Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lizard on a plane

All of the recent flapdoodle with full-body scanners the TSA has been foisting on the American public in the name of ostensible security reminded me of what air travel was like in my youth. To say the least, it was quite different.

My father was in the military, so our family did a fair amount of travelling by air in the 1960s. Back then, there was no security screening: you paid for your ticket, checked your bags, headed to your gate and got on the plane--no fuss, no muss. You could take on board the plane what you could carry, and never was it even hinted at that someone would want to search your belongings. This is how I was able to get my anole lizard, purchased for one dollar in late 1967, from Detroit, MI to El Paso, TX. That's right, I carried him directly onto the plane without a problem.

How? He was in his plastic cage inside of a brown paper grocery bag that I placed at my feet as I sat down. No other passengers were aware of the stowaway reptile they were sharing their flight with and business went on as usual. The stewardesses, as they were known back then, served food, and snacks, and drinks, oblivious to the extra passenger not on anyone's manifest. When the flight was over, we deplaned and that was that. No one was harmed, no one was groped. I sometimes wonder what other odd and/or exotic cargo made secret trips aboard commercial airliners back then.

But we are a different people now. We are a good deal less realistic (in other words, immature) about life. So many people have bought into the childish notion that life can be lived without limits, especially financial limits, that our government now reflects that belief. We are also less likely to point out obvious truths--such as certain groups of peoples being more likely to commit anti-social acts than other groups of people (think 9-11)--lest the cudgel of political correctness land upon our skulls.

Somehow, though, we muddle through all of these idiocies and indignities, although not unscathed. We are a changed people, less involved in what matters in life and more involved in voyeuristic pursuits. We are distracted to a fault by nonsensical blather and gadgets to the point where we can no longer think out a problem and come to a logical, sensible solution. So we throw up our hands in despair and let the so-called experts in government, business, and banking (the lines of distinction between the three blur more every election cycle) handle the problems--with disastrous results. Then we wonder why things never seem to get better. Wonder no more, friend, go peer in the mirror.

Look how far we've fallen. From peacefully carrying a lizard on a plane to limiting the amount of liquid one can embark with and frisking children.* But the most galling fact of all is that the American people, those fools who live vicariously through sports teams, and theatrically-belligerent, freakish-looking "wrestlers," and actors, are allowing this to be perpetrated upon themselves. The American people are not the bada**es they like to pretend to be; they are cowardly sheep who leave the thinking to the shepard. The few who aren't like that are the ones protesting, but they are fighting an uphill battle against the inertia of the masses.

Take care.

*Yes, I'm aware of the events of 9-11-01. I'm also aware of the entity that created the conditions favorable for that epochal event to occur, the U.S. government through their interventionist policies, chiefly their support of Israel. It's not that the U.S. should or shouldn't be supporting Israel. It's that the U.S. should not be sticking its globetrotting nose into ANY other country's business. If Israel can't survive on its own, then it wasn't meant to be. If it has to use nuclear weapons to survive, so be it. At this point, I really don't care anymore. It's not any of Main Street America's concern; we came over here to get away from all of the strife the rest of the world is perpetually locked in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DEA attempts to justify its existence, predictably fails

Answerable to no one and willed into existence by the FedGov, the DEA, ostensibly designed to protect Americans--especially the children--from themselves, has issued a decree from on high that carries the force of law, but eschews petty concerns, like the consent of the governed, that would give it the scent of legitimacy.

The decree? That legal highs K2 and Spice will be banned by the DEA.

I have no idea what these substances are, and I've never even heard of them before I read the article. But I do know tyranny when I see it, and I'm seeing it in spades with this travesty. The article states that after a 30-day waiting period (if it's such a danger, why wait 30 days?), the drugs will be banned by "the DEA using its emergency powers," whatever those are, for at least a year.

Of course the DEA tries to justify its decision by saying that the substances, which are apparently sprayed on herb leaves and mimic the effect of THC on the brain, have no standards for dosage and some brands are more spiked than others. So are we to believe that this dilemma could be solved by accurate labeling?

Au contraire, the DEA also shows their concern for your well being by stating that unlike real cannabis (so now the DEA's a champion of real pot?), these synthetic forms of cannabis have never been tested in humans and might be harmful to them. They contain chemical compounds that "stick around in the body for quite a long time." So do a lot of other things people ingest, think plastics which leech PBA into food when heated.

Finally, to put a maraschino cherry on top of its unilateral decision, the DEA says the American Association of Poison Control Centers "has received more than 1,500 calls relating to products spiked with these" drugs. Well, there you have it. Conveniently, though, it doesn't say what those calls were about, only that they were "related" to these products. In and of itself, the above statement is meaningless. Perhaps people were asking what amount they should smoke, or if any reports of adverse reactions to the drugs had been received. Or maybe they were DEA agents trying to inflate the number of calls to the AAPCC, who knows? That "the calls came from 48 states and the District of Columbia" is immaterial also, but it was included in the DEA statement as some pretext for widespread DEA intervention.

Look, at this point no one knows if these synthetic compounds are hazardous to human health or not. The DEA certainly does not, yet they make a decree as if they know. Unless compelling evidence can be shown that the drugs pose an immediate threat to health, they should not be banned. Studied, perhaps (at DEA expense); banned, no.

But this whole thing isn't about protecting anyone or anything, save for jobs at the DEA, it's about pure, unadulterated power and the exercise thereof. Think of any justification they might coddle together as the lubricant they'll use to ram that power in/up the American orifice of their choice.

No appeal, no questioning this or any other bureaucratic whim, just do as they say and live with it.

Take care.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pat Tillman

Recently, I finished listening to the audio book version of Jon Krakauer's "Where Men Win Glory--The Odyssey of Pat Tillman." One thing that really stuck with me was how likable Pat Tillman was, at least as presented by Krakauer. Tillman was the antithesis of the typical jock: he had interests outside of sports, he liked to read and write, he was never a skirt chaser, he was honest and loyal, and, apparently, coffee was his only drug of choice. He had a sense of duty and honor not many people have, be it in the NFL or otherwise; unfortunately, these virtues, in a way, hastened his death. I won't go into all of the details of how, as the book explains it better and more succinctly than I could.

The attempted cover-up after Tillman's death, which was the result of friendly fire, is both tragic and sickening. It also merits eternal shame and dishonor on all those involved from the top on down. Those involved are not fit to wear the uniform they serve in.

As to the actual event of Tillman's death, Krakauer explains it in detail. Apparently, a short firefight erupted in a narrow canyon his unit was travelling through. Tillman, who was a ways back of the column, went forward towards the shooting. By the time he got there, the insurgents had fled, but the nerves of the entire unit were on edge after taking fire. He scrambled up one side of the canyon, followed closely by another soldier, and stopped near a large boulder. They were approximately 90-100 yards from the canyon floor. A soldier on the canyon floor saw them and somehow mistook them for insurgents and fired at them. Tillman, apparently dumbstruck that so obvious a mistake could be made at such an easy-to-identify distance, waved his arms to alert the soldier that they were cohorts. This didn't register with the soldier firing, who fired again, this time hitting Tillman three times in the forehead, killing him instantly.

Tillman's body was still warm when the cover-up began. Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother, was also part of the same unit. When he found out his brother had been killed, Kevin, who was farther back in the column than his brother and--thankfully--didn't witness the event, understandably thought it was the insurgents who were responsible and wanted revenge. His superiors, the unit's NCOs and CO, quickly figured out what had happened and did nothing to dissuade Kevin's incorrect assumption. Perhaps that is understandable for unit cohesion in hostile territory, but the lie was allowed to live long after the soldiers returned to safer environs. Indeed, it was perpetuated by those on up the chain of command. What a sad commentary on what is looked upon by many Americans as a noble and honorable profession.

One final thing I'll say about Pat Tillman, and I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but once he was fired upon, how I wish he should have hit the dirt as fast as possible and stayed there. I've no doubt he was exasperated to take fire from one of his own, but until things could be sorted out, the best course of action when taking rounds in your direction, regardless of who they're from, is to make yourself as small a target as possible.

Take care.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It ain't easy

I've finally given bowhunting a try after being a life-long firearms hunter and, to put it bluntly, it's darned difficult. Locating the deer is no problem, as I've found an area with a good population of the creatures, but getting close enough (30 yards max.) to make a shot has been nigh impossible. Had I been hunting with my trusty .30-06, my season would have been over by 9 a.m. the first morning I was out. Unfortunately, although 100 yards, the distance I saw the first deer that day, is a chip shot for me and my '06, it's about three times too far for my bow. Now I understand why so many bowhunters use tree stands to hunt from; I would use one too, but the trees in the area are few and would not support me anyway.

About the only hope I have for filling my tag this year is to figure out where to sit to intercept a deer. I only have two weekends left in the season, so I'd better get wise quickly.

Take care.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Top U.S. military brass, once again showing how little they understand the ideals they purportedly work to preserve, are trying to suppress publication of a book that might give the American public a bit more information on what's going on over there. Do they not understand that working to keep information out of the public's hands is an affront to every soldier who has fought, been injured, or died, not just in this war, but in every war America's involved itself with? This action is tantamount to spitting (or worse) on the graves of soldiers who thought they were fighting for liberty, be it their liberty or some foreigner's.

What, by keeping this book out of the hands of Americans we're going to turn the corner towards victory on this (intentionally) unwinnable war? The wars the U.S. government chooses to involve itself in are no longer fought to be won, and they haven't been since the Korean conflict/war. If this war was a business (it is, actually, but just follow me here), the way it is being run would have not only bankrupted any company, but also would have (rightly) put its executives in the unemployment line due to their own gross incompetence.

Then again, perhaps it's not just the Pentagon's incompetence, for I have a suspicion that no one group can be that wrong so often for so long. The longer I live and learn, the more I see clearly that whoever is pulling the strings way behind the scenes, those who have picked and paid for our so-called leaders, don't really want victory. There's paltry profit in peace.

I haven't read the book, and I doubt I will, even if it is published, and the book may just be another over-hyped molehill, but Americans need to decide that for themselves, not the powers that be.

Take care.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Well, what'd you expect?

No new(ish) M1 Garands and M1 carbines from Korea for you, America, thanks to the O administraton and Hillary C.-word's State Department. But don't worry, they'll likely be put to good use helping to keep smelters somewhere running full blast. Sad, so sad.

Take care.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Missing guns

As part of my on-again, off-again, self-imposed move towards simplicity, I've been paring down my collection of guns to what I really use. Of all the guns I've divested myself of, I can honestly say I don't really miss any of them, but I guess I had to own them to know that.

As my journey through middle age continues, I am beginning to discover that fewer possessions are better if those possessions are used regularly and well. What good does it do to have so many guns, or anything, that you barely learn to know/use well? It would be better to learn how to use one, or two, or three guns and honestly wring out everything each has to offer than to keep a stable of guns with which one has only a passing acquaintance. How many of us in the gun community can say we do that? I know I can't, but I'm working on it and I hope to be able to someday.

I can't say that I'm to the point where I want to be with the number of guns I own, but I'm getting there. Two more left the nest this summer, and maybe one or two will follow at some point in the future. Once I reach the correct amount, I'll know.

In the past, my pulse used to quicken whenever I walked through a gun store or gun show. All those nice, shiny firearms beckoned me to handle them, to take them home. Now, however, all I feel when walking through those venues is ennui. I have what I want/need and it's time to stop acting like a teenager who has a crush on every pretty face he meets. In other words, it's time to grow up.

Take care.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Appleseed Shoot

Nearly three weeks ago, I attended a two-day Appleseed shoot. The purpose of the Appleseed program is twofold: to impart a bit of American Revolution history and make known the sacrifices of many of its participants; and to train men, women, and children to become competent riflemen. Think of it as a history class with a lot of fun, extracurricular activities.

When I say train folks as competent riflemen, I mean just that. No benches were allowed, only firing at targets from positions supported by either the ground (prone) or the shooter’s own body (sitting, kneeling, standing). The only support aid allowed was a sling. Practically all firing was done at silhouette targets placed at 25 meters. The silhouettes varied in size to simulate distances out to 300 or 400 meters, IIRC. Although 25 meters sounds close, it was no mean feat to hit the targets, even from the most stable position, prone. More often than not, I missed them.

A number of different guns were in evidence at the shoot, with a fairly even split between .22 LRs and centerfire rifles. Most were semi-autos, but I saw at least one bolt-action .22 and one lever-action .22. The type of shooting Appleseed trains you for is definitely geared towards the semi-auto-type action. Why? With a semi-auto, you don’t have to break your firing position, and then regain it, after every shot to cycle your gun. But that doesn’t mean that just because you have a semi-auto you’re in like Flynn. I had my Marlin model 60 .22 LR, a gnat-drilling gun from the bench, and I still failed miserably. But I learned my weaknesses--practically everything--and I now know what to concentrate on.

Now that I have one Appleseed shoot under my belt—I’ll likely attend another sometime next summer—here’s some advice for you if ever attend one: One, make sure your gun is sighted dead-on at 25 meters. The class is fast paced and there will be little time to make adjustments if your gun does not shoot to point of aim already. Two, if you think you’re a good shot because you can make tiny three- and five-shot groups from a bench, be ready for an epiphany, and a humbling one at that. Three, as mentioned, the class is fast paced and a lot of information is given in a short amount of time. One instructor likened it to drinking from a fire hose. Four, come with an open mind and leave your preconceived notions behind. Five, if the weather’s hot, and it was for us, bring plenty of water, wear a hat, full-brimmed if possible, bring sunscreen, wear light-colored clothing, and bring a lunch and snacks. Six, bring a chair to sit in between stages. I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

All in all, I would describe the Appleseed shoot as a valuable learning experience, and certainly worth the $70 I paid to attend. (Women, kids, and active-duty personnel may attend free of charge as of this writing.)

Take care.

P.S. My nine-year-old son attended with me on the first day, Saturday. He enjoyed himself, but it was a bit much for him towards the end of the day. In my opinion, twelve or thirteen would probably be the minimum age for a child to get the full benefit of the course.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I don't know why

If you want rhyme or reason for the following video, I have none. Enjoy/endure it, but be warned: if you are squeamish, don't watch it.

There, there, now, it was only 29 seconds of your life wasted.

Take care.

If a Libertarian...

It's been a while, eh?

I found this on another blog and thought I'd post it here. It's spot on in so many ways that I would be remiss not to disseminate it.

If a Libertarian doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Libertarian is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Libertarian is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Libertarian is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of the them.

If a Libertarian doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Libertarian is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Libertarian decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Libertarian reads this, he'll forward it so his friends know how to vote in November!
A Liberal will delete it because he's "offended."

As far as I'm concerned, when the word "Liberal" is invoked above it includes all who are not Libertarian, or at least strongly leaning that way. You may disagree, as is your right; I won't secretly wish for The Powers That Be to silence you.

Take care.

P.S. On the same blog, I spied this quote which, we can only hope, comes to pass eventually; I'm not sure how it couldn't:

The legacy of Democrats and Republicans approaches: Libertarianism by bankruptcy. –- Nick Nuessle

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Technology is great

Yes, technology is great--when it works. I have just this week acquired two devices that, so far, work wonderfully well. One is the Crimson Trace laser grip, and the other is a Bear compound bow.

After much thought, I finally decided I didn't need yet another snubby revolver at home in the safe, in this case the Ruger SP101, so I decided to sell it and use the proceeds to pay for laser grips for my S&W 642 snubby. According to my reasoning this gun is almost always with me and, given its limited round count, I need to maximize my potential for hits should I ever--God forbid--need to use it to defend me or mine. I got the LG-405 grip because it has padding for the backstrap of the frame. Usually, after only a few rounds, the web of my hand smarts after firing the gun, but with the CT grip I fired 20 rounds with no aftereffect.

The first five rounds from the gun with the laser installed were astoundingly accurate. I fired them at 6.67 yards (I forgot my measuring tape and had to step-off the distance, which I later measured at home) and had all five holes touching (see below). 'Twas truly amazing.

The other device I purchased this week was a Bear "Charge" compound bow, financed via the sale of two traditional bows. I was thunderstruck by how easy it is to make accurate hits at 20 and 30 yards with the bow, and I'll need this accuracy if I pull my archery deer tag this year (fingers firmly crossed). It's no wonder the compound bow has become the dominant force in archery. As much as I enjoyed shooting my long bow and recurve bow, I'll never go back to either type. Chalk up another one for technology.

I'll be the first one to step up and say that a lot of products on the market that purport to be quantum leaps usually only make things more complicated without much benefit. That is not, however, always true, as the two products above attest.

Take care.

P.S. None of the companies mentioned in this post gave me any form of compensation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The other white meat

This important news story just in:

DES MOINES, Iowa -- For more than two decades, pork has been known as "The Other White Meat." Now industry insiders think it's time the meat got a new reputation.

The National Pork Board plans to replace its ubiquitous advertising slogan with something officials hope will improve stagnant sales. The slogan, first launched 23 years ago, was successful in rebranding the meat as a dinnertime favorite.

A new slogan, eh? How about "Get porked!" as a new tagline? Hey, it could work.

Take care.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Again I say, why, why, why?!?!?!

Although not quite as senseless as the item in my previous post, this little gem from Smith and Wesson still contains many elements of the absurd. What an unwieldy looking little troll this new "pistol" is. Score another one for the marketers. (I know the centerfire pistol version of the AR has been around for a while from at least one other company, by the way.)

I must confess I've never understood the civilian fascination with the AR platform. While I've never owned one, unless you count the AR180B I had for about a year and then sold (mainly due to boredom with it), I had the military version on loan during my stint in the army. 'Twas a nice rifle, but not really all that. Plus, I don't have a lot of respect for the round it traditionally chambers, accurate though it may be.

Getting back to the S&W: Good luck with your new pistol (snicker, snicker) S&W, you'll probably sell a ton of them. This gun reminds me of the line that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Take care.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why, why, why?!?!?!

I've seen these add-on items for other pistols and I never understood their value unless one plans on fighting in trench warfare. But at least the other models I've seen were for full/compact-size handguns. Laserelyte's latest pistol bayonet for the North American Arms mini, however, seem the insane answer to an insane question.

On the other hand, with the strikingly poor accuracy of the NAA mini (I have one, so I know), maybe having knife on the gunlet isn't such a bad idea.

Take care.

A bit too literal

The following news story appeared in our local paper a couple of weeks ago.


A man was arrested Tuesday after police believe he shot himself with a handgun and later pawned the firearm.

Randy Steinke was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon Tuesday morning after seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to his right hand at Memorial Hospital, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department blotter.

Though the man originally claimed his mother accidentally shot him in the hand, police said he was holding the .32 caliber handgun when the firearm discharged.

Police later recovered the gun at a pawn shop.


Yes, Randy, it was a handgun, but that doesn't mean it's meant to shoot that particular body part. (In the interests of full disclosure, I borrowed the handgun bit from the old comedy team of Proctor and Bergman.)

As an aside, I wonder what felony he was convicted of, and how could he have gotten a gun in the first place with a record? ;)

Take care.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

They call it riding the gravy train

If this story is exactly as reported, something never assured with the press, it's just another sign of how venal and contemptible we've become as a people.


Woman says she fell asleep, woke up alone on plane
May 27, 2010 (5:44p CDT)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - A Michigan woman who fell asleep on a United Express flight to Philadelphia says she woke up and was shocked [!] to find she was alone on the plane.

Ginger McGuire said no one had awakened her when the plane landed more than three hours earlier. She said she paced the aisle for about 15 minutes early Tuesday until the locked door opened and police demanded identification.

"Waking up to an empty airplane and not being able to get out - it was very horrifying," [Yeah, if you were a 10-year-old child, not an adult of 36.] McGuire, 36, told reporters Thursday as her lawyer announced a lawsuit. [Ride that gravy train, girl!]

McGuire said she simply fell asleep after a long trip that stretched from Detroit to suburban Washington and, finally, Philadelphia. She said the plane landed Tuesday about 12:30 a.m. EDT.

United Airlines spokeswoman Sarah Massier declined to comment because the incident has led to a lawsuit. A message seeking comment was left at Trans States, based in Bridgeton, Mo. The Transportation Security Administration said it was investigating.

The United Express flight is operated by Trans States Airlines in partnership with United Airlines.

McGuire's attorney, Geoffrey Feiger, said his law firm filed a lawsuit against United and Trans States, alleging negligence, false imprisonment [Oh, come on!] and distress. McGuire lives in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb.

"For a crew to leave her there and lock her is beyond a gross abuse," Fieger said.


Granted, the airline was negligent in not thoroughly checking to see if all the passengers had disembarked, but no real harm was done, so why sue?

Because, of course, they, McGuire and her lawyer, smell an easy payday. She was oblivious to her "false imprisonment" for all but 15 minutes, so how much distress could she have experienced? I hope this lawsuit gets laughed out of court, but it will probably be taken seriously and the (supposedly) aggrieved party will get many thousands of undeserved dollars.

McGuire may have a legal leg to stand on in today's litigious climate, but that doesn't make what she is doing right. People make mistakes, and when those mistakes cause physical injury to another party through negligence, be it intentional or otherwise, I'm all for bringing suit. But this case is ridiculous, and what McGuire is doing is immoral.

Take care.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A victory for CCW holders in Colorado (and hooray! for Sheriff Maketa)

Via a recent court decision, Colorado has become a bit safer for college students. Here's part of an editorial in The Gazette addressing the issue.


[All following emphasis mine.]

The dangerous new gun ban at Colorado State University is gone, thanks to a wise decision by the university’s board of governor’s Wednesday to rescind it.

Gun bans remain at most other campuses in Colorado for now, including the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said he will undermine the UCCS gun ban until it goes away.

“Nobody’s coming into my jail on that charge,” Maketa told The Gazette’s editorial department. “I will not cooperate with that in any way because in my view it’s not a legitimate and arrestable offense.”

The Colorado State board rescinded its gun ban because of a ruling by The Colorado Court of Appeals April 15 that said the ban at another institution, the University of Colorado, violates the Colorado Concealed Carry Act of 2003. The ruling revives a lawsuit brought against CU by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus that had been dismissed last spring by El Paso County District Judge G. David Miller. The CU Board of Regents has not rescinded its ban and may appeal the appellate court’s decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. The regents can appeal all they want and they will ultimately lose. What then?

“One has to comply with the law,” said CU Regent Kyle Hybl, a Colorado Springs attorney.

That means we can expect all state-campus gun bans to disappear in Colorado. They are illegal for good reason.

“The legislature protected concealed carry so that governing entities would not create safe havens for criminals,” Maketa said. “Gun bans tell criminals the risk is low. Criminals weigh risk versus reward, and they are comfortable with gun-free zones. We have more than 15,000 active concealed-carry permits in El Paso County and the number is growing. I like it when that gets out because it enters the mind of a criminal who’s contemplating a crime against a person.”

The Legislature did nothing to exempt students or campuses from the protections of the Concealed Carry Act, and the appellate court accepted none of CU’s arguments.

Campus gun bans get students killed because killers don’t obey them. It’s hard to know how the Virginia Tech massacre might have been different if all law-abiding adults hadn’t been disarmed. We know that psychopath Seung-Hui Cho disobeyed the gun ban and killed 33 students over a span of nearly three hours without resistance because nobody within sight or earshot of the carnage was armed.

Soon all campus gun bans will be gone in Colorado. Someday society may look back with disbelief regarding rules that made sitting ducks of young adults on campus.


All I can say is that this action is past due. It's nice to savor this victory not because it's a pro-gunner vs. anti-gunner thing, but because it's a logic vs. illogic issue.

Take care.

Mother's Day

Hot on the heels of the last post, although they are in no way related, I'd just like to wish all good mothers a happy Mother's Day. Being a mother, from my perspective, means incurring a debt that will never be completely repaid. It's far too often a thankless task, and the good ones are rarely appreciated until they are no longer there, be it temporarily or permanently.

If your mother is still alive, give her a hug and, if possible, spend some time with her and let her know the positive impact she had on you. I'll be visiting my mother today, but, unfortunately, she will never again hear my words of thanks.

Take care.

Let's cut the Gordian knot

"Since September 11, 2001, it's been clear that terrorists who hate America will exploit our weaknesses in order to destroy us." (Excerpted from an NRA-ILA e-mail alert.)

What's missing from this statement? The reason WHY the terrorists hate us: our foreign policy, aka foreign entanglements. The childish simplicity of the above quote as it is written is exasperating, yet that seems to be the extent and depth of understanding of the problem by too many Americans. Another off-shoot of the statement actually gives a reason, simplistic as it may be: "The terrorists hate America because it is so good."

Right. As if a bunch of brainwashed morons could even find America on a map, much less articulate anything accurate about its culture.

Let's get this straight. Terrorists only know us through our military presence and our support of Israel. (Okay, to a lesser extent they think they know us through whatever of our pop (aka crap) culture filters through to them...more's the pity for us.) If we were to sever all foreign entanglements in that region, Israel would have to sink or swim on its own. Israel, with the assumption they have them, something I believe they've never admitted to, might have to resort to the nuclear weapons option to survive, something I would have little to no problem with. Fifty million + dead enemies of Israel might go a long way in changing the Muslim mindset that preaches death to all Jewish peoples.

But as long as the US keeps a short leash on Israel via its foreign aid and assistance--which I don't see how we can afford to since we are so profoundly broke--the nuclear scenario will not happen. The problems in the Middle East will continue ad infinitum. Actually, the terrorists had better be glad that the US is involved in the area. It keeps Israel from being forced to make a choice between utter annihilation and using nuclear force.

Take care.

P.S. What started me thinking about this subject was a podcast I listened to where the host stated basically the same thing about our foreign policy being the problem. He also stated that, while he supports Israel, our support of any foreign country should not compromise our American system and way of life. If you doubt that it is compromising our traditions and values, what do you call the so-called Patriot Act, the searches at airports, etc?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stand fast, AZ

Let all correct-thinking Americans hope that Arizona will stand fast and not be bullied by those who criticize Arizona's recent immigration law, but who offer no substantive alternative to a state besieged by criminals. Below is an example of what AZ is enduring, along with my comments. Stick to your law, AZ, this will blow over, eventually. Of course, never discount the morons in DC figuring out some kind of end run to vitiate or eliminate your law. That's always a possibility when an employee shows his boss for the inept fool he is.


Arizona law sparks calls for action on immigration
May 2, 2010 (6:09a CDT)
By SOPHIA TAREEN (Associated Press Writer)

CHICAGO - Protesters nationwide vented their anger over a new Arizona law to crack down on illegal immigrants by calling on President Barack Obama to [get off of his butt and] immediately take up their cause for federal immigration reform. [AKA a-blind-eye-towards-anyone-south-of-the-border-who’d-like-to- give-living-in-America-a-try-without-the-legal-hassles reform.]

From Los Angeles to Washington D.C., activists, families, students and even politicians marched, practiced civil disobedience and "came out" about their citizenship status in the name of rights for immigrants [in a country with some guts, this would have made deportation of much easier], including the estimated 12 million [at least] living illegally in the U.S.

Obama once promised to tackle immigration reform in his first 100 days, but has pushed back that timetable several times. [Surprise!] He said this week that Congress may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration [what he actually means is that immigrants are the Democrat party’s last hope for the fall elections and Congress doesn’t want to do anything to anger them] after going through a tough legislative year. However, Obama and Congress could address related issues, like boosting personnel and resources for border security, in spending bills this year [that would be nice, perhaps those resources could come from, say, Afghanistan].

A congressman was among 35 people arrested during a protest at the White House. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, was taking part in a civil disobedience demonstration.

Protests elsewhere were largely peaceful. No arrests were reported at most demonstrations; two were arrested near the march route in Los Angeles, but police said neither suspect appeared to be connected to the rally.

Police said 50,000 rallied in Los Angeles, where singer Gloria Estefan kicked off a massive downtown march. Estefan spoke in Spanish and English, proclaiming the United States is a nation of [legal] immigrants.

"We're good people," the Cuban-born singer said atop a flatbed truck. "We've given a lot to this country. This country has given a lot to us."
[That’s not the point, Gloria, but thanks for muddying the issue. You’re here legally, and no one is talking about legal immigrants. This law affects only illegal immigrants. You understand that, of course, but apparently you ignore it for some unknown reason. By the way, you're not even connected to Mexico, you're from Cuba, so why are you even saying anything? Is this about illegal immigrants or Hispanic solidarity? I suspect the latter.]

Anger, particularly among immigrant rights activists, has been building since last week when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation. The law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally. [You mean it wasn’t already?]

The law's supporters say it's necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure the border [BINGO!], but critics contend it encourages racial profiling and is unconstitutional.

"It's racist," [Actually, there are three races: Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid. Hispanic peoples fit into the Caucasoid category, as do so-called white people, so if what’s transpiring in Arizona is racist, it is against all Caucasians. It might be fairer to call it illegal immigrantist.] said [dimwit] Donna Sanchez, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen living in Chicago whose parents illegally crossed the Mexican border. [INS/ICE, you may want to check on her parents’ status and act accordingly.] "I have papers, but I want to help those who don't." [Hmmm, aiding and abetting criminals, that should earn her at least a record, if not some time in the pokey; it won’t, of course.]

Organizers [surely an unbiased source of information] estimated about 20,000 gathered at a park on Chicago's West Side and marched, but police said about 8,000 turned out.

"I want to thank the governor of Arizona [me too] because she's awakened a sleeping giant," said labor organizer John Delgado, who attended a rally in New York where authorities estimated 6,500 gathered [that’s really not a whole lot of people out of a city of many millions].

Chicago's event resembled something between a family festival - food vendors strolled through with pushcarts - and a political demonstration with protesters chanting "Si se puede," Spanish for "Yes we can." [A phrase borrowed from Bob the Builder? Yes, you can what? Circumvent immigration laws? Put one over on legal immigrants and native-born Americans?] A group of undocumented students stood on a stage at the park and "came out" regarding their immigration status.[“Undocumented?” No. Illegal? Yes.]

Juan Baca was among those students. Baca, 19, whose parents brought him from Mexico illegally when he was 4 months old, said he has had to drop out of college and work several times already because he can't qualify for financial aid. [Boo hoo! There should be no financial aid for college for anyone, Juan, regardless of any factor.]

"It's been a struggle," he said. "I missed the mark by four months." [No problem, just don't miss the bus back to Mexico.]

In Dallas, police estimated at least 20,000 people turned out. About a dozen people carried signs depicting the Arizona governor as a Nazi and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his tough illegal immigration stance, as a Klansman. Organizers were asking sign holders to discard those placards. [Militancy doesn’t fit with the downtrodden image “organizers” (propagandists) are trying to culture.]

Juan Hernandez, the Hispanic outreach coordinator for Arizona Sen. John McCain's unsuccessful presidential run, attended the Dallas rally. He said Arizona was once considered by those south of the border to be a model state with particularly close ties to Mexico . [Apparently, unfettered illegal immigration forges closer ties with foreign nations.]

"It went beyond what most states do," [which is essentially look the other way while grabbing their ankles] he said. "Now they are a state that goes beyond what the Constitution says you should do."

Juan Haro, 80, was born and raised in Denver, where about 3,000 people rallied. He [stated the obvious when he said] he thinks Arizona's new law targets Mexicans. [Ya think? Mexico is where the problem stems from so, yes, it’s logical to target Mexicans. But he’s using the term interchangeably with Hispanics, a disingenuous sleight of hand. This is about illegal Mexican immigrants, not legal Mexican immigrants, and not native-born Hispanics. A big part of the problem is that too many native-born Hispanics identify themselves as Mexican because they have roots in Mexico. They are American. Period. A Mexican is someone born in Mexico, and that’s what this law is all about.]

"This country doesn't seem to be anti-immigrant," said Haro, whose family is originally from Mexico. "It seems to be anti-Mexican." [No, anti- illegal Mexican, Haro.]

In downtown Miami, several hundred flag-waving demonstrators - many with Cuban and Honduran flags, but mostly American ones - called for reforms. [What does “called for reforms” mean? Reforms to strengthen the border, or to loosen immigration law enforcement even more? What lousy reporting.]

Elsewhere, an estimated 7,000 protesters rallied in Houston, about 5,000 gathered at the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta and at least 5,000 marched in Milwaukee. About 3,000 attended a Boston-area march. [Again, unstaggering numbers.]

And in Ann Arbor, Mich., more than 500 people held a mock graduation ceremony for undocumented immigrant students near the site of Obama's University of Michigan commencement speech. [Once again reinforcing my assertion that college students and clear thinking are too often unacquainted.]

In Arizona, police in Tucson said an immigrant rights rally there drew at least 5,000 people. Several thousand people gathered in Phoenix for a demonstration Saturday evening.

A smattering of counterprotesters showed up at rallies. In Tucson, a few dozen people showed up in support of the new law and Brewer. A barricade separated about two dozen counterprotesters from a pro-immigrant rights rally in San Francisco.

Counterprotesters there carried signs that read, "We Support Arizona" and "We Need More Ice At This Fiesta," an apparent reference [no, it’s actually a quite clear reference] to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

May 1 - International Workers Day [a Communist holiday, by the way] - is a traditional date for political demonstrations. Immigration advocates latched onto that tradition in 2006, when more than 1 million people across the country - half a million alone in Chicago - protested federal legislation that would have made being an illegal immigrant a felony. That legislation ultimately failed. [Pity.]

Take care.

Another innoculant (I hope)

In practically every life, some rain will fall and some sun will shine, often without warning. A few days ago, my wife gave me one of those out-of-the-blue, ray-of-sunshine moments.

One of my wife's friends, for reasons known only to her--never look a gift horse in the mouth--asked said wife if I could teach her something about handguns. My wife relayed this lagniappe to me and, of course, I instantly said, "Yes." I absolutely love teaching people about guns, although I've only ever trained one other adult (again, one of my wife's friends).

Other commitments will prevent me from assuming this responsibility until June, but I am already looking forward to it, mainly because I enjoy teaching others. But I will also enjoy it because it will add one more person to the ranks of the enlightened about guns. If/when this comes to pass (life being unpredictable), I'll blog about it and let everyone/anyone who happens to still read this intermittently-updated tome know how things went.

Take care.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What did they expect?

I guess Arizona has really stirred up a hornet's nest with its new law aimed at stemming the ridiculous, unsustainable flood of illegal immigrants into America. The r-word (invoked to shut down all discussion of the subject) is flying fast and furiously by opponents of the law. Threats of lawsuits are in the air and the rhetoric is ratcheting upwards.

Good. It's about time some state forced the issue of illegal immigration 'cause the FedGov sure ain't about to do more than posture about it, if that. As I understand it, California is the state that suffers most from the illegal infestation problem, yet they're too self-doubting and pansy-like to do a da*n thing about it. Enter Arizona, a state with some stones.

Well, what did the FedGov, et. al., expect? If big G isn't getting it done (it being protecting the borders from illegal invaders), and they aren't, then I guess someone a little closer to the problem, and with a bit more of a vested interest in solving it, will have to take care of it.

The FedGov doesn't like to be shown up by what it considers its underlings, namely, the states. No, that might undermine its carefully crafted, and thoroughly fallacious, image of omnipotence. But what are states to do if they are being directly injured and DC does nothing?

I understand the concern with AZ police possibly abusing their power, and that is a legitimate concern. But look at what entity brought it to this point by shirking its duty to protect the borders of its own country, while expending massive amounts of money halfway around the world in what will ultimately prove to be a futile attempt to civilize the uncivilizable: the FedGov. Had the FedGov taken care of the problem, Arizona wouldn't have had to come up with its own solution.

Take care.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oh, ha, ha, ha!

You may have seen the recent story about the 29-year-old Missouri convenience store clerk who won the $258 million Powerball jackpot. If not, you'll find it below. As you read it, note the condescending tone of the writer.

Mo. clerk says he'll use $258M jackpot on bills
Apr 23, 2010 (2:24a CDT)
By SARAH D. WIRE (Associated Press Writer)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri man who won a $258 million Powerball jackpot and plans to use some of the money to pay bills and take his children to Disney World says he hasn't decided yet if he'll quit his job at the convenience store where he bought the winning ticket.

Chris Shaw - a 29-year-old tattooed father of three who was raised by his grandparents in rural southern Missouri - came forward Thursday as the winner of the 10th-largest Powerball jackpot ever. Shaw said he had just $28.96 in his bank account and recently bought a 1998 Ford Ranger from a friend who agreed to let him pay off the $1,000 price $100 at a time. Now, he said, he no longer has to worry about how he'll pay his friend - or his utility bills.

"We didn't come from money. For us it's just going to be a huge relief to know I'm going to be able to pay my electric bill, my gas bill," Shaw told the Associated Press. "It's like a weight lifted. I had bills at home I didn't know how they were going to be paid."

Shaw said he bought the $5 ticket Wednesday at the Break Time convenience store where he works in Marshall, a central Missouri town about 80 miles east of Kansas City. He accepted his ceremonial check at the Missouri Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City wearing a tan and red plaid shirt, a red hat and a huge grin - minus two front teeth he says he lost because he didn't take care of them but can now afford to have replaced.

"I'm just a regular guy working paycheck to paycheck ... well not any more," he said.

Shaw said he needed a few days to decide whether he will keep his minimum-wage job at the store where he has worked for just three weeks. He also plans to seek advice "from people who know about money" about whether to take the jackpot in 30 payments over 29 years or the lump-sum amount of $124,875,122.

His boss, Jackie Maxwell, general manager of the Missouri-based Break Time convenience store chain, was thrilled to hear Shaw had won.

"He's just a great guy, a good employee. When you think of a large winner like this, everyone likes to see that the person who won is somebody like Chris," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Shaw - who has a 10-year-old son, a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old girl by two different women - said he had played Missouri Scratchers lottery tickets before, winning at most $80. He checked his Powerball ticket against the state lottery's website only after his girlfriend, Tosha Ewry, told him the winning ticket was bought at the store where he works.

When Shaw called Ewry back to tell her the news, she thought he was joking, he said. Finally, he said he told her: "I swear on a stack of Bibles, you need to leave work and come home."

The winning numbers were 11-34-41-49-55, Powerball 20. The Power Play number was 2.

Shaw said he looks forward to spending more time with his kids, who live with their mothers about 240 miles southeast of him in his hometown of Alton, as well as with his girlfriend's two sons - 13-year-old and 15-year-old boys Shaw says he considers his own. He plans to take them all to Disney World in Florida.

"I can be with them as much as I want now," Shaw said.

He said his children already have been asking for new skateboards, bicycles and "just stuff that's really hard to do when you make $7.25 an hour."

Break Time will receive $50,000 for selling the winning ticket. If Shaw takes a lump-sum payment, the state income taxes due on the winnings would be about $6 million, state budget director Linda Luebbering said.

Granted, this guy probably did not excel in school, hence the dead-end job, but at least he's doing honest work, something the reporter seemed to take little note of. Instead, she mentioned that he has three children "by two different women," a fact not necessary to know. A lot of people from every social strata have offspring by more than one person, but this must have been too good of an opportunity for the reporter to pass up to laugh up her sleeve at the perceived promiscuity of people like Shaw.

Another barb she shoots from her poison pen is at his most salient feature, his missing teeth. Again, it was not necessary to elaborate on this point. We all know that good oral hygiene is not usually a well-practiced activity among the lower classes, but by enlightening us as to the details of the mystery of his missing incisors, she again shows her condescension of those people. The photo in and of itself is derisive enough; didn't anyone think to ask Shaw to smile with his mouth closed, or at least take a photograph of him from some other perspective? Of course not, for that might have ruined the smirking tone of the piece.

For those who think I'm being a bit picayunish about this report, please re-read it. The evidence is there for all to see.

Incidentally, lest anyone accuse me of hypocrisy, I, too, am not a fan of many of the choices people in Shaw's socio-economic class make. As long as they are supporting themselves, however, and paying their own bills (tattoo bills included), I'll back them, although I will sometimes question the logic of their choices. And, yes, I will still poke fun at them on occasion. But I hope I never get my nose so far up in the air that I devolve into condescension.

Take care.

P.S. Good luck to you, Chris Shaw; the world is a wonderful place filled with interesting places and artifacts. Go discover it.

Get away from your usual circle of acquaintances and culture some friends from other social strata, they'll help you see life from another perspective. Not all of it will be good for you (but don't let that scare you), so you'll have to have your BS filter firmly in place.

Read widely, even if you've never enjoyed reading before; at the very least, start listening to audio books, especially those of the classics.

Travel, but do so with an open mind. Believe it or not, America is not the center of the universe and there are other ways of living than the American lifestyle.

Find and retain the very best financial consultant/advisor you can (look to past Powerball winners to help you there). Put yourself on a budget, seriously, and stick to it. Of course, your budget can probably be several hundred thousand dollars a year, but you might be surprised how quickly that money can go if you are not careful. Even your great wealth is finite and there's been more than one sad tale of rags to riches to rags told of lottery winners.

Watch out for the sycophants of the world, for they are legion. Never get married without an iron-clad prenuptial agreement. Perhaps better yet, don't bother getting married at all. It's safer that way. Oh, and get a vasectomy.

Finally, just be careful. Few decisions you will make from now on will need to be made without wise counsultation from an attorney and an accountant. Remember, used correctly, that money will broaden your horizons and enrich your life. Used incorrectly, it will lead you to a crystal meth addiction and an early grave. The choice is yours.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It doesn't get any easier

Yesterday, we lost our beloved family dog to a brain tumor. A better companion, friend, sweetheart, and protector you'll never find. This morning is the first one since she fell ill and had to be hospitalized on Saturday that I definitely knew I would never let her out in the backyard again when I awoke, our daily, matutinal ritual.

She lived with me for over 13.5 years, although she was 15 years, 9 months old when she died. Her first two years were spent with my brother and ex-sister-in-law. I first met her when she was eight weeks old; I knew right away that there was something special about her. I told my brother that if they ever wanted to get rid of her, I'd take her. Two years later, she came to live with me, a bachelor at the time.

When I met my wife and she came to live with me, Princess barked at her and ran away. Soon, however, they became fast friends and soul mates, and it was that way for over 13 years. A dog will often bond especially close with one family member, and my wife was that person in our home. As you can imagine, she is devastated.

When I was a boy, a dog came to live with us who bonded with me. A number of years later, she became old and infirm and had to be put to sleep. Because I had this terrible experience under my belt, I thought I'd be somewhat inured to losing another animal, but I was wrong. It doesn't get any easier as I age, it gets harder. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby for the old girl.

Goodbye, Princess. You will not only be missed, but grieved for too.

Take care.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Missing California teen's body believed found

Another tragedy due to coddling an irredeemable reprobate. Had this sorry excuse for a human being, 30-year-old John Albert Gardner III, been handled correctly the first time, either by execution (my preference, assuming a DNA conviction) or life in prison without the possibility of parole, one more young woman, 17-year-old Chelsea King, would still be alive today.

According to the article I read, in 2000 he was able to plea bargain to a (slap-on-the-wrist) sentence of nearly 11 years in prison for his sexual assault on a 13-year-old neighbor, of which he served five years. Another reason for the light sentence was "that Gardner's lack of a significant prior criminal record justified less than the maximum sentence," said prosecutors in 2000. Well, I guess if he's cleared that hurdle now. Or at least he will after conviction.

Forget his lack of a prior criminal record, what about the heinous nature of the crime itself? Would two child molestation victims, or more, make a stiffer sentence seem more fair? Who the he** are the prosecutors trying to protect, society or a convicted sex offender? Even one sexual molestation conviction should earn a person permanent removal from society. No person who crosses that line can ever be trusted in society again. Ever. Yet here this beast was, out amongst a sea of unsuspecting souls going about their lives.

Looking at this case from another perspective, we once again see government failing its constituents. By not adequately performing one of its basic mandates, that of protecting society from criminals, they failed in their most fundamental function. And, in general, these are the same people who want everyone disarmed and relying on a phone call to 911? Thanks, but no thanks.

As a parent, my heart goes out to the parents of this young woman. They have been condemned to a living hell for the rest of their days by a convicted sexual predator and his unwitting accomplices, government prosecutors.

Take care.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The .380 rehabilitated

Perhaps you find it as amusing as I do that over the last couple of years or so, the .380 ACP, or .380 Auto, if you prefer, has somehow become the rediscovered darling of the concealed carry world. Prior to that, it was always viewed, at least for the last couple of generations, as a pipsqueak round best relegated to last-ditch or back-up-gun work. Lately, however, it seems to be accepted as a serious contender for self-defense consideration. Has it suddenly become a much better cartridge? Or does its new patina of respectability have to do with advertising revenue? (Such a cynic I am.)

I'm not going to go into the statistics on one-shot stops with the .380 because there are far too many variables to take that data at face value, such as bullet placement, mindset of the shootee, etc. But I have heard a certain person, a person whom I enjoy listening to on MP3, state in the past that the .38 Spl. and 9mm are the absolute minimum for defensive calibers. Now, he's apparently changed his mind and accepted the .380 as the new minimum although, in fairness to him, he doesn't seem to support it with much enthusiasm.

Oh well. I guess having a gun, any gun, if/when one needs one is the most important thing, along with knowing how to shoot it accurately under stress of course. I just found the flip-flop on the .380 round curious.

Take care.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Starbucks Appreciation Day

In light of Starbucks' level-headed decision on the open carry of firearms in its California establishment, in which they stated they would follow the law as it's written (what a concept), some in the gun community (here and here) have proffered the idea of having a Starbucks Appreciation Day on Sunday, February 21, 2010. I'm just passing on the information; you can do what you like with it.

Take care.


Man angry at IRS crashes plane into Texas building
Feb 18, 2010 (5:18p CST)
By JIM VERTUNO (Associated Press Writer)

AUSTIN, Texas - A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers fleeing for their lives. At least one person in the building was missing.

The FBI tentatively identified the pilot as Joseph Stack. A federal law official said investigators were looking at a long anti-government screed and farewell note that he apparently posted on the Web earlier in the day as an explanation for what he was about to do.

In it, the author cited run-ins he had with the IRS and ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America's "thugs and plunderers."

"I have had all I can stand," he wrote in the note, dated Thursday, adding: "I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at 'big brother' while he strips my carcass."

So a man who's fed up with it all decides to off himself and, he hopes, take a few IRS employees with him. Is this the start of a trend of Americans pushing back against a tyrannical government? I seriously doubt it, at least when it comes to this course of action. Generally speaking, Americans don't have the stomach for what it would take for a real revolution. Sure, we talk about a second American Revolution, but it ain't going to happen. Instead, we content ourselves with Walter Mitty fantasies, stockpiling ammunition, and swallowing pointless political rhetoric.

But who can blame us? TPTB are far too strong and insidious to even think of prevailing against. To try is to do what this man did: commit suicide. No, this production will have to play until its final act, where the lead actors--the Federal government and various state governments--become so thoroughly weakened through fiscal ineptitude, not to mention moral turpitude, that they can no longer meet their obligations to their minions who use force to keep it all functioning. At that point, the entire system will come to halt, and that is the place for a revolution for liberty. Until then, we'll just have to persevere and savor the (very) occasional victory/triumph for liberty.

Take care.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I must be getting old

Some years ago, I heard talk show host Phil Hendrie make the statement that "there's nothing dumber than a Raiders fan." While I'm not sure about the complete veracity of his assertion, in the particular case I'm going to write about, I believe it has merit.

I stopped by my local gun emporium while out and about yesterday just to see if anything interesting was in the used gun section (nothing was). Before I even went into the store, my eyes and sensibilities were assaulted by a bumper sticker plastered to the driver's-side back window of a truck directly in front of me (the Raiders sticker on the passenger's side I couldn't have cared less about). I snapped a photo of it (see above) for posterity. Perhaps fortunately, the photo didn't come out well enough to read the sticker, so I'll have to quote it here in an edited (for vulgarity) form. It read "Imports are like tampons, every pu--y has one."

Now, I don't have a problem with his message, inaccurate as it may be, but I do have a major problem with the words he chose to convey it. Do you? If not, please tell me how you couldn't have, because I just can't fathom it. I guess this all goes back to the basic slob nature of too many Americans who think liberty means license to be boorish. I wonder if this dude had even the slightest inkling that kids would see this. You know, it's fools like this, sad to say, who give liberty a bad name.

What can be done about this? Probably not much. I would be wholly against the state, via a cop, ordering the sticker, offensive as it may be, to be removed. Nor would I remove it myself, as that violates my principles concerning private property rights. Waiting around and speaking to the guy about his taste in vehicular adornments would likely be counterproductive because anyone who's daft enough to put a sticker like that on public display in the first place would be too thick to reason with. I'm truly at a loss.

As I age, I find myself with a lower tolerance for suffering fools gladly. More's the pity, because there seem to be so many now more than ever. It's enough to drive one to despair.

Take care.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Barbarossa, etc.

I recently began rewatching one of the best, if not the best, documentaries ever produced on World War II, "World at War." I remember watching it while in high school in the mid-1970s in, of all places, Germany. If you're not familiar with the series, consider this my strong suggestion that you locate and watch it soon; you won't regret it.

One fact that I had forgotten from my first viewing of the episode "Barbarossa," the invasion of Russia, was that Hitler actually planned on defeating Russia in about four months. What a stupendous miscalculation and reckless bet, and one that (thankfully) cost Hitler the war.

Just think about it: the Nazi army, arguably the finest in the world at that time, whose skill at war was matched only by its evil deeds and purpose, was supposed to invade an immense country, occupy thousands upon thousands of square miles, fight an indigenous army inferior in training but almost limitless in number, and triumph in four months. This must qualify as the very definition of stupidity, not to mention hubris.

Many of his generals, apparently, knew this and tried to persuade Herr Hitler to err on the side of caution because of the inherent danger to Germany should the invasion fail to meet its timetable. Hitler, believing in his own strategic infallibility, based on his past successes and strokes of luck in Western Europe in recent years, eschewed all sound advice and stepped into the abyss anyway. Perhaps the phrase "Past performance is no guarantee of future returns" had not been yet coined.

Theories of alternate outcomes abound on what might have happened had Hitler not chosen this course. I won't indulge in that specualtion here, although any thinking person has to wonder. Suffice it to say he did do it and that history has shown his choice to be the worst of all those possbile.

Take care.

P.S. There is a belief amongst many Americans that America defeated Nazi Germany. Although America contributed mightily to Germany's defeat in terms of material, it was Russia who actually ripped the guts and gears out of the Wermacht. This is not to take anything away from those Americans and British who fought on the Western front, for battle is battle, and their efforts are worthy of our utmost respect. But from a cold, hard look at numbers, the Russian front is where Germany suffered two-thirds of all its military casualties, and Russia lost untold millions.

I mention this only because it's dangerous for Americans to believe that wars can be won, as opposed to just fought ad infinitum as the US now seems content to prosecute wars, without huge casualties, even with force multipliers. I'm not so sure Americans would be willing to support an all-out effort to eradicate Islamofacism in the Middle East if it cost the lives of 100,000+ American soldiers. Of course, that's going the conventional-warfare route. If we were to speak of the nuclear option, many American lives could be spared, but the cost in the lives of people in the countries supporting Islamofacism would be staggering.

Still, I'd say it's a fair trade-off. Either nuke 'em or go home. Any US politician who protests this should be tried for treason for putting the lives of another country's citizens above the lives of his own country's citizens, as is being done now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mr. Oblivious and Miss Ignorant got married...

You may or may not be familiar with the following website, People of Wal-mart, but if you're in need of a laugh, or a good weep, at the oblivious slobs far too many Americans have become, take a look at the site. Afterwards, ask yourself if maybe our relatively low voter turnout rate is such a bad thing. I suggest it's not if the people in the photos are any indication of who's pulling the levers. Dear God, have people no pride, or shame? It's completely incomprehensible to me how these folks can look like this in public.

We're doomed as a nation, I tell you, doomed.

Take care.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How to have fun in a crisis

Tons of information is out there on the 'Net about getting together the necessary skills and materials for surviving a disaster, be it man made or natural. Practically anything a motivated, or even casually interested, individual would like to know about this subject has been pontificated upon multiple times. Today, I'm going to take the opposite tack and give the one reason why one might want to be unprepared for a calamity, assuming they survive: the fun.

That's right, fun. Sure, anyone with an ounce of sense knows they should keep at least a few vital things on hand in case of an emergency situation, but where's the fun in that? Having redundant back-up systems is boring. They say you never feel more alive than when you are at the edge of oblivion, nor are you ever more resourceful, so why deny yourself this experience with a bunch of preps?

To ensure the maximum amount of fun and frivolity, do the following: Keep only enough food on hand to prepare meals for one day--visit your local supermarket daily. Eschew all weapons, be they purpose-built (firearms, knives), or improvised (everything else). Kill any errant thought about what you might do if things get ugly immediately upon conception; concentrate on a diversion (television, celebrity gossip, etc.) until the thought is subdued. Alienate yourself from as many family, friends, and neighbors as possible to remove the temptation to lean on them in a crisis.

Just taking these few steps will not only simplify your life today, they will also all but guarantee you will have enough fun and memories during a crisis to last you the rest of your days, be they numbered in single or multiple digits.

Glad I could help.

Take care.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Keyholing kontraption

A few years ago, I found a website called MCA Sports that makes inserts to convert a shotgun, for instance, into a rifle. I decided to order a shotgun insert chambered in .38 Spl. for one of my shotguns, and I'm glad I did. The insert's outer chamber dimensions mimic a shotgun shell and it has a ten-inch barrel attached to that. All you do is drop in the insert (this works best in a break-action shotgun), push a .38 Spl. round into the insert's chamber, close the action, aim and fire. Cool! It's actually pretty accurate, and I found that the .38 Spl. insert will also chamber and shoot .357 Mag. rounds, although I noticed a good amount of primer flow after firing, so I doubt I'll do that again, unless in a pinch.

How practical is the device? In today's gun world, where nearly every conceivable niche has been addressed by one type of gun or another, not very practical at all. But it is fun.

That was the good product from MCA Sports. Now, let me get to the product for which this post was named.

MCA Sports also sells an adaptor that drops into a rifle of a given caliber, in my case .30-06, that allows the user to shoot .22 LR cartridges. Again, the shape of the adaptor mimics the dimensions of the round it's replacing. In addition, since the .22 LR is a rimfire round and the firing pin of a centerfire rifle would miss the rim of a .22 LR and result in nothing happening, a plug, or offset, is provided to to work around this problem, which it does quite handily. So far, so good. At the range, however, I couldn't hit the broad side of the proverbial barn with it.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on with the little contraption, but I finally saw that even minimal accuracy at 7 yards was too much to ask for, as evidenced by the undamaged target after several shots using various aiming points. Finally, after moving to within 8 feet of the target, I was on paper. The bullet keyholed through the target and hit 3-4 inches low--repeatedly. Although it's touted as being able to be used on small game while out big-game hunting, I believe you'd have better results with a slingshot.

Bottomline: The adaptor is useless. The concept is neat, but reality has proven this product to be stillborn. The inserts, however, do work, and I can recommend them unreservedly.

Take care.

Friday, January 1, 2010

As the sun sets on another year...

I actually have nothing to say here, I just wanted to squeeze in another post from San Diego before 2010 begins (it's past midnight back in Colorado, but 2009 still has a few minutes left here in California). I suppose I could say something about the trip to Sea World yesterday, but I'm too tired right now to mess with it. In fact, if it was up to me, I'd be headed to bed about now, but my wife would take personal offense at that since the New Year is such a big deal to her.

Take care.