped popcorn?

While that may look like a warm, welcoming treat, free popcorn is a threat to public health — or so argue county officials. Last month, health inspectors raided La Jolla’s Meanley & Son Hardware, warning that its old-fashioned red popcorn machine is a germy outlaw.

“They explained we didn’t have the proper permits,” said Bob Meanley, whose shop had handed out 30 to 40 bags every day for about 25 years.

To comply with the 1984 California Uniform Retail Food Facility Law, Meanley & Son would need to install a three-basin sink to clean and sterilize the popcorn popper. Also required: regular inspections, just like a restaurant.

Meanley declined and instead rolled the offending machine into storage. Thus ended a tradition he had started 25 years ago.

“I hate to take away something that our customers really like,” said Meanley, whose grandparents founded the hardware store in 1948. …

The county Department of Environmental Health, for its part, has a long tradition of cracking down on these scofflaws. Three years ago, inspectors cited Encinitas’ Crown Ace Hardware and San Carlos True Value Hardware.

“The Health Department came in,” said San Carlos True Value manager Danielle Matheny, “and told us if we wanted to continue giving away free popcorn and coffee we’d have to install a bigger vent system, a bigger and better sink in the break room — a lot of rules and restrictions they put on us.”

In both Encinitas and San Carlos, the stores dropped the practice. Inspectors so far have ignored Payton’s, but El-Hajj figures it’s just a matter of time.

“I feel sad,” she said, “that some of the old traditions we have become so regulated.”

RTWT

18 May 2018

Larry Correia Disinvited from Gaming Convention

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Joe Long discusses the latest major outbreak of SJW tyranny in Nerdland.

The classic Marxists of the 20th century wanted to bring the entire world under Communist domination. The new Millennium’s heirs to that movement on the progressive Left are more ambitious: They strive to dominate all the worlds—even the ones that exist only in your imagination. Perhaps especially those.

Using strategies reminiscent of campus crybullies, Leftist activists increasingly are trying to empower literary and hobby Thought Police, and to force every sector of our culture to ostracize non-radicals and wrong-thinkers. This week’s successful fascist psy-op was launched against Larry Correia, a best-selling science-fiction and fantasy author. Correia, an avid wargamer as well as a genre celebrity, was disinvited from a tabletop gaming convention at which he’d been listed as a featured guest.

Yes, you read that correctly. Ohio’s venerable “Origins Game Fair”—where “grognards” and other varieties of tabletop gaming fan congregate, to roll oddly shaped dice and move miniature tanks or tiny, carefully-painted orcs across the hexagonally-delineated maps of imaginary battlefields—the gaming convention has withdrawn the invitation to its prominent, popular guest of honor, because of a campaign of Social Justice Warrior complaints.

The fair’s executive director, John Ward, condescendingly Leftsplained that counterrevolutionary thought must be suppressed, and that proponents of such thoughts must obviously be exiled from society.

OK, that’s my paraphrase. It’s close enough, though. Unironically employing language reminiscent of compliant totalitarian functionaries across time and, perhaps, dimensions, Ward explained, “…when [Correia] was recommended I was unaware of some personal views that are specifically unaligned with the philosophy of our show and our organization. I want to thank those of you that brought this error to our attention. Origins is an inclusive and family friendly event . . . ” …

Not only did Ward create a standard that “personal views” (or alleged personal views) of presenters must share an alignment (presumably “lawful evil”) with the show and organization, he actually thanked the informants who detected Correia’s badthink before it could infect his event.

What were the “personal views?” They were never specified. We’re left to derive them from Correia’s work, as the helpful informants did. (Correia offered his own gracious rejoinder on his website: “For me personally, meh. I go to enough events. I’ll just do something else fun that weekend.”)

Correia’s most popular series of novels, Monster Hunter International, is a gunslinging, tongue-in-cheek fantasy action-adventure, set in a modern world secretly menaced by legions of B-movie monsters. The heroes are private contractors, in the entrepreneurial mode of the original “Ghostbusters” (the ones who were male, and funny) but with a far better arsenal. This ragtag band combats the monster menace while navigating an obstructive Federal bureaucracy to collect generous bounties. Correia’s cast features members of several races, a few species (some of them imaginary), and every existing sex (both of them real). However, his female, African-American and other assorted protagonists all love guns—and they all respect, whether or not they share, traditional religious beliefs.

Baptists, conservative Jews, the anti-monster detachment of the Pope’s Swiss Guards, and Correia’s Mormon co-religionists all make positive appearances in Correia’s novels. And folks tolerant—or celebratory—of guns and religion, show up, too. These facts about these fictional people apparently forfeit all intersectionality points!

Correia’s Monster Control Bureau, which is featured in that series, deserves special mention. The fictional MCB is a secretive, ruthless government organization which manipulates the media; enforces irrational and counterproductive regulations; has sincere, patriotic agents at street-level but suffers from high-level corruption, and (spoiler alert!) just might have elements colluding with the monsters. (All this long before the Muller probe!)

No perusal of Correia’s works reveals misogyny, racism, or any legitimate reason for resentment by his non-readers, who can easily find works tailored to their “social justice” tastes. However, if nonprogressivism is a crime, Correia’s surely guilty. After all, other works by the author, include fantastical alternate history series in which FDR is an antagonist of the heroes, and his farcical The Adventures of Tom Stranger: Interdimensional Insurance Agent audiobooks are unapologetic right-wing political humor. His strongly-expressed views on politics in the science-fiction publishing world have also frequently sparked reactions and melodramatic overreactions; the disinvitation from Origins is only the most recent Correian War within the world of fandom.

This only intensifies the loyalty of his many fans, however, who have responded to the latest high-handed progressive buffoonery with fury.

RTWT

———————————-

Larry Correia’s response to being disinvited:

For the record, I’m not any of the things they accuse me of. Despite writing a whole bunch of books, and a ton of political articles, and all of my many personal interactions with fans (I’ve done up to 15 cons and events in one year), none of these people can ever find any actual examples of me being sexist, racist, or homophobic (and the Guardian looked hard and still came up with nothing).

That’s because in reality, I’m a libertarian who does not give a shit who you are, or what you do, and it is none of my business, as long as you stay off my lawn.

This time they kept calling me a “rape apologist”. They dug up that classic that John Scalzi created about me several years ago. It’s total nonsense. I spent many years teaching self defense to women, and I’m all in favor of every rape attempt ending with the rapist receiving a couple hollow points to the chest. But that just goes to show the power of lies, rumor, and narrative.

So years later, complete strangers come out of the woodwork to talk about how evil I am. Yeah… That does get tiresome. It is wearying.

I’m really sorry for any fans who were planning on seeing me at Origins. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you at some other event.

RTWT

———————————-

John Ringo had some good suggestions for other potentially-targeted SF-authors on FB:

So Larry Correia’s invite as GOH to Origins got rescinded because he’s ‘racist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘has sex with manatees’ etc.

This is a strong suggestion to any decent author, especially all Baen authors.

If invited to a con, especially as a ‘special guest’, require the following in your contract:

Pre-paid travel. (Non-refundable, reserved for your use and one guest.)
Pre-paid room. (Non-refundable, reserved for your use and one guest.)
A cash guarantee of non-cancellation on their part.

Show them links to what happened to myself and Larry.

If they cave to the SJW mobs, make it cost them.

If they refuse, they’re probably setting you up. (This, very much, looked like a set-up to boost visibility. ConCarolinas is slightly different.) Tell them that based upon recent history you have to assume they’re setting you up if they have issues with such basic items and ask them not to contact you again.

Any convention that for any reason plays this game of ‘we have to rescind your invitation’ (Origins, ConCarolinas, ArchCon) refuse to attend and ask other authors to refuse to attend. Not for any reason. Not because it’s ‘local’, not because it’s ‘convenient’. Not because ‘I’ve always gone to X con!’

Start choking them off of the revenue stream created by our attendance.

Just. Say. No.

As authors, we really don’t need conventions anymore. You get more sales through posts online and engaging in social media (for as long as Twitter and Facebook will allows us to do so) than going to all the conventions in the world. The cons are mostly for your fans and if the cons want to play this game, the fans need to make it clear they’re not going.

The exceptions to this are LibertyCon and Dragon Con. They’re both professionally run cons run by professional people who don’t play the SJW game. They’re TRULY apolitical. ( FenCon Convention seems to still be playing it down the middle as well.)

With every other convention, assume you’re being set-up at this point and don’t be played for a sucker.

Oh, yeah, and as fans and lovers of liberty, never, ever attend Origins again if you ever have. Or ConCarolinas. (Sorry, Jada.) Or ArchCon. Or WorldCon.

We need a list. They never will be missed. No they never will be missed.

This has to stop and it won’t until we take a stand. For those of you reading this who are ‘liberals’, please look at the history of how this is going and wonder how long it will take for YOU to end up against the wall. Think they’re going to stop with me and Larry? Think again.

Boycott, divest, sanction.

It’s time to strike back. We don’t need cons. Cons need us. Time for them to figure that out.

18 May 2018

Good TR Story

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John Singer Sargent, Theodore Roosevelt, 1903, White House.

The Art of John Singer Sargent in the White House:

The commission for the painting was arranged in 1902, likely at the behest of architect Charles McKim, who was then under Roosevelt’s direction. Sargent was living in London at the time, but expected to return to the United States to continue work he had undertaken for the Boston Public Library. When Sargent agreed in May 1902 to paint the president’s picture, Roosevelt wrote to him that “it seems to me eminently fitting that an American President should have you paint his picture. I cordially thank you.”

Sargent arrived in the United States in January 1903 and came to live in the White House the following month. At first, the personalities of the two men made progress difficult. Sargent was especially picky about the location where he would ask the president to pose, and Roosevelt was notoriously prickly and impatient with directives. According to one account the president was leading the artist upstairs when the two got into an argument. Roosevelt accused Sargent of not knowing what he wanted, and the artist retorted that the president did not know how to pose. Furious, Roosevelt turned around, grabbed the newel-post with his right hand and yelled “Don’t I!”—at which Sargent told him to hold his pose right there. Sargent completed his portrait on February 19 after several sessions. The president’s refusal to pose for more than half an hour at a time annoyed the painter, but Roosevelt was delighted with the results, professing to “like his picture enormously.”

HT: Bercik.

17 May 2018

US Army Looking For First New Submachine Gun Since WWII

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75 years is a long time. Popular mechanics:

In a surprise move, the U.S. Army is asking industry for ideas for a new submachine gun. The last time the Army adopted a submachine gun was in 1943. It’s not clear why the Army wants a new subgun but it likely has to do with the service’s eventual adoption of a new rifle caliber and new assault rifle.

Submachine guns were developed during the World War I as an alternative to bulky, slow-firing bolt action rifles. Short and firing pistol caliber ammunition, they were ideal weapons for assault troops clearing narrow trenches of enemy troops. The U.S. Army went into World War II with the M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun, which fired the same .45 ACP round as the M1911A1 pistol. Towards the end of the war the Thompson was supplemented by the M3 “Grease Gun”, also in .45 ACP.
M3 “Grease Gun”
Getty Images

Submachine guns were eventually replaced in many armies by shortened assault rifles, which used heavier assault rifle rounds while still physically compact. In the U.S. Army, the M3 was used up through the 1991 the Gulf War by vehicle and by Delta Force.

According to The Firearm Blog, the U.S. Army has posted a Request for Information from the defense industry for a new submachine gun. The RFI is for a Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) that will fire 9×19-millimeter (9mm Luger) ammunition, have full automatic capability, a Picatinny rail for attaching lights, optics, and other accessories, and mentions the capability to mount a suppressor.

RTWT

17 May 2018

“Cobra Kai”

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YouTube premiered its first hit on May 8th: “Cobra Kai” — a ten-episode sequel to “The Karate Kid” (1984) which takes up the story of Danny LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence 34 long years later. Season 2 has already been commissioned.

Rolling Stone describes how the new show got started.

16 May 2018

Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Jr. (1931–2018)

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When his Yale professors rejected the topic of his thesis – Communist influences on American writers, 1928–1942 – Wolfe showed his versatility in a letter to a friend dated June 9, 1956:

These stupid fucks have turned down namely my dissertation, meaning I will have to stay here about a month longer to delete all the offensive passages and retype the sumitch. They called my brilliant manuscript ‘journalistic’ and ‘reactionary,’ which means I must go through with a blue pencil and strike out all the laughs and anti-Red passages and slip in a little liberal merde, so to speak, just to sweeten it. I’ll discuss with you how stupid all these stupid fucks are when I see you.”

Molliter Ossa Cubent. [“May the earth lay lightly on his bones.” — Ovid, Heroides, VII, 162.]

HT: Vanderleun.

16 May 2018

How Not to Get Shot

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Peaceful Palestinian Demonstrators.

Dan Greenfield offers helpful advice to non-violent protestors which could save their lives.

The following is intended to serve as a useful guide to various activists, protesters and other completely non-violent folk who happen to be packing knives, guns, rocks and grenades. You will encounter various law enforcement and military personnel– this is how not to get shot by them.

First of all it’s important to remember that if you attack an armed man in a uniform, he will very probably shoot you.

Even given the most restrictive Rules of Engagement in the world which forbid him from opening fire unless he is outnumbered 600 to 1, and only when he has been given specific authorization by the UN to use deadly force– there will still come a time when he will open fire on you. This will occur when he feels that he or his comrades are in danger. At this point there will be bullets headed your way, and no matter what you learned at your Madrassa or in Protest Studies at Evergreen State High University, you are not bulletproof. Really, you’re not.

The good news is that there is a very easy way not to get shot.

Step 1. Don’t attack soldiers.

Step 2. When in doubt, see Step 1.

That means not trying to disembowel them with your peaceful knife and not throwing rocks at their head. Because while you might think that legal activism includes attempted murder, the men in uniform think that attempted murder should result in sudden death. And when that happens you will realize that fanatical passion for your poorly thought out cause and a medieval weapon are no match for trained soldiers who have guns and know how to use them.

RTWT

16 May 2018

“Far Alamo”

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Loads of Western movie heroes defend the Alamo against Starship Troopers bugs in this very cool mashup by Fabrice Mathieu.

16 May 2018

Where Did the Symbols on Slot Machines Come From?

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Kuriositas has the answer.

Let’s take the bell symbol, as a starting point. You might imagine – and it’s a good guess – that as church bells are rung by the winning side at the end of a war, that they are a symbol of victory.

In fact, in the 1800s the first three-reel slot machine game was invented by a Charles Frey and the name he gave it was the Liberty Bell – no guessing what the winning line was. This first design was duplicated by many in the game’s development and the bell was retained in those new designs and is still with us today.

The bar symbol is a little less obvious. We might think that they represent bars of gold but strangely enough they represent a pack of chewing gum! It was the logo of the Bell-Fruit Gum Company. So why on earth would this symbol appear on a slot machine?

The answer lies in the gambling laws in some US states in the late 1800s where betting was prohibited altogether. Even normal vending machines were regarded with some suspicion by some law-makers. If cash prizes were given then the manufacturers of the machines (not to mention those who rented them for use in their establishments) would be liable to prosecution. So they decided that the prize would be… chewing gum!

This not only explains the presence of the bar symbol on slot machines but also the addition of fruit which appeared at the same time. You may have already guessed that the cherry, melon and other fruit that appeared on the reels were indicative of the flavour of gum the winner would receive in recompense for the penny they had placed in the machine.

RTWT

15 May 2018

Foraging

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Major General Sterling Price, C.S.A.

Andy Adams, “The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days” (1903):

Another vivid recollection of those boyhood days in Georgia was the return of my father from the Army. The notice of Lee’s surrender had reached us, and all of us watched for his coming. Though he was long-delayed, when at last he did come riding home on a swallow-marked brown mule, he was a conquering hero to us children. We had never owned a horse, and he assured us that the animal was his own, and by turns set us on the tired mule’s back. He explained to mother and us children how, though he was an infantryman, he came into possession of the animal. Now, however, with my mature years and knowledge of brands, I regret to state that the mule had not been condemned and was in the “U.S.” brand. A story which Priest, “The Rebel,” once told me throws some light on the matter; he asserted that all good soldiers would steal. “Can you take the city of St. Louis?” was asked to General Price. “I don’t know as I can take it,” replied the general to his consulting superiors, “but if you give me Louisiana troops, I’ll agree to steal it.”


Louisiana Tiger Zoauves.

15 May 2018

Go For It!

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HT: Karen L. Myers.

15 May 2018

What I Show People When They Ask What Texas is Like

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14 May 2018

Waiting For Road to Clear

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