Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quote of the Day - Ebola Edition

If we have to live in a Stephen King novel, why did it have to be The Stand?

 Seen on Facebook.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Apparently They Nuked Pandora...

The Na'vi have been wiped out, and mining of Unobtanium has resumed.

My 8-lb. keg of Unobtanium Unique finally came in.  Along with a 4-lb. keg of Power Pistol.

 photo WIN_20141010_175804.jpg

Remember, I found a 8-pounder back in June.  The retailer wanted $299 for it, plus HazMat.  I passed.

Powder Valley still shows the 8-lb. keg for $109.25, but they don't have any.  My local retailer wanted $199.00 plus tax.  I paid it.  And $99 for the Power Pistol.

Remember those halcyon days of, oh, two years ago when pistol powder was about $18/lb in quantity?  Yeah.  So do I. 

The shop got in two of those 8-pounders.  Another customer saw mine and bought the other one on the spot.

Looks like I'll be loading this weekend!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"Are we all quite mad here in the developed world?"

Not all of us, but far too many.

Next question?

Mark Champion of Bloomberg View asks the question upon considering the reaction to the government of Spain deciding to euthanize a mixed-breed dog, pet of a Spanish nursing assistant who contracted the Ebola virus.  He reports:
A petition to save Excalibur, the pet dog of a Spanish nursing assistant who has contracted Ebola, received more than 370,000 signatures before the animal was sedated and killed as a precautionary measure this evening. As his corpse was taken away in a van for incineration, a crowd of activists who had clashed with police during the day were reportedly shouting: "murderers!"

I don't remember people clashing with police to persuade their governments to do more to help stop the spread of Ebola in Africa, where more than 3,400 human beings have died from the disease. Indeed, an online petition to persuade the U.S. government to fast-track research for an Ebola drug has so far received 152,534 signatures. By that measure, we care half as much about finding a cure for Ebola as saving a dog.
Go read the piece and look at the pictures of the protesters in this Daily Mail piece.

In related news, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, not People Eating Tasty Animals) wants to put up a granite memorial at a location where "hundreds of terrified chickens suffered and died" as the result of a truck accident.

I think a memorial Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet should be built there.

A Popeye's just wouldn't have the proper gravitas.

Edited to add:  James Lileks weighs in on the subject.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Dealing with Loss

I posted about a week ago that Boo, my 19 year-old cat died.  Nineteen years is a long time to share with another creature, and loss is painful.  If you've ever had pets, you've almost certainly gone through it.

Another blogger lost her best buddy not too long ago.  Brigid lost her black Lab, Barkley back in February after almost eleven years.

Each of us deals with loss in different ways.  I've been blogging for a bit more than eleven years now, but I'm a good technical writer.  Anything other than posting an announcement of his passing is pretty much beyond me.

I've been reading Brigid since she started blogging.  To deal with her loss, she wrote The Book of Barkley, and it is everything she is online and more.  It is the story of  her life and the portion she shared with Barkley.  Brigid is an artist.  Words are her medium.  She paints with them - still lifes, landscapes, and sweeping frescoes of words.  Some are dark, some are cheerful, some are funny and some are startlingly beautiful and poignant.

She has used the proceeds from the sales of her book to help other bloggers, donate to Lab Rescue, and help out her dad who is 94 and in poor health.  Want a good book?  Pick it up on Amazon or wherever good books are sold online.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Bill Whittle Being Optimistic


Somebody needs to be.

"Banana Hammer" Kicked Over My Gigglebox

From the minds at AR15.com, a poster showing all of the eeeeeeevil components that make up the AR15 rifle:

 photo utf-8Qarmalite5Fzps3b06aef0.jpg

But I must admit that "Merciless rage piston" ranked right up there.

If you want to waste a few hours days, go to the originating thread at ARFCOM.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Damn...

I saw some of this on Facebook, but Bayou Renaissance Man has a post up about the saddest thing there is, I think: the death of a child. Please, go read. And if you can, please chip in a little to help with their medical costs.

Is It Something in the Water in Oklahoma?

So, a story comes out of Oklahoma City where an 11 year-old girl shot the man attacking her mother.


This is not the first time a child has used a gun in defense of self or others in Oklahoma.  Two years ago, a 12 year-old girl shot a burglar.


Apparently Oklahoma doesn't have a "safe storage law," as opposed to California, which does.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Unkillable Zombie that is Communism

Recently at Quora.com, someone asked the question:
Why does communism get such a bad reputation?

Why is America so opposed to what I merely see as a different system of running things? I used to read Karl Marx as a senior in high school and his ideas don't seem all that "evil" to me. Am I missing something here. Why all the hate?
I responded:
I understand that the rules of Quora state that I'm not allowed to answer a question only with a graphic, but this one pretty much says it all:


Karl Marx's failed attempt at economics and social engineering has been - directly or indirectly - responsible for the deaths of over 100,000,000 human beings - at the hands of their own governments. At the same time, capitalism has been responsible for lifting more people out of poverty than any other system ever attempted - to the point that Communist China (about half of that hundred million dead) has taken to it, albeit with strong restrictions.

If you don't "understand the hate" I suggest you read up on the history.
Today Bill Whittle has a better answer (naturally) in his latest Firewall:


Pullquote:
The Progressive utopia is the Loch Ness Monster of politics: a giant, air-breathing creature that never surfaces for air.
UPDATE: Eric S. Raymond expands on the subject.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sleep Well, Buddy.

 photo Boo.jpg

Boo - 5/95 - 9/23/14

I'm gonna miss that cat.

Monday, September 22, 2014

GBR IX - After Action Report

Yeah, I know, I'm really late on this one but I have a (mostly) valid excuse.  Immediately upon return to Arizona, I went back to work and busted a** for the next nine days in a row.  THEN I got four days off.  Sorry, but I didn't touch the blog the last four days.

So!  Gun Blogger Rendezvous #9 is in the record books, and as they go, this was a pretty good one.  Attendance was down this year.  A lot of regulars couldn't make it for economic or work- or school-related reasons, but we did have appearances by former attendees who hadn't made one in a year or six.  The former DirtCrashr who now resides at Not Clauswitz made an appearance, though his wife declined to come at the last minute.  The not-blogging-much Conservative UAW Guy (and now partner in a gun shop) came and brought his lovely better-half.  Namer of the Blogosphere Bill Quick of Daily Pundit put in a repeat appearance, as did Billll of Billll's Idle MindEngineering Johnson, who contributed a refurbished Model 74 Winchester rifle and a custom holster for the Ruger Mk III Hunter also repeated.  Unfortunately, his dad True Blue Sam couldn't join him this year.  Mr. Completely and KeeWee, our hosts rounded out the bloggers who came, at least those whose names I got. 

This year we had a lot of local attendance, with a repeat by the Wilson family and friends, who somehow managed to take home most of the top prizes (including three of the four guns given away.)  And we had a repeat appearance by local manufacturer and Special Occupational Taxpayer Richard Brengman of Special Interest Arms, and his distributor Brian Borg of SilentCarbine.com who brought an assortment of suppressed firearms and a squirt-gun to play with to the Friday range trip followed by the Friday night Show-n-Tell.

I kinda lust after one of their De Lisle carbines.  As Billll said about one of his other suppressed weapons, I've handled office staplers that were louder.  I just need to win the lottery....

Breakfast on Friday was supplied by the National Rifle Association, and their representative spoke to us about current strategy and concerns.  They're quite concerned about Bloomberg and his personal fortune.  The NRA isn't throwing a lot of money at Washington state's I-594 initiative - at least not what Bloomberg's throwing.  Her argument, condensed, is that the NRA has a more limited war chest and must fight on a broad front.  Bloomie can pick and choose, and throw as much money as he wants at something, not that doing so will guarantee him a "win" (see Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke's victory in the face of $150,000 of Bloomberg's money - more than both candidates spent in total.)  Still, gun-rights supporters in Washington are not pleased by the NRA's apparent lack of involvement, and the organization was so informed.

As is traditional, we held the raffle on Saturday evening, and we raised, even with light attendance, right at $4,000 for Honored American Veterans Afield.  I'd like to thank the manufacturers and their reps, distributors and retailers who contributed to the Rendezvous so that we could raise that money:
  • Ken Jorgensen of Ruger - for the Mk III Hunter
  • MKS Supply for their nine years of support and the .45 Carbine they donated this year, plus shirts and hats.
  • Osage County Guns and Kevin Creighton for the Sig 1911-22 they donated.  This was their first year.
  • Lori Yunker of Burris Optics for the AR-F³ sight they donated.
  • Allen Forkner of Swanson Russell and Redfield for the Battlezone 6-18x44mm scope they donated.
  • Eric Harvey of Dillon Precision for providing one of their "Ammo-shift" bags.
  • Larry Weeks of Brownell's for providing once again one of their top-of-the-line range bags and five tactical flashlights.  Brownell's, too, has been a sponsor from year one.
  • Crimson Trace for a pair of laser sights for Glock pistols.
  • Cabela's for the donation of a rod-n-reel, shirts and hats.
  • Tom Tayor of Mossberg for the donation of T-shirts, tactical pens and a very nice Schrade lockback knife.
  • Bear Bullets for the donation of a tub-o'-.22 ammo. (A Remington Bucket O' Bullets - 1400 rounds worth!)
  • WGM Tactical Precision for the donation of a stripped AR lower (which I guess qualifies as the FIFTH firearm given away), and a lifetime membership to Front Sight
  • Front Sight itself for a certificate good for a four-day training course, or two two-day classes.
  • Special Interest Arms for the donation of scope mounts for a No. 1 Mk III and a No. 4 Enfield
  • Engineering Johnson for the Winchester Model 74 and the beautiful hand-tooled holster for the Ruger.
I also want to thank the folks at U.S. Firearms Academy for graciously acting as our shipping receiver, the fine folks at the Washoe County Regional Shooting Facility for the reserved range space on Friday and the Western Nevada Pistol League for use of their shooting bays and steel on Saturday, and finally the folks at MiScenarios for the interactive digital range time on Sunday. That was worth hanging around for, and the better part of a dozen of us showed up to try it.

Once again, thanks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation for their sponsorship (they bought our pizza Saturday night).

If I missed anyone, please let me know and I'll be sure to include you.

And yes, I ended my eight-year drought by winning... the Hi-Point.

I think I'll steam-punk it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tye-Dyed Tyranny

Bill Whittle's latest:


Best pullquote:
What kind of patchouli Senate is there in Washington and coming for the rest of us?  Well, this kind:  Let's say the you and your children are hiking in beautiful Olympic National Park.  Oh, look!  Moose antlers!  If you or your child - who didn't shoot the moose, I hasten to add, you simply found the molted antlers lying on the trail - well, if you pick up the antlers - again, not leave the park with them, but simply Pick. Them.  Up. Well, that's a five thousand dollar fine and up to six months in jail according to Federal law, 36 CFR 2.1 subchapter (a)(1)(i).
To wit:
§ 2.1 Preservation of natural, cultural and archeological resources.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the following is prohibited:
(1) Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing from its natural state:
(i) Living or dead wildlife or fish, or the parts or products thereof, such as antlers or nests.
You can bet someone has been prosecuted under this law.  But at least it's not a felony!

Watch the whole thing.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

HOME!

I got back from the Rendezvous Monday afternoon, as noted previously.  I was then dispatched starting Tuesday to go start up a couple of medium-voltage drives at sites in Northeastern Arizona.  Sites - multiple.  The second one kicked my ass.  Got home this afternoon at just after 12PM.  I'm wiped. 

The guy who went with me - new hire, but someone I've known for years - left his personal vehicle in the parking lot of the office building where our Tucson office is.  When we got back, we discovered his car had been broken into, and all of the tools he didn't take with us were stolen.

It was a lot of tools.

I need to get a replacement for the T-shirt I have that says "Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints."  The one I have is bleach-stained.

Maybe that's appropriate.

Regular (if light) blogging will resume after a day or so.

Friday, September 12, 2014

There are Days...

...when I wonder why I gave up the advantages of a beige cloth-covered box in a comfortable air-conditioned building.

Today was one of those days.

At least it wasn't 106°F.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

So in the UK's Daily Mail comes a piece about a teacher.  An English teacher.

Who admits that she's illiterate.

Well, actually, she's not.  Apparently she's just really, really badly educated and doesn't know what the word "illiterate" means:
As a teacher with six years’ experience, you might imagine that I would have been in my element as I chatted about the eight-year-olds in my charge and offered their parents encouragement and advice.

Instead I was consumed with embarrassment. And no wonder. The father opposite me — a lawyer — was looking at me as if I was dirt under his shoe.

I had been telling him about the new drive to improve literacy standards in our school when he had interrupted me.

‘Can you repeat what you just said?’ he said. ‘I’m not sure I could possibly have heard you correctly.’

I had no idea why he was getting so agitated. To humour him, I repeated slowly: ‘I said that me and the headmistress are doing all we can to improve standards.’

I might as well have told him that we were planning to bring back the birch. Throwing his hands up in the air, he launched into a tirade that left me red hot with shame.

‘Me and the headmistress?’ he ranted. ‘Don’t you know it should be: “The headmistress and I”? How can you call yourself a teacher when your grammar is so poor?’
And a little later in the piece:
The stark truth is that most people educated in a state school in the Seventies and Eighties had little or no grounding in grammar. And many of us have become teachers. Scarred ourselves, we have passed the damage on.

I’m convinced the rot started in 1964 when Harold Wilson’s Labour government came to power and abolished the 11-plus in many areas. Parents were told this was to enable primary schools to develop a more informal, child-centred, progressive style of teaching, with the emphasis on learning by discovery.

As a teacher, I can see this is rubbish. The belief that grammar could be ignored was virtually all pervasive until 1988, when the Conservative government introduced the National Curriculum.
This observation dovetails nicely with the one made by former New York Teacher of the Year, John Taylor Gatto, when he wrote:
I lived through the great transformation which turned schools from often useful places (if never the essential ones school publicists claimed) into laboratories of state experimentation. When I began teaching in 1961, the social environment of Manhattan schools was a distant cousin of the western Pennsylvania schools I attended in the 1940s, as Darwin was a distant cousin of Malthus.

Discipline was the daily watchword on school corridors. A network of discipline referrals, graded into an elaborate catalogue of well-calibrated offenses, was etched into the classroom heart. At bottom, hard as it is to believe in today’s school climate, there was a common dedication to the intellectual part of the enterprise. I remember screaming (pompously) at an administrator who marked on my plan book that he would like to see evidence I was teaching "the whole child," that I didn’t teach children at all, I taught the discipline of the English language! Priggish as that sounds, it reflects an attitude not uncommon among teachers who grew up in the 1940s and before. Even with much slippage in practice, Monongahela and Manhattan had a family relationship. About schooling at least. Then suddenly in 1965 everything changed.

Whatever the event is that I’m actually referring to—and its full dimensions are still only partially clear to me—it was a nationwide phenomenon simultaneously arriving in all big cities coast to coast, penetrating the hinterlands afterwards. Whatever it was, it arrived all at once, the way we see national testing and other remote-control school matters like School-to-Work legislation appear in every state today at the same time. A plan was being orchestrated, the nature of which is unmasked in the upcoming chapters.

Think of this thing for the moment as a course of discipline dictated by coaches outside the perimeter of the visible school world. It constituted psychological restructuring of the institution’s mission, but traveled under the guise of a public emergency which (the public was told) dictated increasing the intellectual content of the business! Except for its nightmare aspect, it could have been a scene from farce, a swipe directly from Orwell’s 1984 and its fictional telly announcements that the chocolate ration was being raised every time it was being lowered. This reorientation did not arise from any democratic debate, or from any public clamor for such a peculiar initiative; the public was not consulted or informed. Best of all, those engineering the makeover denied it was happening.
1964 in the UK, 1965 in the U.S.  Coincidence? 

But I wrote all that so I could post this, the Quote of the Day, definitely the Week, possibly the Month and contender for Quote of the Year, by our "illiterate" teacher:
Thankfully, I had the good grace to quit teaching and take a job in the media.
I can't think of a more appropriate place for her!  Can you?

Monday, September 08, 2014

Quick GBR Update

It must be clean living, but I missed almost all of the bad weather between Las Vegas and Tucson.  After the indoor digital simulation training at MiScenarios on Sunday, I dropped Mr. Completely and KeeWee off at the Silver Legacy and headed South for Las Vegas a bit after 13:30.  I rolled into Las Vegas about 20:30, grabbed something to eat at Vamp'd (Not bad!  I've paid a lot more for a steak nowhere near as good - two thumbs up), and then drove on to Henderson to get a room for the night.  I got drizzled on just a tiny bit rolling into Vegas, but the clouds did look threatening.

I pulled out of Henderson this morning at 08:30 and hit Phoenix about 12:00.  The only rain I drove through was between Kingman and Wikieup, and it wasn't that bad.  Apparently Phoenix got slammed this morning, but by the time I rolled in it was over.  I-10 West was closed West of the I-17 exchange, but I was headed East, so that wasn't a problem.  I had to stop by my company's main office and pick up some stuff, and I had to drop off Capitalist Pig's and Ms. Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's rifles that I transported for them, rather than them having to deal with the TSA.

Tucson, in the mean time, was getting hammered.  All gone by the time I got home.  I rolled into my driveway at about 15:30.  I'm wiped out.  And I have to be on the road tomorrow at oh-my-god:30 for three to four days of onsite service work at a mine 200 miles away.

Blogging will be light for the next couple of days, but there WILL be an After-Action Report from the Rendezvous!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Range Day!

So today we ran out to the Washoe County public range and shot what everybody brought. A local vendor brought his toys to display and demonstrate, Special Interest Arms. Here's some of what he brought to play with:

 photo DSCF3549.jpg

(From the top:)  Thureon Defense 9mm, integrally suppressed
Thureon Defense .45ACP integrally suppressed
.45 Enfield with suppressor ("Stubby")
Full-auto AK-47 (not suppressed)
AR-15 9mm integrally suppressed

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De Lisle .45ACP integrally suppressed carbine.  Bloody silent

Here's a .300 Blackout in use.  And yes, the wind noise is louder than the rifle:


And here's the Thureon .45 in action:


Here's some of the other things that shooters brought:

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Bill Quick's .22 race gun


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DC's Sako Mosin

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Ishapore Enfield in .303 British

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The world's only wood-furnitured Hi-Point carbine that belongs to Billll

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An assortment of handguns.

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Ms. Vast Right Wing Conspiracy's Remington 700 in .308.

There was a lot more, but that's all I got photos of. More later!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

A Little Something for Roberta X

Just outside our Hospitality Room are these old bikes:

Penny_Farthing_1 photo DSCF3529.jpg

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I know Roberta likes old bicycles!

At the Rendezvous!

Hit the hotel parking lot yesterday at just after 6PM, got checked in and went in search of dinner. Per the schedule, those arriving early departed for the El Dorado Buffet at 6:15, so I managed to join them just after 6:30. Pretty good crowd for Wednesday! Eleven of us, in total. Got refueled, and then a few of us went to the Hospitality room where we shot the breeze until about 11PM.

Today we have breakfast together, and then at 2PM a tour of Scheel's. I'm taking my camera. This place is HUGE.

The rest of the day will be occupied as each attendee prefers - gambling, touristing, sitting around the Hospitality room beating gums and drinking adult beverages, etc. Dinner is at 6PM, then back to the Hospitality room to close out the night.

Don't you wish you were here?