Sunday, July 3, 2011


Dean of the "venom harvesters" dies at age 100 (Dave Petzal, The Gun Nut blog)
"Mr. [Bill] Haast was the foremost venom milker in the history of the profession, and he received 172 bites from all manner of lethal serpents over the course of his lifetime, some of which nearly killed him."
I wonder if all those bites prolonged his life, shortened it, or made no difference at all? One thing for sure though is that Haast had a passion for what he did and that is usually thought of as a major life extender.

DSK conclusion-jumpers now appear left with oeuf sur le visage (John Soloman, Daily Beast)

Tactical flashlights for home defense (Popular Mechanics)
"Developed initially for special forces in the military and law enforcement, these lights, with their intensely bright beams, are also available to civilians. They offer protection by temporarily blinding an intruder. Unlike a room light or a conventional flashlight, which shows the bad guys where you are, tactical lights are designed to identify a target without turning you into one."

Ernest Hemingway was wired-tapped by the FBI in his final years (Slashdot)
Just like he suspected he was even though his family and friends chalked it up to clinic depression, old age and alcoholism. Vindication after you're dead is about as hollow a victory as it's possible to get, eh?

How America will end (
"The primary problem with the American political economy is that in the last 10-15 years, elite, moderately liberal technocrats have made common cause with the elite, moderately conservative rentiers of the financial and corporate world to form an incipient oligarchy. One sees their fellow Americans paternalistically as children. The other sees us as sheep to be sheared. It’s a common enough ground on which to unite and it is the reason you see a very liberal Democratic Obama administration and a Pelosi-Reid Congressional leadership counterintuitively putting corporate regulation in impenetrable shadows not seen since before the Stock Market Crash of 1929 as if they were the minions of Jay Gould and J.P. Morgan."

10 Great Things About the Japanese (Colin Liddell, Taki's Magazine)
"While most Western countries throw open their borders every time there’s a public flogging/vaginal circumcision/paper-clip shortage in the Third World, the Japanese do their bit for the planet’s displaced by only accepting refugees from First World countries such as America. Japan is home to an estimated 88,000 US citizens. Since most of them are Democrats, geek boys, and liberal-arts graduates, this provides a valuable service to Americans by removing what would otherwise be a highly unproductive and unsightly segment of their population."

Heh! Reasons #6, #7, and #10 are pretty good too.

Libyan rebels arms shopping list (Robert Ziegler, Foreign Policy)
I was struck by the ridiculously high prices for many of the arms listed. I mean $300 USD a piece for a lousy AK-47? Gimme a break. The rest of the stuff on their "list" is expensive and technologically advanced stuff that ex-pat economics students and repatriated day laborers from Europe or oil rig workers from the Gulf emirates aren't able to use properly or maintain. The prices listed are the kind of sky-high rip-off profiteering you'd see from bent arms dealers in a 1980's action-adventure movie based on a Frederick Forsythe novel something.