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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quote of the Day - Wish I'd Said That Edition

MiddleAgedKen left this zinger of an Education QotD as a comment to the P.J. O'Rourke QotD from a few days back:
To be minimally fair, a good high-school education is still essential, and college is (if you're lucky) where you go to get one.
I've said it before somewhere, if not in here, that a high-school diploma used to mean you were ready for the workforce. Now it's a BA. A high-school diploma just means you were bodily present long enough that they had to give you a piece of paper to make you go away.


Midway is selling refurbished Daisy Powerline 880 air rifles for $19.99.  That's a steal.  I got one of these for Christmas when I was about 13, I think, and I wore that thing out.  It took a while.  I shot pellets out of it almost exclusively.  The squirrels in the back yard hated me.

Read the reviews - apparently Daisy's QC has slipped, but since these are refurb'd, hopefully they're all in good working order.

Still, for $20, (plus freight) seems like a decent risk.  YMMV

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Well, Dammit - One Fewer Arizona Gunbloggers Named Kevin

Exurban Kevin of the blog Misfires and Light Strikes has been based out of the Phoenix area for quite a while now, blogging away there and at Exurban League.  Today he announced that he will stop blogging...

...for himself, and take it up as a profession!  And this will also require him to pack up the family and move to Missouri.

Fair winds and following seas, Kevin.  We'll miss you at the next Central Arizona Blogshoot.

Alan Gura Has a Blog!!

Alan Gura, the attorney who argued and won D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago before the Supreme Court has started his own blog.  It's Reality-Based Litigation, and he started it May 16.

Welcome to blogging, Alan!  Let's hope you don't burn out for many, many years!

The Freedom To Fail

Bill Whittle's latest, My Friend Failure:

Which reminded me of a previous Quote of the Day from Craig Ferguson's autobiographical American on Purpose:
One of the greatest moments in American sports history was provided by Bobby Thomson, the "Staten Island Scot." Born in my hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1923, he hit the shot heard round the world that won the Giants the National League pennant in 1951. Had Bobby stayed in Glasgow he would never have played baseball, he would never have faced the fearsome Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca in that championship game, and he would never have learned that if you can hit the ball three times out of ten you'll make it to the Hall of Fame.

Today I watch my son at Little League games, his freckled Scottish face squinting in the California sunshine, the bat held high on his shoulder, waiting for the moment, and I rejoice that he loves this most American game. He will know from an early age that failure is not disgrace. It's just a pitch that you missed, and you'd better get ready for the next one. The next one might be the shot heard round the world. My son and I are Americans, we prepare for glory by failing until we don't.
Damned straight.

Friday, May 23, 2014

You NEED One of These!

Linoge over at Walls of the City is offering these T-shirts for a (very) limited time. He needs 30 orders in order to make a production run. My order is in now - I want to wear mine to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous (mentioned below). There are eleven orders at this point - nineteen more are needed.

C'mon, y'all! I want one of these!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Update

OK, the dates are now officially set, the contract with the hotel is signed.  Gun Blogger Rendezvous 2014 is officially scheduled for September 4, 5, 6 & 7.

What goes on at a Rendezvous?  Well, lots of shootin' -

That's on Friday.  On Saturday, we generally do this:

Now we're using Mr. Completely's International Steel rules.

On Sunday we've done Cowboy Fast Draw:

Cowboy Action (which I don't have any footage of), and last year, this:

Which was pretty fun!  Easily the largest caliber I've ever personally fired.

Then, there's food:

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Yes, we're that animated.

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That's breakfast.  We're not fully awake yet.

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There's a lot more eatin', but I don't have any pictures of it.  I'm sure you can understand why.

That last shot is our Saturday pizza feast and raffle.  Raffle?  Oh yes:

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And that's just SOME of the stuff that's been given away or won over the last eight Rendezvous.  Bring an extra suitcase for the stuff going home with you.  Here's a list of some of our previous sponsors:

This year the Rendezvous will be raising funds for Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA). Last year's fundraising effort netted about $4,500 for Project Valour-IT.  I'd like to see us do better this year.

On top of that, we take a trip on Thursday to the local Cabela's or (hopefully this year) Scheel's (I'm working on that) for a tour and to stock up on whatever shooting accessories we might need, and then every evening we have a hospitality room (the one where we have the pizza feast on Saturday) to sit around, drink adult beverages and shoot the breeze, which is why so many of us look bleary in the breakfast photo, and you'll see inexplicable things like this:

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So, hopefully soon we'll have the 2014 Rendezvous Registration form all set up, and we'll post the hotel reservation information.  Start making your plans now.  September is not that far away!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quote of the Day - P.J. O'Rourke Edition

From his (almost) Commencement Speech to the 2014 Rutgers graduating class:
What intrigues me is that there are 31.1 million Americans between 18 and 24, and 21.8 million of you—70 percent—are going to college. It is not possible that 70 percent of you are among the 50 percent of you who are above-average in intelligence.

Monday, May 19, 2014


The Ninth Annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous is coming up, September 4-7, 2014.

Here's a good reason to go:

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(Click for full size)
More info to follow.

Had to Share

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Secret to Happiness

You know what?  I'm tired.

On Wednesday, May 14, 2003 I hit "publish" on the first post here at The Smallest Minority.  That was eleven (11!) years ago today.  This is post 6348, for an average of about 1.6 posts per day.  As you may have noticed, I've not posted much here in the last few weeks.  I've been reading a bunch of my older posts and the links in them that still work.  I had plans (and I actually began work) to crank out an über-überpost for this anniversary, but I decided instead:

The one consistent overarching theme of this blog during the last eleven years has been "Tough History Coming."

I still believe it.  I'm just not going to repeat myself for the one-hundred and eleventieth time.  Been there, done that, got the t-shirts.  But this shit is tiring, especially when I've seen no reason to alter my outlook over a decade later.

It's not all been negative, though.  I was surprised as anyone when Arizona got Concealed Carry in 1994.  If you'd asked me in 2003 if I thought Arizona would be a Constitutional Carry state, I'd have had you involuntarily committed.  This map makes me grin every time I see it:

But it's not enough. Legal recognition of the right to arms is not enough. Incorporation of that right is not enough. Kim du Toit, in that quote on the masthead (that goes to a broken link) has it right:
I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing.
And I'm not going to get it. If there were any chance of that, Obama would not have been re-elected. Mitt Romney would not have been the most recent Republican nominee for President, nor McCain before him. Politicians wouldn't keep getting re-elected. IRS and NSA officials would need to be in protective custody.

Tar, feathers, pitchforks and torches would be an appropriate response to what our government has become, but the change has been so gradual, and associated with "de-moralization" over the last century that a significant majority of the nation is simply incapable of considering such, much less being inspired to outrage. Hell, few even bother to write letters-to-the-editor anymore. The TEA Party movement has apparently been successfully co-opted by people more interested in enriching themselves, and by the few rabid partisans who value ideology over, you know, winning. And the Big-"L" Libertarians still frighten the white people.

So we're going to keep on spending like the money will never run out, our foreign policy will continue to be based on fundamental misunderstandings of geopolitical realities, our immigration policies will remain chaotic, schizophrenic and completely dysfunctional while our borders will remain porous, our supposed "security" agencies will continue to monitor everyone and everything, molest children and old women getting on airplanes while never catching a "terrorist..."

And we'll keep putting up with it.

'Cause we're Americans. It's now what we do.

So, I'm done worrying about it. I've got other things to worry about.

1) My mom has lung cancer.
2) I'm busy as hell at work.
3) I've volunteered to help Mr. Completely organize this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous
4) I've got a stack of books that need reading.
5) I need to get out and shoot more. (ANYBODY seen Unique on a shelf in the wild?)
6) My home needs maintenance that I've been neglecting.
7) I want to spend more time with my wife.

I'm not completely hanging it up here. I'll still post from time to time - mostly in the near future I suspect about the upcoming Rendezvous - but I doubt seriously that there will be any more überposts. I greatly appreciate the hundreds of readers and dozens of commenters, and I still hope you drop by and visit, and maybe leave a comment from time to time.

Thank you for your attention and your support over the last decade-plus.  It's meant a lot to me.  It's given me hope.  Not a lot, but it's better than being alone.

(click for full size)

It's too late for me, but obviously there are millions out there who have already saved themselves!

UPDATE:  I was on Squirrel Report Episode 104 on Thursday talking about this post, überposts and blogging in general.  Longest Squirrel Report ever.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

How Bad Is It When You Can't GIVE Money Away?

Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) has an organization he runs,, that gives scholarships to students studying the trades. He posts on Facebook today:
Question: If I were to form "The American Idol Scholarship Fund" and announce $15,000 of professional training for anyone who wished to become a pop star, how long do you think it would take to give away a million dollars?

A day? An hour? A minute?

What if I offered the same money to anyone who wanted to learn how to maintain and repair diesel engines? How fast would the million dollars go then?

Currently, this question has no official answer. But I can tell you this - for the last month, mikeroweWORKS has been offering FULL-RIDE scholarships to one of the best trade schools in the country. And as of now - a big chunk of that million dollars is still up for grabs. Why? Because mikeroweWORKS scholarships do not reward fame or celebrity. They reward work ethic, and the willingness to learn a necessary skill. In other words, they are designed to train people for jobs that actually exist.

Last month, I shot a few commercials to announce my latest partnership with Universal Technical Institute As you may know, UTI trains the technicians that keep America's trucks on the road. Not as sexy perhaps as the next American Idol, but a great place to find a few American Icons. Truth is, our Trade Schools play an important role in maintaining this thing we call "civilization," and given the preponderance of Help Wanted signs currently papering our transportation industry, I wanted to help draw some attention to another specific career that too many people simply overlook.

Anyway, this particular commercial didn't make it past Standards and Practices, for obvious reasons. But since I’m the only censor in these parts, I've made it available here, for the refined taste and sophisticated worldview of my 835,000 closest friends. (Warning - Partial Nudity and Poor Judgment abound.)

Here's the video:

PS. As long as you’re loafing around on the interweb, do me a favor. If you or someone you know are willing to explore a career in the transportation industry, I'd seriously like to help. The opportunities are real, and the details about this particular program - along with a more tasteful version of the above message - can be found here.

PPS. By traditional standards, this scholarship program is working just fine. I'm just personally appalled that the money didn't vanish in the first twenty minutes. (I’ll work on my expectations.)

PPPS I know. The diet starts tomorrow.
Pass this around, would you?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

I Don't Have the TIME It Would Take to Fisk This

Sweet BLEEDING Jeebus.  I thought "professional" "news" "media" had "layers of editors and fact-checkers."  Here's just the FIRST PARAGRAPH of a Guardian (UK) article.
A plan by President Barack Obama to close a loophole which allows Americans to buy weapons such as machine guns, grenades and sawn-off shotguns without undergoing background checks is set to be delayed, due to intense opposition from the NRA and other anti-gun-control activists.
And it goes on like that!

The mind boggles.

Read the comments, too.

(h/t to my favorite Merchant O'Death.)