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

Friday, September 30, 2011

OK, So the First Week at the New Job is Over

Man, it's nice to be back on the retail side of the electrical equipment business. Know anybody who needs a 35' diameter 26,000Hp Semi-autogenous grinding mill or two? I've got a lead on a pair of new ones, never installed, with full warranty! A mere $24 million each! No 58-week lead time, they're ready to go (well, except for the drive systems - those would need to be built, and they're extra.)

I've got to spend another week up in Phoenix, but the new office should be ready a week from Wednesday. One nice fringe benefit is I will have an office again instead of a cubicle beige fabric-covered box. I missed that. Another will be that I can walk to work - it's 1.0 miles from my front door to the new office. The exercise will do me good. I may need to put together a 40lb. rucksack to carry.

Let's hope that economic Armageddon remains at bay for the foreseeable future.

Age Res Proprias Tuas

Bill Whittle hits another one out of the park:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quote of the Day - Chicks With Guns Edition

Reader Larry B. sent me a link this morning to an PMSNBC piece on the new book Chicks with Guns by Linday McCrum with the following note:
When you see a front page article on the MSNBC website about women carrying guns you know that we are finally beginning to make headway in the battle about gun rights.
Well, we've known we've been making progress for some time, but point taken.

That's not the QotD though.  This from Ms. McCrum's interview is:
"I learned two main lessons while working on this book," said McCrum, who divides her time between New York City and California when she isn’t traveling for work. "One is that on the subject of guns, nobody is neutral. And the other is that when you get outside of the blue-state cities, everybody has a gun."
Gee, ya THINK? "40% of households" my aching buttocks. Forty percent will admit to it.

Looks like there'll be another book to go on the shelf beside Kyle Cassidy's 2007 portrait book Armed America, which I wrote about here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lots to Say, No Time to Say It

I've got the urge to write another Überpost, but no time to do it.  There are a lot of things I want to comment on, and again, very little time.  The new job is going OK, but I'll be happier when I don't have to work in Phoenix.  It's a bit far from home.

Just a quick post, then.

I caught the new movie Moneyball last weekend.  I'm not a baseball fan, but for some reason I like baseball moviesThe Natural, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Major League, Mr. Baseball, I liked 'em all.  Moneyball is based on fact, and per the blurb, it is:
The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.
The theme of the film is that, while it's possible to buy a championship team if you have bottomless pockets, it's also possible to build a winning team on a budget if you can select players who can get on base and otherwise don't cost that much.

For a movie based on statistics, it was pretty good.  I especially enjoyed the fact that this team of mutts and rejects managed to win a record-setting 20 games in a row - fact.

But throughout the entire movie, I kept having the same thought: The movie would have been just as good and cost a lot less if they'd passed over Brad Pitt and instead drafted Greg Kinnear for the lead role.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Earth Abides

Haven't been blogging much, so here's something to tide you over 'till I get back to it.

Amazing Sights (Can't embed it.)

The song is "Night Ride Across the Caucasus" sung by Loreena McKennitt, and the lyrics are:
Ride on through the night, ride on
Ride on through the night, ride on

There are visions; there are memories
There are echoes of thundering hooves
There are fires; there is laughter
There's the sound of a thousand doves

In the velvet of the darkness
By the silhouette of silent trees
They are watching, waiting
They are witnessing life's mysteries

Cascading stars on the slumbering hills
They are dancing as far as the sea
Riding o'er the land, you can feel its gentle hand
Leading on to its destiny

Take me with you on this journey
Where the boundaries of time are now tossed
In cathedrals of the forest
In the words of the time is now lost

Find the answers; ask the questions
Find the boles of the clear ancient tree
Take me dancing; take me singing
I ride on too waits the sea
I ride on

In cathedrals of the forest
In the words of the tongues now lost

Find the answers, ask the questions
Find the roots of an ancient tree
Take me dancing, take me singing
I'll ride on till the moon meets the sea

Ride on through the night, ride on
Ride on through the night, ride on
Ride on through the night, ride on
Ride on through the night, ride on
I suggest full screen, and crank it. It's worth your eight minutes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quote of the Day - Historical Edition

Checking my referrer logs, I found a link to a very old post here, a reproduction of a rec.guns post by Crystal River, Florida pawnbroker J. David Phillips. I found out from that link that Mr. Phillips, the survivor of a samurai sword attack by a deranged customer several years ago, has sometime since passed on.

Looking for an obituary on Mr. Phillips, I stumbled across something else entirely, though it was also related to Mr. Phillips through the story of that sword attack.  From this FiringLine thread comes today's Quote of the Day:
Bottom line: this woman couldn't get a clue if she smeared herself with clue musk and did the clue mating dance in the middle of a field full of horny clues at the height of the clue mating season.
Read the post this comes from. It's a perfect assessment.  And applicable to more than just clueless columnists.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yes. Yes I Do.

(credit: Michelle Malkin)

224 years ago this day, the Constitution of the United States of America, the founding legal document of this nation (as opposed to the founding philosophical document, the Declaration of Independence) was signed by representatives of 12 the original 13 states (Rhode Island didn't send anyone).

Sometime in the ensuing two-and-a-quarter centuries, the oath that every elected officeholder takes, specifically to and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
has become meaningless. Mere platitudes uttered to put an "X" in the proper box.

The Constitution has become, through decades of erosion, undermining and entropy, a façade behind which politicians and pundits, activists and enemies hide.

P.J. O'Rourke famously said "The U.S. Constitution is less than a quarter the length of the owner's manual for a 1998 Toyota Camry, and yet it has managed to keep 300 million of the world's most unruly, passionate and energetic people safe, prosperous and free." I have said that the Constitution may not be the single greatest work ever set to paper, but it beats whatever it is that the government is using these days.

Happy Constitution Day! May we continue to remember it with reverence, and hope that its equal may some day return, and keep an unruly, passionate and energetic people safe, prosperous and free.

Quote of the Day - Stupid Party Edition

From Mark Steyn's Mailbox:
(H)ere in America, we've morphed from John Gross's summary of Obama's message— "America is the greatest country on earth: help me change it"— to the Republican message: "Social Security is a Ponzi scheme: let's work to save it for future generations!"

And we think Obama has a tin ear.

Ezra Marsh
Baltimore, Maryland

Friday, September 16, 2011

Politically Incorrect Joke

Got this one via email from my brother:
The Dead Parrot

At dawn the telephone rings, "Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house."

"Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?"

"Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead.

"My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?"

"Si, Senor, that's the one."

"Damn! That's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?

"From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod."

"Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?"

"Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse."

"Dead horse? What dead horse?"

"The thoroughbred, Senor Rod."

"My prize thoroughbred is dead?

"Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart."

"Are you insane? What water cart?"

"The one we used to put out the fire, Senor."

"Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?"

"The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on

"What the hell? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a

"Yes, Senor Rod."

"But there's electricity at the house! What was the candle for?"

"For the funeral, Senor Rod."


"Your wife's, Senor Rod. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I shot her with your new Kreighoff Limited Edition Custom Gold Engraved Trap Special with the custom-made Wenig Exhibition Grade Stock. "

SILENCE........... LONG SILENCE.........VERY LONG SILENCE..............

"Ernesto, if you scratched that shotgun, you're in deep shit."
Hey, this is a gun blog. The joke's got a gun in it....

Quote of the Day - Tam (Again) Edition

She brings the socio-political snark with a vengeance:
And seriously, Egypt: I have to admire the pluck, but how many ass-whippings do you need to take at the hands of the Israelis before you realize that your days of martial glory were buried with Ramses II? You've been conquered by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, French, and British. The only nation you've defeated in war since the discovery of iron is Libya, and they can't even kick their own ass without outside help.
The French. That's gotta hurt.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Falling Down on the Job

Uh, I'm supposed to post pictures and videos and comments on the just-passed Gun Blogger Rendezvous.


Well, not complete fail, but I didn't get any video, and not too many pictures.  For once I did more shooting with firearms than with my camera.  Plus, I ran a squad at the Steel Challenge day, and had no opportunity to do much of anything with the camera.  Others have done (just scroll down) a fine job, though, including U.S. Citizen (keep scrolling there, too) who got a shot of me shooting my target AR, and Davidwhitewolf who got one of me shooting my XP-100, neither of which firearms have been featured here.  Mentioned in passing, yes.  Photographed, no.

Anyway, hopefully I'll get my meager and paltry collection of photos up this weekend, plus a long list of "thank you's" to the supporters of the GBR who contributed this year.  I'm still waiting to hear from Mr. Completely how much money was raised for Project Valour-IT.

Quote of the Day - The Donald Edition

I'm sure this is old, but it's the first time I've seen it:
We are going to be gifted with a Health Care plan we are forced to purchase, and fined if we do not, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he does not understand it, passed by a Congress that did not read it but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a President who smokes, with funding administered by a Treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security & Medicare, all to be overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke!! What the hell could possibly go wrong? -- Donald Trump

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Should've Gone to the Fast Draw Event

Home!  Finally.

I left Reno Sunday morning about 9:40 after breakfast with those conscious enough to make it.  I wanted to get an early start home so I could either stop in Kingman, AZ or drive on through to Tucson if I felt up to it. 

Unfortunately, when I got to Schurz, Nevada, about 100 miles out of Reno, Nevada Highway 95 was closed due to an earlier fatality accident.

Three and a half hours later, I headed onward towards home.  I got into a hotel room in Las Vegas about 10:00PM.  I pulled into my garage this afternoon at about 2:30.  LONG trip.  Still, worth it!

Pictures and some limited video once I have a chance to upload it, sort it, and post it.  Another great GBR!  (Though I didn't win a firearm - again!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mark Steyn on 9/11 and the World Trade Center

It's been ten years...

...TEN years...

...since, as Tam styles them, self-immolating neolithic goatherds with box cutters took over commercial airliners and kamikaze'd them into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.

The Pentagon is repaired.  The crash site in Pennsylvania is shortly to become an Islamic crescent pointed toward Mecca.

And World Trade Center Plaza is still a hole in the ground.  A highly decorative hole, but a hole, nonetheless.

From Chapter One of Mark Steyn's After America:  Get Ready for Armageddon:
A couple of days after 9/11, the celebrated German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen told a radio interviewer that the destruction of the World Trade Center was "the greatest work of art ever."
What he actually said was worse.
I'm reminded of the late Sir Thomas Beecham's remark when asked if he'd ever conducted any Stockhausen: "No," he replied. "But I think I've trodden in some." Stockhausen stepped in his own that week: in those first days after the assault, even the anti-American Left felt obliged to be somewhat circumspect. But at a certain level the composer understood what Osama was getting at.

Nevertheless, Stockhausen was wrong. The "greatest work of art" is not the morning of 9/11, with the planes slicing through the buildings, and the smoke and the screaming and the jumping, and the swift, eerily smooth collapse of the towers. No, the most eloquent statement about America in the early twenty-first century is Ground Zero in the years after. 9/11 was something America's enemies did to us. The hole in the ground a decade later is something we did to ourselves. By 2010, Michael Bloomberg, the take-charge get-it-done make-it-happen mayor of New York was reduced to promising that that big hole in Lower Manhattan isn't going to be there for another decade, no sir. "I'm not going to leave this world with that hole in the ground ten years from now," he declared defiantly. In the twenty-first century, that's what passes for action, for get-tough boot the can another decade down the road. Sure, those jihad boys got lucky and took out a couple of skyscrapers, but the old can't-do spirit kicked in, and a mere ten years later we had a seven-story hole on which seven billion dollars had been lavished. But, if we can't put up a replacement building within a decade, we can definitely do it within two. Probably. As a lonely steel skeleton began lethargically to rise from the 16-acre site, the unofficial estimated date of the completion for the brand new "1 World Trade Center" was said to be 2018. That date should shame every American.

What happened? Everyone knows the "amber waves of grain" and "purple mountain majesties" in "America the Beautiful," but Katharine Lee Bates' words are also a hymn to modernity:
Oh beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears...
America the Beautiful" is not a nostalgic evocation of a pastoral landscape but a paean to its potential, including the gleaming metropolis. Miss Bates visited the Columbian Exposition in Chicago just before July 4, 1893, and she meant the word "alabaster" very literally: the centerpiece of the fair was the "White City" of the future, fourteen blocks of architectural marvels with marble facades painted white, and shining even whiter in the nightly glow of thousands of electric light bulbs, like a primitive prototype of Al Gore's carbon-offset palace in Tennessee. They were good times, but even in bad the United States could still build marvels. Much of the New York skyline dates from the worst of times. As Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sang in the Thirties: "They all laughed at Rockefeller Center, Now they're fighting to get in..."

The Empire State Building, then the tallest in the world, was put up in eighteen months during a depression -- because the head of General Motors wanted to show the head of Chrysler that he could build something that went higher than the Chrysler building. Three-quarters of a century later, the biggest thing either man's successor had created was a mountain of unsustainable losses -- and both GM and Chrysler were now owned and controlled by government and unions.

In the months after 9/11, I used to get the same joke emailed to me every few days: the proposed design for the replacement World Trade Center. A new skyscraper towering over the city, with the top looking like a stylized hand -- three towers cut off at the joint, and the "middle finger" rising above them, flipping the bird not only to Osama bin Laden but also to Karlheinz Stockhausen and the sneering Euro-lefties and all the rest who rejoiced that day at America getting it, pow, right in the kisser; they all laughed at the Twin Towers takedown. Soon they'll be fighting to get into whatever reach-for-the-skies only-in-America edifice replaces it. The very word "skyscraper" is quintessentially American: it doesn't literally scrape the sky, but hell, as soon as we figure out how to build an even more express elevator, there's no reason why it shouldn't.

But the years go by, and they stopped emailing that joke, because it's not quite so funny after two, three, five, nine years of walking past Windows on the Hole every morning. It doesn't matter what the eventual replacement building is at Ground Zero. The ten-year hole is the memorial: a gaping, multi-story, multi-billion-dollar pit, profound and eloquent in its nullity.

As for the gleam of a brand new "White City," well, in the interests of saving the planet, Congress went and outlawed Edison's light bulb. And on the grounds of the White City hymned by Katherine Lee Bates stands Hyde Park, home to community organizer Barack Obama, terrorist educator William Ayers, and Nation of Islam numerologist and Jeremiah Wright Award-winner Louis Farrakhan. That's one fruited plain all of its own.

In the decade after 9/11, China (which America still thinks of as a cheap assembly plant for your local KrappiMart) built the Three Gorges Dam, the largest electricity-generating plant in the world. Dubai, a mere sub-jurisdiction of the United Arab Emirates, put up the world's tallest building and built a Busby Berkeley geometric kaleidoscope of offshore artificial islands. Brazil, an emerging economic power, began diverting the Sao Francisco River to create some 400 miles of canals to irrigate its parched northeast.

But the hyperpower can't put up a building.

Happily, there is one block in Lower Manhattan where ambitious redevelopnment is in the air. In 2010, plans were announced to build a 15-story mosque at Ground Zero, on the sight of an old Burlington Coat Factory damaged by airplane debris that Tuesday morning.

So, in the ruins of a building reduced to rubble in the name of Islam, a temple to Islam will arise.

A couple of years after the events of that Tuesday morning, James Lileks, the bard of Minnesota, wrote:
If 9/11 had really changed us, there'd be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead, there's a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors.
The best response to 9/11 on the home front -- if only to demonstrate that there is a "home front" (which is the nub of al-Qaeda's critique of a soft and decadent West) -- would have been to rebuild the World Trade Center bigger, better, taller -- not 150 stories but 250, a marvel of the age. And, if there had to be "the usual muted dolorous abstraction," the National Healing Circle would have been on the penthouse floor with a clear view all the way to al-Quaeda's executive latrine in Waziristan.

Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Committee on Foreign Relations, is not right-winger but rather a sober, respected, judicious paragon of torpidly conventional wisdom. Nevertheless, musing on American decline, he writes: "The country's economy, infrastructure, public schools and political system have been allowed to deteriorate. The result has been diminished economic strength, a less-vital democracy, and a mediocrity of spirit."

That last is the one to watch: a great power can survive a lot of things, but not "a mediocrity of spirit." A wealthy nation living on the accumulated cultural capital of a glorious past can dodge its rendezvous with fate, but only for so long. "Si monumentum requiris, curcumspice" reads the inscription on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul's Cathedral: If you seek my monument, look around. After two-thirds of the City of London was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, Wren designed and rebuilt the capital's tallest building (St. Paul's), another fifty churches, and a new skyline for a devastated metropolis. Three centuries later, if you seek our monument, look in the hole.

It's not about al-Qaeda. It's about us.


Buy his book.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

GBR Update

Sorry about the lack of posting, but I've either been busy or asleep.

Yesterday was the regular "shoot what ya brung, and what everyone else brung, too," range trip. I brought all my target stuff, and spent the day whacking steel and scaring a 55 gallon oil drum. I did get to run a magazine through U.S. Citizen's suppressed Uzi, and I put a few rounds through the Weatherby Vanguard that Allen Forkner brought for us to shoot. I let a lot of people shoot my guns. The most popular was the LRB M25, followed by the .260 Remington Encore pistol, but as usual, if anyone showed any interest, it was "wanna shoot it?" at every table.

Today it was a repeat of last year's Steel Challenge shoot, with three stages set up, and a special fourth two-gun stage sponsored by Sig and Weatherby. Weatherby provided a 12-gauge tactical pump, very similar to the Benelli Nova, and Sig a new folding-stock AR-style .22. At that stage we shot six rounds through the rifle, two hits each on three plates, then two rounds through the shotgun at clays in holders. We each made three runs. Tonight we'll find out how we did.

I'm about to head back downstairs for a little more conversation before dinner and more conversation, followed by our annual raffle. Hopefully this year I'll win a gun. Afterward comes more conversation.

You really should have come.

Friday, September 09, 2011

I Deny Everything

...and disavow all knowledge.  I cannot recall the events in question.

Just walk away.

The Humungus

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I Have Arrived

I'm checked in, unpacked, and internet connected - at connection speeds undreamed-of by Motel-6.

For those of you nerdy enough to care, my average speed on the trip up was 64MPH, mileage was a hair over 24MPG, and the Mustang does an indicated 140 at 4,000RPM in sixth gear, smooth as glass.  It will go faster, but I won't.

I've already spoken to U.S. Citizen, who got here before I did.  Dinner is at 6-o'clock at the El Dorado Buffet.  Right now, I'm going to kick back and get caught up on my web surfing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Halfway There

Well, a bit over 400 miles and seven-some hours later, I'm at a Motel 6.  The "high speed" internet here tests out at 2.5 Mbps, but the ping time must be glacial.

Want to know how to tell when you've reached old-farthood?  When you're jazzed to find out that your 400Hp musclecar gets 24.9MPG at a steady 75MPH with a trunk full of ordnance.

Anyway, Reno tomorrow.  See you there, I hope!

Weird? No. Not Even Unexpected, Really.

Tucson has its own alt.weekly, The Tucson Weekly, which offers Tucsonans of a Leftist bent an even more "progressive" outlet for their information needs, and allows those of us to the right of Genghis Khan the ability to keep tabs on them a bit.

One of the features of the Weekly is an excerpt from News of the Weird, six or so stories the editors find particularly interesting each week.  Here are three that were selected for this week's edition that I, too, found particularly interesting.  First, in local government:
Catch-22: NYPD officer James Seiferheld, 47, still receives his $52,365 annual disability pay despite relentless efforts of the department to fire him. He had retired in 2004 on disability, but was ordered back to work when investigators found him doing physical work inconsistent with "disability." However, Seiferheld could not return to work because he repeatedly failed drug screening (for cocaine). Meanwhile, his appeal of the disability denial went to the state Court of Appeals, which found a procedural error and ordered that Seiferheld's "disability" benefits continue (even though the city has proven both that he is physically able and a substance-abuser). [New York Post, 7-12-2011]
Then in Federal government:
Once hired, almost no federal employee ever leaves. Turnover is so slight that, among the typical causes for workers leaving, "death by natural causes" is more likely the reason than "fired for poor job performance." According to a July USA Today report, the federal rate of termination for poor performance is less than one-fifth the private sector's, and the annual retention rate for all federal employees was 99.4 percent (and for white collar and upper-income workers, more than 99.8 percent). Government defenders said the numbers reflect excellence in initial recruitment. [USA Today, 7-20-2011]
Apparently this inability to relieve someone for cause extends from municipalities all the way up to at least the Federal Bench:
Of the 1,500 judges who referee disputes as to whether someone qualifies for Social Security disability benefits, David Daugherty of West Virginia is the current soft-touch champion, finding for the claimant about 99 percent of the time (compared to judges' overall rate of 60 percent). As The Wall Street Journal reported in May, Daugherty decided many of the cases without hearings or with the briefest of questioning, including batches of cases brought by the same lawyer. He criticized his less lenient colleagues, who "act like it's their own damn money we're giving away." (A week after the Journal report, Judge Daugherty was placed on leave, pending an investigation.) [Wall Street Journal, 5-19-2011, 5-27-2011]
And, oh hell, let me throw in one more example of .gov employees giving away other people's money:
Gee, What Do We Do With All This Stimulus Money? The Omaha (Neb.) Public School system spent $130,000 of its stimulus grant recently just to buy 8,000 copies of the book "The Cultural Proficiency Journey: Moving Beyond Ethical Barriers Toward Profound School Change" (Two stars on Amazon.  By all means, read the reviews.)  -- that is, one copy for every single employee, from principals to building custodians. Alarmingly, wrote an Omaha World-Herald columnist, the book is "riddled with gobbledygook," "endless graphs," and such tedium as the "cultural proficiency continuum" and discussion of the "disequilibrium" arising "due to the struggle to disengage with past actions associated with unhealthy perspectives." [Omaha World-Herald, 7-11-2011]
Those four examples came from one single week of News of the Weird.

Weird, (adj) - of strange or extraordinary character

But none of these items are "of strange or extraordinary character" today. They're just Standard Operating Procedure for our government, be it municipal, county, state or federal.  The entire system is occupied by people who share an overwhelmingly similar worldview, a worldview not shared at all by the overwhelming majority of the people they supposedly "serve."  That's one reason why we won't be voting our way out of this mess.  It goes way beyond the people who get elected and the ones whom they appoint.  I mean, it's not like it's their money they're wasting.

Screw it.  I'm going to Reno.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Prepping for the Rendezvous

I'm heading out for Reno tomorrow. I've decided to take two days going up, stopping in Beatty, NV on the first leg. All the firepower is in the Mustang now. I'm bringing the M25, the Remington 700 5R, my target AR-15, the Power Tool™ and my XP-100. For the Steel Challenge I'm bringing my first-gen Kimber Classic. I'm not bringing a lot of ammo because five years of doing this has proven to me that I'll be lucky to put 50 rounds through each of the guns - excluding the Kimber. That one I hope to shoot quite a bit at the steel.

I'll be heading out late morning, and hope to hit Beatty about 8 PM. Reno's just a few more hours, so I hope to get there about check-in time.

See you at the Rendezvous!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Can't Make the Rendezvous?

One of the reasons we have the annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous is to raise money for a deserving charity - Project Valour-IT, an organization that provides voice-recognition capable laptop computers to our returning wounded soldiers.  They also provide GPS units to soldiers who have suffered brain trauma, and Wii game systems to the physical therapy departments of VA hospitals.  Started by milblogger and IED survivor Maj. Chuck Zeigenfuss, it's a worthy cause.

But it's hardly the only one.  Carteach0 is holding a fund raiser for The Wounded Warrior Project.  A mere $5 donation will get you entered in a drawing for a long, long list of terrific goodies.  Give it a look.

And there's another good cause for you to check out.  Ambulance Driver is running Kilted to Kick Cancer, raising money for male-specific cancer research, with another long list of stuff you can win just by contributing.

I know things are tight, but please chip in if you can.


I got this one from my brother.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Ruh-Roh, Shaggy! I'm on a List Now!

I had an interesting visitor yesterday:

Either someone was goofing off at work, or I was visited by the Eye of Sauron!

Hi, Hillary!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

No, Amy, There are NOT Multiple Truths

Bill Whittle delivers the purifying thermonuclear fact and logic in his latest Afterburner, The Truth is Out There.  (Not up on YouTube yet, so you have to see it at Pajamas Media.)

Reader Quad notes that it's up on YouTube, so here you go:

Rendezvous Schedule

Mr. Completely gives us the low-down on the Rendezvous:
Wednesday, September 7th.

6:00 PM. For those arriving on Wednesday, KeeWee and I and some of the other early arrivals are planning on having dinner at the El Dorado Buffet Restaurant. The El Dorado is part of the same giant casino complex as the Silver Legacy and the Circus Circus.

Thursday, September 8th

8:30 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy "Silver Baron C E” Hospitality Room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
2:15 PM. Leave the Hospitality Room to car pool to Cabela’s.
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Guided tour Cabela’s and browsing/shopping. Pick up munchies and soft drinks on way back to hotel. Buy ammo?
6:00 PM. Leave the Hospitality Room to go to dinner. Location to be determined later.
Thursday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Friday, September 9th.

8:00 AM. NRA Sponsored breakfast in the "Silver Baron C E” hospitality room. California firearms Attorney Chuck Michel will be talking to us over breakfast.
9:00 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, the Pyramid range for rifle and pistol target shooting out to 900 yards.
9:45 AM – 2:00 PM. At the range.
4:00 PM. – 5:45 PM. Show-N-Tell at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Manufacturers and show new stuff, and attendees show neat things too!
6:00 PM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to go to Gecko’s BBQ Restaurant for dinner sponsored by
7:30 PM. (Approx) Alan Gura informally discusses legal stuff.
Friday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Saturday, September 10th.

8:00 AM. Otis Technologies sponsored Breakfast in the Silver Legacy "Silver Baron C E" Hospitality room.
9:00 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, the Pyramid range for an introduction to Steel Challenge Action Pistol shooting and more.
9:45 AM – 2:00 PM. At the range.
5:00 PM – 6 PM. Bill Brassard of the National Shooting Sports Foundation
6:00 pm. NSSF all you can eat pizza feed at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. After dinner will be the fund raiser raffle for Project Valour-IT and the drawings for the door prizes.
Saturday Evening until Midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Sunday, September 11th.

8:00 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy "Silver Baron C E" Hospitality room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
9:00 AM. Leave for the Cowboy Fast Draw Blogger Match.
10:00 AM – 1PM Cowboy Fast Draw Shooting with Quick Cal Eilrich.

The Cowboy Fast Draw shooting will be the last scheduled event of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. For those not leaving until Monday however, there are still lots of things to do. Virginia city is nearby (you are already part way there at the Fast Draw venue), the Reno Car Museum, and the river walk through downtown Reno are all recommended. There may also be shows available for Sunday night of interest.

As you can see from the schedule, there is not a lot of time extra throughout the day, so we need to try to keep as close to on schedule as we can manage, otherwise it makes it difficult to have enough time for all of the activities. Although the conversations in the evenings tend to go well into the night, I would suggest not staying up too late, as you will regret it as the Rendezvous goes on!
It's still not too late to make plans to go!  I'm checking in Wednesday, but I don't know if I'll be there by 6:00 PM or not.

Quote of the Day - More Mark Steyn

From a little earlier in the book than yesterday's, and a bit longer:
In 1945, Hugh MacLennan wrote a novel set in Montreal whose title came to sum up the relationship between the English and the French in Canada:  Two Solitudes.  They live in the same nation, sometimes in the same town, sometimes share the same workspace.  But they inhabit different psychologies.  In 2008, David Warren, a columnist with The Ottawa Citizen, argued that the concept has headed south:
In the United States, especially in the present election, we get glimpses of two political solitudes that have been created not by any plausible socio-economic division within society, nor by any deep division between different ethnic tribes, but tautologically by the notion of "two solitudes" itself.  The nation is divided, roughly half-and-half, between people who instinctively resent the Nanny State, and those who instinctively long for its ministrations.
John Edwards, yesterday's coming man, had an oft retailed stump speech about "the two Americas," a Disraelian portrait of Dickensian gloom conjured in the mawkish drool of a Depression-era sob-sister:  one America was a wasteland of shuttered mills and shivering "coatless girls," while in the other America Dick Cheney and his Halliburton fat cats were sitting 'round the pool swigging crude straight from the well and toasting their war profits all day long.  Edwards was right about the "two Americas," but not about the division:  in one America, those who subscribe to the ruling ideology can access a world of tenured security lubricated by government and without creating a dime of wealth for the overall economy; in the other America, millions of people go to work every day to try to support their families and build up businesses and improve themselves, and the harder they work the more they're penalized to support the government class in its privileges.  Traditionally, he who paid the piper called the tune.  But not anymore.  Flownover Country pays the piper, very generously, in salaries, benefits, pensions, and perks.  But Conformicrat America calls the tune, the same unending single-note dirge.  David Warren regards these as "two basically irreconcilable views of reality":  "Only in America are they so equally balanced.  Elsewhere in the west, the true believers in the Nanny State have long since prevailed."

Increasingly, America's divide is about the nature of the state itself -- about the American idea. And in that case why go on sharing the same real estate?  As someone once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  The Flownover Country's champion ought, in theory, to be the Republican Party.  But, even in less fractious times, this is a loveless marriage.  Much of the GOP establishment is either seduced by the Conformicrats, or terrified by them, to the point where they insist on allowing he liberals to set the parameters of the debate -- on health care, immigration, education, Social Security -- and then wonder why elections are always fought on the Democrats' terms.  If you let the left make the rules, the right winds up being represented by the likes of Bob Dole and John McCain, decent old sticks who know how to give dignified concession speeches.  If you want to prevent Big Government driving America off a cliff, it's insufficient.

The Conformicrats need Flownover Country to fund them.  It's less clear why Flownover Country needs the Conformicrats -- and a house divided against itself cannot stand without the guy who keeps up the mortgage payments.
This excerpt echos much of what I've written here over the last several years. I attribute the "Two Solitudes" to the differing principles explored by Thomas Sowell in his book A Conflict of Visions, which I wrote about at length in What We Got Here is...Failure to Communicate - two basically irreconcilable fundamentally opposed worldviews in conflict. The "American idea"? I wrote about that in That Sumbitch ain't been BORN!

Steyn indicates here that the solution is to stop paying the mortgage, at least until we can seize control of the checkbook back - and the only way to do that is to stop direct-depositing into the joint account. Currently the Congress is making Kabuki-theater of "budget cuts" that anyone with any familiarity with Washington knows aren't going to happen. But the possibility that they might frightens the almighty hell out of the Conformicrats on both sides of the aisle. Nothing else explains the visceral hatred for the Tea Party movement - it's a bone-deep fear of losing that tenured security and its generous salaries, benefits, pensions, and perks.

I predict that the 2012 election season will be the ugliest, dirtiest, nastiest thing anyone living has ever seen.