Monthly Archives: November 2014

Jots with Dots – Black Friday

This is the first time I’ve had to work on Black Friday in about 15 years. Ya know I’m in the staff augmentation business, a contract software engineer. So I am at a different company each year day after Thanksgiving. I can’t recall one I’ve been at in recent history where they didn’t close the office down. This one… is different.

Was saying to the wife last night I thought Black Friday was losing a little of its commercial vigor. She agreed http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/11/slouching-towards-best-buy/383240/ Then about 6:15 pm we passed by Walmart on the way home on I- 94 in Woodbury. The parking lot was a zoo, cuz they start their doorbusters at 6pm Thanksgiving. I’m not an anti-Walmart snob, and I am not in snobbery of its shoppers, but it was not a flattering scene even viewing it from the freeway.

Menard’s parking lot was crazy town this morning, but I think I got in and out in 20 minutes. Pretty well organized. As I say, I wanted the sofa guard for the dog for $7.99. Its either that, or the dogs got to get some tough love… and I’ll fail at that.

Watching: a documentary mini-series called ‘Monarchy’ which is about the English monarchy. Starts way back. I had a very ambiguous understanding of the Anglos, Saxons, and Jutes coming over there and taking Britain over. Now, I don’t.

Not a handsome devil (which may be a new tag / feature for the blog, where I criticize the appearance of men in the news. I can do that, as a hetero I’m pretty attuned to what’s handsome in a man). Darren Wilson. He has kind of a rodent face.

I think the witness conflicts can sort of be rectified to where you get an Occam’s razor / likely scenario. http://news.yahoo.com/ferguson-grand-jury-papers-full-inconsistencies-161011644.html And it is a scenario that gives Wilson his minimum legal justification, ya know, once he had made a mess of the initial arrest and caused a bunch of chaos. Thing is, I think shouting at the two men and then hitting the brakes on the SUV, and reversing to the curb to cut these guys off guys was a frightening escalation, far from a professional attempt at an arrest, and an action that set the course for the encounter. These guys were no angels, I know, but it’s not a proper expectation that they are not going to react to the impending possibility they’re going to get their skulls cracked. I am not a post-modernist who analyzes through fanciful dialectics. I do think it’s within the realm of reality to perceive the encounter as starting with not an attempt at arrest, but an assault by Wilson. He gets the door closed on him because he looks like he is going to charge out and use physical force. He’s stuck / prevented from leaving the car, and grab’s Brown’s collar. Brown responds by punching him in the face. In street terms, Brown was responding to the threat of someone ‘jumping him’.

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The deuce – a second helping of Jots with Dots 11/26

Tip charge: http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2014/11/bonfire_uses_servers_tips_to_pay_credit_card_fees.php I would have been shocked to understand it was anything but thus, at any establishment. If the establishment don’t recoup the processing charge on the tips paid by credit card, ya know, that’s money out the door on revenue they never receive. Complete no brainer and non controversy.

The turkey needs an American name. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/why-americans-call-turkey-turkey/383225/2/ I suggest, “Freedom Fowl”

I agree, “morally bankrupt http://time.com/3594636/ferguson-is-the-wrong-tragedy-to-wake-america-up/#3594636/ferguson-is-the-wrong-tragedy-to-wake-america-up/

Chait stains http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/11/obama-ferguson-and-the-torments-of-liberalism.html Chait is the one guy you can count on to rationalize whatever the President does as the smartest available action. Coates et al are a lot less impressed. Even I like my lefties a lot more lefty and indignant when the moment requires it.

Jots with dots 11/26

I already noted this. http://theweek.com/article/index/272660/after-ferguson-stop-deferring-to-the-cops There’s paradoxes for each side, perhaps. It was said below by the commenter very well. I’ll say it this way… The conservative respect for authority crowd engages in over-adoration of the police, this going hand in hand with some ideologically native themes of law and order jingoism. There are some prominent and influential exceptions, that being the libertarians and the gun guys. BTW, LEOs are a very big part of the gun world. But among gun guys who are not LEOs, I think I’m right to observe fairly deep skepticism of the police and prosecutorial community, this from a group of people that doesn’t break the law all that much.

On the left… ya know, the long game is prosecutions, fines, and jail terms for things like your household using too many BTUs. To enforce that stuff, you need more cops, and at that point the cops end up bullying the middle class and gentry liberals around in ways they do not now. I don’t know how the progressive project survives the local police presence that is required to enforce the progressive administrative state, yet that police strength is going to be essential. Something will give.

Ya know I kid, but I find a commentary like Linker’s kind of precious at this time. The police’s abuse of process, especially among urban minority communities, has been in plain site for a long time. But the police and prosecutorial community is a bloc that’s integrated into the Democrat patronage system, and it’s been fairly impossible to move liberals to critique them in a meaningful way. That and, they think it would be ‘soft on crime’, and make them electorally vulnerable.

I dare say, urban police power might be the biggest vestige of structural racism that remains, and liberals are the ones with power to fix it. They haven’t done it. That’s ironic, ya know.

Re yesterday’s observation, the Sig P250 and misfires. I think it was an interesting exercise to ponder how the pistol would misfire during a struggle. Because as I say, assuming the ammunition is fine, and the weapon is in shape for service, if the firing pin hits the primer that gun will go off way more than 99% of the time. Yet Wilson in testimony says he had two misfires while struggling with Brown in proximity of the squad car.

It’s a double action only pistol. No cocking of the hammer, does not even have an external hammer. You always have a round in the chamber, and to fire you merely pull the trigger. Trigger pull is kind of long on these. If you have a ‘misfire’ though, you can release the trigger to reset it and pull again to try and discharge the round. It may go off, but if it’s a bad round you need to rack the slide and discard it to pick up the next one in the magazine, which you hope is good. Doesn’t appear Wilson re-racked the slide during this engagement.

So you have a struggle at the window of the car. Maybe the struggle is pushing the slide back, causing the fire control group and striker to not engage the round when the trigger is pulled. Dunno, it’s an answerable question though, because it’s purely a question of what this gun does under certain mechanical circumstances. Wilson’s testimony is ostensibly that he pulled the trigger 3 times on that round, and it finally went off the third time.

There isn’t any reason that can’t be true, but in my mind 3 times is getting to be a bit fantastical, particularly if there is basically four hands grabbing for this gun and the trigger has to be reset twice during the struggle for the third attempt at firing to take place. If you have two guys’ fingers trying to get jammed into the trigger guard, it will probably not reset. And thing is, it ain’t that I don’t think that Wilson and Brown did not get into a struggle that would cause Wilson to fear his life, and thus give him his minimum legal justification. It’s that, as I’ve said, the phenomena is I think that police officers lard up their police reports with all kinds of non-falsifiable assertions that give them ‘justification’ whether they need it or not. So you wonder at that point if the ‘misfires’ aren’t one of those embellishments, though ‘misfires’ provides no intrinsic justification themselves.

Jots with dots 11/25

Fergilicious – I don’t know that not indicting him isn’t the right answer to the question being asked. The question is whether it’s the right question.

It is what it is, right(?) Superficially it’s a justifiable homicide by a police officer whose life was threatened. So no bill.

Still, figure this gets set off yes, by Brown putting himself in harm’s way by shoplifting. But also by Wilson screaming at the fellows to get off the road, then cutting them off with his car when Brown reacts with disrespect. If Wilson is going to jump out of his car to physically confront at that point, closing the door on him is an understandable reaction if you think you are going to get your skull cracked. Which is an understandable possibility to anticipate.

I’m not certain that losing your life or getting your skull cracked should be the price to pay for failure to physically submit to the police on the spot. Thing is, that’s the way it’s codified. The police can take your life if it’s justified and justified is what they say it is.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/11/darren_wilson_was_never_going_to_be_indicted_for_killing_michael_brown_our.html

That’s one problem. And weren’t it not a problem, other thing is we get terribly policing in this country for the money we spend on it. President made a statement last night that spoke to both sides, and it was fair, I think. His words to the law and order community were essentially that they ought to modernize their thought and tactics, not be so retrograde. That’s true, absolutely, but that evolution is really too high an expectation. Law enforcement organizations are paramilitary units, certainly now if not before. If you want them to behave differently, you need different type of personnel going into them and a different hierarchy. And I don’t know how you change that, since the salaries are high enough now to draw properly socialized candidates. There needs to be a different filter.

…..I don’t know if there’s a bit of wrecker in me, but under the circumstances I think a little rioting is a little revolution. What else are these people going to do to show their displeasure?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/25/why-darren-wilson-said-he-killed-michael-brown/ We really haven’t yet seen proper the outcry over the phenomena of police consistently – really perhaps universally and always, whether needed or not – inserting canned, exculpatory language in their reports to augment the justifiableness of any given outcome. Obviously, I have no way to judge Wilson on this now does anyone else … cuz we weren’t there… But I see at least one boilerplate non-falsifiable phrase. “He was reaching to his pants”, the suggestion being the officer thought Brown might be pulling a gun.

…Re the misfires… don’t know why Wilson would claim it happened if it didn’t. Just surprised it happened. If the firing pin hits the primer, gun is going to go off way more than 99% of the time. So firing pin wasn’t hitting the primer. I don’t know these plastic fantastic semi-auto’s well. Must be that in the scuffle, the slide was moving back, preventing a proper firing pin strike. From an engineering perspective I’m merely surprised the trigger group actually functions when the slide is say ¼ or ½ inch back from battery., and you get the sensation of a ‘click’ misfire.

It’s my birthday, 46, HBD to me. Joe DiMaggio would be a hundred today.

Jots with dots 11/24

It’s no fun being an illegal alien. I experienced some contemplation that was enormously sympathetic to the migrants, and thus, made me say appreciate the President’s logic and mission.

Still, what I’ve argued / noted before is the capriciousness of the modern administrative state. Some people get justice, some people don’t. And with this, we go further down that road. I will be writhing in the joy of schadenfreude when Pres. Rand Paul suspends the device tax, employer mandate, individual mandate, and Cadillac tax.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120382/obamas-immigration-executive-order-gift-republican-presidents

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/11/one-man-should-not-dictate-immigration-policy

And another thing…. The root causality is American business and their continued desire to subvert the wage market. I still don’t know how Democrats get off abetting that, except yeah, they need to win elections now so that down the road they can enforce dystopic egalitarianism where everyone makes the same income and gets their soylent green at the ration depot. It’s a matter of prioritization eh.

Dystopic gets spell checked in word. Odd there, it’s a good word. Anyway.

Your ancestors didn’t come here legally: This is an analysis of a trope, ya know, the literal truthfulness of something people say, a theme people glom onto… http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/no-your-ancestors-didn-t-come-here-legally I don’t think I’ve ever said “my ancestors came here legally”. Matriarchally, I’m Irish and Norwegian. Patriarchally, I’m Irish and Swedish. Less German and English here and there. I don’t know much about my Irish forebears, I do think they fled the potato famine and were here or working west towards MN / WI in perhaps the 1840s / 50s. My Norwegian and Swedish forebears responded to James J Hill’s call for Scandinavians to work the railroads and homestead here and in South Dakota. But all of them, they just kinda left and showed up here, because northern Europe was a feudalistic hell hole, and I do not blame the Mexicans for doing the same.

My Bailiwick: If you are a lil’ ol’ country auctioneer doing estate liquidations and you have 5 or 10 guns, what you can do these days is hook into one of the national online auction platforms. Not that it always helps, because a lot of the old timer’s collections that go up for auction are kind of pedestrian, and they are pedestrian wherever you are as a bidder, whether that be online or in person. Ya know, utilitarian duck guns and deer rifles. But what the hell, it’s the 21st century, brings in a wider audience, good for business, ya never know, right?

I know first hand this auctioneer in Fogelsville PA was befuddled at the dozen or so inquiries he got on this prior to the auction. Must have been very mysterious.

www.proxibid.com/asp/LotDetail.asp?ahid=783&aid=88167&lid=22250492&title=Great-Western-Single-Action-Army-.38-special

Him and the heirs might have fainted when the gavel finally went down.

That’s what you call auction fever… And I think I had something to do with it stoking it, as I collated and articulated some tribal knowledge in an article I wrote up this fall.

http://greatwesternarmsco.com/models/deputy-model/

Anyway, that’s good, as I paid $700 for mine. But it ain’t as if I can start offering it around for $5500. There’s auctions, and then there’s the real, sober world.