The Overton Window: Intermission
Labels: The Overton Window
Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.
Labels: The Overton Window
Whales in the desert? And at an elevation of 13,000 feet? (That's oxygen-mask altitude in the Air Force.) How did they get there? The Great Flood, that's how. But the Associated Press won't even talk about how high this latest find was. More MSM sophistry.
"Tapped him on the leg? Do strange men ever do that to each other?"
I think you might mean "straight" there. To which the realistic answer would be that I know no one, straight or gay, who does that.
They are strange men, and strange as men. It's called not being able to write a believable character, and the authors excel at it.
Their model bomb wasn't that heavy, maybe eighty or one hundred pounds, but it was unwieldy to carry between them.
The weapons these guys were sporting appeared to be some knocked-together variant of an AR-15, but with a very short barrel, stock target sights, custom noise suppression, and a nonstandard magazine. Good luck trying to buy something like that off the shelf. Not the most versatile choice for all-purpose combat, obviously laughable for hunting or target practice, but flip it to full auto and it would do every bit as well as a sawed-off shotgun for antipersonnel work at close quarters.
Down the center, on a welded-together, waist-high metal rack, was what appeared to be a long, silvery torpedo. Not really, though; the nose was too blunt and flat and its far end was tapered and ringed by large aerodynamic fins. It looked like something from a war museum, an overbuilt piece of heavy-duty air-dropped ordinance from a bygone era of the Cold War.
Kearns bent and put the satchel [of money] down between them, shivered a bit, breathed some warm air through his hands, and then put them into his jacket pockets. When he looked at Danny, just for a second or two, there was such a crystal-clear communication between them that he almost heard the words form in his head.
You were right. Now we're going to let these guys give us just one more bad sign, the tiniest sign, and then we put their lights out. No "Freeze, FBI!," no warning shots; we shoot to kill until they're all down, or we are. And you and I both know who gets it first. [emphasis original]
When you've practiced enough it gets to look like one fluid motion, but there are four distinct parts to a quick draw, at least to the one that Molly had taught him. In the beginning the count is slow and you stop between the steps so your teacher can make sure you've got them right. After a few months and several thousand repeats, though, it starts to go so fast that if you blink, you might miss it.
Danny's right hand swept back to clear his clothing and found the pistol grip just where he'd left it; he pulled the weapon free and brought it forward, the barrel coming parallel to the ground and his left hand joining the solid grasp; he extended toward center-mass of his target with the iron sight rising level to his eye; and at the end of the forward movement, as it all came together at his ideal firing position, without pause, he squeezed the trigger to its stop.
The boom of their first two shots was almost simultaneous, though Kearns had a much easier draw from his pocket. They'd chosen the same primary target, the man to whom Randy had given his too-obvious go-ahead, the guy who would have cut them in half with a hail of bullets if they'd given him half a chance to shoot first. As Kearns took off to his left, still firing, their designated executioner was crumpling backward, likely dead on his feet, but surely out of commission. [emphasis original]
The silence was broken by the sound of a diesel engine turning over and starting. Danny watched Kearns limping toward the back of the truck, then grabbing on and hoisting himself up into the open compartment.
As the truck dropped into gear and started to roll Danny got to his feet and ran for it. The faster he ran the faster it went, and it had nearly accelerated to the point of no return when he caught up to the tailgate, stumbled forward to get a grasp on to Stuart Kearns' extended hand, and felt himself pulled up and in.
Labels: The Overton Window
We were mercifully spared the description of their adventure on the people mover, as well as the riveting depiction of waiting in line at the car rental counter.
Of course, little does Noah know that Molly is smuggling the Gray Ninja Cat of Death in her bag....
"This must be the place," Danny said. He folded the printout of directions and slipped them into a side pocket of the door.
Kearns tapped him on the leg. "Over here."
"Building" was an overstatement, actually; the simple ten-foot-high enclosure appeared to be made of nothing but cinder blocks and dark mortar. There was an open arched doorway but no roof overhead. About a stone's throw away from the main structure, in a perfectly spaced circle surrounding the building on all sides, were a number of bizarre freestanding walls and angled edifices jutting up out of the sand. Some looked like backstops from a playground handball court, one like the black alien monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The layout reminded him a little of Stonehenge, but only if Stonehenge had been built over one hurried weekend by an amateur bricklayer on acid. [emphasis original]
He'd stopped talking because something had caught his attention out the front windshield. One of the men they were meeting had appeared by the corner of the main cinder-block building, and with a broad gesture he beckoned them to come on over. Another of the men was behind the first, standing there with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder.
The pistol went snugly into Danny's belt in the back, not in the middle but closer to the right side; the long jacket hid it completely. "I'm getting ready for this whole thing to go to hell in a handbasket. If everything's fine you can say I told you so. But in the meantime, if I can make a suggestion, why don't you take the .38 out of your ankle holster and put it where you can get it if you need it."
Thankfully the older man was listening, and even if he wasn't quite convinced that there was going to be trouble he was at least open-minded enough to move his small revolver to the right-hand pocket of his bomber jacket.
"I thought you said you didn't know much about guns," Kearns said.
"That's not what I said. I said I wasn't an expert."
Expert wasn't a term to be bandied about among Danny's gun-savvy friends. An expert might be someone who could call their shot from ten yeards and then, from a cold start, draw their pistol from concealment and put a bullet right where they said it would go, all in seven-tenths of a second or less. Molly Ross was one of those, and a few years back over one hot and memorable Tennessee summer, she'd taught him everything he knew. He'd been getting even more death threats than usual that year, and she'd wanted him to be safe. So, while he wasn't an expert, his draw was pretty fast- it was the part about hitting what he shot at that still left a lot of be desired. [emphasis original]
Labels: The Overton Window
Shopping online can be a real time-saver, and you can get some great deals. But skip lollipops that come with the virus that causes chickenpox.
This caution comes after a woman in Nashville, Tenn., advertised lollipops contaminated with the varicella virus on Facebook. The tainted pops were intended for parents who want to expose their children to the disease.
A Nashville TV station spotted the woman's posts, in which she also offered to ship spit and cotton swabs, all for a mere $50, payable through PayPal. The woman, Wendy Werkit, told WSMV reporter Kimberly Curth that she had shipped lollipops that had been sucked on by her children, "so that other peoples' kids can get chickenpox."
"Page 245, Line 6-10:
"Mohamed Atta is dead." [Stuart said]
"Yeah? So is Osama bin Laden, but that doesn't stop him from putting out a tape every six months. And I'm not even saying it's a real live Islamo-fascist behind any of this, but making it look that way will make the story that much scarier when something happens.""
Of course, at the point of the writing, OBL wasn't dead.
This book has aged badly, and that's just in the time you've been torturing yourself writing about it.
He rubbed his eyes and they felt as though he hadn't blinked his eyes in quite a while. The time had apparently flown by as he'd been occupied reading and rereading the many quoted passages that filled the pages of Molly's book.
In the course of his supposedly top-shelf schooling he must have already been exposed to much of this, and if so, it shouldn't have seemed as new to him as it did. And in a strange, unsettling way- like reading a horoscope so accurate that its author must surely have been watching you for months through the living-room window- it seemed that each of these writings was addressed to the current time, and this very place, for the sole, specific benefit of Noah Gardner.
He rubbed his eyes and they felt as though he hadn't blinked his eyes in quite a while. The time had apparently flown by as he'd been occupied reading and rereading the many highlighted verses that filled the pages of
In the course of his supposedly top-shelf schooling he must have already been exposed to much of this, and if so, it shouldn't have seemed as new to him as it did. And in a strange, unsettling way- like reading a horoscope so accurate that its author must surely have been watching you for months through the living-room window- it seemed that each of these verses was addressed to the current time, and this very place, for the sole, specific benefit of
Rayford SteeleNoah Gardner.
While the [economic] crisis had in truth, of course, been nothing less than a blatant, sweeping consolidation of wealth and power- perpetrated by some of Doyle & Merchant's most prestigious Wall Street clients- it wouldn't do to allow the press and the public to perceive it that way. So, the government's bailout of these billionaire speculators and their legion of cronies and accomplices was instead presented as a bold rescue, undertaken for the good of the American people themselves. (1)** (2)
The choice they had made was to reward the corruption, but all of them knew the better answer, or should have. It didn't take a thousand-page bill to get it across.
"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall." (3) [emphasis original]
The desire of dominion, that great principle by which we have attempted to account for so much good and so much evil, is, when properly restrained, a very useful and noble movement in the human mind. But when such restraints are taken off, it becomes an encroaching, grasping, relentless, and ungovernable power. Numberless has been the system of inquiry contrived by the great for the gratification of this passion in themselves...
In short, governments have proven that they always go bad, because they're made up of imperfect people. [emphasis original]
"SINCE the promulgation of christianity, the two greatest systems of tyranny, that have sprung from this original, are the cannon and the feudal law. The desire of dominion, that great principle by which we have attempted to account for so much good and so much evil, is, when properly restrained, a very useful and noble movement in the human mind. But when such restraints are taken off, it becomes an encroaching, grasping, relentless, and ungovernable power. Numberless has been the system of inquiry contrived by the great for the gratification of this passion in themselves: but in none of them were they ever more successful than in the invention and establishment of the cannon and the feudal law." [emphasis original]
He touched her hand. "I think I get it now," Noah said.
"You get what."
"I really didn't before, but I understand what you're doing now, you and your people."
"Oh." She nodded, and continued to check over her things.
"I mean it."
"I know you do," she said, in the way you might address an overly needy child in recognition of some minor accomplishment. "Good. I'm glad."
Before long the plane had reached the gate, and the door nearest them was the first to be opened. She was walking ahead of him in the exit tunnel, as though with some purpose that she hadn't paused to share. He caught up to her as she stopped to scan an informational display with a backlit map of airport services.
"I say we grab a meal," Noah said, "Spend the night, and then try to figure something out tomorrow."
His suggestion was overlooked as if he hadn't spoken it at all.
"I need for you to help me rent a car," Molly said.
Labels: The Overton Window