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, 2014

Quote of the Day - Jonah Goldberg Edition

From Ringing Out the Year with Liberal Double Standards:
If you work from the dogmatic assumption that liberalism is morally infallible and that liberals are, by definition, pitted against sinister and -- more importantly -- powerful forces, then it's easy to explain away what seem like double standards. Any lapse, error or transgression by conservatives is evidence of their real nature, while similar lapses, errors and transgressions by liberals are trivial when balanced against the fact that their hearts are in the right place.
Which is basically a restating of Charles Krauthammer's observation from 2002:
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.
Read both articles.

Have a Happy New Year

...and let's be careful out there.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Try Again. Or Rather, Don't.

I received this via email:
Good afternoon,

My name is Brooks Clifford, I’m part of the online marketing team at We provide classes, training and information to certify over 15,000 citizens with their conceal to carry permit each year. The reason I’m e-mailing you today is that we did some research and found you to be a highly regarded criminal defense attorney.

We wanted to ask if you would be interested in providing insight to our readers in the form of a blog once a quarter and in return we are happy to provide you a backlink to your website and add you to our “Additional Resource” page for clients in your state.

The benefits of having you guest blog for our website include: building high quality links back to your own website, increase visibility to your website, and building an audience through a new channel. We’re looking for fresh faces to write with our team to help build new perspectives as well as provide different point of views on a variety of topics related self defense and firearms law.

While we have a long list of topics to cover ourselves, we’d be more than open to any ideas you’d have on your own. Please contact me at if you'd be interested in working together. I look forward to hearing back.


Brooks Clifford
CMO National Carry Academy
(Bold emphasis mine.)  I think they need to restaff their research department.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

I Have the Best Daughter

We have a Christmas tradition - she always gives me a Dilbert desk calendar for Christmas.  This year was no exception on that point, but she also gave me this T-shirt:

Decisions photo Decisions.jpg

I'll have to wear it to the next Central Arizona blog shoot!

Merry Christmas to All

A repost from a couple of years ago. Seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Christmas turkey No. 2, about 15 lbs.  One hour and fifty minutes in a 475°F oven:

 photo turkey_2014.jpg

That's a pretty bird, folks.

Christmas turkey No. 1, about 14 lbs. has been delivered to my in-laws.  This one goes with us tomorrow to my parents' house.

Still have quite a bit of cooking left to do today....

Monday, December 22, 2014

Good Marketing

Today in the mail I received two gifts from, plus a nice Christmas card with a handwritten note from Anthony Welch.  One gift was this coffee mug:

 photo Gun_mug.jpg

The other was a gift card.

Wow.  The last thing I did with/for Lucky Gunner was review some of the Fiocchi primers they sell back in 2010, and I attended the machine gun shoot they sponsored in 2011.  They've sponsored the last several Gun Blogger Rendezvous, but I haven't been deeply involved in that until this year.

Whoever they've got doing their internet marketing is not slacking.

Thank you, y'all.  And merry Christmas to you and yours.

Why Thomas Sowell is so Popular with Conservatives

Worth 50 minutes of your time:

Quote of the Day, from the end of the interview:
Peter Robinson: How’s my generation’s project of holding on to liberty coming along?

Thomas Sowell
: Not well. One of the reasons I’m glad to be as old as I am is that it means I may be spared seeing what’s going to happen to this country, either internally or as the result of international complications.

Robinson: You think that America’s greatest days are gone? Full stop? That it’s irreversible?

Sowell: Nothing is irreversible. But I think that we’re like a team that is coming to bat in the bottom of the ninth, five runs behind. We can win it, but this is not… I wouldn’t bet the rent money on it.

Robinson: Last question. What would you say – talking about Milton (Friedman) talking to my generation – what would you say to the next generation, to your grandchildren’s generation about the America for which they should be preparing themselves?

Sowell: Since I don’t know what that America is going to be, I don’t want to say anything to them. By the time they get here I think the issue will have been settled one way or the other.

Robinson: By then it will be irreversible.

Sowell: Either we will have pulled out of the dive, as it were, or else it will be all over.

Yes, We on the Right are a Monolithic Group of Racists & Brainwashed Zombies

At least, that's what the Left keeps telling themselves.

Right Wing News has published its 7th annual Poll of Conservative Websites Most Loved and Hated People on the Right.  Check out the results.

Non Sequitur of the Day

Non sequitur - (Latin) a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.
See if you can spot it in the following excerpt from this Modern Farmer article, Salad, Inc.:
After an earthquake and tsunami decimated northeast Japan in 2011 — an unexpected weather incident that scientists are still struggling to understand — the Japanese government built Sanriku Fukko National Park.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Quote of the Day, Tam Edition

The Empress of Snark does it again as only she can:
Meanwhile, we have Michael Tomasky, whose entire career arc has been one long angry atonement for the sin of having to move to Manhattan instead of being born there...
Were there any justice in the world, Tam's snark would leave scars.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A Beautiful Day for Schadenfreude

So the lefty publication The New Republic is...having problems.

Instapundit brings us the very best take on the issue:

Charming, to the last.... photo Screen-Shot-2014-12-07-at-104220-AM-566x600.png

UPDATE: Borepatch has something relevant to say on the topic.

Obama Diagnosed with Acid Reflux

Reuters says so.

Does that mean even HE throws up in his mouth a little every time he lies to us?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Yup, He Went There

Bill Whittle's latest Firewall:

Howls of outrage in 3, 2, ....

Holiday Wishes from the State

Got this in an email last night. I'm sure others have seen it before, but it was new to me:

Holiday Wishes photo Excessive_Force.jpg

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Stocking Stuffer

The 20mm Vulcan Bottle Opener:
 photo 20mm_BottleOpener.jpg

Just $19.95. Prime eligible.

Aaaand Another Example

Here I'll switch up just a little bit and talk about stuff other than guns.  Here's an interesting article about some REALLY heavy equipment: World’s Biggest Dump Truck Goes Electric. It's about a new vehicle (known in the mining industry as a "Haul Truck") with a payload of 500 metric tons. That's 1,102,000lbs. Say it Dr. Evil style, "Over one millllllion pounds!"

But I take exception to this bit from the "World's Biggest Dump Truck" story:
A massive vehicle that can haul loads weighing more than 500 metric tons—the equivalent of 350 VW Golfs—just hit the work site in Siberia, claiming the title of the world’s largest dump truck.

But it has another claim that makes it even more impressive: an electric drive motor. Electric-powered vehicles have been around to do heavy lifting in mines for years, but those trucks, known as trolley trucks, received their electricity from overhead power lines.

The Belarusian truck manufacturer BelAZ wanted the efficiency of the trolley trucks, but in a free-moving behemoth suitable for open pit mining.
Ah, no. Yes, in some mines overhead lines are used, but in every mine I do work at (all open-pit), the trucks are exclusively internally driven and they're just called "haul trucks." The biggest trucks I work around are the 360 short-ton (720,000lb) capacity Caterpillar 797, and 400 short-ton (800,000lb) capacity Liebherr T282, the first is a mechanical-drive truck with a huge diesel engine running the wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission, but the second is a 3,700Hp diesel-electric. Big electric motors in haul trucks are not new. Not hardly.

But you don't get how BIG these things are until you're near one:

Awhile back I got a headhunter call looking for someone willing to be a Liebherr field service technician for their haul trucks.  I'm a bit old for that and told them so.  Maybe twenty years ago, but they didn't have the technology twenty years ago....

Layers of Editorial Oversight...

Via reader (and heroic comment-recoverer) John Hardin comes another example of how accurate the media is when reporting on StuffTheyKnowNothingAbout™ - in this case, guns:

Layers of Editorial Oversight photo Airsoft_MampP.jpg

Well, THAT one is "primarily plastic" because it's an Airsoft TOY.  My M&P9 has a completely steel slide and barrel, as does every other M&P model I'm aware of.

This is from a CNN story, The U.S. Army is seeking a new gun. Some excerpts:
The Beretta M9, used by the U.S. Army since 1985, is manufactured by a 500-year-old Italian company, which has a factory in Maryland. The Beretta was the "lethal weapon" in the 1987 box office hit action movie "Lethal Weapon."
No, Sparky. Detective Martin Riggs was the "Lethal Weapon" in the action movie "Lethal Weapon." He carried a Beretta, among other firearms.  (Mel Gibson also flinched uncontrollably when he fired it, ruining some of the suspension of disbelief, though he played crazy like it was an Oscar-worthy role.)

Here's an interesting admission, however:
Polymer pistols have become increasingly popular as lightweight and ergonomic, particularly among women, a fast-growing demographic among gun users.
A growing demographic even though, we're told, that there is declining gun ownership!  So once again we're "informed" by the supposed Gatekeepers of Information, again exercising their role as the clergy in the Church of State.


Thanks, John.  I'm not blogging much, but it's still nice to get pointers to interesting stuff.

UPDATE:  Fellow Tucson blogger David Hardy points out more errors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Loss of Faith

Back in March I wrote R·S·P·E·C·T for and the Rule of Law about the increasing and increasingly outrageous abuses of local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies upon the citizenry of this country. One image I posted in that piece was this:

What we're witnessing in Ferguson, MO is the reaction of a population when they have completely lost faith in the Rule of Law. You may argue (and I may agree with you) as to whether this population chose the wrong "victim" as their breaking point, but the fact remains that - as a group - blacks feel that the legal system oppresses them and kills their male population with impunity. As was pointed out in comments to that earlier piece, the image above was an abbreviated version of this one:

 photo becomethis.jpg

Apparently the end result is not a sniper in a ghillie suit, it's this:

Ferguson photo 72C7809D-9BCA-4E65-A509-71E14DB8900D-140810-DC-Riots4A-640x413.jpg

Right now.

Rev. Donald Sensing wrote in the distant past of 2004,
I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I'd tell them to emigrate, but there's nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free.
Barack Obama stated in October of 2008,
...we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.
Now in November of 2014 that transformation seems to be nearing completion, and that transformation is a growing nationwide loss of respect for and faith in the Rule of Law.  Ferguson is a spasm of outrage, limited (now) to small areas.  But I'm reminded once again of this Quote of the Day from the now-defunct Woodpile Report:
Middle class America is no less violent than any other people. They seem passive because they're results oriented. They rise not out of blood frenzy but to solve the otherwise insoluble. Their methods of choice are good will, cooperation, forbearance, negotiation and finally, appeasement, roughly in that order. Only when these fail to end the abuse do they revert to blowback. And they do so irretrievably. Once the course is set and the outcome defined, doubt is put aside. The middle class is known, condemned actually, for carrying out violence with the efficiency of an industrial project where bloody destruction at any scale is not only in play, it's a metric. Remorse is left for the next generation, they'll have the leisure for it. We'd like to believe this is merely dark speculation. History says it isn't.
I wish I'd archived that entire piece before it disappeared.

As I've noted more than once, our austerity riots are going to be epic.

"Tough history coming" indeed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cars, Cheeseburgers and Rock-n-Roll

Bill Whittle's latest Afterburner:

One of the comments from the YouTube post:
What an inane puff piece.

Gas cars should be banned.
The irony, it is meta.

"We can go ahead and make new mistakes now...."

Bill Whittle on the recent crash of SpaceShip2:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quote of the Day - Education Edition

My students do know — because they have been taught this — that America is run by all-powerful racists who will never let them win. My students know — because they have been drilled in this — that the only way they can get ahead is to locate and cultivate those few white liberals who will pity them and scatter crumbs on their supplicant, bowed heads and into their outstretched palms. My students have learned to focus on the worst thing that ever happened to them, assume that it happened because America is unjust, and to recite that story, dirge-like, to whomever is in charge, from the welfare board to college professors, and to await receipt of largesse.

- Danusha V. Goska, 10 Reasons I Am No Longer a Leftist
Read the whole thing.

I am reminded of this 2011 "Truth in Fiction" excerpt from the science fiction novel The Road to Damascus:
(The party) is composed of two tiers. The lower tier produces many outspoken members who make their demands known to the upper tier. The lower tier is derived from the inner-city population that serves as the base of the party. The lower tier's members are generally educated in public school systems and if they aspire to advanced training, they are educated in facilities provided by the state. This wing constitutes the majority of (the party's) membership, but contributes little or nothing to party theory or platform. It votes the party line and is rewarded with cash payments, subsidized housing, subsidized education, and occasional preferential employment in government positions. The lower tier provides only a handful of clearly token individuals allowed to serve in high offices.

The upper tier, which includes most of the party's management, virtually all the appointed and elected government officials, and all of the party's decision-makers, is drawn exclusively from suburban areas where wealth is a fundamental criterion for admittance as a resident. These party members are generally educated at private schools and attend private colleges. They are not affected by food-rationing schemes, income caps or taxation laws, as the legislation drafted and passed by members of their social group inevitably contains loopholes that effectively shelter their income and render them immune from unpleasant statues that restrict the lives of lower-tier party members and all nonparty citizens.

(The party) leadership recognizes that in return for supporting a seemingly populist agenda, they can obtain all the votes they require to remain in power. Even the most cursory analysis of their actions and attitudes, however, indicates that they are not populists but, in fact, are strong antipopulists who actively despise their voting base. proven by their efforts to reduce public educational systems to a level most grade-school children (in other countries) have surpassed, with the excuse that this curriculum is all that the students can handle. They have made the inner-city population base totally dependent on the government, which they control.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Your Moment of Zen

Since I've cut back on posting, I think I'll be doing these a bit more often:

 photo tumblr_muiw0eZjT01r4zr2vo2_r1_500.gif

Anybody got some marshmallows?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Stupidity of the American Voter

Well, he's right.  I made the argument during what passed as "debate" over Obamacare (as did literally thousands of others) that you could not:
  • add millions to the health insurance rolls
  • add tens of thousands of IRS and other government agents to the federal payroll to regulate the Act
  • not add any doctors or medical centers to the existing system
  • eliminate lifetime payout caps
  • remove limits of insurability for those with pre-existing conditions
and honestly promise a DECREASE in health insurance costs and an IMPROVEMENT in health care services.  Much less "If you like your Plan, you can keep your Plan.  If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor."

Former Congressman Thad McCotter put it quite succinctly in March of 2010:
The Democratic Party believes that you can take an imperfect health-care system and fix it by putting it under the most dysfunctional and broken entity in the United States today: It's called the Federal Government.

That proposition is insane.
But that's how they sold it.  A lot of people bought the lies.  Even worse, a lot still do.

The Democrats depend on the stupidity of their supporters.  After all, it's served them remarkably well in the past.  In 2000 (long before I started this blog) I wrote a piece now archived at entitled An Uncomfortable Conclusion.  I will reproduce it here, as fourteen years later I wouldn't change a word:
With the continuing legal maneuvers in the Florida election debacle, I have been forced to a conclusion that I may have been unconsciously fending off. The Democratic party thinks we're stupid. Not "amiable uncle Joe" stupid, but DANGEROUSLY stupid. Lead-by-the-hand-no-sharp-objects-don't-put-that-in-your-mouth stupid. And they don't think that just Republicans and independents are stupid, no no! They think ANYBODY not in the Democratic power elite is, by definition, a drooling idiot. A muttering moron. Pinheads barely capable of dressing ourselves.

Take, for example, the position under which the Gore election machine petitioned for a recount - that only supporters of the Democratic candidate for President lacked the skills necessary to vote properly, and that through a manual recount those erroneously marked ballots could be "properly" counted in Mr. Gore's favor. They did this in open court and on national television, and with a straight face.

So, it is with some regret that I can no longer hold that uncomfortable conclusion at bay:

They're right. We are.

Not all of us, of course, but enough. Those of us still capable of intelligent, logical, independent thought have been overwhelmed by the public school system production lines that have been cranking out large quantities of substandard product for the last thirty-five years or so. The majority of three or four generations have managed to make it into the working world with no knowledge of history, no understanding of the Constitution or civics, no awareness of geography, no ability to do even mildly complex mathematics, no comprehension of science, and realistically little to no ability to read with comprehension, or write with clarity. And we seem to have developed attention spans roughly equivalent to that of your average small bird. (Ed. - Twitter didn't come along until 2006!)

After all, about half the public accepted the Democratic premise that we were too stupid to vote correctly because their guy didn't win by a landslide, didn't they? And the other half was outraged, not that they made such a ludicrous argument, but that they didn't want to play fair and by the rules that no one seems to understand or to be able to explain.

The other majority party isn't blameless in this; they like an ignorant electorate too. It's easier to lead people who can't or won't think for themselves. It took both parties and many years of active bipartisan meddling to make the education system into an international laughingstock.

However, the end result of this downward spiral has been an electorate ignorant in the simple foundations of this country and its government. Most especially the foundation of a rule of law in which EVERYONE is equal under the laws of the land. The Democrats have taken advantage of this general ignorance to its logical extreme. President Clinton, when testifying under oath, debates the meaning of the word "is," and essentially gets away with it. Vice President Gore, when shown to be in direct violation of campaign finance law states that there was no "controlling legal authority."

Laws don't MEAN anything to them. A law is an inconvenient bit of wording that just has to be "interpreted" properly to achieve their ends. When they file suit, they must shop for the proper judge, or they might not be able to get the "spin" they want. Like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, words mean just what they want them to mean, no more no less. And that meaning can change at any time.

What has this election proven? The system is broken beyond a shadow of a doubt. Humpty-Dumpty is smashed. Regardless of who wins the recount in Florida, we have a system that has abandoned the rule of law because the populace let it, not knowing any better. Everything is up for interpretation. We don't live in the United States of America anymore, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We live in `Merica, land of the free to do whatever we please, with no adverse consequences to our actions because that just wouldn't be "fair". Ain't Democracy wunnerful? Let's just vote ourselves bread and circuses and wait for the Barbarians to come over the walls. Bet that'll get more than 49% of the vote, huh?
(This is the piece that got me kicked off of Democratic Underground, BTW. Somebody had to Google my name to find it and then point a DU administrator at it.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Margin of Fraud

So we have a very tight race for Arizona's Second Congressional District, the one that was represented by Gabrielle Giffords until she resigned after being wounded in a rampage shooting here in Tucson. Incumbent Ron Barber was on Giffords' staff and was also wounded in the shooting. He ran for the district in a special election and won, then ran in the 2012 General election against Republican Martha McSally, whom he narrowly defeated. Wikipedia reports:
The district was, at least on paper, slightly more Democratic than its predecessor. However, his race against Republican Martha McSally was one of the closest in the nation. McSally led on election night by a few hundred votes, but the race was initially too close to call due to a large number of provisional ballots. Barber eventually overtook McSally as more ballots were counted. By November 16, most of the outstanding ballots were in heavily Democratic precincts near Tucson. The Arizona Republic determined that as a result, McSally would not be able to pick up enough votes to overcome Barber's lead. By November 17, Barber's lead over McSally had grown to 1,400 votes. The same day, the Associated Press determined that there weren't enough ballots outstanding for McSally to regain the lead, and called the race for Barber. McSally conceded the race later that morning.
Well, history repeats, kinda.  At least it rhymes.

Once again the day after the election, McSally had a lead - 36 votes. The following day her lead had widened to 363 votes. The day after that, it narrowed to 317 votes. On Saturday the margin was 509. Sunday, 341. Monday, 179.  If the final difference is less than 200, an automatic recount is triggered.

Today's margin? One hundred thirty-three with "two hundred ballots left to count." The key quote:
(Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn said:) "In Pima County, 782 voters had their ballots rejected, and those votes have not been counted. During the legal recount process, we will work to see that every lawful vote is counted and that the voices of Southern Arizona are heard."
Anybody taking bets on this one?  She obviously didn't win by more than the margin of fraud.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

To the Mouth-Breathing Knuckle-Dragger Who Hit My Car

...and then just drove off:

 photo Mustang_11-8-14.jpg

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your crotch.

It's not like I wasn't WELL within my parking spot:

 photo Suspect.png

UPDATE: The repair estimate is just over $1,900.

So, Ebola do you Think?

 photo Eyes.jpg

At Tucson Comic-Con today.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Weaponizing Government

Recently, Gerard Van der Leun posted a quote from Fred on Everything:
Fools say, "If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear." This might be true, or partly true, or sometimes true, or occasionally plausible, if government were benevolent. It isn't.

The feds—whatever the intention of individuals—are setting up the machinery of a totalitarianism beyond anything yet known on the earth. It falls rapidly into place. You can argue, if you are optimistic enough to make Pollyanna look like a Schopenhaurian gloom-monger, that they would never use such powers. They already do. The only question is how far they will push. What cannot be argued is that they have the powers.
Please do read the whole thing.

I was reminded once again of a quote I pulled off the Geek With A .45's blog back in 2004 (sadly no longer available from the source, but I've still got it) and have repeated here often:
We, who studied the shape and form of the machines of freedom and oppression, have looked around us, and are utterly dumbfounded by what we see.

We see first that the machinery of freedom and Liberty is badly broken. Parts that are supposed to govern and limit each other no longer do so with any reliability.

We examine the creaking and groaning structure, and note that critical timbers have been moved from one place to another, that some parts are entirely missing, and others are no longer recognizable under the wadded layers of spit and duct tape. Other, entirely new subsystems, foreign to the original design, have been added on, bolted at awkward angles.


Others pass by without a second look, with no alarm or hue and cry, as if they are blind, as if they don't understand what they see before their very eyes. We want to shake them, to grasp their heads and turn their faces, shouting, "LOOK! Do you see what this thing is? Do you see how it might be put to use? Do you know what can happen if this thing becomes fully assembled and activated?"
Bill Whittle, interestingly, weighs in on the subject as well in his latest Afterburner:

Jonah Goldberg caught a lot of flak for his 2008 book Liberal Fascism, but they say when you're catching flak it means you're over the target.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Your Moment of Zen

I guess I wasn't kidding when I said back in May that I'd be cutting back on posting.

Anyway, here's a much-overdue Moment of Zen™ for you:

 photo Zen30.jpg
(click for full size)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fury over Fury?

Scott Ott, Bill Whittle and Stephen Green discuss the recent film Fury, and the Hollywood treatment of Americans at war.

Bear in mind, none of them had actually seen the film when this was made.  Please watch before continuing:

I saw the film on Friday, and my favorite Merchant O'Death saw it Sunday.  MO'D is a Marine from a military family, and an armor enthusiast.  I asked his opinion of the Trifecta you just watched.  Here's his response:
By happenstance, my paternal grandfather was a tank commander in the 3rd Armored Division in WWII. The 3rd AD landed in France at Omaha White beach starting on June 23rd, 1944. My granddad was assigned to the 33rd Armored Regiment, one of the units that drove ashore on the 23rd. He fought through the rest of the war, being shot out of three Shermans before being assigned as (I believe) his battalion commander's driver (in a M-5 Stuart light tank) in the last month or two of the war. His personal decorations were a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star, the latter being awarded for pulling the other four crew members, who were incapacitated, out of one of the aforementioned tanks under enemy fire. He came home with all of his fingers and toes, but carrying some extra weight in the form of shrapnel in his lower extremities. There is no doubt in my military mind, that he experienced all of the brutality and horror depicted in "Fury", and some that was not shown in the film. I guarantee that he was very familiar with the dying horses and clouds of flies during the summer of 1944 that "Gordo" talks about in the movie. That really happened. His unit liberated the Nordhausen concentration camp. He fought through the "Battle of the Bulge". He was there for the battles of Aachen and Cologne. And when it was finally over, he came home to my grandmother. He went to work for the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier and retired as Postmaster of the city of Monterey Park, California raising three sons along the way.

I remember him sharing a few anecdotes of his time in Europe during the war. As a small child, I would listen intently to the stories. When I was older, especially after I had joined the Marine Corps, those anecdotes became very sobering. I had a hard time understanding why my granddad didn't clank when he walked, and wondered how he could sit comfortably with balls that big. He was a soft-spoken man that looked like an old-time college professor. I never heard him swear once. I only ever saw him drunk one time. I never saw him mad or melancholy. Never once did I hear him refer to the Germans he fought against as any thing other than "the Germans". Never heard "Nazi", "Kraut", "bad guys", "the enemy" or anything similar come from him when talking about his war time experiences. Never heard him reference the SS except in a historical context. If he harbored any special enmity toward them, I never knew of it.

There is plenty of historical data pointing to acts of brutality committed by both sides during the "War in the West", but these pale in comparison to what happened on the Eastern Front. While there are stories of something resembling chivalry between the Germans and the Western allies (Adolph Galland allowing the RAF to air drop a pair of prosthetic legs to RAF ace Douglas Bader after the latter was interred in a POW camp), quarter was neither asked nor given in the East. The Germans and Russians had a special kind of hate going on there. I think the recent "fad" of Hollywood depicting American soldiers shooting surrendering German troops or allowing German soldiers to burn to death strikes a sharp blow to the American sense of "fair play" that has been drilled into us since the end of WWII. It has been perpetuated in the myriad war movies made over a 60 year period. Were the scenes of Brad Pitt driving a fighting knife through the eye socket of a German officer and shooting a surrendering soldier in the back with a revolver brutal? Sure they were. Could they have happened in real life? Sure they could. Did they happen in real life? Probably. In the end, it was a movie. Historical fiction, not a documentary. Did these scenes offend me or make me question my own morality or shatter my noble illusion of the "greatest generation"? Nope. Would the movie have been just as effective in delivering it's message without those scenes? Probably.

My dad, who is a combat vet, has told me on more than one occasion, that if Hollywood made a war movie that ACCURATELY depicted what war was really like, people wouldn't go see it. A two hour movie would consist of ten minutes of sheer terror and utter confusion. The other hour and fifty minutes would be a bunch of guys wandering around, bitching incessantly, telling dirty jokes, farting, scratching, swearing, and grab-assing.
He also had this commentary on the film:
I went and saw "Fury" this evening. You were right, I wasn't disappointed, though I must say that there were several aspects that drove me nuts. All-in-all, I really enjoyed the film. It wasn't as violent as people had insisted it was; nothing in the movie was as disturbing as the demise of the Red Viper in GoT! Brad Pitt was very good and (much as I hate to admit it) Shia LeBeouf was exceptionally good. Since you asked, I will give you a brief run-down of my take on the movie:

Stuff I didn't like:

* The plot in general. By April of 1945, there would be NO EXCUSE for sending a single platoon of Shermans into harm's way, let alone without the support elements organic to an armored division: armored infantry (though there were some grunts in the beginning), artillery, reconnaissance, tank destroyers, anti-aircraft, combat engineers, maintenance, supply, medical etc. By that late date, there would have been more than enough men and material to make sending a single platoon of tanks out on the "mission" depicted in the film ludicrous at best.

* As usual, the Germans were depicted as inept, robotic entities. The gun crews manning the 7.5cm PaK 43s would not have missed those Shermans traversing open ground at such close range. The fact that they were SS troops makes it even more unlikely since even that late in the war, the SS still maintained a very high level of training and morale. The SS officers would NOT be wearing their early-war, "feldgrau" wool uniforms, complete with peaked officers caps. They would have been wearing the same stuff as everyone else, mostly a mix of uniform components. Due to the high level of Allied air activity at this point in the war (P-51s, P-47s, A-26s, B-26s, Typhoons and Tempests were roaming the countryside shooting, bombing and rocketing everything that remotely looked German, with impunity), a battalion of SS infantry and vehicles would not be moving down a country road in broad daylight, let alone singing the "Horst Wessel Leib" (at least I think that is what they were singing).

* Not too sure Fury's crew would be that dysfunctional. Guys that would have been together that long would have had their shit wrapped a bit tighter. Also not sure that they would have been sent a newby trained as a clerk-typist as an A-driver either. We were far from being that desperate for tank crewmen that late in the war.

* The sniper at the end of the movie just would not have been there, especially wearing a face veil (which was a beautiful, technical touch by the way).

* Too many tracers! At one point I thought I was watching the opening scene to Star Wars: Episode IV......

* I didn't see a single BAR in the movie! WTF???

Stuff I did like:

* The acting.

* The sound effects. The .50cals sounded like .50cals!

* The small arms. War Daddy had a Smith and Wesson 1917! The Germans were equipped with a believable mix of small arms. Nice to see only a few of them had Schmeissers.....

* The vehicles. Of course! The Shermans were all correct (as far as I can tell after one viewing). One M4A3E8 (Fury), one M4A1 76mm (W), and what were either two M4A3s or later production M4s, both sporting 75mm guns. The one minor issue was the use of T-84 tracks on "Fury" when they should have been T-66 or T-80 tracks. T-66 tracks are pretty scarce these days, but T-80s are pretty common. The T-84 track was used on Shermans post-war. I'll give that one to Hollywood. The knocked out vehicles at the beginning were well done, including a PzKpfw IV aufs H or J and a Panther (could have been CG, I suppose)! Some of the vehicles in the background throughout the film include an M-4 high speed cargo tractor towing a 105mm howitzer, an M-26 "Dragon Wagon" tank recovery vehicle, several "deuce-and-a-halves", what appears to be an honest-to-goodness Schwimmwagen, several SdKfz 251 halftracks (which could have been Czech OT-810s but as there are several original -251s in running condition I am betting hey are the real deal), and the requisite Jeep. The star of the show, as far as I am concerned, is the REAL PzKpfw Mk VI, known to one and all as the Tiger. The only running Tiger I in existence and someone finally managed to put it in a movie! That was worth the price of admission all by itself!

This is just a brief summary. There were several other, smaller items that bothered me, but I think the movie was really impressive overall. I'm sure I will go see it a couple of more times.
So, not too much outrage over the war crimes, check.

None on my part, either.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quote of the Day - Ebola Edition

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

 Seen on Facebook.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Apparently They Nuked Pandora...

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

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

 photo WIN_20141010_175804.jpg

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

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

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

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

Looks like I'll be loading this weekend!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

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

Not all of us, but far too many.

Next question?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Dealing with Loss

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Bill Whittle Being Optimistic

Somebody needs to be.

"Banana Hammer" Kicked Over My Gigglebox

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

 photo utf-8Qarmalite5Fzps3b06aef0.jpg

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

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014


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

Is It Something in the Water in Oklahoma?

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

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

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Unkillable Zombie that is Communism

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sleep Well, Buddy.

 photo Boo.jpg

Boo - 5/95 - 9/23/14

I'm gonna miss that cat.

Monday, September 22, 2014

GBR IX - After Action Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think I'll steam-punk it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tye-Dyed Tyranny

Bill Whittle's latest:

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

Watch the whole thing.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014


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

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

It was a lot of tools.

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

Maybe that's appropriate.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

There are Days...

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

Today was one of those days.

At least it wasn't 106°F.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

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

Who admits that she's illiterate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 08, 2014

Quick GBR Update

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 05, 2014

Range Day!

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

 photo DSCF3549.jpg

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

 photo DSCF3547.jpg

De Lisle .45ACP integrally suppressed carbine.  Bloody silent

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

And here's the Thureon .45 in action:

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

 photo DSCF3541.jpg
Bill Quick's .22 race gun

 photo DSCF3543.jpg

DC's Sako Mosin

 photo DSCF3544.jpg

Ishapore Enfield in .303 British

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

 photo DSCF3548.jpg

An assortment of handguns.

 photo DSCF3554.jpg

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

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

Thursday, September 04, 2014

A Little Something for Roberta X

Just outside our Hospitality Room are these old bikes:

Penny_Farthing_1 photo DSCF3529.jpg

 photo DSCF3528.jpg

I know Roberta likes old bicycles!

At the Rendezvous!

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

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

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

Don't you wish you were here?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Critical Snark Shortage!!

Tam has (temporarily or permanently) hung it up due to an ongoing problem with a cyberstalker.


I just hope she keeps snarking on the Book of Face.

Friday, August 29, 2014


So at lunch today I ran by my favorite Merchant O'Death's place of work and picked up some powder. They'd just gotten in a shipment of about a hundred pounds of various types (still no Unique - which at this point should just be renamed "Unavailable"), and I'd had him set me aside a bit: three pounds of H110 and one of Accurate 4064.

Remember when powder was around $20 a pound? Yeah, so do I. Four pounds of powder set me back a little over $116 including tax.


A few years ago, I did a post on the basics of reloading with a list of recommended materials.  I thought this would be a good time to review that and see just how much things have changed.  

Originally I recommended the Lee Anniversary Kit, which consisted of their Challenger "O"-press, powder measure, powder scale, reloading manual, priming tool and (most) shell holders.  It was $89.99.  That particular kit is no longer available, but the current one is the Challenger Breech Lock Anniversary Kit, which at $126.99 contains:

  • Lee Breech Lock Challenger Single Stage Press
  • 1-Breech Lock Die Bushing
  • Lee Large and Small Safety Prime
  • Lee Cutter and Lock Stud
  • Lee Perfect Powder Measure
  • Lee Chamfer Tool
  • Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner
  • Lee Safety Powder Scale
  • Lee Powder funnel
  • 2 oz Tube Lee Resizing Case Lube

Next up came dies, and I again recommended an all-Lee lineup:

Carbide .38/357 4-die set: $30.99 $41.99
Carbide .45ACP 4-die set: $21.99 $41.99
Steel .30 Luger 3-die set: $20.99 $30.49
.22-250 3-die set: $24.99 $30.99
.243 Winchester 3-die set: $24.99 $30.99
.308 Winchester 3-die set: $24.99 $30.99
.30-06 3-die set: $24.99 $30.99
.30 Carbine carbide 3-die set: $30.79 $38.49

Next up was lube. The Lee kit above has their lube, but I recommended a can of Hornady's One Shot spray lube. For the sake of economy, I'll leave it off this list.

I recommended a steel dial caliper micrometer: Still $25.99

I recommended a Hornady universal reloading tray: $4.79 $8.99

In the article I stated that a minimum of TWO reloading manuals should be on hand. The Lee Anniversary kit had one in it originally, but not now. The Speer manual at that time cost $26.99. Now it's $29.99, and the Lee manual is another $21.99

Then there was powder and primers for all the calibers we were buying dies for. Powder is per pound, primer pricing is per thousand.

IMR 4064: $18.99 $25.87 (out of stock)
Winchester 296: $17.99 $21.60 (out of stock)
Winchester 231: $17.49 $21.04 (and also out of stock)

CCI Small Pistol: $21.99 $26.99
CCI Large Pistol: $21.49 $31.49
CCI Small Rifle: $22.49 $31.49
CCI Large Rifle: $22.99 $31.49

And then there was case prep, cleaning & miscellaneous:

Iosso Case Cleaning Kit
: $14.99 $16.79
I suggested a primer pocket cleaner and chamfer and deburring tool, but those are now included in the Lee Anniversary kit.
Safety Glasses: $8.99 $4.49 - that's the only item to reduce in price.

So in 2007 all the materials you'd need to start reloading for eight different calibers, with the exception of projectiles, was $542.76.  Today it would be $702.12, an increase of 29.4%.  Powder has gone up almost a third on average, if you can find it.  Primers have gone up almost 50%.

I'm glad I didn't record bullet pricing back then.  I don't think I want to know how much THAT'S gone up.

The Republic of Bill

Bill Whittle's latest Firewall:

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Quote of the Day - Sarah Hoyt Edition

I’ve said before that I became an American by reading Heinlein books.  This is true at least to an extent, though I’d be at a loss to explain the process to you.  I mean, if you knew how to do that, book by book, chipping away, so someone starts out wondering what’s wrong with all those Americans who don’t like taxes (don’t they know taxes are civilization?  And have always existed) and ends up thinking getting a Don’t Tread On Me tattoo is a brilliant idea, even while immersed in a socialist, communitarian system, we’d have no problems.  We’d just use “the process.” - Ungovernable — a blast from the past post from December 2012
And I've said before that my personal philosophy was heavily influenced by three authors: Robert A. Heinlein, Robert B. Parker and John D. MacDonald.  Interesting that it works on people in other countries, too.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One Week to the Rendezvous!

OK, we're just one week away from the Ninth Annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous.  Have you made your hotel reservations?  Mailed in your registration?  Here's the schedule thus far:

Wednesday, September 3rd

6:15 PM. For those arriving on Wednesday, 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. The El Dorado Buffet is at one end of the complex. The Silver Legacy is in the middle, and the Circus Circus is on the opposite end.

Thursday, September 4th

8:30 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality Room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
1:15 PM. Leave the Hospitality Room to car pool to Scheels.
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM. Guided tour of Scheels Sporting Goods and browsing/shopping. Buy ammo? Pick up munchies and soft drinks on way back to hotel.
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 5th

8:00 AM. NRA Sponsored breakfast in our Hospitality room. Catherine Mortensen of the NRA will address the group, bringing us up to speed on what's going on, and what's on the horizon concerning the NRA and our 2nd. Amendment rights.
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 Dos Gecko’s Mexican Restaurant for dinner. A 3 minute walk from Hospitality Room.
7:15 PM. (Approx) Brian Ciyou from, will talk to us, and other industry, shooting sports, and legal aspect folks will follow.
Friday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Saturday, September 6th

8:00 AM. Lucky Gunner sponsored Breakfast in the Silver Legacy Hospitality room.
9:00 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, Western Nevada Pistol League Action Pistol bays at the Pyramid range for an introduction to International Steel Shooting Association Action Pistol shooting, and more.
9:45 AM – 2:00 PM. At the range.
5:00 PM – 6 PM. Short presentation by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. possible other short presentations, and information on the Honored American Veterans Afield Charity.
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 HAVA 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 7th

8:00 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
9:15 AM. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the U.S. Firearms Academy for some digital live scenario shooting fun. We will also visit Reno Guns, and BattleBorn, which are next door.
9:45 AM– NOON. Digital scenario shooting and shoot house.

Hope to see you there!