May 5th, 2010

#2052: Times Square thoughts

You know, the real failure of the bomb in the ISLAMIC TERROR ATTACK ATTEMPT on Times Square was not the detonator.

With a fuel-air explosive (FAE) the critical parameter is the concentration of fuel in a given volume of air. If you get that right, nothing else matters. People make fun of the guy's detonator (such as the guys at Jalopnik) but all you need is some kind of ignition source...if you get the fuel-air mix right. Get that right, and you can ignite it with anything that suits you and can be obtained easily, from the stupidly simple to egregiously high-tech. Cigarette lighter, spark plug, book of matches, a sparkler, anything--as long as it raises a tiny bit of volume above the ignition point of the fuel, you get a big bang.

"Step 1: When building a car bomb, use a real detonator. Do not use M-88 firecrackers in a steel drum in the trunk of your 1993 Nissan Pathfinder." If the REGISTERED DEMOCRAT ISLAMIC TERRORIST had gotten the air-fuel mix right, the M-88s would have been more than enough to set it off and they wouldn't be cracking jokes about "crappy detonators".

The knickerbomber's attempt failed because his detonator didn't work. The REGISTERED DEMOCRAT ISLAMIC TERRORIST who set up the Times Square bomb had his attempt fail because of his choice of explosives; his detonator worked perfectly. The bomb would have blown up just fine had he gotten the mix right.

Ever heard of an explosion at a grain mill? Or a silo? That's a fuel-air explosion right there. Those explosions don't require an kind of fancy detonator; all they need is a spark or an open flame. The Times Square bomber's detonator was just enough to do the job.

Take it seriously, folks. It's deadly serious. If you make jokes out of the failed attempts you're just going to look like an idiot when one works.

* * *

Yeah, the guy hails from Pakistan but is a naturalized American citizen, and he's a registered Democrat. Any guesses on how much we'd be hearing about his political affiliation if he'd been registered Republican? (Or even libertarian?)

The liberal media is disappointed he wasn't a Republican or "worse".

The left really, really hoped he wasn't islamic or Democrat. And he turned out to be both.

* * *

Take away this asshat's license to drive. As I recall, if you're found guilty of drag racing in Illinois, you lose your license for a year.

* * *

Guess what? In the infamous Kent State killings it looks like the protestors shot first.

That's right: the National Guard was firing back after someone shot at them.

You know what that means, don't you? It means that the Kent State debacle was manufactured and it sure as shit wasn't manufactured by anyone on the right.

* * *

You see, this is how freedom dies: a little bit at a time.

Instead of allowing people to build sheds etc on their own property without let or hindrance, the county requires that people buy permits to build them. Why? Well, because the people might build substandard structures, and we can't have that. The function of government, after all, is to make sure everyone is perfectly safe.

It's highly similar where I live. If you want to build a shed over a certain size it has to have a concrete foundation. Of course this makes it two to three times as expensive; it's why we have a Rubbermaid shedlet for the lawn tractor instead of a proper shed.

* * *

C'mon, Rush, you know it's all Bush's fault. Don't be so hard on the Obama administration. After all, the Amateur-in-Chief had no executive experience whatsoever before January 20, 2009.

But the White House is sure worried over the PR from this event. Well, they ought to be. Katrina had nothing to do with Bush yet he got all the blame for it. Whatever culpability the Obama administration may have for this, some people are going to blame him for it.

I'm not blaming Obama for it. I don't think Obama blew up the oil rig or caused the leak. I think the Obama administration's reaction time to the crisis may be a talking point, though. We'll see.

Perspective: this oil spill does not threaten the "Gulf ecosystem" any more than the Exxon Valdez spill threatened the ecosystem of Prince William Sound. The recovery of the ecosystem there was rapid--breathtakingly rapid--much faster than anyone expected it to be. Sure, there's still oil in the sand; but if you don't know where to look, would you see it?

Oil deposits are not hermetically sealed. A lot of oil leaks into the ocean every day, all over the world, from natural fissures in the Earth's crust. It just happens, many times the volume of what's being spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. (Admittedly, not all in the same place.)

The crying shame is that it's going to waste.

Of course, this rather conveniently gives the Democrats cover to oppose any new offshore drilling. Democrats don't want offshore drilling; they are anti-development, anti-energy, anti-industry. They have consistently opposed the exploitation of domestic fossil fuel reserves any way they possibly could.

Today gas is $3.16 per gallon where I live. Thanks, Democrats.

* * *

Oh, by the way: Would you rather have the oil slick?

* * *

Here are some businesses to patronize if you want to show your support for Arizona.

* * *

Boortz on Democrat plans to seize control over your retirement accounts (like your 401k). Among other things, it's a way to force Americans to buy treasury debt instruments.

Fred Barnes says the Democrats are going to ram through as much bullshit as they can before November. Expect it; they need cap-and-trade and they need amnesty for criminal aliens. The former is just a tax scheme which they need to pay some of the bills they're running up; the latter is to help ensure there's a new crop of Democrat voters to offset all the votes they lost over ObamaCare and record unemployment.

* * *

This is a stupid, stupid move. It used to be that the exact number of nuclear warheads the US has at the ready was a closely-guarded secret. And with good reason:
There's always been a calculated sense of ambiguity around our nuclear forces and our deterrence strategies, with the logic being that an enemy --if left to speculate about how, when, where, and if we'd use our nukes-- would err on the side of caution and keep his fangs tucked.
If your enemy doesn't know WTF you may do, he's more likely to be cautious. But in the past month or so not only has Obama laid out exactly what our response will be to a given provocation; now he's gone and told the world what we can do.

Stupid!

* * *

This is also not-good news: "China May 'Crash' in Next 9 to 12 Months."

If China's economy crashes, who's going to buy all the debt the Democrats are running up? What will happen to interest rates? What will happen to the value of the dollar? I tell you: if China's economy goes ass-over-teakettle, ours will follow suit.

I have been saying so here for months that the world economy is like a bunch of dominoes; it's like they're all standing on end in a circle. If one goes, they all go. And then we're all screwed.

* * *

New speace weapon race? We (in the civilian world, anyway) don't really know what China is doing with regards to space-based weapons.

...I really hope the military has some idea what China is doing.

The USA and the USSR signed a treaty, lo these many decades ago, promising only peaceful efforts in space. The USSR is history, the Russian Federation is not the USSR, and China never signed that pact--so there's nothing keeping either country from doing whatever the hell they
want to do in space. (Not that a few signatures on a piece of paper ever stopped communists from doing whatever the hell they wanted to, anyway.)

So if those guys are building space war resources, I hope we are also doing the same. Because space is the ultimate high ground when you live on a planet.

* * *

weerdBeard warns us about census workers. A timely warning, and one I expect to heed. (Our form has long since been filled out and returned, anyway.)

* * *

Someone tell this guy that thirty seconds is an eternity when someone is shooting at you.

Let me put it this way: a sample fight in D&D which includes an NRA member at a gun show. Got a clock with a second hand nearby? Note where the second hand is and start reading.

Combat begins, fighter and wizard versus bad guy with cougar. Fighter wins initiative; cougar comes next, the mage afterwards, and bad guy is last. NRA member's initiative roll doesn't matter, as you'll see.

Round 1:
Fighter rolls 18 to hit, which hits the cougar. Cougar takes 5 damage.
Cougar bites at fighter, misses with a 5.
Cougar attacks with left paw, misses with a 12.
Cougar attacks with right paw, hits with 15, and does 6 points of damage to the fighter.
Mage finishes casting "Magic Missile" and does a total of 9 points of damage to the cougar.
Bad guy fires crossbow at mage, missing.
NRA member begins removing zip tie from gun.

Round 2:
Fighter rolls 15 to hit, and cougar takes 7 damage.
Cougar bites fighter for 3 damage.
Cougar slashes fighter for 5 damage.
Cougar's other paw misses.
Mage casts "Melf's Acid Arrow" on bad guy. First round of damage is 4 HP.
Bad guy fires crossbow at mage and does 6 damage to him.
NRA member continues to remove zip tie from gun.

Round 3:
Fighter hits cougar for 6, killing it.
Mage casts "Magic Missile" at bad guy, hitting him for 7 points of damage total. His "Melf's Acid Arrow" does an additional 4 points of damage to bad guy.
Bad guy drinks a healing potion and gets back 7 HP.
NRA member continues to remove zip tie from gun.

Round 4:
Fighter makes a half move to get to bad guy and attacks, rolling 16 and missing.
Mage throws a dagger at bad guy and hits for 2 points of damage.
Bad guy attacks fighter with sword and misses.
NRA member gets zip tie off gun and begins loading it.

Round 5:
Fighter hits bad guy for 5 points of damage.
Mage throws a dagger at bad guy and misses.
Bad guy attacks fighter with sword and misses.
NRA member completes loading gun, cocks it, and prepares to shoot.

Round 6:
Fighter hits bad guy for 3 points, killing him.
Combat ends.

How long did it take you to read that? If you don't know D&D, you'd be surprised to know that fight takes just thirty-six seconds in game time. At the end of round 5--after thirty seconds--the NRA member is ready to shoot his weapon.

It's not a super-realistic comparison, but I think it gives some perspective. When you've got six guys sitting at a table playing D&D, it takes about five minutes to get through a single round of combat because of all the stuff that's going on.

In the real world, it's much the same. How long does it take a guy fifty feet away to shoot you? Do you have thirty seconds to take a zip tie off a gun and load it and cock it and aim and fire? Particularly in a space where there is no cover, only concealment?

No.

* * *

9v batteries in series can yield high voltages. Oh my.

* * *

Not enough time for me to deal with this Anchoress post right now, damn it. I've got to take Mom for some medical tests.

* * *

Several hours later:

Michelle Malkin explains how jihadis become US citizens.

She also takes pains to explain why they are rioting in Greece: people living in socialized countries hate it when the free money dries up. And the free money always, inevitably dries up.

And she links this open letter to Greeks who are protesting.

* * *

Missorah.com hits another one out of the park.
The narrative is that capitalism isn’t working and it has screwed over the people, who evidently now have the right to light bankers and policemen on fire because they are in danger of losing government benefits. Radical protestors, whatever label you want to put on them, are going to use emergencies like the one in Greece to take a bad situation and literally light it on fire. These people are thugs and murderers, perhaps with an international Communist agenda, perhaps only looking to create death and destruction. The one thing that is clear is that violent protest will rear its ugly head in America given enough of an emergency.
* * *

And Alan Caruba wonders why it's okay for the government to bail out banks but not oil companies.
Let me see if I understand this. It’s okay to bail out banks that ended up with a lot of worthless mortgages thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and it’s okay to bail out AIG because it was “too big to fail”, and it was okay to vote for the multi-billion dollar “stimulus” bill that so far has stimulated nothing, but we have to crack down on an oil company, BP, that was among Obama’s biggest contributors during the campaign.
* * *

Now, apparently I don't understand the entire abortion debate, because I was under the impression that legalized abortion was meant to keep government from telling a woman what she had to do with her body.

Don't abortion activists yell something like "Keep your laws off my body"? Some of them?

Why are agents of a government agency pressuring a girl to have an abortion? I ask only for informational purposes.

Via.

* * *

Today I read the novel Flashforward. It was a pretty quick read. The TV series has virtually nothing to do with it. Primary similarity: one character is named Lloyd Simcoe and he's a physicist. Oh, and the title.

The TV show is pretty much an entirely different story with the same premise (everyone in the world blacks out for 2m17s and sees the future) and a much larger cast of characters.

The reason given for the blackouts in the book is probably not what's going on in the TV series. If you're watching the TV series you can read the book with impunity because I'm confident it reveals nothing. No spoilers in the book, in other words.

Good book, good TV series.

* * *

I picked up vols 6-8 of Yotsuba&! today and started reading #6; and then recalled that I had not yet finished my blog post du jour.

* * *

I can smell the lily of the valley outside my window. WIN.