But Sweetheart . . .
Payback from wife to husband. The "sweetheart" referenced in the heading is my wife's way of addressing me when payback is en route. Thanks, Bigwig, have a cowslip.
Light reading
Just finished The Postman, am in the middle of And I Lived to Tell It All.
Good riddance
Just heard that John Magaw resigned from TSA. Had to search at Drudge to find a headline on Washington Post to confirm. There's a reason they announce these things on Fridays.



We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.

What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.

Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:

- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties

- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny

We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.

And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.

And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come.
Poodle Shooting
Weird. Steven DenBeste posts about the marksmanship drilled into every Swiss male, and Coyote fields a question about poodle-shooters, while I'm working up a post on Committee of Safety muskets. It's coming, please be patient. I'm fact-checking my own ass.

You can study ahead: find the 12th edition of Small Arms of the World by Ezell, and read the chapter on Rifle Development Since World War II.
What's the difference between armed and heavily armed?
In at least one news story of the LAX shooting, the perpetrator Hesham Hedayat is held to be "heavily armed". Two sidearms and a knife? There's a reason they're called "sidearms."

In contrast, Chris Bray explains in a Reason article how the press poorly understands the military:
"U.S. infantry units of every type tend to be grouped in rifle companies of 200 . . . armed in part with machine guns and grenade launchers . . . The very thing that distinguishes the Rangers, if you’re inclined to be picky, is not that they are more heavily armed than other infantrymen, but rather that they are often less heavily armed . . . "
Emphasis mine.

So a force of 200, carrying company machine guns and grenade launchers (in addition to individual weapons such as carbines, sidearms, and yes, [shudder] knives) is lightly armed. But one man carrying two handguns and a knife is heavily armed.

To be fair, it is a question of context. Hedayat was carrying more armament than people usually do in LAX (whether that is true in comparison to the Los Angeles area as a whole, versus the airport, is another matter). He was probably carrying no more than the El Al security were---backup handguns are common, as are folding knifes, in that field.

The meaning of this term has been dulled to cliche by careless usage, much like hard-earned dollars, law-abiding citizen, or unarmed women and children. I humbly propose a moratorium. Just stop writing heavily armed when simply armed will do.