Yup you know it, while the Dragon is away playing “American’s and Terrorists” the poor old Leprechaun is here toiling away as usual.
To be honest I wouldn’t necessarily mind his being out of the office so damned much but he travels to all these places, gets to eat regional cuisines and sample the regionally known fare, incessantly brags about it to me, expects me to post his pictures and comments about it and he doesn’t send or bring me back a single lousy damned crumb! Not ever! Sniff!
There’s something transcendent about a good cup of coffee. It’s perfect for busy mornings, quiet afternoons, and cool evenings. Coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures.
But it’s not that simple is it? There are thousands of combinations of beans, grinds, roasts and brews. You can percolate it, press it, filter it, decaffeinate it, add milk, add flavor, chill it and more. It can be baffling!
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a coffee expert to help you out? Coffee Cup News has you covered.
Its tip section has all the information you need to make the perfect cup, or just expand your knowledge of the coffee world.
There are daily updated videos that review blends and teach you techniques for latte art, maintenance and more.
Star Trek: The Original Series 46th Anniversary marked by Google doodle
The 46th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series is honored by an interactive Google doodle featuring characters from the iconic science fiction series.
Each of Google’s letters is marked by a Star crew member with a storyline weaved into the doodle taking cues from the episode and the show. The letter ‘G’ in the Google logo is Spock, one if the most memorable character from the series. The first ‘O’ represents the character of Nyota Uhura and the second ‘O’ features Captain James T Kirk, the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise. The letter ‘L’ resembles Hikaru Sulu.
Googlers will have to make their way throughout the doodle to uncover the story. The doodle begins in the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Clicking on the red door helps ‘O’ and ‘E’ go out to the transporter room. Clicking the main console in the room beams them to an unfriendly planet where they are challenged by an alien.
Users can click on the nearby tree to attack the alien and another object towards the top to completely defeat the extra terrestrial. On defeating the enemy they return to the Enterprise. The doodle ends with the USS starship Enterprise moving past the screen in space and the word Google appearing in yellow, written in pure Star Trek style. The iconic instrumental theme from Star Trek by Alexander Courage plays in the background.
Star Trek: The Original Series is the second television program to be featured in a doodle. September 30, 2010 marked the first doodle from Google to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the popular animated series, The Flintstones.
Do you wish to head to Space: the final frontier? Hop on the starship Enterprise and fulfill ts five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before?
SPEAKING of diapers…
Social Security combats bullet rumors
Geeze you guys are keeping me busy with exposing the farcical bullshit you insist in burying my Inbox with. I have been tactfully ignoring the following e-mail from several of you Gullible Gus types but you keep insisting on sending to to me 3, 4 & 5 times. Then you give me a load of bovine excrement about how “you are just forwarding on what you got.”
Let me say this plainly and bluntly-
THATS PURE HORSE SHIT AND YOU DAMNED WELL KNOW IT!
Seriously, sometimes I’m as embarrassed for some of you as I am BY you! When you pull that crap you doing exactly what the author of the disinformation wants- spreading innuendo and rumor instead of taking the high road and discarding this steaming pasture pile in the trash if you think it smells or HEAVEN FORBID actually using the internet CONSTRUCTIVELY to do a little research work on the thing, you’ll just “spam it forward” and then try to avoid responsibility for your actions.
OH YEAH! ONE more thing before I debunk this next pile of bunk- Don’t hand me that crap about ‘I was forwarding it for your use’ when you send it to me, Impish or the DragonLaffs owners e-mail sans any comment by you, that turd just don’t fly here.
Now the offending e-mail:
The subject line reads:
MUST READ! Social Security Administration To Purchase 174 Thousand Rounds Of Hollow Point Bullets
Catchy, attention grabbing, eye holding, makes you wonder why and want to learn more. Unfortunately its about the ONLY well done and truthful bit of journalism in this entire incredibly craptacular affair. It then continues:
Social Security Administration To Purchase 174 Thousand Rounds Of Hollow Point Bullets.
I guess they are hunting for something big and hard to take down.
You can go ahead and read the entire piece of carefully crafted propaganda if you wish. Its a nice example of not only Propaganda but Psychological Warfare as well. For those of you that are not inclined to read it the gist of the piece can be found in the opening paragraphs:
Preparing for civil unrest? Ammunition to be delivered to 41 locations across U.S.
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
First it was the Department of Homeland Security, then it was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and now the Social Security Administration is set to purchase 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets that will be delivered to 41 locations across the country.
A solicitation posted by the SSA on the FedBizOpps website asks for contractors to supply 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition.”
An online ammunition retailer describes the bullets as suitable “for peak performance rivaling and sometimes surpassing handloads in many guns,” noting that the ammo is “a great personal defense bullet.”
The synopsis to the solicitation adds that the ammunition is to be shipped to 41 locations within 60 days of purchase. A separate spreadsheet lists those locations, which include the Social Security headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland as well as major cities across the country including Los Angeles, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
Hollow point bullets are designed to expand as they enter the body, causing maximum damage by tearing apart internal organs
It goes on to inquire why the SSA would ever need 174,00 rounds of ammo and makes all sorts of lunatic fringe assumptions and charges. While I’ll admit I WAS wondering at the particular number (why 174,000 as opposed 175,000 which would have been a number that made far more sense to me) I already knew what the purpose of the ammo was and could not believe the lengths these right wing fringe conspiracy nuts will go to to make people scared of the present administration!
They try to make their point seem logical valid and the ONLY possible explanation by then pointing out part of the reason cited from the ammo is Target practice, this right after they jump all over a clerical error by NOAA had their 46,000 rounds being sent to the National Weather Service instead of the Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement. They question why Hollow Points (refer to the last quoted line above regarding hollow point ammo) was needed to shoot at paper targets insinuating that this is somehow a lie and cover up for a hidden agenda.- [probably somehow tied into those evil Executive Orders which didn’t come from Obama we talked about 2 weeks ago]
The answers to these questions are fairly obvious to anyone with half a brain, a little gun knowledge of in possession of a computer and about a half hour’s spare time. However before I explain those finer points lets let the SSA stand up for itself since it has had to waste your and my tax dollars responding to and defending itself against this frivolous bullshit.
Social Security combats bullet rumors
By Lateef Mungin and Michael Pearson, CNN updated 5:41 AM EDT, Wed September 5, 2012
- Some question the Social Security Administration’s recent bid request for 174,000 hollow-point bullets
- Bloggers say the agency’s police force is preparing for financial collapse and civil unrest
- The agency characterizes the order as routine and says special agents need them
- “These investigators have full law enforcement authority,” the agency says
OK that SHOULD be enough of an explanation right there, but we’ll continue largely because if I don’t some idiot will be in the comments with a “but..why…” or a “what if it IS true?” and I’ll never stop smelling this digital diarrhea.
(CNN) — Praise the Internet and pass the ammunition: the blogosphere is roiling with conspiracy theories over a Social Security Administration shopping list for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.
Depending on whom you believe, police who protect Social Security Administration officers are either preparing for impending financial doom by purchasing lethal ammo to put down rioting citizens, or they’re just making a standard purchase of ammunition for a federal police agency.
It all began last month when the agency, which is primarily responsible for distributing benefits to the disabled and retired people, posted an announcement seeking bids for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.
Why? cried some bloggers.
Infowars, a website operated by right-wing talk show host Alex Jones, wanted to know if the agency was preparing for “civil unrest.”
Let me pause right there for a moment and make sure your attention is called to the journalistic credentials of the person starting these farcical turd passing on, he’s a right wing talk how host. This nut has fallen from the same tree as Rush Limbaugh who said in an interview that he DELIBERATELY misstates and reaches as far right as he can with his opinions and positions to deliberately cause hype and controversy because that translates into ratings and rating means money in his pocket. Alex Jones’ InfoWars website decries “because there is a war on your mind” and he’s 100% right. After all he ought to know, because he’s obviously blatantly involved in waging it!
THIS is the source of NEWS that you people are all flying into a tizzy over ?! SERIOUSLY? Did you Rubes all just fall of the trump wagon or something? Has the definition of news & hard facts suddenly changed while I was not looking? Is it REALLY any wonder that I am ashamed for and of some of you for passing this kind of crap on?
Let’s continue now to allow the SSA to defend itself but to my mind it is already well off the hook, will skip the reiteration of the baseless accusations of government conspiracy, you can read those later if you wish. I’ll not have them sullying this blog anymore than necessary. Bad enough it is already going to require a good steam cleaning after this post.
In the face of the furor, the Social Security Administration’s public affairs shop — which spends most of its time issuing releases about speeding disability decisions or looking up benefits information — issued a statement explaining that its 295 agents need the bullets for target practice and to protect the agency’s 66 offices across the nation.
“These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests,” the agency said in an August post. “Our investigators are similar to your state or local police officers. They use traditional investigative techniques, and they are armed when on official duty.”
Hollow point bullets are standard-issue items for many police agencies, the Social Security Administration said. The bullets expand when they hit a target and can help prevent injuries to bystanders from bullets passing through a body, according to police.
Investigators “use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety,” the administration added.
This is just the latest in a long history of uniquely American anti-government conspiracy theories, said Kathryn Olmsted, a University of California at Davis history professor and author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories in American Democracy.”
That another one would surface in the midst of a contentious election cycle and continued unease over the nation’s financial future is not all that surprising, Olmsted said Tuesday.
But this one, she said, seems particularly tenuous.
“It strikes me as one of the more extreme conspiracy theories,” Olmsted said. “I’m surprised it has any traction.”
Yet it does.
“You don’t use hollow point bullets for target practice,” one Twitter user posted Tuesday. “Sorry we’re not buying it social security agency. #youarefullofit.”
I’ve always maintained that Twitter was aptly named because it was used by and full of twits. The above quote from a ignorant (who should consider adopting that hash tag as his Twitter name) Twitter user just goes to prove my point. I’ve highlighted 3 portions above. The first makes the reason they need so many bullets clear. If you do a little math 174,000 rounds divided by 295 agents comes to less than 600 rounds per agent for an entire year’s worth of target practice, quarterly qualifying with their weapon and to carry while on duty. Shooting is a perishable skill- you have to constantly practice it to hit what you aim at. If you hit or target at the range 100% of the time under pressure under fire you are probably lucky if 25% of your rounds find the mark. If an agent goes through ONLY 100 rounds a month at the range…less than 2 full clips a week by the end of the year he’ll have expanded DOUBLE his ammo allotment and that’s NOT even counting their quarterly qualifications with it!
Suddenly 174,000 rounds doesn’t seem so excessive now DOES it?
I can tell you that when I carried in the military I went weekly to the range. On the average I went through 250 rounds of ammo for my side arm and another 250 for my rifle. When qualifications came up that number doubled as did my number of times a week at the range the week before. That’s a grand total of 13100 round of ammo for EACH weapon a year and I was not even on the street investigating or enforcing laws! These poor guys get a lousy 600 round a year and some right wing whack job out to create mass hysteria for his personal agenda and ratings is going make a federal case of it?
Now I said before I’d mention the reasons that were obvious to me. One is highlighted above, the reason the SSA agents need hollow points which this inciter of idiocy raves about being so brutal to the human body is because that same expanding property that makes such devastating wounds does three other things he conveniently doesn’t bother mentioning.
- It tends to remain INSIDE the body or wall it hits and not cause collateral damage to bystanders.
- They are safer to use on the range for the same reason they expend most of their energy in deforming and flattening and there for are significantly less prone to dangerous ricochets.
- Because they DO make such devastating horrific wounds the likelihood of an agent being harmed by someone he was forced to shoot drops DRASTICALLY.
NOW if those 3 things were not enough, ANYONE who has to carry a weapon for a living and who’s life may well depend upon that weapon will tell you that practice shooting anything other that the ammo you intend on carrying is pretty much pointless. Different ammo has different characteristics, bullet weight, speed, bullet trajectory, effective range, muzzle flash, kick back in the weapon ALL are different with each different brand of ammo. THAT is why you practice with what you carry, because it increases you confidence and knowledge of your weapons capabilities.
Oh yeah one last point before I go get this e-mail scraped off my boots and my lap top steam cleaned- the thing with NOAA shipping their 46,000 rounds to the National Weather Service instead of the Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement? Some times a clerical error is just a clerical error. Mistakes like shit happen.
Just like with last weeks piece regarding the Executive Orders, if we are going to level charges, make election choices or live in fear of our Governments secret army, lets do it for the right reasons folks! As I have said many times if its not truth and fact it don’t get play here. I’m confused then why you would ever think it would get any play then in my Inbox.
With Great Disgust, I Declare This MYTH A BUST!
9/11 Anniversary 2012: Memorial Foundation Says No Politicians To Speak At This Year’s Event
Yes I KNOW its September 12th. However, Impish didn’t address this in his issue Saturday and I refuse to betray the memory of my friends who lost their lives. Semper Fi to the Fallen! NEVER let them be forgotten!
NEW YORK — Politicians will be excluded from speaking at this year’s Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony at ground zero, following a year in which families have expressed concern that political struggles are hindering progress on a 9/11 museum at the World Trade Center site.
The foundation that controls the 9/11 memorial told family members that this year the reading of victims’ names by relatives will be “the exclusive focus of the program,” according to a letter sent to families Wednesday and shared with The Associated Press.
This year, as in other years, the observance will be broken by six moments of silence, marking the moments in which each World Trade Center tower was hit and fell, and the times of the attacks on the Pentagon and on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pa.
Until now, Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki – the mayor of New York City and governor of New York at the time of the attacks – have always been called upon to speak at the ceremony, along with Bloomberg and the current governors of New York and New Jersey. President Barack Obama read a psalm at last year’s 10th anniversary ceremony, and other past speakers have included then-President George W. Bush, several U.S. senators and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Bloomberg has said he wants to keep the site out of “the political process,” while Cuomo’s office has said the museum shouldn’t be politicized, and a Christie spokesman has said no one wants to politicize the site.
Let us not forget either the First Responders who lost their lives that day. Everyday these people call walking were any sane man would fear to tread just another day at the office.
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 12:55 AM
To: Dragon Laffs
Subject: message for Lethal
I wanted to post a comment on your blog, but I do not have a word press or twitter account. I am even older than a dragon, I am a dinosaur, and while I have a facebook account, I only use it to track family and don’t post stuff on it. Having said that, I couldn’t leave a comment on issue 157. I had it written, but then couldn’t sign in. Here are my comments
Good issue, I have to comment on two things
As a Navy grad I was starting to take issue with your comments on the game , then you smoothed it nicely by saying they were two of your favorite teams.
On the Executive Orders e mail, I congratulate you on going out of your way to dispel the myth. I knew you wouldn’t spread that type of rumor, but going farther and proving it’s bullshit actually goes well beyond staying away from political discussions and bashing Obama. It is commendatory that you, in effect, defended him from false accusations. Nice job.
Thanks for the comment and kind words. As a USNA grad I sympathize with your umbrage over the ND/Navy game. I suffer it every year and for years I agonized over which team to rout for until I finally realized it was a win/win scenario regardless of what happened for me personally. OF course the up side is that they both pay Army and then in both cases it’s a no brainer.
As far as the Executive Orders thing goes, it’s going to be a LOT harder not to delve into politics for the next 8 weeks than I had anticipated due largely to the election and all the BS being thrown about particular things like the Executive Orders crapola which are just plain blatant lies without a defensible position as a valid point of view.
As I have said before we deal in truth, facts & logic. That basically I guess defines a Centrist’s position. While I will bash ANY politician for his actions or inactions I refuse (knowingly) to bash him with a bag of bullshit or worse yet for or with something that he’s not even said or done and take great pains to avoid it. That’s why some times my comments on a situation are a bit behind the event, fact checking and gathering takes a lot of time, often more so than write the Parting Shot does.
Lastly I would not worry about getting a WordPress account. They cost you nothing, they do not spam you, heck they don’t even e-mail you unless you set up blog follow notifications or won a blog.
As far as being a dinosaur, I don’t even have a Facebook or any other social networking account and never will. So if that is your sole qualification as dinosaur, you’ll have to do way better. However if you are referring in fact to your venerable age, then mayhap you knew one of my ancestors, Uggh McGee?
Depending upon which of the family legends about him you believe he invented any or all the of these- alcohol, the kilt, the first female pick up line and possibly the shillelagh.
Just Googling Around
The internet is big, really, really big, and if you want to use it effectively you have to be familiar with search engines. Google.com has become the search engine of choice for millions of internet users. There are others and if the past is any guide there will be a “better than Google” search engine some day, but for now Google seems to be the best. Part of the reason they are the best is that they keep developing new ways of looking at the internet. Below are a couple additional features that Google offers that you might want to check out now and in the future as they continue to develop:
http://news.google.com/ Need a current event? Forget about the newspaper, use the internet like teenagers do to find stories that are only minutes old.
http://images.google.com/ Arguably the best image search engine in the world. Try finding a picture of something today.
http://www.google.com/products Looking to make a purchase. Shop and compare prices online first using Google’s Product Search.
http://www.google.com/finance What to check the stock market, try this website for a quick overview.
http://maps.google.com/ Looking for an up to date map or satellite photo, check out these amazingly easy to manipulate maps and photos.
http://video.google.com/ Google has their own video search engine. Find an educational video on the internet that you can play for your class
http://scholar.google.com/ Another project that Google is working on is to create a more efficient way to search scholarly papers.
http://books.google.com/ This is a great way to jump into some literature. Check out a book online, read some passages and find out where you can buy a copy.
Education reformers are fond of pointing out that the world has changed since the days when people like me went to school. I’d be foolish to completely disagree, since I spend a fair amount of my time complaining about some of the changes. But before you accept their diagnosis and what schools need to do about it, consider this list:
“Top Ten Changes Affecting Students Since 1960”
(as compiled by the American Association of School Administrators.)
1. The number of dysfunctional families has grown. “Dysfunctional” makes it sound like nobody’s to blame. Power steering pumps are dysfunctional. People are thoughtless, selfish, irresponsible, and violent.
Thirty years ago socio-educational wisdom held that poor “inner city” kids commonly did worse in school because they often came from single-parent families. Since then we’ve populated the country with single-parent middle and upper class families as well.
“Normal” families have problems, and many single mothers and fathers do a fine job. But a society rife with divorce and adolescent parents can’t expect to turn out well-adjusted children who are ready to learn.
2. High technology has influenced school, work, and home life. A century ago Americans were so bombarded with technology’s fruits – trifles like electricity, light bulbs, radios, cars, airplanes, telephones, phonographs, movies, and skyscrapers – that the director of the U.S. Patent Office declared with a straight face that “everything that can be invented has been invented.”
He doesn’t sound any more ridiculous than the procession of experts currently obsessing about the twenty-first century.
The patent director was nearsighted when it came to looking ahead. We’re just as nearsighted, and self-centered, when it comes to remembering the past.
3. Children are threatened by crime, violence, and poverty. This lamentable truth predates poor Oliver Twist by several millennia. If American life has grown more violent over the last forty years, maybe we should reconsider the things we changed forty years ago.
4. Communities are changing, becoming more diverse. This phenomenon is about as new as John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts. In case anybody’s forgotten, we’re a nation of immigrants. This makes us a two hundred year old exercise in diversity.
5. The influence of the mass media has tightened its grip on children, giving them more knowledge at an earlier age. Television earned its nickname, the “idiot box,” back in the fifties.
I’m definitely not defending the “mass media,” but a society where parents need password protected menus to keep their kids from watching what they’ve told them not to watch shouldn’t be worried about the grip the media has on their children. The real problem is the grip that mothers and fathers don’t have on their children.
6. Students question authority and shun traditional values and responsibilities. Socrates described the youth of 400 B.C. as “tyrants” that “contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”
7. A hurry-up society often lacks a sense of community. Henry Thoreau complained about his “hustle bustle nineteenth century.” If we’re worried about our sense of community, for starters we could stop building shopping malls and regional schools. We could also stop parking our kids in front of video screens. In the name of the virtues of “social networking,” we’re raising a generation that can’t tell the difference between Facebook leeches and actual friends.
8. Changing workplaces create demands for higher levels of literacy. Sometimes they do. But in a world where cash registers sport cheeseburger icons instead of words and numbers, everybody probably doesn’t need to learn calculus. The problem today isn’t getting kids to read better than kids used to read. The problem is getting them to read as well.
9. Knowledge about learning styles demands new kinds of education. The human brain is a fairly traditional organ. We may be a trifle closer to understanding how it works, but the ancients figured out how to teach it a long time ago. Socrates asked questions, the prophets acted lessons out, Jesus told stories, and Moses instructed the Israelites to memorize the law. Good teachers still work the way they did.
10. Peers exert a powerful influence on values. Haven’t these guys ever seen Rebel Without a Cause? Ancient Egyptians probably scolded their kids, “What do you mean all your friends are doing it? If your friends told you to jump off a pyramid, would you jump?”
Like most education reports, this Top Ten is part common sense, part nonsense, and about as earthshaking as NASA announcing that the sky is blue.
Families headed by two original parents are an anomaly. Violence stalks our schools, our homes, and our streets. Incivility is epidemic. Narcissism is rampant. Perseverance is passé.
Schools have made grievous blunders over the last forty years. And regrettably, often in the name of reform, they continue to make them. But distorting how life has changed and then using those distortions to prop up faulty, failed education theories is no way to fix our schools or ourselves.
Besides, even armed with sound policies and practices, all the king’s horses and all the king’s schools can’t put us back together again.
We have to do that.
We should not squander the precious natural resource which is the potential of the next generation of minds in America.