15 February 2006

Thirty yards. Thirty yards is ninety feet. The reason why shotguns work is that the little shot pellets spread out as they travel. That means that when they are a foot away from the muzzle of the gun, they are very close together, and they spread (generally) about six inches to a foot radially for every three feet they travel. Or one foot per yard, or two yards. For the sake of argument, let's say they only spread six inches per yard, or a foot for every two yards. Naturally, gravity and friction act on the pellets and screw up the nice circle thing and the pellets spread in a sort of lopsided fashion after a while.

Ninety feet. Thirty yards. The pellets spread a foot every two yards. Assuming a starting diameter of zero, just for the sake of simple mathematics here, that means that the shot from Cheney's gun had spread to a pattern approximately fifteen feet in diameter.

I'm sorry. No. THAT would not put a man in ICU. Furthermore, the doctors say there are still many pellets inside of him. That's not being "peppered", that's being SHOT. The article on Yahoo says there could be as many as 200 pellets inside of him yet. That many pellets, or even HALF that many pellets, dense enough to all enter a man, means that Whittington was a heckuva lot closer to Cheney than the witnesses said, and therefore within visual range.

Furthermore, hunting conventions dictate that when hunting birds, such as quail, one does not shoot one's gun at less than a forty-five degree angle to the ground to prevent just such an accident. One also does not ever sweep and fire, nor does one shoot behind oneself.

Even furthermore, the party who is operating the firearm is responsible for its operation AT ALL TIMES. That means being sure about at what you are firing. Additionally, when flushing quail, all members of the hunting party are meant to be in a line, more or less, and only shoot in an approximate 150 degree arc in FRONT of the group.

That means that Whittington coming up BEHIND the group is not a reason for him to be shot.

THAT means that The Vice President Screwed Up. Accident? Sure, maybe. Probably. Should he own up that he Screwed Up? Yes. If I hit a pedestrian with my car and it's an accident, it's still my fault because I was driving the car. The Veep is not special because he is a rich politician. Personal Responsibility, people.

Oh, and Whittington was thirty yards away just like I am secretly Charlton Heston.

09 February 2006

Angry Post.


The World's Largest Military Spenders (billions)
United States $419
Russia $65
China $56
United Kingdom $49
Japan $45
France $40
Germany $30
Saudi Arabia $19
India $19
Italy $18
South Korea $16
Australia $12

How Big is it?
According to CDI, the U.S. military budget is more than 37-times as large as the combined spending of the seven "rogue" states (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria).

I would like to point out at this time that they cannot afford to attack us. In other words, attacking sovereign nations in the name of defense is, as I have previously expressed, unnecessary. Especially since the last people who attacked us *coughnotIraqcough* were in fact from Saudi Arabia. This is an undisputable fact. Oh, and Osama bin Laden? Not in Iraq.

What is truly icky about this is that with the giant freaking military budget, these people still don't get paid squat, they don't have decent armour, and what armour they have they have to pay for if they get wounded and discharged. "Support the Troops" my hind leg. All those dang magnets are made in China anyway and are just another way for someone to profit from this mess. Whatever happened to tying a yellow ribbon? Or is that not cool enough?


World Food Summit Figures
Incremental annual public investment needed to meet the World Food Summit
goal of halving world hunger before 2015.
• $5.2 billion: Ensure access to food for the most needy.
• $2.3 billion: Improve agricultural productivity in poor rural communities.
• $7.4 billion: Develop and conserve natural resources.
• $7.8 billion: Expand rural infrastructure and market access.
• $1.1billion: Strengthen capacity for knowledge generation and dissemination.
Total investment costs: $23 billion.
Estimated annual benefits of meeting WFS goal:
$120 billion.

My response to these figures (which sort of turn my stomach, given how comparatively small they are) is that it disgusts me that we have so many people in the middle to upper classes whining about welfare and stuff when we spend

Four. Hundred. Nineteen. BILLION dollars on the military, and it would take merely

Twenty-Three Billion

To significantly reduce hunger. In the WORLD.

Does this bother/annoy anyone else? Anyone else at all? To know that if we'd put more emphasis on taking care of people's lives and needs instead of blowing each other to Hell and back all that time...it would actually work?

I've been told time and time again that the way things are are "just the way it is." "We lost perfection with Eden." Ok, except that this is not some mysterious cosmic thing here -- this is cash appropriation.

I now, more than ever, find the "fallen world" excuse just that: an excuse. Damn right -- we ate the fruit which gave us the knowledge of what's good and evil. Maybe we should USE that knowledge instead of cruising around with our hands covering our eyes and ears screaming "Fallen world! WMDs! Fallen world! We have to defend ourselves!" and pointing fingers at everyone except for ourselves.

I'm sitting on the seventh floor of the library on campus, which is the highest place on campus, and I can see probably about thirty miles in each direction. And I feel so blessed to be safe, and well-fed (perhaps a bit too well-fed) and to have the family, friendships and relationship that I have. And at the same time all of that makes me angry because it's by the grace of God that I have fallen into this life. It's by the grace of God that all of us have fallen into the lives we lead.

And for some reason, it's considered more important to blow up those less fortunate rather than feed them.