I shudder to announce this

But the Gypsy Queen has presented the White Buffalo with an heir. Any strange omens or ominous portents you have noticed in the last week or so may be safely attributed to this landmark event.

Good for you, you little bastard

When I’m fighting in the Arathi Basin, there are occasionally times when I find myself swarmed and without hope of escape. In that situation, my preferred response is to focus on the lowest ranked attacker, Raptor Strike him and then drop an Explosive Trap. Every third or fourth time, that does enough damage to ensure taking at least one of those Horde rotters with me into the grey spirit-filled yonder. It’s amazingly satisfying.

It’s all but summer now, so the bees are buzzing about and occasionally bumble their way into the house. A rather big specimen did so today, necessitating the use of a small cardboard box to stun him before applying the coup de grace with a paper towel. But even as he buzzed his last, the brave bee struck back by lashing out with an impressively venomous stinger at my thumb, leaving me cursing the freshly deceased insect even as I admired his last great gesture of defiance.

Let the choosers of the slain know that he died well and is worthy of a place in Beehalla.

A dinosaur’s dying gasp

SFWA vice-president Howard Hendrix illustrates the organization’s ironic technological myopia:

I’m also opposed to the increasing presence in our organization of webscabs, who post their creations on the net for free. A scab is someone who works for less than union wages or on non-union terms; more broadly, a scab is someone who feathers his own nest and advances his own career by undercutting the efforts of his fellow workers to gain better pay and working conditions for all. Webscabs claim they’re just posting their books for free in an attempt to market and publicize them, but to my mind they’re undercutting those of us who aren’t giving it away for free and are trying to get publishers to pay a better wage for our hard work.

Thus speaks the heart of a would-be monopolist. I’m not posting my writing here, professionally published and unpublished, because I want to let people read them, but because I want to undercut Howard Hendrix.

SFWA president-in-waiting John Scalzi – for whom I voted – sums it up nicely: “I don’t particularly have anything to say about it, other than to classify it as something akin to a buggy-whip manufacturer railing against the pernicious influence of the automobile.”

This obnoxious species utterly merits their coming extinction. They won’t be missed.

Amazonia 2033

A district in China will be renamed ‘Woman Town’ – with strict rules that whatever women want, they get. And disobedient men will be punished, either with wooden boards or menial chores.

The 2.3km Shuangqiao district in Chongqing will become what is thought to be the world’s first ‘Woman Town’.The town gates will bear the ruling philosophy: ‘A woman never makes a mistake. A man can never reject a woman’s request.’

I’ll bet the men are just lining up to move there. But maybe they can make use of that new single-sex impregnation process. I think it would be a tremendously useful experiment to see what would result from a woman-only society. I estimate that they’d be back to living in caves within three generations.

But nice, tastefully decorated caves, of course.

Good riddance

To both of these prime examples of modern American society:

Grant said he and his wife were arguing in the upstairs of their suburban Detroit house Feb. 9 over what he said were her frequent work trips. She walked away, he said, and he grabbed her wrist. Tara Grant then slapped him in the face, causing a scratch to his nose. Stephen Grant, 37, told police he then hit his wife hard in the head and she fell to the floor.

Tara Grant, 34, told her husband that she would call the police, and he would go to jail for striking her, according to the account. The end result, he claims she said, would be that he would lose custody of the couple’s two young children.

Stephen Grant told police that he then began to choke his wife.

If you’re going to try to send a man to prison and take his children away for hitting you back, then you deserve to die. The fact that you’re using the fraudulent “family courts” as accomplices – they’re not actually part of the judiciary, you should know, but merely executive branch bureaucrats – makes it no more right than hiring a pair of Russian mobsters to grab the kids and taking them to Australia.

That being said, strangling and dismembering the woman on the mere basis of a threat, however credible, is a pretty extreme overreaction. One cannot excuse the behavior of either party here.

Still, it should be noted that women have no more carte blanche to start physical fights with men without risking the natural consequences than smaller men do. I have zero pity for a woman who strikes a man and then gets beaten up; it’s exactly what she or anyone else who starts a physical confrontation deserves. Yes, some men make a habit of attacking women and they should absolutely be punished accordingly. And yet, for every one such man, there are likely five women who make a habit of initiating violence.

Start nothing, finish everything.

It’s always the post office

U.S. Postal Service employee? Check. Disgruntled? Check:

Investigators have said she admitted shooting her husband on March 22, 2006, and that it had something to do with his constant criticism….. But Winkler said she got a job at the post office and that experience taught her to stand up for herself. “That’s the problem. I have nerve now, and I have self-esteem. My ugly came out.”

Okay, there’s just something vastly amusement about someone’s experience at the post office teaching them to stand up for themselves by shooting people. Just what sort of training program do they have there anyhow?

And if constant criticism proves to be an adequate justification for spousal murder, I think there will be an awful lot of annoying women getting shot in the near future.

Through sleet and snow, wind and rain
The postman braves the rigor
Until it leaves him quite insane
And reaching for the trigger