Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This is reasonably cool.

From a movie I never heard of called "It Might Get Loud." Yeah, with these three in the same room and enough electricity, it just might at that. Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge, just sorta jamming. Tell me you wouldn't buy a ticket.

Now this is my kinda guy.

Have machine gun...have bacon...combine!

Mmmmm - Bacon.

You gotta be kidding.

Call that an arsenal? I see some hunting shotguns, a very tame Marlin, and what appears to be an antique side-by-side. My dogs have more - and scarier - guns than this.

The article doesn't say what these dangerous terrorists did to deserve getting raided, but the only charge is "Illegal Possession of Firearms." Maybe the Brooklyn cops are just jealous because their brothers in blue got to bust real live (Whoo! Scary!) militia types.

H/T to David Codrea.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Limping on BOTH legs...

So we're out on the morning walky, and the boys and I are checking out this deep gully on the other side of the wash. No good reason, it's just there. I'm down in the rocks, and both boys are up on the ridge above. Little Bear is hanging out on the edge, maybe fifteen feet above, watching Uncle Joel. Little do I suspect the malice in his heart.

I turn my back on the ridge, to concentrate on working my way down the rocks. Big mistake. I hear:




Followed by:

...BLINDING PAIN... a rock the size of my head collides violently with the heel of my right foot.

Thought I was going to throw up for a second. Surely that sonuvabitch just broke my foot.

No? No, I can still walk on it. Well, then, I'll bet my boot is filling with blood.

No? No, I waited till I got home to find out, but there was nothing but a bruise. Glad I wasn't wearing sandals, though. Sucker hurt for the rest of the day. Better this morning.

Not much point in getting mad at the puppy, so I'll just be pissed with my own lack of situational awareness. Grumble - Stupid lack of situational awareness.

Some thoughts on the Hutaree arrests

The Hutaree are well known in militia circles as the sort of wackos you don't want to stand too close to. That there were SWAT teams in this group's future was pretty well accepted, as is demonstrated by the reaction of other area groups when word came round that the feds were raiding them. It takes real talent to drive people who should be your allies into the arms of the feds, just so they can be on record as having nothing to do with you. And of course the whole kerfuffle is giving the *&^! SPLC the sort of publicity boost you just can't buy.

Still, ever since I heard about the raids I've been looking for something I haven't found yet, that I'm not sure will ever be known, but that I'm pretty sure is out there somewhere. The question I'd like to see answered is, whose idea was this "kill cops for Christ" thing originally? I'm just going to go ahead and guess that the mastermind of the nefarious plot to preemptively bring down the Antichrist wasn't arrested with the other nine.

An agent provocateur? Come now. Paranoid Uncle Joel.

Yeah, except that the other thing the Hutaree are known for is not being the sharpest knives in the rack.
On its MySpace page, Hutaree had links with 363 friends.
Uh huh. That's how the CIA caught Bin Ladin; they just friended him on MySpace. And the way the feds caught the ninth terribly dangerous conspirator?
Joshua M. Stone of Clayton was arrested in Hillsdale County just after 8 p.m., a day after authorities say he took up hiding in a former militia training area about 2 miles from Wheatland Church in Wheatland Township, said Andrew Arena, head of the Detroit FBI office.
Because that's where I'd hide if everybody but the Vatican was looking for me: right in a training area where I'd been known to hang out. And according to this news item he just walked out with his hands up when they surrounded the house he was in. We're not talking world-class terror group here.

So where'd all the alleged talent come from? Who was supposed to be making these terrible weapons of mass destruction, which I notice we haven't been shown yet? I'll guess it wasn't the guys in the rusty trailers.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you want to know who the informant in your group is, look for the newbie who's selling the Big Plan. The tactic is as old as COINTELPRO. Some people never learn.

"Hail Lenin, Hail Marx!" says Obama

Okay, yeah, I made that up.

But he did say he ain't done socializin' stuff - particularly the "health care" system.
“I think it is a critical first step in making a health care system that works for all Americans,” the president says in an interview with NBC News’ Matt Lauer which will be shown in the morning. “It is not going to be the only thing. We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs.”

'Said it? Sink me! He practically sang it!'

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Hey, you can't say that!"

Via the Post-Partisan Examiner:

On Saturday the Wall Street Journal wrote,
It's been a banner week for Democrats: ObamaCare passed Congress in its final form on Thursday night, and the returns are already rolling in. Yesterday AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health bill, in what has become a wave of such corporate losses.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, "In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them." In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said "for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible."

Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment "appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs."
Now, let me get this straight. Under the laws passed by the federal government, corporations are required to immediately restate their earnings to the SEC and stockholders any time their liabilities take a new hit, including health care liabilities. Some big corporations have already done so. But that contradicts the New Truth of expanded coverage and reduced costs. the green baize table! Go!

What are they supposed to do? Lie about it? They're government-created corporations, which is bad enough. But at least they're not politicians. Lying isn't foreign to them, god knows, but it isn't part of their job description.

QoD, on becoming a writer.

"If you cross-examine a child of seven or eight on his day’s doings (specially when he wants to go to sleep) he will contradict himself very satisfactorily. If each contradiction be set down as a lie and retailed at breakfast, life is not easy. I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture — religious as well as scientific. Yet it made me give attention to the lies I soon found it necessary to tell: and this, I presume, is the foundation of literary effort".
- Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fear and Loathing

No, not mine for once.

This is a portion of an e-mail I received during an internet argument several years ago. I swear I'm not making it up. I didn't know what to say; this person's perceptions were so completely alien to mine it was like we weren't even the same species.
"You are infringing on the rights of the unarmed people of the US to live a peaceful existence without fear of being gunned down by a citizen carrying a concealed weapon. You are interfering with their right to openly express their frustration if they feel so inclined. Always in their minds is the thought, 'He might have a gun'!"

This was brought to mind by a comment on an article I read this morning. After my Quisling post last weekend I've been following developments in that Arizona legislation more closely - I don't usually obsess about laws, current or prospective.

Irony can be a pretty toy. I get a kick out of poor, sad creatures who spew fear and loathing toward people they don't even know, people who've done them no harm and wish them no harm, while accusing those same people of being 'scared of their own shadows.' Sometimes, as in this case, it's just good for a cheap laugh. To wit:

A commenter who has chosen the nym "rufusmucus," for reasons I choose not to explore, says:
I hear people say that wherever guns are allowed the crime rates go down.
Actually, Rufus, most gun-owner rights proponents concede that the causative link between rising carry rates and declining violent crime rates has not been established. But even the Brady Bunch admits that violent crime rates are dropping nationwide, and not least in states that have relaxed their anti-gun-owner rights laws.
Yet when one looks at the national crime rate statistics these claims do not hold water. Arizona, for all its love of guns is near the top of the list for crime in this country.
You just made that up, didn't you?
Laws preventing cities from enacting their own ordinances regarding guns? What?
By what tradition have cities ever 'enacted their own ordinances' regarding any basic human right? I'm just going to go ahead and guess that if Chicago passed an ordinance forbidding freedom of speech, the press and assembly, you'd be outraged. But as long as it, or any other city, blocks a freedom that frightens you personally, you're all leading the cheers. Screw you.
Laws designed to nullify Federal Law? Can't be done.
First, this proposed relaxation of a law doesn't nullify anything. There's no federal law concerning how to carry a handgun. Sorry. Second, as to actual nullification: Stay tuned, Binky. You think you're scared now?
What are we doing here in Arizona? Fighting another Civil War?
Dude. I don't even know what this means.
You can't have fifty individual states deciding what the law is.
Since when? What do you think states are for in a republic? (Did I just defend a form of government? Ouch!)
What's next? You gun nuts going to try and make your own definition of free speach or religion or the press?
Oh, I get it now! You're just ignorant! No, Rufus, that same Bill of Rights you just alluded to recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms. See Second Amendment; it's just under the one you paraphrased.
I don't trust your judgement.
Yeah? I don't trust your judgment either, but unlike you I won't interfere with your right to make mistakes as long as they're not hurting me or mine. I'd appreciate the same courtesy.
The decisions you are making on guns is based on your persecution complex and dilusions of grandeur. In other words, you people are paranoid and scared of your own shadow. That's what its all about, right? Your scared and paranoid and your decisions show it.
No. But say all that's true: What's it got to do with you? Hey, Rufus, people make decisions based on irrational fears all the time. Germaphobes, for example. I think they're hilarious. But I don't interfere with them, because they're not hurting me and it's none of my business. Just like what I choose to carry on my belt is none of your business.
I only recently moved here but I'm getting out of this lousey state as soon as possible.
That might be the right thing for you to do, Rufus. I suggest Chicago; I hear it's nice.
Give warming to all who will listen. Do not live in Arizona. Very bad state because of the people in it.
I'm sure the people there will appreciate the news, Rufus. But let me ask you one last thing, as if we were really having this conversation. Since you assume all those bad people in Arizona are carrying guns, and since that seems to distress you so, why aren't you afraid of insulting them en mass in this way? Could it be that, deep down in that squishy glob of goo you call a thought process, you know that they're really no threat to you at all?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Somebody resurrect James Madison...

...So I can kick him in the junk.

Truth is stranger more idiotic than fiction...

In other news, The Onion gives up its domain name. "Screw it," said a manager who asked not to be named. "It's no fun any more. We can't even try to keep up."
# Since service monkeys may likely draw attention, the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on. Only the handler will touch or interact with the service monkey.

H/T to Tam.

Hey, it worked for the Fabian Society

Gradualism is a patience-testing - and very annoying when you're just trying to get something of your own back - but effective strategy.

Offered for your consideration, on the continued normalization of armed adults, this shockingly even-handed article from MSNBC of all places.
When Gottlieb’s foundation got its start, just four states allowed regular citizens to carry concealed weapons simply because they wanted to.

Some other states were known as “may issue,” meaning concealed weapons permits were dispensed at the discretion of state or local law enforcement officials. That system often was dogged by charges of political favoritism, and it continues to be in states such as California and New York, where it is still in place.

And many states did not allow civilians to carry concealed weapons under any circumstances, as is still the case in Illinois and Wisconsin.

While four states joined the “shall issue” ranks through the early and mid-1980s, the movement’s turning point came in 1987, when a successful “shall-issue” campaign in Florida received heavy national media coverage.

I've gotta say something about this, and not to my credit. This development has always surprised me. Though I've been as quick to take advantage of it as any shooter, I've had almost nothing to do with it though frequently asked to. There are people who are activists, and people who just aren't. I did a little copy writing for JPFO at one point but it wasn't a good fit. I don't write letters to congresscritters. I don't vote. I do occasionally give money, though mostly I'm so broke that any contribution of mine is strictly symbolic.

In short, a lot of people have made a lot of progress, and it's sometimes been in the teeth of my own skepticism. We all have our prejudices, and one of mine is that the trajectory of Leviathan is alway, invariably, in the direction of more control. It's only been in the past couple of years that I've been able to really accept that the "carry movement" is actually winning. It's like I'm a creationist coming to grips with finding life on Mars; it has forced me to re-examine some fundamental points of my whole philosophy, having nothing to do with guns. The success of the carry movement has become my own private "inconvenient truth," even though I'm completely in favor of their success.

When you work that hard for that many years, and that effectively even when people on your own side don't believe in you, well... Damn. Well done to all those who've been fighting the fight, that's all I can say.

No, that is not my dog.

Commenter Thunder sent me a link, and asked "Is this your dog?"

No. Though one of those others looks suspiciously familiar and will be questioned closely as to his whereabouts on the day in question. Also, I know just where Winston can get a quick meal so any time he wants to drop by for a visit...

Thursday, March 25, 2010


And look! There's a rifle, too!

Can he even SPELL irony?

Heh. He certainly doesn't recognize it when it shows up on a Teleprompter, or he'd have choked on the words.
When the cynics warned that Medicare would lead to a government takeover of our entire health care system, and it didn’t have much support in the polls, Democrats and Republicans refused to back down, and made sure that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.

We could have - Town Hall meetings!

Yeah, that'd fix it!
“I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” Boehner said. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard — but let's do it the right way."
Yeah. John? The ballot box gave us people like you, and all those poll-ignoring dems who voted for the bill. That worked well. Then there was the soap box, with which an awful lot of people expressed their disapproval of the bill last August. They got called a bunch of nasty names for their trouble, and otherwise generally ignored. Where were you while that was going on and...hey! What was that third kind of box again?

It seems that immediately following the "Health Care" vote there was a rash of local Democratic Party offices whose windows achieved a state of structural discontinuity through the introduction of crudely-fired ceramic objects. There were some death threats. Certain people seem just a bit impatient with the democratic process at the moment.
The vitriolic health care debate has become personal — too personal, say House Democrats who voted for the bill and now find not just themselves but their families in the cross hairs of opponents.

Slaughter, a Democrat who chairs the House Rules Committee, said a caller to her office last week vowed to send snipers to “kill the children of the members who voted yes.” Her office reported the call to police, who were dispatched to provide protection for Slaughter’s grandchildren. She has also been in touch with the FBI and U.S. Postal Service inspectors, who intercepted a letter en route to her home in upstate New York.

Stupak, the Michigan Democrat whose last-minute compromise on abortion guaranteed passage of the bill Sunday, said callers have left messages for him saying, “You’re dead; we know where you live; we’ll get you.”

“My wife still can’t answer the phone,” Stupak told POLITICO on Tuesday. The messages are “full of obscenities if she leaves it plugged in. In my office, we can’t get a phone out. It’s just bombarded.”

A word here: Involving noncombatants in this is vile behavior. It's the best way I know to keep me off your side. Hands off the families.

Having said that: Politicians, if you leave your "constituents" with no further alternatives, you deserve to be afraid of them. From a certain book:
Winston’s personal favorite began with a formal and rather haughty portrait of an Executive Department director. A deep, calm voice said, “This is your ruler”. Then there was footage of that same director running from his limousine behind a screen of Capitol guards, while the voice said, “This is your ruler on adrenalin.” It ended with an exhortation to “Dose one up today!”

And the winner for Best Cover Ever goes to...

I don't care that you don't like country. This has always had my vote for Textbook Example of How a Cover Version Should Be Done. You can like the original and the cover for entirely different reasons, and be right both times.

UPDATE: W called to say that Stevens' version sucks beyond the normally-accepted bounds of suckage, and that I should never comment on any musical topic at all, ever again. The man ain't got no culture.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Anybody else having problems?

I've had a report from a regular reader that my blog - and no other - is crashing his copy of Firefox.

By any chance, is anyone else having this problem?

Yeah, this is the mood I've been in lately...

A Pict Song
by Rudyard Kipling

Rome never looks where she treads.
Always her heavy hooves fall,
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
And Rome never heeds when we bawl.
Her sentries pass on—that is all,
And we gather behind them in hordes,
And plot to reconquer the Wall,
With only our tongues for our swords.

We are the Little Folk—we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you’ll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

Mistletoe killing an oak—
Rats gnawing cables in two—
Moths making holes in a cloak—
How they must love what they do!
Yes—and we Little Folk too,
We are busy as they—
Working our works out of view—
Watch, and you’ll see it some day!

No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we’ll guide them along,
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you—you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves!

We are the Little Folk—we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you’ll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

Reflections on my hometown

I've been kind of down lately. Having some physical problems that affect my mobility, stuck in the late-winter doldrums. And when I get depressed, my thoughts naturally turn to my hometown, Detroit.

Since the demise of mayor-for-life Coleman Young, the entertainingly racist demagogue who ruled Motown for twenty years, the pile of ruins where Detroit used to be has suffered under a succession of uninspiring lightweights. The only one who did anything noteworthy was Kwame Kilpatrick who, while at least as corrupt as Coleman on one of his virtuous days, managed to get himself ousted and arrested for a text-message scandal, of all things. Lord, how the mighty have fallen.

Anyway, last night the current victim mayor, Dave Bing, gave a state-of-the-city speech in which he acknowledged what everybody knows and nobody wants to come out and say: Detroit isn't coming back. Even with all the number fudging that has come to be such a Detroit tradition at census time, the city doesn't even claim more than 900,000 people - I'd be surprised at half that - and they're at least 30% unemployed and rattling around in the ruins of a city designed for 2 million. This is a city that doesn't even have chain grocery stores anymore: When Farmer Jack sold out to Kroger, Kroger bought everything except the two remaining stores in Detroit, which promptly closed and they were the last. The only national chain that's doing well in Detroit is Dollar General - which should tell you all you need to know about the finances of the average Detroiter. In downtown Detroit, parking garages outnumber occupied office buildings because Detroiters don't actually work downtown as anything but janitors - all those office workers go home to the suburbs every night. Having done it myself for a while, I can testify that they breathe a sigh of relief when they cross Eight Mile Road. It's been going on like this for decades, just getting worse and worse.

Bing's theme was 'Together we can reinvent Detroit'. Yeah - you can reinvent it as the village it was before industrialization - if the city unions will let you. Which they won't. Bing's already in trouble with the unions from when he timidly called for 10% pay cuts and furlough days. Most of the speech was the usual lying blather about "politics as usual," "the red tape, poor customer service and pay-to-play culture" of City Hall, a "new tone of cooperation," "aggressive job and business creation," rainbows, unicorns and hails of Skittles. But he did come out and say Detroit "must shrink to grow," whatever that means.

The only specifics about what that means is a vague plan to abandon and bulldoze entire blighted neighborhoods.
In the next few years, Bing said he plans to focus more on neighborhoods, including plans to demolish 3,000 eyesores this year and 10,000 in the next three years. He said he was "unveiling the plan," but he's made that announcement repeatedly for the past few months.

"For too long, our focus has been downtown at the expense of neighborhoods," Bing said.
The problem is that people still live in those neighborhoods, and they won't leave without being paid. Detroit has exactly no money to do any such thing. According to Gary North, median housing prices in Detroit have gone from $41.000 in 1994 to $7,000 today. Mortgage defaults are by far the highest in the country. What this has done to property tax revenues is - well - end them. Likewise, the city income tax doesn't collect much from all those unemployed people. Bing has no cash to do anything with. Unless he can get it from the feds, he won't get it. Whatever he does get from outside will evaporate without trace in the presence of the public "workers" unions and all those corrupt city officials, none of whom will just go away when Bing asks them to. In fact, if Bing follows tradition for Detroit mayors since the '60's, he's the worst of the bunch.

Detroit isn't even a great place to be from. Given the collapse of one major industry after another, I sometimes wonder if post-automotive Detroit isn't a harbinger of everywhere I've ever been.

Yeah, I've been a little depressed lately. Forgive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I got nothing this morning.

The torrential rain turned to snow, turned back to rain, and slacked off just about the time I remembered I probably shouldn't have left my favorite shirt hanging from the Gitmo fence while I was working in there yesterday. My sink is stopped up - I blame Obama. My prosthesis keeps giving me bloody blisters and I can't figure out why. Does Pelosi stop by to make it all better? She does not. Bitch. W's dog Redgirl ate the Gitmo gate. ATE IT! High quality cyclone fencing now looks like a vertical bowl of spaghetti, which is what I got for finally thwarting her neverending quest to dig out under the fence. Bitch. Well, technically Redgirl actually is a bitch, but still.

Screw it, I'm going back to bed. Here's an annoying video with a puppy in it. I'm pretty sure it's Ron Paul's fault.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is cool.

Since ditching my geriatric Dell for a "new" laptop made in this century, with about ten times the everything of the old machine, and saying hail and farewell to Windoze for the surprisingly painless charms of Linux Mint, my 'pooting has become much more pleasant.

But I did have one problem. W and I have a satellite connection bootlegged to a wi-fi router hung on the front of the barn. Instantly upon moving to the new machine I started getting a lot of dropouts I hadn't suffered before. Natch, I was inclined to blame it on the new wireless card. Except just about then W found it damned near impossible to stay connected, and he was running familiar hardware. Then over the past few weeks it got worse and worse until it was just about impossible for both of us.

So a few days ago W went crazy and spent hundreds of dollars on a super-router, and neither of us have had a dropout since. Still a bit slow sometimes, but that's probably the dish. Very cool.

I have worries, though. This is the third router we've gone through since getting the satellite connection, and each of the previous times it worked...for a while. These gadgets are under cover, but still outside in the wind and the dust and I'm worried that that's what's killing them. They're really not hardened against weather. The other two were cast-off routers of the sort you can buy at any Staples, but this one would be an expensive murder.

We need to mount them on the barn, because that's where the dish and the modem are. We need to mount them outside, because the barn is basically a big Faraday cage. W's been noodling the idea of going to a new service that uses the cellular network rather than satellite. If we did that, we could put the whole thing in the powerhouse which is a wooden building and more centrally located. Our cell coverage is surprisingly good considering how far out in the boonies we are - not perfect, but adequate. But I have no experience with that sort of connection and have doubts. Anybody have any experience with that?

I dunno - maybe we'd be better off paying the satellite company to move the dish and modem where we maybe should have put it in the first place.

Teach Spy on your parents well...

...and get free stuff! Remember, children count too!

"I imagine you have better things to do..." six o'clock in the morning than take care of my dogs.

Ghost and Little Bear are in complete disgrace. I overslept a bit, didn't get vaguely vertical till almost five. Let the boys out, expecting them to do their chores and come right back in, which they usually do. Instead they disappeared.

Quarter to six the phone rings. D&L. Crap, the one time I thought I could trust them is on their crack'o'doom can break. Now I'm gonna have to start freezing my buns supervising them.

One QoD, and then I'm going to stop talking about this.

"Said the president to the nation, 'Tonight, we answered the call of history.'

He neglected to mention that it was Stalin who placed the call."

- Anon


Well, that's done.

Get my prison cell ready, boys. I'll be along presently.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"To pass or not to pass?

Yes, I know I shouldn't be obsessing about this. But otherwise I'm just waiting for a cistern to fill and laundry to dry, so it's not out of my way.

Over at Big Government is a pretty good analysis by Mike Flynn on the current state of the healthcare trainwreck. It's a great read, makes some fair points...
What they don’t realize is that today’s vote isn’t the end, but just a new beginning in the debate over health care. Buckle up, because if they manage to cobble together enough votes to pass the Senate Health Bill today, we’re set for weeks and perhaps months of a constitutional and political crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

In a matter of hours after House passage of the Senate Bill, the state of Virginia will file suit in federal court. The Commonwealth will be joined in the suit by a dozen other states. I expect a flood of additional lawsuits. The suits will be based on the provision that requires every American to purchase health insurance. (This is how the Dems ‘crack down’ on the insurance industry; by requiring everyone to buy its product?) Because this is an individual mandate, virtually every American has standing to file suit against this provision. Also, it is in direct conflict with state law in at least two states, Idaho and Virginia.

While the legal battles wage on, expect an enormous public back-lash against the Democrats. Longtime political observers will recall the backlash after Democrats passed a “catastrophic health care” bill in the 80s. That event pales in comparison to what is brewing. Yesterday, around 30,000 people protested on the steps of the Capitol, an event that was organized in just a little over 24 hours. In cities throughout the country, protests and rallies broke out, each attended by hundreds of citizens with only a few hours notice. This kind of spontaneous public outcry has never happened in any of our lifetimes. Today, many of these protesters are buoyed by a faith that reason will prevail and the Democrats will stand down from their position of willful disdain for the American people. If that doesn’t happen tonight, then we will have fallen into totally unchartered territory. It is without hyperbole that I say I am at times afraid of what may ensue.

...But then he comes to an argument I've read before, and I just can't disagree enough...
That said, the political animal in me is hoping they find 216 votes. A victory for ObamaCare tonight, It will spark a public revolt that will wipe clean the progressive agenda for at least a generation. In battle, it is critically important to have clarity; to understand the fight you are in. If the Democrats pass ObamaCare tonight no one will have any doubts about the battle ahead. So, my political instincts say, “Bring it On. Let’s sort this out once and for all.”
...To which I must reply, in battle it is also critically important to have someone on your side. It gets lonely otherwise.

It's true that the republicans have sat giggling through this whole debacle, letting the democrats hang themselves since they seem so intent on doing it. Apparently there isn't a single republican "yea" vote out there. But nobody should take that as a sign that the republicans have somehow become friends of the American people. Flynn says "I don’t fully trust that the GOP will repeal every last provision," and I find that charmingly naive. I don't expect that the GOP will repeal any of it. When have they ever? Did they repeal social security? Medicare? The "Great Society" welfare state? The Department of Education was passed virtually moments before Ronald Reagan was elected, and he swore his first official act would be to dismantle it. That was thirty years ago, and Reagan is dead. I think we can stop waiting.

Republicans are politicians, and politicians are evil, power-hungry parasites. Anything that increases the power and grasp of government works to their benefit, and the healthcare bill is the biggest power grab in memory. Oh, sure, they're loving it that the democrats own this horrible bill. But that doesn't mean they have any dimmest plan to repeal it, once they get back in power.

So to those who think the nasty democrats should go ahead and pass their bill, because the noble republicans will save us in the ensuing war between good and evil, I suggest you step away from the crack pipe and look at a little history. As George Potter said recently, the enemy of my enemy isn't my friend ... if he's my enemy. And the republicans, like the democrats, are our enemies.

Careful what you wish for, Nancy...

Well, friends, with any luck this'll be the day. What Reason is calling the "Health Care Superbowl" is supposed to finally get its day in court, hopefully followed by a swift and sure execution.

Damn, I wouldn't be Nancy Pelosi right now for all the real estate in San Francisco. With "Deem and pass" now apparently off the table after all,, she's forced to scramble for actual votes - which she never had, because nobody wants to go home and tell the voters he really did vote for this radioactive bill, which is why she went to the "Slaughter solution" in the first place. She tried pandering to Bart Stupak's so-called pro-life faction, which caused all the pro-abortion dems to squawk. So she resorted to...other means, and apparently got some to agree fetuses weren't that important after all. Meanwhile Obama is giving away as much of the store as he can crowbar off the wall studs, trying to buy the temporary loyalty of other dems.

All this follows weeks of budget jiggery-pokery to get the fictional ten-year cost down below a trillion dollars. Nobody believes a single syllable of what anybody says about this, but the forms must be followed anyway or - well - then we'd be living in a police state. With the lies properly signed off by the Congressional Budget Office, we're all assured America is still the land of the free! And the budget fudging could still bring the whole thing down, because it seems somebody got caught delaying a rise in Social Security taxes to appease the AFL-CIO, which comprises a raid on the nonexistent Social Security trust fund, which is a no-no. I guess Al Gore left the key to that lockbox lying around when he left. This is just dizzying.

Poor Nancy. She wanted the job so bad and now, sad thing, she's got it. And no matter what happens, she loses. She loses if she loses, because she put every bit of credibility she had on the line for it. And she loses if she wins, because those thousands of protesters outside her office aren't carrying bouquets and the endless democratic regime could turn out to last exactly two years. You know Obama won't blame himself for that. Say hello to the underside of the bus, Nancy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Be sure to fill out those forms accurately, y'all.

WASHINGTON -- Two scholars say in a new research paper that despite earlier denials, the Census Bureau was deeply involved in the roundup and internment of Japanese Americans at the onset of U.S. entry into World War II.

The academics say the Census Bureau's involvement included identifying concentrations of people of Japanese ancestry in geographic units as small as city blocks, lending a senior Census Bureau official to work with the War Department on the relocation program and a willingness to disclose names and address of Japanese Americans.

I really hate a Quisling.

I've spent the last hour stewing about this. I spent time before that surfing, trying to find more information, trying any way I could to find some spin that made any sort of honorable sense. I've given up. Now I'm just pissed.

Okay: I'm way behind the curve on this, because it started over a week ago. A little background: You may know that the legislature in Arizona is considering a bill to make the CCW license requirement optional. If the bill passes, Arizonans can still get the CCW permit if they want to bypass NICS and take advantage of interstate reciprocity, but in-state Arizona would have what amounts to Vermont Carry. I haven't been following the issue, but I can imagine that a lot of Arizona pistoleros are on pins and needles over it.

On March 12, Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell posted an email from a gun training outfit in Prescott, Arizona called Insight Firearms Training Development. The email contains a sample letter that Insight suggests be sent to Arizona legislators. You're expecting to see something that urges a "YES" vote, right? Not so much:
RE: Vote NO on House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108

Dear Representatives:

I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Nevertheless, I strongly OPPOSE House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108 which would authorize Arizonans to carry a concealed weapon without the permit that is currently required by Arizona law. I have recently taken the 8-hour CCW course required by current law and I can tell you first-hand that it is invaluable and necessary for anyone who plans to carry a concealed weapon. I realized when I took the CCW course offered by Insight Firearms Training Development in Prescott Arizona that there was much that I did not know (or remember as the case may be) about the safe handling of firearms and, importantly, the law applicable to their use for purposes of personal protection in real life (and death) situations. Persons who carry concealed weapons who are not properly trained and educated will be hazardous to you, me and all of the residents of this state.

The argument often offered in support of allowing a person to carry without proper training is that “criminals do not worry about CCW permits, so why should we require it of good, law-abiding citizens”. That may be true, but the argument is disingenuous. Our laws apply to all people – good and bad. The fact that some choose to violate the laws of our society does not constitute good reason to modify them in a manner that will be injurious to the safety of our communities. Should we modify every law in our society because the criminals don’t follow them? Should we base all laws of our society on the behavior of the criminals?

The Second Amendment, as interpreted by the US Supreme Court, does not proscribe reasonable governmental restrictions on an individual’s rights with respect to firearms. To restrict individuals from carrying a handgun in a concealed manner under any circumstance would be unreasonable. It is not unreasonable, however, to require that person to demonstrate that he has obtained the proper training and education in the use of that concealed weapon. With every right comes a corresponding duty an responsibility! We need to retain that requirement.

Vote NO on House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108
Huh? I mean ... HUH???

It seems there was some subsequent outrage going on in the gunblogoverse. Imagine that. Michael Bane, another gunblogger, wrote Insight demanding an explanation and actually received one:
We're sorry if we offended you. Protecting our rights is also a concern of ours. We just have a different opinion as to why our rights are at stake to begin with and how to protect them.

We train in many areas, from Civilian, Military, Law Enforcement, Security and NRA (Instructor Level), as well as develop curriculum for all types of firearms training, not just the CCW. Therefore our income is not dependent solely on the CCW Training we provide, nor is our business dependent on the actions of the government either way.

We are supporters of the Second Amendment and are not against people exercising that right. We also believe that every Right has a corresponding Duty. We believe training may very well be a key factor in retaining or losing the very right our Second Amendment provides. We applaud those who have willingly sought out training on their own to become educated on gun ownership.

That being said, as firearms instructors we see many students come into our courses for training who have no clue or idea what the laws (both State Statutes and case law) are in regards to owning or using a firearm in self defense or any other purpose, let alone how to safely and properly handle or store their firearms. We feel that it is the informed and knowledge gun owners who will play an important role in allowing us to protect our Second Amendment Rights, not those who choose to remain ignorant of the responsibilities that come with that right. It¹s sad to say, but there are many in our society who will not seek appropriate training on their own. It¹s those who choose not to get training, act negligently and make stupid careless mistakes, who are the greatest threat to protecting our Second Amendment Rights. Mandated training is not the enemy, yet, it could play a very important role in saving our rights in the long run. Therefore in order to protect our rights we will support mandated training whenever it is available. Just because we have rights doesn't mean it always makes sense to exercise those rights without more thought in the process. Additionally, though AZ is an Open Carry State, we do not support "Open Carry" That is like putting a target on your forehead or back and inviting trouble!

Additionally, our forefathers didn¹t have to worry about the negative effects that every form of media has on our newer generations and the reality it has provided. Many of the current beliefs associated with guns come from this medium and it has severely impacted the reality people have today. If you have not done so please read Col. Grossmans book On Killing or On Combat. We work closely with numerous police and prosecutors and have been told that close to 90% of gun cases are related directly to people's ignorance of the law or gun safety responsibilities. This type of behavior is what jeopardizes our Second Amendments Rights. Mandated Training is a solid solution to people who don¹t understand the importance of their responsibilities with regards to gun ownership and a potential way to protect our rights. With every Right comes a Corresponding DUTY and most do not accept that DUTY willingly. There are many other additional factors that need to be considered, aside from the right itself.

We hear on a consistent basis from our students that they had no idea the responsibilities and liabilities they faced while exercising their Second Amendment Rights until after taking this course, including post law enforcement, military retirees and life long gun owners. Over 90% tell us after completing the training that if they knew before, what they learned in class, they would have had the knowledge to be much more responsible gun owners. They also tell us they couldn¹t imagine carrying a gun without the new knowledge they gained in our class. The majority also support not only our efforts to train and enlighten those who have been in the dark for so long, but continued mandated training.

Our training is significantly different in numerous aspects. The teaching process we use allows our students to actually retain the information they receive unlike other training programs. If you are really concerned about our position on mandated training, and have not done so previously, please attend our class and allow us to introduce you to the un-informed CCW applicants who come to us for training. Maybe if you see things from their perspective before and after our class you will understand why we are so committed to this program and assuring mandated training continues.

We also realize there are those who use Alaska and Vermont as an example of why this law should pass, since they have not had any issues. That may be so, yet they are not comparing apples to apples. Example, those states are very different from other states. They are extremely rural in nature, have a different population number from other states and most brought up in those areas are raised with guns from early on. There is a big difference in that and those from urban or metropolitan areas. We know because we see it on a daily basis.

Please understand that though we respect your beliefs we do not hold them as our own, hopefully you will do the same. It will be up to each individual in our society to voice their own opinion to their legislators and fight for their rights in the way that seems appropriate for them. I'm sure there will be many who stand on both sides of support for this issue.

Sherrie & Matt Seibert

Well...It's good that they responded. I guess.

To tell the troof, I'm more perplexed by their stance on open carry than on mandatory training. If they weren't in the business of providing the thing they want to make mandatory, it could be the sort of thing reasonable people might disagree about. After all, I rarely meet a shooter who doesn't think training is a good idea. Me, I'm completely in favor of training. I'm opposed to mandatory training, but then I'm opposed to mandatory anything. It's just a prejudice of mine and may not be entirely rational.

But they are in the business, and their sample letter is so very blatantly self-interested that I can only surmise the Seibert house contains no mirrors - I just can't imagine how they could ever stand to look at themselves in one. And the arguments in their follow-up message ... I could spend days fisking this nonsense. To wit:
  • They claim no self-interest, because CCW training is only a part of their curriculum. They don't mention that it's the only part required by law. All the other venues have a limited audience at best.
  • "We are supporters of the Second Amendment and are not against people exercising that right." BUT! Fail.
  • "We believe training may very well be a key factor in retaining or losing the very right our Second Amendment provides." People, the second amendment provides nothing. It guarantees nothing. It acknowledges a pre-existing natural right. Period.
  • "It¹s sad to say, but there are many in our society who will not seek appropriate training on their own." True. That doesn't give you the right to make it mandatory under law.
  • "[W]e do not support 'Open Carry'. That is like putting a target on your forehead or back and inviting trouble!" I don't even know what this means. I mean, a lot of people prefer concealed carry and claim to believe that open carry is dumb. Okay. But this is the very first time in my life I've ever heard a shooter suggest that open carry, where now legal, be made illegal. Even if their argument is correct, which I don't believe, who's the open carrier hurting but himself? Couldn't have anything to do with that training requirement for concealed carry, could it?
  • "If you have not done so please read Col. Grossmans book On Killing or On Combat." Yeah, this is the bozo who pushes that "Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs" meme. Fail.
  • "If you are really concerned about our position on mandated training...please attend our class and allow us to introduce you to the un-informed CCW applicants who come to us for training." If you disagree with us, give us money anyway.
  • "...those states [Alaska and Vermont] are very different from other states. They are extremely rural in nature, have a different population number from other states and most brought up in those areas are raised with guns from early on." Have these people ever been to Arizona? They apparently either believe that Alaska and Vermont have no cities, or that Arizona consists of nothing but. And that Arizonans don't know anything about guns.
I could go on, but why bother? Arizona shooters - please feel free to Zumbo these quisling bastards into bankruptcy. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to strap on my openly-carried 1911 and go shovel horseshit of a different sort.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Mature Freedomista

In answer to the post below, The Grey Lady said, in part,
Accidentally stumbling on that site [Survival Blog] was what got me going down my freedom oriented road, woke me up with a slap in the head, well a slow slap in the head, took a while for it to take hold if you know what I mean. I stopped going after a while as I found it's the sky is falling, general fear mongering of "every frickin thing on the planet" everyday a wee bit too much for my tender self, that and the constant gun talk that was making me sick. We are going to be sitting here with our mighty dogs, bows and cans of bear mace to stave of the hoards post SHTF, Egads.
I started to write a reply in agreement, but decided it needed its own post because it touches on a larger issue.

I went through my "guns and gear," TEOTWAWKI phase when I still had hair, and now kind of benignly regard it as a sort of gateway drug to the freedomista life.

A friend once astutely suggested that a sign of maturity in these matters lies in the question of whether you define yourself by what you're against or what you're for. Do you just rage against Leviathan, or do you really seek freedom in the life you have now? Really contemplating that question, and acting on the answers you find, can have a startling effect on many aspects of your life. In terms of physical and emotional comfort, it's not necessarily a positive effect. So it's important to choose carefully. Leviathan doesn't care what you think or what you say, as long as as you don't say it too loud. But when you start doing freedom, you can get yourself into trouble. And by doing freedom, I don't mean [just] obsessing about guns. I mean actively disregarding the Beast in favor of getting on with your life, understanding (this part's really important) that that sort of disrespect can get you eaten, and bloody doing it anyway.

Oops ... I see by the clock on the wall that it's time to go do something illegal, so I have to cut this short. The subject needs more noodling, and I'll try to get back to my pontification later.

EDIT: At least on the subject of SHTF scenarios, rather than blather on I'll just repeat something I said a few months ago and let it go at that.

Well, I never thought this would happen.

I may have to scrub my fingers to the bone after posting this, because I'm about to write in favor of (Can't! Say! It!) Okay, I'm about to write about two laws. They may be quixotic and doomed laws, but that's what makes them special. Both out of Idaho.

One that's currently only a gleam in Idaho legislators' eyes is HB633, which would allow Idaho citizens to pay their state taxes with an official state silver medallion. This apparently isn't just Ron-Paul-Wannabe goldbugism, for according to this Salon article there's method to their madness.
The intent of this act is to use the abundant silver resources of the state of Idaho to create a means whereby the people of Idaho can pay their taxes to the state using silver mined from the ground of Idaho, processed in Idaho and finally minted into a medallion in Idaho. It is the intent of the Legislature to create mining jobs in Idaho while giving the people of Idaho a means to store their wealth in a precious metal that is immune from the effects of inflation while complying with the mandates of our federal Constitution.
Of course, if they're really interested in adhering to the constitution, there are practical difficulties. According to the con, only the feds can mint money. So this isn't a "coin," it's a "medallion." I've a feeling the Treasury Department won't appreciate the worlds of difference between the two words. Also, there's a small matter of price volatility:
...since states aren't allowed to mint their own money, the value of the silver medallion will have to fluctuate according to market forces. In just the last ten years, the value of an ounce of silver has zig-zagged between four and twenty dollars.
But it's still good to see legislators thinking along these lines, since federal fiat currency is so clearly heading down the road to Zimbabwe. It'd be good if the concept of hard money were at least somewhat normalized before the trillion-dollar bills are issued.

The second law I now praise mention in passing is actually a law, or at least an act. Maybe it's a "measure" - hell, I don't know what it is. The Idaho governor, who'd want me to mention his name, signed it on Wednesday. It's another of those stick-in-DC's-eye state acts - though apparently not a "resolution" - that might be a bit hard to actually implement but it's nice to see it out there.
The Idaho Health Care Freedom Act says in part, "every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty."

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, a Republican, said Wednesday he signed it because he believes any health care laws should ensure people are "treated as an individual, rather than as an amorphous mass whose only purpose in this world is to obey federal mandates."

Several other states may follow suit.
Okay, I guess we did mention his name.

If, as this article suggests, several other states draft their own exemption laws, Obama's "health care" plan will go the way of RealID whether Pelosi re-jiggers the rules of congress or not. While I've come to expect this sort of thing from the legislators of Wyoming, Montana and/or Idaho, over half the states either have or soon will consider the same sort of legislation. Also,
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum...sent a letter to the other 49 state attorneys general, asking them to join him "in preparing a legal challenge to the constitutionality of whatever individual mandate provision emerges, immediately upon the legislation becoming law."
So Obama's "health care" debacle may continue to provide entertainment and merriment for some time to come, before it settles down to oppressing us into poverty and squalor.

I got to wondering what, exactly Idaho or any other state could do to practically fight national healthcare, since every federal congresscreature and nazgul agrees that federal law trumps state law. Apparently the state legislatures, too, are planning to tie the whole thing up in federal court.
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter sent letters to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today, arguing that health care “reform” legislation being considered by Congress sacrifices “fiscal responsibility, sound judgment and constitutionality for political expediency.”

If it becomes law, he’s ready to go to court to stop the federal government from imposing “a crushing unfunded mandate” on state and local governments and the people they serve.

“I question the wisdom as well as the constitutionality and legality of these bills and will explore all my options, including legal action, to protect Idaho and the U.S. Constitution should Congress adopt and the President sign compromise health care legislation,” Governor Otter wrote.
Interesting times, my friends. Back when RealID was the Federal Oppression Du Jour, I was encouraged by the resistance of the states but found their reasoning weak-kneed, since they mostly objected to the "unfunded mandate" and many would have cheerfully knuckled under if the feds had agreed to foot the bill. But they did get away with that weak beer, and it seems to have emboldened them. Now several state governments, with this fellow Otter currently at the van, are making bolder statements and taking bolder steps.

It'll be very interesting to see where this all leads. I may yet end my days in [insert name of country] formed by the former contiguous states of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, bits of western Washington, whatever disaffected Canadian provinces might care to tag along, and maybe even Alaska. That'd make a viable nation-state, as long as it didn't have to fight the US military for the privilege. It's not my dream scenario but it might do, depending on its constitution. Imagine that: A chance to actually fight for freedom, rather than just hunker down and try to duck Leviathan's attention. That's at least worth wishing for. Hell, that'd be worth killing and dying for.

Thanks to SurvivalBlog for the tip.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"One should not hesitate in calling them 'bagel brains'."

On Monday I posted about JPFO's "Bagel Brain Jews" flier, which has been getting quite a lot of ink. My point was that, however right Aaron Zelman and JPFO might be in pointing out the senselessness of liberal Jews crying out for disarmament in light of how tragically that has always worked out, especially for Jews, there's a sensible way to talk about people and then there's ... the other way. Most people in this country don't actually know anything about JPFO. If all they're told is that there's this "anti-semitic" flier decrying "Bagel Brain Jews," and that it was published by, they're very naturally going to assume that JPFO must be an anti-semitic organization. I don't see how that helps anyone.

Now David Codrea has weighed in with his latest Examiner article. He takes Michael Dresser of The Baltimore Sun to task for calling the flier anti-semitic, suggesting that this is just left-wing hoplophobe propaganda:
There's only one problem: the creator of the flier is JPFO. So to buy into Dresser's propaganda fantasy, we need to believe that the one civil rights group that not only says "Never again!" but also points to the one way to ensure against genocide—and is headed by a Jew—is anti-Semitic!
And I don't know - maybe it is just spin on Dresser's part. But personally I wonder if Michael Dresser et al even know who Aaron Zelman is, or what JPFO is. Again, maybe he just saw "Bagel Brain Jews" and flew from there. I know what assumptions I'd make, if I didn't already know better. Yes, of course a real, super-duper JOURNALIST should do better research than that. But we all know they don't always.

Zelman himself has spoken on the matter, in a JPFO piece titled The Bagel Brained Jews of Baltimore are Bleating Vociferously. Heh - as you can see from the title, Zelman is just prostrate with remorse over the whole kerfuffle. His take on it:
From its inception, JPFO has “targeted” victim disarmament advocates of any stripe. But we reserve a special indignation for those who call themselves Jews, but actually spit on one of the most fundamental tenets of our religion: the right to self defense and the defense of the innocent. See "The Ten Commandments of Self Defense"

JPFO can go where others dare not. Go here to see the electronic handbill that is causing blood pressures to rise within the Jewish anti-gun community.

When politicians support policies that are potentially dangerous to all humanity, one should not be hesitate in calling them “bagel brains”.

Well, okay. I still think this particular tack is dumb, but I don't get a vote. I must point out, though - we don't even know if they like bagels.

See, this is just not fair.

If I'm going to wake up with a song in my head, I'd prefer that it be a song I can stand listening to.

I like Don McClean. Really, I do. But his output was...uneven. There's Vincent, which could make me momentarily care about a dead Dutch painter I don't actually care about at all. There's Empty Chairs, which can make me care about...whoever the song is about. There's Castles in the Air, Wonderful Baby, The Grave... The list of ever-so-meaningful songs, folk and pop, is really quite long. And he wasn't always so deadly serious - look up a copy of On The Amazon sometime. When he was silly, he was delightfully silly indeed. I love a lot of them. Others...not so much. American Pie, for example; back in the '70's the radio stations played that blankly indecipherable song over and over, like it was some demented FCC requirement. I started indifferent, and ended just loathing it. Still, there are lots of McClean songs I like a lot.

So naturally I wake up humming Tapestry, his first attempt at a single, which out- Al Gored Al Gore before anyone had ever sadly even heard of Al Gore. It's pretty enough in its way, but I really just completely hate this song. Life is not fair.

But then nobody promised me fair.

Laws for thee, but not for me.


Capitol Hill Cops Decry Bullying Staff Members
U.S. Capitol Police officers say they need more backing from their leaders to stop congressional staffers who insist on bypassing metal detectors when entering the Capitol with lawmakers.

Several officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Hill that without a written directive of the policy, they’re left to face bullying staffers and intimidating lawmakers who have been known to file complaints against the officers. The staffers have accused them of discourteous treatment after being stopped and directed to the magnetometers.
"Don't you know who I am?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For years, I wondered...

...why do people even use these "social networking services?"
WASHINGTON — The Feds are on Facebook. And MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter, too.

U.S. law enforcement agents are following the rest of the Internet world into popular social-networking services, going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather private information, according to an internal Justice Department document that offers a tantalizing glimpse of issues related to privacy and crime-fighting.

Think you know who's behind that "friend" request? Think again. Your new "friend" just might be the FBI.

The answer, alas, is that for professionals they've become damned near mandatory. Anybody who doesn't expect to stay in the same job for life (a condition that is sadly no longer exactly rare) has to keep up with the most common ways to keep your name and resume' out there where they can be seen. And Facebook and its siblings are the way that's done now. I've got good friends, privacy fanatics all, who nevertheless maintain professional Facebook or MySpace profiles.

I'm pretty sure none of them use their profiles to brag about their illegal activities. Or would, if - you know - they had any such...

Let me get this straight.

You missed your daughter's birthday party because an airplane landed on you. Well, it gets points for originality.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Robert Gary Jones was a pharmaceutical salesman on a business trip, looking forward to getting home to celebrate his daughter's third birthday. He was enjoying a moment to himself on this resort island, jogging on the beach and listening to his iPod. Officials say the Woodstock, Ga., man neither saw nor heard what struck him from behind Monday evening: A single-engine plane making an emergency landing.
Suddenly it doesn't seem quite so paranoid that this is why I won't own an iPod.

H/T to Tam.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prejudice and Bigotry

Claire over at Backwoods Home Blog wrote a great piece this morning. It seems she has this regular column in SWAT Magazine, and that this month's column was titled Proudly Redneck. And somebody...well, I'll let her tell it.
The article opens with eight bad old racial or ethnic slurs that no polite person uses these days and goes on to ask why, if those words make us cringe, “redneck” is any less cringeworthy.

Well … this voice mail claimed to be from a Chicago cop — the real deal (he went out of his way to note), not some poseur running around merely playing SWAT guy. He said he was African-American and a long-time faithful reader of the magazine.

AND, he said, that article was the most offensive thing he’d ever read. And he was going to throw the entire magazine into a garbage can. And he was never, ever again in his entire life going to read one word in S.W.A.T. Not ever.

“Why?” you might ask?
Why, indeed? RTWT.

She goes on to make an important distinction.
Prejudice, we all have. It’s an emotional reaction. An assumption or a set of assumptions that may be based on experience or inexperience. That group of guys standing outside the pool hall looks dangerous to us. Even though we’ve never tried them, we’re sure we’re going to hate artichokes. We dislike frilly pink things. We think Japanese people are going to be “different than us.” Guns are scary.

Bigotry is prejudice that won’t yield to reason. Bigotry is blindness. In fact, bigotry is choosing blindness over sight. Bigotry is … well, it’s when all rednecks, or all blacks or all whatever are guilty of the actions of a few. Bigotry is when guns are not only scary, but evil. Bigotry is when you not only believe in global warming or the war on terror, but you think that anybody who disagrees with you should be locked up for treason. Bigotry is when you’re an atheist who thinks all Christians are benighted idiots. And bigotry is when you’re a Christian who smugly “knows” that your God will send every one of those atheists screaming into hell while you sit up in heaven, smiling.

Good stuff. I'm glad to see her blogging again.

If only the government took its own advice...

How much happier we'd be.

Never let'em see you make sausage!

This health-care thing, for all its many downsides, is at least becoming fun to watch. This Fox article (yes, I know) claims to quote Madame Pelosi as saying,
"Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill."
Of course she intends that the senate bill shall pass, no matter what anyone wants. Thus the much-reported "Slaughter solution," explained herein.
"I like it, because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill," she said.

All of which has the dubious and no-doubt unintended consequence of making republicans look good by comparison. Which I'm sure they appreciate, since they could never have done it for themselves. That dynasty didn't last long, looks like.

Due to technical difficulties...

My wi-fi, or possibly satellite, connection is weak and tenuous. I only seem able to stay on for a few seconds at a time this morning. W's having the same problem only worse and we're working on it but it involves hardware, for which you can read money. If things get slow here, that's why. Just FYI.

Monday, March 15, 2010

No, Really, I Want To Know.


We pay him for this? Seriously?

Mad as hell. Not going to take it anymore.

I understand that winter is supposed to be cold. I have no philosophical objection to winter being cold, anymore than with water being wet.

But is water wet sometimes, and sometimes dry, depending on its mood? I think not. I think that if we encountered a situation in which water appeared to be dry, we would quite properly interpret that as water being, in fact, not dry but absent.

So if (just to use a completely hypothetical case for rhetorical effect, you see, no actual days are expressed or implied) last Saturday we had a day so mild that we were working outside very comfortably in a t-shirt, we could perhaps be forgiven for not expecting the following night's goddam snowstorm. Nor the grey, freezing weather of the subsequent two days. Because that would be irrational.

So, yeah. Not taking it any more. Just saying.

Seriously. A strongly-worded letter to my Congressman may well be in the offing. When driven by such absurd unfairness, I am capable of extremes.

Uh...Bagel Brain Jews?

Okay, I'm acquainted with Aaron Zelman. We're not bosom buddies, but I've done a little copy writing for him and I hold him and JPFO with a certain amount of affection. I'm more than reasonably sure he's not an anti-Semite. So when I was directed to this article titled "Anti-Semitic flier takes aim at Md. lawmakers for their gun bill", I expected an anti-JPFO/anti-gun rights screed.
A Maryland senator and delegate are the targets of a flier that attacks them as "bagel brain Jews" for their support of pending firearms legislation in the General Assembly and accuses them of pursuing "racist policies to destroy your gun rights."
And it's certainly true that the article mostly takes the side of the two politicians skewered by JPFO's handbill.
"It's ugly, and I suppose it's intended to be threatening, but it doesn't change my view," said Frosh.
Okay, I don't see how it's in any way threatening, but I am forced to agree that it certainly is ugly.

JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, for those even further out of the loop than I am) is, as the name implies, a primarily Jewish organization. Nothing comes out of it that doesn't have Zelman's seal of approval. And Zelman, though rarely the most self-censoring of men, is very unlikely to be anti-Semitic. In fact I've seen him take a very hard line with would-be contributors that were. So I take it on faith that the handbill isn't.

But...well...I've got to admit that even by my standards, this just isn't the most unambiguous or well-considered publication I've ever seen. I mean, come on. Bagel brain Jews? I know I'd be expecting to see something from Stormfront.

EDIT: Okay, I give up on trying to get the damned thing to format properly. Just click on the pic for the whole thing.


Did you know that if you type "Chris Dodd" and "scandal" into Google, you get 20,300 hits?

I should pay more attention to politicians as sources of amusement.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Things you must never, ever do...

I've had word out that I need two 55-gallon plastic barrels. The word that has mostly come back is "Yeah, you and everybody else, sucker." I need them for my little cabin's little septic field, so paying full retail for a couple of new potable-water barrels was going to just kill me. It's been on my mind.

Landlady came up today, and with her was my friend M! Whom I haven't seen since early December. And with M was two big plastic barrels. I was delighted, and asked him were they salvage or did I owe him money. He said no, they were salvage, and told me the story.

It seems that a few days ago he noticed four such barrels sitting outside a car wash. He asked if he might take two of them, and the guy asked first what he was going to use them for. M told him, and the guy said, "Oh, that's fine. We gave some to a guy who made water troughs out of them, and his horses all died. We didn't quite get sued over that."

M brought the barrels home and there was maybe an inch of residue in the bottom, so he decided to rinse them out. Between the sidewalk and the curb was a weedy patch of gravel, full of dandelions and who-knows what else. He dumped the rinse water in there, and within twelve hours there was a ... patch of gravel. Nothing but gooey remnants where there had once been weeds.

So I don't know what they put in that stuff we wash our cars with, but for damned sure from now on I'm gonna be careful about getting any in my mouth.

Honesty in government. I like it!

What Union Bosses Think
Oops. An Albany cop-union boss just let the protect-and-serve mask slip.

Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley says that, regardless of the faltering economy, a no-raise new contract is unacceptable.

And to hell with the public.

"I'm not running a popularity contest here," Mesley said. "If I'm the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I'm very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership."

Mesley added: "As the president of the local, I will not accept 'zeroes.' If that means . . . ticking off some taxpayers, then so be it."

This brings a quote from Firefly to mind, because most things do.

"Well, I appreciate your honesty. Not, you know, a lot, but..."

Read also William Grigg's lengthier and more emotional take on it, here.

That sepulchral laughter in the background is Orwell's

Coming to a telescreen near you:
Ortiz says his bill is designed to save lives, just like laws that ban the use of trans fats and require chain restaurants to post nutrition information.

"It's time for us to take a giant step," Ortiz said yesterday. "We need to talk about two ingredients of salt: health care costs and deaths."

He claims billions of dollars and thousands of lives would be saved if salt was taken off the menu altogether.

See, this is what I hate about ObamaCare. It isn't that the health care system will surely collapse under its weight, because I know where I can find a doctor to sew my wounds after the Hindenburg hits the Titanic. It isn't that the collapse may well take the US economy with it, because that's what all those big bags of food in my pantry are for. No, those are side issues.

Once the argument can be made that "we're all paying for your healthcare," your "health" becomes everybody's business. Including anything and everything that could, by whatever tortured logic, possibly affect your health. ObamaCare pushes the camel's nose into the tent right up to the hips, and if you think mandatory hockey helmets in the shower aren't right behind that, you haven't been paying attention.

I don't know - it would be too depressing to check - but I'm going to go ahead and guess that the Department of Health and Human Services already has SWAT teams. That they might one day bust into your house and shoot your dogs for health is, oddly enough, not as ludicrous a suggestion as it once might have been.

Oh...and Councilman Ortiz? I've got a 25-pound sack of salt right here, and I'm not afraid to use it. It's right next to the stack of loaded AK magazines, so any time you want to come confiscate it, bring a friend. I suggest someone from the Department of Education.

Self-serving assertion that blog owner has always complained about standard movie conventions

Via Tam

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wow, you really can find anything on YouTube.

I'm not totally convinced that's a good thing.

When I sorted out the Song In My Head this morning, I thought "No way. No way I'm finding any version of this."

I found three. One was a fuzzy boy's choir, and one was Humphrey Bogart, sort of. I'll spare you those. Sadist that I am, I won't spare you this:

Hey, remember RealID?

...and how dead it was and all?

Well, it's back. Seems we could use one of those Zombie-class shotguns over in Washington, because this is the "great idea" that just won't die.
National identification cards, long feared by privacy advocates, may soon become mandatory for American workers. In a bipartisan effort to curb the hiring of illegal immigrants, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have proposed legislation that, if passed, will require all working Americans to carry biometric ID cards containing fingerprint records and other personal information.

Illegal immigration - as long as the statists can keep people stirred up and afraid of those Evil Brown People, good citizens will line up for these things in enough numbers to make the complaints of the rest of us pretty damned moot.

Look, I'm agnostic on the whole immigration thing. I suspect that I've dealt with a lot more BPOQLS (Brown People Of Questionable Legal Status) than most folks have, and I've yet to see a big problem with them. But my circumstances are far from standard and I could be completely wrong. Nevertheless, if the only way to deal with the "problem" is to make ME prove MY legal status every time I want to apply for a job (or do any of God knows how many other things, to be determined), the cure is far, far worse than the disease no matter how bad the disease might be. I Have Spoken.

For you Paulistas out there, some relevant eye candy:

A bit more on those DoE shotguns...

From Dave Workman's Examiner article on the subject.

It seems that according to the official explanation, we have two circumstances going on in the nation's public-school system that I had not previously noticed:
A spokesperson for the Department of Education says the guns are for use by officers with the agency’s Office of Inspector General. They have full federal law enforcement authority, and the IG’s office investigates “waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations.”
Apparently you do not want to place yourself between a pilfering third-grade teacher and the stationary cabinet unless you're carrying some serious Zombie-class weaponry. Also:
The acquisition of these firearms is necessary to replace older and mechanically malfunctioning firearms, and in compliance with Federal procurement requirements.
Which I interpret to mean that this has been going on for so long that the heroic men and women of the DoE Office of Inspector General have worn out all their old shotguns keeping us safe from waste, fraud and abuse.

So, you see, it's all been explained. I, for one, welcome our new 12-gauge-wielding accountant overlords.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

QoD, Fer Shur

"I say we trust the ATF’s word on this

…as soon as they produce a functional automatic rifle from the seized toys AND have the agents responsible for the seizure each test fire it using live ammo."
- JMD, in comments

Now pay attention, class...

This is mission creep!
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
I remember, when Carter signed the department of education into existence in 1979, the complaint was that nobody would ever be able to get rid of the damned thing. At the time, that seemed bad enough. I don't recall that the number of SWAT teams it should field was ever openly discussed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Still not feeling so hot...

Just got back from raking out goat pens. We had a horizontal snowstorm last night that made a terrible mess, so there was of course more to do than usual just when I'm cranky and sore and not feeling like doing anything. Got in a big fight with Duke the buck, which ended in a draw at best.

Can't think of any profundities, or even any good snark. So here are funny pictures, instead.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Russia, what happened to you?

Where's the Great Satan of my youth? You're just a bunch of whiners. And Americans do that better, too!
The weather. The judges. The lack of financial support. A team that was brought up in the turbulent '90s. Mismanagement among members of the Russian Olympic Committee. Even Patriarch Kirill was blamed, a reference to the traditional anointing of the Olympic athletes. (Russian satirist Viktor Shenderovic scoffed that either there is no God, Russia has spoiled her chances with God, or Kirill does not get on that well with God after all.)

But McDonald’s? Now, that’s new.

On March 3, a handful of activists from Zdravmol, a youth organization and a joint project of the Federal Agency for Youth Policy and the obstreperous youth movement Nashi, gathered in front of a Moscow McDonald’s and chanted: “Thank you, McDonald’s, for our 11th ranking.” They were venting their anger at one of Russia’s poorest medal tallies ever at a Winter Olympics – only three golds at the Vancouver games.