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April 10, 2016

Overnight Open Thread (4-10-2016)

Quote of the Day I - All Within the State, Nothing Outside the State Edition

"I don't believe in charities," said Mayor Sanders, bringing a shocked silence to a packed hotel banquet room. The Mayor, who is a Socialist, went on to question the "fundamental concepts on which charities are based" and contended that government, rather than charity organizations, should take over responsibility for social programs.

-- Bernie Sanders in 1981

Quote of the Day II

I continue to respect Jenner's past accomplishments, I appreciate that his political values are conservative, I dislike his exhibitionism, and I feel compassion for how obviously he suffers as he tries to find a happy meeting spot for his body and his mind.  But he's not a hero by my definition of the word, nor his he normal.  The problem, though, is that once you've normalized Mapplethorpe's S&M and penis worship, you've made it awfully difficult to back away from conversations about whether Bruce has or has not augmented his false breasts with an amputated penis and artificial vagina.

-- Bookworm in Was Mapplethorpe the moment we lost the battle for American culture?

Quote of the Day III

We gotta get out while we're young

'Cause tramps like us, baby we were born respectively as a cis gender male assigned male at birth and a cis female assigned female at birth although obviously that entire binary concept supports outmoded privilege structures that do not recognise the legitimacy of sexuality's fluid reality which should allow people to wander into any toilet they please based on how they identify at that precise moment in time.

-- Bruce Springsteen circa 2016

Quote of the Day IV

Bill Clinton injected a disruptive element into the Democratic presidential campaign yesterday: truth. The question now is: How will his wife recover from this alien intrusion?

-- Heather Mac Donald on Bill's critique of BLM protesters

Quote of the Day V

I think there's something very profound about the Chinese idea that revolutions are primarily an effort to bring about the rectification of names; that the demand for justice is first and foremost a demand that words and reality come back into alignment. Nothing is more infuriating than to be told not to believe your lying eyes - or your empty stomach. Take a moment to ponder various revolutions around the globe over history and ask yourself if there isn't something to that.

-- Jonah Goldberg on the Rectification of the Names

The Finnish Model

Finland is experimenting with replacing their welfare state with a universal basic income (UBI) implemented via a negative income tax.

This year, the Finnish government hopes to begin granting every adult citizen a monthly allowance of ?800 (roughly $900). Whether rich or poor, each citizen will be free to use the money as he or she sees fit. The idea is that people are responsible for their actions. If someone decides to spend their ?800 on vodka, that is their decision, and has nothing to do with the government. In return for the UBI, however, the public accepts the elimination of most welfare services. Currently, the Finnish government offers a variety of income-based assistance programs for everything from housing to children's education to property insulation. Axing these programs should free up enough public resources to finance the UBI. The bureaucracy that currently governs welfare payments will disappear. There will no longer be any need to ask for government help, nor to fill out forms or wait for the competent authorities to examine each dossier to determine eligibility.

Lots of People Are Losing Distance Vision, and No One Knows Why

Out of sight, another epidemic is silently raging: myopia, or nearsightedness. Between the 1970s and the early aughts, the incidence of myopia in the US nearly doubled, to 42 percent. Myopia's rise has been the starkest in Asia; one survey in Korea found a rate as high as 96 percent among teenagers.

Spending time outside seems to reduce the amount of nearsightedness but scientists aren't sure whether it's distance focusing or bright sunlight that is the reason.


Government Switches Back to Old School Highway Sign Font


The BUFFs Join the Fight Against ISIS

Which means that ISIS fighters are going to be killed by machines built when their grandfathers were still young.


SDB: Drones and the March of Technology

It's possible that in ten years it will be just as cheap and common for private citizens to have their own airforce equivalents, the way we have the equivalent of printing presses now. How, for instance, do you maintain security over major buildings like the US Capitol when any crank can put a pipe bomb on a drone and send it in?

And not just major political targets. Will "pro-life" cranks start using drones to bomb abortion clinics? Will "gun control" advocates start making airstrikes against large gun stores and shooting ranges? When will we see a public official who is giving a speech get attacked by a drone? How do you fend that off? (Even if all it does is to disrupt the speech and panic the crowd, that may be enough for some attackers.)

How do you protect a big natgas storage facility against drones that don't care about barbed-wire fences?

And if it's a drone with a decent radio range, which is carrying a camera in addition to a bomb, then the attacker could be anywhere. How do you find them?

And how many will there be? This kind of attack could be launched for under $1000 by anyone with a grievance. (And there are a lot of grievances out there!)

I don't think this is going to cause as much change, or as widespread of change, as the internet did, but it's going to change a lot of things. For instance, it may become the norm for heads of state to make speeches by TV instead of in person. And just as the internet has changed the way campaigns are run, the fear of drone attack will change them too.

Respect the Tannerite

For those not familiar with it Tannerite is an explosive that is primarily used by shooters to make exploding targets. It's legal in nearly every state because it's made out of inert ingredients (primarily ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder) that only become explosive when mixed together. Even then it's a relatively insensitive explosive that can only be set off by shooting it with a bullet going faster than about 2200 fps. There are even recipes for making your own on the internet based on cold packs (Walgreens) and aluminum powder (Ebay).

But just because it's legal for casual use does not mean that it's not a real explosive and that you can get away with not respecting it. The recommended standoff distance is 100 meters for every pound used. But here a Georgia man packed a lawn mower with 3 lbs of Tannerite and then shot it from about 15 feet away and got his leg severed by a piece of shrapnel. Luckily his life was saved by his friends applying a tourniquet and rushing him out to a road where he was air lifted to a local hospital.

And then there was an article in the March issue of Firearm News (formerly Shotgun News) on the British PIAT gun that had this little tidbit on Tannerite.*



*AoSHQ not responsible for any dumbassery resulting from this information.

Life At The Embassy House, South of Saigon, Vietnam, 1968-1969

Lance Nix was a private stationed in Vietnam in 1968. Since he was part of the Phoenix Program (which identified and liquidated Viet Cong members) and wore civvies it's clear that he worked in intelligence and may have been involved in covert actions. Here is a collection of of photos he took during his time in Vietnam. It's a fascinating look at the people involved at that particular time and place.



The Ultimate List of Weapons Astronauts Have Carried Into Orbit


Censored Images From America's Great Depression

For whatever reason these photos were deemed unacceptable for the US Farm Security Administration's documentation of the lives of farm workers during the 30s.


Group Jump Rope Routine in Japan

Weekly Commenter Standings

Top 10 commenters:
1 [438 comments] 'Ricardo Kill' [61.50 posts/day]
2 [416 comments] 'Ghost of kari - certified inane'
3 [381 comments] 'Bruce With a Wang!'
4 [326 comments] 'Skip'
5 [278 comments] 'Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, Still Accepting Harem Applicants '
6 [272 comments] '@votermom'
7 [272 comments] 'garrett'
8 [263 comments] 'Vic We Have No Party'
9 [253 comments] 'rickb223'
10 [250 comments] 'Insomniac'

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [91 names] 'Cankles Clinton' [12.78 unique names/day]
2 [73 names] 'The Political Hat'
3 [47 names] 'In Vino Veritits'
4 [44 names] 'Bertram Cabot Jr.'
5 [40 names] 'garrett'
6 [38 names] 'Islamic Rage Boy'
7 [36 names] 'Tim in Illinois. Bitten by the lazy bug.'
8 [34 names] 'Blue Hen'
9 [34 names] 'FaCubeItches'
10 [33 names] 'Ready For Hillary!!11!!'

The group. Banned on 12 universities.

Tonight's post brought to you by a composite selfie taken by Curiosity on January 19, 2016:

This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at "Namib Dune," where the rover's activities included scuffing into the dune with a wheel and scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis. The scene combines 57 images taken on Jan. 19, 2016, during the 1,228th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The camera used for this is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover's robotic arm. Namib Dune is part of the dark-sand "Bagnold Dune Field" along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. Images taken from orbit have shown that dunes in the Bagnold field move as much as about 3 feet (1 meter) per Earth year. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS) 

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send los tipos a El Ace.

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