Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Burn The Witches!

The wonderful thing about Lucianne is it only takes a few minutes of scrolling to find something that makes me want to punch the monitor. Easy-peasy inspiration for a post.

Now comes one Robert Smith Jr. writing in the Detroit News Political Blog, and offering a no nonsense approach to the violence plaguing the communities of America - Burn The Witches!... I mean ban the guns... whatever.

Combining historical illiteracy with an utter disregard for logic, and wrapping the whole in a thick sheath of hysteria, Mr. Smith concentrates more dimwittery in four short paragraphs than most pro-crime hacks do in forty.

I encourage you to read the entire post, but a few excerpts are in order...

The right to bear arms is killing all of us. In 2005 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 3,006 children and teens killed by gunfire, most of them young, black men in inner-city neighborhoods.

Uh... that's not all of us, and I do not think it's the second amendment that's down in the hood bustin' caps. Some of us even use that pesky right to bear arms as a means of not being killed.

Then there's this head scratcher...

We need to ensure that those we elect to public office are not so stuck on protecting us from another British invasion that they cannot enact legislation that will limit the number of guns in our country.

Yeah, those perfidious Brits, still hanging around waiting for their chance to come in and take over. A limey peril is what it is, and if we're not armed to the teeth it's tea and crumpets for us buddy.

The country's urban centers are loaded with stupid, violent people, doing stupid, violent things, and the decent people who live there are the ones to suffer. Human brutality does not have a cause - it is a default position. It is decency and civilization which have causes, and when those enabling causes are suppressed, the result is a Hobbesean dystopia.

For decades, our politicians, public intellectuals, and community leaders have been actively undermining the causes of prosperity and decency for their own short term gain (bailouts anybody?), so it should come as no surprise that the rising tide of barbarism thus enabled is swamping the vulnerable first.

Mr. Smith, those who encourage false solutions, obscure truth behind rhetoric, and appeal to magic instead of reason are helping kill people more surely than lack of worthless gun laws.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vegetarian Chili



In my opinion, the most important ingredient in vegetarian chili is meat. Yep, that's what makes it good - the more the better. Now, Breda is a purist and does not consider it chili unless it has kidney beans and ground beef as a base. I made this last night, and in deference to my lovely wife, I call it Mexican Stew (but really it's chili).


Ingredients:

1 lb. chorizo cut into slices

1.5 lb. boneless beef chuck short ribs cut into small cubes

5 slices of bacon

1 large green bell pepper - diced

1 poblano pepper - diced

1 large yellow onion - diced

1 15 oz. can of pinto beans - drained

1 15 oz can of chick peas (garbanzos to you fancy types) - drained

1 12 oz can of tomato paste

2 cloves of garlic - minced

1/2 tablespoon of salt

1/2 tablespoon oregano


Now the important part:

1 dried chili pepper - seeded and minced

2 dried Jalapeno peppers - seeded and minced

2 dried chipotles - seeded and minced

1 large fresh jalapeno - seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon dried chili powder (I like the chipotle, but ymmv)


The above produce a sting on the tongue, some sniffles, and slight perspiration, but no permanent damage - I would say a 4 or 5 on a scale of 10 - feel free to add more heat to suit your particular pain threshold.


Fry the bacon in your chili pot till crisp (why dirty a skillet ?). Take it out and crumble it, but don't pour off the drippings.


Fry the sliced chorizo in the bacon fat (this is a healthy recipe after all, and nothing says cardiac goodness like bacon fat).


After the sausage is brown, remove from pot, and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings.


In the reserved drippings, cook the green pepper, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, diced beef and all the dried peppers until the meat is browned. Do not pour off the juices.


Add 2-1/2 cups of water and everything else, save for the beans, and bring to a boil.


Reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes and add the beans.


Let it bubble away for another thirty minutes plus however longer it takes to achieve the thickness you like.


Pour everything on the floor and let your family fight for it like wolves.


Alternatively - spoon it into bowls and serve with fresh bread and a nice lager.
The good thing about this recipe is that it serves as a starting place for all sorts of variations - add some corn, or potatos, or use Italian sausage - the sky is the limit.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Econ 101

Today's question comes to us from one Jacob Leibenluft via Slate via Lucianne: "Are carbon offsets worth it?"

Well Jacob, the simple answer is no. The less simple answer is ... what are you, some kind of idiot !?! Of course they're not worth it. Any nine year old could tell you that.

No that's not quite right, carbon offsets are worth it to a certain species of sharp operator of the type common to street corners offering Rolexes for cheap, and also often seen in the private offices of legislators offering to brighten re-election prospects for not so cheap.

But for the rest of us?

Jacob, try this test: Go up to the above mentioned nine year old and tell him that his farts are fouling the atmosphere and causing much distress among the gentry. After he finishes high-fiving his buds, offer to offset his crude humor for the small cost of one dollar... "Say kid, yeah you, come over here a second. That was some rancid fart you just made, but I'll tell you what... for just one thin dollar, I'll see to it that a professional comedian in the controlled setting of a real comedy club does an entire routine that mentions deadly methane not once, and that will offset your fart. One dollar kid, how can you go wrong?"

Bets on whether you get the dollar or a GPS enabled ankle bracelet?

Jacob, if you can't get a nine year old to fall for some magic bean scheme, what adult is addled enough to fork over their hard earned dough on a cheesy con like carbon offsets?

Wait a minute let's see what you wrote...

Above all, use common sense. The whole rationale behind carbon offsets is that worthy efforts to stop global warming cost money, so if you find a provider selling at a cut-rate price, be careful. The Lantern would be very cautious about spending his own green on a provider who sells offsets at much less than $10 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent. You may be able to buy atonement for your carbon sins, but it won't come cheap.

Oh dear...

Since you won't by carbon offsets for less than ten bucks a ton- (no... no.. Mr. Used Car Salesman, no way will I give you fifteen hundred bucks on this Yugo you're selling, you'll take five thousand and not a penny less! Alright, six thousand but only if you flatten the tires... heh, that'll teach you to mess with me.)... tell ya what I'm gonna do Jake - I'll offset tons and tons of the frightful greenhouse gas, and not for ten dollars a ton, not for twenty, nope.. I'll do it for one million dollars a ton - cash, small bills, non-sequential serial numbers, sent to P.O. Box...

Monday, December 22, 2008

So this guy jumps into a cage with a polar bear...

If you are waiting for the punchline, it is provided by the growing stranger by the minute Associated Press via Lucainne.

Police say he told them that he felt lonely and that Knut also appeared to be lonely - but he did not give the impression of being mentally disturbed.

Aside from jumping into cages with a polar bears, he gives no impression of being mentally disturbed that is.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Health Of The Nation

Imagine yourself a doctor, one who specializes in the treatment of addiction - all addiction - drugs, booze, gambling, whatever.

For your efforts, you are well compensated. In fact your salary places you above ninety-five percent of the rest of the country. Not only that, the perks that go with your job are nearly unlimited: no commercial airline travel for you - private jets are your conveyance. Someone else picks up the tab for your five star meals, and five star accommodations, three day work week, six month vacation, and diamond-crusted, platinum parachute retirement package.

But wait, there's more. Along with your fantastic pay and benefits, you also have power- real power. You can make rules and have them enforced by armed men who answer to you. You don't give advice, or make suggestions, you make rules, and can make people follow them. Of course mistakes are sometimes made, and people die, but, and this is another benefit of your position, the rules you have made say you cannot be held liable for the results.

Better than that, you are mostly immune to the rules you make. Sure, if you are caught robbing a bank, or killing someone, there will be trouble. But for the most part, you are insulated from the consequences of your own misdeeds.

Best of all, the number of other practitioners in your field is limited by law - that's right, there is no chance someone will set up a competing practice next door to you, so you're the only game in town. If the addicts need help, you are their only choice.

There is only one problem. Your position is not a lifetime one. Periodically, you must be re-elected, and since your job is so lucrative, there will always be contenders trying to take it from you.

But here again, the rules you have made give you the advantage. The set up is brilliant in its simplicity, and nearly foolproof - make sure the addicts you treat are the same voters who decide your future.

Oh it is delicious: to the heroin addict in your examination room, "China white baby! Free, free to you just put your X right here on the ballot next to my name." To the drunk, "Twelve year old single malt - all yours. Ice? Splash of soda? Freshen that up for you? Don't worry, I've got this round...vote for me?" "Compulsive gambler? There's a plane leaving for Vegas in an hour; here's some chips, and there's more... lots more where that came from. Who loves ya? Remember me at the polls."

What addict is going to vote to cut off the source of his supply? And what competitor is going to try to fight for your position considering the advantages you hold?

Treating addicts by catering to their addiction? What could go wrong with a plan like that?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Irony that slices like a hammer.

Mark Felt has died. If you didn’t know it, he was better known as “Deep Throat”, the anonymous informant who helped bring down the Nixon Administration.

Like many of his kind, he didn’t run to the press to tell his story out of ethical considerations, but from a violated sense of entitlement. He was a frustrated place seeker who blamed Nixon for his lack of advancement and used the Washington Post to get his revenge.

Now comes that same Washington Post with a strange sort of eulogy for the old whistleblower…


Deep Throat's death comes as no shock to the nursing-home atmosphere that sometimes looms over American newspapering these days, where we tend to log on each morning and ask, while chewing soft food, who's dead now? (Or, who's been laid off? Who's stopped subscribing? Who's stopped delivering? Who's decided to close their Washington bureau?)


Is this a commemoration of the passing of a snitch, or of the industry who depended on his sort?

A couple of lines later the question is inadvertently answered…


Without a single byline he inspired thousands and thousands of campus misfits to get journalism degrees, each one of them in pursuit of bad haircuts, smoking habits and the next Deep Throat, the next huge story. Any "-gate" that followed or may yet follow feels incomplete without its own Deep Throat.


Write the truth as best you can? Bring a sense of order to chaotic events? Quietly and humbly perform a service for your community? No way baby; we’re looking for heads to hang on the wall. Journalism morphed into a blood sport, and while the great hunters were out stalking their prey, the locals with webcams, and internet connections were back looting the camp.

Deep throat was aptly nicknamed. He was man with no animus toward the administration he brought down, and no love for the instrument he used. He was an out of town businessman hiring a call girl for something he felt entitled to.

Like a self-destructive habit, the client the call girl relied on is the thing that killed her. Live by the rat, die by the rat. Those in power might not be very competent at any useful job, but know how to leak a story and knife a rival without leaving fingerprints. The misfits with bad haircuts and willingness to self-deceive met with fake whistleblowers as well as real ones and didn’t care about being used because they were getting the story.

That’s the problem: The hooker as a business model only works until someone younger and better looking comes along. Then the choice becomes leave the trade or lower your standards hoping to hang on for a little longer.

The news industry is doing both.

The article ends an admonition that Mark Felt shows us what is truly important in the newspaper business…


The best way to appreciate Mark Felt is to work the phones, take notes and figure out how to get that which is off the record, on.


Kind of like someone on the deck of the Titanic saying, “Build ships with more lifeboats.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Green Revolution

I have been converted. I used to think “environmentalist” was synonymous with “totalitarian weenie who wants to run my life but doesn’t have the balls to try taking my liberty on his own, so he’ll get the government to do it”, but now thanks to Mr. Derbyshire, via Lucianne, we can see the green future and it works.

Wow! Here’s a tour of a major city with plenty of green space, and populations of wildlife normally not seen in urban environments. The best of both worlds - after reading that, sign me up for the auto industry bailout.

If a public/private partnership (think Freddie and Fannie, but with union thugs instead of acorn types pushing you around) between the auto unions and the democrat party can provide this type of enviromental utopia for Detroit, what can they do for (to) your neck of the woods?

I for one, welcome our new Obamalords.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Could Have Forseen?

Six Meat Buffet is just plain funny, particularly when gems such as this piece of unintended consequences come to light. The innovative business plan of letting the customers set their own price at your restaurant may have something to recommend it, but not in a staying in business kind of way.

According to the paper, "Inexperience seems to be the main problem" in causing the collapse of the trendy eatery. Uh... not so much.

Hint for all - experienced as well as inexperienced business owners must consistently take in more money than they spend, or they go out of business. I know many want that to be no longer true, but there's life in the old Adam Smith yet.

On the bright side, watch these people; they have a future in the Obama administration.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Modern Worries

I hope the sudden surge in gun buying results in an overstock and price drop before the bans finally come down the line. My bank account tells me I’m in no position to be forking out for black rifles of any variety. But if a credit card has to be maxed out in order to get what I need, I guess there are worse things in the world.

Over at Sebastian’s place, he links to some folks who think I’d be crazy to worry about what THE ONE is planning regarding my civil rights, because didn’t he pinky swear to not try to go for more gun control unless he can get big majorities in the house and senate, or it’s Tuesday, or he feels blue, or he needs an issue to give him the illusion of doing something about something.

How can one fail to be reassured by that level of commitment to the second amendment?

Personally, I think it’s just jealousy – here we have an industry which is booming (tee hee hee) in response to the ascension of His Messiah-ness, and the poor ink and pixel stained wretches of the media can’t even get a reach around after the massive knee pad party they just threw.

Hey ABCCBSCNNNSNBCNYTWAPO et.al., here’s is a hint: Make a product that people consider valuable, and they will go out of their way to buy it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

No Amount of Money Is Too Much...

...to spend to give people the illusion of safety. From War On Guns comes this bit of official legerdemain. Seems one of the more tech-savvy burgs in Massachusetts spent a dumptruck load of dough (actually the last time I priced construction equipment, I think it's two dumptrucks worth) on the vaunted Shot Spotter anti crime system.

The first thing I noted was the disconnect between the headline and the body of the story:

Headline: "Police use ShotSpotter technology to combat gun violence"

Actual story: "Police used the ShotSpotter system to locate a shooting victim Oct. 14th near this intersection of Pine St. and Cedar St. in Springfield."

Lets review-- a $450,000 doodad that lets you quickly locate a perforated corpse, is not the same thing as one which prevents said corpse from becoming perforated in the first place.

Next is the admirable restraint shown by the reporter in refraining from editorializing when the police spokesflack said that in the four months of operation the system has netted an impressive zero arrests but it was only a matter of time till it did so.

Were I in in the reporter's place, the sentence after would read approximately ,"The department spokesman let it be know that the data from the new system would be sent directly to the bat cave, and soon, evil doers all over the city would be left neatly tied up and labelled with pithy notes describing the particulars of their crimes, so this whole crime thing was licked like a stamp."

Citizens, you can rest easy; your bullet-riddled corpses will no longer go unfound - Shot Spotter is on duty.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanks For All Your Help

Found this on Lucianne this morning. It seems now that the messiah is in, the Washington Post is doing a small version of the "mea culpa" waltz hoping to win back some of the 50 million or so Americans who didn't think their boosterism of ol' hopey-changey was quite cricket.

Right there in the story was a link encouraging you to respond via email - so I did...


Saw an on-line version of your column about the titled election coverage - read the first paragraph - especially the bit about "The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage" right there in the first sentence - started laughing - stopped reading and moved on to other things, but I'm still giggling. Thanks for the humor.

The on-line thing should be a clue; I haven't purchased a paper newspaper in about a decade. Hope your buyout offer comes soon - looking for a new career over fifty is tough.

I thought I made my point in a nice way.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If a dead tree falls in the forest...

Mr. Rummel describes his encounter with a buggy whip salesman, and he was very nice to the misguided soul - I usually just laugh out loud an shut the door.

Strangely, he does consider the Plain Dealer to "energetic" compared to the Columbus Dispatch - perhaps in the same way live sloths can be called energetic compared to dead sloths.

There are many reasons

I am in awe of Xavier, this is one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Immigataion Reform

Via Hot Air, I found this piece of hyperventilating, panty bunching, giggle fodder from some euro-type who, when the inevitable demographic shift occurs, and England becomes an islamic country, should not under any circumstances be given refugee status. Make the twerp stay in his own fouled nest.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Department of not getting it department

So I was listening to the local talk radio on the way to the store for extra bacon for the pig candy and there is this fellow - a serious lefty lawyer who gets a couple hours of rebuttal time on Saturdays to balance the Medved/Prager/Ingraham blabfest from the rest of the week.

He was one of the "Bush -worst- president- in the- history- of- the -U.S." sort of people and all that implies, and he's livid- sputtering, and stomping his little feet over the Palin pick. From what I could gather - between bouts of spittle-flecked microphone biting, he felt that MaCain chose the Alaska Governor in a cynical, underhanded attempt to turn the simple country folk, what with their cow milking and hay making, against their dazzling urbanite betters and thus drive a wedge between these heretofore natural allies in the battle against the Darth Vadars of the Republican party. He was shocked that a political organization would stoop so low as to pander to different demographic groups. Any political organization other than the democrats that is.

Apparently, his thinking goes, if the party of Lincoln wins with a strategy like that, it puts at risk gender norming, race-based college admissions, minority only business enterprise zones, taxing the successful to ease life for the stupid, hate crimes legislation, and sending global warming deniers to re-education camps - you know, the things that bring us all together in one big warm hopey-changey group hug.

With all due deference to anecdote not being data and all, I would beg to differ.

I do not have many acquaintances amongst the Bumpkin-American sector, but my travels to today's gun show did reveal a surprising number of people who were excited about the prospects of a Palin/McCain administration (yeah, I know she's not supposed to get top billing) ... old guys.

I hear your objection. I was at a gun show, and gunnies are a target audience for the republicans, but I was paying attention to the people who were visibly, and volubly happy; people who would go out of their way to bring up their love of the vice presidential nominee, and the ones who stood out from the crowd were the codgers.

One guy - a wrinkled, gray haired vet, was telling everybody who came to look at his wares that he was switching from Bob Barr to McCain because of Sarah Palin, another (full disclosure: father of a friend of mine) who could best described as a 77 year old anti-authoritarian populist who wasn't going to bother voting this year, sees her Governorship as a Harry Trumanesque figure. Hell, even Breda's 80 year old uncle (more than one purple heart from Korea) is dancing little jigs because Sarah Palin reminds him of his own wife.

I can't believe this represents any kind if intent on the part of McCain, but I think it does show there's votes to be won in the unlikeliest of places, and if this till now marginalized constituency
has become energized- there's no telling who else the democrats - a party who practically specialize in sneering condescension - have pushed past the point of no return.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Funny thing happened on the way to the coronation.

Now where was I? Oh yes, McCain, Palin, Biden, Obama, and Sun Tzu. Old Sunny was hell on wheels in his day, so much so, that a lot of modern folk think he has the skinny on winning at any endeavor from hostile takeovers of companies to getting the girl of your dreams to go out with you instead of Bob down in accounting.

I've read "The Art of War" and it contains much good, hard common sense distilled down to easy to apply aphorisms, the whole thing larded with a healthy dose of fortune-cookie pablum. But like the Greeks with logic, Sun Tzu gets credit for thinking of it first, and creating what is THE baby step, must read, start here, study of strategy.

The most famous of his dictates reads more or less, "know yourself and know your enemy and you will never know defeat". This is true as far as it goes, so long as one ignores luck and happenstance - having the high ground, the best army, and best plan is for naught if god decides to drop a piano on you before the fight starts.

Nonetheless, if you can apply the rule (there's the rub), your chances for victory go right up.

I'm sure there is also a political version of the book - Machiavelli wrote one, but unless one has the option of putting enemy's heads on stakes, it's not too useful for practical politics in 21st century America. Still, if there some version of "The Art of political War" available, recent events show the democrats haven't read it, because, boy did they get caught flat footed.

Our brethren on the left are running around in circles and screaming to any sympathetic ear the the filthy republicans are actually trying to win the election, that they don't understand the rules, they're... they're... fighting back.

Uh, guys it's an election contest - if only one side tries to win, the whole competition idea goes out the window.

And herein lies a little insight into the mind of the democratic party (know your enemy... remember) - they are so confident of their own rectitude they cannot conceive of someone not wanting what they are selling. It flummoxes them that given their natural superiority in this contest, that the other side would would actually even want to go through with it. They are great, they are pure, they are destiny's children, they do not know their enemy.

If failure to know thy enemy is a dangerous conceit, failure to know yourself is a fatal one. And here again the democrats fall into a trap of their own making. It is difficult to have a clear sense of self when everybody from the New York Times editorial page to the flakes at MSNBC is telling you how great you are. Barack Obama is a nancy-boy, metrosexual amalgam of white guilt and black sense of entitlement, and to call Joe Biden dumber than a box of hammers is to risk insulting the intellect of of blunt objects, yet the watch poodles of the media have convinced a good portion of the voting public that these two are the god-like harbingers of a new politics. Worse still, it seems they have convinced Obama and Biden of this too.

Now, if the Palin pick is analogous to the battles of Lexington and Concord, where the British learned the colonists would indeed fight, I would suggest the next stage should be a good old Trenton sneak attack: Send every organizer, and speaker to the innerest of the inner cities with pictures showing the fully one in ten democratic convention delegates who are NEA members; arm them with lots of quotes from education folk saying that if the people are given school choice, they won't choose the public schools, and then ask how the democratic party thing is working out for their kid's futures.

Will it change any minds in urban America? Doubtful, but howls, and screams of the Obama campaign, at even the merest possibility he could loose the hold over his people, certainly might push some of the undecideds to McCain.

And, besides as a spectacle, watching the wheels come the Obama bus would take some beating.

9-7-08 Update: I wrote the above before I found this from Caroline Glick - I'm some kind of psychic apparently.

Friday, August 22, 2008

This Just Might Be Interesting

We were in the backyard yesterday, celebrating my birthday with Full Sail Pale Ale (their slogan is "Ridiculously Tasty" - they ain't kidding), and some turtle watching, when Breda says she can't wait for the democratic coronat... er... I mean convention in Denver.

Personally, I prefer something less scripted, like pro wrestling or a Soviet show trial, so I asked why.

"For the fireworks, the protests, the blood in the streets, Chicago 1968 all over again" she answered (approximately).

"But", I countered, "these are democrats - you know, all marching in lock step. A vast sea of identical diversity worshipers all demanding freedom for themselves and people who believe exactly what they believe - why would they eat their young like that? Especially since they are this close to ultimate power, to having the means to build a kinder, more caring world where their enemies can be ruthlessly crushed and their heads placed on pikes in a kindly, gentle manner."

In reply she spoke but a single word... "Hillary."

I have my doubts, but they are not as absolute as they once were. For today I found via Instapundit, via Slate... a last ditch Hillary site.

I don't know what is going on here, or if these folk are serious, or influential or what. But it's enough to give a reactionary troglodyte such as myself a good case of the schadenfreude giggles.

Here is a sample from the schedule of events


Beautiful Protest and Rise,
Cheesman Park, 4-10pmIn Commemoration of Hillary Clinton’s Historic Presidential Campaign! What makes this historical event special, isn’t just that it’s named after the Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Rise,” but that it will also close with the lighting of candles to pay tribute to Hillary and all of her achievements, while also symbolically reigniting the flame to America’s great Democracy and Lady Liberty’s torch. Hundreds of participants are expected to attend, and candles are planned to Rise across the nation, community by community, in one harmonious gesture of participation. There is no doubt that this will be a marvelous occasion for everyone who has worked on behalf of Hillary Clinton, as well as all her supporters/fans who just believe and appreciate our Liberty and Democracy will all have an opportunity to come together and enjoy an afternoon and evening of festivities. This is a free event and all Hillary supporters/fans are welcome. PumaPac activities in the park will begin at 4p.m. and run until 6 p.m. The Rise speakers and entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m., with the national “Rise” candle salute to Hillary, Democracy and Lady Liberty to Kickoff in Cheesman Park at exactly 9:45 MDT.


She might not get the White House, but she gets the "national candle salute"?

I just might participate in that... I'll have my own lovely librarian figure out what 9:45 MDT works out to in flyover country, and go outside and point something in the air in a Hillary-ward direction to express my true feelings too.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pretty Girls

I'm long out of high school, but after listening to Barrack Obama for a couple of months, all I can think of is Pretty Girl Disease. You know the blond cheerleader who got her books carried home, and test answers slipped to her, and every door opened by a willing suitor. She may have ended up in the big house with the pool and the convertible, but unless she was a person of the highest character, she is also shallow, self-centered, ungrateful, and endowed with a colossal sense of entitlement.

And, frankly, much as I dislike McCain, I can at least sense some character there - Obama, nothing.

His entire life, the guy has been graded on the curve by people who saw in him validation of their own beliefs... "He's good-looking, glib, and fashionably dark, and he's going places! Oh boy aren't we just the grandest for supporting programs that made him possible."

And the press, and worshipful followers, are like the ugly kids who flock around the pretty ones hoping some of the glamor will rub off.

I hope I'm not naive, and I know you search the closets of any politician at your peril, and character is not the sole criterion for casting a vote, but when one candidate has some and the other guy has none, it becomes difficult to ignore.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why I Read Ace Everyday

Because the folks who write there are capable of insight and recognize real irony. I feel a little happier for having read this.

In My Darker Moments

I'm looking for suggestions. After the little explosion of last week, I spent some time sorting through my thoughts, and I couldn't make the needle swing to the positive side. It's hard to watch the Mayor of DC acting like any old Jim Crow loving good old boy defying the Supreme Court, American terrorists offering the standard rationalizations their crimes, all while the news media want us to pretend not to notice they have given up all pretense of objectivity.

Now Sebastian writes that he has some doubts about the legality of putting his political opinions down on paper and handing them out.

In America for God's sake, you now have to be afraid that it might be against the law to publish an opinion.

I'm looking for glad tidings, and not finding too many.

So, I'm asking for suggestions - what candle do you light? What star do you steer by? And which way do you turn to scent something good on the wind?

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's The Guns

The next time some slimeball politician spews the old "more guns leads to more crime" canard, send the S.O.B. a copy of this story out of Albany, New York and found at Of Arms and the Law.

Short version: Woman accuses the police of misconduct, and in order to prove her wrong, and charge her with the misdemeanor of filing a false statement, the prosecutor offers a violent felon a plea deal to reduce his 15 year armed robbery sentence to 3 years if he will testify against her.

In 4 years when the now free felon kills, or beats, or rapes someone, at least the victim's family can take comfort in the fact that the cops drawing the chalk outline around the body have untarnished reputations.

More guns don't lead to more crime; giving light sentences to violent felons for selfish reasons leads to more crime.

P.S. I wonder if they would offer the same deal to a guy to testify against the police should the situation warrant it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bliss

Today is the 18th anniversary of our marriage my love - 9 years of bliss and joy. Thank You for putting up with me.

I am the luckiest man in the universe.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just In Time For The Big Show

I do not know if Mr. Rummel is a religious man. Heck, I’m not, but you don’t have to be religious to recognize when someone is doing the Lord’s work – and Mr. Rummel most assuredly is.

A day or so ago he posted an insightful piece about America’s pistol – the .45 ACP government model of 1911 its heirs and assigns.

And now the Gun-O-Sphere has once again gone up in flames with .45-vs-Glock-vs-who all knows what fever.

I have thought back, and to the best of my imperfect memory, I don’t believe I have ever fired John Moses Browning’s (PBUH) masterpiece. I’ve shot a fair amount of forty five auto – through Glocks, XD’s and other polymer wonders, but never a 1911.

I don’t feel a void in my life for this lack of experience, but nonetheless, one should own and fire this quintessential firearm – it’s a kind of duty which has been laid upon us by history.

So, when one of these showed up at my local gunshop, I felt it was time to do my duty, and make America proud. I realize it is not a Colt or Kimber, but it was half the price of their compact models, all steel, reasonably small so it could serve as a carry pistol, and with the right magazines and tuning, reliability wouldn't be a big issue.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce my newest boomstick…



You’ll notice it doesn’t really look like a government model, and there’s a story that goes with it. I was saving up the money for the .45 and lining up all the stuff that needs to go with a new gun, and making frequent visits to the store to commune with my future purchase. When I noticed the Smith Model 19 in the rental case.

It just kind of stood out among the Taurus, and Glock, and Springfield Armory offerings, so I asked to see it, and it felt GOOD. So I put it back - I was buying a gummint model.

Next time at the range for a little practice with the J-Frame, I asked to see it again. It had been in the case for two weeks and I don't think anyone had rented it, or if they had, they had only put a few rounds through it. I asked for a bore light... the inside of the barrel was like a mirror and the rifling was sharp and distinct.

Nope, I've got revolvers, and I'm buying that .45 auto, I said to myself.

I happened to be at the range a week later, and since I was definitely buying the High Standard, there was no harm in renting the Smith, just, you know, to see how it shot...


It shot good. Real good.


I took another turn with the bore light... the forcing cone was clean and showed no evidence of cracking. The finish was black and shiny, without scratches, or wear at the muzzle or cylinder face, and she locked up tight. Hell, there wasn't even a visible drag line around the cylinder. I actually believed Mike, the merchant of death behind the counter, when he said the guy who brought it in claimed only ten or so rounds had gone through it.

So forgive me John Moses. I meant to buy a forty-five, I really did, and there is no excuse but the weakness of my soul for I have been possessed by the allure of the Smith and Wesson.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When The History...

of the collapse of the repuplican party is written, the failure of the leadership to take this man into a dark corner of the Capitol and beat him with a sack of oranges until he bled out of his ears will be listed as a major cause.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just One Thing

My favorite Librarian confirmed that Illinois does have constitutional provisions for citizen initiatives on the ballot. And since Mayor D...d.....d.....duh....Daley is so frightened of guns, he surely wouldn't want them near him. So how about a petition drive to make it illegal for any public employee of the State of Illinois to have an armed security detail?

Thoughts

I am a bad gunnie. I admit it… lived in Ohio all these years and yesterday was the first time to Camp Perry. We had a blast, and will definitely be back.

On the trip out, I saw one of those things that sends the wheels spinning.

We were driving west through the farms and fields of Erie and Ottawa Counties, when a car passed us – not surprising, I drive by setting the cruise control at the speed limit and staying in the right hand lane. On the back was a sticker with the word “CO-EXIST” formed out of letters shaped from the symbols of the world’s religions.

My first reaction was irritation, but I stopped to think about why it was irritating – and a few things came to mind:

First of course was the incredible shallowness of it. Humans have been struggling with the existence of evil for as long as we have been on the planet. Plato, Augustine, and Hannah Ardent all confronted it. Their answers differed on the source of evil – conflict among the gods mirrored on earth, or original sin, but they all agree people are often vicious animals, and that will never change. I don’t think they are sitting in philosopher heaven slapping their foreheads and saying, “Coexist, why didn’t we think of that!”

Next, the sheer, stumbling, childishness it shows– there are places in the world where simply having that bumper sticker on your car is cause to be dragged down the street by your heels and stoned to death – legally. Those are the people who need to hear your message, not me, but I don’t see that you have any plan for getting the message to them.

Finally, the arrogant presumption of it. Friend, you’re preaching to the choir; you live in a place where coexistence is a way of life. In fact it’s enshrined in our founding documents. But here’s the ugly little secret… do you know how we got to this place? We got here by killing the ones who didn’t want to coexist with us. The freedom you enjoy to drive on down the highway with your opinion displayed on your bumper was paid for in blood – the blood of soldiers who surely would have rather been anywhere else than Yorktown, Fredericksburg, or Baghdad, but also the blood of innocents in places like Dresden, and Hiroshima – where children who died screaming as fire rained down from the sky.

There is nothing you can do to alter the fact that your liberty is a bloodstained thing. And there is nothing you can do to alter the fact keeping it will require more blood be spilled.

What you can do is live in such a way as to redeem that blood. Think long and deep about your life and freedom, learn what it really costs, and realize though that may be high, the cost of regaining it once lost would be astronomical.

Finally accept that the freedom you pass on to your children, though it won’t be pure, can be less bloody, but a bumper sticker slogan won’t help.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things That Work Right Up Until They Don't

From a thread at OFCC, we find this. Yes indeed, Virginia Tech was a completely safe, gun-free place... right up until it wasn't.

Naturally, the editorialist gives us the police view on the matter:

Gene Ferrara, chief of police at the University of Cincinnati, had this to say to CNN not long ago: "I don't think the answer to bullets flying is to send more bullets flying. My belief is we ought to be focusing on what we do to prevent the shooting from starting."

My question to Mr. Ferrara is: If sending more bullets flying isn't the answer, when you arrive at the scene of an active shooting (assuming you are in time to do anything other than identify the bodies) what are you going to do to stop it, use harsh language?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Civil Society

Powerline has done a follow up on the Star Tribune’s follow up of this incident. I’m not from Minneapolis, so don’t read the paper regularly, but if their hectoring, supercilious, and self-parodying response is any indication of the quality of their work, I doubt very many read it.

Aside from their offhand "Obama can save us" endorsement, they offer this laser-like insight:

We share the anger and outrage caused by bands of young thugs. No family should have to endure the loss or injury of a loved one in this way. Yet in the search for solutions care must be taken to properly punish offenders and address the root causes of violence -- without giving in to fear, ignorance and racism.

Let us for a moment pretend that the root causes they speak of are not simply progressive code speak for white people not paying enough taxes and cutting enough slack for the social pathology of others.

What were the root causes which made these stellar citizens decide to gang up and sexually assault a twelve year old girl then dance on top of her father’s skull when he tried to stop them?

Poverty? There doesn't seem to be a mention of robbery, and if robbery was the intent, wouldn’t they attack before the family went into the park, rather than when they were leaving, after having spent their money?

Racism? The paper doesn’t give the race of the victims, but if they also were black, calling the attack a response to racism would make no sense. And if they were white, is the Star Tribune suggesting these sort of attacks should be viewed as a spontaneous overflow of rage at the injustice of society?

The latter, at least has some logical consistency, but ignores the inevitable conclusion: If I must consider every black person I meet as a potential time bomb ready to explode into random violence, I am going to stay away from them as much as possible – that’s not racism; it’s just common sense.

Since promoting “racism equals root causes” leads to a dead end, perhaps we can consider other root causes: Nihilism for example – to a stunted imagination, empathy is an unknowable concept, and “it seemed like a good idea at the time” is all the justification needed for any act. Based on the available evidence, this particular root cause seem more likely than many others.

The good news is that barbarous nihilism is a cause which can be addressed – it is difficult, and uncomfortable to point out and oppose those things which cause a culture to degenerate, but it can be done by someone with good faith and desire to shed their preconceptions. The bad news is that description does not apply to the editors of the Star Tribune.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why You Little Scamps...

From Powerline:

Suppose Garrison Keillor can find a way to fit the antics of these modern day Hucks and Toms into a segment of his radio show?

Normally, I try to avoid commenting on stories like these - many other people do it better, but occasionally the antics of the Feral-American community make me too angry to remain silent.

Personal favorite? Scott County Attorney Patrick Ciliberto laying down the law:

"This type of violence cannot be accepted in our community," he said. "We had a family at the fair enjoying the holiday. Behavior like this is personal to our community."

That's telling 'em sparky. I bet every violent criminal in a hundred mile radius is looking over his shoulder now. "Whoa dude, stay outta Scott County-they take it personal!"

The suspects, charged with a third degree felony(?!?!?!), are out on bail right now, and the victims are in hiding. But not to worry, if the father who was stomped trying to keep his twelve-year-old daughter from being gang raped is found to have permanent injuries, or takes a turn for the worse, or dies or something - then these guys are in real trouble yah-you-bet-by-gum. Because according to Patrick "Law West of the Pecos" Ciliberto:

Valleyfair has had "no assault of this magnitude" since he took office in 2002. He said the father was taken to Ridges Hospital in Burnsville for a fractured eye socket bone and other injuries. His office was told Monday that doctors were waiting for the man's swelling to subside before checking for permanent injuries, which could justify more serious charges.

Look for extreme punishment in that case - perhaps an extra day of community service, or if it survives the eighth amendment challenge - taking away their gameboys.

These Minnesota prosecutors could teach the English a thing or two about dealing with violent crime.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Things You Do Hear

Please note: My Wife Is The Awesome.

I just had a chance to listen (the meanies at work expect me to produce completed projects instead of listening to podcasts) to Ahab's brilliant podcast and gosh I'm a lucky guy.

Also remember Vote Ahab for Everything - we will bend the universe to our iron will and he will rule the world.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And another One

Seems the local constabulary in Ohio have a little problem figuring out the whole open carry thing. Please Visit Ohioans for Concealed Carry and follow the thread for More Info. I know some disapprove of open carry except under controlled circumstances, and feel that it is somewhat exhibitionistic and wont to draw unfavorable attention - in short it "scares the white people".

I can see this point and, in truth, would be taken slightly aback if I saw a gun on the hip of the guy next to me in line at the Giant Eagle. On the other hand, I don't think I'd call the police.

That having been said, I think the times have changed somewhat, and open carry is no longer beyond the pale, so we should at least refrain from criticism even if we cannot lend support.

Interesting Thought You Got There Steve

From Thirdpower we find this. My only question about Steve Herr's self-proclaimed "best solution in the world" is, once he has decided who he's not going to let have any guns, how is he going to take them away?

Seriously Steve, take me for example, I'm not really a joiner, so I'm certainly not part of any militia you would recognize, therefore you withdraw your consent for me to own guns - so be it. I've still got them what's your plan now genius?

Stevie boy - don't keep these things to yourself... share with us your next step.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pravda

Uncle asks a question.

I went here and searched for "Pro-Gun Rally In Chicago" and several permutations thereof. Maybe you can find something, but I didn't.

Then I found this and wonder if there is some connection.

When a newspapers go from deciding that news is important to deciding only news they agree with is important, they've joined the ranks of Pravda and the Peoples Daily, and are no longer worthy of the heritage and protection that so many gave their lives to secure for them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A little fuzzy

Happy hour at the Willoughby Brewing Company gets a little crowded - especially on Friday. So when we plan a get together with our friends, I usually try to arrive early to get a table in the bar area.

Yesterday, I got there extra early just to make sure we would have a place to sit, and naturally felt a little guilty taking up a table for six all by my lonesome. I tried to make up for it by giving the very nice waitress lady something to do. And she, bless her heart, answered the call like the pro she was.

Two hours later, when Breda, her mom, and our friend Nicole arrived, I was feeling decidedly mellow. Perhaps mellow is not quite the right word, but I did keep a table secure for our little group by putting my body, well liver anyway, on the line. Yep, I took one (six*) for the team.

Ain't I something.

* 1Lost Nation Pale Ale (...mmmm hops)
1Wild Irish Red (very tasty)
1PDG Porter (very very tasty)
3 Willoughby Wheats (light, refreshing, and low, well lowish, in alcohol)

Need coffee now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Who Is Who

Linked to by Instapundit, the story of how our elected representatives, in order to suck votes and support from the public employees unions, gave our tax dollars to investment managers who promised way more than they could deliver, and now we are going to get stuck with the bill to pay for some bureaucrat's retirement home in the Outer Banks because the investment return was "guaranteed".

Sort of like having a pimp come to your house and beat you for money to pay back a client whose wallet was stolen by a hooker. Except in this case it hard to tell exactly which one is the pimp, the hooker, and the john with the missing billfold.

We do however, know who is going to get screwed.

Don't Drink Anything Before Reading Further

Just found Blackfork via Uncle, and this post made me giggle-n-snork.

So true, if I had to go to the nightstand at four-inna-a-blasted-m, I'd be as likely to come up with a plastic slinky and a handful of Canadian Two Dollar Coins as a gun. I'll take it as a warning - a little house cleaning is in order.

Too Fun

Found this at AOSHQ - make your own Obama Poster. Quick, easy, fun - here is mine. Everyone can play.

Gun Fetishists

It has been an ongoing theme since the supremes handed down the Heller decision - every gun hater, and grabber, and suckler at the teat of state power is trying to make their case that the court got it wrong, and the country will now descend into a hellish pit of animal violence.

I have guns, most of my friends have them, and no one I call friend would advocate forcible disarmament. But for all those guns, not one owner believes them to be anything but inanimate chunks of metal and plastic. They may think of them as elegant machines, means to defense, or artifacts requiring skill to master, but never a thing possessed of power in itself. The true fetishists are the Bradys, and the Sugarmanns, and the Helmkes, for they are the ones who see what is essentially a mundane tool as a magical idol which can take over the mind of whoever holds it.

This isn't to say there is not a philosophical aspect to the decision to go armed. I think about it every day, and more eloquent people than I, have put words to the thoughts of everyone who carries a firearm for defense. But a philosophy is a human thing, and my firearm does not have one. In truth, it would make things easier if it did - we could simply prohibit the possession of evil guns and limit people to owning the good ones.

It is commonplace to note the use of projection by the gun controllers - even that term implies that guns are capable of independent action - it is obvious that many of of them distrust themselves and cannot conceive of people who think differently than they, thus everyone should be disarmed for the good of all.

I think there is some validity in the projection argument, but in the end it leads nowhere - as true as it may be, it is still a form of name calling and will convince neither the anti-gunners nor have much affect on the uncommitted.

But there is a corollary argument: While Paul, Sarah, and Josh, do not go home every night filled with rage and glad they do not have a gun handy, they do lie, misrepresent, and slander. They do those things because they believe their means are justified by their ends, and believe, or have convinced themselves, that their opponents do the same.

It is this projection which is the most egregious and makes them most vulnerable, for it can be countered most effectively not only by letters to the editor, or comment thread flame wars, but simple everyday actions - every time we take a new person shooting, or engage in community service, we give lie to the claim that gun-owners are bitter knuckle-draggers one step away from being mass murderers. Lies and slander consist of words, and should be responded to with truth and goodwill, but they are also actions, and can be defeated by actions.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Holy Crap

This causes the anger to rise and the black thoughts to crowd around, rattling the doorknobs, and tapping at the windows of the mind, asking to be turned into actions.

Who do these people think they are? How does it come to pass that a person may come to believe they are in the right by terrorizing those who are dedicated to improving life.

The prize for irony-proof mind goes to some human weedpatch named Jason Black:

"An animal has as much of a right to life as we do. To take a life without provocation is immoral, it's violent, there's no excuse for it,"

Uh Jason, no. An animal doesn't have as much of a right to life as I do, and if you or any of your worthless sack-of-crap friends come near my home with a firebomb - I would consider it provocation enough to shoot your ass.

It's happening in California, so the authorities probably consider these idiots to be heroes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Coffee, Tea, or ...

Someone tell me this is a joke - some early April Fools deal that got published because the editor hadn't had his coffee. On the other hand I found it on Instapundit and Mr. Reynolds is not usually so easily fooled.

Dear God has it come to this?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Must Read This

I apologize for the lightishness of postage, but I'm more or less in the construction industry in Ohio of all the overtaxed, economically under performing places, and any upturn in business is met enthusiastically by me grabbing as much overtime as I can, so not a lot of spare time is left to me.
But I do notice Mr. Lawdog has a critter report of a very instructional nature posted - hie thee hence and be amazed and amused.

Election

To be an effective president one must be the master of many skills, but getting elected in the first place requires mastery of one - appealing to the middle while not pissing off your base. The one who does it best wins.

Lets recap: The anointed one has the nuts, flakes, old media, and permanently offended in his pocket, and is making a strong hopey-changey appeal to the mush minded middle who aren't sure what they believe, but believe it passionately.

Meanwhile, Colonel Tigh is spending his time telling conservatives to kiss off, all the while making clumsy advances to the undecided and unthinking, and having about as much luck as the average fifteen year old boy with the head cheerleader.

Just my hunch but, "I'm John McCain and I don't even nearly completely suck," is not a world beating message.

He seems like a guy who's stolen a Ferrari, but doesn't really want to go anywhere.

This is going to be painful.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Geekery? Geekishness? Geekerosity?

I missed my chance to post yesterday because I had to get ready for the bi-weekly gaming session. Okay, I'll admit it, I am a geek. not quite an uber geek, but up there.

Almost fifty, and for the last twenty-nine years, at least a once every couple of months, and usually more often, I've spent some time drinking beer, rolling dice, arguing that, "Of course I can steer the horse with the reins in my teeth, and use a battle ax in both hands..." and drinking beer.

I have two copies of the original D&D players handbook (the one with the guys prying the gems from the eyes of the idol on the cover), and for those of you who are really in the know, the original boxed set of "The Keep on the Borderlands". Oh yeah, I've got it pretty bad.

For the last ten years or so, our particular poison has been "Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay".

Set in the world vaguely analogous to late fifteenth century Europe, but with all the standard elves, dwarves, and hobbi... sorry, halflings (don't be fooled, Sauron wasn't destroyed - he's an intellectual property attorney for the Tolkien estate), and with an exceedingly grim back story - life is nasty, brutish, and short - except for us hero types.

Anyway, I've been game master for the last six months or so, and yesterday I hit the jackpot.

You have to understand, the guys I play with have also been doing this as long as I have, and are hip to all the tricks. They are all voracious readers of history, sci-fi, and Shakespeare, and I will guarantee you any movie or tv show with a twist - they saw it coming a mile ago.

So when I maneuvered them into a situation where they are trapped in a village, deep in the forest, miles away from aid, with only a disparate group of farmers, and outlaws for allies, and surrounded by legions of blood-thirsty creatures whose only desire is to feast upon their flesh ... well I just gotta pat myself on the back.

Yep it's "Night of the Living Dead" tee-hee-hee.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lives, fortunes, and sacred honor..

On this day, as I get ready to go out and celebrate all that those original, mad, bad, and dangerous visionaries have bequeathed me; I want to take a moment to pray that should I ever be tested in the way they were, I would prove worthy of my inheritance.

Have a safe and glorious Fourth of July.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Day Before The Glorious Fourth

Here is an article linked by Of Arms and the Law, to whom we all owe a debt of deepest gratitude. All together now - "Thank You Mr. Hardy!"

Everyone should print copies the article and hand them out whenever some idiot says, "More guns will only lead to...) don't really need to finish it do I?

May you and yours have a safe and happy Fourth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Call me paranoid...

Eugene Robinson is a terrific fool. All you need to do is read one column to know it, and his Heller column is no exception. It's been linked all over the gunblogosphere, and Roberta has done it more justice than I could, or could hope to do.

But in it, he makes a passing comment which strikes me as chilling. His premise is, yes, the individual rights interpretation was the original intent of the framers, but enough already, fanatical adherence to original intent is loony (his word). Then he continues:

as if men who wrote with quill pens could somehow devise a blueprint for regulating the Internet.


That is the part which gave me a shiver.

Correct me if you think I'm way off base, but does anyone out there believe the Heller decision would have even reached the Appeals Court if it weren't for the alternative channel of information allowing the pro-gun side to bypass the legal/scholarly establishment? Again, I may be way wrong, but it is my understanding the heavy lifting on Heller was done by people who don't publish in the major law journals, and thus, did not have to worry about being denied tenure for their unpopular opinions.

No humor intended, but there are two kinds of people, and they tend to take opposite sides on many different issues. It is not surprising, with due allowance for those who are genuinely iconoclastic, that pro-gun and anti-gun people are also on opposite sides of issues like free markets, taxation, and environmental regulation.

So my question is this - do you think the other side is going to take this lying down?

They are not stupid; they realize their astrourf cannot match our grassroots. But remember the fairness doctrine - if you can't win on the ground, lock the other side out of the stadium.

Here is where my sheer technical ignorance comes into play, and I wish someone with more knowledge would reassure me, because the next issue in the chain of reconquering freedom, whatever that issue may be, will assuredly depend on our ability to bypass the old media channels and get the message out.

So I've got to ask, is it possible by using the courts, legislatures, the university - government bureaucracy combine, and all the other tools at their disposal, that the enemies of freedom could lock the freedom loving out of the debate?

I await the reply from those who understand how the Internet really works (it's magic to me), telling me no, the flow of information is too vast, too complex, and too powerful to be yoked to some tyrant's whim.



Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Gun

We don't have a climate like the steamy south, but summer around here can get hot and dampish, and carrying the Ruger gets a little uncomfortable despite the stellar pie protection it offers.

With Breda carrying her Bersa, I figured the now idle S&W Airweight would make a fine summer carry gun. It might seem odd to trade one snubby in for another, but the Ruger is a hefty chunk of steel, and even with its short barrel, the recoil with .357 magnums it still quite manageable. Overall, it shoots like a much larger pistol, but does require a solid holster for carry. The Smith, on the other hand, is a true pocket pistol - light enough that I really don't notice it's there.

Saturday, I went to the range for a little practice, and learned something - skill is a perishable commodity, and the smaller the gun the more perishable the skill. Frankly, I sucked - and I picked up a flinch (sounds kind of dirty doesn't it?).

The recoil from the little gun is noticeable, very noticeable. Pardon the strange comparison but the recoil on the Ruger with .357's is like a freighter in heavy seas: bang, and up she goes, and then I haul it back down to get the sights in target for the follow-up shot, but the Smith is like a much smaller boat on a choppy lake - a little bouncy and unpredictable. After about 50 rounds of practice, I was able to get the target below - five shots in five seconds at 21 feet repeated three times, total of fifteen rounds in five inches. Not too bad, and I do have the laser sights to fall back on in a pinch. However, more practice is called for, which really really isn't a bad thing.


Oh, and the day after I made the switch, the weather turned cold, maybe I have the Al Gore touch.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Nomination via Sympathetic Magic

I note Ahab is still asking for your vote.
I voted for him and so should you - lots.

See, I was thinking, I was. Met Ahab at the Indy Blogger Bash, and found him to be good-looking, intelligent, and articulate, and with the exception of good-looking, articulate, and intelligent, just like me, but younger and handsomer and more well-spoken and smarter.

And it hit me... President! POTUS, C in C, the big cheese, that's what Ahab should be. Think of it, a president we wouldn't have to watch like a hawk, and who carries - we could retire most of the secret squirrels and congress would darn well better behave or else - well just look at the pins in the above link ifyouknowwhatmeahandIthinkyoudo.

It'll work like this: Ahab has not reached the constitutionally mandated age to assume office, so there is time to get the universe used to the idea, but we the lazy, the unambitious, and slightly drunk must act to make it so.

Vote for Ahab, not just for the Blackwater thing, but for everything - waitress asks what you'll have? Tell her, "I'll have the Ahab." Precinct committee chairman - Ahab. Dogcatcher, congressman, all-star ballot: Ahab, Ahab, AHAB!

Soon the universe will begin to notice, the stars will begin to align, and with any luck, on at the first opportunity after his thirty-fifth birthday, it will be Hail To The Ahab time.

You may call me crazy, but think about this: every gun grabber group in the world relies on magical thinking no different than this, and look how close they came.

We have more people, a better cause, and a better candidate. Thank you for your support.

Lets Discuss This Like Adults

Now we are in the Post-Heller United States (feels kind of nice to say that) the “reasonable gun control folk” are offering compromises. Funny thing is, their compromises now are pretty much the same as their compromises then, and take roughly the form of, “We will graciously allow you red-necked, knuckle dragging, anatomically compensating, hillbillies to keep a single shot bb gun and one round of ammunition in return for turning in all your other guns.”

Now what could be fairer than that?

This article has been making its way around the gunbloggers, and I picked it up at Alphecca. After reading it, I can’t help but envision Charles VI looking up from the mud of Agincourt and saying to Henry, “We’ll call it a draw then?”

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Quick Sunday Fun

I don't know if any of you have explored this site, but it is well worth your time - just some awesome stuff. But be prepared to spend a lot of time there.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Late To The Party

Took a Bore Snake to my little Glenfield Model 60 yesterday, and oh boy did it make clean up a breeze. Why did I wait so ling before trying it? Cussedness most likely. Now, however, I'll never be without one - it's a very handy dingus.

Friday, June 27, 2008

We have a winner!

This, the day after the Heller decision, is a time for somber reflection, and serious consideration of where we go from here. The best of us should be preparing in depth analyses of the new legal landscape. Me, I’m going to find some whiny jerk and snark and jape at him. Everyone say hello to Maurice J. Dufilho who posted what is, in my humble opinion, the dissent to Heller. Not for Mr. Dufilho the vulgar “gun nuts compensating for tiny anatomical parts” argument so beloved of the disarmament lobby, no “wild west, blood in the streets” imagery either. Oh no, our not so humble correspondent brings his razor wit and not inconsiderable vocabulary to bear on the crux of the matter – Justice Scalia's poor Latin. I would normally just excerpt from his comments, but in this case I can’t pick the best parts so, here in all his glory, I present to you Maurice Dufilho:

I intend to finish reading the entire decision. But before I go to bed tonight, I need to point out that the good judge Scalia has stumbled in his initial premise and that this stumble has rendered his now legal decision an elegant, dark and dank pool of contradictions.

I think he is trying to tell us Justice Scalia fell into a swamp while wearing a tuxedo, of issued a decision in a swampy tuxedo or something, but no matter, we have axes to grind and metaphors to mix (shaken, not stirred).

It is noted that the honorable judge states, and I believe rightly that "'[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.'"

Hear that? That is a sigh of relief coming from the Supreme Court, “thank god we got that one right.” I bet they didn’t even call Maurice for his opinion and were just winging it. Legal precedence, years of judicial experience, and centuries of western thought…trifles; what really matters is meeting the Dufilho standard.


He continues two paragraphs down:"The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, 'Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.' Subsequently he assumes that the designated "prefatory clause" is one of purpose, and that "[l}ogic demands that there be a link between the stated purpose and the command."

I actually understood the first part. Oh wait, that’s the bit written by the judge. I’m not an expert like Maurice, but I think having a logical connection between the first and second parts of any sentence is a good thing, or else you get, “Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, …oh look, bunnies!” See how that could be a problem when you’re lining up to fight the redcoats?

Before I go any further in his Honor's dazzling and baffling assemblage of judicial wind, I would to God that someone, perhaps one of his sons who may be better educated in that knowledge of grammar and rhetoric which he seems to flaunt, would explain to him that the Second Amendment is not two clauses connected only by juxtaposition. We remember that the Constitution was written to be understood by voters, however exclusive that term "voters" may have been in the late eighteenth century. Assume that it excluded all illiterates but included all those who a traditional classical education, for example all those who were signatory to it and to earlier such documents. Any and most likely all of these people, (James Madison, for example) would have exclaimed: "Sir! do you not know the difference between an absolute and a clause!"

As to building things from wind, I think Maurice may be engaging in a little breezy construction of his own when he lets us know that the voters who could understand the wording of the constitution all seem to resemble none other than, well...Maurice Dufilho springs to mind. As an aside, I don't recall hearing of Paul Revere's contributions to classical scholarship, and Franklin was self-educated after dropping out of school after two years. On the other hand ,"Give me liberty or give me an absolute and a clause!" is a battle cry for the ages.

I say this, because as every schoolboy knows (see Thomas Babington Macaulay) from their study of Hesiod and Homer and Aeschylus as well as Virgil, Horace, and Cicero, not to mention Julius Caesar's narratives of his wars in Gaul ablative and genitive absolutes were the bane of their existence when they had to confront a schoolmaster with his stiff rod.

This schoolboy must have been out the day we covered Hesiod etal. And really, why stop there, go on after Caesar to Augustine, Aquinas, Larry, Curly, and Stephen King. Oh, and Maurice, stiff-roddded schoolmasters tend to end up in general population where their ablatives get generated good and hard- yeah you bet.

His Honor either is aware of the absolute construction in his native language or not. If not, he stumbled upon a kind of truth: what he calls the "prefatory clause" does not limit grammatically what he calls the "operative clause." But he falls off the wagon when he assumes that it announces a purpose. Again, as every schoolboy knows who has gotten his knuckles rapped forty or fifty times over his pages of Aeschylus or Cicero absolutes are absolute; they do not admit of only one relation with the second half of the statement. In Latin (which was a lingua franca on the other side of the pond pretty much to the middle of the eighteenth century) an ablative absolute governed the meaning of the main clause of the sentence.

Look, I don't think the comments section of a semi-important paper like the Chicago Tribune is the place to be discussing certain unwholesome practices involving schoolboys and any kind of whacking - there's places in some of the more obscure parts of the internet for that.


I pulled my old "Bradley's Arnold Latin Prose Composition" edited and revised by J. F. Mountford, M.A., D.Litt. published October 1938, off the shelf. And in Section 263, on page 151 Mountford refers his student from the later Section 419, on page 230 and states unequivocally: "The Ablative answers the questions whence? by what means? how? from what cause? in what manner? when? and where? And from there he elucidates the meanings of all ablative uses. What can this mean? Obviously it was not limited to purpose but more obviously it governed a statement in whatever possible facet of its meaning.

Not "Bradley's Arnold Latin Prose Composition"! Your latin-fu is strong, and it's a good thing the Brady Folk didn't have a copy lying around when they were preparing their case, or it would have been all over but the conjugating. That dreamy Ruth Ginsberg might have even invited them back to her chambers for, you know, a little weenie, weedy, weekie. As to the second part of this paragraph, it kind of answers itself, "when", "where", "what can this mean", and of course who cares?

Therefore when the honorable judge claims that the Second Amendment is divided into two clauses: the first prefatory and the second operative he has already made his call. And we have another travesty. His mind was made up before he began to spin his web and make it intricate and beautiful and amazingly deceptive.

Uh, Maurice, making calls is kind of what we pay judges to do. And really, if the people who actually wrote the Constitution, albeit without the benefit of your guidance had to get the Latin right instead of getting the country up and running, we'd still be waiting.

If his Honor was aware of the absolute, (in English it is called a nominative absolute, because cases are quickly fading from our language), I would have no alternative but to call him a bloody liar. But that cannot be because he is a good Catholic and has gone to church with Clarence Thomas, Louie Freeh, and Robert Philip Hanson.

All of this so you can call Scalia a liar? Dear god man, here is a suggestion from "Bradley's Arnold Latin Prose Composition Updated" that will save us all a lot of time ... "SCALIA SUX KTHX BAI"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Five To Four

Whew! I can breathe again. Dat Was A Tose One. Excuse me while I go fill in this hole I was digging in the back for no reason... really, I just like to dig. Flowers, yeah, flowers - we were going to plant Azaleas in this cement-lined, climate-controlled, hole in the ground. But now, it doesn't go with the rest of the landscaping plan, so we'll just skip it.

I was hoping for 6 to 3 at least - It is kind of frightening to think that almost half of the highest judges in the land hate our freedom and think enslaving us is just jake, but I'll leave the cloud for later and celebrate the silver lining today.

Waiting.....

Please Mr. Supreme Court Justice I can haz gunz now?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The lesser evil

Just trying to look on the bright side.

If Obama loses, it means an America hating, terrorist loving, neo-communist economic retard is kept out of the White House.

If McCain loses, it means a Constitution shredding, politically opportunistic, authoritarian economic retard is kept out of the White House.

Just Sayin.

Loopy Holes

From Xavier comes today's lesson - a little film of our lords and masters pining away for closure of the "gun show loophole".

Now, any gun person can see what they are doing - most folks know nothing about purchasing firearms, thus it is easy to conflate the vast majority of legal, regulated, background checked, show purchases with the tiny minority of private transfers that happen, so non gun people are given the idea gun shows are vast arms bazaars where gangsters congregate to purchase under-the-table machine guns.

And gunnies, figuring the Bloombergs of the world are making an underhanded play to close gun shows, always patiently explain the truth about this particular dodge. We explain it to anyone who asks, we explain it endlessly, we explain it in letters to the editor and website comment sections. It seems we are endlessly explaining to anyone who will listen that every buyer of every gun sold by every dealer at every gun show gets run through the same background check as if the purchase were happening at a brick and mortar store, and the words "non-existent" should always be silently inserted before the words "gun show loophole".

Forgive me if I am pointing out the obvious, but I don't think his dishonor, the Mayor of New York and his ilk, give a rat's patoot about closing gun shows loopholed or otherwise. Don't get me wrong, they'd love to make owning a gun impossible for everyone but their personal security details, but shutting down gun shows isn't going to do that. Making private sales illegal however, would be a good start in that direction.

It goes like this: It is now the law that the purchaser of any firearm sold anywhere by any means must undergo a background check. "To heck with that." I say, "My brother wants to buy my hunting rifle, and I'm going to sell it to him, and no dumb law is going to keep me from doing that."

Later, while my brother is in deer country, the local cops stop him, and noticing the rifle, become suspicious.

"That your rifle?" asks our mythical policeman.

"Sure is." answers my brother.

"How is it I may be certain you underwent a rigorous background check before being allowed to purchase this high powered sniper weapon which fires bullets that can cut clean through a bullet-proof vest?"

"Guess you'll have to take my word for it."

And there it will have to stand. They may make it unlawful to privately sell a gun at a gun show, but there are always parking lots, garages, and my brother's basement, and unless there is some way to permanently record who owns what guns, they will never be able to prove you didn't always own this or that particular gun.

I don't see a calculating little twerp like Bloomberg letting it go at that. After the ban on private sales, the next step is providing the means of verification that the law is being followed. It will have to be registration, and it will be done for the children of course, or to stop gun traffickers, or for any one of a dozen other reasons, but it will be done. They will assure us the lists will be kept private, and no confiscation is intended, and if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.

Whatever excuses and assurances are given, there will have a list and you will be on it, and when it is time to come get your guns the authorities will know where to go.

You may choose to believe a policy founded on lies and implemented by liars won't be used against you; I'll bet a lot of people in a lot of places believed things like that... right up till the end.