mytopleft

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thank God Emperor Barry is making Iran our friends

As I mentioned previously, Iran built a non-functioning replica (not full size, I think) of a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The Navy professed not to know why Iran would do such a think, and Iran claimed it was part of a movie about the 1988 downing of an Iranian civilian aircraft by the USS Vincennes, a vessel that looks nothing like a Nimitz-class carrier. And the Navy apparently leaked to the New York Times that maybe Iran wanted to blow the replica up for propaganda purposes. I suggested what the Navy obviously knew but would not say: they were practicing.

Well, the Navy and I were both right, as I suspected:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — With rockets roaring and guns blazing, more than a dozen swarming Iranian speedboats assaulted a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier Wednesday during large-scale naval drills near the strategically vital entrance of the Persian Gulf.
The nationally televised show of force by the country's elite Revolutionary Guard comes just weeks ahead of a deadline for Iran and world powers to forge a historic deal on the fate of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
So, a high-profile, filmed "training exercise" depicts Iranian forces attacking and destroying a Nimitz-class carrier. Imagine that. And what a coincidence that Emperor Barry has a boner to get a deal that lets Iran build a nuke.  Personally, I don't think Iran really needed to do anything to intimidate Barry. What they did is clownish, but why argue with success?
Iranian live-fire war games are not uncommon. But by simulating for the first time an attack on the ultimate symbol of American naval power, hard-liners hoped to send a message that Iran has no intention of backing down to the U.S. — whichever way talks over its contested nuclear program go.
"American aircraft carriers are very big ammunition depots housing a lot of missiles, rockets, torpedoes and everything else," the Guard's navy chief, Adm. Ali Fadavi, said on state television. A direct hit by a missile could set off a large secondary explosion, he added.
So here is a picture of the "carrier" being hit by a missile:


And a 'splosion:


Why on Earth would you doubt that these people seriously want to reach a deal with us to end their nuclear weapons program? And what kind of cynic would think they won't honor that deal? After all, who thinks a foreign power not friendly to us would fail to live up to "the promise of hashtag"?


Do they not make ski masks for beer drinkers?

As I mentioned previously (I'm not linking to it, damn it, go find the post on the blog "Readers do the nicest things") a reader sent me a ski mask after I mentioned that my face almost froze off on a recent walking of Jeb the Wonder Dog. Again, go read the blog and find the post. I'm under time constraints here. Anyway, I had not yet had to use the ski mask as a ski mask since I got it -- I had used it as a hat. Tonight, while walking Jeb the Wonder Dog, my face was, again, freezing off.  It is low 20s, maybe high teens tonight, but just enough breeze that my cheeks were starting to hurt, so I pulled the ski mask down.

You know what? It is hard as hell to drink a beer through a ski mask without soaking the damn mask and severely reducing its warmth-giving value. I had to keep pulling the bottom of the mask up so my mouth was free to slurp in the nectar of the gods. It was awkward. I certainly hope there is a beer-drinker's ski mask out there. I intend to look.

BTW, this is what I look like in a ski mask:


And no,  that was not me at your Mini-mart at about midnight.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Yet another actual temp conversation

A guy at work ordered a new phone, which was supposed to be delivered Thursday. He was pretty pumped about his new smart phone. He went online to look at the tracking information on his new purchase, and the following conversation ensued:

Temp 1: Look at that. See the timeline? My phone is on the truck and out for delivery. It won't be long until the driver scans a bar code and that timeline says "Delivered."

Temp 2: And right after that, that timeline will get a little longer and some dude will scan another bar code, and the timeline will say "Stolen."



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time for another rule

This would be Rule No. 12. It is related to the First Corollary to Rule No. 7, which states that a good seat is, by definition, one in which you will not draw attention. Rule No. 12 is: Do not stand out. This means you want to stay off the radar of anyone with the firm. You don't want them to think you're really good, you don't want them to think you are really awful. You just don't want them to know who you are, what your name is, or anything. You want to be that guy in the middle. No distinguishing characteristics.

Well, I apparently fucked up. For some reason, the firm's privilege guru made me one of the first two people put on privilege QC (quality control, people). This means I now have to actually think, deciding whether a document is privileged or not, despite how the first reviewer coded it. This is not a preferred position. I am making the same amount of money as everyone else, but a wrong decision now can potentially get me fired. No one ever got fired for calling too much stuff privileged, but a lot of people have been fired for deciding a document is not privileged when the firm later decides that it is. Je suis really fucking unhappy.

Privilege review haiku

Yeah, it's that time:

Put on QC team
Actually need to think
Just fucking hate that.


Readers do the nicest things

You never know what to expect from the readers of a blog. Yesterday, I received a package that was a gift from a reader who, having read this post, apparently felt sorry for me. The reader sent me a ski mask. It is green, which happens to be my favorite color. It looks like this:


Don't ask how I took that picture.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

OK, that didn't work

Maybe it was just the nature of the job today, but my plan to email myself posts while at work and put them up when I get home didn't work today. Rethinking, and maybe I'll come up with something that does not involve me not sleeping, ever.

Trying a new approach to put up more posts

This project is killing me. I get home at about 10:15, sometimes 10:30. By the time I take care of stuff I have to take care of, it's usually past midnight. I'll sit down to put a couple posts on the blog and, like as not, the next thing I know it's 2 or 3 in the morning and I wake up in my chair, never having touched the keyboard. Lack of posts is related to lack of traffic, which is OK for the month but down the last week or so. So now I'm blogging behind enemy lines. It won't be posted from here (I'm actually at the firm on this project) so I am emailing this post to myself. You'll know how well the technique works by how many posts I am able to put up tonight that were written earlier in the day. Update: the answer is, this post, and only this post. That didn't work, at least not today.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Yet another exciting drive home

Saturday, we were projected to get 3-5 inches of snow, starting about noon. So I went to work, figuring I would leave at about 1 pm and get out before it got ugly. That really didn't work out too well. We got closer to 10 inches (out where I am, anyway) and it started at about 9 am. I left at noon when it became clear that the streets in DC were accumulating snow, and the traffic cameras indicated that I-270 was turning into a ski slope. Yeah, it wasn't early enough. It took me more than 3 hours to get home -- normally a 1 hour trip when I drive in on a weekend. It really sucked. This is what it looked like about an hour after I got home. Note: the car on the left is the one I drove, and it had only been there about an hour:


We wound up getting 8-10 inches. I think closer to 10:


It kept coming down until about 8 pm:


Jeb the Wonder Dog likes snow. As you can see from the depth at the end of the shoveled portion of the sidewalk, we got a bit:


At about 8 pm, it turned to freezing rain, which made the walk with Jeb really pleasant. It also kept me from going to work Sunday, because the roads were a skating rink.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

On the other hand, they are killing a lot of people

Well, as Ace says, I don't think the SAS is worried. ISIS, that lovely group of terrorists in Syria and Iraq who have absolutely nothing to do with Islam, despite their name, propaganda, and Koran citations, are training special forces guys. Or ninjas. Or something. Be afraid. Be very afraid:


Okey-dokey. On the other hand, never underestimate a fanatic. These guys will be tough to beat, and our current president doesn't actually want to, which will make it impossible. We're going to be dealing with these fucks for years to come.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

They seem determined to make this project short

On Wednesday, the number of temps on this project doubled (from about 20 to about 40). Monday, another group will be starting. I don't know how many. Obviously, this project is going to be short (they told us it would be) but I hate to see it get even shorter.

But what does it mean?

Yes, it has been unbelievably cold lately. This raises questions. If my beer freezes while I am walking the Wonder Dog, does that mean it is too cold to walk the Wonder Dog, or that I am drinking too slowly? Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gee, and I thought it was cold

Having just stumbled in the door from walking Jeb the Wonder Dog -- a separate event from walking Sadie the Auxiliary Back-up Dog and JTWD at the same time, which I did just before the Jeb walk -- I checked the temperature, since I was pretty sure my face had fallen off. As it turned out, it was only 6 degrees F, nowhere near as low as I thought. Of course, the wind chill took it to -11 F, so maybe it was cold. Doesn't matter. Jeb the Wonder Dog showed no signs that he thought this was anything other than a comfortable spring day. We went for 35 minutes, and he showed every sign that he could go as long as anyone wanted to walk him. Sometimes I hate that dog.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Actual temp conversation of indeterminate number

Overheard at work today:

Temp 1: I need a nap.

Temp 2: Naps are like the bacon of physical activity.

Temp 3: I don't know. I think you can take too many naps, but you can't have too much bacon.

What would you do with a hammer?

So I'm sitting there, minding my own business, when the guy next to me starts to sing: "If I had a hammer ..."

I immediately cut him off: "If you had a hammer, I would take if from you and beat you do death with it."

Singing on the job? I'm sorry, but there are some things up with which we will not put. Apologies to Winston Churchill, but there will be no sentences ended with a preposition here.

Which reminds me. My mother, the English (and drama) teacher used to love the joke about the English teacher who takes her car in to repair a problem. She asks if the mechanic can figure out what the problem is and fix it:

"Well, first I'll have to see where my tools are at," says the mechanic.

"Never end a sentence with a preposition," says the English teacher.

"First I'll have to see where my tools are at, asshole," says the mechanic.

Love it.

Do they think they can staff this?

An agency I have worked for a lot just posted a project on The Posse List that strikes me as, well, problematic when it comes to actually finding people willing to take it:
[An agency I have worked for] is currently seeking barred attorneys active and in good standing in any US jurisdiction for a short 3-4 day review slated to start as early as tomorrow and last through the weekend.
The rate is $30/hr and will be held at our DC review center.
For all interested attorneys submit your resume to [the recruiting email address for the agency] for consideration.
I guess unemployed temps will take anything, so they probably can staff it. The rate sucks, and the duration sucks, but both beat unemployment. Taking a project like this means you run the risk of missing out on a better project that starts right after, but I guess most folks would just jump to the better project without worrying about burning the bridge. Ultimately, I guess, they'll be able to staff it. Just highlights what a shitty way this is to make a living.

Jobs for ISIS

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf apparently believes that while we cannot kill our way to victory over ISIS -- an hypothesis falsified by every successful war waged in the history of mankind -- we can job-create our way to victory. I guess if we can convince Starbucks to expand to the Middle East, ISIS is finished. While her larger point -- stable countries do not tend to produce terrorists -- is correct, that isn't what she actually said, and I don't even know that's what she meant. She was simply taking part in the administration's determined effort to deny that religion has anything to do with Islamist terrorism. Good luck with that.

However, since the administration apparently thinks that jobs are the answer, Clash Daily has collected some funny tweets about what sort of jobs might be appropriate for ISIS terrorists. I'm not going to excerpt -- you have to go there. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yeah, we had a snow day

Last night, the person in charge of the review center at the firm I am now working for came in to let us know that, yes, snow was coming, but, don't worry, the firm "almost never" closes for snow. So, yeah, they closed for snow today. I don't want to think about how much money I just lost. Funny thing, of course, is that, while last night was a bad ride home, today I could have gotten to work fairly easily, especially had I waited until 10 am or so. Alas, it was not to be. I hear that the snow was much worse south of here. We only got about 4 inches, but this was the rare southern storm where Richmond got more snow than DC -- usually, the weather patter hits my area with twice the snow that DC gets. I think this time the pattern was reversed. So maybe DC got socked in. Anyway, I sat home.

Sentences I never thought I would hear uttered, No. 2

Sitting there, minding my own business, take out the headphones and hear this: "So, you've seen a Broadway musical, but you've never seen a goose?"

Clearly, at least two different conversations preceded that, right?

Sentences I never thought I would hear uttered, No. 1

Sitting there, minding my own business, took my headphones out and heard this: "I guess I need to study up on my Negro spirituals."




Well, that was an exciting drive

We're supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow tonight. Unfortunately, it started several hours before I left work, which meant about two inches had fallen by the time I got to my car at the Metro station -- just enough to make the roads a mess, but not enough to get the plows out yet. The 30 miles home -- the last 10 over some very hilly, twisty country roads -- was a joy. Obviously, I made it. Just 15 minutes after I got home, my car looked like this:


We were already better than 2 inches in by the time I walked Jeb the Wonder Dog, and the front yard looked like this:


Low teens, but no wind, so the walk wasn't as bad as the last couple of nights. But it was still stupid cold. Snow I can live with, but bitter cold is, like, totally not my thing. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, February 16, 2015

There is a strong possibility that God hates me

Having just thawed out from my foray into the frozen tundra with Jeb the Wonder Dog, the auxiliary backup dog, Sadie, decided that she needed to go do what dogs do. I was forced to kit up once again to face the rigors of the frigid night -- an elaborate procedure, mind you -- and then actually go out into the frigid night, definitely not my preference. The only upside was that the auxiliary backup dog did her business before my fingers froze off. I'll take that as a win.

Cold-weather haiku

After my latest, painful foray into the cold, I am moved to write a haiku:

Can't believe the cold
One-digit temperatures
With a minus sign.

Damn, I should have been Japanese.


I have to move back to Hawaii

There was no wind to speak of when I took Jeb the Wonder Dog out a little bit ago, but it still was colder than last night by a metric shit ton. I was prepared to grab the Wonder Dog and squeeze the shit out of him so we could go home, because no way could I endure the 30-minute ordeal of the night before. After 5 minutes, my fingertips were causing me pain, despite my gloves. Fortunately, the Wonder Dog -- who seemed entirely unconcerned by the temperature, by the way -- did his duty promptly and limited my exposure to near-death to 15 minutes. Upon my return to civilization, I found a comment to a post on the blog from a reader in Hawaii who wrote: "High 81 Low 68--whine to your heart's content."

That's just cruel.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Apparently, I have been caught in an historical inaccuracy

A reader has informed me that Robert Scott, a prominent polar explorer at the beginning of the 20th century, did not die in a snow drift, despite my comparisons to the contrary. I suppose I should have compared myself to Ernest Shackleton, another polar explorer of the time. He survived, after all. Just thought I'd throw that out there. And, yeah, look him up. Worth reading about.

I did not sign up for Ice Station Zebra

Hell, I didn't sign up for Ice Station Gazelle, either, but here I am, apparently. The high today was about 17 degrees F. When I walked the dogs a few minutes ago (two trips, one for each dog, don't ask why) it was 14 F, with a windchill of -7. Did I mention it is really windy? The low tonight, probably right about the time I walk Jeb the Wonder Dog -- who cares fuck-all about cold, apparently -- is supposed to be -2. I don't even know what the windchill is supposed to be. I don't want to know.

Good news, though -- the high tomorrow is supposed to be 23 F. Fucking heat wave. I realize that many, many places are much colder, but I didn't move to those places for a reason. This is as far north as I have ever lived, and farther north than I ever actually wanted to live. I really, truly am not enjoying this. Jeb's apparent imperviousness to temperature does not make me happier. I feel like he should suffer, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Yeah, the gig finally started

So, what is supposed to be a high-overtime, short-duration job finally started yesterday. Yes, it was supposed to start last Monday. On the other hand, the other high-overtime, short-duration job that was supposed to last until this new gig started plotzed about a week early, which just reminds us of Rule No. 1: they're lying. Honestly, they often just don't know, but they feel like they can't tell you they don't know, so they're lying, but it often isn't malicious, but merely ignorant. On the other had, just as often, they really are lying, and it really is malicious, so Rule No. 1 still applies.

Anyway, we started the new project yesterday, and worked today, and I got to drive home in a mini-blizzard, so that was all fun. It looks like we'll get a couple weeks, maybe three, out of this, with good overtime. On the other hand, who knows? Anyone who does is lying to us about it.

I think I just froze my face off

For what might be the first time in my life that did not involve an armed robbery, I wished tonight that I owned a ski mask. We got a little snow tonight -- about an inch, pretty much all at once, which made the drive home interesting, as the "all at once" coincided with when I was driving home -- but that isn't the real story. The low tonight is supposed to be about 7 degrees. Right now, it is about 13 degrees (we're talking Fahrenheit here, people), but the wind chill is down to -7, because it is really windy. And I just got back from walking a dog who apparently thought it was too cold to drop the deuce.

For 30 minutes, we walked the neighborhood. He finally did the deed when I was probably minutes away from going full Robert Scott and dying in a snow drift (look it up, people). The main problem was that, while I had a great hat on that kept my head warm, and a nice scarf that kept my neck warm, and a bazillion layers that kept my upper body warm, and I don't give a fuck about my legs because I once went through two of the worst winters in 100 years in Blacksburg, Va., wearing shorts and so I know they can take it (different story, people, focus, can we?) my face was exposed. This turned out to be a serious issue.

No lie, I thought I was going to get frostbite on my cheeks. Having once gotten frostbite on my feet while riding in the back of a pickup truck driving from Needles, Calif., to Kingman, Ariz., I knew that frostbite is one of the most painful things around. Imagine my pleasure when I got home, frost-bite free. My face was cold. It was not a happy time.

But I'm OK now. That doesn't mean I won't buy a ski mask tomorrow.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Apparently the White House is already embarrassed at how stupid this makes the president look

Apparently, the White House realized how stupid this looks, and so it quickly became very difficult to find the video on Buzzfeed, where it originally appeared. But here you go:


For some reason, Buzzfeed took it down. Hmmm. And, oddly enough, even the Washington Post seems to be mocking the White House for this. Well, they should be. The guy has no respect for the presidency -- he seems to think he's in the midst of an MTV video. Meanwhile, ISIS is executing Americans. Thanks, Barry.

I don't know why, but this strikes me as kind of funny

The homeowners association where I live -- and remind me to never again live in a place with a homeowners association -- has sent out what I consider to be interesting emails lately. The county is building a new bridge across the lakes that split this development, and apparently on Monday they will be lowering the water level of the lakes by two feet. As you can see, there is ice on the lakes:


 Anyway, the current situation looks like this:


I am pretty sure that the structure shrouded in white canvas or plastic is a concrete piling that they are trying to keep warm so that it will cure properly:


I got no damn idea what the rest of that shit is doing. Anyway, not the water level in the middle picture, because in a couple weeks, it is supposed to be a lot lower, and I will have pictures. In the meantime, take a gander at the kind of advice the lakefront folks apparently need from the HOA;
Beginning the week of February 16th, the main lake (Lake Linganore), will be lowered. The lowered lake level will be maintained for the remainder of February and March. Beginning April 1st the lake will be allowed to refill to normal levels.
Prevent Dock Damage
When the lake ice freezes to docks and boats, it can become damaging if left unchecked. When the water level is reduced, the ice should break away from boats and docks, however if for some reason this does not happen and ice remains stuck to your dock and/or boat, please consider breaking up the ice pieces to prevent structural damage. Ice left on boats and docks can cause abnormal twisting and damage.
It is also very important that homeowners with stationary docks on the lake, lengthen their mooring lines to accommodate boats dropping by approximately 2 feet.
There are, I think, so many dilletante boat owners around here that this advice is necessary. Personally, I think it would be fucking hilarious to see the number of stationary-dock owners who failed to extend their mooring lines and would but with the boat hanging from the dock or, better still, the bow hanging from the dock and the stern underwater, boat sunk. Mighta been interesting.

Well, at least they're coming out into the open

The bureaucratic push for anthropogenic global warming has never been about "saving the planet." The solution for "global warming" is the same as for every other so-called impending environmental catastrophe of the last 40 or 50 years, whether the "crisis" was coming worldwide famine, overpopulation, the ozone layer or whatever: worldwide government regulation. It is always the only thing that can save us. Anytime a scientist is suggesting political solutions to supposed scientific problems, you know the scientist is actually an activist, and his conclusions are suspect.

The motives of such an activist/scientist would be suspect, as well, but they aren't, because the U.N.'s head climate puke just fessed up:
At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.
Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: "This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."
Yeah, what do you know? Saving the planet? So five minutes ago. Overthrowing capitalism? Totally hot. At least they say it out loud now. Environmentalists have always been watermelons -- green on the outside, red on the inside. They want government to control where you live, what you drive, where you build, your property, everything. They want socialism/communism -- complete government control of your life, supposedly in the name of protecting the planet from us. Many of them are downright Malthusian and claim the world can only support X billion people and we need to reduce population. Oddly enough, they never volunteer to be a part of the population that gets reduced.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Second-chance first time visit for Bangladesh

Bangladesh came by once before, but it was during a time period when a gazillion countries were coming by, so they barely even got mentioned. As I have done for other countries, I will now give Bangladesh a little more of the travelogue treatment.

Depending upon how old you are, you are familiar with Bangladesh because of George Harrison, because the place gets flooded annually by monsoons, or you really have no fucking idea where or what Bangladesh is. Fortunately, you have us: the folks at Eff You are here to give you everything you need to know about Bangladesh:
[T]he People's Republic of Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India to its west, north and east; Burma to its southeast and separated from Nepal and Bhutan by the Chicken’s Neck corridor. To its south, it faces the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh is the world's eighth-most populous country, with over160 million people, and among the most densely populated countries. It forms part of the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal, along with the neighbouring Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura.
The present-day borders of Bangladesh took shape during the Partition of Bengal and British India in 1947, when the region used to be known as East Pakistan, as a part of the newly formed state of Pakistan. It was separated from West Pakistan by 1,400 km of Indian territory. Due to political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination and economic neglect by the politically dominant western wing, nationalism, popular agitation and civil disobedience led to the Bangladesh Liberation War and independence in 1971. After independence, the new state endured poverty, famine, political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress.
Most of Bangladesh consists of the low-lying Ganges River delta, which makes it prone to flooding with the seasonal monsoons.
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, and a hot, humid summer from March to June. The country has never frozen at any point on the ground, with a record low of 4.5 °C in the south west city of Jessore in the winter of 2011. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country's rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were particularly devastating. A cyclone that struck Bangladesh in 1991 killed some 140,000 people.
And, yeah, that's where Bengal tigers are found:


Kick-ass, right?

The country has about 160 million people, most of whom are Muslim on account of the Islamic conquest of the 1220s where folks converted to Islam or got killed. You know how that works.

The country is a major exporter of rice, tea, potato, mango, onion and mustard, but its economy is driven by it garment industry. Cheap labor, y'all.

So there's the thumbnail view. Let's extend a big Eff You welcome to Bangladesh. Y'all come back soon, and bring your friends.

Apparently calling terrorism "terrorism" gives Obama a rash

Emperor Barry I apparently is unable to keep his foot out of the vicinity of his mouth. Having equated at the National Prayer Breakfast (a great place to claim Christians are just as bad as Islamist terrorists because of the Crusades -- a prime Islamist talking point, by the way) medieval events with stuff that happened last week, Barry then gave an interview to Vox -- a collection of morons -- in which he stated that the recent Paris terrorist attack on a Jewish deli was just random:
Look, the point is this: my first job is to protect the American people. It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you've got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.
Sure, no intent to kill Jews by attacking a kosher deli, right? No, not at all:
On Tuesday, State Department’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, and White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, went into full damage control mode, defending Obama's remarks and refusing to suggest that Jews were targeted in the attack.
When asked whether the administration really believes that the victims of that attack were not singled out because they were of a particular faith, Psaki responded by saying: "If I remember the victims specifically, they were not all victims of one background or one nationality..."
When the reporter incredulously asked Psaki if the fact that the deli was Kosher and owned by Jews did not mean the terrorists specifically targeted people of Jewish origin, the spokeswoman's vague answer was: "It's an issue of the French government to address."
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, in a separate press conference responded to a similar question posed by a reporter, saying "the president meant only to indicate that the victims of the attack had randomly ended up at the deli and had not been personally targeted."
"I believe the point that the president was trying to make is that these individuals were not specifically targeted," Earnest said. "These were individuals who happened to randomly be in this deli and were shot while they were there. And that is the point that the president was making."
Hard to believe that the administration has not one, but two complete idiots willing to tell any lie just to avoid implicating Muslims in Islamist terrorism, but here's video evidence. Idiot Number 1:



And Idiot Number 2:



Yes, eventually the administration realized it looked like a bunch of putzes, and they sent out a couple tweets to "clarify" that they have always viewed the attack on the Paris deli as an anti-Semitic terrorist act. A Tweet under Psaki's name claimed "we have always been clear" that the attack targeted Jews. If that's what they think "clear" is, I'd hate to see muddled.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fucked again by Rule No. 1

Yeah, they're lying. Fuck, fuck fuck. My project got pushed back another couple days, until Friday. That means I will have to spend all day Sunday robbing liquor stores just to pay the bills. Damn it.

Reminder: According to satellite measurements, there has been no warming for more than 18 years

For those of you who don't understand the theory, the linchpin of the anthropogenic global warming theory is that the signature of man-made global warming is a warming of the mid-troposphere in the tropics. Got that? The beauty of this is, the global warming alarmists never talk about the mid-troposphere temperatures, because they don't control those measurements and so cannot adjust them, so they talk about surface temperatures, which they do control and which they manipulate all the time. So what do the temperatures they don't manipulate show? Yeah, about what you'd expect:
Since December 1996 there has been no global warming at all (Fig. 1). This month’s RSS temperature shows a sharp uptick to warmer worldwide weather than for two years, shortening the period without warming by a month to 18 years 2 months.
Figure 1. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset shows no global warming for 18 years 2 months since December 1996.
The hiatus period of 18 years 2 months, or 218 months, is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend.
Just a reminder, kids, that the unaltered measurements contradict the altered temperatures. Guess which group gets the grant money? Yeah, the temperature-manipulators get billions a year from governments worldwide. Motive, much?

Monday, February 9, 2015

The polar bears are just fine; the bureaucracy is not

It would appear that polar bears are doing fine, but the bureaucracy "looking after" polar bears is hurting so bad that they're faking the numbers on polar bears in an attempt to justify their existence. I've been sitting on these articles for a month or so, but it's still worth bringing them out to expose the mendacity of the climate alarmists. Hat tip to Watts Up With That for both of these, by the way. First of all, it would appear that at least some polar bear scientists think the bears are doing just fine:
The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) should have been disbanded in 1996, the year polar bears were down-graded from a status of ‘vulnerable to extinction’ to ‘lower risk – conservation dependent’ (now called ‘least concern’) on the IUCN Red List. Polar bears had recovered from previous decades of wanton over-hunting — by all measures used by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, they were a conservation success story.
Why did the IUCN and Arctic governments not break up the PBSG back in 1996? Leaving the group intact once polar bears were down-graded to ‘least concern’ simply made its members desperate to justify their existence. That’s precisely what we’ve seen over the last 20 years — PBSG members working tirelessly to ensure the organization didn’t go extinct.
It would appear that, based on totally inadequate data (and the data they have shows recovery of polar bear populations) the PBSG for 20 years has been desperate to keep itself alive, despite having outlived its purpose. Naturally, they find willing dupes in the media to forward their cause:
Recently, PBSG biologists and some of their employers have been playing the media more than ever, a trick they’ve learned from their conservation activists pals (some of whom are now PBSG members). Down-sizing of science journalism everywhere means that press releases are invariably reprinted word for word and “interviews” are simply opportunities to make statements that wouldn’t pass peer-review.
No one asks tough questions of polar bear researchers and they’ve learned to count on that. PBSG biologists know a compliant, openly-biased media will provide a bullhorn whenever one is needed. Regardless of the actual results of the polar bear research published in peer-reviewed journals, the media simply accept as valid whatever statements authors provide, especially if they imply that the situation for polar bears is worse than ever. Conservation activist groups and activist news writers pile on at every turn.
The opinion that the PBSG is fudging things is  spreading:
It is apparent that the polar bear population indeed recovered because, in 2012, a different survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found numbers were higher than they had been since 2002. This critical fact was missing from the new paper, its press release, and interview statements made by some of the co-authors.
It was made clear, however, that the artificially low estimate of 900 bears would be used in the 2015 PBSG population status assessment for their parent organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), to include in its next Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species. This provides a probable rationale for why the polar bear study end date was set at 2010 rather than 2013.
We know that PBSG biologists are under the gun – they have until June 2015 to come up with a new assessment for the IUCN. Polar bears are not considered threatened with extinction by any measure used by the IUCN except predicted (future) threats from global warming, but the scientific veracity of those predicted threats has now been called into question.
It turns out that the population models used by the U.S. to list polar bears as “threatened” in 2008, developed with strong input from long-standing PBSG member Steven Amstrup, were heavily criticized by IUCN modelling experts. The PBSG has been told that Amstrup’s model results will not be accepted as support for the next IUCN Red List assessment. In addition, all sea ice predictive models are now acknowledged to be unreliable over future 10-20 year periods.
The PBSG is fighting for its life. Whether polar bears are doing so, as well, is immaterial to the PBSG. Come June, the IUCN might abolish the PBSG, as well they should. Environmental "science" is run by activists -- and that includes the scientists pushing global warming alarmism. They get grant money to push these theories, which are based on models shown to be unreliable, which is a nice way of saying "wrong."  The polar bears are doing fine. Naturally, a group established to make sure polar bears are doing fine would say they aren't -- after all, the purpose of any bureaucracy is to ensure the survival of the bureaucracy. Doubt me? Who the hell works themselves out of a job? And let me know how many federal agencies have been eliminated because they achieved their purpose. Damn few.


Al Gore is a dick. And he's a dick who's wrong and knows fuck all about anything.

There, I said it. This is something I've been sitting on for a while, but in light of recent developments, I thought I should share it:
The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’
Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.
But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.
When they started, the climate alarmists said that if we didn't do "something" soon, in 100 years the Earth would warm more than 3 degrees. Nobody fucking cared, because we'll all be dead in 100 years and nobody could see a problem. After all, that happens every spring, and nobody seems to mind. So they tried to shorten the time frame. Assholes like Al Gore started claiming that weather was more extreme and there were more tornadoes and hurricanes right now because of global warming. But the numbers didn't back them up -- there aren't more tornadoes or hurricanes, or other extreme weather events, and in fact we are in a low period for tornadoes and hurricanes. So assholes like Al Gore started claiming about seven years ago that the Arctic ice cap would be gone during summer by this year if we didn't do "something."

Yeah, well, suck it. The "something" always involves the United Nations or some other world government body governing how much fossil fuel energy we use, or how much this, or how much that. The solution is always the same -- the UN or some new world body governing what developed nations do, restricting their use of energy or other natural resources. No matter what the "problem" is, the answer is always a worldwide scheme to regulate things. Weird, huh?

Well, assholes like Al Gore are assholes, and they''re wrong:
The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows a decline – last Monday, August 25, the area of the Arctic Ocean with at least 15 per cent ice cover was 5.62 million square kilometres.
This was the highest level recorded on that date since 2006 (see graph, right), and represents an increase of 1.71 million square kilometres over the past two years – an impressive 43 per cent.
Other figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggest that the growth has been even more dramatic. Using a different measure, the area with at least 30 per cent ice cover, these reveal a 63 per cent rise – from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometres.
The Arctic ice cap, which was shrinking during the summer due to a number of factors unrelated to temperature, including winds and currents, is now growing, due to a number of factors unrelated to temperature. We only have reliable numbers on the extent of Arctic sea ice beginning in 1979 -- the start of the satellite era of observation -- and so it is really not possible to discuss genuine long-term trends. Suffice to say that assholes like Al Gore, who are profiting tremendously from their climate alarmism, are wrong. And assholes.


Notice all the weasel words this fuck uses to qualify his prediction: "some of the models suggest," "75 percent chance," etc. He refuses to actually predict what he's predicting. The dickwad doesn't actually believe what he's saying. If he did, he'd be going full-bore for nuclear power, which has no carbon dioxide emissions at all and could provide all of our electricity needs. Funny how he's not doing that, isn't it?

Erin Go Bragh, y'all!

Yeah, Ireland dropped by. That would be the Republic of Ireland to those of you in the know. Naturally, that includes all of us here at Eff You.

About 4.6 million people live in the republic, which has its capital in Dublin. It occupies most of the island of Ireland, with the small remainder taken up by Northern Ireland, which the British own. Or occupy. Or whatever. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland gained its independence in 1922 and initially was known as the Irish Free State, becoming Ireland under the constitution of 1937. The official name of the state is Eire, but it is known as the Republic of Ireland in English. The British don't like that, because "Ireland" is the island, which includes Northern Ireland, but who fucking cares what the British think on this one?

Ireland is the homeland for a lot of U.S. immigrants, largely because the of Great Famine in the mid-1800s:
From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801 until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated, particularly to the United States.[23] This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in a constant population decline up to the 1960s.
Ireland has a small, well-equipped military that is never going anywhere because it requires approval of the government, the legislature and the fucking United Nations to deploy. No biggie. Since their not going to be invaded, that's probably a good thing.

The country is really purdy and draws a lot of tourists:
The state extends over an area of about five-sixths (70,273 km2 or 27,133 sq mi) of the island of Ireland (84,421 km2 or 32,595 sq mi), with Northern Ireland constituting the remainder. The island is bounded to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the northeast by the North Channel. To the east, the Irish Sea connects to the Atlantic Ocean via St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea to the southwest.
The western landscape mostly consists of rugged cliffs, hills and mountains. The central lowlands are extensively covered with glacial deposits of clay and sand, as well as significant areas of bogland and several lakes. The highest point is Carrauntoohil (1,038 m or 3,406 ft), located in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the southwest. The River Shannon, which traverses the central lowlands, is the longest river in Ireland at 386 kilometres or 240 miles in length. The west coast is more rugged than the east, with numerous islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays.
Stuff like the Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast keep people coming back for more:


Toldja. Purdy.

Ireland has transformed from an agrarian economy to a high-tech one, and attracts foreign investment with a well-educated work force and low corporate taxes. Take note, Barry. Alas, they adopted the euro in 2002, so, currency-wise, they're fucked. Generally prosperous, the country has suffered some down times since 2008, and still has relatively high unemployment, although it is down from its peak.

So let's all extend a warm Eff You welcome to our visitors from Ireland. Come back soon, and bring your friends.

The market seems to be picking up

The temp market, that is. Seeing lots of jobs being posted, gigs starting soon. Of course, seeing a couple with rates at least $3 or $4 below what we were starting to consider market rates, and at least $2 below what we were starting to consider the floor for rates. Worrisome, I suppose. If my next project ever starts (still on for Wednesday, far as I know) I'll be sitting pretty, but if it doesn't and I have to bounce, not sure I like how things look.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I consider this encouraging

I think a lot of people are starting to notice that Emperor Barry I won't call Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists. Finally, some of those people are not the usual suspects:
A Democrat congresswoman, who is a military veteran, slammed Barack Obama on Tuesday during an appearance on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Sustern.
Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, from Hawaii, addressed Obama’s refusal to call out Islamic extremism.
“This is not just about words. It’s not about semantics. It’s really about having a real, true understanding of who our enemy is and how important that is, that we have to understand what their motivation is and what their ideology is — the radical Islamic ideology that is fueling them.”
Doesn't bother me that she's from the state where Barry and I went to high school. Or that she's hot:


And surfs. It also doesn't bother me that she also thinks John Kerry is a moron:
Gabbard also slammed Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that al Qaeda terrorists were participating in “criminal conduct rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors.”
She contended, ““If that’s really the cause, then the solution would be just to give them a trophy, give them a hug, give them a good-paying job, $10,000, and a skateboard so they can go and get their thrills and say, ‘OK, great, they are going to be happy and they won’t be fighting anymore.’ That’s not the case.”
Thinking John Kerry is a moron is a sign that you are in touch with reality. Hawaii might be a one-party state, but at least some members of that one party still exercise their brains. Go Tulsi.






Is common sense finally coming to defense procurement?

It would appear that the Navy, at least, is realizing that not everything that glitters is gold. Having cut off production of the F-22, a magnificent air-superiority fighter that should still be in production, the military stubbornly continues production and deployment of the F-35. The F-35 is intended to serve all three airborne services -- the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps -- even though the services have very different needs. The F-35 is a stealth fighter,  like the F-22, and thus is the flavor of the month. It is ill-suited to ground attack operations because of payload restrictions, not as good at air superiority as the F-22, and a fuck-all disaster as a carrier fighter -- the Navy simply does not want, nor should they, a carrier fighter with one engine. If you operate over water most of the time, sorry, but you want a second engine. As for the Marines, they want a mud-mover -- an airplane that can dump-truck a lot of explosives on bad guys right next to Marine positions, then land on a short, crappy runway or, preferably, vertical landing with no runway, like the Harrier. The F-35 has a variant that can land that way, but apparently the vertical take-off exhaust burns holes in the decks of the Marines' amphibious landing ships that bring the F-35 to the combat theater. Bad news.

Now, the Navy is making noises that indicate it might be coming to its senses:
The U.S. Navy’s next generation air superiority fighter will not be “super-duper fast” or employ much in the way of stealth, a senior navy official announced on Wednesday.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the Navy’s top officer, divulged some details about the Navy’s so-called Next Generation Air Dominance F/A-XX fighter jet during a speech at an industry conference.
“I don’t see that it’s going to be super-duper fast, because you can’t outrun missiles.” Greenert said, the Washington Examiner reported. “And you can’t become so stealthy that you become invisible — you are going to generate a signature of some sort,” he also noted, adding “You know that stealth may be overrated…. If something moves fast through the air and disrupts molecules in the air and puts out heat – I don’t care how cool the engine can be – it’s going to be detectable.”
I think it probably is too late to ditch the F-35, simply because of the money spent on it. We are on the verge of having squadrons deployed. It probably will work for the Air Force, but it won't work for the Navy or Marines. Further, it is more expensive than the F-22, which is a better plane for the Air Force. But at least the Navy is recognizing that the newest, brightest and shiniest might not be the best. Frankly, the best ground-attack aircraft around remains the A-10, a plane the Air Force calls the Thunderbolt but everyone else calls the Warthog. It is slow and ugly,  but it takes a licking and keeps flying, plus it can deliver a tremendous amount of ordinance on people who need killing. And the Air Force wants to kill it because the Air Force does not want to fly mud movers. Close air support is beneath them.

Well, if the Air Force doesn't want to do that shit, then the Navy and Marines need to get a grip on reality. This sounds like a good first step. Would it look something like this?


Good luck with that

I saw a post on The Posse list the other day (yeah, I'm using that opening a lot lately) and immediately thought, good luck staffing that project. The post read:
[An agency I have worked for] is staffing a Bahasa Indonesian review for translators, JDs and barred attorneys. If you're interested and would like to apply, please send an updated WORD version of your resume immediately to [the recruiting email address for the agency].
*Start date: ASAP Duration: 1-2 months
*Pay Rate: Competitive
*Rate Hours: 40 hours per week and possible OT
*Location: Downtown DC
*Requirements: Must be active and in good standing in any US Jurisdiction and you must pass the ALTA proficiency exam with our agency.
The likelihood of there being any unemployed or contract attorneys who speak Bahasa Indonesian is close to zero. Any who do are already working at the Indonesian Embassy, or at the NSA or someplace. US-barred attorneys with rare language skills don't have to beg for work, in general. So, naturally, the next day the same posting went back up with this addendum:
UPDATED: we post this project yesterday. The client will now accept non-barred attorneys and translators. The post as amended follows:
I'll bet they will. Next up, they'll accept native Bahasa Indonesian speakers with no law degree to translate documents for non-barred attorneys. I've seen this happen with other language projects, where the wives of embassy or corporate employees that speak the language sought are brought on and translate documents. Barred attorneys who speak these languages generally make north of $85 per hour. Sometimes far north. There simply aren't that many. Damn. I gotta learn another language.

And the degradation continues

I'm sure this is simply an effort to drive rates down. I saw a Posse List posting recently and didn't think much of it because it didn't really apply to me. It read:
[An agency I am registered with] is currently recruiting for entry level document reviewers.
DC licensed attorneys with minimal document review experience are strongly encouraged to apply.
If interested, please submit your resume with bar status in Word format to:[the email address for recruiting at the agency]. Please reference "Level 1" in the subject line.
A friend of mine in the industry sent me an email that said this:
So. "Entry level doc reviewer" has to be a new level of sadness, no?
Short answer? Yes. I think the folks who respond to this will get a lower rate. I don't think the firm they work for through this agency will know that. I also don't think they care. Pressure on rates is ever-downward in this market. Clients and law firms and agencies alike are trying to cut costs. Clients are pushing back on what firms can bill, and agencies have long since lost the war over what they can bill. They used to bill for use of the computers they rented, for the space, for any snacks or refreshments they provided. No more. Those days are long gone, and the agencies for the most part are actually paying temps less these days than, say, six years ago. Their margins are razor-thin. Not encouraging.



Well, he definitely wasn't a history professor

Actually, he wasn't a constitutional law professor, either -- he was a lecturer, guys, a temp position -- but I don't think anyone is ever going to confuse him with a serious scholar in any field of study. And given his recent verbal diarrhea about the Crusades, well, this seems appropriate:


Thanks to Instapundit.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Is this supposed to work as a negotiating tactic?

On the other hand, in light of how bad Emperor Barry I wants to reach a deal -- any deal -- on their nuclear program, even one that lets them get an atomic bomb, I think maybe yes, it will work:
(Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister has warned the United States that failure to agree a nuclear deal would likely herald the political demise of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian officials said, raising the stakes as the decade-old stand-off nears its end-game.
Think Emperor Barry I isn't desperate for a deal? Think again:
A top Iranian military leader claims that U.S. officials have been “begging us” to sign a nuclear deal during closed door negotiations with Tehran over its contested nuclear program, according to recent comments made to the Iranian state-controlled media.
Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij, a paramilitary group operating under the wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), recently claimed that the “Americans are begging us for a deal on the negotiation table,” according to commentspublished in Persian and independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon.
Maybe in light of that, the "threat" against Rouhani makes sense. Think "Blazing Saddles:"


Unfortunately, it cuts off before Clevon Little says, "You sure are good. And they sure are dumb." Because that describes the Iranians and the Obama administration perfectly. Iran is going to get everything it wants. Thanks, Barry.

What's a girl to do?

Having been caught by a Rule No. 1 double-whammy -- one project lasted half as long as they said,  the one I lined up to replace it got pushed back a couple days (so far) -- I find myself at home a lot. I've done a few things around the house, but I don't have a lot of things I need to do that don't involve money, like putting up a fence in back, so I'm not doing those things right now. Doing some house-cleaning, dog-washing, that kind of stuff. And thinking about stuff like this:



Maybe substitute beer for rum. But then it wouldn't rhyme.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Must be time for another unemployment haiku

Or two. Or three. Because, well, unemployment:

Monday project start
now put off until Wednesday.
Mortgage lender tense.

Rule number one says
Of course not starting Monday
Because they're lying.

Market is busy
But hard to find good projects.
This industry sucks.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

This is a pretty easy question, actually

Will Brian Williams lose his job? Well, as Instapundit would say: No, next question.

Whose side is this fucker on?

Emperor Barry I is unable -- absolutely unable -- to criticize Islamic terror without equivocating. At the National Prayer Breakfast today, he equated recent Islamic terrorism, such as the execution-by-burning of a Jordanian fighter pilot, with violence he called "justified in the name of Christ:"
Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-Christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to "hijack religion for their own murderous ends."
"So it is not unique to one group or one religion," Obama said. "There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.""Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ," Obama said. "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
I am, off the top of my head, unaware of any mainstream arguments that attempted to justify slavery or Jim Crow laws in the name of Christ. The main justification was always that blacks were simply property. Not supportable in any way, but not based in Christian theology. On the other hand, the president has never been that strong on Christian theology, or history in general, for that matter.  As for the Crusades and the Inquisition, he had to go back 1,000 years and 600 years, respectively, to try and dredge up equivalencies to what ISIL did this fucking week. He also ignores that the Crusades began as a counterattack against Muslims invading the Holy Land - Jerusalem and surrounding territories -- and subjugating Jews and Christians, as the Koran mandates. No excuses for the Inquisition, but could we please come up with more recent examples of any violence in the name of Christianity that approaches the level and scale of what Islamic terrorists are doing? You can't.

And don't even mention the Irish Republican Army -- they weren't killing Protestants because they were Protestants, they were killing people who supported the continued "occupation" -- in their eyes -- of Northern Ireland by the British. The IRA was trying to unify Ireland under Irish rule. Not with admirable tactics, by any stretch of the imagination, but the goal was nationalism, not religion.

Oh, you want to go with the anti-abortion criminals who killed pro-abortion folks in the name of religious-based efforts to protect the unborn? Fine, here we are dealing with mainstream views versus extremists, just as with the Islamist terrorists. However, here, the mainstream Christians denounced the violent extremists, unlike in the case of Islamist terrorists, where the mainstream remains curiously silent. Further, we are dealing with questions of scale. Compare:
Food for thought:
Deadly comparisons
(source: Wikipedia)
1. Anti-abortion killings
In U.S., since 1977, eight people (including four doctors) killed
1993: Dr. Gunn
1994: two receptionists; Dr. Britton, one other person
1998: Dr. Slepian shot at home; security guard killed in bombing
2009: Dr. Tiller shot at church
As for the perpetrators:
sentenced to life
sentenced to death and executed
died in prison (probable suicide)
life sentence (his second, guy who did 96 Olympic Park bombing
convicted, in prison
2. For perspective: In 2012 (latest available stats), an estimated 1,640 children in the U.S. died from abuse and neglect. (Studies find state agencies severely undercount these, by 50% or more.) More than 70% were 2 and younger.
3. Information on Islam, including list of terrorist attacks, casualties
Islam reformers. In his book No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, Iranian-American scholar Reza Aslan argues there is an internal battle taking place within Islam between individualistic reform ideals and traditional authority of Muslim clerics, similar to that of 16th-century reformation in Christianity, which was as old as Islam currently is at that period. He writes, "the notion that historical context should play no role in the interpretation of the Koran – that what applied to Muhammad's community applies to all Muslim communities for all time – is simply an untenable position in every sense." According to conservative columnist Reihan Salam, the book has received a favorable response within the Muslim world.
Motivation. Forensic psychiatrist and former foreign service officer Marc Sageman made an "intensive study of biographical data on 172 participants in the jihad," in Understanding Terror Networks. He concluded social networks, the "tight bonds of family and friendship," rather than emotional and behavioral disorders of "poverty, trauma, madness, [or] ignorance," inspired alienated young Muslims to join the jihad and kill. Author Lawrence Wright described characteristic of "displacement" of members of most famous Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaeda: "What the recruits tended to have in common – besides their urbanity, their cosmopolitan backgrounds, their education, their facility with languages, and their computer skills – was displacement. Most who joined the jihad did so in a country other than the one in which they were reared. They were Algerians living in expatriate enclaves in France, Moroccans in Spain, or Yemenis in Saudi Arabia. Despite their accomplishments, they had little standing in the host societies where they lived."
bin Laden. Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, son of billionaire construction magnate with close ties to the Saudi royal family. The bin Laden family made $5 billion in the construction industry, of which Osama later inherited around $25–30 million. Began 'activity' when Russians in Afghanistan. After leaving college in 1979, bin Laden went to Pakistan, used money and machinery from his own construction company to help mujahideen resistance in Soviet war in Afghanistan. He later told a journalist: "I felt outraged that an injustice had been committed against the people of Afghanistan. Under Operation Cyclone from 1979 to 1989, United States provided financial aid and weapons to mujahideen through Pakistan's ISI. Bin Laden met and built relations with three-star general in the Pakistani army and head of ISI agency. Although United States provided the money and weapons, training of militant groups entirely done by Pakistani Armed Forces and ISI. By 1984, bin Laden and Azzam established Maktab al-Khidamat, which funneled money, arms and fighters from around the Arab world into Afghanistan. Bin Laden established camps inside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan and trained volunteers from across the Muslim world to fight against the Soviet puppet regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; he d also participated in some combat activity, such as the Battle of Jaji. It was during this time that he became idolized by many Arabs.
List of Islamic terrorist attacks 1983-2015
18 April 1983 - 1983 United States embassy bombing 63 killed, 120 wounded.
23 October 1983 - 1983 Beirut barracks bombing 305 killed, 75 wounded.
26 February 1993 – World Trade Center bombing, New York City. Six killed.
13 March 1993 – 1993 Bombay bombings. Mumbai, India. 250 dead, 700 injured.
28 July 1994 – Buenos Aires, Argentina. Vehicle suicide bombing attack against AMIA building, local Jewish community representation. 85 dead, more than 300 injured.
24 December 1994 – Air France Flight 8969 hijacking in Algiers by three members of Armed Islamic Group of Algeria and another terrorist. Seven killed, including the hijackers.
25 June 1996 – Khobar Towers bombing, 20 killed, 372 wounded.
17 November 1997 – Luxor attack, six terrorists attack tourists at Egypt's famous Luxor Ruins. 68 foreign tourists killed.
14 February 1998 – Bombing in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. 13 bombs explode within a 12 km radius. 46 killed, over 200 injured.
7 August 1998 – 1998 United States embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. 224 dead, 4000+ injured.
4 September 1999 – Series of bombing attacks in several cities of Russia, 300 killed.
12 October 2000 – Attack on USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.
11 September 2001 – Four planes hijacked and crashed into World Trade Center, The Pentagon and into a field in Shanksville by 19 hijackers. 2,977 killed, 6,000 injured.
13 December 2001 – Suicide attack on Indian parliament in New Delhi by Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist organizations, Jaish-E-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba. Aimed at eliminating top leadership of India to cause anarchy. 7 dead, 12 injured.
27 March 2002 – Suicide bomb attack on a Passover Seder in a Hotel in Netanya, Israel. 30 dead, 133 injured.
30 March 2002 and 24 November 2002 - Attacks on the Hindu Raghunath temple, India. 25 dead.
24 September 2002 – Machine gun attack on Hindu temple in Ahmedabad, India. 31 dead, 86 injured.
12 October 2002 – Bombing in Bali nightclub. 202 killed, 300 injured.
16 May 2003 – Casablanca Attacks – Four simultaneous attacks in Casablanca killing 33 civilians (mostly Moroccans) by Salafia Jihadia.
11 March 2004 – Multiple bombings on trains near Madrid, Spain. 191 killed, 1460 injured (alleged link to Al-Qaeda).
1 September 2004 - Beslan school hostage crisis, 344 civilians including 186 children killed.
2 November 2004 – Murder of Theo van Gogh (film director) by Amsterdam-born jihadist Mohammed Bouyeri.
5 July 2005 - Attack at the Hindu Ram temple at Ayodhya, India; one of the most holy sites of Hinduism. Six dead.
7 July 2005 – Multiple bombings in London Underground. 53 killed by four suicide bombers. Nearly 700 injured.
23 July 2005 – Bomb attacks at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian resort city, at least 64 killed.
29 October 2005 – 29 October 2005 Delhi bombings, India. Over 60 killed and 180 injured in three attacks in crowded markets and a bus, 2 days before Diwali festival.
9 November 2005 – 2005 Amman bombings. series of coordinated suicide attacks on hotels in Amman, Jordan. Over 60 killed, 115 injured. Four attackers including husband and wife team involved.
7 March 2006 – 2006 Varanasi bombings, India. A series of attacks in Sankatmochan Hanuman temple and Cantonment Railway Station in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. 28 killed, over 100 injured.
11 July 2006 – 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings, Mumbai, India; seven bomb blasts over period of 11 minutes one Suburban Railway in Mumbai. 209 killed, over 700 injured.
14 August 2007 – Qahtaniya bombings: Four suicide vehicle bombers massacred nearly 800 members of northern Iraq's Yazidi sect in deadliest Iraq war's attack to date.
26 July 2008 – 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, India. Islamic terrorists detonate at least 21 explosive devices in heart of this industrial capital, leaving at least 56 dead, 200 injured. Muslim group calling itself Indian Mujahideen claims responsibility. Indian authorities believe extremists with ties to Pakistan and/or Bangladesh likely responsible, intent on inciting communal violence. Investigation led to eventual arrest of a number of terrorists, most of whom belong to well-known terrorist group, Students Islamic Movement of India.
13 September 2008 – Bombing series in Delhi, India. Pakistani extremist groups plant bombs at several places including India Gate, out of which the ones at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Greater Kailash explode leaving 30 dead, 130 injured, followed by another attack two weeks later at congested Mehrauli area, killing three.
26 November 2008 – Muslim extremists kill at least 174 people and wound numerous others in series of coordinated attacks on India's largest city and financial capital, Mumbai. government of India blamed Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and stated terrorists killed/caught citizens of Pakistan, a claim Pakistani government has refused. Ajmal Kasab, one of terrorists, caught alive.
25 October 2009. Baghdad, Iraq. During a terrorist attack, two bomber vehicles detonated in the Green Zone, killing at least 155.
28 October 2009 – Peshawar, Pakistan. Car bomb detonated in exclusive shopping district; over 110 killed, 200 injured.
3 December 2009 – Mogadishu, Somalia. male suicide bomber disguised as woman detonates in hotel meeting hall, holding graduation ceremony for medical students, killing four government ministers as well as civilians.
1 January 2010 – Lakki Marwat, Pakistan. A suicide car bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into a volleyball pitch as people gathered to watch a match, killing more than 10.
1 May 2010 - New York, New York, USA. Faisal Shahzad, an Islamic Pakistani American who received U.S. citizenship in December 2009, attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square working with Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
13 May 2011 - Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed attacks on two mosques simultaneously belonging to Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, killing nearly 100, injuring many others.
13 July 2011 - Three bombs exploded at different locations in Mumbai, perpetrated by Indian Mujahideen.
11 September 2012 - 2012 Benghazi Attack On the evening of September 11, 2012, Islamic militants attacked American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service.
15 April 2013 - Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off two pressure cooker bombs at finish line of 2013 Boston Marathon, three killed.
22 May 2013 - 2 Nigerian men attack and kill British Soldier, Lee Rigby in Woolwich, London, UK.
22 September 2013 - 61 civilians, 6 Kenyan soldiers, and 5 attackers die in the Westgate shopping mall attack.
1 March 2014 Kunming attack - Kunming, China. A group of knife-wielding Uyghur attackers stormed Kunming Railway Station, killing 29 civilians, wounding 143. Four attackers shot dead.
7 January 2015 - Charlie Hebdo shooting - Two masked gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles and shotguns stormed the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. 12 killed, 11 wounded.
So, difference of scale, hmmm? Which threat are you worried about, and and how can you conflate the two?