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Archive for November, 2009

New Paltz Fencing

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Way back when I was an undergrad, I was a plank holding member of the New Paltz College Fencing team. It seems they are still around. I found a couple reasonably recent articles about the team.

Ohh…it seems they have a Facebook page, which I will have to join. Plus, they have this bit of fencing humor which I’m reposting.

Sabreurs – or “sabreurs” fence sabre – a single-edged weapon characterized by sudden charges and wide, slashing attacks. Sabreurs prefer tight black leather clothing. Studded collars and wristbands are also quite common, as well as dog-collars, leather hoods, multiply- pierced body parts and grotesque or obscene tattoos. While many wear highly-polished pointed-toed boots with silver toe caps and spurs, most prefer heavier stompin’ boots of the Doc Marten variety.

Sabre fencers tend to be more heavily built than the other two. In sharp contrast to the casual brutality of the epeeists, or the studied, exquisite cruelties practiced by foil fencers, sabreurs are most often prone to random behavior. Screaming is a common manifestation of this, and the source of much amusement for groups of sabreurs out on the town. (Particularly when touring libraries, museums, retail outlets, and hospital wards.) Occasionally a sabre fencer will leap without warning into heavy traffic. His compatriots will generally take advantage of the ensuing confusion to loot the nearest music store.

Epeeists are tall. Very tall. A group of very tall men and women lounging on a street corner are either basketball players or epeeists. The difference is that basketball players will help a little old lady across the street, while epeeists are more likely to take her purse and throw her over. There is no real epee “costume”, except that they tend to wear track suits and shave their heads. Their women are the most beautiful of all the fencing women, but also the most likely to knife random passers-by and take their wallets.

All epeeists wear very expensive running shoes which they have invariably stolen. It is a mark of shame in the epee subculture to wear legally-purchased footwear. Naturally this is difficult to ascertain merely by looking, and of course asking about it can lead to other complications.

Foilists tend towards bright colors and flashy outfits. White sports jackets with pink shirts, gold chains and floppy white hats are common foilist attire. Foilists are usually smaller and slighter than their colleagues in the other weapons. This has bred in them a furious temperament and a tendency to pick fights with anybody at any time for any reason. It is said of foilists that if the chips on their shoulders were any bigger they could fly to tournaments on the next stiff breeze. Certainly it is true that after a night on the town any given 5′ 6″ foilist considers himself a match for any two members of the local police department. Additionally, foilists have a thing for knives – not surprising, given the nature of their sport. Most foil fencers carry at least one secreted about their persons, which they are prone to pull on people who upset them. Bar staff take note: junior and cadet-age foilists invariably become upset at persons asking them to provide proof of age at licensed drinking establishments.

Unlike epeeists and sabreurs, few foilists will stoop to common looting or shoplifting to support their lifestyle. Extortion, protection rackets, and credit card fraud are their thing. And while a sabre fencer might bodily throw a blind person in front of a bus, the more subtle foilist will merely suggest to one that it is now safe to cross. It is this delicacy of disposition, combined with a propensity towards sudden, directed violence, which makes the average group of foilists walking down the street as cunning and as dangerous as a bag full of mutant wolverines. Certainly it is this last group which is most to be avoided when traveling the streets of our fair city during a tournament weekend.

Before you ask, I was a sabre fencer. We had a four man sabre team, including our resident southpaw and Calvin, the manic-depressive art student who’s art always had more that bit of red in it.

Monday Book Pick: Going Rogue

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Going Rogue by Gov. Sarah Palin

It’s coming out tomorrow and has been a best seller for weeks. The Associated Press has managed to get an advanced copy, or so they claim, and has eleven so-called “reporters” doing opposition research on it already.

That is more vetting by the, ahem, media than Barack Obama got during the entire 2008 campaign season! It makes you wonder why the folks who were so infatuated with BHO are so afraid of this Alaskan Hockey Mom with actual government executive experience.

Monday Book Pick Archive

A realistic look at the unemployment rate under Obama

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson points out some important facts:

One of the oddest things is President Obama’s continuing surprise at the rising unemployment rate. Indeed, we now have a new Orwellianism of “jobs saved”: as jobs are lost, we are told that some of those who do have them were “saved” by President Obama (note the logic: you ignore the stats that quantify reality, but hype fantasy).

If you were a contractor, a car dealer, a dentist, or an accountant, and if you heard that we may/will/sorta raise federal income taxes, lift the tax caps off FICA, think about a VAT tax, impose a health care surcharge on the “wealthy”, have new mandatory fees for forced medical plans and green energy, and had you just got hit with new raised sales and state income taxes, why would you be secure about the future and gamble on it by hiring more employees.

The evidence that the Obama White House is completely making up the jobs “saved or created” numbers is pretty clear. It is also very clear that it was their intention from the beginning.

democrat William “Cold Cash” Jefferson to serve 13 year jail term

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Nine term democrat congressman William “Cold Cash” Jefferson was sentenced for 11 separate counts of corruption.  His sentence is for 13 years in prison. The democrat from Louisiana was found guilty of taking multiple massive cash bribes while a member of the United States House of Representatives. In addition to the bribes, the long serving democrat was convicted of money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering

“Cold Cash” Jefferson was loudly defended by the democrat “leadership” in the House, including the far left extremist, Nancy Pelosi.

Obama is in China

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

I guess he had to check in with the Communist Chinese government, since they hold the mortgage on his Presidency.

I wonder if he is going to check on those training programs in China the US taxpayer paid for.

Update: Dana Milbank points out in the Washington Post that getting out of the country when bad economic news hits is how our Dear Leader rolls:

Unemployment hits 9.4 percent. President Obama flies to France.

Joblessness reaches 9.7 percent. Obama jets off to Denmark.

The rate of those out of work soars to 10.2 percent. Obama packs his bags for Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea.

Faced with the worst domestic economy in decades, the president has responded — by setting a record for foreign travel.

[…] Obama was safely over Canada when his Treasury Department announced another record monthly budget deficit.

The economy clearly isn’t much of an issue for our Dear Leader, since there is clearly no recession at the Obama White House.

Friday B-Movie Pick: Van Wilder

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Van Wilder

This early work by Ryan Reynolds is a fitting successor to Animal House. Complete to the actor who played Otter appearing as Van’s father.

Friday B-Movie Archives

Hard Left democrats offer a sincere apology to George and Laura Bush

Friday, November 13th, 2009

It’s been said that our Dear Leader just doesn’t make Republicans appreciate George Bush, it makes them long for the days of Bill “It’s the economy, Stupid!” Clinton.

Well, it seems that the Ditherer in Chief and Empress Michelle has some democrats appreciating former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.

We know absolutely no one in Bush family circles and have never met former President George W. Bush or his wife Laura.

Oh, how we RAILED against Bush in 2000…and how we RAILED against the surge in support Bush received post-9/11 when he went to Ground Zero and stood there with his bullhorn in the ruins on that hideous day.

Well, we told you before how much the current president, Dr. Utopia, made us realize just how wrong we were about Bush. We shudder to think what Dr. Utopia would have done post-9/11. He would have not gone there with a bullhorn and struck that right tone. More likely than not, he would have been his usual fey, apologetic self and waxed professorially about how evil America is and how justified Muslims are for attacking us, with a sidebar on how good the attacks were because they would humble us.

Honestly, we don’t think President Gore would have been much better that day. The world needed George W. Bush, his bullhorn, and his indominable spirit that day…and we will forever be grateful to this man for that.

As we will always be grateful for what George and Laura Bush did this week, with no media attention, when they very quietly went to Ft. Hood and met personally with the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.


The Bushes went and met privately with these families for HOURS, hugging them, holding them, comforting them.

If there are any of you out there with any connection at all to the Bushes, we implore you to give them our thanks…you tell them that a bunch of gay Hillary guys in Boystown, Chicago were wrong about the Bushes…and are deeply, deeply sorry for any jokes we told about them in the past, any bad thoughts we had about these good, good people.
And we are blessed to have Dick Cheney, wherever he is, keeping tabs on all that’s going on and speaking out when the current administration does anything too reckless and dangerous.

Cheney’s someone else we villainized and maligned in the past who we were also wrong about. There has never been a Vice President, including Gore, Biden, or Mondale, who was more supportive of gay rights than “Darth Cheney”. There has never been a Vice President more spot-on right about the dangers facing this country from Islamic terrorism.

We live in strange, strange times indeed.

We are now officially committed fans of George W. and Laura Bush. We are fans of Dick Cheney. Our gratitude for them makes us newly protective of them, and the continued role they play in this country.

Thank you for your service, Mr. President. We’re sorry we didn’t appreciate you while you were in office, but we thank Heaven we’ve wised up and can see the good you are out there doing, under the radar, today.

There are times when reality trumps political ideology, and this clearly is one of them.
Kudos to the gang at HillBuzz for having the courage to speak out on this subject. I’m sure that horde’s of O-Bots will demonize them for daring to not idolize Barack Hussein Obama as the leftist group-think demands.

Inspector General Walpin cleared of White House Smear

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The Obama White House, making a lie out of its promise for increased transparency, fired Inspector General Walpin back in June for doing his job and daring to investigate on of our Dear Leader’s political appointees.

The reasons given at the time were absurd and easily disputed. The reality of the situation was clear.
Team Lightbringer fired a government employee for doing his job. The findings of Walpin were embarrassing not only to our Dear Leader, but to Empress Michelle as well, since the waste and corruption found was in one of her pet projects.

Well, now a US Attorney has cleared Walpin of any complaints that he acted “improperly.”

Inspector General Walpin wants his job back, and he has filed a suit in federal court stating that he was fired improperly for investigating a political appointee of the President. Of course, following its policy of removing any trace of transparency and openness in the federal government, the Obama White House is trying to have this case dismissed.

Update: Details at Michelle Malkin’s site on how the Obama “Justice” Department has been sweeping the corruption AG Walpin found under the rug.

Monday Book Pick: Kildar

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Kildar by John Ringo

The second book in the Ghost series. The story of how a wayward, Tango killing, ex-SEAL, buys a valley in Georgia (the country, not the state) and stumbles on a lost tribe of dedicated warriors who farm between battles.

Monday Book Pick Archive

The Wisdom of Dr. Pournelle

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I’ve posted very insightful comments by Dr. Jerry Pournelle before.

Here are couple more.   First on is on the economy.

“Unemployment is over 10%. It wasn’t supposed to get that high. TARP was supposed to fix that. . . . If the health care bill passes, it will fundamentally convert these United States into a different kind of popular democracy, which generally means rule by a unionized bureaucracy organized to vote. Once that much of the economy is run by government, economic recovery as many hope for will simply be impossible. Permanent unemployment at 7% or so; median income perhaps 10% higher than it is now, but not much higher; and a long period of stagflation. Reluctance to take on new employees, and great incentive to export jobs. Is this a picture of the future? We will have to see, as Congress debates the health care and carbon tax bills. . . . With Detroit a ruin and manufacturing industries on the ropes, small business is the only possible engine of recovery from what they don’t call a Depression; so the Congress is going to add an 8% tax on employing people. We already have the longest period of increasing unemployment since the Great Depression; I presume we are going for a really big record setting period of increasing unemployment. . . . The incentives are now to the job black market — hire illegal immigrants who don’t have to have health insurance — or to export the job if that can possibly be done.”

Next up this on target observation about Health Care and politics.

“I would have thought that the Obama administration is at least as responsible for the US response to the Swine Flu problem as the Bush administration ever was for the New Orleans response to Katrina, but the media are not reporting it that way. I wonder how those who stood in long lines for hours only to find that there is no vaccine feel about the government’s coming takeover of the entire health care system? Will the new health care system work more smoothly than does, say, FEMA? Is there any reason to think so?”

Update: Let’s not forget Dr. Pournelle’s Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy

Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.