Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Halloween....

Bad Serendipity: Your lab assistant drops the correct brain on the floor, and brings you the wrong one.

Good Serendipity: Your lab assistant drops sodium onto the severed arm of an undead seamonster, therefore finding out how to destroy them.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy f******** UN Day

 Happy birthday to the well-intentioned, but corrupt and ineffectual supranational body, whose annual Lower East Side gabfests accomplish nothing while causing commerce-stopping, pedestrian imperiling gridlock in New York City.
And in the field, the UN "Blue Helmet Force" at best stands idly by while thuggish Third World strongmen do their dirty work, while at their worst, actively engage in it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears... oh shit! Bang!

Idiotic animal worshippers (as opposed to animal lovers, a big difference) are upset at the manner in which an exotic animal "outbreak" in Ohio was dealt with, which was properly, by shooting them.
The person who unleashed this plague was within the law by having his own zoological park, but then his private business became a public menace when he uncaged them all and corrected his lead deficiency with a 158 grain self-administered dosage, thereby preventing him from being held to account in this life.
If you have the resources to have your own live animal collection - fine.  But to off yourself, and turn 'em loose on the rest of us is plain wrong.  Anyone that does this has created a problem that puts the public at risk and requires publicly funded manpower and resources to deal with.
At least on paper, I'm willing to bet that a "humane capture" operation would have cost more taxpayer dollars, as well as having taken longer.  Remember, every hour these beasts are free to roam is more time for them to kill an innocent person, devour a treasured pet, or cause a serious road accident.  
I like the way Ohio dealt with this problem, one they didn't ask for in any way.  The only way it could have been done better and more quickly would be if a some citizen volunteer hunters had been deputized, and allowed to keep what they've taken down as a trophy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Gun Ownership in New Jersey (Unless your last name is "Soprano")

   NJ2AS has put this together:

  Quite the well articulated plea to roll back some of New Jersey's Draconian firearm restrictions
  and the shockingly arbitrary manner in which they are enforced.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Does 1% + 99% always add up to 100% ??

Interesting site:

I think it's interesting that these people are giving "testimonials" about their empathy for the "99%."

They're priviliged people that at least acknowledge how fortunate they've been.  Most seem/claim to have worked for what they have, some have simply lucked into it, ie inheritance.

But why now?  Did these protests suddenly make them feel guilty about what they have, and what others don't?  When they bought a latte at Starbucks, did they always leave a decent tip, if any?  And are they now dropping a dollar in the tip cup, instead of the leftover 11 cents as so many well-off patrons do all the time?

I'm not railing against these "empathetic 1 percenters." But here is my issue with them, other than the epiphanic nature of what they're saying.  Wealth is redistributed all the time.  It's done purely voluntarily  (charitable donations, gratuities, purchases of goods) semi-voluntarily ("My business is growing, and I can staff up to accomodate the growth, or not hire and risk flat revenue growth) or involuntarily (the taxman cometh).

The proportions of these types of redistribution are really out of whack, and some sort of consensus needs to be reached about where to set them.

What bothers me is how many of these "empathetic 1 percenters" are saying "tax me more."  Wrong medicine for a serious problem.

The more governments collect, the more they spend.  It's not as if tax hikes or new taxes are "lockboxed" away and allocated specifically toward deficit or debt reduction.

This is a common liberal confusion: mixing up "the economy" with "the national budget."

Look, I'm going to break with a lot of fellow conservatives here and just say it: the private sector went a little too far with downsizing and overall job elimination.  They fired people even when their balance sheets were strong, and rewarded the c-suite with ever-higher bonuses and salaries.  They have every legal right to do that, but it does long term damage to the economy in the aggregate.

That said, if these "empathetic 1 percenters" really want to be part of the solution I suggest the following: If you play golf with someone who's in a position to hire people, try to nudge them into calling back some laid off workers.  If you own a business, and are on the fence about hiring someone, just go ahead and do it.  If you are simply well-off, give that barista a dollar or more.  Tip that deliveryman 5.00 intead of 1.00 or 3.00.

And if you really don't think you're taxed enough, then by all means, write a check to the general fund of your state, town or city,or even a "gift to reduce the public debt."  But remember that doing so will do very, very little to ameliorate the economic or fiscal mess we're in, and in fact may even "encourage the bastards."

You don't have to sleep in a tent in Zucotti Park to make a difference... just write a check... to someone.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

God Bless Kentucky!

Today is Day 1 of the October antipode of the Knob Creek Machinegunshoot

It takes place right outside of Louisville, and the forecast: rain today, windy tomorrow, Sunshine for the weekend.
Chances for a hail of lead: 100% with occasional streaks of tracers, punctuated by balls of flame and other miscellaneous detonations.

For a gun person, it's an experience beyond compare.   Just watching the firing line erupt, and watching the targets downrange take a pounding is an inspiring sight.  As are the thousands of folks milling around, all of whom share this glorious passion of ours.

Not to mention the opportunity to "rent" and fire all sort of interesting full-auto weapons.  Aks, M-16s and WWII guns - both Allied and Axis are usually available - and a whole lot more.

My youtube videos are at: - all of them are cool, two of them I shot at the Knob Creek shoot.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OK, I'M TRM over this one

Didn't realize that Governor Brown also signed a bill creating a registry for all long guns!  Arrrrgh!
Governor Brown, do you know how many educated, productive people make moving decisions (both leaving and arriving) because of how a state treats its gun-owning residents and visitors?

Clearly, you are taking advice from the wrong people, and not listening to your citizens.

Shame on you... you think you are protecting California, but in fact you are doing the exact opposite.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Only outlaws openly carry guns, now?

Governor Jerry Brown, with a stroke of his pen has solved a problem that never existed.  Open carry in   California is now unlawful.  It was in fact rather limited anyway - while it didn't require an existing concealed carry permit, it was only lawful if it the firearm was unloaded.  There was nothing preventing an OCer from keeping ammunition close at hand, but having it inside the weapon was a no-no.

Hopefully the Second Amendment Foundation will go after this one vigorously, since California is notoriously arbitrary with issuance of concealed carry permits.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Questions, Questions...

Sayeth this writer with the IndyStar: you should ask your children's playmate's parents if they have firearms in their home.

Ah yes, pulling out the old bromide that having a gun = automatic endangerment of self and innocents nearby.

It's only an appropriate question if there's an invitation in the air to go on a multi-family outing to go shooting or hunting.

Keeping children away from firearms without explaning what they are and what they do is a recipe for disaster.  They'll simply harbor an insatiable curiosity and try really hard to unlock a cabinet, safe or gun case.
Youngsters should be taught early on that handling firearms in the absence of an adult is a no-no, and how to render a weapon safe.  And then once they are physically and intellectually capable, should be taught how to handle and shoot a gun.

I have a challenge for the author of this commentary:

If your children go to a neighbor's house to go swimming,  do you ask if there is a responsible adult right at pooside?  Do they know basic rescue swimming, CPR and/or first aid?

Or if they are going on an ATV excursion, will helmets be worn, speeding kept to a minimum and steep gradients scrupulously avoided?

Drownings and ATV accidents tragically claim more young lives than firearms do, but for some reason no one seems to give it much thought when their children partake in those activities.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

TRM = "Torso Rippin' Mad"

Stuff like this makes me want to rip my torso open... From here on in, anything that makes me sufficiently angry will get a "TRM" label.  My responses are in blue.

How Many Second Amendment Cases Will the NRA Lose?

Hopefully not too many more.
For the NRA, it was not supposed to be this way. After the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment granted a limited right to have a gun in the home, the NRA bragged that it was just the "opening salvo" in a legal war to use the courts to dismantle the nation's gun laws. Yet three years, 400 legal challenges, and "millions of dollars in [NRA] legal bills" later, all the gun lobby has had to show for its efforts is a growing body of case law affirming the right of the people to have strong gun laws short of a total handgun ban. Just last week, the same Texas judge who was previously overruled for ruling that domestic abusers have a right to own guns threw out the NRA's lawsuit claiming that teens have a right to buy semi-automatic handguns. It's not an unreasonable thought that "teens" (18-21 year olds) can purchase a handgun.  They can shoot them and carry them openly in a large number of states.  Under 21 year olds also routinely carry and handle them (and other, far more powerful weapons) in the military.   Never before have so many courts so cogently affirmed the constitutionality of so many strong gun laws in such a short span of time. But the biggest case was yet to come. After the Heller ruling, Washington, D.C. enacted some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, banning semi-automatic assault weapons and assault clips and requiring mandatory handgun registration. You mean, the most ridiculous set of hoops to jump through in order to enjoy a right that the Supreme Court had just gotten through affirming? (Other than Chicago's hoops which are far more ridiculous) There are no "semi automatic assault weapons" nor are there "assault clips."  There are *magazines* of varying capacities, none of which constitute a threat of any sort.  So the NRA teamed up with Dick Heller himself to file the broadest legal challenge yet , arguing that Mr. Heller had a right not just to a handgun in his home, but also to amass an arsenal of AK-47s and high-capacity assault clips in the nation's capital and to hide his guns from registration laws that help police solve crimes.  Not having to register firearms isn't the same thing as "hiding" them.  Even in New York State, my longarms don't need to be "registered."  Does that mean I'm hiding them?  How about the 45+ states that don't require any sort of firearm registration whatsoever?  If registration was such an amazing, indispensible crime fighting tool, why would so many states deprive themselves of it?  Why is Vermont such a safe state to live in, despite not requiring registration or any sort of permit to carry, whether openly or concealed?  How about this... we start registering every device capable of recording and disseminating any sort of thought or information.  After all, an iPhone can Tweet out a Happy Birthday message or assemble a seditious flash mob.  Good or evil, right?  And we'll start by registering YOUR communication tools. Even better, the lawsuit would be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the same court that originally struck down the D.C. handgun ban. Yet, in what the Wall Street Journal called "the latest in a string of judicial setbacks for gun-rights activists," the D.C. Circuit this week rejected Mr. Heller's challenge and failed to strike down any of Washington, D.C.'s strong gun laws. Instead, it ruled that even the District's toughest-in-the-nation gun laws simply "do not affect the core right protected by the Second Amendment" to have a gun in the home. Citing and heavily relying on evidence submitted by the Brady Center about the dangers of assault weapons and the effectiveness of strong gun laws, Reagan-appointee Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote for the majority and upheld D.C.'s assault weapon and assault clip ban . Again, "assault weapon" and "assault clip" are synthetic terms.  He noted that the ban barred "civilian copies of military weapons" that "pose a danger to innocent people and particularly to police officers," and that the ban does not "substantially affect [anyone's] ability to defend themselves." Barring some weird sort of self-animating metallurgy, military pattern guns aren't any more or less likely than a "friendly" looking bolt-action hunting rifle to harm or kill innocents.  And while the NRA has claimed that handgun registration amounts to an unconstitutional atrocity on par with the Nazi Kristallnacht rampage or the genocides in Darfur and Rwanda, Judge Ginsburg held that "the basic requirement to register a handgun is longstanding in American law," has been "accepted for a century in diverse states and cities," and is so "self-evidently de minimis" that such laws "cannot reasonably be considered onerous."  Not an atrocity, but a travesty.  Comparing it to genocide is a bit extreme, but registration often leads to confiscation, and confiscation often leads to a defenseless civlian populace.  The majority also took the unusual step of issuing a lengthy "appendix" lambasting Judge Brett Kavanaugh's flawed dissent that would have allowed AK-47 arsenals in the nation's capital. The majority rips Judge Kavanaugh's suggestion that gun laws must be struck down even if they serve a "compelling government interest in preventing death and crime. " It's not about "allowing AK-47s in the nation's capitol."  It's about people exercising their freedom of choice to own the firearms that suit their needs, and not becoming felons on paper because of those choices.  Rather, the majority correctly points out that it is the job of the people through their elected officials, not activist courts, "to determine in the first instance whether banning semi-automatic rifles in particular would promote important law-enforcement objectives." Then why are you celebrating these defeats?  They're only "activists" when they uphold laws you disagree with.  Lastly, while Judge Ginsburg concluded that several of Washington, D.C.'s laws were "novel," he refused to strike down any of those as well. Instead, he gave the District of Columbia the opportunity "to develop a more thorough factual record" at which point the court must "accord substantial deference" to the District's evidence. So far, such deference has resulted in challenged laws being upheld. The NRA's dreams that District of Columbia v. Heller would result in a free-for-all of gun-toting teens and AK-47 arsenals has so far been soundly rejected.  I don't think that the NRA had a truck full of pistols and AKs ready to roll into DC and hand them out like candy.  Again, it's about recognizing that 18 year olds have the right to own handguns just like they can purchase rifles.  The NRA and other 2A rights groups DO NOT want criminals to have firearms, don't make it sound as if they do.   Instead, the NRA's litigation has led to a host of well-reasoned decisions  Incorrect decisions that are marginally well reasoned and on top of that spit on Heller, McDonald and the Second Amendment itself.  from Republican-appointed judges upholding strong gun laws. While the NRA recently complained in an e-mail to its members that it is facing "a series of Second Amendment disasters," who knew they'd be in cases handpicked and funded by the NRA itself? I had no idea, either.  But we'll keep fighting the good fight.  When a city or state says, "OK, our residents can own handguns, but doing so requires taking substantial time off from work to navigate our bureaucracy, filling out a lot of paperwork, and paying substantial fees" that amounts to complying with the change in law, but only by the letter of it, not the spirit.  Excessive gun laws also turn the otherwise law abiding into criminals, too.  When you give people a burdensome chain of processes to follow, you increase the chances of innocent mistakes, for which they'll face some sort of criminal penalty.  Wouldn't you rather law enforcement focus on arresting street thugs, rather than people who simply want to own a firearm and use it for target shooting and self defense???

Friday, October 7, 2011

Crazy New Yorkers...

I don't want to step into whether Barbara Sheehan shot and killed her husband out of anger over alleged infidelities, or to end years of abuse.

However, the legal system abused her by acquitting her of murder, but convicting her of "illegal weapon possession."  Welcome to New York folks, where you can use a handgun only if you meet a lot of narrowly defined criteria and bow at the alter of the pistol permit bureaucracy.  No exceptions seem to be allowable for exigencies of any sort.

Damn you all to hell.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP, Steve Jobs

  I'm not a starry-eyed Apple fan, but I've always loved Apple's products.  An Apple IIe got me through dozens of essays and term papers during my middle school, high school, and half of my college years.
 I edited my first Knob Creek YouTube video on an iMac.
 The iPod Touch I bought last year has an amazing crisp screen that's perfectly adequate for TV show and movie watching on long plane flights.  It is easier to take out, use and stow than any of my laptops, with far better battery life.
 Apple has amazing momentum right now.  All the company has to do now is not screw up - or does it?
 It's very likely that Mr. Jobs did some sort of "brain dumping" with Tim Cook, outlining some of his ideas for future products.  But once those run out, Apple could easily fall into a sort of "maintenance mode," releasing increasingly refined versions of existing products.
 It's glib and easy to talk about Jobs as a "visionary" but in this case it's very true.  The man had an incredible, intuitive grasp of what needed to come next, but just as importantly, what form it should take.  He sensed a "need" for a portable digital music playback device, and we got the iPod, rather than the far clunkier products Archos, Creative Labs and Microsoft released.
  People like him are such a rarity - those that with such an apparent economy of thought and word and deed add so much value to the world.  When they're gone, we feel it, and we cast about, asking ourselves who else is out there radiating such light.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Camera prep advice; documenting a protest

Pretty decent article, however someone needs to add:

1. Prepare yourself to be accused of "wiretapping" when filming any police activity.

2. Prepare yourself to be clubbed, beaten or gassed if you're anywhere near the protest area - when they're stoked on adrenaline, police don't seem to make too many fine judgements about who's a troublemaker, who's a peaceful protestor, and those who simply got in the way through bad luck.

3. Prepare yourself to be targeted for merely pointing a camera at the activity.

4. Dress in business attire or in some other neutral way that sets you apart visually from the protestors - this may seem to contravene point#2, but it can't hurt.

5. Have several escape routes mapped out in case things turn ugly.

Regardless of who is protesting and why, no one deserves to be beaten, tazed or gassed if they aren't themselves committing any violent acts.  Unwary passersby who unintentionally blunder through the protest area have the right to repudiate charges of noncompliance and intiate claims of excessive force.  People have the right to document any activity, lawful or unlawful, occurring on a public street, without fear of arrest or reprisal from private parties or publicly funded law enforcement.  End of story... we live in a free country, not a dictatorship.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh crap, not again...

I hate to give strategic advice to a political party whose point of view I largely oppose, but here it is: Dems, stay the hell away from our guns!  You are losing more potential votes than you can possibly imagine by trotting out new gun control measures.  Just leave the damned issue alone, since on the local level the laws you've supported are gradually being peeled away.

Some decent comments on both sides, although I already caught the "Obama is actually pro-gun" bromide.

Again, that was due to Amtrak and National Park "re-legalization" being attached to some "economic reform" bills that he felt he had to sign.

How Leadership Makes the Difference...

One of the best "after action" reports I have yet to read.

This one takes place during the Korean War:

Executive Summary:  Colonel Lavoie was in charge of an Army artillery unit.  Recognizing the vulnerability of his men every time they set their batteries in place, he had them practice perimeter defense and quick repositioning.

All of that preparation paid off handsomely during a persistent attack by Chinese forces who were repeatedly repulsed by his well-trained men.

It's a short and lively read, but one part bears an early mention: while the men were temporarily pinned down some were afraid to expose themselves by returning fire,  Col. Lavoie personally walked over to the huddle men, and said:   "I'm scared too. There's nothing wrong with being scared as long as you do your part."

The men, feeling a bit red-faced, took the encouragement to heart and won the engagement.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"The Most Dangerous Game" might need to be revised a bit...(click to enlarge)

First saw this one nearly 20 years ago... found it again about ten years later when I mentioned it on the rec.guns newsgroup - someone responded by emailing a scan of it to me... so... hat-tip to them, whoever they are.

Need ammo?

  Quick and convenient way to find ammunition of pretty much any caliber at a good price:


 Ammo Engine

Saturday, October 1, 2011

OK... so now the DOA ATF is the FDA, or possibly the DEA? WTF?

I hate reading stories like this:

We have the inherent right to medicate ourselves as we see fit.  Period.
We have the right to equip ourselves with the implements of defense that we choose.  Period.

The ATF is totally out of bounds saying that using medical marijuana which is prescribed
by a physician whose credentials include a DEA number and the license to practice medicine
in any state, makes ones firearm rights null and void.

Medical marijuana users have an excellent track record of not using firearms, heavy machinery
or vehicles when they're taking their medication. 

This has nothing to do with safety, only control.

People in the sort of weakened state that chronic illness leaves them in have fewer self-defense options than healthy people.  In some ways, a firearm is *more* important for them to have, especially if word gets around the neighborhood that some enfeebled resident might have "good stuff" like Oxycontin and the like.  Doesn't matter if they actually do - once someone has broken into a home, their mission is now to grab whatever is there, and possibly eliminate any witnesses.

Many chronic illnesses and their treatments leave people exhausted and nauseous.  Marijuana consumption is the only way they can keep food, and even their orally administered pills down long enough to do any good.

While I don't believe that on a 0-10 harm scale, Marijuana is the "completely harmless" substance as claimed by most of the legalization crowd, I do believe it carries far less toxicity than just about anything carried by the local pharmacy.

100,000 Americans die every year from improperly administered medication

Even something simple, cheap and easily available like aspirin can be quite dangerous.
Google search for "aspirin deaths" and the number ranges from 500 to 30,000 annually.

Pharmaceuticals are one of the most profitable industries.  I'm sure Big Pharma feels threatened by the mass availability of marijuana, which has extremely low toxicity and a stunning range of medicinal uses.  It doesn't require capital intensive factories to make it in small quantities, and the end user can essentially make it themself.

Fellow conservatives, please de-couple your contempt for "pot smoking hippies and neo-hippies" on this issue.  Marijuana has its legitimate uses, and in any event the Government shouldn't be able to tell us what we can or can't do in our homes if it doesn't endanger (or annoy) anyone else.

Ode to Nevada...

At this point, easily my favorite state out of all the ones I've visited.  Great people, landscapes and a feeling of open space and freedom that I have yet to find anywhere else.