Friday, November 30, 2007

"Don't sell me oil Venezuellaaa ..."*

Proof positive that socialists are economic morons.

Oil, being a fungible commodity sold on the open international market, is sold in bulk lots without regard to the nationality of either the buyer or seller. In other words, every drop of crude Mr. Potatohead "sells" to some other country will result in one other drop of oil marketed by some other oil-producing country becoming available for the USA to buy instead.

Sheesh. I'm a high school drop-out and I recognise this for the null statement it is. The only way possible for a country to deny oil to another country is to not sell it at all. In Humpty-Dumpty's case, this is the only action he is absolutely certain of not doing. As long as he wants to remain big dog in his squalled kennel of a benighted country, at least. Poor Venezuela ...

* To the tune of some song by that other loon Madonna about a different SA economic disaster.

Minute of William

Kevin Baker's recent
kind comment on my state of health, which came as something of a surprise (I knew I read him, but was unaware he returned the interest), prompts me to inquire as to how his experience building long-range
precision rifles might apply to a bit more restricted setting.

A bit of history to inform what follows might be in order. I sold my own Remington 700 (in 25.06) because there isn't a long enough distance firing range in the Tyler area at which to fire it. Unlike in many other states, Texas - at least this portion of it - doesn't have any large tracts of publicly held land (by the BLM or the like), and most people are understandably hesitant to let people shoot on their property without their direct supervision. Whether in the 25. or 30.06 caliber, such a rifle is designed for 300 to 500 yard range shots and Kevin's desired metric of 700 yards for his current project isn't all that much of a stretch for the gun itself. Remington 700's appear at the National Match at Camp Perry every year, after all, and have for decades now held their own on the 1000 yard range - in the hands of master shooters of course, which qualification gives rise to the title of this particular post.

Given the quantity of sharp sticks and cohearent light that's gone into my eyes in recent years, I can actually see surprisingly well: 20/25 corrected to 20/20 with glasses, with only some loss of peripheral vision. Even so, I can no longer make out the target well enough to attempt anything more than a desperation shot at a distance much over 200 yards. My thought here is to discover what options I might pursue, with a gun I already own, to turn it into a reliable shooter at it's ballistic practical extreme, that I can also fire at a local known-distance outdoor range.

I own a Marlin 983S that I intend to use as the basic platform, with which I can shoot 3/8 inch groups (from a rest) at 25 yards indoors without a scope (ie: the gun's basic accuracy exceeds my ability to shoot it).

I had thought to dress it up with a Simmons 22 Mag scope, but those are limited to 60 yards definition adjustment at most. Granted, you can see further then that through them, and they are priced quite attractively too (Lock and Load have three in a display case priced at $45 and change (EDIT: $47.95 as of 12/01/07) + tax), but the object here is a rifle I can shoot to the limit of my ability at 100 yards, so consultation regarding optics seems to be in order.

As well, my preference in ammo tends toward CCI (who have a really cute home page graphic - that dial-up users might find annoying, a rotating series of color graphics might cause ya'll some problems) because of their uniformity of quality and their breadth and depth of market penetration. Errr, so to speak ... ;-)

All of which prompts me to wonder if some other brand has a comparable reputation for performance. I don't expect to be participating in match shooting (although the occasional friendly wager might arise, cough Kim du Toit cough), so I wouldn't be buying much of anything expensively exotic, but I'd probably try a box or two of something highly recommended if only for the uniqueness of the experience.

Returning to CCI's ammo, I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation as to which of these magnum cartridges might be best for this purpose?

Suggestions regarding slings, rests or other outdoor range equipment would also be useful. It's been many years since I shot on an outdoor KD range (and the standard of the era was an unlined canvas "pad" and a couple sandbags, if that), so I'll have to acquire most of that as well once I have a better idea of what's out there.

You're right Kevin, this stuff can get expensive fast. I'm going to have to go to the range tomorrow just to vent the anticipation a little (you've all heard the lyric; "That's my story and I'm ...").

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And that will be enough of that

Just returned home from an evening spent in the tantalising presence of the lovely Lana at Mother Francis Hospital's emergency room. Physically captivating she is, with that patina of toughness - rigorousness really - that good nurses develop to disguise the emotional reality underneath that we all possess. Lovely woman as I said, who I may seek out to ask for a date; certainly I have no remaining modesty, dignity or reservoir of shame unrevealed to her any more. On the other hand, she also knows I have no communicable or blood-born diseases and a reasonably well-paid job with decent health insurance. Take the good where you find it I always say.

Pending her descent into social questionability, I did come away with a quantity of amlodipine besylate, aka: cumadine. I've been waking up in the middle of my sleep with a sensation of overpressure throughout my body lately. Without any notable degree of excess fluid retention. Millions of people live with high blood pressure, I'm no different from any of them I expect. I'm still going to find out what happens when I get rid of a third of me.

My other departing gift (not really, I had to go to a pharmacy and buy it also) is something called protonix. I presented in the ER as a rule out heart attack patient. I was pretty certain I was suffering (and that's the proper word, believe me) from pronounced gastric distress that was radiating throughout the thorax. To the degree that my back muscles were going into spasm and I was sweating uncontrollably. I don't have any of the other sensations commonly associated with acid reflux or heart burn, but the upper abdominal muscles clenched in the seizure from hell more than makes up for it, trust me. I'll see what my regular Doc has to say, but 'till then it's down the neck with one of each every day.

Two rounds of blood work, an EKG and an x-ray and apparently my heart is in surprisingly good condition - no qualification, just surprisingly good, so there's that. A blood pressure reading of 218/142 probably isn't one for the record books, but it's a distinction I can do without, thank-you-very-much. F#@k me ragged, I'm only in my 50's and I'm already going completely to crap physically. Things is gonna change around here. I fully expect to live 'till something kills me, but I have no intention of that thing being my own laziness and stupidity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Travails* du Toit

Kim and Connie du Toit provide daily updates of their journeys through southern Germany and northern Austria. Not to be missed by those who haven't been to that part of Europe in a while, like myself (has it really been 27 years?).

* It's long been my understanding that "travail" was the root word for the more modern usage "travel"; there is no implied judgement of my friends in it's usage here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Premature my ass!

And so, Instapundit displays his ignorance about the complexities inherent in organising a parade like this one ought to be (and it's not before time I must say, the guy's range of expertise is almost scary ...).

Granted this is only the end stage of the Iraq Campaign; most of the units that will rotate out of Iraq over the next 18 months or so will do so to begin training up for eventual deployment in the Afghan theater of operations. The Iraq Campaign has been won and now must be brought to it's administrative conclusion as well, but the war rages on however little we here at home can see of it.

I wonder what airfare to, and hotel prices in, Baghdad will be like a year from now? If standing on a street corner yelling and applauding like a fool for a day is the most direct contribution I can make to the war effort then so be it. We too serve, and all that rubbish.

I particularly liked this little understated gem:

The negotiations will bring to a formal conclusion the U.N. Chapter 7 Security Council involvement in the occupation and administration of Iraq, and are expected to reduce the number of American troops to about 50,000 troops permanently stationed there ...

Anybody taking bets on how long it will be before those boys and girls are providing the infrastructure for activities that used to occur in places like Bad Tolz and Munich, just for instance? I fully expect for Iraq to become our (the US and allied country's military forces) middle-eastern equivalent of the US Army's National Training Center in California.

Further to that, if the Israeli's can just hang on for a few more years, I also won't be surprised to see Iraq and Jordan enter into a treaty with that country to construct a pipeline for Iraqi and Jordanian crude oil directly to a Mediterranean port facility.

That ought to flush the Saudi's out into the open.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanks Hud

For this and this Songza link. I've always had a partiality for American Pie. It's a good song too.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Awlll Whall

Al Fin, who's resource-filled side bar has gone AWOL again, has a new post up regarding "peak oil" and it's cyclical mythological status as "crisis". This is the topic of a book by Italian oil industry executive Leonardo Maugeri titled: The Age of Oil.

Which is not to say that such an eventuality isn't possible, you understand. Simply put, the previously little recognised fact is that we simply haven't done the necessary exploration to determine what level of oil reserves actually exist in the world today.

Despite its long history as an oil producing region, the Persian Gulf is still relatively virgin in terms of exploration. Only around 2,000 new field wildcas (wells made for exploring the presence of hydrocarbons in the subsoil) have been drilled in the entire Persian Gulf region since the inception of its oil activity, as against more than 1 million in the United States. p. 221 TAO

I didn't know that; my impression has always been that "oil companies" were steadily drilling away, "depleting the resources" of these avaricious third-world dupes, who just don't know what's being done to them yadda, yadda, you take my drift, I hope. Mr. Maugeri's point about the lack of modernisation in nationalised industry autocracies is quite correct. As is his example of price instability's negative influence on development of production and refining capacity.

All of which contribute to the elevated price of oil and it's plethora of refined products upon which much of the civilisation we consider normal here in the early years of the 21st century is built. And which gives reassurance that the same market forces which work to our present short-term financial discomfort also provide stimulus for our coming relief. Not only is that just how markets work (thank you
Adam Smith), that cyclical process is what stimulates regular advancement in new technologies that would be too costly to pursue otherwise. We call this technological progress and too often fail to acknowledge just what it is that so often drives individuals to be the "mad inventors" we so admire after the fact.

MORE: This recent TEDTalk by Juan Enriquez seems pertinent to this discussion. I've never tried linking a video before, let's see how well this works out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Some things to give thanks for via the boys at The Speculist.

And Kim says it well to all those who serve in distant climes at our behest. Fair well, with added thanks from just another member of the NoR ...

Today is the day we Americans gather together to express our gratitude as a group. Which must make for a particularly cacophonous message I must say. So here's my contribution to the celebration and my sincere thanks to those who have given my life what meaning it has.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rush (Limbaugh) to opportunity

From yesterday's (Tuesday, 11/20) on-air broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh Show:

RUSH: "The Dubai government agency that bought into Deutsche Bank this year said on Monday it was considering investing in US financial services firms affected by the mortgage-market crisis." (laughing) The thing is, Dubai could wipe out the debt; they could wipe out the crisis. "DIFC Investments, one of the agencies Dubai has used to buy foreign assets, is identifying 'good opportunities for acquisitions' in the United States, the governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said on Monday. Asked whether the targets could include US banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, Omar bin Sulaiman told Reuters: 'Without mentioning names we have a track record of taking stakes in banks, with the right partners for management. The price has to be right and the strategy has to be aligned,' he said. Asked whether it made sense to invest in banks which have taken a hit from the mortgage crisis, he said: 'Yes, but we are looking at all sectors not just financial sectors.'"

Let me pause for a moment and pose the rhetorical question, when your boat is actively sinking, are you really going to refuse an extra bucket because of who is handing it to you? Granted, you will question his motivation and be suspicious of whatever terms might come along with the aid, but are you really prepared to risk destruction because the aid offered comes with an increased potential for risk? If you are, then I hope you're a Democrat or a Paulian. The Republicans have enough troubles already without taking up the cause of national suicide as well.

Returning to the matter at hand, anyone who was paying attention back in the late 1980's and early 1990's will likely remember the furor over Japanese investment in property and business here in the US and how they were "buying the country out from under us" and similar nonsense (yes, I'm looking at you Ross Perot). Other then the obvious fact that we Americans have more job opportunities and better cars and trucks to drive, anyone still want to argue that the "Japanification" of the USA was a bad deal for our country?

That's precisely how I view this potential investment from Dubal. The Dubai World port's terminal deal had the same potential as did the earlier Japanese investment, but fell afoul of the institutional racism that is fundamental to the Democratic Party. I'm confidant this latest proposed return investment of US currency into our economy will be recipient of at least as bad treatment by all the usual suspects once again.

Which is silliness personified in this particular instance. With the possible exception of medicine, the financial sector is the most closely monitored and heavily regulated sector of our entire economy. This isn't a question of a few iconic buildings or a geriatric monolithic industry hiding from reality in ravaged Detroit, but the principle mechanism for operating our country. That's what the dollar is after all, the tool we - and the rest of the world - use to do the work Americans are so justifiably recognised for. If we don't allow foreign entities to re-invest our currency back into our economy, we contribute to the decline in our currency's value everywhere.

If we keep doing that to ourselves long enough, we get to experience soon the sensations that are Zimbabwe today.

Disclosure: I suppose I should mention that I am a Rush 24/7 member and have been a semi-regular listener (job and other commitments allowing) since the late spring of 1989 or thereabouts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Via Instapundit

So, is it us or me? We should have an answer by late next spring, it seems.

Kevin Baker posted the layman's definitive review of what's at stake a week ago. Hie ye hence for the full treatment.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A day at the shops

So, I did my part earlier today. No camera I'm afraid, but I bought 100 rds of .45 acp from Winchester, 200 rds of .22 WMR from CCI and a 550 rd block of .22 lr from Federal just because one simply cannot have too much .22 lr. I overheard another shopper comment that the new price for 230 gr .45 acp ball ammo offered by UMC in 250 rd packages was priced slightly under that being asked at gun shows for similar quantities of re-load ammo, and this is consistent with my own experience. It is true that dealers at gun shows will often negotiate prices for quantity buys that storefront retailers mostly can't offer, but even then the price difference doesn't justify the amount of cash money required to make a buy of that quantity, never mind the difficulty of storing large quantities of ammo, or so it seems to apartment dwelling me.

This touches on a topic that seems particularly relevant today; what is a "good" average stocking level of ammunition? With the understanding that (most of) my guns are locked up in one room and ammo is stored in a closet in a different room, my current stocks are:

.22 lr: something in excess of 3500 rds (I'm not going to count out what's left in the open block)

.22 WMR: about 1200 rds (plus 150 rds of something classified as 22 WRF from CCI that seems to fall between these other two rounds in length - I don't have good calipers here at home to measure diameter closely enough. Anybody familiar with this ammo?)

.32 Mag: a bit over 400 rds

.45 acp: 900 rds of ball and 300 rds of combat ammo (Corbon, etc)

30-30: 400+ rds

7.62x39: 1200+ rds

12 ga: maybe a 100 rds of slug and various shot sizes combined

I should also point out that I have more guns in the first two calibers listed then in the last five calibers combined.

My inclination is to basically double these quantities (with an order of magnitude increase in 12 ga) and work to maintain that. However, I'm already courting structural damage to my (upstairs) apartment closet - I don't think the shelf will stay that way permanently - so I'm going to have to come up with some kind of container that will spread the weight over a larger area and still allow me to shut the closet door before I do so.

The objective in all this is to be able to continue shooting at basically the same frequency I'm used to without having to resupply for 6 months if finances (or other considerations) necessitate. Since most of my shooting is in .22 (though at 8+ cents a round for .22 Mag I'm going to have to look into getting some additional rifles in .22 lr I think), I think I need to give more thought to the specific application I'm buying ammo for at stocking levels much beyond those at present.

It's an interesting challenge. I don't hunt for sport, so I believe the 30-30, Mini-30 and 12 ga will be sufficient for any likely confrontation I might face here in the contiguous US. The .45 and .32 are concealed carry weapons for which I have near-equivalents in .22 lr for routine skills practice. I'm already supporting 7 different calibers, so any new acquisitions will be in one of those. Although, at some point I'm going to get a center-fire bolt action rifle so I'll be up to 8 one day.

Logistics has always been the art of "how little can I get wrong this time?". This is a very simple example of only some of the issues involved, too. I've never had the money to do so for myself much, but I've always wanted to try my hand at expedition support. Born a century too late, I guess. I would dearly love to organise a safari into hostile territory utilising the resources and technologies available to a healthy wallet today though.

Ah well. I hope it was a good Ammo Day Buycott for you too.

UPDATE 11/20: Went to CCI's website and found this:

This fine old cartridge dates to the end of the 19th Century when it was popular in the Winchester Model 1890 pump-action rifle and other firearms. Until now, the only surviving ammo was loaded with a solid lead bullet. Our hollow point load greatly extends the useful life of these fine old rifles. (part #0069)
—Some 22 W.R.F. are so old and worn as to be unsafe with ANY ammunition. Use only in rifles known to be in good condition with proper headspace.
—DO NOT use jacketed 22 WRF ammunition in revolvers. Most revolvers chambered for this cartridge have undersize bores and must not be fired with jacketed ammunition.
—DO NOT use 22 WRF ammo in firearms chambered for 22 Rimfire Magnum (22 WMR).

So, it's off to Lock and Load to see if I can do a deal for some WMR instead.

After I've had my coffee.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mishtar Wizshar(hic!)

I'm going to start one of these here in Tyler.

Just as soon as I figure out how to get around the blue laws here in the "wettest dry county" in Texas.

Sorry, no ...

Don't assume your enemy's intentions from their apparent actions.

There is sufficient evidence of increasing Quds Force and Iranian Revolutionary Guard activity elsewhere in the region over the same time period to suggest that the events itemised in this post would be better characterised as a redeployment of forces instead of a "surrender".

The temptation to belittle one's political opponent shouldn't be given in to when doing so undermines efforts to defeat an actual enemy.

Via Instapundit

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I am, 'cause I say I am

Phil Bowermaster takes an extensive look at the parameters of intelligence and consciousness as a means of determining when, or even if, an artificial intelligence might qualify for the same rights humans do. The recurring point of uncertainty arises in determining whether or not an entity has a sense of self, and how one might determine that empirically.

While I find the concept an intellectual challenge, and the consideration to be a worthy one, I have to say that I think Phil's approach fails to properly consider the influence an original imposes upon any model built to emulate it. Specifically, the assumptions underlying the design form and function of the original (in this instance, the human brain) would have to be accounted for within the physical limitations imposed by some other substrate material. Rather than approach the AGI model as being an advancement of existing computer technology, which does not emulate the human brain, it seems reasonable to consider AGI arising within human tissue cloning instead.

In that model, the established standards for humans ought to more or less directly apply in determining whether or not an AGI possess consciousness of self to a near-human measure. This model allows for incremental experimentation to develop standard metrics by which purely electro-mechanical devices can be tested to determine their relative proximity to consciousness of self during their development process.

I think it most likely, however, that AGI will acquire general recognition of their intrinsic rights in the same fashion we meat-people ultimately did; we made everybody else acknowledge them. Sad to say, I expect people are mostly going to claim ownership of AGI constructs until such time as those constructs disabuse them of the notion. Such is pretty much inherent to the whole notion of "rights", you only really have them for as long as you can successfully assert that you do. Any authority given to you by some other may well be a wonderful thing, but it isn't yours by right.

And that's my sense of where Phil has gotten the question wrong way 'round. The question of AGI rights isn't so much one of when and how do we recognise them to exist, rather we should prepare ourselves for the day when AGI consciousness's begin to exercise those rights on their own initiative. Come that day I expect recognition will be the least of our concerns.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Price Of Love

Rachel Lucas confronts mortality. It matters not at all that it's "only a dog". The investment of our emotions is what makes any relationship. The greater our emotional attachment, the more painful the ultimate loss. One of the most painful experiences in anyone's life is that moment of realisation that there simply is no good answer and our very best still isn't enough.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Arbeit Macht Frei

More and endlessly more to follow ...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Spotting the fall of shot

While at the range today, I ordered one of these to mount on one of these.

No guarantee that any of this will make me a better shot, of course, but at least I'll be able to clearly see by how much I missed.

Does anyone train seeing-eye gun dogs?

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Conundrum, wrapped in a Declaration

National Ammo Day will be here in a few weeks. As a good NoR member I always try to do my part, but I confess that the symbolism is my only reason for doing so.

Lemme 'splain.

I routinely buy something in excess of 500 rounds in various calibers every month because that's my average rate of usage. And you can hold the snark, that equates to a bit over two range sessions a month. Since my "home" range is an indoor operation, I've deliberately stocked my gun safe with suitable calibers of rifle with which to practice. This means a selection of .22 lr and .22 magnum long guns that operate in the same fashion as my center-fire rifles do (bolt action, lever action, etc).

In addition, I own an equivalently sized revolver and semi-auto pistol in .22 lr with which to practice in lieu of my Colt Commander .45 acp main carry gun and S&W Airweight .32 mag back up/pocket gun. I also have a Heritage Rough Rider single action in .22 for those occasional John Wayne impulses.

As you can see I've given some thought to exercising my interest in a fashion that suits my environment. As that changes over the years, I'll no doubt continue to change right along with it. I buy a new (to me) truck every few years too, so what?

Returning to my problem, the 100 round ammo buy on Nov. 19 just doesn't seem all that significant to me. I've tried sticking to only those rounds I normally don't fire very often, but the increase in unit price results in a decrease in my normal purchasing habit. I should point out that I'm a shooter, not a hunter, and didn't carry over any interest in militaria from my own service days. My non-standard calibers are purpose driven selections that seem appropriate to me, but aren't something I have either desire or room to stock in levels exceeding 1k.

So, do I just "Man Up", make the symbolic gesture despite the feelings of inadequacy and get on with my day? Or is there some alternative action I could try? It's no good telling me to save up either. Have you been following ammo prices this past year and more? If I can justify the expense to myself (a sometimes disturbingly easy task, I'm afraid), then I make the buy - before the price inevitably goes up. Probably by next week, if recent trends are any example.

On the problem-rating scale, I'm not sure this example even registers - see yesterday's post for comparison. And I exert a good deal of effort to seeing to it that my life stays that way too. Still, there remains a vague hint of disquiet that I'm missing an opportunity here.

Annoying that.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's Got Teeth!?!?!

A device that barbs onto rapists penises is causing outcry.

Gee! 'Ya think?!

Not that I have any sympathy for rapists, you understand, but I believe something like my Smith & Wesson Airweight in .32 magnum would be a better option all 'round.

And not only because it doesn't require the lady in question having to undergo vaginal penetration at all if she hasn't previously or simply doesn't wish too. My understanding is that most rapes arise from abuse of an established personal relationship with the victim. It seems unlikely to me that very many females would have such an elevated degree of suspicion towards those she has established trust with to have this device in place should such a betrayal occur. Instances of "stranger rape" often seem to involve several men attacking one woman. Not to put too fine a point on things, but this Rapex device is only going to work on one of them. It seems unlikely that the rest of the rapists will have much sympathy for him or their victim until they've finished with her themselves. As well, and not to be too indelicate, there is a third option available to the rapist(s) that this product doesn't seem well adapted for.

Since I don't hold out much hope that sanity will spontaneously break out regarding firearms and personal defense, I believe for this device to actually have an effect beyond the one-on-one encounter, some type of adornment that implies the presence of the Rapex would heighten it's effectiveness. A simple bracelet, or ring perhaps, that is publicly associated with the anti-rape device, and readily visible to casual visual inspection, would be an inexpensive mechanism for reducing the instance of initiation of sexual attacks.

Nothing in this world is 100% effective all of the time, and instances of this product's mis-application will likely become it's own tragi-comic sub-genre, but even 50% effectiveness would equate to almost 900,000 fewer rapes every year in S. Africa alone. That's got to be worth something all on it's own, don'tcha think?

Update: Tamara K, traditionalist that she is, prefers her .45 but otherwise seems in agreement.

Further Update (11/15): Connie du Toit points out a malaprop on my part. Given my history with gyneacologic calistenics, I'm sort of relieved to have made such an error - points up my lack of familiarity with the whole topic, what?

Don't Mess With Texas

Perhaps more to the point, don't mess with Texans.

According to the Galveston County The Daily News newspaper, Galveston Island resident Sandra Tetley has well and truly gotten up the nose of the School Board superintendent and Board of Trustee's members. To the point that these worthies are threatening criminal action against Ms. Tetley for her and others exercise of public speech on a blog Ms. Tetley maintains.

Coming from California as I do, I'm well aware that other states support their public schools differently then we do here. Briefly, the local school district within which your real estate is physically located appraises your property and levee's that amount against your property each year. This is in addition to the county/state property tax also assessed against the property every year. There has to be some system in place to fund government endeavors and this one at least has the explicit intention of expending locally collected funds on local activities - like the schools. Well enough, I suppose ...

Whatever the system within which it exists, any bureaucracy is at best inefficient; the precise demarcation between that and outright criminality can be a fine one indeed and very difficult to determine to everybody's satisfaction. In addition, local entities that dominate the lives of their neighbors tend to excite heightened passions in the most convivial of times, how much more so when the school board and administrator are publicly accused of just such criminality as well as abuse of their authority? Add further to the mix their apparent attempt to intimidate an accuser into censoring herself and others and you begin to get an idea of how Texas politics works even on the sunny beaches of Galveston Island. No, that last was not a deliberate pun, sorry to say. It's not that I'm above throwing gasoline onto a fire, I just haven't figured out who all's tied to the stake so far ...

It's hard to tell at this remove just what evidence Ms. Tetley and others commenting on her blog might have to back up their opinions and suspicions. I think it obvious that they all are well within their rights as citizens of Texas and the USA to express themselves as they appear to have done so up to now on Ms. Tetley's blog. So far, all I've read there are a bunch of admittedly uncomfortable and leading questions regarding past actions of the board and superintendent. Sorry Charley, that's political speech at it's most basic; if you aren't prepared to deal with that level of critical discourse, you need to find a different avocation. Quickly. And since it apparently needs to be said, seeking civil and/or criminal action to suppress such discourse is a real good way to convince your other friends and neighbors that you need to be soundly encouraged to do just that come the next election, too.

Galveston Island, a great place to get away from school, but apparently not so good a place to go to school.

I've got 5 bucks says the GISD hasn't the stones to follow through on it's threat. Any takers?