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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 07:54 AM
Number of posts: 20,901

Journal Archives

Clarifying Boy Scout knife policy

“Today, though, BSA Health and Safety team lead Richard Bourlon announced a new knife policy that changes things a bit. For the first time in the organization’s history, the BSA is mandating a maximum blade length for knives used within Scouting.

The magic number:

60 inches. The policy is effective beginning today, April 1, 2013.

So grab your tape measures, Scouters, because bladed objects used at the unit level now must be no longer than five feet. If you forget your tape measure, consider identifying a Scout who’s five feet tall, hold the blade vertically, and ask him to stand next to it.”
Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Dec 10, 2017, 07:45 PM (6 replies)

DOJ Report: Wisconsins Infamous John Doe Investigation Was More Sinister Than First Reported.

Long article, but worth the read.

"A Wisconsin Attorney General report on the year-long investigation into leaks of sealed John Doe court documents to a liberal British publication in September 2016 finds a rogue agency of partisan bureaucrats bent on a mission “to bring down the (Gov. Scott) Walker campaign and the Governor himself.”

The AG report, released Wednesday, details an expanded John Doe probe into a “broad range of Wisconsin Republicans,” a “John Doe III,” according to Attorney General Brad Schimel, that widened the scope of the so-called John Doe II investigation into dozens of right-of-center groups and scores of conservatives. Republican lawmakers, conservative talk show hosts, a former employee from the MacIver Institute, average citizens, even churches, were secretly monitored by the dark John Doe.

Department of Justice investigators found hundreds of thousands of John Doe documents in the possession of the GAB long after they were ordered to be turned over to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

State Department of Justice investigators found hundreds of thousands of John Doe documents in the possession of the GAB long after they were ordered to be turned over to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Government Accountability Board, the state’s former “nonpartisan” speech cop, proved to be more partisan than originally suspected, the state Department of Justice report found. For reasons that “perhaps may never be fully explained,” GAB held onto thousands of private emails from Wisconsin conservatives in several folders on their servers marked “Opposition Research.” The report’s findings validate what conservatives have long contended was nothing more than a witch-hunt into limited government groups and the governor who was turning conservative ideas into public policy."

Balance of article at the link.
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Dec 8, 2017, 01:24 PM (5 replies)


This was a long read but interesting.

"Have you missed me? Trick question; I know you’ve missed me. Frankly, the main reason I haven’t been writing is laziness. I make no bones about it. The second reason is that I got hit by a car in April and broke four bones in my hand, and the third is that I had a very outdoorsy summer (after my hand healed), and the fourth is that I have a girlfriend to occupy my free time now, and the fifth is that the world has gone insane.

I mean, what am I even supposed to write about? What am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to point to one stupid thing to focus on — like the fact that Solar Roadways’ website suddenly doesn’t work because haha fuck them — when the real-life things that are happening are so much stupider? The world is an Onion headline and I can’t even pick a place to start.

So let’s start with some morons in a boat!

No politics here (though I’m sure if you squint you can find a way to accuse me of racism or sexism or something), just me and my lifetime of sailing experience, including nearly five years living on a boat, against these two idiots."

Balance of article at the link.
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Nov 10, 2017, 03:20 PM (3 replies)

John Hillerman, Higgins on 'Magnum, P.I.,' Dies at 84

"The Texan played the stuffy (but lovable) character on the Tom Selleck starrer, winning an Emmy in 1987, and appeared in 'Chinatown' and 'Blazing Saddles.'

John Hillerman, the actor who made a career out of playing snooty types, including Tom Selleck's fastidious estate caretaker Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on Magnum, P.I., died Thursday. He was 84.

Hillerman, who received four Emmy nominations in consecutive years for portraying Higgins and won in 1987, died at his home in Houston, family spokeswoman Lori De Waal told the Associated Press. She said the cause of death had not been determined.

His Higgins character was a natural extension of a part he played on the TV detective show Ellery Queen: Simon Brimmer, a radio personality and affected gent who fancied himself a savvy sleuth. Ironically, Hillerman, who often played condescending characters with more than a touch of the Tory Brit — the Mayfair accent — was a Texan from a tiny railroad town, the son of a gas station owner.

Hillerman also appeared as Higgins on episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Simon & Simon.

The actor also was recognized for his character on the 1977-78 sitcom The Betty White Show, in which he played the star's director and former spouse; as Sandy Duncan's father on Valerie's Family: The Hogans; and as Bonnie Franklin's crusty boss Mr. Connors at a PR firm on One Day at a Time.

Hillerman received his first onscreen credit in 1971 at the relatively advanced age of 39 off a part in the 1971 Western Lawman. Also that year, he had a small role as a teacher in Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show.

Later, he appeared for the director in What's Up, Doc? (1972), Paper Moon (1973) and At Long Last Love (1975).

Hillerman had roles in many top films, including such hits as Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974), where he played a chap named Howard Johnson, and Roman Polanski's noir classic Chinatown (1974), as Russ Yelburton, deputy chief of the water department.

Hillerman also performed in High Plains Drifter (1973), Lucky Lady (1975), Audrey Rose (1977) and another Brooks' film, History of the World: Part I (1981) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996).

John Benedict Hillerman was born Dec. 20, 1932, in Denison, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for three years before serving four years in the Air Force. During his tour of duty, he worked with theatrical groups. Upon his discharge, he moved to New York City to study at the American Theatre Wing.

He landed his first professional theatrical role in Middleton, Ohio, and went on to appear in productions at The Cincinnati Playhouse; it was there that he honed his British accent and natty style."

Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Nov 10, 2017, 08:48 AM (3 replies)

After Night of Drinking, F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun

Remember, only trained Law Enforcement can be trusted with firearms.

"WASHINGTON — An F.B.I. counterterrorism supervisor is under internal investigation after a woman stole his gun following a night of heavy drinking in a North Carolina hotel, according to documents and government officials.

In July, Robert Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 in cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte, N.C., according to a police report.

The episode is an embarrassing mishap for the F.B.I. As a unit chief assigned to the bureau’s headquarters, Mr. Manson oversees all terrorism investigations in the Midwest and the Carolinas. An F.B.I. spokesman, Michael P. Kortan, said the incident was the subject of an internal investigation and declined to give additional comment.

Mr. Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the episode. The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers, according to a second person who was briefed on the investigation but, like the first, was not authorized to discuss it publicly."

Balance of article at the link.
Posted by Muddling Through | Thu Nov 9, 2017, 02:28 PM (9 replies)

On this day, November 7, 100 years ago

"The Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace overthrowing Kerensky’s provisional government (no, the Bolsheviks did not overthrow the Czar, that was Kerensky), bringing about the nascent Soviet Union that would be the lurking shadow on world politics for the next 74 years with influence still seen today.

The train set in motion that day brought us:

The Red Terror, under Lenin. Up to 1.5 million killed.

The Holodomor under Stalin, up to 12 million killed.

The Great Purge, also under Stalin, another 200 to 600 thousand killed (almost trivial by comparison–but this included a lot of people like experienced military commanders which would come back to haunt them later).

The German-Soviet non aggression pact of 1939, giving Germany a period of peace to the East so he could focus his forces on the conquest of France to the west, thus helping encourage the start of World War II. Yes, WWII was pretty much inevitable by this point, but this may well have hastened the start, lengthened the war, and led to more death and destruction.

The Soviet invasion and subjugation of the Baltic States.

Millions of unnecessary deaths in World War II (those experienced commanders purged up above? Yeah. Those. Throwing masses of bodies at the enemy is no substitute for competent, experienced leadership. You might win in the end–as they admittedly did–but only at a far higher cost than otherwise.)

The subjugation and oppression of Eastern Europe under the Warsaw Pact.

The communist revolution in China, including the “Cultural Revolution” and “Great Leap Forward” (what an ironic name) that lead to the deaths of over a hundred million people.

Communist revolutions in Cuba and Central America, leading to yet more death, destruction, and oppression.

Communist revolutions in Southeast Asia, leading to the Khmer Rouge and the killing fields.

“Socialism” being imposed in Venezuela leading to widespread hunger and misery. (And at this point we’re only hitting select examples, the rot has spread so widely.)

All that, from the results of November 5 (Gregorian Calendar) 1917, making this arguably the blackest day in all of history."
Posted by Muddling Through | Wed Nov 8, 2017, 08:07 AM (5 replies)


Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Oct 31, 2017, 07:49 PM (2 replies)


UGA 42. FLA 7.

Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Oct 28, 2017, 07:01 PM (0 replies)

Six seconds to live

I'll post this w/o comment:

"Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal published a Notable & Quotable item excerpting a November 13, 2010, speech by then-Lieutenant General John Kelly to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, describing a 2008 suicide bombing in Iraq that killed Marines Corporal Jonathan Yale, 22, and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 20. The Journal published the excerpt under the heading “Six seconds to live” and also posted the item online with a link to the complete text of General Kelly’s speech. The Journal notes that General Kelly’s son, Second Lieutenant Robert Kelly, 29, had been killed in action in Afghanistan on November 9, 2010, only four days before he gave the speech. I want to draw attention to this without further comment for readers disgusted by the deeply disgusting news of the day as something to stay our minds on and be staid:

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was halfway through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing nonstop, the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe, because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty—into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you."
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Oct 27, 2017, 01:54 PM (12 replies)

Manhunt underway after officer killed, another wounded in Polk County

"A manhunt is underway for a person wanted in connection with a shooting in northwest Georgia that left a Polk County police detective dead and an officer injured.

At least one suspect is in custody, but a “Blue Alert” has been issued for a second suspect, identified by the GBI as Seth Brandon Spangler.

It is the first time the GBI has activated the emergency alert, which was established by legislation in 2010 “to speed the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers.”

Spangler is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. He is 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen in the 100 blcok of Santa Claus Road in Cave Spring, which is about 78 miles northwest of Atlanta.

Assistant County Manager Barry Akinson told The Polk County Standard Journal that the officers were shot during an incident involving a stolen vehicle. The wounded officer was wearing a bulletproof vest, according to the newspaper. It was not clear if the detective was wearing one.

The GBI has not confirmed Akinson’s version of events."

RIP, officer.
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Sep 29, 2017, 02:32 PM (0 replies)
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