On the Swine Flu

http://www.atomicnerds.com/?p=2182 This is the best summary I’ve seen so far. Atomic Nerds breaks down why we probably shouldn’t start a massive freak out just yet.

That said, it is still one more excuse for me to hurry up and move to the country where I can build my End of the World Bunkerplex.

Russian professor smokes crack

Okay, there is this professor in Russia who has a theory about how America is going to collapse into a civil war and then break into several different groups.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

Okay, that’s not the part I’ve got an issue with, because I’ve already told my Texan friends to scout me out some good real estate as soon as they succeed.

The funny part of this is his map.

russian-version1

 

Yes, because Alaska is going to go back to Russia… Yep. That’s going to go over well. Sarah Palin and Vladamir Putin could go hunting together. The Russians couldn’t defeat Afghanistan, I don’t really know how well they would do against a bunch of people who shoot moose off their porch with .338 Win mags for fun. Alaskans are tough. Anybody who lives somewhere where the local animals will eat you and the weather can kill you in minutes tend to have their priorities in order.

I love how Mexico is going to take over Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi… Good luck with that! I think that it would actually be the other way around.  I think there was a period in time where that blue part of the map was known as the Confederacy. They’ll probably get along just fine.  In fact, President Chuck Norris of Texabamaianaippi (Damn, what is it with you southerners and all those vowels? Are you Polynesian or something?) will just wait until Swine Flu wipes out Mexico and then they’ll go down and build condos there and drill for oil.  I’m willing to be the Texabamans would have no problem securing their border.  

The Eastern states will join the EU. Okay, that part I could actually believe, except somehow he’s got Tennesee and Kentucky in there. Okay, if you’ve been there, you’ve got to admit that the idea of Nashville in the EU is kind of hilarious. I nominate my buddy Echo Tango to be the ambassador to the World Court. I’m trying to picture a very angry southerner choking out Belgian diplomats.

(actually, wait a second, maybe it would be in Texabama’s best interests to become part of Mexico, because then they could sneak across the unsecured border into the New EU to get free emergency room healthcare, free education, and all those other perks. They could say that they’re just doing the job that Vermonters won’t do… I’ll have to consult with Chuck Norris on this next time we’re playing golf with Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent at the NeoCon convention) 

Montana and Wyoming will be conquored by CANADA.  Oh, man, that’s good.  I love how Montana and Wyoming will naturally fall in line with Illinois. Because they have so very much in common. When I think of obvious sister cities I think of Chicago and Bozeman. Then they will all be dominated by CANADA.  Okay, everytime I type that out it makes me laugh out loud.

A community organizer in Wyoming is the guy on horseback stopping traffic on mainstreet while they run a herd of cows through town.   

And last but not least, Idaho and Utah will fall in with California (logically), and we’ll all be taken over by China…

I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb here, and guess that the good crack smoking professor has never actually been to America other than with Google Earth. 

If America were to ever fragment it certainly would not be along those lines. If it were to happen in my lifetime it would probably look like a great big red slash right through the middle of the country, leaving a narrow bunch of west coast and the eastern seaboard and the urban midwest. 

Blue state folks laugh about that and say, “So! We’ve got all the precious seaports!” (besides Houston, and I’m pretty sure we’d take San Diego too, heck, we’ll trade you Denver for it) Then we’d just have a good chuckle as we shut down the freeways into their utopia and say good luck farming all that asphalt.

Oh no! We would no longer have New York or Hollywood. How could we ever live without all that precious culture? Where would I go to have a bunch of elitist pricks tell me everyday how much of an ignorant, racist, inbred, hillbilly, bumpkin I am out here in fly-over country clinging to my guns and religion?

Where will I be without NBC (a subsidiary of GE) to hit my kids over the head with global warming and ice floe drifting polar bears every thirty seconds? (see that big styrafoam bonfire over there, yep, that one’s for you, Al Gore)

We would lose all of the best liberal-arts and law schools (aw shucks). Where would we be without Columbia or Harvard? (even though when I was at po’ ol’ hillbilly Utah State, our business majors absolutely smoked Stanford’s business school in all areas of testing even though our yearly tuition would maybe pay for their valet parking for a week). Where would we be without a bunch of PhDs who’ve never done anything useful in their entire lives besides pontificate to a bunch of other academic weenies about how superior they are to us red-staters?

Oh, whatever would we do?  

Man, maybe this Russian guy is onto something.  Now if only he could learn to read a frigging map.

Good riddance to the Great White Rino.

Well, Arlen Specter finally made it official and changed from an R to a D. Since he’s been voting Democrat for years, it is about friggin’ time.

The news is portraying this as some massive blow to the Republicans. Well, anybody who’s paid any attention to Arlen knows that he could absolutely never be counted on to hold the line on anything.

My understanding is that he was about to get trounced in the primary, and as you know, the most important thing in the world for a politician is to keep their job no matter what. 

I would much rather be in a smaller minority with people that I can actually trust, so I can rebuild, than in a larger minority, destined to stay that way forever because your own number will stab you in the back whenever it is convenient. What’s the point of being in a party that doesn’t stand for anything?

Now if he would just take John McCain and those two idiots from Maine with him, we could start over.

Torture

Recently there has been a big splash in the news about the possibility of legal prosecution against the Bush administration attorneys that wrote the memos concerning what is and is not legally torture. Like most of the recent bread and circuses coming out of Washington, this is just more useless garbage to keep us distracted, but I find particular circus act especially offensive.

 

Now I’m on record for my general disapproval of George Bush, but to give the man his props, he took one part of his job seriously, and that was protecting America from our enemies. As Dennis Miller once said, Bush’s first thought every morning when he got out of bed was ‘how can I kill some mother f’ing terrorists today?’

 

However one of the policies of the current administration is to slander the previous one whenever possible, and to appease the far left whackadoos whenever possible, so that means that we’re back to the torture debate.

 

So now Top Secret memos have been revealed, detailing that we waterboarded three different terrorists. And since it isn’t enough to let our enemies know exactly how far we’re allowed to push them, we’re also now going to prosecute the people who actively fought our enemies. And we’re not going to prosecute them for breaking the law. We’re going to prosecute them for doing their job in a manner that makes liberals squeamish.

 

To put this in perspective, we waterboarded Khalid Shake Mohammed, known mastermind behind the attack on the WTC, and we got information out of him that nabbed us 17 other scumbags that were planning on killing thousands in Los Angeles, apparently this is a grave travesty of injustice. It would have been a lot better to have 9/11 part 2 than to waterboard a terrorist.

 

I’m actually impressed by the lengths the Bush people went to keep these interrogations legal, down to the questioning the legalities of slapping and threatening somebody with a box of caterpillars. Listen, morons. If I was in charge, and I had known terrorist Khalid Shake Friggin’ Mohammed in custody, and I thought that there might be a .0001% chance that torturing him might save the life of a single American, I would have him skinned.

 

We live in topsy-turvey world. We live in land where the so called leadership of the Department of Homeland Security won’t talk about terrorism anymore, and the Justice Department has decided that the greatest terrorist threat is from returning US veterans. Pakistan is inches from being overthrown by the Taliban, while our President talks about meeting with the “moderate” Taliban. Moderate Taliban? Is that like being Sort Of Pregnant?  Is a moderate Taliban somebody that only saws off people’s heads on weekends? Maybe they only stone every other rape victim to death? Moderate Taliban my ass…

 

So while we are in a war for survival, that only apparently half of us can actually see, we’re more worried about the returning veterans who’ve been protecting us than the evil men who mean to murder us. I think our leadership’s priorities are a bit out of touch.

 

I heard some author talking about how, sure, these interrogations may have saved lives, but on the other hand, the absolute awfulness of waterboarding only caused more people to be recruited in the fight against us. That is such utter and complete horseshit that I’m having a hard time understanding how anybody with two brain cells capable of creating friction could actually believe that.

 

You mean to tell me that if you’re living in a 3rd world hole, and you’ve been taught every single day of your life that the reason your country sucks by your Mullahs is because of Israel and the Great Satan, and you live in a culture of complete and utter violence, where history has been so rewritten by the powers that be that you actually believe the Holocaust is Israeli propaganda, and you swallow hook line and sinker all of the nonsense about the Great Satan that you’re willing to sacrifice your life in fiery suicidal jihad to get your 72 virgins, but you’ve just been holding back strapping on that bomb vest… until you discovered that some other crazy Muslim you’ve never heard of was threatened with a box of caterpillars. Because that is just the final straw!  BOOM!

 

Most of the left wing has no clue about the violence in the middle-east. You think waterboarding is scary to these people? Check out this video. And it is from one of the mildest and least screwed up countries in the region.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2W5rbF8hLU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmypetjawa%2Emu%2Enu%2Farchives%2F197398%2Ephp&feature=player_embedded

 

And that was a member of the royal family! How many dead hookers do you think he has buried in the back yard?

 

Just because waterboarding makes your average Greenwich Village liberal blogger uncomfortable, they assume that it terrifies people who come from a land where you can get your hands chopped off with a dull scimitar for stealing a cookie. If one of the Hussein boys wanted to interrogate you, they’d just politely ask you questions while they fed your kids, feet first, into the wood chippers. Welcome to Big Boy Town, squeamish liberals.

 

Now let’s come at this from a different direction. Apparently saving LA from being burned (by foreigners this time, instead of its own residents) was not worth waterboarding three terrorists. Let’s imagine that Janet Napolitano is right, and that the biggest threat to America is angry veterans who’re all hung up on crazy stuff like freedom and the Constitution, and now America is under attack by us crazed right-wingers. Right wing terrorists have been captured. They have a plan to kill thousands.

 

Do you honestly think for a split second that Obama wouldn’t have people like that waterboarded if it meant that he could stop a terrorist attack on Colombia University, Hollywood, or Berkeley?

 

Because that’s different. Because people like me are dangerous. Militant Islamists are just misunderstood.

Writing Update. I got the page proofs for MHI!

I got the page proofs for MHI today.  I’m finally able to see what it is going to look like in the Baen format.   I was right, and it isn’t going to be in the 300 page range like it was listed on Amazon. It is going to be fatter. Which is good, because I couldn’t figure out how they were going to squeeze 195,000 words into that many pages. 

Everybody who read the initial version of MHI found it to be a very fast read, but it is actually rather fat. I take it as the ultimate compliment when somebody gets back to me that they finished my book in two or three days. (and in a few cases, in one sitting!) That means that I did my job.

That July 28th release date is getting closer.  MHI is being listed on more bookstore’s pages every day. I even found my first UK listing, which is very cool.  The one original self-published copy listed on Amazon is going for $1,000, which is totally nuts. 

MHI:2 The Rough Draft has been been submitted to Baen, and now all I need you guys to do is buy lots of copies of MHI:1 so I can get this sucker published.

Dead Six is rolling right along, and we’re still on track to have the rough done next month.  This is one of the more original thrillers that I can think of, and it just keeps getting better. We’ve created a deep and plausible world here, and it has gotten to the point that it just kind of keeps creating itself. 

Mike and I did up a character file, where we did a brief sketch of every single named character in the trilogy so far. (and the 3rd book still doesn’t exist at all). It was EPIC. Unlike most thrillers, everybody actually has a plausible motivation, and we tried to make the people as realistic as possible. Somebody once asked Mike if our main characters were “flawed” because supposedly flawed characters are more interesting.  He could honestly reply that one of them is a emotionally damaged alchoholic and the other is a narcissistic criminal scumbag, and we still make it fun.  In the world of Dead Six, the actual good guy does bad things, while the bad guy ends up trying hard to be good. 

On that note, let me digress and put my writer pontification hat on for a minute. I think that thing about flawed characters is a two-edged sword. Owen Zastava Pitt is a popular character, and he does have some flaws,  (sucks with women, clumsy, petty, holds a grudge, opinionated, and stubborn), but they’re all plausible things that any normal person could have. On the other hand, you get into the really flawed territory, and I just can’t bear to read about those characters because it is too painful.   I’m looking at you Stephen King. I really don’t want to listen to the ramblings of a drug-addled, adultering, child-molesting, porn-addicted, drunken, abused, whoring, wimpy idiot for 800 pages. My favorite King book is still Dark Half, not for his standard King cutout main character, but rather because King (probably accidentally) created a heroic supporting character (who wasn’t a drug addicted pederast) in the Sheriff. I know there are others, but King loves creating chracters that I would just never tolerate in real life, and if I couldn’t stand them in real life, why do I want to be in their head for 800 pages? (man… what was that one where the chick was handcuffed to the bed for like 600 pages?) 

My current Grimnoir project is evolving, and I’m extremely pumped about it too.  It is turning out in a very interesting way, kind of an alternative history where Indiana Jones meets Black Mask (the 1930s one, not the Jet Li one) meets Harry Potter only with more guns, samurai, and zeppelins.  I’m having fun with this main character because I get to write somebody in the pulp style of the hardboiled detectives. I’m talking about the kind of square jawed manly man that has a fried egg, black coffee, and a cigarette for breakfast, stuffs a Colt .45 in his coat, saves the dame, and takes out the trash.    All while wearing a fedora. Because men should wear cool HATS.

Happy Earth Day!

At least, I think that today is Earth Day. You know how it is, the big holidays always sneak up on you. Well, either way, I’m celebrating. I threw a big can of used motor oil into the garbage and tonight I’m going to make a nice styrafoam bonfire! 

Earth Day is a special time of the year. When self-righteous idiots can go on about how awesomely Green they are, usually while they are doing something that is actually more detrimental than the alternative, all while they pat themselves on the back for being more “aware” than the pathetic ones that want to oppose them, with things like science or logic… Pat yourselves on the back my friends, because we are saving the Earth!

Coming up next, let’s have Cap N’ Trade! Because though the economy may suck, we’ll make is suck even more, because of Global Warming… err… wait, since the Earth has been cooling instead of warming, the boogieman is now known as Climate Change. My bad. And if you disagree, you’re just like a holocaust denier. Unless you’re the Iranian government, because then that is totally cool to deny the holocaust, and we should like totally hang out some time.

Happy Earth Day*! Yay Earth!

*Earth Day 2009 is a Trademark of General Electric – Earth Day is brought to you by GE. Because even though our new Green Technology doesn’t actually work, or is less efficient than existing technology, because it will be mandated by the government, you’ll have no choice but to buy it!  Suckers! (insert manaical laugh here) – GE Management

Math Time Fun!

You all may know me as a writer or gun-monger, but by day, I am an accountant. I don’t post about finance much on my blog, because doing accounting is kind of boring, and watching somebody else doing accounting is worse. But today we will have some math time fun!

There are a lot of really big numbers being thrown around in the news right now, talking about the government spending money. A trillion is a hard number for most people to comprehend. But don’t worry, I’ve seen a bunch of news articles about how the Obamas are cutting a hundred million from the budget. Since this is being heralded as proof of fiscal conservatism, it must be true.

A hundred million? That’s a lot right? Well, the news sure makes it seem like a big deal. So is a 100 Million a lot?

Yes, unless you are the government.

So to illustrate, this is what the numbers look like when you type out all the zeros. Please forgive me if I screw up, because that is a lot of zeros.

Thousand: 1,000.00

Million: 1,000,000.00

Billion: 1,000,000,000.00

Trillion: 1,000,000,000,000.00

Okay, so far, so good. So if we are spending over a trillion dollars that we don’t have all over the last few months, how much is cutting a hundred million from a trillion? Well, that would be a .0001 cut!

To break that down into money units that most normal people would understand, that means that if you had a thousand dollar budget, you would be cutting an entire ten cents! That is a whole DIME!

Think of what you could do with that? Ten cents is like… well… I don’t really know… but it must be a big deal, because Chris Matthews thought it was awesome. You could be all like, hey dude, I just borrowed this thousand bucks from a loan shark, but I totally don’t need this ten cents. Whoo hoo! Now I only borrowed nine hundred nintey nine dollars and nintey cents!  Hey, what is the interest on $999.90? Oh wait, that’s my kids and grandkids problems! Let’s go hang out with Hugo Chavez! Yay!

In related news, the new “bank stress test” is designed so that most banks will automatically fail, that way the government can come in and nationalize them. By any other financial measurement, you count both preffered and common stock. But since the government recently weaseled their way into getting a bunch of preffered (non-voting) stock, that won’t count anymore, so if you want to stay in business, you’ll have to convert that to common (voting) stock, which means… wait for it… the government now gets a seat on your board and gets to boss you around.

If you think the economy sucks now, wait until the government actually starts to run all of our financial institutions…

This just keeps getting better and better.

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