Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary....

It seems that Mary Landrieu has got herself in a bit of hot water by putting out an election commercial showing herself in a Senate committee meeting. The problem is that the meeting footage is really a reenactment using actors and she did not put a disclaimer saying as much in the commercial. This is typical of Mary, she likes to reinvent history to suit her. The only thing voters need to know about her is that she voted with Obama 97% of the time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Bomber Shootout

Information is finally starting to come out about the night the Boston Police Department had the shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers. If you followed some bloggers that witnessed the incident, you know that several rounds entered houses and could have injured civilians. NBC has a story about the shootout and it is worth reading.

Boston Police Rule 303A gives the actions to be followed after the use of lethal force. Section 11 covers the requirements for a Firearm Discharge Investigation Team. As far as I can tell, if a report was made, no information about it has been made public.

If you google the streets where the shootout happened, you can see that the brothers route of escape was limited and it should have been a simple matter to contain them. Instead, there was a mad minute with hundreds of rounds being fired. Most of the injuries to police were from friendly fire. I think the lesson here is that if you should find yourself in the vicinity of similar action, get cover and stay down and when you do break cover, do it carefully.

As a final comment, as someone who went to college in Boston during the Vietnam Era and saw several student riots, I can tell you that you did not mess with the Boston Tactical Police Force.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Head Count

It was a slow March in the KSA. The swordsman only had one head to separate from its body - a murderer. The year to date total in Saudi Arabia is only 9.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Louisiana Politics

Edwin Edwards has announced that he will run for congress in Louisiana's 6th district. You might remember Edwin from his failed reality TV show, "The Governor's Wife". Or you might remember him as the governor who spent 8 years in a federal prison convicted of 17 counts of bribery. And then there's the time we all voted for the crook because the alternative was David Duke. Other than feeding Edwin's ego, it's not clear to me why he wants to spend the rest of his life (he's 86) in an office that could be considered a step down from the governors office. The district has voted Republican for the past several election and the incumbent would probably be a shoe in except for the fact that he is going to run against Mary Landrieu for the senate slot. If nothing else, we should get some funny one liners out of his race.

In other political news, Bobby Jindal is making speeches in New Hampshire. If asked, he will not admit that he is running for president in 2016, but why would he test the waters in New Hampshire otherwise? I'd just like to remind people that Bobby lost his first run for governor to Kathleen Blanco (AKA "Mee Maw"). People didn't vote for him because of racial and religious bias.(He was born in Baton Rouge and he's Catholic, BTW. He's also a Rhodes Scholar) Then came Katrina and we all learned that Mee Maws don't handle emergencies well and she became a one term wonder. Whether you like him or not, Bobby is decisive and knows his facts. We could do a lot worse. (and we have)

Monday, March 17, 2014

NOLa Politics

A runoff election was held in New Orleans last Saturday. New Orleans is the bastion of the Democrats in the State of Louisiana but the results of the election may be an indication of change, if not common sense. First, two long term city council fixtures, both with  the mayors endorsement, were voted out of office in favor of new candidates. (They were Democrats, of course, but still, they are new blood)

Second, a property tax extension and increase to fund capital improvements at the Audubon Zoo was soundly defeated. The tax would have been in place for the next 50 years. What this means for the future of the city will be the subject of speculation by the local pundits but it appears that the voters are looking for a change from the old politicians and rejecting new taxes. (I guess they weren't paying attention when the bridge tolls were rejected last year)

Next in line, Mary Landrieu.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bow Wow Luau

The State of Hawaii has banned the practice of eating cats and dogs. When I lived there we used to descibe the cooking of a dog in place of a pig a "bow wow luau". I suspect this legislation will be the subject of many jokes.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day

Today is Pi Day. 3.14

Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The number is always the same regardless of the size of the circle. While the first people to recognize this ratio is lost to history, there is evidence that this relationship was known over 4000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians. Archimedes made the first best attempt to calculate the value of pi using polygons and the Pythagorean Theorem. Pi is an irrational number. That is, it cannot be expresses by a common fraction and the decimal never settles into a repetitive pattern. Modern computers have calculated the value out to over one trillion decimal places and have not seen a repeating pattern. The Greek letter, Pi, was first used to represent the number in the 1700s. I use the Engineer's Cheer to remember the value of Pi:

e to the x
e to the x
e to the x, dx
cosine, secant, tangent, sine