Occam’s Chainsaw

 

Early on in my time in the military I had a senior NCO tell me never to bring him a problem unless I had an idea for a solution.  As you might guess, that kept a lot of people out of his office crabbing about everything from warm egg salad to having to change the oil in the motor pool.  But, it’s a useful approach to life, and more importantly, when you analyze a problem often times you see patterns and eventually, novel but simple solutions.   Think of it as Occam’s Chainsaw.

Will Rogers is credited with saying that some people learn from the mistakes of others but that “other folks have to pee on the electric fence.”  Shocking, I know.  But the fact is if you look at the coverage of Portland on Twitter (because other than Fox and OAN, there is no coverage in the mainstream media), here’s what you learn.  Every day thousands of actual protesters show up carrying signs, being peaceful.  Every day a bunch of communists shows up behind them, carrying everything from explosives to loaded magazines.  When the actual protesters get tired and go home, mayhem unfolds until the early morning hours when the feds break up the party with tear gas, rubber bullets, and the occasional thwack upside the head with a baton.  As a parenthetical note, I would like to see more thwacks and less tolerance, but I’m just that kind of guy.  The “wall of moms,” “wall of costumed vets,” and “wall of dads” (most of whom are not) act as buffers to give the real rabble the chance to engage the federal officers with violence and then whine about the arrests.  The women put on an unconvincing act.  Last night I saw a woman kick and hit a federal officer and then act shocked when she was arrested for assault, claiming she was a “nice girl for Wisconsin,” although the expletives that followed seemed to negate that narrative.

Getting back to Will; maybe the feds should consider buying a bunch of Super Soakers and filling them with India ink.  Not the stuff that fades, but stuff that’s nearly indelible.  Then instead of using that fence in the manner it was intended, throw some of the same stuff farmers use to keep cattle inside on that fence and crank up the power to about 20 volts.  Not enough to kill someone, but enough to get their attention.  The counter to this, of course, is rubber gloves, which would come the next night.  But it would be delightful to see people trying to push that fence get zapped for their troubles.  And the next night, when the gloves come out, so does the India ink solution (saltwater based) and the super soakers.  Not only will you be able to readily identify the nincompoops who are destroying government property, you might just get them a little “charged up.”  Of course, having a wall of cops and enough people to block off escape routes would make it much easier to arrest and detail all the inked idiots who could then be charged.  Their bail should be conditioned on not coming within 10,000 feet of the courthouse, too.

Another idea: BBs.  Yes, the same things Ralphie shot from that Red Ryder, but only about 400,000 of them in buckets.  When the morons start to charge the wall, roll out the BBs, and make sure to get it on camera because it will be great footage for America’s Stupidest Criminals.

The next night, break out about 5 ccs of Ethyl Mercaptan.  You won’t need much.  But put it in a few of those super soakers and start spraying it around those knuckleheads.  Someone is going to recognize the smell of leaking gas, and most of the cowards will run for the hills.  And, if they don’t, then hose them with it.  It will be as good a marker as the India ink when it comes time to arrest the property destruction crew.

Now, none of these are lethal, and none of these are harmful.  Sure, they’d be unpleasant, but they wouldn’t be the kind of thing that would irritate a federal judge.  One would think having your workplace assaulted 60 nights in a row would be rather annoying, but judges are, to their credit, trying to be fair, I guess.  But, as far as the fireworks go, it’s time to find the source of these munitions and make some arrests.  By now if you’re selling mortars to someone, you know what’s happening with them.  They need to go down for conspiracy to commit armed assault.  I’m sure the ATF has a charge or two they could use.

And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.  Sending a few of these mutants to the Home for Sightless Simpletons would send a very strong message about using lasers to blind people.  The law of Circumnavigation:  that which goes around, comes around.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Anthony L. DeWitt: Will Rogers is credited with saying that some people learn from the mistakes of others but that “other folks have to pee on the electric fence.”

    Once, anyway.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Maybe the Israelis will lend us some …

    I love the way Efraim grins when he says “very bad smell.”

    • #2
  3. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Anthony L. DeWitt: I had a senior NCO tell me never to bring him a problem unless I had an idea for a solution.

    Great example of bureaucratic thinking:

    If you have found a problem that requires me to take responsibility and exercise leadership, keep it to yourself…that’s an order, soldier!

    This is one reason why the Left’s promises of utopia, once the bureaucracy has total control, is never fulfilled.

    • #3
  4. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    You should check out Malcolm Jameson’s Bullard Reflects.

    • #4
  5. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    You should check out Malcolm Jameson’s Bullard Reflects.

    If it’s a good, dangerous laser, why would you need a parabolic mirror??  Wouldn’t a flat mirror be far more effective, and cheaper?  A parabolic mirror would disperse the beam and render it harmless, right?

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Anthony L. DeWitt: Will Rogers is credited with saying that some people learn from the mistakes of others but that “other folks have to pee on the electric fence.” Shocking, I know.

    We’re going to be calling in the pun police, right @rightangles?

     

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Anthony L. DeWitt: Another idea: bbs. Yes, the same things Ralphie shot from that Red Ryder, but only about 400,000 of them in buckets. When the morons start to charge the wall, roll out the bbs, and make sure to get it on camera because it will be great footage for America’s Stupidest Criminals.

    Marbles are pretty cheap, too. You can usually get a bunch at the dollar store. Bet the Feddle Gubmint could get great pricing.

    • #7
  8. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Percival (View Comment):

    Maybe the Israelis will lend us some …

    I love the way Efraim grins when he says “very bad smell.”

    I was about to recommend Skunk Juice! 

    • #8
  9. Anthony L. DeWitt Coolidge
    Anthony L. DeWitt
    @AnthonyDeWitt

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    You should check out Malcolm Jameson’s @markcamp Dog gone it Jim, I’m a lawyer, not a physicist….  Whatever kind of mirror would do it, that’s what should be used.  I was thinking it would focus the beam, but like I said, not an expert on photons.  Give me a ham radio and I can figure stuff out, but photo refraction…not my cup of tea.  Thanks for pointing out what appears to be an error on my part.  Every now and again I learn things this way.

     

    • #9
  10. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    Anthony L. DeWitt 

    “. . .   parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    I believe you mean cube-corner reflectors, the things that are used in the reflectors on your car.

    • #10
  11. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    On this one I must quibble. A misdirected reflection might blind a passing bird or squirrel. 

    • #11
  12. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Anthony L. DeWitt (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    You should check out Malcolm Jameson’s @markcamp Dog gone it Jim, I’m a lawyer, not a physicist…. Whatever kind of mirror would do it, that’s what should be used. I was thinking it would focus the beam, but like I said, not an expert on photons. Give me a ham radio and I can figure stuff out, but photo refraction…not my cup of tea. Thanks for pointing out what appears to be an error on my part. Every now and again I learn things this way.

     

    It’s funny…the score is Pedantic Nerd 1, Lawyer 0. I should be happy.  But I’m not.  Instead I am looking all over the Internet for another Science Error by a Lawyer, in every seedy bar in every dicey neighborhood, searching for that high that will bring back that first great rush…

    Anthony, tomorrow I’m gonna be different, and you can type whatever approximately correct physics reference you want, if it supports the main idea, and you will never again get sniped at, not by me anyway.

    • #12
  13. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And the next night, when the gloves come out, so does the india ink solution (saltwater based) and the super soakers. Not only will you be able to readily identify the nincompoops who are destroying government property, you might just get them a little “charged up.” Of course, having a wall of cops and enough people to block off escape routes would make it much easier to arrest and detail all the inked idiots who could then be charged. Their bail should be conditioned on not coming within 10,000 feet of the courthouse, too.

    You’re evil.  I like that about you.

    • #13
  14. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    I also like Chekov’s chainsaw, too. If you see a chainsaw on a table in Act I, it will be applied to something, or someone, in Act III.

    • #14
  15. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    I’m stealing the phrase, “Occam’s Chainsaw,” by the way.  It’s brilliant.

    • #15
  16. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Caltrops could be fun

    • #16
  17. jeffversion1.0 Coolidge
    jeffversion1.0
    @jvanhorn

    Anthony L. DeWitt:

    Now, none of these are lethal, and none of these are harmful. Sure, they’d be unpleasant, but they wouldn’t be the kind of thing that would irritate a federal judge.

    I love the ideas in this post, but based on some of the things that bubble up from the federal judiciary, those people are irritated by all kinds of things a normal person wouldn’t think would irritate them.

     

    • #17
  18. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    jeffversion1.0 (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt:

    Now, none of these are lethal, and none of these are harmful. Sure, they’d be unpleasant, but they wouldn’t be the kind of thing that would irritate a federal judge.

    I love the ideas in this post, but based on some of the things that bubble up from the federal judiciary, those people are irritated by all kinds of things a normal person wouldn’t think would irritate them.

    And when will the ground be better prepared? After 90 days of rioting? 120?

    • #18
  19. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    jeffversion1.0 (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt:

    Now, none of these are lethal, and none of these are harmful. Sure, they’d be unpleasant, but they wouldn’t be the kind of thing that would irritate a federal judge.

    I love the ideas in this post, but based on some of the things that bubble up from the federal judiciary, those people are irritated by all kinds of things a normal person wouldn’t think would irritate them.

    I don’t know, I think Anthony is on to something.  When I was a kid, my best friend got sent to camp every summer.  He came back one year with a story about a bully and a little guy who was his favorite target.  The kid quickly got fed up with the harassment.  One night, he took two tubes of toothpaste, removed their caps, then slipped into the bully’s tent while he was asleep.  He slid the end of each tube into the guy’s nostrils and squeezed.

    The bully’s first thought was to annihilate the little guy, but then he thought better of it.  Anyone who could come up with something that evil was just not worth messing with.

    • #19
  20. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    The problem with incrementalism is the other side survives to adapt.

    • #20
  21. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I had a boss who always had a standard first response when you brought a problem or a complaint: “What do you want me to do?” I liked his approach and I think it worked well.

    • #21
  22. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Y’know, something occurs to me. All the actions Anthony recommends to the Feral gov’t are equally if not more in the capability of small informal counter-insurgency groups. We hear so much about the dreaded White Militia (is it ok to capitalize it here?), so where are they?

    • #22
  23. Anthony L. DeWitt Coolidge
    Anthony L. DeWitt
    @AnthonyDeWitt

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    On this one I must quibble. A misdirected reflection might blind a passing bird or squirrel.

    @sisyphus You gotta break a few eggs…ya know.

    • #23
  24. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Maybe the problem is the “actual protesters…being peaceful.”  If they’re for real, you’d think they’d realize that they’re basically being used as human shields.  If they’re not complete moral defectives, they should find that appalling and refuse to be used in such a way.  If they stop showing up, they stop providing cover for the evildoers.  Given that chain of logic, since they keep showing up, the peaceful protesters are either idiots (quite possible) or willing accomplices.  If the latter…well, that skunk juice stuff sounds pretty good.

    • #24
  25. Anthony L. DeWitt Coolidge
    Anthony L. DeWitt
    @AnthonyDeWitt

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt: And, finally, in addition to glasses that refract the lasers, equip the officers with the most fearsome weapon known to people who use lasers: parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    You should check out Malcolm Jameson’s @markcamp Dog gone it Jim, I’m a lawyer, not a physicist…. Whatever kind of mirror would do it, that’s what should be used. I was thinking it would focus the beam, but like I said, not an expert on photons. Give me a ham radio and I can figure stuff out, but photo refraction…not my cup of tea. Thanks for pointing out what appears to be an error on my part. Every now and again I learn things this way.

     

    It’s funny…the score is Pedantic Nerd 1, Lawyer 0. I should be happy. But I’m not. Instead I am looking all over the Internet for another Science Error by a Lawyer, in every seedy bar in every dicey neighborhood, searching for that high that will bring back that first great rush…

    Anthony, tomorrow I’m gonna be different, and you can type whatever approximately correct physics reference you want, if it supports the main idea, and you will never again get sniped at, not by me anyway.

    @markcamp I didn’t think you were sniping.  I figured you had a better understanding of light physics than I did.  I once wrote what I thought was an outstanding argument in a brief and had the secretary proofread it for spelling, punctuation, etc.  She came back to me and said “I think ya got a problem.”  I had my back up, a secretary telling me I was wrong!  Turns out my argument was self-refuting and it took about 10 seconds for her to do the explanation and the mic drop.  Ugh.  So, for heavens sake, my friend, when a guy is wrong, he’s wrong.  If a man is not humble enough to admit that from time to time he says stupid stuff, he shouldn’t be writing.  Oh, and there’s no worse pedantic nerd than me!

    • #25
  26. Anthony L. DeWitt Coolidge
    Anthony L. DeWitt
    @AnthonyDeWitt

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    I’m stealing the phrase, “Occam’s Chainsaw,” by the way. It’s brilliant.

    @richardfulmer that’s kind of you to say.  Steal away.  

    • #26
  27. Anthony L. DeWitt Coolidge
    Anthony L. DeWitt
    @AnthonyDeWitt

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    mer

    Thank you sir.  It’s a pleasure being evil.

     

    • #27
  28. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    Anthony L. DeWitt

    “. . . parabolic mirrors that can aim the beams right back at the sender.

    I believe you mean cube-corner reflectors, the things that are used in the reflectors on your car.

    It would be easy to fabricate a folding version. But I might experiment with mylar and a  spring-loaded frame.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4vYq31cpyc

    • #28
  29. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Y’know, something occurs to me. All the actions Anthony recommends to the Feral gov’t are equally if not more in the capability of small informal counter-insurgency groups. We hear so much about the dreaded White Militia (is it ok to capitalize it here?), so where are they?

    If there are federal agents on the scene, a proper militia is not unless deputized for some reason. When the federal government resorts to such measures, we are undeniably at war.

    • #29
  30. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Maybe the problem is the “actual protesters…being peaceful.” If they’re for real, you’d think they’d realize that they’re basically being used as human shields. If they’re not complete moral defectives, they should find that appalling and refuse to be used in such a way. If they stop showing up, they stop providing cover for the evildoers. Given that chain of logic, since they keep showing up, the peaceful protesters are either idiots (quite possible) or willing accomplices. If the latter…well, that skunk juice stuff sounds pretty good.

    If they are still there when missiles are thrown and LEOs are assaulted, they are actual rioters, protesters are leaving or have left. You will know them by their actions.

    • #30
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