Ignorant or Malicious?


John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerLine looking at the question of whether Ilhan Omar’s statements are the result of a lack of familiarity with English (as Nancy Pelosi has suggested) or whether she is using a form of Progressive Newspeak. Specifically, Hinderacker examines Omar’s complaint that President Trump is dehumanizing people by referring to them as “illegal aliens.”

In point of fact and as a matter of law, the President is correct in his language. The law [8 U.S.C § 1101(a)(3)] defines alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” It’s illegal for such persons to be in the United States unless properly admitted as residents (with green cards) or visitors/refugees (with visas). Aliens who are in the country illegally are breaking our laws, they are criminals, and they are subject to legal sanctions, including deportation.

There are two possibilities here. One is that Omar is poorly educated and is unfamiliar with the common English word “alien.” That could be. The second possibility is that she, like so many liberals, is trying to bully the rest of us into adopting their vocabulary, even when it does not accord with common usage, common sense, or, as here, the law.

Normally, I’d be inclined to shrug and say, “Embrace the power of AND,” but I believe the balance of the evidence weighs on the second choice. That opinion is strengthened by Omar’s repeated misstatements of the facts and by statements made by her allies among the current freshman class in the House of Representatives such as She Guevara (aka Alexandria ¡Ocasio-Cortez!).

No, we aren’t dehumanizing persons who law enforcement has probable cause to believe have crossed our borders illegally by detaining them until they can be processed by our immigration and legal systems. No, we are not placing them in concentration camps.

Dachau was the National Socialists first concentration camp, opened in 1933. While it was not nearly as brutal as the industrial scale death camps run by the SS (or perhaps as Stalin’s gulag), it was a place of terror, torture, and forced labor for the internal enemies of the state. None of the facilities holding detained immigrants here in the U. S. are remotely analogous to places like Dachau.

I don’t believe politicians like Omar and ¡Ocasio-Cortez! are stupid. I think that they’ve been rewarded for making outrageous claims that fit the narratives believed by enough voters in their districts to get them elected and that they believe they can get away with such loose talk on a national stage. I also believe that their claims will become more radical as they react poorly to fact-based pushback.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


One of the forms of harassment used by Team Kimberlin has been contacting a perceived enemy’s employer and either complaining about the person’s behavior or forecasting the direst of dire direness if the person isn’t fired. That tactic worked once, and Aaron Walker was fired from a job because his employer was frightened by tales of Islamic extremists who were allegedly seeking revenge on Aaron for posting cartoons of Mohammed on the Internet.

They also tried to interfere with my work as a contractor with NASA. Five years ago today, I published this post about My Day at work.

* * * * *

201406191002ZSomehow, I feel that those good wishes from the Cabin Boy™ are sarcasm, but I did have a good day working with the GOES-R Project today. Most of my time was spent mentoring an engineering co-op student who was laying out his first circuit board. Passing on such skills one-on-one is something I find very satisfying.

Not everyone working on the GOES-R program is aware the legal wrangling that takes up part of my spare time, but many of my colleagues read this blog or have heard stories told around the Keurig. Those stories have been the source of much head shaking and laughter.

* * * * *

Not all of my colleagues at NASA were amused by the emails they received, and that resulted in opening of an investigation of which I was not the target. Going an email too far is what resulted in the cooperative effort that brought about Bill Schmalfeldt finally being charged with violating a peace order.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


One of the most amazing mistakes that Brett Kimberlin has made in his failed campaign of brass knuckles reputation management was recruiting Bill Schmalfeldt as one of his PR flacks. In addition to being ineffective at promoting Team Kimberlin’s interest, Schmalfeldt has been the source of much of the pointage, laughery, and mockification directed at Kimberlin and his minions. A Derp Brain Photo included in a post six years ago has been one of my favorite examples of Schmalfeldt unforced errors.

* * * * *

Cabin Boy Bill’s bio says he served during the Viet Nam era as Navy Medical Corpsman and that he did a tour with a Marine Corps unit. Based on that, I assume that he would have qualified with the M16 rifle and that he should still retain at least a passing familiarity with it and the Marines’ standards of safe gun handling.

Schmalfeldt has spent the past couple of days whining about an unfairly cropped photo which he says unjustly portrays him as “crazed and evil.” This image is an unedited copy of one he posted at Breitbart Unmasked.GE

The Four Rules of Gun Safety (as stated by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC Ret.) are

1. All firearms are always handled as if they were loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at anything you are unwilling to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are aligned on the target.
4. Be sure of your target.

This picture shows the Cabin Boy violating all four at once.

The picture clearly shows that Bill Schmalfeldt is irresponsible. The Gentle Reader may form his own opinions about “crazed” or “evil.”

* * * * *

The Cabin Boy™ claimed that the rifle belonged to his step son. If that’s the case, Schmalfeldt was probably breaking the law when that picture was taken. The rifle appears to have a 30-round magazine, and at the time the picture was taken, the maximum legal magazine capacity in Maryland was 20 rounds. While the step son may have bought the magazine while it was still legal and his possession of it might have been grandfathered in, it was not legal for the Cabin Boy™ to have it in his possession.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran four years ago today.

* * * * *

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Cell phone rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Johnny. It’s Aaron. I hope I didn’t wake you. You’re an hour behind us in Illinois.

JOHNNY: Good morning back to you. No, I’m running on East Coast time. I’ve got to drive back to Indiana to the other side of the time zone line later today.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) Oh?

JOHNNY: Yeah. I’ve found the records we wanted here, but I’ve also developed a lead on a related case.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) The Bomber?

JOHNNY: Uh, huh. I’m headed back to Bloomington.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

Social Justice Warfare Update


A small, family-run bakery has taken Oberlin College to court, alleging that the school defamed the family and its business through its active support of student SJWs who were protesting the business’s treatment of shoplifters. Today, a jury awarded the bakery and several family members of total of $11,000,000 in damages. A punitive damages phase of the trial will begin next week which could raise the award as high as $33,000,000.

You can read more about the verdict at Legal Insurrection.

UPDATE—My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has some thoughts on the matter here.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Seven years ago, at least four bloggers who had written about Brett Kimberlin had been SWATted. They were Mike Stack, Patrick Frey (Patterico), Erick Erickson, and Aaron Walker. All of them, except Mike Stack, wound out as my codefendants in at least one of The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin’s defamation LOLsuits. At the time, Erick Erickson was a contributor at CNN, so his SWATting got national coverage and prompted congressional interest in the crimes. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) too particular interest.

When Breitbart Unmasked tried to spin the story, I ran a post seven years ago today titled Brazen or Delusional? I Report. You Decide.

* * * * *

Brietbart Unmasked (no, I won’t link to them), a web site believed to be affiliated with Brett Kimberlin, has posted it’s take on Senator Chambliss’ call for an investigation of the Swatting of conservative bloggers. In what appears to be either a brazen attempt to appear confident or a delusional disregard of reality, they say this:

Red State blogger and CNN contributor, Erick Erickson posted on his website that he and his family were victims of an attempted SWaT-ting. Another conservative blogger who said he was SWaT-ed was James [sic] Frey a blogger at the site Patterico’s Pontifications.

BU welcomes this investigation which will finally prove once and for all what liars these right wingers have been. The hope is that Eric Holder will find out that its all been a bunch of right wing bullshit aimed at destabilizing liberals, and that those responsible for spreading these malicious lies and falsehoods such as John [sic] “Patterico” Frey and others will finally pay the price for it. This field of nightmares has got to end badly for those responsible for spreading the hate as a revenge tactic by Aaron Justin Walker, Patterico, and others in the Breitbart orbit who have been guilty of spreading these seemingly never ending series of lies. I would recommend that they start with Patterico and then move on over to Robert Stacy McCain who has claimed he had to go into hiding over it; which one wonders if he is hiding because his handlers at the Bureau forced him to relocate due to some ongoing right wing hate investigation in which he is informing for them, or if he just left town so he could milk all the suckers out of their money to live rent free. Either way it is about time that someone seriously looked into these bullshit lies the right wing breitbots have been spreading around.

Uh, huh.

* * * * *

Looking back over the past seven years, I’d answer the brazen v. delusion question by invoking the Power of AND.

I’m reasonably certain that Brett Kimberlin himself wrote that BU post just a few days after the unconstitutional gag order he had won against Aaron Walker was overturned. Aaron had been SWATted within hours of Kimberlin’s loss in court. And I find the bit about Stacy McCain’s imaginary FBI handlers especially ridiculous, bordering on hallucinatory.

Yet, in one sense Kimberlin got his wish about someone seriously looking to the bullshit lies surrounding his activities. He should have been more careful in what he wished for.

Democracy Dies in Derpness


WaPo has published an extremely inaccurate opinion piece about the recent Virginia Beach shooting and suppressors for firearms. In her essay, Juliette Kayyem makes the ridiculously false claim that “a suppressed gunshot can sound like a chair scraping on the floor.” It appears that she’s seen too many Hollywood movies in which the sound of suppressed gunfire on films’ soundtracks were special effects added during postproduction and recordings of real gunfire and that she has little (on no) experience with real world suppressed firearms.

(BTW, based on my experience being involved in the development of theatre sound equipment when I was VP of Engineering at JBL, I doubt that many theatre sound systems can reproduce the sound of gunfire as loud as the actual muzzle blast without being damaged.)

When Hiram Percy Maxim began marketing exhaust quieting devices for internal combustion engines and firearms over a hundred years ago, his brand name for them was Silencer. That name stuck as a generic term in Europe for engines and worldwide for firearms. In North America, we call them mufflers on engines. The generic technical term of art for them is suppressors.

A suppressor is what we engineers call an acoustical low-pass filter. It permits exhaust gas to flow through (in the case of firearm suppressor to provide thrust for the bullet) but tends to reduce the level of high-frequency components in the impulse of the exhaust. If a suppressor worked “perfectly,” there would be nothing in the exhaust except a steady, non-varying flow of exhaust gas, but in order to become more effective at low frequencies, the suppressor must become larger to allow it to attenuate longer wavelength sounds.

An unmuffled engine on a lawn mower is roughly as loud as a series of gunshots, and the size of a lawn mower muffler is roughly the same as a suppressor that can be handled on the muzzle of a firearm. The Gentle Reader should not be surprised that suppressed firearms are typically about as loud as lawn mowers. My lawn mower is noticeable louder than a chair scraping across the floor.

While I’m on the Pro-Second-Amendment side of the gun control debate, I do recognize that there are reasonable points to be made on both sides of the gun control debate. Thus, neither side should have to resort to provably false claims.

Truth is a stronger foundation than a lie.

Democracy Dies in Derpness.