February 27, 2009

Lockheed Martin's "HULC" Combat Exoskeleton
— Ace

Not the big powered frame from Aliens but nevertheless very neat. But power is still very limiting:

From the vid, the HULC certainly seems a step forward on Raytheon's rival XOS mechwarrior suit, which at last report still trails an inconvenient power cable to the nearest wall socket.

Not so the HULC; four pounds of lithium polymer batteries will run the exoskeleton for an hour walking at 3mph, according to Lockheed. Speed marching at up to 7mph reduces this somewhat; a battery-draining "burst" at 10mph is the maximum speed.

The user can hump 200lb with relative ease while marching in a HULC, however, well in excess of even the heaviest combat loads normally carried by modern infantry. There'd be scope to carry a few spare batteries. Even if the machine runs out of juice, Lockheed claims that its reinforcement and shock absorption still helps with load carrying rather than hindering.

An hour? Not a lot you can do in an hour.


Posted by: Ace at 09:33 AM | Comments (93)
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Blame the Gringos, Part Deux
— Russ from Winterset

Good work by Purple Avenger here. When I read this, I couldn't help feeling a strange sense of deja vu. I wonder why?

Is it just me, or does any other conservative out there feel like a Kindergarten Teacher on a daily basis? You keep telling the little cretins to stop eating their paste, and every time you turn back around from the blackboard they're wearing creepy little "Children of the Corn" grins with a thick pasty lather around their ignorant little pieholes.

Next time you talk to a gun rights person who voted for Obama, despite his Marxist background, please do me a favor: Take their guns (out of their cold, dead hands if necessary) and shove those guns right up their cold, dead squeakholes.

Posted by: Russ from Winterset at 07:41 AM | Comments (106)
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Old But New to Me
— Ace

Gingrich met with some bloggers and students and talked a bit about general strategy. He focused a lot on card check.

Private sector unions -- nevermind the police, teachers', civil servants' unions -- already have $7 billion per year in dues. In addition to destroying the rest of our economy, card check would bring in another $3-5 billion per year in additional dues, and, since the infrastructure is already taken care of with the $7 billion, that $3-5 billion would go directly to politicking.

Year in, year out.

This ad is old but I'd never seen it. more...

Posted by: Ace at 07:05 AM | Comments (18)
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Agita Alert: Cliff Kincaid Suggests Obama Not Born in US to Applause from CPAC
— Ace

It's the kind of throwaway line guaranteed to get laughs and applause.

But is it worth it?

Nope. We conservatives are already alienated from the rest of the country by about a 65/35 split on a lot of critical issues. We're already marginalized. We really don't have to increase the marginalization by pushing silly nits like this.


Posted by: Ace at 06:27 AM | Comments (233)
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Joe the Plumber: Hell's Yeah I'm Suing
— Ace

I met Joe the Plumber briefly last night. I doubt this is news, but he had hemmed and hawed initially about whether or not he'd sue the state of Ohio for the egregious violation of his privacy.

He's not hemming and hawing now. He's suing. He hooked up with Judicial Watch for some aspect of the suit, though I assume (or hope) that's a side-thing about FOIA or the like, and that he has a regular private interest attorney handling his suit.

He said it wasn't about the money; it was about showing the state it couldn't shred citizens with impunity.

Well, that's what he said.

Oh: Could not connect on blogger's row yesterday. Not even the T1 cable got me on to the internet. So, as I do in life, I gave up and began drinking.

Right now I'm back at the hotel blogging, since I can get a connection here without a problem.

Posted by: Ace at 05:49 AM | Comments (94)
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An Army of Joes (chad)
— Open Blog

with apologies to Glenn Reynolds.

Earlier this week Patrick Ruffini lamented the fact that Joe Wurzelbacher has become the spokesman for conservatism:

If you want to get a sense of how unserious and ungrounded most Americans think the Republican Party is, look no further than how conservatives elevate Joe the Plumber as a spokesman. The movement has become so gimmick-driven that Wurzelbacher will be a conservative hero long after people have forgotten what his legitimate policy beef with Obama was.

A movement self-confident in its place in American society would not have made Joe the Plumber a bigger story than he actually was. Since its very beginnings as a movement, conservatism has bought into liberalism's dominant place in the American political process. They controlled all the major institutions: the media, academia, Hollywood, the Democratic Party, large segments of the Republican Party, and consequently, the government. Liberalism's image of conservatives in the '50s and '60s as paranoid Birchers gave birth to a conservative movement self-conscious of its minority status. As in any tribe that is small in number and can't fully trust its most natural allies (i.e. the business community or the Republican Party), the meta-debate of who is inside and outside the tribe is magnified exponentially.

I was one of those agreeing, not because I have anything against Joe, but because I believe that no one can live up to the hype that has been built around him. This morning however I saw something at Bits Blog that made me change my mind and suggested a media strategy for the GOP:

If Pat really thinks, as he says, that the “Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically”, then how is it that the only ’serious’ candidates are those of the intellectual class? The connection Pat’s never made, in my sight, is that such a middle class party doesn’t feel the need of intellectual leadership… a beholding to an advanced inner circle.


Posted by: Open Blog at 05:33 AM | Comments (25)
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Recessions are for the Little People
— Slublog


I called the White House to check if that quote was accurate. It was. An aide explained that first lady Michelle Obama "has taken a particular interest in showcasing the work of young up-and-coming designers who have chosen fashion as their path and who are artists in their own right and who are introduced at places like Fashion Week."

It's hard to put Herrera, Karan and Jacobs in the up-and-coming category, but never mind: Perhaps we'll be seeing punky, funky ponchos and Day-Glo metallics at some future White House function. I asked whether the first lady considered Rogers' hitting the fashion shows a little frivolous, given the seriousness of our times. "I think you're assigning a value judgment to the fashion industry," I was told. "She doesn't think it is frivolous at all."

We do this a lot, but just imagine if a Republican first lady were so mind-numbingly tone deaf to the mood of the country? Actually, we don't have to imagine. Read the next-to-last paragraph in York's story to find out what the press said when a Republican was in office.

h/t: Allahpundit.

Update - In the comments, reason reminds us of a much more recent example of media OUTRAGE! over GOP spending:

Remember the outrage over Sarah Palin's New York shopping spree? Remember the savaging over Cindy McCain's $300K RNC outfit?

Yeah. Neither does anyone else, I guess.

Can you blame them? Maintaining consistent standards would get in the way of their attempts to make Michelle the new Jackie.

Posted by: Slublog at 05:26 AM | Comments (16)
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Obama's Rosy Assumptions
— Slublog

Greg Mankiw looks at the economic forecasts in the Obama budget and finds them a bit...optimistic when compared to consensus forecasts. He links a story that wonders whether "Rosy Scenario" is back.

Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, a major private forecasting firm, called the administration's forecasts "way too optimistic" and said it could represent a return to the overly optimistic forecasts of previous administrations confronted by surging budget deficits.

"They used to joke during the Reagan years that the highest ranking woman in the administration was Rosy Scenario," he said. "We may be seeing a return of Rosy Scenario."

Obama's assumptions are particularly rosy, considering his plans to burden the economy with a crushing tax plan.

The 'rich' are going to get especially soaked. Basically, Obama is making the very dangerous assumption that increasing taxes don't affect taxpayer behavior.

Needless to say, he's wrong. And we all get to see just how wrong in a few years. Won't that be fun?

Posted by: Slublog at 05:19 AM | Comments (23)
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Top Headline Comments 02-27-09
— Gabriel Malor


Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:04 AM | Comments (9)
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February 26, 2009

Overnight Open Thread: Economy Collapses, Entrees Hardest Hit (genghis)
— Open Blog

You can haz any subject…as long as it relates to zombies or pirates. Even better if you combine the two.

Episode #537 on the economy regarding things no one else gives a flying fuck about except journalists who live in Manhattan. Courtesy of AP, via MSNBC Sharing entrees no longer “gauche” at restaurants during downturn.

” NEW YORK - Can we split that?”

“The question — once considered a bit gauche in some circles — is now being asked by diners of all kinds at restaurants in every price range. With the economy still souring, splitting an appetizer, dessert and even an entree is becoming, for many, an easy way to save a few dollars without sacrificing the indulgence of a dinner out.”

Yeah, none of us have ever split an appetizer, but fair enough. Times are tight and all. Our intrepid AP reporter heads out on the mean streets to get the lowdown from Joe Six-Pack:
” "People are splitting things like they never have before," said David Pogrebin, general manager of French restaurant Brasserie in New York, where a hamburger costs $18 and an entree can rise above $30.”

So true. And so sad. Why just the other day when I was purchasing a 30-day dry-aged, hand-carved USDA Prime Choice McRib at my favorite corner bistro, I witnessed a family of four partitioning a Royale with Cheese into 4 sections so they could each have at least a taste of the succulent delicacy.

If you’d like more information, the definition of “gauche” may be found here.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

Posted by: Open Blog at 09:59 PM | Comments (6)
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Where The Hell Is Ace? [Vinnie]
— Open Blog

Probably hitting on that hot chick that writes for Bear Creek Ledger. That's my guess anyway.

Whether or not my suspicions are confirmed, at least SOMEONE is doing some blogging about CPAC, even if it's not last year's CPAC Blogger Of The Year.

Posted by: Open Blog at 08:31 PM | Comments (2)
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Montana decides to take on the Interstate Commerce Clause (chad)
— Open Blog

Using a Made in Montana stamp and the Heller decision some Montana legislators have decided to go after the interstate commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution. Their plan is to force a confrontation with the ATF and take the case to the Supreme Court.

Personally I don't think their plan has much of a chance. Despite some rollbacks in the Rehnquist years the Supremes have been pretty friendly to the commerce clause since the 1930's. So assuming this law gets past the Montana Supreme Court, which is more liberal than most people realize, it will probably be struck down by the 9 wise guys in DC.

Posted by: Open Blog at 06:43 PM | Comments (7)
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Troop Withdrawal Kabuki
— Dave in Texas

Dems Schumer, Pelosi and Reid question Obama's plan to leave 35,000 to 50,000 troops in Iraq.

And by question, I mean preen and posture to demonstrate how serious they are.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 06:03 PM | Comments (2)
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Movie News: Remakes & Whedon on DC Comics
— Gabriel Malor

Anybody else need a distraction from the rape of the American dream?

Distraction 1:

Hollywood is looking to remake Total Recall. This one's definitely going to violate Ace's Rule of Remakes: don't fix what ain't broke. Or restated: what is there to remake about a successful film?

Hollywood is also looking to remake The Neverending Story. This one I'm not so sure about. I really disliked it as a child, but freakin' everyone else thought it was amazing. I suppose I shouldn't care since a remake will also presumably be directed at children, right.

Distraction 2:

Joss Whedon on why DC characters, except for Batman, don't make good film heroes.

Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC's heroes are from a different era. They're from the era when they were creating gods.

"And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn't living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker's character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.

"DC's characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to."

I know some of you hate Whedon with the fire of a thousand suns. But he's got a point. Half of the gimmicks for the DC comics are ways to bring these folks down to our level and see how they deal.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 05:14 PM | Comments (19)
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Great Moments in American Legal Thought, vol. 436 [jdub]
— Open Blog

People v. Foranyic.

A police officer acted reasonably under U.S.
Const., 4th Amend., in detaining a man he observed
with an ax riding a bicycle at 3 a.m. A reasonable
police officer, considering the totality of the circumstances,
would reasonably suspect criminal
activity might be afoot upon viewing someone riding
a bicycle, with an ax, at 3 a.m., even though no
recent “ax crime” had been reported. The officer
could reasonably eliminate firefighting and logging
from the list of possible pursuits the man might
have been engaged in, and while there were doubtless
some reasonable explanations that might be
conjured up, the possibility of an innocent explanation
did not deprive the officer of the capacity to
entertain a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct.

Next: Stygian Darkness.

This incident did take place during the hours of
darkness. Stygian darkness. No one who has ever
worked a graveyard shift can underestimate the significance
of any bicycle traffic at that hour, much
less lethally armed bicycle traffic.


Continued below the jump.


Posted by: Open Blog at 04:45 PM | Comments (22)
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Well, someone still has some money to piss away on useless shit...
— Purple Avenger

A paltry $28,000,000 bought some brain dead imbecile a chair that looks like a turd with tusks.

...This is either proof that the art collectors are still spending, or that they have lost their minds. Maybe both. The piece in question is a chair -- resembling a turd with with tusks -- that gaveled yesterday at Christie's Paris auction for an eye-popping (pooping?) $28.3 million...
OK, admittedly its 90 years old, which qualifies it as an "antique" I suppose. I'm definitely in the wrong business. I need to become an "art" counterfeiter and crank this sort of stuff out by the container load.

I look at it this way -- $175K will get you a cherry 1968 Shelby GT 500, or you could spend $28M on a fucking turd with tusks. Which one is going to get you laid more often? Which one will outrun any police car on the road? The only thing the turd with tusks has going for it is that you might be able to burn it for fire wood when times get really tough. more...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 04:06 PM | Comments (28)
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CNN: “Descendant Sues Skull and Bones Over Geronimo’s Bones” (genghis)
— Open Blog

Subheadline in the “story highlights:” “Author: Document shows George W. Bush's grandfather robbed Geronimo's grave.” (Note: article text has been squished together to preserve screen space)

Gadzooks! And here all along we’d thought it was the Illuminati. Thanks to investigative journalism we now know the truth.

”(CNN) -- The great-grandson of Apache warrior Geronimo argues in a lawsuit that a secretive society at Yale University holds the remains of his great-grandfather. Harlyn Geronimo has sued Yale and the society -- the Order of Skull and Bones -- to try to recover the remains”
“Author Alexandra Robbins said evidence backs up the younger Geronimo's claim that Skull and Bones has the Apache warrior's remains.”

First of all, what self-respecting Indian Native American goes by the name of “Harlyn?” I think I’d give this a little more credence if it were “Running Wolf Geronimo,” or such. But are there doubters to this claim? I’m glad you asked:
:”Not everyone believes the Bonesmen found Geronimo's bones. Some researchers have concluded that the Bonesmen could not have even found Geronimo's grave in 1918. In the Yale Alumni Magazine's article, David H. Miller, a history professor at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, cites historical accounts that the grave was unmarked and overgrown until a Fort Sill librarian persuaded local Apaches to identify the site for him in the 1920s. "My assumption is that they did dig up somebody at Fort Sill," said Miller. "It could have been an Indian, but it probably wasn't Geronimo."”

Other items alleged to be on display in the Skull & Bones “Tomb”: The Ark of the Covenant, the remains of the aliens who crash-landed in Roswell, the One Ring, a flipper from the Loch Ness Monster, untold numbers of panties from various raids and all the socks ever lost in clothes dryers throughout recorded human history. But here’s a little something to tickle yer fancy:
”President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of the Army Pete Geren are listed as defendants in the 32-page lawsuit Harlyn Geronimo filed in the District of Columbia.”

Image of a member of Skull and Bones below the fold.

Posted by: Open Blog at 02:56 PM | Comments (37)
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Tea Party Mania! [Vinnie]
— Open Blog


Here's a nice list of Tea Parties going on around the country.

If you don't see yours listed, why, feel free to leave it in the comments. For those of you here in the Omaha/Council Bluffs* area, ours is tomorrow:

The Omaha part of the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party will be held on Friday, February 27th, 2009 in front of the Douglas County Courthouse at 16th and Farnam.

The event will be starting at 11:00 am, to coincide with events in over 40 cities nationwide.

With that said, enjoy an early open thread (don't forget to hang with ghengis later too). And check this out. My homies are just plain evil. Have a great weekend. more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 01:28 PM | Comments (71)
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We All Have To Die Someday, This Seems A Pretty Good Way To Do It
— DrewM

Raise a glass of Valu-Rite to a crazy Russian, who while he may not have been an Ace of Spades reader, was surely our spiritual brother.

A SEX-MAD Russian died after guzzling a bottle of Viagra pills to keep him going for a 12-hour orgy with two women pals.

The women had bet mechanic Sergey Tuganov £3,000 that he wouldn’t be able to satisfy them both non-stop for the half-day sex marathon.

He 'bet' them? That's how you get two chicks in bed at the same time, you call it a bet? I did not know that.

Even if he lost, the money comes out to about $4,300 American, divided by two, divided by 12 hours is $180/hour per 'friend', which from what I hear, isn't a bad 'rate', I mean wager. Of course it's hard to know that for sure without pictures.

Posted by: DrewM at 01:13 PM | Comments (98)
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Ugh...Obama Administration To Allow Press At Dover AFB When Fallen Heroes Return Home
— DrewM

As I blogged about last weekend, several milbloggers made what I thought was a good case as to why these military ceremonies should remain private. Alas after a review, Secretary of Defense Gates has modified the ban on media access to Dover.

Families of America's war dead will decide whether the flag-draped caskets of their loved ones can be photographed by news organizations when the fallen return to U.S. soil, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

Gates said he decided to permit the photos at Dover Air Force Base, Del., if the families agree. A working group will come up with details and logistics.

The new policy reverses a ban put in place in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. Some critics contended the government was trying to hide the human cost of war.

"We should not presume to make the decision for the families — we should actually let them make it," Gates said at a Pentagon news conference.

He cited a difference of opinion inside the Pentagon about whether to change the policy, based on concerns about what would be in the grieving families' best interests. He said he was "never comfortable" with the ban.

I'm glad it's not a total reversal of the policy but I'm still moved by the millblogers argument that this is a private military matter. It also doesn't seem fair to lay this on families in the middle of the worst imaginable times. The DoD better make damn sure this policy doesn't result in the press (including bloggers) hounding families for access.

MORE: TSO at This Ain't Hell has some background on one of the women behind this policy review. He also brings up a good point about how parents and other family members may not share the same outlook on the war that the fallen hero had and he speaks with some degree of personal experience.

Posted by: DrewM at 10:33 AM | Comments (87)
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