When You’re In Jail, Stop Running

Suspect reportedly shot by Springfield police during chase in jail

Snickering about the miswritten headline aside, which implies that the chase took place in the jail, we get this nugget about the shooting:

After the vehicle became stuck in the mud following a high-speed pursuit, Hilt allegedly tried to run over several police officers and was shot in the neck.

The suspect tried to run down the officers with a truck that was stuck in the mud? I see.

Reminds me of an incident in the St. Louis area a couple years back where a deputy pulled over a car full of kids in a manual transmission vehicle. When the deputy got out, the vehicle rolled a little purportedly because the driver didn’t put the parking brake on, and the deputy fired a barrage into the vehicle, killing some and wounding some more.

Jeez, guys, be careful.

UPDATE: I am not convicting the cops here in the court of my public opinion, since I am only working off of the newspaper’s reporting of the event.

Mixed Feelings

I noticed pretty quickly that the Directv piped in music changed today from SiriusXM to SonicTap.

On one hand, as a SiriusXM investor, I’m saddened by the news since this indicates I am probably going to lose the last sleeve from the shirt I’ve been losing in that investment (I should have sold when they signed Stern and the stock zoomed to like $17 a share briefly).

On the other hand, SonicTap will probably have playlists that include more than only 24 hours of songs for each music channel, unlike SiriusXM. Even if not, I can hope it is at least a different 24 hours of songs to give me enough novelty to get through the week.

On the third, mutant hand, I can take pride that I am probably one of a mutant handful of people attentive enough to notice the change.

James Joyner Defenestrates Jon Stewart

Over at Outside the Beltway, Dr. James Joyner defenestrates the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for hyperbole in blog titles.

Well, not really, since the playback is in the same window as the original post. But I wish we could see some post headlines that refer to defenestration more.

But I fear that energy efficient windows and closed HVAC-based environments have taken this word from our national vocabulary.

Meanwhile, as the link above throws the target site out of the current window, I have virtual defenestrated Dr. Joyner.

The Biggest Travesty of the Census Ad

You know the United States Government spent something like $2,500,000 to air an ad in the Superbowl, right? This ad:


The official version is on YouTube here complete with the “Visionary and Director, in that order” self-loving profile.

You know, it’s not bad enough that the Department of Treasury spent that much money buying space for an ad in the Superbowl. They had to make it worse by just giving a blank check to an ad company that proceeded to make an ad company ad for it.

I’ve done some work in the field, and you can tell an ad company’s ad (or an interactive agency’s Web site) because they’re not targeted to consumers. They’re targeted to other ad companies to show how cool the producing ad company is. The ad company can break all the rules of comprehensibility and including a call to action since the ad is not designed to convince you of anything, but merely to exist in its coolness.

This ad shares some of the core features of a hip ad-man’s dream ad:

  • Incomprehensibility. They’re having a meeting. The title tells us that. What is the point of the meeting? In most commercials, it’s to get to the punchline. This ad doesn’t really have a punchine, nor a core call to action. What is the viewer supposed to do? Embrace the existence of hip use of tax money budget.
  • Self-reference. It’s an ad company having a meeting to talk with a client. A stupid client! Haw! There’s your punchline. Also, it’s epic, because the lives and livelihoods of those who work at ad agencies are dramatic, glamorous, and exciting (see Mad Men or just interact with ad agency people. They’re thespians without any acting skill, so they live the melodramas in their own lives. And if you let them, they make advertisements about them.)
  • Expensivity. When money is no object, it will be spent. On an ad buy. On expensive sets and catering. Money is no object!

As a conservative, I feel outraged enough that the government profligately wasted Chinese bondholder money on an ad in the Superbowl. As a viewer, I felt worse that the ad sucked that badly.

I also feel a little bad for the “client,” whatever government functionary signed off on this. Didn’t he or she realize that the ad company was mocking him or her? Or was he so hip as to accept its mockery, feeling that he was in on it even though the ad agency didn’t think so?

Conservative Tips Hand At Suburban Journals

A conservative has tipped his hand in this crime report story in the Suburban Journals:

The handgun appeared to be a black semiautomatic.

Not a military-grade pistol? Not an assault weapon? A semiautomatic? Someone in the paper that can tell his firearms apart.

That can only mean one thing: a conservative NRA-lovin’ Republican, or worse, teabagger mole. The editors had better ferret this mole out immediately. Or Spackler it out immediately. Before it bites someone and turns that poor soul into a lunatic.

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Two things in the state capital today, one good and one bad.

Good: Law proposed to prevent state tax money spent to pay lobbyists who advocate for state laws:

A bill to ban the use of taxpayer money for lobbying state legislators faced considerable backlash Thursday from the people who would be most affected: lobbyists.

Rep. Shane Schoeller’s bill would prohibit any entity that accepts tax dollars from using that money to influence the passage or defeat of legislation.

It would not outright ban municipalities, state agencies or other recipients of tax dollars from hiring lobbyists to roam the halls of the Capitol. But the lobbyists would be forbidden to advocate to legislators why they should vote a certain way on a bill, Schoeller said.

Well, a half step forward. There are too many ways that our layers of government waste tax money trying to get money and favors out of other layers of government. Given the unnecessary overlap and the huge amount of taxpayer-provided slush funds, they can afford it, unfortunately.

The step back: In a recession, the government moves to limit profitable, taxable business:

The Missouri Senate endorsed strict regulations for sexually oriented businesses Thursday — just days after a federal grand jury convened to look into the demise of a similar bill five years ago.

The legislation would ban strip clubs and adult video stores within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, churches, libraries, parks and day cares. It also would ban nudity, require semi-nude employees to stay 6 feet from customers and force adult businesses to close by midnight.

Senators gave initial approval to the bill by voice vote after a short debate with scant opposition. A final vote, which would send the bill to the House, is expected early next week.

I know, some people think that boobies are bad. Maybe it’s that the boobies shared with people who are not your spouse or infant are bad; I’m not really clear on the ultimate moral justification here. But the boobies of consenting adults are the consenting adults’ concern. To limit business in this fashion goes against my libertarian attitudes.

I’m The Only One Laughing

Whereas,

  • The children’s pain reliever bears the purple flavor artificially known as “grape”,
  • And is measured into a tiny little cup for dosage purposes,

I call providing the child with the said pain reliever giving ’em grape shot.

Nobody else gets it, but I don’t make the jokes for their benefit. I do it for me.

Making a Memory

So I received a free gift print from Ducks Unlimited to induce me to renew or as a reward for renewing. I don’t know which, or maybe it’s both, since I received another one in the mail a week later.

In most cases, I throw these things into the recycling right away, I put them aside and wait until a later time when I’m cleaning up years later to put them into the recycling, or I throw them into a box for a yard sale and then, after the yard sale passes and they don’t sell, I throw them into the recycling bin.

This time, though, I took the reward and framed it for my children’s rooms, since their larger rooms have blank wall space these days:

Ducks Unlimited dog print

Those pictures will hang on the boys’ bedroom walls until they’re old enough to replace them with something more to their tastes. Some days, in the far future, they might come across one of them in a box and recollect it fondly, wondering why they had duck hunting pictures in their rooms when their father wasn’t a duck hunter (assuming, probably safely, that I don’t become one between now and then).

Maybe they’ll know that I joined Ducks Unlimited after my father passed away to keep his contributions alive and so I could order the camouflaged hats that I leave on my father’s grave in lieu of flowers. Maybe I won’t get the chance to tell them that. Maybe they’ll only have the mystery.

Book Report: Hunting Down Amanda by Andrew Klavan (1999)

This is a retelling of Firestarter from a conservative perspective. Try as you might, you make the inevitable comparison. Children with mystical powers on the run from bad men who want to exploit them protected by a single parent.

The book’s telling has key differences, of course, since Andrew Klavan is not Stephen King and their politics diverge, which could explain elemental differences (the bad guys as corporate goons vs. government goons; the special children result from experiments not involving vs. involving LSD, and so on). Also, Klavan tells the story from multiple points of view with cut scenes within each chapter to build tension. This is a common enough device, but it really detracts from the ultimate climactic scene and it also slows down helping the reader engage with the book, since the multiple points of view don’t allow the reader to lock onto the protagonist until well into the book.

A good enough book, but probably not the best in his line. I’ll try again.

Interesting note on how I got this book: before we moved, Mrs. Noggle was thinning her library with a stack of (two full bookshelves’ worth) books to give away. Before she did, I went through them and rescued a couple because I was getting a little light as my unread books were falling to a couple thousand in number. I’ve watched Klavan on the Culture on PJtv and decided to give him a try. I’ll give him another try, maybe with his new book coming out.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: A Beader’s Reference by Jane Davis (2003)

This book is not a bead jewelry book; it is a book about bead designs, which include using beads to augment clothing and even to make tapestries. That is not to say it’s not worthwhile for a bead jewelry maker to review, since it includes a lot of information about making fringes and whatnot that can be useful in making pendants. And so forth.

The book is forthrightly declared to be a reference book; as such, it mostly does not follow a project format. Instead, it identifies and gives different patterns you can use in your own beading work and gives a gallery of photographs of things using the designs. There is a projects chapter that gives step-by-step instructions for a couple things, however.

So the book focuses on patterns you can use in whatever beading projects you have in mind as well as techniques for cords and fringes, but these books would not be quite the same without step-by-step projects. This book’s projects include:

  • A dragon box band
  • A fringe for an organdy bag
  • A striped bracelet.
  • A netting border for a gourd bowl.
  • A scissors chatelaine.
  • A crochet bracelet and purse.
  • A loomwork wall hanging.

And so on. The book suggests a whole world of beading as sewing that escapes the narrow focus of jewelrymaking using beads, but some of the patterns and techniques might come in handy, particularly the fringe strand techniques and the cord making.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Scorecard Through January

I was concerned I wouldn’t make my normal 100 books this year since I’ve picked up other hobbies to waste my time, but through February 1, I’ve read 11 books:

Futureland Walter Mosley
Night Prey John Sandford
Beaded Jewelry Wendy Remmer
Crossroads at the Spring edited by Shanna Boyle and Julie March
Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects Carole Rodgers
Branson Humor Richard Gunter
Night and Day Robert B. Parker
Beadwork Inspired by Art Nouveau Judith Durant and Jean Campbell
Heat Lightning John Sandford
A Beader’s Reference Jane Davis
Hunting Down Amanda Andrew Klavan

The thin beading books are really going to pad out the list, but at least I haven’t resorted to picture books or collections of old newspaper cartoons. Yet.

Amazon Goes Open Source; Gives Its Intellectual Property Away

MfBJN EXCLUSIVE! Must credit MfBJN!

Reading in between the lines of this announcement regarding its spat with publisher MacMillan, we can surmise that Amazon has released all of its intellectual property into the public domain:

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. (Emphasis added)

Amazon’s publicity intern here throws out a particularly loaded aside. A MONOPOLY! That’s a bad thing, Pavlovian dogs: salivate!

Except Macmillan has a monopoly over its property. Its intellectual property, but it owns those titles, sort of, after investing money in them and getting a contract. Since Amazon is against companies having monopolies over their intellectual property, I can only assume that Amazon is releasing all of its source code and is transferring all of its patents to the public domain, immediately. Otherwise, Amazon is in its own terms a no-good dirty monopolist.

I was going to say, “Ain’t it funny that,” but it’s really not funny that the black paintbrushes come out when someone is not freely sharing his property with the namecallers. Information wants to be free! and all that business. Health care wants to be free! None of that crap wants anything on its own. People without it or without enough of it want someone else’s, pure and simple. I have the urge at this point to throw out From each according to his ability, to each according to his id, but many people would think I’m going off the deep end.

It’s a steady erosion of cultural justification of property rights. This little message from Amazon and its tossed off use of a trigger word for some small sympathetic effect is a little thing, but a lot of little drops melt stone.

(Link seen on PajamasMedia.com.)

Historians From A Distance

The February 2010 American History has an interview with an expert on the comparative styles of presidential leadership. It’s not available online, so you’ll have to take my word for it when I say that the Frost’s dictum about poems can also apply to analysis. You know, all poems are a descent into Hell, and the first line tells you how deep you’re going to go.

Can Obama achieve his sweeping goals?
His concilliatory approach and tendency to move to the middle ground have profound limitations in today’s polarized political climate.

Okay, we’re going in deep here. How deep?

Which early president does Obama resemble the most?
He is probably most like Thomas Jefferson, in his intellectuality and his fluency–although Jefferson’s fluency was with the written, not the spoken word.

Oh, my. So reading the words that someone else has written off of a teleprompter is just the same as writing the Declaration of Independence.

Further evidence as to why we cannot leave history to the historians, I suppose.

Book Report: Beadwork Inspired by Art: Art Noveau by Judith Durant/Jean Campbell (2008)

I’m not saying that I am not particularly bent artistically, but I almost thought that Art Noveau remade Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” in the 1980s.

Turns out, I was mistaken. Art Noveau was an artistic movement at the turn of the last century featuring natural motifs and rounded curves. This book includes a nice introduction to the movement, a very high level summary of the different media and countries in which it appeared. Then the book goes into some projects inspired by different examples of the art movement.

For example, the projects include:

  • A bracelet based on the painting “Libussa” by Vitezlav Karel Masek. Before this book, if you would have asked me about Masek, I would have guessed he played goal for the Nashville Predators.
  • Earrings inspired by a Paris Metro station fence.
  • A vase based on the painting “The Embrace” by Gustav Klimt. Klimt really isn’t a good hockey name at all.
  • A bracelet based on a council room door handle in Bremen City Hall.
  • A bracelet based on a Laburnum Lamp by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The projects are quite varied, and as noted above go beyond jewelry. It sparks the imagination of the beginner, or at least me, to see a wide array of techniques and results. Each project includes sidebars of trivia and tips to help you with your wirework or whatnot. Some of the projects really do match their inspirations, but in others I don’t see the influence as clearly. However, I guess the inspiration in each worked enough to get the authors to create some nice designs.

Books mentioned in this review: