Kalroy Was Here

Eighth man from Adam, an artificer of metals

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Mac Frazier's Place

Once upon a time there was a blogger at Glenn Frazier dot com. Going to school, busy schedule, great lil' blog. I checked it daily. Then he disappeared. I can relate, life will pull at everyone and often we can no longer blog. For me it left an empty spot. In the middle of the day I'd hear something or other and rant away in my mind, all the while thinking, "Gee, that would make a great entry." Then either for lack of access, or simply lack of energy and motivation it would never make it to my place.

Then one day my wife convinced me to buy a low-end laptop to bring up to Oregon with me, and we suffered through the couple of weeks it took to absorb the hit on our finances. Because of that (and internet connection now) I'm back.

Turns out I'm not the only one who is back. Ol' Glenn Frazier dot com is back, now at Mac's new place over at, oddly enough, Mac Frazier's Place: "
". I hope my four faithful (down to three now) readers enjoy his site as much as I have in the past. He's just starting back out, and his site shows it's "under construction" motif, but hopefully he'll be back yakking about politics, law, architecture, and the mongols in no time at all.

Welcome back Mac,
Kal

Chemical spill?

“Chemicals overlooked in depot event, doctor says,” is the headline on section B of the Tri-City Herald.

The reporter claims that chemical agents (WMDs to most people) weren’t considered as a possibility in an incident, several years ago during construction, that made several people sick. Sick enough that at least one of them is claiming full permanent disability. I’m betting that the Army did consider it, but discounted it quickly since the most noticeable and immediate symptom did not seem to have occurred. Miosis, pinpoint pupils. Never seen it myself, though I’m told it is very distinctive, not something you could possibly miss.

The gist of the article is that the Army, the clinic and everyone else neglected to look for miosis. No one seems to remember any miosis. Since no one looked for it, it must have been missed. The thrust is that the workers were exposed to sarin and this proves it. Now at the bottom of the article the reporter does point out that it would have affected people between the storage bunkers and those who got sick, but that no one knows if anyone was there.

Here’s the thing, I got to talk to one of the people who was in the building at the time. He walked out and just then people “came pouring out of the building sick.” He confirms that no one looked for pinpoint pupils, but he also confirmed that he didn’t notice any either. We’re not talking about walking into bright sunlight pupils either, we’re talking about the eye looking like it is all iris with no pupil. It’s freaky looking.

The Army did not check cholinesterate levels, but it wouldn’t have mattered much since there was never a baseline made either.

So here’s the gist of the article and the lawsuit (yes, they’re suing the Army for exposing them to Sarin), Sarin leaked out of a bunker unnoticed, wafted towards the plant ignoring anyone who happened to be there. It drifted into the building selectively hitting some and ignoring a bunch of others.

Sarin is nasty stuff, but the amount that would have had to be sitting in a pool next to one of the bunkers to have been effective at making people sick hundreds of yards away, in a building, is a LOT. Consider that sarin needs to be distributed properly to be effective. In Japan, a sarin attack on a crowded subway killed 2 people (at least in the account I’m reading right now) despite having been delivered by puncturing containers left on the ground (hundreds got sick). Agent has been detected outside the bunkers once, but no one standing outside the plant got sick. Here it is being alleged that an amount toxic to a lot of people managed to leak out of the bunkers with no one noticing.

It’s about the money, but the newspaper has no business promoting the plaintiff’s propaganda. It should be trying to report both sides, and pointing to logical fallacies and factual errors on both sides.

Kal

Monday, June 28, 2004

Bummers

It's been a hectic last several days. In addition to the burning of our first sarin rocket being delayed by another month one of our own may be disqualified from the Chemical Personnel Reliability Program due to a single youthful indiscretion. It tears because on the one hand I totally understand the apparent absolute zero-tolerance policy when dealing with chemical weapons, on the other hand I don't see this instance as where a worker is going to be unreliable or a security risk.

Perhaps we should get Chomsky to write the rebuttal we plan, but then any word from him would probably hurt rather than help.

Kal

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Speaking of Arrowatch

Arrowatch will be notably absent for longer than usual. Probably a full month unless he gets time off for good behavior.

As to myself, today is the first day of three twelve-hour night shifts. My days will consists of going to work this afternoon, coming back to the apartment, sleeping, and waking up in time to do it all again. One of these days I'm going to have to go back to a normal schedule .

Kal

Thanks Sarah

Sarah over at trying to grok gives this blog a plug, which is really kind of her. Mahalo no e Sarah, thank you very much Sarah.

I no longer remember when I first read grok, but I liked it. I liked it, I still like it. She has a perspective that I'm passingly familiar with, having been married to a military wife, and she's a great communicator.

On a side note, all you kids out there be sure to get a full eight hours sleep a night. Don't be like Kalroy or you'll end up tired, cranky, and forgetful. I had meant to thank Sarah a couple of days ago and let it slip. Also, stay in school, don't do drugs and if you don't have the willpower to practice abstinence then at least practice safe sex.

Except for you, Arrowatch, don't have any sex at all until you're at least 24 years of age.

Kal

Friday, June 25, 2004

ABC and Peter Jennings

ABC is doing a special, or something, on Guantanamo and captured enemies. What's upsetting is that ABC's point of view is that despite what the Geneva Convention's actually say terrorists and enemy combatants are protected by the Conventions. This is simply a lie. The United States has decided to give many of these people some of the protections that the Conventions garauntee to POWs who had fought respecting the Conventions for a country that respected (or signed and respected) the conventions.

Sorry Peter Jennings, the Taliban did not sign, neither did they adhere to the Conventions. Either action would have gained the Conventions protection. Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, did not sign or adhere to the Conventions. Al-Qaeda and other terrorists do not adhere to the Conventions, just ask Nick Berg (but not his dad) and Paul Johnson.

Peter Jennings did not simply neglect to mention any of this, he and his story implied that the opposite was true. Pretty disgusting and it shows not only his bias, but either a total ignorance of the Conventions (which I seriously doubt) or that he is putting out anti-American propoganda. I know, I'm not being very generous, but I've been generous to leftists and the media for a very long time. I gave them the benefit of the doubt during the first Gulf War. I strived to give them the benefit of the doubt during both Kosovo and Somalia.

As far as I'm concerned they no longer deserve that benefit and will have to earn back what I had freely given them. My respect and trust.

Kal

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Lousy business sense, good academic sense.

CJStevens writes (the first part quoting me).

I mean, ever read some of the pamphlets, articles, and books that come from there? Some great, yet obscure stuff, but some real crap.

You mean "there" as in "college environment?" I agree entirely


So here's something we agree on entirely. One thing, unrelated to whether we agree, is that I approve of the college environment publishing system. Some of that obscure stuff would never be published otherwise. If not for that lax publishing style I would never have gotten to enjoy "Scotland in the Crusades." Some, if not a lot, of these college press publications exist only because there is a publishing system that places a different value on what they publish. I wonder how many times I'm going to use that word.

Anywho... I applaud the system that gives us such pearls even at the cost of some swill.

Kal

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Pissed yet again

Joanne Jacobs has a post on a young Protest Warrior. Reading the comments I got kinda pissed at Atlas who said, "On to Noam Chomsky. You can say a lot about him, and I for one think he should get the next Medal of Freedom, but don't say he is not articulate. His range of knowledge and vocabulary are far beyond anyone posting here."

It's pretty obvious why I'm pissed, considering that I'm one of the people who post there and between reading anglo-saxon versions of Beowulf, and Michael Crichton's Travels, I've worked on SDI programs and Yamaha's, the YF-22 and lawn mowers. Now I'm betting that Chomsky's vocabulary is far greater than mine, though the breadth of one's vocabulary is no indication of their communicative abilities as is amply demonstrated when comparing Chomsky's writings to those of Mark Twain, Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy, all of whom have proven to be far more interesting and effective communicators than Chomsky.

Having an effective vocabulary is very important, but that is not the same thing as having a large range in your vocabulary. You can spout off about triskaidekaphobia and prestidigitation in it's historical context but it's not nearly as effective as talking about the fear of the number thirteen and slight of hand (yeah I know, these are pretty well known examples today but I'm not going to discuss things I need a dictionary to explain).

As to his assertion that Chomsky's range of knowledge is broader than anyone posting on Joanne Jacob's site I call bullshit. Can Chomsky tell me whether cast iron can be welded? Can he tell me what kind of solder to use on his plumbing or what the rating is on the breakers in his circuit breaker box? I doubt he could diagram the wiring in his house, or show anyone how a new motor is installed in a car. He's pretty ignorant about a wide variety of things and considering his reputation and what little I've seen of his writings his knowledge base is extremely limited. Especially when compared to many blue-collar sweathogs. Sure not all sweathogs speak attic Greek (though I know a union electrician who does) or study latin (though I know several who do) or study Old English (again, I know several who do) and that's in Chomsky's purvue. Leave that specialty and the sweathogs leave him in the dust. Certainly they aren't all reading about linguistics and politics but then they know a lot about a lot of things, whether it be stalking wapiti, re-building Yamaha outboards, pouring concrete, or using a laser to align the shaft on a process water re-circulation pump (just did that today).

Kal

Wonkette

She's on Scarborough country tonight. Second time I've seen a blogger on the television. Attractive woman. I've gotten to hear two bloggers on the radio too. Hugh Hewitt and Leo Laporte.

Back to Wonkette. She's one of the guests on a section regarding kinkmeister Jack Ryan, his wife, and the release of their divorce proceedings by a California judge, despite objetions by Jack and Jerri Ryan, or any consideration for their child. It was interesting enough that I'm spending valuable sleep time (it's a work night, 12 hour shifts) trying to find the name of the judge and some history on the judge. Mostly because California has a history and reputation for left-wing activist judges that rule based on their political ideology rather than the law or the constitution.

Not finding anything yet. All the googled news articles I've gone through so far only say "California Judge." Not good enough. I want to know who the judge is. I want to know if the judge has a reputation for fairness or ideological activism.

Kal

Update: It's a "Superior Court Judge Robert A. Schnider." Interestingly, the Judge stayed his own ruling until June 28th, yet all this information has been published from it? What's up with that?

Update: Here's an interesting google find. Dunno it's providence, but it seems to imply that this judge ruled in favor of a wife moving the kids away (despite a signed agreement) because he was pissed at the father and that the judge later admitted it was wrong, but that it "was OK."


Monday, June 21, 2004

lgf: Overwhelming Majority of Muslims Doesn't Attend NJ Rally

lgf: Overwhelming Majority of Muslims Doesn't Attend NJ Rally

Tell me again how most Arabs are moderates and don't support America's enemies....

Well, perhaps this doesn't show support for America's enemies, so much as it gives ample demonstration of the failure to condemn America's enemies.

Kal

Power Over Patriotism

So I went to Lilek’s Bleat on the recommendation of Sarah over at Trying to Grok. Now I used to read Lilek’s blog on a daily basis but with my work schedule I had to pare my daily readings on down. But I went there and read because I was on my three days off.

I ask my Democrat friends what they’d rather see happen – Bush reelected and bin Laden caught, or Bush defeated and bin Laden still in the wind. They’re all honest: they’d rather see Bush defeated. (They’re quick to insist that they’d want Kerry to get bin Laden ASAP. Although the details are sketchy.) Of course this doesn't mean they're unpatriotic, etc., obligatory disclaimers, et cetera. But let's be honest. People are coming up with websites that demonstrate ingenious technology for spraying anti-Bush slogans on the sidewalks; it would be nice if they sprayed "DEFEAT TERRORISM" or "STOP AL QAEDA" now and then. Wouldn't it?

Is that too much to ask? I ask my Democrat friends what they’d rather see happen – Bush reelected and bin Laden caught, or Bush defeated and bin Laden still in the wind. They’re all honest: they’d rather see Bush defeated. (They’re quick to insist that they’d want Kerry to get bin Laden ASAP. Although the details are sketchy.) Of course this doesn't mean they're unpatriotic, etc., obligatory disclaimers, et cetera. But let's be honest. People are coming up with websites that demonstrate ingenious technology for spraying anti-Bush slogans on the sidewalks; it would be nice if they sprayed "DEFEAT TERRORISM" or "STOP AL QAEDA" now and then. Wouldn't it?

Is that too much to ask?


Unfortunately it is too much to ask. It’s not about patriotism or even about siding with America’s enemies. It’s about power, pure and simple. These people don’t want the terrorists to win, they don’t even really want the terrorists to score a single victory. They want their power back. They want to be in charge because they have a dream. A dream of a United States made in their own image and not that of the founding fathers. After all, the founding fathers are bunch of old dead white men (rumor has it there were a number of evil masons and shrine clowns), so they must have been evil and anything they touched must have been evil. Now if the leftists can do to the country what they’ve done to the democratic party they can remake the United States as a force for good. A force where all our wealth and industriousness can be focused towards righting the wrongs done by the evil white man to all the worlds poor and downtrodden people.

So okay, if they have to support terrorist goals and hope for more American deaths in the greater effort to replace George Bush with their guy then so be it. Besides they can do all this while screaming they still support the troops.

I support the troops but decry the war. Sounds good. Too bad joe six-pack (the bane of Berke) and GI Joe know better. They know that to support them is to support their victory, so they tend to see through the illusion created by the left that you can support America’s enemies without actually supporting America’s enemies.

Kal

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Comments over at trying to grok got me a bit riled. Sarah opened up a can when she honestly stated that the pervading amount of evidence weighs against islam and not simply the islamists (my interpretation, not her exact words).

I wrote the following comment in response.

Keep on Trucking Sarah. You're not going to impact some people, especially when it becomes obvious that their are either lacking in logic or ignorant, or simply deceitful.

To that I say, Can't Win, I remember the short spate of Abortion Clinic bombings and you are wrong about them not being condemned.

I remember the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia very recently, do you remember that we went to war to stop the masacre of muslims at the hands of christians? Have you notice that very little attention has been paid to that trend reversing or to the genocidal practices by Arabs in the Sudan?

The Catholic sex abuse scandal has been loudly and roundly condemned by Catholics, whereas the same scandal in Islam has been almost entirely ignored.

There is no schism over abortion, there is a schism over a woman's right to choose. I can't think of a single Christian denomination that supports abortion, though some support a woman's right to choose.

" But, we only bring up faith as a factor when it's Muslims involved. It's an excuse, not rational behavior."

Here is where you're either ignorant or tyring to deceive. "We" don't bring up faith as a factor when Muslims are involved, Muslims bring it up as a factor. When was the last time you recall a statement by an Islamist that was entirely secular?

As to your "moderate" muslim voices, by their number and their deviation from the majority of Imams, Ayatollahs, Muftis, etc, I'd say that they are the real extremists in a violent religion where the average/moderate supports killing jews and non-arabs.

Kal



Someone who goes by the handle of "can't win" threw some moral equivelancy around and, I guess, assumed everyone who might read it were under the age of twenty and so wouldn't remember his comparison to abortion clinic bombings.

Myself, I'm 36, I recall many Christians and Christian leaders and ministers/pastors/priests condemning the abortion clinic bombings. Still, it's a poor analogy since major islamic leaders don't simply fail to condemn islamists they praise and encourage them, so even if Christians didn't condemn the abortion clinic bombings I don't recall a single person encouraging and cheering the bombers on. This could be because it never happened, but it could also be because Christians generally marginalize extremists in their religion. Islam, the culture and religion not individuals, glorify and make heroes of their extremists.

den Beste has written about this. The condescension that comes from some pundits who work on the basis that we weren't there and wouldn't remember. He refers to the end of the Cold War, but "Can't Win" is operating on the same theory. By the way, his reference (Can't Win, not den Beste) to the crusades also neglects that Islam had already converted by the sword and conquered a large part of christendom.

Spaceship One
I returned to Oregon from California this past Wednesday and had picked up a copy of the Bakersfield Californian and the Antelope Valley Press. There was an article on SpaceShip One. I figured I'd write about it. Oddly enough it never occured to me just how important this was. Both Belmont Club and Winds of Change.NET: Go, Spaceship One, Go! both wrote about it before me. Worse, Winds of Change wrote about it a week before I found out Rutan was about ready to go.

It's probably just me being kinda jaded. I spent almost my entire career around aerospace R&D from working on modified F6s to the F22 and F23 and on the test stand that the EELV was to be tested on. I am still jazzed about Rutan's rocket, but I somehow thought it wouldn't strike everyone else the way it struck me. Boy was I wrong. Fox News at least has been yapping about it all day today.

Tell ya what, I’m really missing being in aerospace. Miss working on the cool stuff.

On the plus side, Rocket Man Blog hasn’t commented on this before me. On the seriously negative side it was the blog that would’ve had the most interesting input on this particular subject.

Kal

Friday, June 18, 2004

Turns out they didn't treat him like the Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib. They sawed his head off, those barbaric sons of bitches.

Kal

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Paul Johnson, we will treat him like the Americans treated the Iraqis in Abu Ghraib.

So does that mean they won't saw his head off like Nick Berg? Perhaps it means that they'll have him seen and have his health monitored by a doctor. Perhaps it means they will feed him very well and it will be a culturally sensitive diet. What it means is that the terrorists saw America's reaction to the pictures of the Abu Ghraib abuses (since there was jack reaction to the initial reports and investigation) and decided to use it to their advantage.

Dunno if it'll work though. Sure, some leftists will point out the statement and use it in their anti-Iraqi war rhetoric, but I'm betting that most people will realize what's being done, and that anyone abused Abu Ghraib style is way better off than anyone abused Islamist style.


Kal