Archive for the ‘Clippings’ Category

Obit watch: September 30, 2014.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

We haven’t heard much recently from the notoriously corrupt California city of Vernon.

The first council member to get elected in a competitive race since the Nixon presidency in the small city of Vernon — population about 100 — has died.

His death appears to have been the result of natural causes (and not in the “he was shot in the head six times, so naturally he died” sense).

The autumn wind is a pirate…

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

I love this time of year. The leaves are changing, if you live in one of those places. Around here, the temperature is getting to the point where you can consider doing stuff outdoors, or even dining on a patio if that’s your thing. The NFL season is picking up.

And we have our first NFL coach firing: Dennis Allen of the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders won four games in each of Allen’s first two seasons and recorded an 8-28 mark during his two-plus seasons. The Jacksonville Jaguars at 6-30 are the only team with a worse record during that span.

Allen also has the distinction of being the first coach hired and fired in the Mark Davis era.

I have a great deal of confidence in the Raiders ability to remain winless this coming week. The question I have is: what happens the following week? Do they get the dead cat bounce against the Chargers? I wouldn’t put it past them. Perhaps I should keep an eye on the line…

What’s wrong with Kansas?

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Apparently, nothing that firing Charlie Weis won’t cure.

He was 6-22 overall, and 1-18 in conference. I’m pretty sure this is the first major school coach firing of the year. (Corrections welcome if I’m wrong.)

Obit watch: September 29, 2014.

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Don Keefer passed away earlier this month. He was 98 years old.

Mr. Keefer was one of those actors who knocked around a lot; he was in “The Caine Mutiny” and the original Broadway cast of “Death of a Salesman”.

But he was perhaps most famous as Don Hollis, the man who ends up wished into the cornfield by Anthony in the Twilight Zone episode “It’s A Good Life”.

Also: James Traficant.

Historical video, emphatically NOT suitable for use in schools.

Friday, September 26th, 2014

By way of Ace of Spades: The LA Police Department Skilled Shooting Exhibition Of 1936. (As Maetenloch notes, this is probably from 1938. And although the heading says LAPD, this is actually the LA Sheriff’s Department.)

There’s some good stuff in this:

  • I do love me some nice Thompson work.
  • It is an interesting piece of history, if you want to see how police shot back then. I believe the LAPD was pretty progressive in their pistol training at that time; certainly they were in 1955, when Sterling Walker wrote “How Cops Get Killed” for Guns Magazine. It seems logical to assume that that the LACSD worked the same way. The one-handed shooting stance looks funny in retrospect, but you have to remember the Weaver Stance hadn’t been invented yet. And I suspect that “Combat” range and the practice drills were pretty far out in front of the curve for 1938.
  • I like the course of fire shown at the range. I might try that next time I go out to the range with one of my revolvers.
  • LAPD

  • I wonder if this is where the shooting competition in Magnum Force was staged. IMDB is no help here.

There are also some things I really dislike about this video:

  • The tinkly piano music really gets on my nerves.
  • I wish it were better lit, or in better focus, or both. I can’t tell what guns the shooters are using (except for the one guy with the Thompson, of course). Various sources say LAPD was issuing the S&W K-38 Target Masterpiece and the K-38 Combat Masterpiece until 1988. (The difference between the two is that the Target Masterpiece had a 6″ barrel; the Combat Masterpiece had a 4″.) The Walker article mentioned above says they also used the Colt Officer’s Model Special. The problem I have is that the K-38 in either version didn’t start showing up until post-WWII. I think the guns in the video may be Colts, and there could be a couple of M&P Model of 1905 4th Change revolvers in there; it is just hard to tell. (Again, I’m assuming LACSD and LAPD used the same or similar equipment. Frankly, there weren’t a lot of choices at the time, though I guess they could have issued Registered Magnums…)
  • JESUS JOSEPH AND MARY ON A FREAKING POGO STICK, WERE THESE PEOPLE IDIOTS?! In case you’re wondering why I’m screaming, it should become apparent to you at about 35 seconds into the video. What the frack? What the fracking frack? Was life cheaper back then? Were these guys getting some hefty hazard pay? For my readers at home: DON’T DO THIS, OKAY? Seriously, this has “manslaughter” written all over it.
  • Also, there’s much more effective ear protection out there these days than cigarettes or wads of cotton.

When ice picks are outlawed…

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Admittedly, this is kind of old, but I only ran across it today (while, oddly, looking up Trotsky for reasons I won’t go into):

“There is no prohibition right now against carrying an ice pick in New York City,” said City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, “which is interesting because I don’t know of any legitimate use for an ice pick.”

At NHS Hardware on Bainbridge Avenue in the Bronx, a worker, Jose Santana, strode toward the back of the store and grabbed a $3.89 model, whose wrapper said that it was of “professional quality” and “high carbon steel,” from a display of ice picks hanging from a peg.

The demand is greater than the store chooses to meet: because the store has a policy restricting the sale of ice picks to anyone under the age of 21, it has sold only two in the past six months or so.
“Some guy might buy this for torturing people,” another worker, Victor Reynoso said. “Sometimes they come to buy, but we don’t sell. If you are going to buy this, you have to show me ID.”

“I would entertain expanding it further, banning all public possession, once we learn, during the hearing process, whether there are any legitimate uses in this day and age for an ice pick,” [Councilman Vallone] said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

In other news, it appears that you can listen to Trotsky Icepick on Google Play or Spotify, or buy some of the albums from iTunes. The same cannot be said of Mussolini Headkick; only one of their songs is available on iTunes.

Well. Well well well. Well.

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

ESPN analyst Bill Simmons has been suspended for three weeks after he made profane comments about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during a podcast.

Original hattip on this to Jason Snell at Six Colors.

This is getting a great deal of attention, but there’s one aspect I want to point out: the ESPN Ombudsman’s page has disappeared from the site. Attempts to access it, either from the “ESPN Ombudsman” link (under “ESPN Feedback”, bottom left corner of the ESPN homepage) or direct links to columns (such as the one linked by Romenesko today) redirect to a generic “ESPN Blogs” page.

I’m not sure if this should be ascribed to malice or stupidity, but it is an interesting coincidence.

Edited to add, 9/24/2014 9:17 PM: Probably stupidity, since the Ombudsman’s page is back now. In that vein, this makes for interesting reading.

Banana republicans watch: September 23, 2014.

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The six members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department who were convicted of obstructing a FBI investigation were sentenced today.

Former Lt. Gregory Thompson was sentenced to 37 months; Lt. Stephen Leavins to 41 months; Sgt. Scott Craig to 33 months; Sgt. Maricela Long to 24 months; Deputy Gerard Smith to 21 months; and Deputy Mickey Manzo to 24 months.

(Previously.)

And a seventh LACSO deputy was convicted last week.

TMQ Watch: September 16, 2014.

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

This week’s TMQ, after the jump…

(more…)

Tim Dog update.

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

He’s apparently really most sincerely dead.

(Previously.)

Instead of actual content…

Friday, September 12th, 2014

…I give you a very silly quiz from the WP:

Is this a line from ‘The Great Gatsby’ or a New York Times profile of Lena Dunham?

I have never seen an episode of “Girls” (since I refuse to have cable). However, I still got a perfect score on the quiz. Which says something: either about my knowledge of Gatsby or about how silly this quiz actually is, I do not know.

Oh, what the heck, I’ll throw this one in, too:

http://www.lingscars.com/

I sent this to Lawrence with the suggestion that it might be worse than Bello De Soto’s website: Lawrence doesn’t think so, and I’m still trying to make up my mind.

There are so many things that push it towards legendary badness for me: the chicken walking around on the live Twitter feed (why?), the auto-play Chinese karaoke (ditto?), the spinning chat avatars, gratuitous abuse of the blink tag…

On the other hand, it hasn’t actually crashed any browser I’ve tried it on so far. On the gripping hand, it is an actually up and (apparently) functional website, as opposed to an archive of one…

Obit watch: September 11, 2014.

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Colonel Bernard F. Fisher (USAF – ret) passed away on August 16th, though his death does not appear to have been widely reported until today.

Col. Fisher (he was a major at the time) received the Medal of Honor for pulling off one of the greatest rescue missions in the history of the Vietnam War.

(I swear that I read this story in Reader’s Digest when I was a child, maybe as a “Drama In Real Life”.)

The paper of record does not seem to have deigned to note the passing of Richard “Jaws” Kiel, but the LATimes and the A/V Club have.

Edited to add: now the NYT gets around to it.