Bride’s birthday pre-game

It has begun.

Grey Goose dirty (filthy!) martinis for me, $68.00 / bottle glasses of Chianti for her.  I ain’t spending s*** on liquor at an expensive Brazilian steakhouse, and the groupon comes with a bottle of wine and dinner for two.

I’m afraid the steakhouse has made a rather large mistake – They won’t allow more than one groupon to be used per “group”, and we have a 6-person party.   So if they don’t seat us at least adjacently, if not push three tables together, its going to get loud.  Trust.

lrsFLASH

Ah well.  That will be entertaining blog-fodder at the very least.  With video.

RLTW, and out here.

greenred

All lights green, all systems GO

What the heck happened to February?  Seems just a week ago I was filling out reams of pre-employment paperwork and spending a fortune on marksmanship gear, and as of today, I have four nights left at home before reporting to Eglin AFB for range qualification for a week, then moving my butt up to Cambridge to sit in a corporate apartment for a month while I look for listings my wife might deign to evaluate for purchase.

She, in the meantime, has to select a brokerage to handle the sale of this house we’ve lived in for sixteen years (we have a choice of two, interviewed one yesterday and another is coming on Friday), organize with an “estate sale” firm who will assist her in getting rid of all the stuff we don’t want to take with us, stage the house, and put it on the market, and deal with the movers.  She’s done all of this countless times, of course, with every PCS (Permanent Change of Station) we made while I was in the army, but she’s not looking forward to it.

Luckily her birthday is on Saturday, and I’ve made reservations at a Brazilian steakhouse for the two of us – One last indulgence before being separated for a month with little time to talk to each other.  Good grief, it feels like a deployment, or my staff time as an S-3 (Plans & Operations) when I was a Major – TDY (Temporary Duty) here, there, and anon, keeping me away from home for extended periods.

OK, perhaps not a deployment.  This time no one will be shooting back at me (unless a disgruntled MIT student busts a cap in my a** – Unlikely, since I’m not faculty, just a staff member on the ballistics and trajectory team…I won’t be grading anyone).  But TDY?  Oh yeah.  This is the civilian version of TDY.

Anyhow, I’m all packed, the flu has passed, I’m taking a break from the range today to take eldest daughter clothes shopping, and there’s Portuguese red wine to look forward  to on Saturday evening.  The only fear I have is the fear of how much I’m going to miss my bride for this upcoming month…I really am quite fond of her.

And don’t think the irony of starting a new job where I’ll be firing small arms every day at work in the midst of the latest “ban all the guns” furor escapes me – It amuses me mightily.

Here’s some morning reading for you while I suffer at the mall:

On Monday, as the news of the Virginia Tech shootings was unfolding, I went into my advanced constitutional law seminar to find one of my students upset. My student, Tara Wyllie, has a permit to carry a gun in Tennessee, but she isn’t allowed to have a weapon on campus. That left her feeling unsafe. “Why couldn’t we meet off campus today?” she asked.

Virginia Tech graduate student Bradford Wiles also has a permit to carry a gun, in Virginia. But on the day of the shootings, he would have been unarmed for the same reason: Like the University of Tennessee, where I teach, Virginia Tech bans guns on campus.

In The Roanoke Times last year – after another campus incident, when a dangerous escaped inmate was roaming the campus – Wiles wrote that, when his class was evacuated, “Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness. That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.”

More at the link.  Out here,

They’ll play hell allowing you to buy it, but if you do, and perchance make a good investment – They’ll gladly tax your capital gains

And here’s why: If it isn’t fiat, they aren’t making any money from it – And cryptocurrencies are so far from fiat (yet becoming a part of more and more people’s investment portfolios) the banks don’t see a penny from them:

College tuition can be a tough nut to crack.

Students in pursuit of their dreams often rely on hard work and student loans to get them through the lean years, when they have to pay for college and living expenses.

But some New York University students are paying for their tuition while avoiding the drudgery of waiting on tables in Greenwich Village.

Take Konig Chen, for example. The 22-year-old, who was raised in Brazil and went to high school in Taiwan, says he has used the proceeds of his bitcoin investments to pay for a full four-year course of study at the school.

Like many cryptocurrency investors, Chen started out small, betting around $5,000 on the currency in February 2017, when it was fetching around $1,200. Adding $80,000 over the summer to his investment as the currency started to skyrocket, by the end of last year his wallet was worth enough for him to take out $200,000.

Read the whole thing, it describes how some NYU students have created an algorithm to predict cryptocurrency performance and are making a ton of money.

We talked about banks not allowing cryptocurrency purchases yesterday, but here’s another pointer to the bankers and their lobbyists trying to kill these currencies off:

According to the IRS, when a taxpayer successfully mines cryptocurrency and has earnings from that activity, he or she must include it in gross income after determining the fair market dollar value of the virtual currency as of the day it was received.

If you are considering buying or selling cryptocurrency, just follow this rule: How you use it relates to how it is taxed. If you keep good tax records and keep in mind how you are using the currency, understanding the tax implications will be a breeze.

They are taxing it.  Of course they are.  It’s hard out there for a morally corrupt IRS,. (Youtube) (NSFW)

Disgusting.

But…I was assured this would never happen…

Oh, wonderful:

Those of you who were following the efforts of then SECDEF Ash Carter to open up all combat roles to women during the Obama administration probably recall some of his comments at the time. In 2015, when the U.S. Marine Corps was told to integrate women into combat duty, Carter was very clear in stating that standards would not be lowered and the women would have to compete on even footing with the men. The New York Times covered his announcement at the time. (Emphasis added)

There will be no exceptions,” Mr. Carter said at a news conference. He added, “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men.”

The defense secretary sought to assuage those concerns on Thursday by saying that every service member would have to meet the standards of the jobs they wished to fill, and “there must be no quotas or perception thereof.”

Unfortunately, one of the requirements to become a Marine combat officer is to pass the Combat Endurance Test (CET). One Marine I know who lived through the experience simply described it as “hell.” Many of the details are not made available to the public at large, but the majority of men who attempt the feat fail. The number of women who passed the course can apparently be counted on one hand.

Read the whole thing and feel your blood begin to boil.  Don’t believe it will happen?  The army has female Rangers now – Actual, tabbed Rangers, and we were assured that would never happen either.

Meh.

Facebook a**holes

This is why I’m not on FB.  My wife’s engaged in an argument regarding gun control that’s been rolling since last night – Some jerk (one of those whose self esteem hinges on winning arguments on the Internet) is snarking at her about why the 2A should be repealed…I read his posts this morning and sent my wife this via email:

Just put each link in a separate post (not the text of the article, just the link to it), it will give him plenty to read.  These are the actual state and federal Supreme Court decisions over the second amendment (District of Columbia vs. Heller is the final say until some other jerk brings a case before the court).  And tell him I appreciate his decree as to what I am and am not entitled to [aside: She mentioned that she’d ask her wounded veteran, Infantry officer husband what he thought, and the jerk wrote a mini-article as to what I’m entitled to think / say), but I’ll defer to the Constitution and the Supreme Court for that rather than some guy on Facebook.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Meaning_of_%22well_regulated_militia%22

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caetano_v._Massachusetts

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._City_of_Chicago

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller

And here’s the killer argument from Ben Shapiro, one of the smartest political analysts out there:

5. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/students-anti-gun-views/

Zuckerberg really has created hell on Earth for those who use it to argue politics, but I’ll be damned if I let some creep tell me what I should be thinking while I’m cleaning my .357 in my boxer shorts (sorry, that’s an awful image, I know) with my shrapnel scars in full view on my legs – Even if he’s not addressing me directly.

Yeah, more ditto

A Date That Should Live in Infamy

In February 19, 1942 — seventy-four years ago today — Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. With the stroke of his pen, the man who had earlier snubbed Jesse Owens after the Berlin Olympics used his executive powers to order the imprisonment of over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry (as well as thousands of German and Italian ancestry) for the duration of World War II.

internment-2

Most of the internees were natural-born American citizens, whose “crime” was having a parent or merely a grandparent with Japanese blood. It was an act of naked, aggressive racism that damaged people and families, including my own, for generations.

For those who leak tears at the thought of Gitmo, print this out and use it for tissue.  Perhaps, by osmosis, you’ll come to understand that allowing enemy intelligence / forces to roam unheeded within your borders or go back to their place of origin for more training and another deployment isn’t such a great idea.

You know, as a retired Field Grade (barely – I retired as a Major, those four years in the Guard and ten years in the USAR are the only reasons I got that gold oak leaf) Infantry officer…The lowest of the low, I feel as if I could spend a week writing a brief on why Gitmo isn’t a goat f*** and convince Congress to issue a statement that would immediately halt all of the sniffling and crying amongst those who hate Gitmo simply because they hate George W. Bush.

But why bother?  Sulu (George Takei) has formed his Brigades, our government isn’t even ready for a Twitter counteroffensive, and one wounded veteran going off about the mouth on Capitol Hill isn’t going to change anything (that’s reserved for the Cindy Sheehan’s and Beau Bergdahl’s of this world).

14 more years until I collect my pension, then I’m never looking at a newspaper again.  In the meantime, at least I’ll be employed firing small arms 9-5 for those 14 years.

God grant me the strength to make it through them.