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michael_j_doyle [userpic]

They told me that if I voted for ...

May 10th, 2011 (10:10 pm)

In the 1964 Presidential Election, Barry Goldwater challenged Lyndon Johnson. It ws a very ugly campaign, at least as far as the whisper campaign against Goldwater. In 1968, Republicans had a rueful joke: "They told me that if I voted for Barry Goldwater, my money would be worth nothing, there'd be riots in the streets, and we'd send half-a-million soldiers to fight a war in Asia. Well, I voted for Goldwater, and they were right..." In that spirit:

They told me that if I voted for John McCain, I'd see idological purity tests that would make Nixon's Enemies List look like a blacklist for a church social.

Well, I voted for McCain, and they were right...

michael_j_doyle [userpic]

One Down, Ten Million or So to Go...

May 2nd, 2011 (04:28 am)
current mood: okay

CNN: Ding, dong, binLadin's Dead!


BUT... it's a little early to declare peace just yet. There's still a metric fuckton of Islamic fundamentalist assholes out there who want to kill everydamnthing that isn't Islamic fundamentalist. It's good news, but it's not champagne-and-cigars good news.

I equate it with popping Yamamoto. We popped an important leader, but there's still one fucking helluva lot of enemy out there that LURVS killin' them some Infidels. So this Bud's for you, and say hi to the Marlboro man for me, but keep your eyes open and keep your warload close to hand...

In the meantime, I got two tunes for bin Ladin. First up, I hope that Johnny Cash was around to serenade the SOB as a pair of angels skywalked him for the long-hard slide down the Razorblade of Life from the Pearly Gates to the River SXtyx...


And, once he gets in front of Iblis, I hope he gets told just HOW he got there... Might be a bit redneck of me, but Toby Keith 'splained it pretty well:


Whatever my reservations about how this event fits into the grand scheme of things, I have to take a copper's attitude: Osama bin Ladin just cashed in on Terrorism, Hijacking, Arson, Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism, Hijacking, and Arson, 3000 counts of 1st Degree Murder Aggravated by Felony, 343 Counts of Murder of Firefighter, Aggravated by Felony,  78 Counts of Murder of Police Officer, Aggravated by Felony, in excess of 9000 Counts of Assault Aggravated by Felony - and Grand Theft Oxygen {snicker]. So, I'm going to go redneck again and play y'all out the door with another Toby Keith selection:

...Tho', in this case, it might be better said, "Whiskey for my SEALS - and Beer for my Rotorheads!"

michael_j_doyle [userpic]

Once again, we've gone IN-sane, here

May 1st, 2011 (10:04 pm)

They weren't satisfied with state-level SWAT raids on food co-ops - now,enter the Feds: FDA Busts Amish Farmer for Trafficking in Contraband Dairy Products 

They appear to be hanging their hats on the Interstate Commerce authority granted the Feds in the Constitution. I don't think the Founders had this application in mind, though, and I'm pretty sure that they'd find the DEA-style narcotics-sting tactics appalling - hell,if he were around today, I suspect Jefferson would be the first one calling for revolution!

Playing Devil's Advocate for the moment, I get the complaint of the natural-foods crowd that pasteurization kills the beneficial microorganisms along with the pathogens, I truly do - we have a lot of documentation on symbiotic bacteria in medical literature. The flip side is the mirror image: in raw milk, the pathogens are retained along with the symbiotic bacteria, and the pathogens can kill you just as dead as a .45 slug at point blank range would, only taking a week or two versus a second or two, so I grant a public safety interest. The problem is that, if you've been informed of the risks, and you freely choose to take a risky action anyway, I feel no particular compulsion to stop you from it. Perhaps that's my fatal flaw as a copper, but freedom to choose also means freedom to suffer the adverse consequences as well as to reap the favorable consequences...

I hate to say it, but I still haven't gotten to the point where I'd be joining Jefferson at the barricades. I still recoil from the horror of another civil war. But, it's getting to the point where I don't know what to tell anybody who decides he's had enough. Just ask yourselves if you're damned sure that whatever you wreak is going to be worth the lives of the people you get killed wreaking it.


michael_j_doyle [userpic]

Who Is John Galt?

April 15th, 2011 (11:17 pm)

Just saw "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1".Good stuff. Competently acted and produced, faithful to the book except in one key aspect I remarked upon in passing some time ago: They dropped the"shaft the protagonists" repeated ad nauseum. Heresy, I know, but I believe this is the exception to the rule - for once, the movie is better than the book. 

It's worth seeing this in the theater, if you can find it (like a lot of indie films, it hasn't gotten a lot of promotion, and distribution suffered from not being in the big studios' pipelines). After you've seen it in the theater, keep an eye out for the DVD release, and snatch that up. We want to encourage these guys to make Part 2

Mind you, it was shot on a 10 million dollar budget, and it shows. The acting is competent, but not great; the production values are okay, but not fine; and the FX was one CGI sequence of a supertrain zipping through Colorado. It wouldn't be Academy Award material, even if the message were not absolutely abhorrent to the politically-correct crowd that hands out awards and reviews. But, for all that, it's a good movie, and worth your time.

Speaking of reviews, I expect it to be universally panned by the critics. Screw 'em - if you only watch what the critics tell you to watch, you deserve what you get.. No review, just a recommendation. The movie's worth your time and your ticket money.

michael_j_doyle [userpic]

Moto Stuffs

April 4th, 2011 (03:27 am)


michael_j_doyle [userpic]

Your Tax Dollars at Rest

March 30th, 2011 (07:46 pm)

We just rolled out the new payroll system, with intricate tracking of each chargeable hour, for which the state paid a very large sum, is using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for time reporting. Unless we have an absolutely insane back end, I find it hard to credit the figure of $100 million to develop and deploy it...

But wait, it gets better! Our middle-management honcho (basically, a PHB with a crewcut) had a headshed with my boss this morning, who called us in and passed the word. Previously, we'd been dodging the "No Overtime!" edict we received from Finance by informally taking comp time if we got a situation where we would run over forty hours in the work week. No more. With this new payroll system, we no longer have the ability to do that - we're tracked down to the quarter-hour. This means that, even if we get a training opportunity that incurs no cost for tuition and fees, room and board, or travel expenses, all paid for by the host - we still can't go, because, "You're on-the-clock while you're traveling - if you spend forty hours in the class, and you even spend fifteen minutes on the road to get there, you're on overtime, and, therefore, you're disapproved." The excuse is that we have to be on-the-clock for workers compensation insurance and state vehicle liability insurance to be effective. This new tracking system (and/or the PHB-with-a-crewcut's interpretation of it) also means that, if I'm on a crime scene with thirty-eight hours on my timesheet, and it's two hours travel time back to the lab - I am to immediately stop what I'm doing, pack up my kit, and depart abandon the scene.

I am sufficiently outraged that I cannot fully express my opinion of this edict without going into a Gunny Ermey - esque string of obscenities. Suffice it that I do not now, nor have I ever had, any desire to become a stereotypical Civil Service employee, and I vigorously resent this attempt to compel me to become one.

I don't know what the hell to do about it - About the only things I can come up with would involve my taking vacation time for training opportunities and eating all the unreimbursed costs (which disqualifies me from most Forensics training since you have to have agency sponsorship to get in the door), and my appearing on a scene as a volunteer (which might get anything I collect thrown out, since I don't have official standing to act).

So, protip for all the criminals out there: if you want to get away with it, come to my state, where we can't get training and continuing education credits, and commit your crimes Friday night, when we can't gather evidence for thirty-six hours, until Sunday morning and the new work week begins...For you citizens, think of it as the Mickey Mouse Club theme, with a new chorus: 


michael_j_doyle [userpic]


March 20th, 2011 (12:01 pm)
current mood: depressed

(h/t Tam)

No Blood for Oil! An Open Letter... 

The snark is delicious, but I must admit to a bit of melancholy in the aftertaste. Why? Follow: 

The degree to which a Leftist will support a military intervention ("Q") is a function of the likelihood ratio of the probability of adverse national security consequences ("Blowback", or "b") to the probability of advancement of national security goals ("Victory",or "v"), conditional upon party affiliation of the government official initiating the intervention (here represented as "p" - where Democrat = + 1, and Republican = -1). Thus:

Q = F {p (b/v)]

In Afghanistan, we had a moderate chance of blowback, with a fairly good chance of victory, initiated by a Republican president. No wonder the Left hated it. This was worsened by intervention in Iraq, to the point that the Left was routinely indulging in assassination fantasies, starring George W. Bush and Richard Cheney...

Now, we have an intervention in Libya, where the probability of blowback is rather high (anybody really think that al-Q and/or the Muslim Brotherhood won't take advantage? Bueller?). This versus the rather flimsy proposition that whoever takes over will cheerfully start pumping oil like the revolution never happened. A-n-n-d, it's a Democrat in charge. This is sending the Q factor through the roof. Because of this, instead of porn featuring Dubya and Dick being assassinated in effigy, we'll soon start seeing porn featuring Barry O being fellated in effigy...

*sigh* "Oceana is at war with Eurasia. Oceana has always been at war with Eurasia..." See you in Room 101.

ETA: Apparently I was wrong - Hot Air summarizes reports of the usual suspects now bitching at Barry O the same way they bitched at Dubya. Hmm... looks likethat Hopey-Changey isn't working out so well for 'em.  Guess I'm gonna have to wait a while for Room 101 - Dennis Kucinich might have gotten bumped up ahead of me on the reservation list... [/schadenfreude]

michael_j_doyle [userpic]

Speaking of "Don't Be that Guy"

March 7th, 2011 (06:59 pm)
current mood: gloomy

Companies that no longer stay in the black on their balance sheets and don't do anything about it, fold. Consider the analogy of the old-money family for whom the money's running out, and there aren't any new sources of income on the horizon, and they're doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing to either a) generate new income or b) cut costs and pay off bills:.

Yeah, we're like that...

It'll incur some serious pain to do the debt therapy.We need the political will to do it and stick with it, Others have, albeit on smller scale, which suggests it can be done. Regrettably, I don't see this government having the character to do anything but continuing to buy corporate, union, and welfare votes at taxpayer expense. Nor, looking at the opposition, do I see a potential future government that will do what's needful, either. Oh, well - Rome wasn't taken apart in a day, either... *sigh*

michael_j_doyle [userpic]

You know that guy?...

February 25th, 2011 (09:42 pm)
current mood: amused

...The one over by the water cooler who your trainer points to and tells you, "Don't be that guy"?

Meet J. D. "Buck" Savage - a cop's cop, a true crimefighter, a living legend in his own mind:

Dave Smith is a well-known and well-respected law enforcement trainer. He created Buck Savage as the quintessential "Police Werkz - Ur Doin It Wrong" bad example for the classes he taught at Arizona DPS's Academy. It helped to get the students into it, but, like a lot of things, it grew from there. There are very few old-school coppers who have not seen the adventures of Buck Savage.

Here, Buck works the crime scene:

I laugh like hell, but sometimes it's actually painful to watch.   The scary part is, there's at least one Buck Savage in every department.

michael_j_doyle [userpic]

Gun-running BS

February 19th, 2011 (02:43 pm)
current mood: contemptuous

You may or may not have heard the tagline that "90% of guns in Mexico's drug war are being smuggled in from the US ZOMGGUNRUNNERS!!!111!1". Well StratFor (an open-source commercial intelligence service for businesses and non-governmental organizations) ran the numbers and...

Meh, not so much...

30,000 firearms seized by Mexican authorities
7,200 firearms submitted  by Mexican authorities to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for trace (24% of total seized)
4000 ATF firearms traces successfully completed (55.6% of trace requests, 13% of total seized)
3480 firearms traced to US sources (87% of successful traces, a fraction less than 50% of total trace requests, and only 11.6% of total seized)

(Source: June, 2009 US General Accountability Office report to Congress, as cited in StratFor's article)

RTWT. You can't fix the problem if you're working from wrong assumptions, and the article does a good job of examining the issues and debunking the myths.

On my bookshelf is a charming little text entitled How to Lie with Statistics I have the 1954 edition; the link goes to a 1993 edition, but I suspect that little has changed in the ways that the unscrupulous manipulate data to get the results they want, and use those results to, in turn, manipulate the public. Illicitly redefining your statistical base, as in the case at hand, is only one of the more commonplace.

Or, put more simply, there is a technical term for those individuals who are throwing out fraudulent numbers to effectively lie to the American people. That term is "bullshit artist"...