Friday, October 30, 2009

Well, THAT sucks

The following story is the first I can remember of an adult being killed by coyotes, although I've read more than a few stories about adults being threatened/attacked by the little prairie wolves.


Toronto musician dies after coyote attack in Cape Breton

Taylor Mitchell, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Toronto, died this morning after she was attacked by two coyotes while hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park yesterday.

"[The victim] was airlifted to the QEII hospital in Halifax, where she died of her injuries early this morning," Sgt. Bridgit Leger of the RCMP said in an interview.

Officers with the RCMP detachment in Cheticamp, N.S., responded to a 911 call placed around 3:15 p.m. yesterday. When they arrived on Skyline Trail, a popular hiking route in the park, they found two coyotes attacking the young hiker.

Read the rest of the article here.


What a sad end to a life that just barely begun. The article goes on to say that the area where she was attacked is a popular hiking venue, so I'd assume she probably felt safe in going there. But nothing is certain in life and this young woman paid the ultimate price for not heeding, or perhaps not knowing, this. I'm not going to go into my usual spiel about having some type of appropriate protection with you at all times, for that would be redundant and out of place just now. Besides, the wise already know it.

Take care.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dinner's cold, where have you been?

One of the most ironic ideas I’ve heard over the last six months is that President Obama is swinging this country towards socialism. I’ve actually read more than one story where people are hopping mad because they believe Obama is taking America from freedom to socialism in one fell swoop. I’d just like to ask these people where they have been. You don’t go from freedom to socialism (fascism is actually closer to the mark, but I digress) without either one of the following two conditions being met: brute force, as from an invading army (or a domestic army/government gone bad); or because your country has been heading that way for a while anyway. America falls under the second condition, and it has for the last century +.

The Johnny-come-latelys to the (correct) notion that America is already far down the path towards socialism belie their own ignorance every time they open their mouths to blame Obama for our present course. While they are spot on in their assessment of the current President’s intentions, a Barack Obama could not have been elected without the gradual acceptance over the generations that government should insinuate itself more and more into virtually every aspect of the daily lives of Americans because it somehow knows best.

The Tea Party movement was a great display of (some) Americans waking from their decades-long slumber, but it is doomed to failure, ultimately, because it has no real philosophical underpinnings, at least none that I’m aware of. To make it a lasting force to be reckoned with would require it to transcend the usual Democrat vs. Republican partyism and take the moral high ground by stating that nearly everything the government is involved in is anti-liberty, anti-individual, and wholly socialist.

Unfortunately, the same people in the movement today will go back to sleep if the next election cycle produces a Republican majority in Congress, and two years after that, a Republican president. This might slow the run towards socialism to a crawl, but it certainly won’t reverse it, because Republicans, both the elected and the electorate, like big government. Big G brings perks Republicans like (the War on Drugs; a big-stick military; pilfering the productive for the benefit of the retired, etc.) that a government hemmed in by a pesky, adhered to, document of limitations on its actions (such as the U.S. Constitution) wouldn’t/couldn’t. (It’s only in how to use Big G that Republicans differ from Democrats, not in the notion that it shouldn’t exist in its present form.)

Obama is not dragging this country down the path to socialism; all he’s done is merely taken over the controls of a freight train headed that way already. Sure, he’s nudged the accelerator forward a bit more than a Republican might have, but we were going that way anyhow. Those who think everything was hunky dory, or at least tolerable, before Obama’s election have no clue about how much of the problem they really are.

(BTW, I am well aware that the Tea Party movement is not only made up of disgruntled Republicans, so please don’t take me to task for coloring it as such. But I believe disgruntled Republicans form the nucleus of the movement. On another note, it’s nice to see some Ayn Randism has infiltrated the movement [see photo above], as that can only be a good thing.)

Take care.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Overheard at a gun store...

I was in my local gun store a few days back, the first time I've been there in about a month (I'm actually pretty bored with acquiring new guns; for my needs, what I have is plenty--sorry if I've offended the gun whores, gun rags, and gun marketers out there with my sacrilege), and I actually heard a customer telling the clerk that "any [hand]gun that doesn't start with a four [I presume he meant caliber] doesn't have enough knockdown power." [Emphasis mine.] He said this while looking at some type of Ruger automatic, I believe.

I know I shouldn't be too hard on him, for he was just parroting what he's likely heard for years from various puffed-up pontificators in the gun world. Handguns don't have "knockdown" power. If they did have this attribute, they'd be unmanageable to shoot, at least for more than one shot. In fact, I really don't care all that much that he apparently puts so much faith in his statement; to each his own. It's just that I'm willing to bet he also believes that anything sub 40 caliber is somehow substandard, which is definitely not true.

Oh well, people labor under illusions and false assumptions every day, hence the Democrats in power today (but it would be just as true if the Republicans held the reins). I just thought those of you in the know would find his comment entertaining.

Take care.