Monday, 6 October 2014

09:42 – Back around 1970, Gordon Ingram, who’d designed the Ingram machine pistol, and Mitch Werbell, who’d designed the Sionics suppressor, formed a company called Military Armament Corporation, or MAC. Their best-known product was the MAC-10 suppressed machine pistol. The company lasted only a few years, and by 1975 had filed for bankruptcy. The legal wrangling lasted for a few years, but by the late 1970’s their remaining component and finished-goods inventory was dumped on the market. I remember it well. MAC-10 machine pistols were selling for $35 each, and the Sionics suppressor for another $35.

If I could have gotten complete MAC-10’s for $70, I’d probably have bought several. The problem was, both the MAC-10 and the Sionics were Class 3 firearms, which meant you also had to pay a $200 transfer tax for each to the federal government, for a total of $470 for a complete MAC-10 with suppressor. At the time, that was the equivalent of about $2,000 today, but it was also the Carter era with its extremely high inflation. I remember thinking at the time that the $200 tax hadn’t changed since the National Firearms Act was passed in 1934, and if it remained unchanged that inflation would someday make that $200 tax trivial. Here it is 35 years later, and the tax is still $200, or about $50 in 1979 dollars.

And indeed Class 3 Firearms dealers seem to be a lot more common than they used to be. In 1979, there were very few of them around. I’m not sure there was even one in every state. They tended to specialize in NFA firearms and destructive devices rather than being general gun dealers. The other day, I was looking into local shooting ranges and was surprised to find that one of them offers silencers (suppressors) for sale. A quick check showed many other gun dealers and shooting ranges are doing the same, that suppressors are now popular accessories for hunters, and that rifles and pistols with threaded barrels designed to accept suppressors are now readily available. I suppose it’s not surprising. When the act passed, that $200 tax was more than some people made in a year, and was a month’s salary or more even for doctors, attorneys, engineers, and bank presidents. Nowadays, a $200 tax is pretty trivial for many people who would want to buy a suppressor or automatic weapon.

67 thoughts on “Monday, 6 October 2014”

  1. This is another week from hell on the work front. Regarding my ripping article, I am going to be late on that, but I AM working on it. I had thought that I had done this once before and posted it to the old “General” discussion in the archives of this forum. But after a search for it, apparently, I did not document it here, and I do not seem to have a local copy of it.

    So what I thought would just be a revision of something I already composed, is turning out to be a whole new creation. Not a problem, because, as I mentioned, I have to document this for the radio project (comprised solely of volunteers), anyway.

    I will get to it; it just will not be ready as soon as I thought.

  2. Thanks, Chuck. A good product often can’t be rushed.

    Line from “High Road to China”: The oxen are slow… but the earth is patient.

    Always liked that movie. Good scenery, plot, characters. Under rated IMO.

  3. Yeah, thanks, Mr. Chuck; no rush on that as fah as I’m concerned; I’ve been meaning to get around to ripping here as we have a substantial library of both CDs and LPs and a few cassettes. Also wanna transfer a bunch of VHS tapes to DVDs at some point; nice wintuh projects, when one gets tired of stacking and hauling damp firewood and pushing, shoveling, and blowing snow outta the driveway and scraping ice off the vehicles. I actually don’t mind doing that stuff but as with other physical activity of late, three or four hours of it and I gotta siddown.

    Very windy here today, mostly sunny, temp around 60 or so.

    Now back to revamping the ol’ resume, sending letters out, making calls, etc. For fun I may build a CentOS 7 “Everything” server from scratch this week and mod an 870.

  4. The problem with Class 3 stuff is that it puts you on a special list. In case of 2nd Amendment revocation, you will be visited first by the ATF or some other alphabet soup agency. The rest of us will get to wait for the APC to stop at the end of our streets with the announcement to bring out your guns.

  5. I wouldn’t bother trying to transfer VHS tapes to DVD. The image quality is terrible on the original, even assuming that it hasn’t degraded from aging or wear, and the analog-to-digital conversion degrades the image further. Also, don’t be surprised if you end up with some severe audio-sync problems.

    Much better just to visit PirateBay, set your upload ratio to 0.00 and torrent away. You can probably find most of what you want there. I’m currently downloading the new episode of Heartland S8 every Monday morning after it airs on Sunday. I’ll collect those until the season is finished, burn all 18 episodes to about six DVDs, and binge-watch them with Barbara. That’ll be next May. The S8 DVDs will probably become available next October, at which point I’ll buy the boxed set and toss the burned DVDS.

  6. Hey Chuck, you have maintained in the past that Rush Limbaugh’s listenership is rapidly declining. Somebody called into Sean Hannity on Friday with that very question. Hannity said the ratings were not the total picture anymore. Hannity, Rush and others now have directly paid listeners who listen over the net. Hannity said that his listenership has never been higher when you add in the paid listeners. And, only the advertisers under NDA get those numbers.

    I happen to know three separate people who listen to Rush over the net for $50/year or something like that. They are not dependent upon the variety of radio stations in order to get their fix.

  7. Well, if it comes to that, they’ll be making a LOT of visits, and running them APC’s around to a LOT of towns and cities across the country. I don’t think they have the manpower, and judging by their SS performance at the WH, even their elites are a bunch of clowns (excepting the spec ops guys in the various branches, who need to wake up and realize they’re being used as expensive cannon fodder by ass-hats and malicious sons of bitches chicken hawks.)

    If one of them stops by here, hey, all my chit fell outta the kayak months ago, somewhere out on the lake there, not sure where, very foggy and dark that night.

  8. I’m already on so many lists that I don’t worry about it. And I’ll be very surprised if the government ever attempts wholesale confiscation of firearms. There are just too many out there, in too many people’s hands. The government doesn’t have enough people by several orders of magnitude to do it simultaneously, and an attempt to do it serially would backfire big time.

  9. Besides which, I accidentally lost all my weapons and ammunition, including the two rimfire rifles we bought last week. I’m expecting a call in the next few days to come pick up the two shotguns we just bought. On the way home, I suspect I’ll accidentally lose them, too.

  10. According to that article, there are only about 290 million firearms in the US, or about 0.9 per capita. I think that’s a gross underestimate, even considering blue states. My SWAG is half a billion to a billion.

    Hell, there are a lot of people out there who don’t even know that they own one (or several). Just ask auctioneers who do estate sales how often they run into elderly people who weren’t even aware that there were guns in the house. I remember talking to one years ago who told me about auctioning the contents of an elderly widow’s home. She had more than 50 guns in the attic and wasn’t even aware they were there. I suspect that’s pretty common.

  11. As far as ammo control, if push ever comes to shove, remember the .45ACP single-shot Liberator pistol from WWII. They were intended to be dropped into Nazi-occupied areas. The idea was that the resistance fighter would shoot a Nazi in the head and steal his weapon and ammunition. The same thing could happen here if the government ever tries to make the 2nd Amendment go away by restricting ammo availability.

    As one of Custer’s officers allegedly remarked at Little Big Horn, “there sure are a lot of them and not many of us”.

  12. Do you download from Pirate Bay by some sort of anonymizing server?

    No, why would I? I’m not breaking any US laws by downloading only, which is why I throttle my upload bandwidth to zero. The only prosecutions in the US have been for “making available”, i.e., uploading to a server for others to download. Just downloading what’s already available isn’t illegal.

  13. Nowadays, a $200 tax is pretty trivial for many people who would want to buy a suppressor or automatic weapon.

    A manager at my last job had his class 3 dealer permit. He mostly sold suppressors. The problem with full auto weapons is that there is a finite supply. Individuals can’t buy anything manufactured after the amendments to the firearms law went into effect in 1986. As I understand it, full auto weapons go for $5000+, depending on age and condition.

  14. Yeah, even the cheapest auto weapons are damned expensive now. Not only is the supply limited, but every time they’re transferred they incur that $200 non-refundable tax.

  15. I’ve heard tell, but have not verified, that certain semi-auto weapons can be made selective-fire. Probably just b.s. rumors and suchlike, though.

    I’d also guess half a billion to a billion firearms out here, plus LOTS of reloading and homemade ammo going on. Not to mention stockpiles of it all over the place, esp. including gummint stockpiles. I bet somebody would love to run across one of those CONEX containers out in the middle of nowhere, loaded with 9mm and 5.56.

    Good luck to the gummint thugs who try a nationwide op on that level; when they can’t even stop a PTSD vet from climbing a 7’6″ fence and rushing right into the WH, and by the way, he didn’t get stopped right at the door like the initial reports said; he was well into the building before somebody tackled him. Not to mention the other vet that rode with Barry in the elevator while CCW. LOL.

  16. One of the online FFL organizations seems to mainly be pushing the suppressor sales, and the ads and stories are all over the gun magazines.

  17. Been out of contact for a couple of weeks. Personal trip out west and business trip in the same area combined. Did do some minor checking of email while traveling.

    Sorry to hear about your job OFD. I sort of suspected that something like that would happen, or you would bolt, based on your description of the environment. Fighting many small fires while having to learn is never easy. Everyone’s problem is more important than someone else’s and you are were always going to piss someone off.

    Keep the ol’ head up. Something will turn up.

  18. I understand that people in the USA are now simply acquiring suppressors to protect their and bystander’s hearing, not to mention the delicate health of nervously-inclined potential targets. This is in addition to any ear-muffs or plugs fitted to the shooter, the targets, the bystanders, and the ducks and deer.

    Makes sense to me. A firearm with suppressor fitted is a lot easier to remember than your bedside earmuffs.

  19. Perfect description of it, Mr. Ray.

    I have two nibbles today on my current availability status so fah. Both would be gigs in the immediate area. Knock on wood.

  20. Good luck, Dave. I understand that what you really want is a job to generate some income while you work toward being your own boss. Would either of those gigs be appropriate to offer your services to as a contractor/consultant? Not everyone needs or wants a full-time IT guy, and even if they do many will hire consultants to fill in the time/skills gaps that their full-time employees can’t cover.

  21. I’m already on so many lists that I don’t worry about it. And I’ll be very surprised if the government ever attempts wholesale confiscation of firearms. There are just too many out there, in too many people’s hands. The government doesn’t have enough people by several orders of magnitude to do it simultaneously, and an attempt to do it serially would backfire big time.

    There are many scenarios for the cause of the Second American Civil War ™ and that is just one of them.

    I can see Hilary directing the USA Army to collect weapons in a heartbeat. I think that constitutional rights of citizens does not matter much to these people. After all, they know what is best for the rest of us.

  22. “…what you really want is a job to generate some income while you work toward being your own boss. Would either of those gigs be appropriate to offer your services to as a contractor/consultant?”


    One of the gigs would be using my services as a contractor for a contractor, which is fine with me, been there, done that. The other one would be “permanent,” but that is such a big joke to me now I don’t even take it seriously. At most it’s another year or two of slaving for others at this point.

    “I think that constitutional rights of citizens does not matter much to these people.”

    Mr. Lynn, those rights haven’t mattered in this county since well before “these people.” The rulers kicked off the permanent national security state in 1947 and have been ratcheting it down ever since; we’ve been on a permanent war footing since 1941. Prior to that we had that pesky tax withholding thing on the money we make from employers (another reason to get out from under); Father Abraham and his war criminal generals destroying the South; Shays’s Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion. Even before all that the bastards subverted those rights at the secret proceedings of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 (see the compilation by Robert Yates and John Lansing) and also see the Anti-Federalist Papers and several of the historical novels and essays by the late Gore Vidal.

    They’ve known what is best for us, and more importantly, for themselves, since the very beginning.

  23. I can see Hilary directing the USA Army to collect weapons in a heartbeat. I think that constitutional rights of citizens does not matter much to these people. After all, they know what is best for the rest of us.

    I forgot to mention that I can see Obala seizing weapons and ammo after the elections this year in November. I suspect that he is going to do a lot of things after the election. Basically daring the house and senate to impeach his imperialness.

  24. Even he isn’t that stupid, and the actual rulers will either forbid him any such idiotic attempt or they’ll tell him to go ahead, so he can befoul himself and be taken out, one way or another. He’ll do plenty after the midterms anyway, without having to resort to a riot-and civil-war-inducing maneuver.

    Congress? Useless. I would abolish the Senate completely. And shoot almost all the lawyers forthwith.

    Then Dr. Bob and I can currycomb the rest of the gummint and shut it all down, or just about all. We’ll put Mr. SteveF in charge of martial arts training, let our shock troops practice on prisoner-lawyers and stockbrokers, for example, just like the Spetznatz troops used to do.

    MrAtoz and me will be buzzing Wall Street with the latest strafing and rocketing stuff.

  25. I can see Hilary directing the USA Army to collect weapons in a heartbeat.

    And I doubt the US Army would do it. The military is not full of “obey all orders” robots like shown on TV.

    And way, way too many are from the South.

  26. Wow. That was interesting.

    I’m on the phone now with Father Merrin.

    He’s bringing his valise with him.

    And a small vial of holy water.

  27. On Hannity and Limbaugh. You don’t think they are going to admit that their radio ratings are dropping like a rock do you? Anything Hannity or Limbaugh says about their radio audiences not falling, is pure whistling in the dark. And it is a lie if they deny those ratings are dropping. BTW, the national ratings DO include online streaming, but exclude the people who listen via podcasts. However, overall, stream and podcast listening is barely into double digit percentages for even the best-rated stations, so stream listeners are going to be near negligible for both Hannity and Limbaugh, who are nowhere near high-rated anymore.

    During the early half of the year, Limbaugh was moved off the first-tier stations in almost every radio market in the country. Instead of being on stations that are — or were — in the top 3 of almost every market, most of his stations are now ranked #10 or lower (lower means fewer listeners). For example, KEIB in LA has 12 Spanish stations and 4 college stations ahead of Limbaugh in the ratings and that does not include the English-language music stations which are among the top dozen that are ahead of those Spanish and college stations. San Francisco moved him from a 20kw station to one with 5kw, where he is now rated at #28. What is worse, Limbaugh has made such an ass of himself that his stations are suffering severe ad revenue losses from those who just plain refuse to advertise with him — or on the stations that broadcast him. That is a blow to these ‘new’ stations that are carrying him, who have never faced such a thing before, and some are already dumping Limbaugh because some of their previous long-time advertisers are dropping all ads on their station, — including those that do not even run during Limbaugh’s show but in other programs the station carries. Limbaugh’s recent comments about Robin William’s death, sparked another round of advertiser withdrawals. I will be very surprised if Limbaugh does not retire soon. He will never recover from these fiascos he is riding into oblivion.

    Michael Savage has decimated Hannity’s radio audience, and his numbers are falling nearly as badly as Limbaugh’s. Oddly, Hannity’s TV show is his saving grace, as its ratings are actually increasing. IMO, Hannity will not slide onto other stations like Limbaugh, but will eventually just be dropped.

    About the only thing one can say for either Hannity or Limbaugh, is that they are — at the moment — still carried on a lot of stations — not the best anymore — but that will not last.

    BTW, overall TV ratings have dropped almost as precipitously as Limbaugh’s. Since 2011, overall TV viewership time has declined by more than 50%; households without a TV connected to cable or an antenna has risen by about 5% but the loss is actually greater because the overall number of households is increasing by about the same 5% each year; cable TV connections have dropped over 10% since 2012; at the end of 2013, for the first time ever, less than half of all broadband customers do not have cable; this while subscription streaming like Netlix and Prime have increased their numbers with Prime now growing faster than Netflix. TV industry commentators are predicting a possible additional 25% drop in TV viewership by the end of the year, as the fall season gets off to a lackluster start.

    Here’s an anomaly: although TV audiences are falling rapidly, the cost of TV ads is going up. Ironically, that is being explained as follows — TV still offers the only medium to reach large numbers of people, but as the possibility of reaching large numbers becomes more difficult, the price of trying goes up. Similar thing is happening in cable TV subscriptions — as the number of people dropping cable goes up, cable companies are charging more to those who remain as customers, in order for the cable operations to stay afloat. Time Warner is truly in big, big trouble, with 3 times the disconnects of any other cable company.

    Strange world it has become. Meanwhile mobile viewing is fast approaching one-half of what they are calling ‘all TV viewership’. That may include movies and not necessarily live broadcast TV.

  28. “No, why would I?”

    Well, here ISPs are being coerced into monitoring “illegal” downloads and offenders can get a polite letter from their ISP, or worse. There was a court case a few years back that concluded that ISPs didn’t have to do this, but some do.

  29. Both Limbaugh and Hannity stream from their own servers. Or podcast, I am not sure what is the difference. Hannity kinda implied that half of his radio audience is now listening to him using streaming via his servers. In essence, they are cannibalizing their radio audiences for their streaming audiences at $50/year each. I do not think that your radio numbers are going to include these people going directly to their servers. I do know that you can listen to any of their broadcasts from today to several years back. One of my programmers listens to Rush off his website faithfully each day and skips the radio. So does my Dad and my uncle.

    Here in Texas, both are on 740 AM here in Houston and 820 AM in Dallas. Both stations are huge range transmitters. I can pickup 820 AM over 100 miles south of Dallas in my truck. Sometimes 150 miles.

  30. Strange world it has become. Meanwhile mobile viewing is fast approaching one-half of what they are calling ‘all TV viewership’. That may include movies and not necessarily live broadcast TV.

    Yes it is. I must confess that I do not understand the mobile thing at all. I have no interest in watching a tv show or movie on a four inch screen. Reminds me of the 1960s all over again.

  31. “What’d I tell keep telling ya from Germany? No bras.”

    Fine by me. Especially if they’re racked like the St. Pauli girls.

    Good riddance to Hannity, Limburger and Savage, and good riddance also to broadcast and cable tee-vee. And we don’t listen to talk radio here; it’s either classical, old-school country, or “album” rock. Or shortwave nooz and arts and entertainment.

    I’d say most of our goof-off time here over the years has been devoted, by fah, to reading books. Mostly modern fiction for Mrs. OFD and nonfiction for me, mainly history, poetry and religious. Although I will read one of her fiction books if the writer is a guy, and pretty good; I simply cannot read/fathom women writers, with just a handful of exceptions over the years. (P.D. James, Florence King, Camille Paglia). And the ones from the previous centuries, i.e., George Eliot, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, or Christine de Pisan, bore me rigid.

    Now running the updates for CentOS 7 Everything on a VMware workstation under Windows 8, while also downloading Whonix Gateway and Workstation with Virtual Box on a Mint desktop.

    And watching a couple of episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” or maybe the movie I just downloaded, “Contagion.” Yeah, that’s it, the movie…

  32. Chuck wrote:

    “What’d I tell keep telling ya from Germany? No bras.”

    Your x-ray vision is obviously a lot better than mine…

    I agree she’s a very good looking lady with an inviting cleavage, but how would you know if she’s wearing a bra or not?

  33. “…with an inviting cleavage…”

    Oh c’mon, man; I’VE got more cleavage than THAT!

    Gimme a St. Pauli girl, in of them dirndlen or whatever that blouse is; bringing me a nice giant glass of beer and a big fat spliff…

    And no, the singing chick ain’t wearin’ a bra. Ya don’t need X-ray vision from Dr. Bob’s catalog to be able to see that.

  34. In re declining radio listening in general, I’m being courted by Arbitron. Two letters in the past ten days or so, the first containing one dollar bill and the second two as an inducement to participate in an upcoming survey, followed just a few minutes ago by a phone call from an insistently bubbly young female who, despite my protestations that I barely listen to radio beyond using it as my bedside alarm clock (instantly turned off once it’s awakened me) coupled with my reservations about accepting the cash when I will be returning an almost blank survey form, has inveigled me into participating.

    As Yoda might say: “Desperate must they be!”

  35. For all of our benefits, we need to publicize the study that shows bras cause sagging 😛

    Y’all got seriously good eyes – it’s not so obvious to me. On the other hand, she has the overtone singing totally under control. On the gripping hand, I find the sound of the overtone singing unpleasant, so I didn’t watch the whole video.

  36. “Oh c’mon, man; I’VE got more cleavage than THAT!”

    That may possibly be true, but hers is more interesting. I put up with all that noise she was making just to watch… 🙂

  37. Dressed to Kill alleged that bras are associated with higher risk of breast cancer. It’s not really accepted.

    I’ve heard women claim that they run braless because it’s more comfortable. Others run with a bra because it’s more comfortable. I think a large scale study needs to be made of this topic… 🙂

    My favourite scene from the Monty Python movie The Meaning of Life was where a guy was executed by being chased off a cliff by 15 women in boots, knickers and helmets.

  38. The St. Pauli girls are exceptions. German women, by and large, have tiny titties. Which is fine by me. I never have understood why anybody would want smothered. My mom was well-endowed, and my baby experiences with that, must have had something to do with my attraction to the opposite. And you do not have to have x-ray vision to see the no-bra look on the transit in Berlin during summers.

    On Hannity and Limbaugh, frankly, I do not believe they ‘have their own servers’. Both are contracted to, and distributed by, Premier Networks. Premier is owned by the former Clear Channel, which has just changed its name and is now iHeart Radio. iHeart, of course, was created to be the the distributor of streaming for all of Clear Channel, including the Premier Network offerings, and I just flat out do not believe they would allow either Limbaugh or Hannity to do their own streaming outside of that. They will not even let their own stations do streaming separate from iHeart.

    As for the claim that half their listeners come from streaming, I have never seen anything in the trades that indicates even remotely that could be true, and were it so, Premier would be raving about that. Buyers in the advertising world have access to all the numbers from Nielsen, and I have seen nothing in Ad Age touting such high figures for anybody in their articles about streaming.

    I cannot tell you who to believe, but Limbaugh and Hannity are on fast-sinking ships. And they are at the point where they might as well say anything to get noticed.

    Would be interested to know from medium wave if Arbitron wants you to keep paper diaries, or if it would be a people meter you carry. With the PPM, you might find you listen to more radio than you know, as it will pick up what station you listen to in stores, or even passing someplace walking down the street. Supposedly, Arbitron dispensed with paper diaries and smaller markets have to get their info from other companies now; they (Nielsen, who owns them) just announced that they will no longer use paper diaries for TV ratings. Since buying out Arbitron, Nielsen has made a lot of enemies of their customers, and both stations and ad buyers are dropping Nielsen for some of the upstart competition.

    All I have to do is say I still work in media, and the survey companies hang up on me.

  39. Oh, actually, while TV viewership is falling, overall radio listening is not. Over 90% of the US listens to radio at least once a week, some obviously quite a bit more. In fact, although listening time has been greater in the distant past, the number of people who tune in, has never been higher. In the days of good rock and roll, audiences were concentrated to fewer stations, while the reverse is now true, as they are spread out over many different stations and formats. The days when WABC, WLS, and KHJ had well over half of everyone who was listening to radio in their markets is long gone, thanks to the shift of record company ownership from the mafia to businessmen, who then destroyed music.

  40. Large or small, I don’t care that much. What I hate is ginormous boobs, especially if they’re fakes.

  41. Geez, guys. For me it’s always been a checklist item:

    “Boobs comma two? Check! It’s a gurrl.”

  42. RE: Boobs

    I mostly find really large breasts on a women to kind of disgusting. Probably because most often it’s a side-effect of them being overweight or an indicator that they’re genetically predisposed to being overweight. Also, there’s just something nasty about the way they sag without a bra and that just gets worse with age. If she lays on her back and her boob falls to the side, then I’m running for the door. For me, a B cup is perfect. Perhaps a C if everything hangs right.

    RE: Rush

    It’s amazing how much Rush has sunk from his high in the early and mid 1990s. He was on the NY Times Bestseller List, had a radio and TV show, had his own line of neckties, etc. Now, he’s mostly held up as the poster child for right-wing nut jobs.

  43. Limburger was and is entry-level noob conservatism for those peeps who can’t be bothered to read a book, much less our Founding documents, American history, or the works of guys like Edmund Burke. They’d rather have it shoveled out to them with colorful sound bites and nasty humor about the other guys. And like the other giant porker, William Bennett, they’re great at doling out moral lectures while their own lives are cesspools of corruption and moral decay.

    Good riddance to all these carny barkers, sales hucksters and con artists.

  44. RBT wrote:

    Geez, guys. For me it’s always been a checklist item:

    “Boobs comma two? Check! It’s a gurrl.”

    I couldn’t agree less. Some boobs – big and small – look awful. The ones like deflated balloons, the ones like basketballs, for example.

    I’ve seen very nice A cups, and C cups. Don’t really care for them larger than that. Like Chuck, I think I’d be in paradise in Berlin (or Munich).

  45. In New Zealand, where I spent a few years, suppressors are not only legal, but they are sold on most long arms as a matter of course. After living in the UK for years, where an air rifle is considered the equivalent to a AK-47, I was shocked to see boy scouts earning shooting merit badges. There is some pretty good game hunting in NZ and you don’t want to upset the sheep so suppressors are the norm.

  46. Well, boyz, sorry to say, the fems in this household are at 38DD and 40DD respectively. The former is 5’10” and the latter is six feet.

    Suppressors are going great gunz here in Murka now…

  47. Big ones, little ones–what’s more alluring than the valley between? Think of it as kind of a Zen thing. 🙂

  48. “Boobs comma two? Check! It’s a gurrl.”

    Sorry Bob, I have got to disagree in a fairly major way here. Someone around 3 to 5% of the female population in the USA is running around with one boob. About 10% ??? of that minority is running around with zero boobs. I have no idea how many of them have had reconstruction but it is less than 50%. I met hundreds of them in 2005 while accompanying my wife to MDACC weekly in 2005. It was a very sobering time.

    My wife had a mastectomy and TRAM flap reconstruction in one 12 hour surgery on Feb 8 of 2005. As good as the surgeons did, the man made breast is just not like the natural breast. The reconstructed nipple alone is a giveaway. So is the reconstructed navel.

    In the wife’s case, the surgeon “screwed up”. He usually had 20% of the new breast (reconstructed out of belly skin and fat with two transplanted veins and arteries) fail and die. In the wife’s case, none of the new breast reconstruction failed so she went from a 34C to a 36DD. She had been been a 34E while nursing our babies so returned to that size to keep from having voids in the area. The bottom band size also increased due to the massive amount of scar tissue under her right arm.

    Please ask your women to get their breast exams and mammograms. One out of eight women in the USA will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.

  49. A female relative (not by blood) just had both her boobs removed and reconstructed in one go. I’m not sure how good they look now, but it’s a prospect that would scare the hell out of me if I was a woman. She has a genetic predisposition for breast (and ovarian) cancer so she took preemptive action as she has two young kids. The ovaries are next.

  50. Yes, I actually thought about that in passing, and I should not have said that. In no way do I consider boob size or presence/absence the measure of any woman.

  51. Yes, I actually thought about that in passing, and I should not have said that. In no way do I consider boob size or presence/absence the measure of any woman.


    One of the weirdest things that I did while at MDACC was take my wife down to the hair salon in the basement to get her remaining hair shaved off since chemo had taken about 2/3rds of it already. Several of the ladies were sitting there talking about their reconstructions (or lack thereof). I had to leave, it was depressing me so much. When you see a bald woman in her 50s talking about a bilateral mastectomy with the air bladder replacements, it just breaks your heart.

  52. Not to put too fine a point on it, but can any scientific or medical types reading this blog tell me if whether or not we took the money from, say, DOD’s excellent adventures, or the big-banks-too-big-to-fail bailouts, we might find a cure for this pernicious evil disease? Or Alzeheimer’s, which has afflicted both of my parents?

  53. Cancer and Alzheimer’s are both “difficult” diseases in the sense of developing treatments. Both have had multi-billions of dollars poured into research with little to show for it. Cancer is just a catch-all word for what biologically/medically are actually a host of different diseases. Even breast cancer isn’t just one disease but thousands in the sense that a treatment developed to treat one particular type will be largely or totally ineffective against another type.

    All of that said, if we stopped pouring literally trillions of dollars a year into “defense” and instead focused those funds on developing new treatments (and, particularly, a host of new scientists to develop those treatment), we would probably get a cure in a couple of decades, or even a few years. Breakthroughs are by definition impossible to predict, but one thing we can say for sure is that the more people working on them the sooner they’re likely to occur.

    That’s why I proposed the idea of a real-life Eureka. Encourage anyone with a genius-level IQ to go into science. Pay their way through school, give them whatever lab facilities they need, pay them a big annual salary and a percentage in anything they develop that’s commercialized. Hell, give them a house and people to do all the things they need done. Make them tax-exempt. Make them the new 1-percenters and let them do anything they want with their time. It’d pay off in spades, and it’d cost a tiny fraction of what we spend every year on “defense”.

  54. Yes on what Bob said. My wife got cancer because her genes are damaged and her paternal side of the family is riddled with breast cancer. Every woman on that side going back several generations has breast cancer before age 65 or died of “consumption” in their 40s. Consumption used to be the catchall term for anything the local horse and buggy doctor could not figure out.

    Just as an aside, my cousin, Seanan McGuire writing as Mira Grant, wrote a trilogy about what happened when someone cured the common cold. After a while people starting turning into zombies.

  55. Agreed with Dr. Bob again; throw the money otherwise wasted down rat-holes into med and other scientific research and yeah, make the relevant scientists, engineers and inventors the new One-Percenters, within reason; we know all too well how wealth can change people for the worse.

  56. Real scientists aren’t like most people. If you make them secure for life, promise them a cut of what they invent, take away all the hassles of daily living, and just leave them alone, they’ll work like busy little bees because they love what they’re doing.

    Incidentally, we’re not talking about a lot of people in this Eureka. If you take genius-level to mean four sigmas above the mean, only about one in every 31,500 people qualifies. That’s something like 10,000 total in the current US population. Even if each of them got $10 million a year in salary, benefits, perks, lab space and equipment, assistants, and so on, we’re still talking only $100 billion a year, which is a small fraction of the DoD budget.

    I wouldn’t literally put them in Eureka, though. I’d spread them out because you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. Give them top-notch teleconferencing facilities, whatever else they ask for, and then just leave them alone. In any given year, only 1% of them may discover/invent something really worthwhile, but I promise you that that 1% hit rate will much more than pay for the total costs of the program.

  57. Agreed, Our Own Ten-Thousand, indeed. Fine by me any day. 200 per state.

    The next level down of intelligence can perhaps serve as teachers, doctors, engineers, and the few military officers we’ll need, probably about one-one-hundredth of what is out there now.

    And ignorant drones like me can be left alone to run our households and raise our kids and grandkids and teaching/tutoring actual useful stuff; in my case they’d get a good dose of the updated quadrivium and trivium, with me focusing heavy on the rhetoric and grammar.

  58. Oh, I suspect more than a few of that group would choose to be engineers, physicians, and so on.

  59. Both have had multi-billions of dollars poured into research with little to show for it.

    To the best of my knowledge, Alzheimers/dementia has had a fair bit less funding than cancers until recently.

    Arguably, we are with dementia now where we were with cancers in the ’60s-’70s. In common clinical practice, differentiation between types of dementia (Alzheimers, fronto-temporal, etc) has only started to become common in the past decade. Even now, there’s nowhere near enough measurement of the relative features.

    There are several drugs that are thought to help somewhat with different dementias, but their trials were inconclusive because they were tested on large numbers of people who don’t have the relevant type of dementia.

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