Oh Yeah, Baby

After the Supreme Court punting on the topic of counting only U.S. citizens in the 2020 Census — what? — I was heartened to see this new development:

A high-profile conservative leader called Thursday for the impeachment of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. after he provided the crucial fifth vote in the Supreme Court decision heading off President Trump’s goal of including a question on citizenship on the 2020 census.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and husband of top Trump White House aide Mercedes Schlapp, said the ruling showed the chief justice was not the conservative-minded jurist he’d been touted to be, noting his previous decision essentially preserving Obamacare.
“I’m for impeaching the chief justice for lying to all of us about his support of the Constitution,” Mr. Schlapp tweeted. “He is responsible for Robertscare and now he is angling for vast numbers of illegal residents to help Dems hold Congress. Enough Deception from GOP judges on the Constitution.”

Considering that most of the past censuses (censi, to be pedantic) in our history did in fact include the citizenship question, I guess I thought it would be a slam-dunk decision in favor of the measure.

And then came Roberts.  Just as he did with fucking ObamaCare, he found some sliver of legal minutiae to enable him to vote on the side of the socialist USSC judges instead of with the traditionalist constructivists.

The hell with impeachment:  warm up the tar and start plucking those geese…

VD Is Not Victory

Used to be that “VD” used to mean “Victory Day” — i.e. the day the war ended — but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, does it?

According to a report released earlier this year by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, incidence rates of chlamydia in service men and women more than doubled from 2013 to 2018, gonorrhea infection rates also doubled for men and rose by 33 percent for women, and diagnoses of syphilis were nearly three times the number just 10 years ago.

Of course, the brass is always ready with a “DUH!” statement:

In a press release Wednesday, Defense Department officials said the increases can mean negative consequences for military readiness.

Ya think?

Then again, maybe the higher incidence of disease in our modern Armed Forces is, as the article puts it, just a parallel of the population as a whole.

Of course, the pox (of whatever flavor) is a perennial problem for any  of the armed forces, whether invading armies, fighter jocks [sic]  or dockside navies, as whores have always known that randy young soldiers of whatever branch are a prime target, so to speak, for their eager little cashboxes.   And everyone, especially the military brass, knows it.

I recall reading somewhere that the British army sent to Spain and Portugal to oppose Napoleon’s Grand Army suffered infection rates of around 35%, but maybe that’s a feature of Spanish- and Portuguese totties, not to mention the ineffectual / non-existing prophylactics of the time.

And even the Edwardian-era U.S. Expeditionary Force sent to France in WWI became a walking pox factory, despite the Puritanic nature of American society at the time.  As the song put it, How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?”  (Translation:  now that they’ve experienced the French flavor of booze and debauchery, they’re not going to listen to us when we tell them to be sober and chaste back home.”)

My favorite line, though, is that of the late Spike Milligan who, in recounting his artillery unit’s preparations for the invasion of North Africa in 1942, pointed out that each soldier was issued a single condom prior to landing.  Milligan’s comment:  “One? One?  They must have been expecting a short war.”

‘Twas ever thus.  The distinctly modern take on the increased poxiness of our modern Armed Forces is that it seems to be about the same for both male and female soldiers — which equality no doubt pleases Teh Feministicals greatly, but which I for one find ineffably sad.

Scarcity Scare Tactics

Via Insty comes this silliness:

Companies in certain sectors use the same behavioral interventions repeatedly. Hotel booking websites are one example. Their sustained, repetitive use of scarcity (e.g., “Only two rooms left!”) and social proof (“16 other people viewed this room”) messaging is apparent even to a casual browser.
For Chris the implication was clear: this “scarcity” was just a sales ploy, not to be taken seriously.

Well, duh.  The oldest advertising gimmick is to threaten shortages:  “while supplies last”, “today only”, “limited to the first 50 customers”, and so on.

I’ve used Expedia quite a bit for my international travel planning (they usually handle cancellations better than the establishments themselves do), and the “only 1 room left” warning elicits a response from me of, “Oh well… if the room disappears I’ll just have to find another hotel.”

You see, true  scarcity can and does work to drive a purchase decision — World Cup tickets being a good example because it’s one event, one time, one place — but all the artificial scarcity (as above) should get just a shrug from the prospective consumer.

Even more, if the establishment uses it constantly (e.g. Expedia), it becomes just white noise:  unless, of course, the customer is a stupid dickhead, in which case they get what they deserve.

The very best reaction to this ploy is to simply say, “Well, if I miss it this time, I’ll just find another vendor or postpone the purchase until the next sale.”  Department stores, who seem only to sell merchandise when it’s “On Sale”, have learned to their cost what happens when you turn discounted shopping into an everyday event:  people only buy during “sale” periods — which is why department stores are dying.

As for the various online travel sites:  if you do find an unbeatable deal for the hotel stay of your dreams at, say, Expedia, check the same hotel’s rates at one of the other booking sites as a backup before making your decision.  (By the way, if the deal “disappears”, try calling the hotel direct;  I once got a rate lower than Expedia’s “Great Deal” at an Edinburgh hotel during the Royal Military Tattoo Week simply by asking for it.)

And ignore the bullshit.

Try This, Snowflakes

From the Daily Mail I see that Prince Ginger and Princess Caring-Slut, in a gesture of extreme virtue-signaling, are going to South Africa over the coming autumn:

British High Commissioner confirms royal tour and jokes couple will boost the economy – because there’ll be a ‘hat and frock-buying frenzy’

How precious.

Here’s a suggestion for the new parents:  by all means go to South Africa, but leave your entire security guard detail behind every time you go out.  Oh, and be sure to wear all those expensive jewels you’ve recently acquired.

The ensuing “frenzy” (of thieves going all robby, stabby, shooty and rapey) should be quite educational.

RFI: Bolt-Action .300 Win Mag Rifles

Yesterday I mentioned seeing a lovely Browning A-Bolt rifle in .300 Win Mag for sale, and I think the reason I didn’t buy it on the spot was because I’m not really as knowledgeable about .300 WM rifles as I am, say, about WWII-era Mausers or WWI SMLEs.  Having seen how effective the .300 WM cartridge is on small game, I’m thinking of getting myself a rifle thus chambered at some point in the future, but I confess to being somewhat clueless about the differences between the different brands when it comes to how they handle the powerful cartridge.  I mean:  is the A-Bolt as good as the X-Bolt, and  how do they compare with the offerings from Ruger, Remington, Savage or Winchester, to name but some?

My budget will be modest (or else I’d just get a Mauser M12 for $$$$), and I can’t afford to buy twice, if you get my drift.

Hence this RFI.  All experiences are welcome.

Back Home

Back home from our trip to New England, and New Wife is absolutely sold on the place — not to live, but to spend the odd week Down East during the summer.

I’ve been to New England (both the coast and inland) on many occasions in the past;  in fact, my very first trip to the U.S. back in Fall 1985 was to New Hampshire’s White Mountains and coastal Maine, and I’ve loved the area ever since — hence my desire to take New Wife there as part of my long-term plan to show her around the various parts of the U.S. that are not Texas.

The first couple days were cool and misty/rainy, e.g. this pic taken just outside Belfast, ME:

…and another of the Bass Harbor coastline:

…but the last three days were nothing but glorious.  Here’s one taken from our rental cottage on the Damariscotta River:

And another couple from the bridge at Southport Island:

Right-click on any to embiggen (and feel free to copy and use as wallpaper etc.).  Please forgive the pics’ imperfections:  Idiot Kim forgot his trusty Nikon and had to rely on his phone instead.  Ugh.

Finally:  while we were there, several Readers wrote to me and invited us to join them at their houses, on their boats, or for a meal/drink.  My sincere apologies for not replying to any of you:  I didn’t check my email account until last night (my vacations are pretty much that — a getaway — and much of the time we had zero connectivity anyway).  So please don’t think I was being rude.  Rest assured, the next time we go Down East, we will meet up and socialize, if the invitations are still open.  Invitations to go shooting will, as always, receive priority.

What a pleasure.  The only regret is that we missed the arrival of the tall ships during Boothbay Harbor’s Windjammer Festival.  (I think they’re scheduled to arrive there today, in fact.)

And en passant: at the KIttery Trading Post, I saw a second-hand Browning A-Bolt rifle in .300 Win Mag with a laminate (not the usual composite) stock for sale at a very  reasonable price.  I’m still kicking myself…