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

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And This is Why I Read Crystal . . .

And This is Why I Read Crystal . . .
My last stop of the day was at the tanning place. I approached the oblivious toddler behind the counter and waited patiently for her to hang up her cell phone and acknowledge me. When she finally did so, she sighed impatiently and asked, "Last name?"

"McKnob. But, I have a question."

She raised her eyebrows at me to indicate her burning desire to know what was troubling me.

"I know jack shit about tanning, obviously. That's why people randomly take my pulse when I'm sleeping. But I spent a gob of money in here last week to do away with some of my sickly pastiness and I was advised to buy points. Then the other girl talked me into a lotion that has unicorn sperm in it because it's supposed to make me look like a Coppertone girl overnight or something. I use it as directed, climb in that bed that talks down to me in her snooty British accent and I wait. I've used it seven times and I found out last week that the points thing? Waste of money. Also, a girl that used to work here told me the bed I'm in is for maintaining color, not establishing, so I'm wondering why no one told me that and why I was coerced into spending four times the amount of money on points when a membership would have been cheaper."

She chewed thoughtfully on her gum. Finally, brow creased, she said, "What?"

"Let me try one of the beds that are bad for your skin and get a membership, please."

She visibly brightened. "Oh, okay! I'll set you up in bed three."

"Is there a fire extinguisher in there?"


"I need one." While she typed, I mumbled. "PETA has it all wrong. They need to be in here, saving us from ourselves."

Toddler looked up. "Did you say something?"

"Yeah, does it have stuff on your computer screen, like, 'Baste liberally and cook at 400 degrees for ten to twelve minutes'?"
RTWT. Both parts.

Brick & Mortar FAIL

Brick & Mortar FAIL

I received a gift card for the local Caveman's Warehouse for Christmas, so I went in to see what I could pick up. The barrel for my T/C Encore came today, so I thought I'd maybe get some .260 Remington brass, perhaps some loaded ammo for a baseline comparison, maybe a pound of powder.

I wish I'd brought a camera.

The shelves are empty. Well, not completely, but I think there's about six pounds of powder, total (what's left is shotgun powder), about 10% of the normal stock of bullets (what's left is premium hunting bullets), about 5% of the normal stock of brass (.204 Ruger, anyone?), and it appears that Caveman's doesn't stock .260 Remington loaded ammunition of any flavor to begin with.

The firearm section has a wall of pegs on which hang the majority of the handguns they have for sale, and there are usually a dozen or so in the glass display cases.

About half of the pegs are bare, and there's two (2) revolvers in the display cases.

I asked one of the sales guys about when they might be restocking. He didn't know. They get whatever's on the truck when it arrives. He asked if I was familiar with MidwayUSA.

Hell, I'm on a first-name basis with Larry Potterfield. Maybe next year I'll have to insist that I be given Midway gift certificates.

Tomorrow Caveman's is having a big sale.

I wonder what the hell they think they're gonna sell? Well, shotguns. They've got a lot of shotguns left.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
(B)rigid has some recipes on her blog. which is like saying there is some paint on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel - Reflectoscope (Jim) from the chat at Gun Nuts Radio tonight.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Catch-Up

Well, the Christmas weekend was pretty relaxing. I didn't do much of anything but recharge my batteries. But I am reminded once again of stuff I wanted to post about but didn't get around to.

First up, Stephen Halbrook has an important book out that he (and the Independence Institute) want to drive to #1 on Amazon and beyond: The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms. The push started on the Bill of Rights day (Dec. 15), but Amazon ran out of stock when it hit #140 overall. Apparently it's back in stock (though Amazon is still quoting 3-4 weeks). If you haven't, buy a copy. Buy one for your nearest high-school library, if nothing else.

Next up, our buddy Saul Cornell. It appears that he's still living in his jabberwocky world where history says what he twists it to say. David Hardy has written an article published in the Northwestern University Law Review on the source material Saul Cornell used in pieces that were cited in both majority and minority opinions in D.C. v Heller. David's piece proves conclusively that Saul was, once again, exceedingly selective and misleading about what was in those source materials. As Clayton Cramer explained,
. . . as several reviewers of Cornell's most recent book have pointed out, Cornell's work is riddled with gross factual errors--and like Bellesiles, those errors are remarkably one-sided . . . .
He does seem to do that a lot.

And get away with it.

Here's the pertinent excerpt from David Hardy's paper:
One wonders how the Stevens dissent in Heller could have argued, from these lecture notes, that St. George Tucker, on whom the Court relies heavily, did not consistently adhere to the position that the Amendment was designed to protect the 'Blackstonian' self-defense right . . . or that the notes suggest the Second Amendment should be understood in the context of the compromise over military power represented by the original Constitution and the Second and Tenth Amendments.

The brief answer appears to be that the dissent relied uncritically on the portions of the lecture notes quoted by Saul Cornell in a 2006 article, which the dissent cites as authority. The article sets out the quotations cited by the dissent and argues that they reflect Tucker's earliest formulation of the meaning of the Second Amendment, and casts the right to bear arms as a right of the states.

In fact, the article's quotations are misleading; they come from Tucker's discussion of the militia clauses of the original Constitution, which predictably deal with military power and the States. Tucker argues that the States have the power to arm their militias should Congress not do so since such power is not forbidden to States by the Constitution and hence is protected by the Tenth Amendment, just as any arms given would be protected by the Second Amendment. When, less than twenty pages later, Tucker does discuss the Bill of Rights, the language he uses closely parallels his 1803 Blackstone's Commentaries, usually down to the word.
The 2006 paper was St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings, 47 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1123, 1129–30 (2006). The words that Saul Cornell left out of his paper?
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed - this may be considered as the palladium of liberty. The right of self defense is the first law of nature. In most governments it has been the study of rulers to abridge this right with the narrowest limits. Where ever standing armies are kept up & the right of the people to bear arms is by any means or under any colour whatsoever prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated is in danger of being so. In England the people have been disarmed under the specious pretext of preserving the game. By the alluring idea, the landed aristocracy have been brought to side with the Court in a measure evidently calculated to check the effect of any ferment which the measures of government may produce in the minds of the people. The Game laws are a [consolation?] for the government, a rattle for the gentry, and a rack for the nation.
Can't have that when you're trying to prove that St. George Tucker didn't believe the right to arms was an individual one, independent of militia service! Best not mention it! Your Joyce Foundation monies might be cut off!

Keep giving him hell. Maybe Cornell can be disgraced out of his position like Michael Bellisiles was.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Og and Billy have what amounts to a religious disagreement: Og figures we're too evil to endure without external govenment and Billy figures if we are bad, then our institutions will be bad, too. Pared down to that, it appears we're thermodynamically doomed: can't win, can't break even, can't quit the game. Life is, however, a local, short-term reversal of entropy: we keep tryin' stuff and in the long run, nobody is in charge of anything but themselves. Yeah, it's more fluff. Turtles all the way down. Go outside, reverse some entropy and, damn you, smile. - Roberta X in a comment to her own post, Manners, Customs, Anarchy and Me
It would appear that she has the same problem with Billy Beck's prickly personality that I do.

Something Tells Me . . .

Something Tells Me . . .

. . . that the creator of the comic strip xkcd isn't an Obama fan:

(Don't forget to click on the image and then rollover the cartoon for the popup comment.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

It's been done before, but I love this expression:
. . . a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process. - Massad Ayoob, An urban gunfighter: The lessons of Lance Thomas
There was also this quote from Col. Cooper:
"It is not unusual for critics of the American scene to deplore what they hold to be an uncivilized toleration of personal violence in our society," Jeff Cooper once wrote. "Violent crime is not so much the issue, but rather the use of violence by socially acceptable persons in self-defense, in the righting of wrongs, and in meeting challenging situations. Such critics feel that Americans are too ready to ignore the police and handle their emergencies personally; and that, further, this barbarous attitude is encouraged, rather than inhibited, by our tradition."
Some time back in the Dangerous Victims trilogy I wrote:
(The) recognition of the difference between violent and predatory and violent but protective illustrates the difference in worldview between people like me, and the (we'll call it) pacifist culture.

Britain today represents a perfect example of the pacifist culture in control, because that culture doesn't really distinguish between violent and predatory and violent but protective - it sees only violent. Their worldview is divided between violent and non-violent, or passive. There is an exception, a logical disconnect if you will, that allows for legitimate violence - but only if that violence is committed by sanctioned officials of the State. And even there, there is ambivalence. If violence is committed by an individual there is another dichotomy: If the violence is committed by a predator, it is the fault of society in not meeting that predator's needs. The predator is the creation of the society, and is not responsible for the violence. He merely needs to be "cured" of his ailment. If violence is committed by a defender, it is a failure of the defender to adhere to the tenets of the pacifist society. It is the defender who is at fault because he has lived by the rules and has chosen to break them, and who must therefore be punished for his transgression.
It's nice to know I was channelling the Colonel.

Merry Christmas To All

Merry Christmas To All

Well, I'm back home for a few days. I don't have to be back on site until January 5, thankfully, but then it's crunch time, and I don't know if I'll have any free time at all until the end of the month. I certainly hope so, because on Sunday, February 1 I'm scheduled to appear on LibertyWatch Radio here in Southern Arizona at 1:00PM MST during the "America Armed & Free" segment. Host Charles Heller will be interviewing me about gunblogs and gunblogging. You can tune in via the internet at

I've got a lot to catch up on, not the least of which is my reading. One oversight I want to fix right now: Carnaby Fudge, aka Ben, has taken up a side business of providing stainless 6.8SPC barrels for AR-15 rifles. He liked his K0-Tonics barrel so much, he bought the company! Or something. So if you're interested in one, he's the man to talk to.

I'm hoping to get a few posts written during the next ten days or so, but don't expect anything out of me during January. (Dammit.) I like to say that I do this not for you, but for me, and it's true. I blog because, for some reason, I need to. It's a bitch when I can't.

Ah well, on a lighter note, here's a lovely video Christmas Card for you to finish this post:

I do like to keep it classy!

Y'all have a good one!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ramirez is Still Rollin' 'Em Out

Ramirez is Still Rollin' 'Em Out

A few of Investor's Business Daily's Mike Ramirez's latest masterpieces:

And the latest one, now that Congress has given itself a pay raise in the wake of the stellar work its members have performed recently:

I'm telling you, Mike Ramirez is a national treasure.

Quote of the Day

(Government) is an instrument of force and coercion. And there can never be an instrument of force and coercion which will consciously restrain itself. It must be restrained. Yet there is no tool capable of such restraint. For any type of tool, whatever its nature, which is allegedly formed to restrain and contain government, would, by its own nature, simply become a government's government.

In other words, the restraining tool for a compulsive instrument would have to contain a greater accumulation of power than the compulsive instrument or it would be ineffective. But this, in essence, would also be a government. It would simply be a larger, more compulsive, more dangerous and more mischievous tool and less subject to restraint than the original instrument of coercion.

The United Nations falls into this category, as does every other prior political organization aimed at universal peace. The United Nations is simply a government's government. The members of the United Nations are, by definition, not the peoples of the world, but the nations of the world, at present (circa 1959) eighty-two in number.

Individual people cannot belong to the United Nations. Only governments can belong. The delegates to the United Nations are simply politicians who have been appointed by the member governments. And it is in the nature of the United Nations that it will look after the governmental interests of its members. Hence, the things that the member governments desire to do will become the policies of the United Nations.

But the thing all member governments desire to do is to rule their own people and to collect money from them. This is inherent in their natures. So the United Nations, perforce, will aid and abet the member governments in their universal desire to maintain a coercive hold over their individual subjects.

Thus, the United Nations is a government of the governments, by the governments, and for the governments. And it cannot and will not restrain these governments, for the members support the giant, looking to it for backing, even as the individual citizen supports his own government and looks to it for backing. - Robert LeFevre, The Nature of Man and His Government
h/t to Billy Beck for the pointer from a comment to this post at Roberta's.

I, too, have always liked Professor Bernardo De La Paz's explanation of his political affiliation of "Rational Anarchist."

Perhaps "Pragmatic Anarchist" is a more precise term. ;-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
I decided to tune into the Star Tribune's coverage of the deliberations of the Minnesota Canvassing Board in the Coleman-Franken recount. It is a strangely compelling artifact of representative democracy, but my observation is this: Al Franken's supporters display a bewildering inability to fill in bubbles.

I have long felt that some sort of familiarity with the mechanisms of American government should be required of electors. I support a policy that rejects the ballots of any voter incapable of filling the ballot in correctly, as a minimal test of electoral competence. - Jackalope Pursuivant, Counting to 1
Al Franken now leads Coleman by 262 votes. It would appear that every single mis- or un-counted vote went Franken's way. What are the odds of that?

Hugh Hewitt was right - If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
"I still believe in bipartisanship," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said at a Capitol news conference. "But there is an even greater responsibility than practicing bipartisanship, and that is to govern. And that is what we intend to do here today." - LA Times: California Democrats devise plan to hike taxes
"In every generation, there are those who want to rule well - but they mean to rule." - Daniel Webster

(h/t - Firehand)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

From Tam in relation to the topic of Monday's QotD:

The most important word in "gunfight" is not "gun", it's "fight".

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Now, most tactically-aware gunnies will be quick to tell you that the .38 Special is towards the low-end of the so-called "stopping power" spectrum. Matter-of-fact, most would tell you that .358 inches; 158 grains and 900 feet per second is the bare minimum.

Thing is, that old gentleman shoots a minimum of 200 rounds out of that pistol every month. He plinks dirt clods and charcoal briquettes with it; he hunts jackrabbits on his oil lease and turtles in his stock tank with it; he's taught his children, grandchildren and multiple acquaintances to shoot with it; and he shoots in several formal and informal matches each year with it.

That pistol is a part of him. He puts it on each morning, and takes it off each evening. The bluing has etched away from the thousands of draws from leather he's practiced; and the grips are worn to match his hands.

If the eco-friendly fertilizer hits the rotating, oscillating, vector-flow cooling unit that .38 is not going to be sitting useless in a gun cabinet: it's going to be where it's been for the past several decades -- because he carries it.

He's not going to flinch, he's not going to fumble his draw or muff his shot; and each round is going to go exactly where he wants it to -- because he practices with it.

That, Gentle Readers, is stopping power. - Lawdog, Meditations on Stopping Power

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

Government, it seems to me, is not a pack of wolves howling at your door, but a flood; and the question is not "How many wolves can you shoot?" but "How long can you stay afloat?" - Roberta X, Governments, Sandlines And Me
That post is one of the best stated I've read on the topic(s).

Roberta just went on my "Daily Reads" list.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Look guys, if they don't obey what's there now, if they twist and pervert plain meaning to produce the exact opposite of what the Founders intended, what the hell makes you think adding new verbiage is going to make a damn bit of difference?

This action presupposes there's something wrong with the Constitution, as opposed to the criminals ignoring it.

And it further opens the door for just about damn near anything.

Dumb idea. Even dumber when you consider the Evil Party majority in the current congress, and then realize the proponents of this nonsense are Stupid Party members all. - David Codrea, Idiots
(My emphasis.) Amen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Only Two (2) in Over Five Years

Only Two (2) in Over Five Years

Well, I just banned Billy Beck from comments here at TSM. While I generally respect the life he leads and the message he puts out, I cannot respect the messenger any longer. Billy is only the second person I've ever banned, and the other was JadeGold.

No, Billy, It's Off. You got the martyrdom you wanted. Consider your company.

I was right. I got a sh!#storm in my comments, but this isn't what I was expecting.

Again, I'm still out of town on business, and it looks like I will be at least five days a week through the end of January. In January, it may go to seven days a week, with even longer hours. I wish I could say that I'll have an überpost up tomorrow or the next day dissecting this whole thing, but I can't.

I will say that the rift exhibited here isn't good. (I'd like to accept the "Blindingly Fucking Obvious Award" in the name of H-S Precision . . .)

I will, however say something about this comment (not by Beck):
Not being satisfied with taking more than 50% of my earnings each year, the American government in a few short weeks will likely propose legislation to criminalize and then remove my firearms of military utility, along with their accoutrements.

There's a very low probability of defeating such legislation, which may include neither a sunset clause a la AWB I nor any grandfathering of existing weapons or accessories.

I and a whole lot of other folks will not comply.

At that point, the government will face a choice -- lose credibility by doing nothing, or begin the raids that will open a terribly bloody new chapter of our history.

A whole lot of folks are preparing for just that eventuality -- and are simply waiting for the government to make the first move.

When they kill Vanderboegh or other prominent folks...when the rolling roadblocks commence...when there's an obligatory "refinancing" of people's retirement funds into "government-backed retirement accounts"....when the alternative media are being squashed....when the homeschoolers are being raided "for the children"...a whole lot of folks will roll off their fail-safe points and go hot.

And it will be a bloody, tragic mess.
The operative word in these paragraphs being "When".

Not "If."

If what is predicted here comes to pass, then yes, there will be an armed uprising.

I'll make you a bet, CA: One year from now only ONE of your predictions might become fact. That would be reinstitution of an "Assault Weapons Ban."

There will be no general confiscation. None of the other things you predict will occur - UNLESS you and the "3%" start assassinating media figures, elected officials and agents of the Federal government (presumably by long range rifle shot) AS YOU HAVE STATED YOU WOULD DO IF AN ASSAULT WEAPON BAN WAS PASSED.

Is this how you intend to "force" the rest of us into revolution?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Kind of Civil Disobedience

Another Kind of Civil Disobedience

(h/t to Irons in the Fire) Radley Balko has a very interesting piece on someone who is exposing cops who violate the law in the prosecution of the War on (some) Drugs™. Fine work!

Now I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Too Tired to Post, But Can't Pass This One Up

Too Tired to Post, But Can't Pass This One Up

I've got a childish sh!$storm in my comment threads, Rod Blagojevich gets arrested on corruption charges, and David brings us good news on how civil disobedience in California has brought change in that state, and looks likely to do it again.

Quote of the Day:
As I pointed out at Kevin Baker’s place, citing Jeff Cooper, IMO the supposed 3% is probably more like 0.03%, or an upper limit of 26,000 individuals across the US who are prepared to violently resist. In California, we didn’t see one such person. But with a few individuals laying the groundwork, you did see hundreds of thousands — maybe 2-3% of the entire state population — willing to risk an awful lot for less-than-violent action. And it worked!
I feel much better now.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Quote of the Day

From comments:
Beck is right when he says that most people lack an underpinning of philosophy to support their arguments. The average American no longer understands what it means to argue from principle, to the point that when I make an argument explicitly based upon natural principles, I have to explain to people what I mean by "natural principles". They regard the idea of principled argument with distrust because the language around it has been twisted away from plain meaning. - The Bastidge
From a piece in the Sacramento Bee from 2003, French puzzle over why the U.S. got so angry:
"What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled," said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. "The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous."
Well, we've certainly corrected that issue! No wonder the EUropeans are happy!

At least with respect to our President. However, our population remains as unruly and unrulable (we hope) as ever.

I will have more to say on this subject, but I have got to go to work.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fantasy Ideology

In August of 2002 Lee Harris published Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology, an essay exploring the "root cause" of the 9/11 attacks. It made a fairly big splash in the blogosphere. Here, for the purposes of this essay, are the key graphs from Harris's piece:
My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late 1960s. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of antiwar protest. To me the point of such protest was simple--to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason--because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.

And what it did for him was to provide him with a fantasy--a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. By participating in a violent antiwar demonstration, he was in no sense aiming at coercing conformity with his view--for that would still have been a political objective. Instead, he took his part in order to confirm his ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling himself among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability. Thus, when he lay down in front of hapless commuters on the bridges over the Potomac, he had no interest in changing the minds of these commuters, no concern over whether they became angry at the protesters or not. They were there merely as props, as so many supernumeraries in his private psychodrama. The protest for him was not politics but theater; and the significance of his role lay not in the political ends his actions might achieve, but rather in their symbolic value as ritual. In short, he was acting out a fantasy.

It was not your garden-variety fantasy of life as a sexual athlete or a racecar driver, but in it, he nonetheless made himself out as a hero--a hero of the revolutionary struggle. The components of his fantasy--and that of many young intellectuals at that time--were compounded purely of ideological ingredients, smatterings of Marx and Mao, a little Fanon and perhaps a dash of Herbert Marcuse.

For want of a better term, call the phenomenon in question a fantasy ideology--by which I mean political and ideological symbols and tropes used not for political purposes, but entirely for the benefit of furthering a specific personal or collective fantasy. It is, to be frank, something like the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons carried out not with the trappings of medieval romances--old castles and maidens in distress--but entirely in terms of ideological symbols and emblems. The difference between them is that one is an innocent pastime while the other has proved to be one of the most terrible scourges to afflict the human race.
There seems to be a lot of something much like that going around these days.

The topic of the "Three Percenters" has floated to the surface again. See here, here, here, and here. My previous posts on the subject are The Threshold of Outrage, Freedom, Hope, Outrage, Bright Lines, Revolutions and End Times, and Philosophy, Revolution, and the Restoration of the Constitution. And yes, the pieces are as long as the titles would suggest. You really need to read these links if (somehow) you're unfamiliar with the background of this topic.

SayUncle states:
I would try to engage them and point out that maybe scaring the white people isn’t the best policy decision. That their efforts are better spent being politically active instead of engaging in mental masturbation all over their keyboards. Or, as Sebastian said: If 3% of gun owners were as involved in political activism as they supposedly are at preparing for civil war, we’d be an unstoppable political force. But, like reasoning with the birds, it’s a fruitless endeavor. It will waste my time and probably annoy the birds. After all, these are guys who accuse other bloggers of cowardice for not drawing a clear line in the sand, while pointing out their own lines have been crossed while they do nothing but engage in a New World Order induced circle jerk.
Linoge says:
After wasting considerable amounts of time reading their writings, the only conclusion I can come to is that they do not give to farts about America's liberties and freedom - they only care about their own liberties and freedoms, and whatever perceived slights or affronts to them they see the government doing. They do not care that their writings (such as the letter to the editor) have almost undoubtedly done more harm than good by alienating readers. They do not care that there are political and social means and methods for airing their grievances, making changes in the governmental system, and making headway in terms of liberties and rights... and doing it all peaceably and without fomenting armed rebellion. They do not care that their proposed, poorly-thought-out actions have no clear-cut termination or resolution. They do not care that those actions would result in the deaths of many, many innocent people - people who had no interest in the situation, people whose choices were made for them by a merry band of "three percenter" misfits, people who might have supported them politically. They do not care that they do not have public support now, and they sure as hell would not have public support were they to follow through on their threats. They do not care that public support is the only way to make permanent, lasting changes in the American governmental system. They do not care that they appear to have absolultely no plans concerning what to do with the smoldering and shattered remains of the country after their glorious revolution (which indicates an admission of having no hope of success). They obviously do not care about standing up and fulfilling their useless promises in the past, when Americans' Second-Amendment-protected rights were being "further restricted" (much less other rights going out the window). They do not care about all this, and more.
They don't care, because they're taken with a fantasy--a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. They want to take part in order to confirm their ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling themselves among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability.

The fact that it won't accomplish their stated goals - is antithetical to them, in fact - is irrelevant.

Fits pretty good, doesn't it?

Several people have quoted Sebastian on the topic, Uncle did so in the excerpt above. Let me repeat it:
If 3% of gun owners were as involved in political activism as they supposedly are at preparing for civil war, we’d be an unstoppable political force. There would be no need to argue about where the line is, because it would be political suicide for any politician to get anywhere near it.
I want to bring up Billy Beck again:
You know you're talking about Carl Drega, right?

Every now and then, I see someone going on about "totalitarianism". The misgrapplings surrounding this subject are rife. All the classic literature has gone far to foster them. (Arendt did damned fine work on it, but...) It just about never occurs to anyone that the root of that word can descend on any given individual, to the effect that "political scientists" always project over the whole culture, but without destroying the whole culture.

The destruction of Carl Drega was, nonetheless, "total", and it was only the logical end of the very first claim that the state ever laid on his life. After that, it was all only degrees of application until the end.

And what difference did it make?

I've been so near the end of my goddamned rope that, for years now, I've harbored a half-baked plan to set myself on fire on the steps of the Capitol. Go ahead and make fun of it. Am I any more far-gone than the rest of you? What difference would it make if I was? Here is the central problem surrounding what you people are talking about:

There is no coherent and cohesive philosophy underpinning it. Everybody's pissed off, but you all have your varying degrees of what you'll settle for. Someone like me comes along to suggest something like starving the Beast out of existence by not paying for it, or withdrawing the overt political sanction by not bloody voting -- like I've been doing for years to general laughter -- and, suddenly, nobody is so pissed off anymore. There is something everyone can agree on: "Beck's a kook."
Beck concludes (read the whole piece, it's worth your time):
But you people are talking about blowing the place up, whether you know it or not. That's the only way it can go, as things are now, because there is no philosophy at the bottom of what you're talking about. Once the shooting starts, all bets are off.

I'm pretty damned sure I'd rather not live to see that.
Realistically, neither would I. I'm not wrapped up in a fantasy ideology. Oh, I have my own personal line in the sand - my doorstep - but I don't believe that 3% of the gun owning population will rise up against the eeeevil Feds when the next Assault Weapons Ban is passed. Or the next Wayne Fincher gets arrested.

Are you familiar with the "Free Wayne Webring"? Members of this webring want to bring attention to the case of Hollis Wayne Fincher, a man who put his ass on the line for what he believed. Mr. Fincher now, I believe, 61 years of age decided that being a citizen of the U.S., and the Second Amendment to the Constitution meant that he should be able to possess fully-automatic weapons and a short-barrelled shotgun without having to jump through the hoops of the 1934 National Firearms Act. Mr. Fincher was a founder of the Militia of Washington County, Arkansas. He quite openly built up some Sten submachine guns and some Browning 1919 light machine guns and, as Syd at Front Sight, Press put it, "formally notified the governor of Arkansas what he was doing."

The BATF was not amused. Hollis Wayne Fincher was arrested for possession of post-'86 unregistered machine guns and an unregistered short-barrelled shotgun and was convicted in January of 2007, Second Amendment be damned. As I noted at the time, the verdict was completely unsurprising. Mr. Fincher made his argument in the 8th Circuit where there was already precedent on a similar case, U.S. v. Nelsen. Remember, this was long before D.C. v. Heller. So Mr. Fincher was convicted and sentenced to 6½ years. And, of course, the revocation of his right to arms forever.

This, of course, pissed off the gun nuts, and most especially the "Three-Percenters."

But nobody shot a Fed. After all, their doorway wasn't crossed.

Sebastian says that if he could get 3% of gun owners to become politically active - do the dull, grinding, irritating, necessary work involved in living in a Representative Democracy, then the possibility of this kind of thing ever occurring again would be nil.

OK, say you're just not into envelope-stuffing, knocking on doors, writing letters to your Congresscritters, writing letters to the Editor of the local birdcage liners, calling your local TV and radio stations, showing up at the local office of your Representative or Senator and asking questions (or volunteering to help their campaign - if they're on our side - or volunteering to help their opponent, if they're not) or even running for office yourself as Clayton Cramer recently did.

Change the paradigm.

We don't need a Free Wayne Webring, we need a JOIN Wayne Webring. Civil disobedience worked for Gandhi. It worked for Black civil rights.

I'll be right up front with you: I'm not volunteering, I'm just proposing the idea.

Hey, if 3% of the gun-owning population is willing to saddle-up and go kill (as Mike Vanderboegh puts it) "the bureaucrats and politicians who decided to start the war? And, like Clinton, should we target the media talking heads and newspaper editors who clamored for it in the first place?" wouldn't those same people be willing to clog the courts and even further overstuff our prison systems in the name of peaceful change?

I suspect not. After all, the point isn't to actually alter the minds of other people or persuade them to act differently. The whole point is what the fantasy ideology does for the three-percenters.

I now expect a comment sh!#storm of my very own.

UPDATE 12/7: Will Brown comments cogently. I'll have more to say about that post, if I have any energy left after work tomorrow.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
I suddenly realized that it was the .45 caliber ammunition I had fallen so deeply in love with, not the pistol I was using to shoot it. Now, we all have preferences as to what is most pleasing to our eye, that's only natural. I like paintings by Picasso, the color cobalt blue, guys with goatees, arts & crafts furniture, orange tabby kittens and pistols designed by John Moses Browning. So I will always love 1911s aesthetically - to me, they will always be the most well designed pistols and someday I will have a beauty of my very own. But to shoot? Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's a .45. - Breda, Ruger P345 range report (finally)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mike Ramirez's Next Pulitzer-Winner

Mike Ramirez's Next Pulitzer-Winner

Mike Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer-prize winner for political cartoons, formerly of the LA Times who just couldn't stand having a conservative on their staff a minute longer, now works for Investor's Business Daily, and is still knocking 'em out of the park.

Today's awe-inspiring example:

If there was any justice in the world, that would leave a livid mark on the forehead of every single member of Congress, House and Senate both.

OK, time to go to bed. I have to get up at 4:45AM. Again.

Quick Update

Quick Update

1) Twelve-hour workdays suck.

2) Good news! Bullberry called and my .260 Remington Encore barrel is in queue for production.

3) Even though I haven't posted a damned thing since Monday, TSM has received over 1,000 hits a day anyway. Thanks!

4) My absence must have affected Uncle, since he posted not one, but TWO pieces longer than three lines in total, and the second was mostly his own, not cut-n-paste! Way to step into the breach there, Uncle! That second one was 1,120 words!

5) The comment thread on comparative religion seems to have finally petered (no pun intended) out. I think that one's responsible for the 1,000 hits a day, myself.

And, finally:

6) Via Joe Huffman (via Ry Jones) I find out that someone in the UK has determined that the subjects there are not only too incompetent to be trusted with firearms, they're too incompetent to be trusted with fire extinguishers. The logical circle is now complete. No one but "professionals" - i.e.: someone drawing a .gov paycheck - should be allowed to do anything requiring interfacing with danger!

So when will the .gov there start issuing Nerf™ sporks, and collecting up all the flatware? Oh, and issuing pre-pureed foodstuffs to the proles? Someone could get hurt!

I get to go home tomorrow afternoon for the "weekend". This means I get home between 7-8PM, but I have to be back up here again Sunday evening for another week. In other words, I get to sleep in late Saturday in my own bed. This is week #6, and it looks like I'll be doing this (with a break over Christmas/New Years) through January and into mid-February.

Sometimes being an engineer isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But the pay's pretty good.

Monday, December 01, 2008

No Blog for You!

No Blog for You!

Sorry. Long weekend, long day, no bloggy. Maybe tomorrow.

Good night!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Found at Blackfive via Instapundit:

You just have to love that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What HE Said!

What HE Said!

Thanksgiving dinner was a success. The two-hour 20 lb. turkey was perfect, and the rest of the meal was pretty damned good, if I do say so myself. My lovely bride took over the cleaning chores after the fact, since I'd cooked (and cleaned) all day. Hell, I may do this again at Christmas.

Did a little postprandial web-surfing, and found this: Free in Idaho's "It is NOT My Fault." An excerpt:
The Republican Party has presided over the largest growth of government, the most reckless spending, and some of the most blatant abuses of the Constitution this country has had to endure in many years. Led by George W Bush it has walked further and further away from conservative ideals. Don't tell me Bush just wasn't a good communicator, or that he just didn't articulate the conservative message well. He DOESN'T BELIEVE those things, so how can he communicate them? And when faced with the obviously most Leftist opponents the Dems have ever run, and in spite of the evidence of the surprising support that someone as "not ready to be President" as Ron Paul generated on his message alone, the GOP runs a guy who threatened to jump parties a few years back and as lately as last summer pushed for something not even a majority of "moderates" wanted . . . I'm sorry, blaming conservatives for not joining the team and thus costing them the win is more stupid fingerpointing. Give me one good reason to support the very things we don't believe in. And "at least he isn't a Democrat" is NOT the right answer.
There's a lot more where that came from, and I agree with damned near every word, and I'm not really a conservative. (Oh, I put an "X" next to McCain's name, and I'd have preferred him to the Dali-Bama, but I never liked McCain as a candidate, and the only reason I voted for him was because it was him or HillBama. As the bumper sticker said, McCain was the least repulsive Democrat on the ticket.)

I'm not a true conservative, but I concur with BillH's post-election day statement, (minus the bible reference, of course):
Individual liberty.
Personal responsibility.
Free society.
Private property.
Small government.
Strong defense.
The Constitution for what it says.
The Bible for what it says.

My list looks the same this morning. How about yours?
Oh, and the first excerpt in this post is Friday's Quote of the Day. Tomorrow is dedicated to reloading, reading, and writing, but not necessarily hitting the "Publish Post" button.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Original Thanksgiving

The Original Thanksgiving

For your holiday reading pleasure I recommend Vin Suprynowicz's For What Do We Give Thanks?, which he first posted in 1999 and has traditionally repeated each year since. Don't worry, it's nice and short.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

From a comment left last night by the GeekWithA.45:
The key cognitive sabotage is to present a method of evaluating information that passes as "rigorous" to an uninformed mind.

Such a substitute cannot, by definition stand against a genuinely rigorous evaluation process, but it doesn't need to, as far as the host is concerned. The mental niche is filled, evaluating the genuinely rigorous process as false, and thus the root of the tree of knowledge is poisoned.

If you look inside the head of such, you'll find Gramsci laughing his ass off, saying "im in ur base, killing ur d00ds."
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I'll be cooking pretty much all day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

An Example of "Grass-Eating"

An Example of "Grass-Eating"

From the piece linked in the previous post:
Grass-eaters are deathly afraid of anything resembling personal responsibility. They are prohibited from assigning blame to any human being — such an act, after all, would imply that they themselves might someday be blamed for some transgression! Therefore, grass-eaters blame just about anything that isn’t animate for society’s ills — weapons, rap music, video games, black trenchcoats, money, red meat, or the hormone testosterone.
Or, in this wonderful example of "journalism" (wherein someone wrote it, and someone - supposedly - reviewed it before approving it for publication):
SUV hits kids outside suburban Los Angeles school

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. — A sport utility vehicle has struck and injured several people — including at least two children — outside a suburban Los Angeles elementary school. One is listed as critically injured.

Los Angeles County fire Inspector Sam Padilla (puh-DEE'-uh) says firefighters have been called to Maple Hill Elementary School in the town of Diamond Bar, east of Los Angeles.

He says it appears a car struck three people outside the school Wednesday. Two were moderately injured, and the other is listed as critical.

Televised news reports showed an adult and two children being treated. One child was to be airlifted to a hospital.

A black sport utility vehicle was up an embankment near a sidewalk.
(My emphasis.)

Is it racist to note the color of the SUV? And was it trying to flee the scene?

No mention of a driver, is there? No, apparently the SUV is at fault!

And to top it all off, for some reason Comcast seems to believe this should be National News!


Oh, THIS Gets a Link!

Oh, THIS Gets a Link!

Via LabRat at Atomic Nerds, the phrase of the 21st Century: "Grass-eater."

Go. Read.

Quote of the Day

From the Yuri Bezmenov interview which has been painstakingly transcribed (trust me, I've done transcription) by Useless Dissident:
(Ideological subversion is) a great brainwashing process, which goes very slow[ly] and is divided [into] four basic stages. The first one being demoralization; it takes from 15-20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which [is required] to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy, exposed to the ideology of the enemy. In other words, Marxist-Leninist ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged, or counter-balanced by the basic values of Americanism (American patriotism).

The result? The result you can see. Most of the people who graduated in the sixties, drop-outs, or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, [and the] educational system. You are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them. They are contaminated; they are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind[s], even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still cannot change the basic perception and the logic of behavior. In other words, these people... the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To [rid] society of these people, you need another twenty or fifteen years to educate a new generation of patriotically-minded and common sense people, who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.


The demoralization process in [the] United States is basically completed already. For the last 25 years...(this interview occurred in 1985) actually, it's over-fulfilled because demoralization now reaches such areas where previously not even Comrade Andropov and all his experts would even dream of such a tremendous success. Most of it is done by Americans to Americans, thanks to [a] lack of moral standards.

As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures; even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him [a] concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it, until he [receives] a kick in his fan-bottom. When a military boot crashes his... then he will understand. But not before that. That's the [tragedy] of the situation of demoralization.

So basically America is stuck with demoralization and unless... even if you start right now, here, this minute, you start educating [a] new generation of American[s], it will still take you fifteen to twenty years to turn the tide of ideological perception of reality back to normalcy and patriotism.
Instead of 15-20 years, we've been at it since at least the 1950's. But, as noted, the products are now the ones sitting in the places where the decisions about education get made, so changing the path we're on would require tearing it all down and starting over from scratch.

Read the whole thing, or watch the segment I have posted. As I said, it fits all the available evidence.

Good job, UD. Thanks for all that hard work.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kwoat of teh Dey - Edumakashun Edishun

Victor Davis Hanson from Ten Random, Politically Incorrect Thoughts:
After some 20 years of teaching mostly minority youth Greek, Latin, and ancient history and literature in translation (1984-2004), I came to the unfortunate conclusion that ethnic studies, women studies—indeed, anything “studies”— were perhaps the fruits of some evil plot dreamed up by illiberal white separatists to ensure that poor minority students in the public schools and universities were offered only a third-rate education.


The K-12 public education system is essentially wrecked. No longer can any professor expect an incoming college freshman to know what Okinawa, John Quincy Adams, Shiloh, the Parthenon, the Reformation, John Locke, the Second Amendment, or the Pythagorean Theorem is. An entire American culture, the West itself, its ideas and experiences, have simply vanished on the altar of therapy. This upcoming generation knows instead not to judge anyone by absolute standards (but not why so); to remember to say that its own Western culture is no different from, or indeed far worse than, the alternatives; that race, class, and gender are, well, important in some vague sense; that global warming is manmade and very soon will kill us all; that we must have hope and change of some undefined sort; that AIDs is no more a homosexual- than a heterosexual-prone disease; and that the following things and people for some reason must be bad, or at least must in public company be said to be bad (in no particular order): Wal-Mart, cowboys, the Vietnam War, oil companies, coal plants, nuclear power, George Bush, chemicals, leather, guns, states like Utah and Kansas, Sarah Palin, vans and SUVs.
And yet we're to believe that this is not indoctrination, but education in the skills of critical thought. Oh, and Dr. Hanson is what's known as a primary source on this topic!

(h/t to Unix-Jedi from a comment yesterday.)

UPDATE:  Thanks to the herculean efforts of reader John Hardin, the original JS-Kit/Echo comment thread for this post is available here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Media bias was more intense in the 2008 election than in any other national campaign in recent history, Time magazine's Mark Halperin said Friday at the Politico/USC conference on the 2008 election.

"It's the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war," Halperin said at a panel of media analysts. "It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage." - As quoted at Politico
The next paragraphs are interesting, too:
Halperin, who maintains Time's political site "The Page," cited two New York Times articles as examples of the divergent coverage of the two candidates.

"The example that I use, at the end of the campaign, was the two profiles that The New York Times ran of the potential first ladies," Halperin said. "The story about Cindy McCain was vicious. It looked for every negative thing they could find about her and it case her in an extraordinarily negative light. It didn't talk about her work, for instance, as a mother for her children, and they cherry-picked every negative thing that's ever been written about her." The story about Michelle Obama, by contrast, was "like a front-page endorsement of what a great person Michelle Obama is," according to Halperin.
But Halperin's comments met with some disagreement from his colleagues:
New York magazine's John Heilemann, one of Halperin's co-panelists, offered another reason for all the positive press coverage Obama received.

"The biggest bias in the press is towards effectiveness," said Heilemann, who is authoring a book on the 2008 race along with Halperin.

"We love things that are smart."
No, you have an administrative control bias, and you prefer when that administration is Leftist in orientation, because then it behaves like you think it ought to - and is therefore "smart."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Status of the Next Überpost

Status of the Next Überpost

It's . . . morphed. It started out as one thing, and has become something else. Still really long, though.

I don't seem to have any control over it.

I have to go back to Bagdad, AZ Monday and Tuesday, but I do have the long Thanksgiving weekend coming up. Maybe by next Sunday I'll have it hammered out and polished up, just in time for the tryptophan from your turkey sandwich to lull you to complacency. (Yes, I know tryptophan and sleepiness is an urban legend, but I like it!)

Except That Future Might be Dystopian

I saw today in a waiting room while I was having some work done to my truck, a "motivational poster." (No, not one of these, one of the "real" ones.) This one was a beautiful image of natural stone arches against a gorgeous blue sky, with the appellation "Destiny." The quote was from Eleanor Roosevelt:

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Judging from the result of the last election, Eleanor might well be right, and the future does belong to those people. But I cannot forget this poster on the same topic:

It's a beautiful dream, one people just keep believing in. But it leads to dystopia. I've quoted James Lileks before:
Personally, I'm interested in keeping other people from building Utopia, because the more you believe you can create heaven on earth the more likely you are to set up guillotines in the public square to hasten the process.
This, to me, seems the only prudent course, but we're surrounded by people for whom the philosophy cannot be wrong! And they must Do it again, only HARDER!

But the dream is so beautiful . . .

I Can Live With That

I Can Live With That

So I stumbled across this quiz at Atomic Nerds and had to take it: says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!

And it's Über Cool Nerd King (don't forget the umlaut.)

And Now for Your Viewing Pleasure . . .

Waiting for me when I got home was an envelope from ParaUSA, with a nice letter from Kerby Smith, a 2009 calendar, and a DVD. On that DVD is the entire six-part Down Range TV series on the Gunblogger's weekend at Blackwater, and in a separate clip, my first run through the shoothouse.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is my elephantine ass negotiating the shoothouse, with soundtrack and everything:

I obviously need to work on my reload speed.

UPDATE: The original JS-Kit/Echo comment thread for this post is available here, thanks to reader John Hardin.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Seen on the giant LED marquee of the Flying J truck stop in Eloy, Arizona yesterday while I was driving home from Wickenburg:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Where I live, owning a gun is sufficient to deny hiring. People would try to deny housing. The HOA here would love to kick me out. The goblins would try to rob my house. I have a family to think of Bill. I think you are trying to step on my first amendment and natural rights to say what I want. Are you sure you support individual rights? - Ride Fast & Shoot Straight, Why They Call You a Traitor, Bill Schneider
Gee, you'd think that gun owners there are treated as badly as blacks and gays used to be. More fodder for Joe Huffman's anti-bigotry campaign.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Michael Ramirez says in a picture what I've been saying:

But no one seems to mind a bit that Ayers' job is to teach future teachers.

UPDATE:  Thanks to the herculean efforts of reader John Hardin, the original JS-Kit/Echo comment thread for this post is available here.

Give 'Em Hell!

Give 'Em Hell!

Ride Fast and Shoot Straight does a damned fine job fisking the clueless Bill Schneider's latest column in New West, What I've Learned from Gun Nuts. He's obviously learned the wrong damned lesson, and Ride Fast schools him.

An excerpt:
I’ve learned that most gun owners aren’t hunters and some have nothing but scorn for hunters because we’re soft and care about other amendments. So, they mock us, calling us Elmer Fudds. But the hunter’s revenge is the Pitman-Robinson Act, which mandates excise taxes historically paid mostly by hunters, but now mostly paid by gun owners who never hunt or even loathe hunters as turncoats. Back at you, buddy.
Some, a small minority, may have jokingly called you Fudds, or maybe mocked you. Your guy, Zumbo, called me a terrorist. Who's the nasty bastard now? Bill, the point is we should be on the same side. Hunters fully supporting mere gun owners, shooters supporting hunters, sheep dogs supporting collectors. It's really is all about the guns.
As someone once said to me: You beat that man like a rented mule! Bravo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Another 12-hour day. I see my readers have been having fun in the comments! Here's a golden oldie from Rev. Donald Sensing via a new blog, Occupied Nashville:
I think that others, mostly the various gun-control groups, really just can't stand freedom exercised by others. They want to live their lives a certain way and make sure that everyone else does, too. They seek a highly ordered, regimented society made up of people just like them. This desire to control others is pernicious and dangerous. They are "invincibly ignorant" in their campaigns because the actual facts about guns in America mean nothing to them. They simply do not want you or me to own a gun, period, no matter for what reason. They do not want us to be free and sovereign. - Rev. Sensing, Heller and the right to bear arms
RTWT, as usual. Sensing's worth it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When You Can't Have a Gun . . .

When You Can't Have a Gun . . .

. . . it must be nice that you can afford a bodyguard.
Players taking security measures after murders

MIAMI — Frightened NFL players are carrying guns and hiring bodyguards as they seek to avoid becoming victims of violent crime which has already claimed the lives of two players.

Seven players told the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine, to be published on Friday, that the murders last year of Washington Redskins Sean Taylor safety and Denver Broncos' defensive back Darrent Williams, had raised the alarm among some of the country's toughest sportsmen.

"We are targets, we need to be aware of that everywhere we go," said Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner Ronde Barber.

Taylor was shot during a botched robbery at his home in South Florida while Williams was shot and killed outside a nightclub in Denver on New Years Eve, 2007.

This year, Oakland receiver Jevon Walker was robbed and beaten unconscious in Las Vegas and Jacksonville Jaguars lineman Richard Collier had to have his leg amputated after being shot and left paralyzed below the waist.

The response has been an escalation in security for the players and NFL Players' Association president Kevin Mawae, of the Tennessee Titans, estimates half his team mates carry guns.

"If I had to guess about our locker room, I'd say it's 50-50 when it comes to gun ownership," he told the magazine.
50% is supposedly significantly higher than the national average. But then the national average is based on a survey, and Mr. Mawae actually works with the people he's talking about.
"I don't own a handgun. I have a hunting rifle. My job is to protect my family. If someone comes into my house? Game's on," he said.

Fred Taylor, a Jaguars team mate of Collier, said that not being able to carry guns at the team's facility makes him feel vulnerable.


"I have all the security measures at my house -- systems, cameras, I can watch everything from my computer but I still don't think I have enough. Who knows what is enough?

"League officials tell us we need to take measures to protect ourselves. But the NFL says we can't have guns in the facility even in the parking lot. Crooks know this. They can just sit back and wait for us to drive off, knowing we won't have anything in our vehicle from point A to point B," says(sic)
Same for all of us working stiffs who work for companies with similar policies. Like Wal*Mart, for instance. Of course, many would argue that a Wal*Mart employee isn't as likely to be targeted as a healthy, hulking NFL player in the 99th percentile of human size and strength. Just ask Joyce Cordova or the two other employees shot while collecting carts in the other story at that link. Or Megan Leann Holden.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the magazine that he now has a bodyguard with him at all times.

"The one time I was scared the most, I didn't have anybody with me. I don't want to relive all the details, but this guy brandished a weapon in my face. I kept my cool and talked my way out of it. People showed up and helped get rid of the guy. That's when I decided to have someone with me all the time," he said.
Why carry a gun? An entire cop is too heavy. And for most of us, an entire bodyguard is too expensive.
Houston Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson suffered an armed robbery at his home, having a gun pointed in his face and being tied up, and says that was proof that even stay-at-home players, not just those who enjoy nightlife, can be at risk.

"It was the scariest moment of my life. You hear lots of stories of guys getting robbed and you say 'Man, what were they doing, how did they get into that situation? Flashy guys. Rude Guys, Guys who act like they're better than everyone. I don't roll like that and it still happened to me," he said.

Big salaries and high profiles, along with easily available travel schedules, make the players, easy targets but Dave Abrams, appointed as head of Denver's security following the murder of Williams, worries their families may soon be prayed upon.

"What's the next layer? Wives and children: a kid kidnapped for ransom, or some other kind of craziness. I'm scared to death that's where criminals perceive the next vulnerability is for our players: their families."
More people waking up.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Gun sales in Wisconsin up 82%:
Katherine Boldt of Mukwonago said she and her husband started researching handguns the day after the election, visited a couple of stores and purchased one Thursday night.

"We are not hunters, and this is our first gun purchase. We do not fear for our safety but rather wanted to make sure we took advantage of our right to bear arms, before the possibility of that right being taken away from us," she said in an e-mail.
Somebody else wakes up.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
The BATFEIEIO is a regulatory bureaucracy that has managed to make gun ownership as easy and enjoyable as the FAA has made piloting, the NHTSA has made driving, and OSHA has made running a small business. - Tam, in a comment at Carnaby Fudge.
Not to mention how truly wonderful the TSA has made commercial air travel.

Yup. "We're from the government, and we're here to help."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Post Delayed

Post Delayed

This is getting to be something of a habit. I've started working on my next überpost, and it's taking on a life of its own. I'll be spending the next week in Wickenburg/Bagdad again, so I'll have to work on it in the evenings. My brother's birthday was yesterday, so I'm stopping by in Phoenix on my way up to take him and his wife out to dinner, so I can't work on the piece tonight.

This is to say that I don't know when it'll post. But it should be long!

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
I'm beginning to think that one of the ways one can judge the degree to which a society has progressed towards a government-controlled police state is to look at the reaction of the police to encroachment on "their turf." In a free society where the police are truly viewed as the servants and protectors of the citizens, the cops respect the rights of the citizens and see them as partners in the battle against crime. In a place like New York or San Francisco where the government is pressing towards complete control of the citizens, the cops bitterly resent any interference with their monopoly on the use of force and treat all citizens as simply potential criminals. - Toren Smith of the late, lamented Safety Valve from a July 21, 2003 comment at the Samizdata post, Tony Martin: Political Prisoner

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movie Review - Changeling

Movie Review - Changeling

My wife and I just got back from seeing Changeling. I have to agree with Roger Ebert:
Jolie plays Christine Collins without unnecessary angles or quirks. She is a supervisor at the telephone company, she loves her son, they live in a nice bungalow, all is well. She reacts to her son's disappearance as any mother would. But as weeks turn into months, and after the phony "son" is produced, her anger and resolution swells up until it brings the whole LAPD fabrication crashing down. Malkovich as the minister is refreshing: He's not a sanctimonious grandstander who gets instructions directly from God, but a crusading activist.


Eastwood's telling of this story isn't structured as a thriller, but as an uncoiling of outrage. It is clear that the leaders of the LAPD serve and protect one thing: its own tarnished reputation. Collins joins many other female prisoners whose only crime was to annoy a cop. The institution drugs them, performs shock treatment, punishes any protest. Mental illness is treated as a crime. This is all, as the film observes, based on a true story.

Eastwood is one of the finest directors now at work. I often say I'm mad at Fassbinder for dying at 38 and denying us decades of his films. In a way, I'm also mad at Eastwood for not directing his first film until he was 41. We could not do without his work as an actor. But most of his greatest films as a director have come after "retirement age." Some directors start young and get tired. Eastwood is only gathering steam.
It's a damned good film.

I saw it because A) it's directed by Eastwood, and B) it was written by J. Michael Straczynski - the guy who conceived, wrote and brought to life Babylon 5. What an interesting partnership that had to be. I was not disappointed.

This is not an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but - if for no other reason - I recommend it to readers of my blog because you need to see what unfettered police power, Cartman's "RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!" can really, has really produced here in America's history.

It can happen here. It has happened here.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

A long one, this time:
Seriously, folks, it's already evident from his first week in office (since presidential power is primarily persuasive, the "-elect" doesn't mean much) that President Obama is exactly what I guessed: nothing. A Gatsby, a Zelig, a warm breeze in a suit. A bright, but completely characterless and forgettable young man, with an unusual but hardly unique talent for reading speeches on TV. In short, America's new anchorman.

Once again, America has re-elected her permanent government. Of course that was the only option on the ballot - as it has been since Wendell Willkie. There's no need to worry at all. Nothing significant in Washington has changed, will change, or can possibly change.

For the next four years, public policy will flow smoothly from America's universities to her agencies, unimpeded by Neanderthal populism or corporate corruption. Oh, no. All the populism will be of the fashionable, happy-clappy, Starbucks Unitarian flavor. The corruption will be communist - with a small 'c,' of course. - Unqualified Reservations: Barack Obama for the Last Time
Via Van Der Leun.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In the Mean Time . . .

In the Mean Time . . .

. . . the election-day song-lyric post was popular, so I thought I'd put up another one.

The more things change, as they say. From 1972, Elton John and Bernie Taupin's Texan Love Song:

I heard from a friend you'd been messing around
With a cute little thing I'd been dating uptown
Well I don't know if I like that idea much
Well you'd better stay clear, I might start acting rough

You out of town guys sure think you're real keen
Think all of us boys here are homespun and green
But that's wrong my friend so get this through your head
We're tough and we're Texan with necks good and red

So it's Ki yi yippie yi yi
You long hairs are sure gonna die
Our American home was clean till you came
And kids still respected the president's name

And the eagle still flew in the sky
Hearts filled with national pride
Then you came along with your drug-crazy songs
Goddamit you're all gonna die

How dare you sit there and drink all our beer
Oh it's made for us workers who sweat spit and swear
The minds of our daughters are poisoned by you
With your communistic politics and them negro blues

Well I'm gonna quit talking and take action now
Run all of you fairies clean out of this town
Oh I'm dog tired of watching you mess up our lives
Spending the summertime naturally high

So it's Ki yi yippie yi yi
You long hairs are sure gonna die
Our American home was clean till you came
And kids still respected the president's name

And the eagle still flew in the sky
Hearts filled with national pride
Then you came along with your drug-crazy songs
Goddamit you're all gonna die

Goddamit you're all gonna die
Oh Lord, Goddamit you're all gonna die
Listen now

I've Got Some Time Off . . .

I've Got Some Time Off . . .

. . . before I have to drive back up to Wickenburg on Sunday. I got some of the honeydo's taken care of today, and I have a pistol match tomorrow morning. It's been far too long since I sat down and wrote an actual essay.

Expect to see something longish posted on or before Sunday night.

Don't expect "cheerful."

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

We don't have a Justice System, we have a Legal System, the purpose of which is to (supposedly) apply the law fairly to all in a predictable manner.

But even that's gone by the wayside. The fact of the matter is that it appears that those in the system are interested in getting convictions, not in serving justice.

Found via David Codrea, here's today's QotD:
I have long been troubled by the uneven rules among circuits governing the use of unpublished decisions. It made a very irregular and unjust usage. Depending on where you lived, the precedent applicable would vary. Even worse, many courts in circuits which had rules prohibiting citation of unpublished decisions regularly used them for precedent in their own decisions. It made the principles underlying stare decisis unworkable. You should be able to know ahead of time what law will apply to the case you are researching. Use of unpublished opinions in some decisions and not in others, also raised the decision-making of courts to a level of secrecy and unpredictability that may have abridged constitutionality. - Out of the Jungle: "Done" Scotus: On using unpublished opinions
(Bold emphasis mine. Italics in original.) RTWT.