Category Archives: Idiots Among Us

Really?

“Seriously? 200 Euro for this bouquet?”
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) receives flowers
from Atle Leikvoll, Norway’s Ambassador to the European Union

OSLO (Reuters) – The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for promoting peace, democracy and human rights over six decades in an award seen as a morale boost as the bloc struggles to resolve its economic crisis.
The award served as a reminder that the EU had largely brought peace to a continent which tore itself apart in two world wars in which tens of millions died.

Hard to believe. But it’s true. The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sigh…

I particularly like the second paragraph, especially the part “the EU had largely brought peace to a continent which tore itself apart in two world wars in which tens of millions died”. Hhhmm, and there I was thinking it was troops from the USA, UK and the USSR which had finally brought peace (of a sort) to Europe back in 1945.

I guess as no one has invaded Poland or France since the late ’30s – early ’40s of the last century, Europe has been rather peaceful. Well, except for that whole Balkans thing in the ’90s. I guess as they’re not part of the European Union, that doesn’t really count. So yes, very peaceful.

How come Canada didn’t get the nod? They’ve been peaceful for way longer than 60 years.

Why is Europe now so very peaceful? So peaceful that they’ve been given an award for being peaceful. Yes, those wonderful Eurocrats have brought this about. They must be rewarded.

Why I remember seeing the documentaries of the Eurocrats storming ashore at Normandy…

No wait, that was the Allied armies. British, American, Canadian, Polish and French soldiers, sailors and airmen, Not a single Eurocrat in the bunch.

No wait, now I remember, the Eurocrats fought to the death at Stalingrad and destroyed Hitler’s Sixth Army…

Oops, those were Russian soldiers, sailors and airmen. Again, no Eurocrats shed their blood on the battlefields of the Eastern front.

Ah yes, that’s it. When the Cold War began and the Iron Curtain came down. The Eurocrats poured their treasure and troops in to hold back the Communist threat.

Nope, nope, nope. That’s not right. Those were nation-states that did that. The US, the UK, France, Holland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Italy and Denmark. No Eurocrats involved. And as I do recall, a lot of American tax dollars were used to build that bulwark against the God-less commies.

This is even stranger than when the Obummer got one “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” in October of 2009. When he’d been President for less than a year.

I suppose the Eurocrats should get some recognition for not starting World War III.

Sigh…

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Sic Transit Gloria…

The late artist, Andy Warhol (nee Andrej Varchola, Jr.) is remembered for many things, including the quote attributed to him, “…my prediction from the sixties finally came true: In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”[ His reflection on the continuing fascination with celebrity, fame, and “public persona” has been talked about, written about and visually addressed countless times.

Recently, a young man in New York, took it upon himself to demonstrate that if you act like one, you can be one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XYU1a0lTTTw

Clever, and illustrative.

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Filed under Hollywood, Humor, Idiots Among Us, Media

Uh, Excuse Me, But…

In my oft-annoying role as the smart-@$$ JO in the back of the Ready Room, I just gotta ask:

Are we buying stuff like this;

Boeing X-45C

Because all the other cool kids already have stuff like this and even other “neat stuff” more way cool:

MQ-9 Reaper

Because that would be a whole lot like when we got this:

Aquaflage, A.K.A. “Blueberries”

Just because all the other cool kids had stuff like this:

MARPAT

Or more like this:

Cuz, you know, we’ve seen how well that’s turned out, haven’t we?

 

 

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Filed under Airplanes, Humor, Idiots Among Us

Double California Taxes 2012

California taxpayers are simply not taxed enough, so Governor Jerry Brown is asking Californians to vote for higher taxes this November, and why not?

We need to pay double taxes statewide immediately.  Let’s look into our hearts, reach deep inside our wallets, and start throwing huge wads of cash toward Sacramento.

The rest is at the link.

Be advised this is California Humour, such that that is.

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by | June 28, 2012 · 11:22 pm

Comparison

Executive Order 13449

Signed October 20, 2007 this order protected Striped Bass and Red Drum fish populations as directed by then President George W. Bush.

Executive Order (#TBD)

Issued by President Obama to provide coverage to Attorney General Eric Holder, and presumably himself, regarding sharing documents related to the now-notorious Operation Fast and Furious Gunwalking program.

One was signed by a man to protect fish.

The other was signed by a man-child to protect his own ass.

cross-posted at Noodling on It

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Filed under Idiots Among Us, Politics

A New Office Chair

As a pitiable member of that great unwashed class of low beasts who will never have the opportunity to strap on a high-performance jet fighter, I will confess that during weak moments I have been known to seek the assistance of certain…artificial aids, for the purpose of experiencing some small fraction of that godly endeavor. Strictly for recreational purposes, of course. Personal use only, I have a prescription.

"I'm in here...working."

I speak, of course, of computer flight simulation. Several folks in our community have mentioned in another venue that they too have tried on the 3D-accelerated wings of Icarus. (Indeed, I believe that Lex himself was something of an aficionado of X-Plane, during that purgatorial period when he was forced to wallow with the unwinged.) Since we’re all friends here, I thought I would share my sordid tale as a cautionary note.

It all started, innocently enough, as an effort to clean my office. I wanted to separate my “work” computer station (a Mac laptop) from my “gaming” computer station (a PC). In years past I tried various keyboard/monitor switch arrangements that would allow me to flip from work to play, but the result was a hideous tangle of cables around my desk. I wasn’t gaming much, so I was getting twice the mess for none of the benefit. I resolved to unplug my PC and stick it in the closet.

Logitech G940 force-feedback programmable stick and throttle, which replaced my old TM Cougar. I primarily use a software package that simulates the F-16C, and so the "sidestick" arrangement works. Truthfully, although there is an available attachment for a center-stick mount, it's not so easy to climb in and out of the seat, and so I'll probably stick with the sidestick even if I upgrade the software into a different airplane. The 64th Aggressors ballcap is what I use for the TrackIR vector frame, which allows the computer to track my head movements. My SO has prohibited me from upgrading to an HGU-33 helmet.

Then I saw something on a hobbyist site one day — a separate computer seat/gaming station, originally designed for auto racing games, but also well-suited for flight simulations. It was basically a car seat bolted to a heavy metal frame that served as a monitor mount, with configurable extensions for a flight stick, throttle, rudder pedals, keyboard, and mouse. “This is exactly what I need,” I reasoned. “I have a PC I never use that is in the closet along with a lot of other flight-simulation equipment that I also never use. The precise thing that this situation requires is a home cockpit.”

The ugly brown seat covers are authentic GRU-7 ejection seat cushions that I found at an online aircraft parts supplier. The "desk" is an acrylic surface that rests on the frame and is removable. The blue plastic object is an iPad kneeboard, which I bought in a fit of utter madness. (Makes finding checklists much easier though.)

Very unexpectedly, one thing led to another. I have had many entertaining tool-filled hours bolting parts to other parts, tying cable-filled hoses to metal frames, and searching eBay for discarded ejection seat parts. I still am not doing much flight simulation but I do have a rather unique conversation piece in my home office, the exclamatory responses to which vary pretty consistently by gender.

Some photos below (still a work in progress).  For those fellow lunatics inclined to do something like this, it takes less space than you’d think.  The components are all reconfigurable for different gaming/computing tasks (including, um, work, right).  And the chair is actually very comfortable and excellent for napping.

The keyboard and mouse surface is mounted on a swiveling arm that rotates into place. The stick is bungee-corded to a similar platform that swivels in and out to allow easier access to the seat. Once I settle on a hardware configuration, I'll attach the stick more permanently.

Monitor is an old 24" Dell flat panel screen. There are side frame attachments available that permit a triple-monitor arrangement for better peripheral vision. Sound is an old Creative Labs sound card paired with an old, inexpensive speaker system. I have not upgraded any PC hardware yet.

TrackIR 5. This is a little infrared camera that sits on top of the monitor and stares at you. By wearing a hat or headset with a particular arrangement of reflective squares, the TrackIR calculates the precise motion of your head in 3D, and enables the simulation to smoothly change the view in response. The result is an astonishingly natural way to "look around", even within the confines of a 24" monitor.

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Filed under Airplanes, Flight simulation, Idiots Among Us

Compare & Contrast

This is what a coward does  – Jeff Neely, a deputy General Services Administration (GSA) commissioner and the architect of the spectacular GSA-sponsored event in Las Vegas that cost taxpayers nearly $1 million will do the following when he appears in court from his paid leave of absence:

Neely is expected to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions during testimony at the hearing set for Monday afternoon. 

Compare to true heroism in the form of Travis Mills:

An Army soldier who lost his arms and legs during his third tour in Afghanistan last week underwent surgery Monday as supporters from around the globe offer prayers and messages of hope on a family website.

Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, of Vassar, Mich., was injured when he stepped on an IED April 10 while serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

While Sgt. Mills was laying gravely injured, he was still concerned about the other three soldiers in his unit also injured by the same IED.

Both are government employees charged with serving their country and its administration using their time and talents.

One is a truly perfect example of that service. 

The. Other. Is. A. Total. Waste. Of. Space.

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Filed under Heroes Among Us, Idiots Among Us

Remedial

It would seem that, once again, President Obama needs a tutorial about how our government works and what it means to be a constitutionally appropriate law.

I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.  And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.

In fact, the vote on Obamacare and the individual mandate was not a strong majority – it was, as noted in the link, strictly along party lines.

Hardly a mandate on its own, is it Mr. President.

The Republican candidates need to beat Obama over the head with this kind of thing every. single. day. Never let up, never give it a rest.

Romney, who describes the federal law as an overreach, also slammed Obama for his Supreme Court comments on Tuesday. 

Romney, in an interview on Fox News, said an activist court is one that “departs” from the Constitution and legislates from the bench. In this case, he said, the judges simply are weighing whether a law is constitutional. 

“That will not be an activist court — that will be a court following the Constitution,” Romney said. 

This latest from Obama is yet more evidence that the only politics he knows is Chicago-style politics – threats, intimidation and control.

And Mr. President, one last thing – we have something in this country called Separation of Powers.  You should read up on that because the last time I looked – despite what you might want to believe – we are a republic, not a monarchy or dictatorship.

cross-posted at Noodling on It

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Filed under Idiots Among Us, Politics