Friday, December 31, 2004

Prognostications for 2005

Given I have the necessary qualifications as a professional psychic (a pulse, blood pressure and a positive IQ), I thought I'd enlighten my faithful readers (all three of you) with my predictions for 2005:
  • United Airlines will go bankrupt. Not (yet another) Chapter 11, but the full-on, will the last person to leave turn off the lights, Chapter 7.
  • Interest in blogging will grow, but the quality of blogs will decline. It will be harder and harder for any given blog to "stand out" in the crowd, leading to a Fox-like race to the bottom in an attempt to attract an audience.
  • MTV will finally have no music content at all. No one will notice.
  • Hip-hop music will be found to cause cancer in high doses.
  • In the ultimate in reality shows, those voted off a show will not leave--they will be executed.
  • Strident voices in the environmental movement will claim that more and more things either contribute to or are caused by global warming.
  • It will come to light that global warming is a real phenomenon, caused by too many environmentalists talking at once about global warming.
  • Any or fewer of these predictions will be proven true or false.

Have a Happy New Year.


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Yep, we're stingy alright

From FoxNews:

In dollar terms, the United States leads the world in foreign aid from government sources. But individual and corporate charity from the United States also exceeds that of any other developed nation, and those donations exceed official government expenditures. Last year, Americans donated billions to international causes.

The epitome of the well-informed UNicrat bully, Mr. Egeland quickly retreats when confronted:

"I thought that was very clear to everybody, I spoke of something different in terms of donor response."

Ah yes, the poor, misunderstood UNicrat. After the Oil For Food and Sex For Relief Supplies episodes, why do these fools even get any air time? Oops, I forgot--Liberal Media. Silly me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

We Have A Winnah!

Patrick Hughes wins the prize for Top Family Christmas Blog Post of 2004. It brings a tear to my eye--really. I guess I'm just a sentimental slob after all.

Guns, blogs and influence

(Via The Smallest Minority)

Publicola has written an excellent piece on guns, gun blogging, the AWB and the influence of all us Internet-connected gunowners. A must read, not only for gunowners, but for anyone who would organize and publicize in an effort to change something.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Here he goes again...

...with the silly on-line quizzes. A tip o' the virtual gimme hat to Emige with a Digital Cluebat, arrived at via Mamamontezz.



and



Some people who know me in the real world and read this blog are choking now...

Sorry...NOT SORRY!

(Via Worldnet Daily.)

"Author" Susan Sontag is dead at 71. Sorry, but I won't be convinced this is a big loss.

In her rage and gloom and growing despair, she concluded that "the truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballets, et al., don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone — its ideologies and inventions — which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself."

Perhaps her Hell will be the world as it would have been if all those Dead White Guys had never existed. I suppose that a world where women were usually property would have been so-o-o much better for her and her legions of nit-wit followers.

Ah-hah!

(Via Jerry Pournelle. As an aside, I encourage you to read, if not subscribe to, his site. There are a lot of Very Smart People who stop by there.)

We have something further about asteroid 2004 MN4. It seems that older, archived data was instrumental in refining the predictions of it's path. Most interesting, but I'd still like an explanation about the decrease in the number of observations....

Maybe we can close the books on 2004 MN4

Interesting developments on our Friday the 13th visitor. The number of observations has dropped to 139 from the previous 165, and the probability of an Earth impact is pretty much up there with being killed in a traffic accident.

I'm not sure why the number of observations has dropped. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if someone is cooking the numbers for some nefarious reason, but for now I will assume something less dark.

I'll still keep an eye on this one, just in case.

You knew this was coming...

(Via Drudge)

We've all heard about the "Christmas Tsunami", the destruction and loss of life (over 44,000 at last report). As usual with these events, most of the well-off nations of the world are contributing to the relief efforts for the victims and countries involved.

The good ol' USA has chipped in $15,000,000 plus more from our various private relief agencies and promises of more to come. Australia is in for $10,000,000. The European Union is in for $4,000,000, with a promise of an additional $15,000,000. Canada and various European nations have pledged $1,000,000 each. The Red Cross and Red Crescent are in for $6,700,000. You can expect that this is the first of many loads of money that will be funneled into this area in relief funds.

So some horse's ass UNicrat has once again proven the old saw about "Better to be thought a fool than to open you mouth and leave no doubt":

But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.

Mr. Undersecretary-General Egeland, the only thing I can come up with that is a fitting reply is a hearty and heartfelt "FUCK YOU!"

Why do we stay involved with this organization? Anyone? Bueller?

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Asteroid 2004 MN4

I've edited the first post to change the impact to 4/13/2029. I'm not sure where my fevered imagination got 2030.)

Good news is that they're up to 169 observations, the size is down to 380 meters with a corresponding impact of 1420 megatons.

Bad news--4/13/2004 is a Friday :-0, and the impact odds are indeed down to 1 in 44.4.

According to a correspondent in an email reflector I inhabit, there will be a lot of observations in the next month or so. I'll keep up with what's going on and post further if necessary. If you see nothing, assume no news is the news.

Another one bites the dust

(Via The High Road)

Another loser finds out that armed homeowners make poor targets:

Strain and his 15-year-old nephew, both armed with handguns, forced their way into the home at 9:05 a.m. and held the homeowner at gunpoint. When the owner broke away from the robbers and grabbed his own gun, a gun fight began, police reported.

Multiple shots were fired and several struck Strain in the upper torso, police said.

Both robbers tried to grab money and jewelry from the house but most of the items were later recovered. John Chioino lives in the home with his wife and three children.

Strain ran out into the street where he collapsed and later died. The 15-year-old ran from the scene and is considered armed and dangerous, police said.

As you'll see if you read the full article, Mr. Boy Genius was 18 and had a nice little rap sheet going. Hopefully, his end came before he could breed and further contaminate the gene pool. I just wish Mr. Trusty Sidekick had received similar treatment. (And spare me the "He's only 15--he doesn't know any better" or "He was led astray" BS. My 9 year old wouldn't fall for that line, and I surely won't.)

Want to bet the Antis add him to the number of "teenagers dead because of gun violence"?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

More on Mr. Asteroid

Various takes from some of the specialized media:

Space.com
Universe Today
SpaceRef

And some of the mainstream media is awake:

MSNBC (quoting odds of 1-in-45 for impact)
USA Today

And from the Horse's Mouth, NASA, the news release.

More and more interesting...

Paging Bruce Willis

OK, you're going to have to see this yourselves. There may be an asteroid on the way, impact 4/13/2029. Got to wonder if that is a Friday.

First, go here. Dr. Jerry Pournelle is a smart and well-educated fellow, and he is interpreting the data as saying there is a 1-in-63 chance of this asteroid will impact with a yield of 2200 megatons. Data is early now; this is based on 101 observations. There is a link to the actual JPL data on that page, you can see what you make of it.

One thing I see, and this might be nothing but data changes since he posted, is that the yield is down to 1570 megatons, if I'm doing the math correctly.

JPL also notes on their "Impact Probability":

The probability that the tabulated impact will occur. The probability computation is complex and depends on a number of assumptions that are difficult to verify. For these reasons the stated probability can easily be inaccurate by a factor of a few, and occasionally by a factor of ten or more.

Using one of the Internet nuclear weapon effects calculators and the 2200 megaton figure, within a radius of 21.6 miles, nearly everyone will be killed. Widespread damage will occur out to 56.9 miles. (Link to calculator here; I've converted from metric to English units.

Using the Asteroid Impact Effects Calculator and making some assumptions, we have the asteroid breaking up during its passage to earth, but not dispersing much. The final crater will be 4.5 miles across and 1/3 mile deep. At 62 miles (100 kilometers), the impact will feel like a 6.9 earthquake. The blast wave will be a wind of 72 MPH and windows will shatter.

No need to panic yet, as pleasant as this all sounds. Every time I've seen one of these, further data has shown that the initial impact probability was overstated. Then again, I've never seen the initial probability this high. This will bear watching--as far as I can see, the mainstream media has not picked up on this yet.. Let's hope that complex computation and difficult to verify assumptions work in our favor.

Merry Christmas

Here I am, blogging on a holiday again. You gotta love the way my life works....

All us Freeholders are in the "mid-morning break", as I've come to call it. The kids get us up early to see what Santa and Mom and Dad have brought. (This year, it was DVDs, Yu-Gi-Oh, Transformers and Polly Pockets, amongst other things.) Then we break, eat breakfast, bathe and dress and just generally fiddle around. That's the mid-morning break.

Then we'll lunch with my parents and exchange gifts there. After that, we head south and visit some close friends for the remainder of the afternoon.

Sound like a busy day? Maybe, but it's fun. And I'm not even telling you about the Christmas Eve festivities with my wife's family.

I hope that you have just as busy, and just as enjoyable, a Christmas as we're having.

Please take a few moments if you can and reflect on why we celebrate at this time. And if you would, spare a moment for those who are far from home, for whatever reason, but most especially our fighting men and women.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Gettin' short

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

And there's a problem here?

(Via The Register)

It would seem that the UK's Operation Ore child porn investigation has a unexpected consequence: 32 of the misbegotten so-and-sos have done themselves in.

Forgive me if I can't work up a crocodile tear for them--even at Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Day By Day is back

God, I am losing it. I knew that Chris Muir was returning to Day By Day on December 1, but just let it slip away. Alzheimer's is approaching at warp speed, I guess.

Anyway, I'm all caught up now, and he's returned to the links.

Glad you're back, Chris, and I really like Sam in the bikini. :-)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Catching up

For no obvious reason, I really haven't felt like blogging much lately. Outside of a very select few, I haven't even been reading blogs much lately. Initial analysis indicates preholiday stress, other interests and a seasonal predisposition toward not letting things bother me. That said, I haven't been under a rock. In case you have, let me point you toward a few things of interest.

This time of year is not only Christmas, but the time where our fighting men fought one of the hardest engagements of WWII, The Battle of the Bulge. This one is of particular interest to me, since my Dad was involved in that one. Thanks to Kim du Toit for reminding me....

Next, we must feel the ACLU's pain as they are ensnared in their own self-righteousness. I would hope that this would drag them down to where they belong, but it won't. I guess living by your own rules is just for the proles. (Link via Drudge.)

From Jerry Pournelle, we have A Nation of Wimps. Interesting reading.

I don't remember where I ran across this, but Manhattenville College is running the My Soldier program. It's another way to remember those who defend our country.

(GEEK ALERT!) This one came from a coworker and fellow blogger. Jakob Nielsen is Undoing The Industrial Revolution. If you're into issues of usability, especially Web usability, Neilsen is one of the top gurus.

Then we have a rabid dog story. 23 year old mom-to-be is strangled and her baby cut from the womb. (You can get further background via Google News here.) I have a few thoughts about what we do to the perp, but I suspect they'd turn a few stomachs.

WorldNet Daily has an article on two of the hemisphere's Leftists getting together on an alternative to NAFTA. My only observation is that we really screwed up by not making the Bay of Pigs a rollicking success.

Well, that's enough for now. Perhaps another post about gunshows later today, if I can rouse the interest.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Gun-grabbers at it yet again

It seems that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would like to disarm the residents, creating a "criminals ply your trade here" zone.

For those of you who belong to the dreaded Gun Culture, I won't bore you with yet another polemic on how stupid this idea is. It is, we know it is and we know why--nuff said.

For those who think that only the authorities should have guns, well, I hope your chains sit lightly upon you. I'll spare you a lecture, because I won't change your mind.

For those who would take our guns, Molon Labe. If you dare.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

But of course, the Liberals won't want to hear this...

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."

Thomas Jefferson

(Via The Federalist Patriot)

Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Today is a little known holiday, Bill of Rights Day. This is a fairly new holiday, first observed on December 15, 1941. (Yes, 8 days after Pearl Harbor.) You can read a brief history here.

If you don't feel you know enough about our Bill of Rights, or just want to review, here's a good source to start you off, and another that goes into a lot more depth.

Of course, some of the most vociferous supports of the Bill of Rights are us gun nuts. JPFO has an excellent resource page here.

So far today, I've used the First quite a bit, and exercised the daylights out of the Tenth in a sermon to some folks at work. I wish I could go make use of the Second, but alas, I have to earn a living.

Enjoy the day, no matter what you're doing, and reflect a bit on how it came to be. It'll do ya good.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Things that make you go...Uh-huh.

I doubt I'm the first blogger to note the stories that Rumsfeld may have been set up for "the question" by a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and three cooperating soldiers. (Drudge has it here [this link won't last long], WorldNet Daily here.)

Now the editor/publisher...

...of the Chattanooga [Tenn.] Times Free Press offered support late Thursday for his embedded reporter ...

Of course, there is the question about whether or not the email is legitimate, or is as much a figment of the imagination as CBS' Bush letters. We don't know that yet, but early returns suggest that there is some substance to the story.

But the bigger question is why the press would stoop so low. I can't answer that one with surety, but I think that they can't help themselves. They've been so indoctrinated to "Hate the US first" that they just can't help themselves. That's got to be a sad way to go through life, hating the place you live. I guess by extension, if you hate the place that gave you life, you have to hate the life it gave you. And that is sadder still.

Surprisingly, they constantly wonder why their newspapers don't sell and their ratings decline?

There's a question I can answer: We're not buying what they're selling.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Crime Control

(Via WorldNet Daily.)

A gas station clerk fought back when a suspect tried to rob her store.

And there's video. Woo-hoo! There's no happy ending--her aim was lacking, and the bad guy survives. But she won't be charged, so it's not a total loss.

Care to speculate on how much and for how long armed robberies decrease in that part of Ohio?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

"...a day that shall live in Infamy..."

"Air Raid--Pearl Harbor! This Is No Drill!"

Not how the men of the Pacific Fleet planned on spending their Sunday morning.

Pearl Harbor was a life-changing day for many of our father's and grandfather's generation. You can read more about it here.

Please remember our fighting men and women, of all generations. The holidays are fast approaching. Here is one good way to help out the cause.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Rule 1: Drive Fast

The Capitalist Lion expounds on "How to drive in The Big City". I've never driven in New York City, but I've driven in a few other large places, and this sounds about right. Great fun to read, especially if you have done it before.

But a half inch "for safety"? Pluh-lease! Somebody will cut you off!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

P.E.S.T.

His Majesty holds forth on Post Election Stupidity Selection Trauma. A rant of such quality needs nothing further from me.

I'm what?!

(Via Who Tends The Fires)

I'm a bit of a sucker for these silly Internet quizes. The latest:

You scored as Jewish. You are a Jew.
You understand that there is something basically missing in the teachings of religion and so-called

Jewish

75%

Christian

75%

Catholic

70%

Cult

60%

Buddhist

55%

Anarchist

55%

Religion
created with QuizFarm.com



(I'd love to know what's missing after the word "so-called", but their site has a problem of some sort.)

My parents, who raised me Baptist, are going to have an entire herd of cattle....

The Bloggers' Legal Defense Society

All of us who blog know, even if we don't think about it, that our big mouths could get us into trouble. For better or worse, we've been noticed by the Powers That Be, and they are not at all happy with the power of the pajamahadeen.

Blogger Jason Kottke finds himself with a legal "issue" over his posts on last week's ill-kept Jeopardy /Ken Jennings "secret". (Yeah, it was about as secret as the national debt.)

Now personally, I don't give a rat's posterior about Jeopardy. I watch TV, but not much, and not Jeopardy . I do give a lot more than a rat's posterior about little issue about attacks on our freedom of speech, SLAPP lawsuits and other evils of the age.

One important thing to note about this episode--Kottke and the Washington Post *spit* both posted the transcript of the Jeopardy episode in question. Kottke has come in for legal action, but the Washington Post hasn't heard a word from Sony. Old Media trying to tame the New Media? Unwillingness to take on an organization big enough to defend itself? You decide.

Go to BuzzMachine and check out the idea for Bloggers' Legal Defense Society. We need to support the idea and the creation of this, for our own protection.

Dear Spain,

Appeasing terrorists does not work. Good luck in the future.

Sincerely,
The Freeholder

Hm-m-m

I wonder if this would ever stand a chance:

In the event of a WMD attack by terrorists on the U.S. homeland or U.S. military facilities overseas, the U.S will immediately and without discussion use its immense nuclear weapons capabilities to destroy the 100 largest Islamic cities on earth, regardless of state, and destroy all of the military facilities of Islamic-dominated states. This will include all of the capitals and at least the 10 largest cities of all Islamic-dominated states and the "holy" cities of Mecca and Medina. In addition, North Korean cities and military installations will be destroyed.

As the author notes, it's a drastic plan, but it has the benefit of having been tried and proven to work--at least against the Soviets.

Read "A threat to vaporize 100 Muslim cities", WorldNet Daily commentary by David C. Atkins.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Supporting the troops

There's a lot of good groups doing good work supporting our fighting men and women overseas and at home. I ran into this one the other day during a lunchtime surfing expedition. Consider a donation if you're able.

Adopt A Sniper

Our future?

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

The policeman found my penknife. 'You're going down, mate,' he said

Given Ridge's Retards, Thousands Standing Around and the rest of the idiocy brought to us courtesy of the Patriot Act, this might be a view of our own future.

Hopefully, we'll do a bit more than call the guy a wanker.

Another senseless 70s-related death

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

Man killed by Lava Lamp.

How much longer can a civilized country stand this level of needless killing? We must register Lava Lamps, close the Yard Sale Loophole and Stop the Killing!

Taking my tongue out of my cheek, this is another candidate for the Darwin Awards. Hopefully, his last words weren't "Hey, ya'll watch this!"

Monday, November 29, 2004

Will your printer narc you out?

According to PC World, it will if it's a color laser printer manufactured in the last several years. This technology, originally included to help the Treasury Department track down the "left side of the bell curve" group among counterfeiters, prints the serial number of the printer in very small yellow dots about once per inch on the page.

Used for this purpose, I'd have a hard time being upset. "So what if the printer was being used to print threatening letters?" you ask. Probably still OK by me--although given the twisting of legal definitions, "threatening" is all too often in the eye of the beholder.

But let's say you're a whistle-blower. You work for some big company or some government agency that is up to no good in some way. You write an anonymous letter and print it on company/agency letterhead as proof of your bona fides, and mail it off to the New York Times. (OK, work with me here. Think Three Days of The Condor, not the NY Times we all know and detest.)

But those microscopic yellow dots rat you out. By serial number, the printer is tracked to manufacturer, distributor, seller and finally buyer. (I work in IT--you don't have to fill in the little warranty card in order for someone to figure out you bought ABC printer serial number BF-549.) After a little in-house witch hunting, they figure out it was you, with predictable results.

Big Bro is not only watching us, but is able to track us. Cheery thought, huh?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

You might think it's sad I'm blogging on Thanksgiving

But really it isn't. We've done the feast several hours ago, and since neither my wife nor myself has a lot of family left living (at least in the immediate area), me and mine are often left to our own devices fairly early on holidays. In a way, it's nice, because our holidays aren't so hectic.

Anyway, while on on the subject of The Human Condition (I was?) Vox Day has a couple of excellent posts you should read. Warning, the first comes with a spew alert.

On the Battle of the Sexes: The annotated misandryst (Jeeze, look it up!)
On being married: Mailvox: sleeping on ice

Neither are too serious--just the thing for a holiday evening read.

Ancel Keys, dead at 100

Ancel Keys, the University of Minnesota scientist who invented the K ration diet used by soldiers in World War II and who linked high cholesterol and fatty diets to heart disease, died Saturday of natural causes. He was 100.

Not exactly the sort of food we think of on Thanksgiving, the K ration was one of those things that allowed the Allies to triumph in WWII. While the jokes about it abound, it helped keep the troops fed while they fought.

Thanks for the help, Mr. Keys.

Happy Thanksgiving

From the residents of the Freehold, Happy Thanksgiving!

When you number your blessings of this past year, please remember those who are far away from their families, buying for us with their sweat, blood and lives, the freedom that allows us this holiday. Their willingness to serve is our greatest blessing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Kevin Sites' version of the story

More on the issue of Marines killing terrorists. Previous posts, in chronological order, are:

My obligatory post on Marines killing terrorists
The other side of the story
The other side of the story, continued/amplified

For those who aren't aware of it, reporter Kevin Sites, who taped the Marine killing a terrorist in a Fallujah mosque, has a blog. He's posted his side of the story here.

I have a few issues with his story, although I don't doubt he is telling things as he saw them. First, he gives us information that the Marines had reason to believe they were being fired on from the mosque:

At that point, we hear the tanks firing their 240-machine guns into the mosque. There's radio chatter that insurgents inside could be shooting back.

Further along, we have

We hear gunshots from what seems to be coming from inside the mosque.

The Marines enter the mosque. Bear in mind, and Sites notes, that these are not the Marines who took the mosque the day before.

Inside were 5 terrorists. (Sorry, I absolutely refuse to call them "insurgents". Sue me.)

One of the Marines raises his hand signaling five.

"Did you shoot them," the lieutenant asks?

"Roger that, sir, " the same Marine responds.

On entering the mosque, Sites sees:

Immediately after going in, I see the same black plastic body bags spread around the mosque. The dead from the day before. But more surprising, I see the same five men that were wounded from Friday as well. It appears that one of them is now dead and three are bleeding to death from new gunshot wounds. The fifth is partially covered by a blanket and is in the same place and condition he was in on Friday, near a column. He has not been shot again. I look closely at both the dead and the wounded. There don't appear to be any weapons anywhere.

Now this is interesting. The Marines had noted 5 terrorists? How could they have possibly seen these men, if they were laying on the floor. Does the Marine's TOE include x-ray specs now? It seems to me that they, or others, must have appeared at windows. Doing what, we have no way of knowing.

Sites is the only man in the building who was there yesterday. He know that these 5 men he sees were left there after being treated for wounds. He know that they were shooting at other Marines yesterday. He tells the OIC that they are yesterday's left-behinds. The OIC leaves the room to report this to higher.

A different Marine enters, and for whatever reason, sees the 5 wounded terrorists he expects to see, and thinks one particular terrorist, the one Sites is...

...squat beside them, inches away and begin to videotape them.

...a threat.

Bear in mind Sites is inches away, looking through a viewfinder on a camera. Ever tried that? Try it with any kind of camera, video, still, digital, professional, consumer, whatever--your field of view is, to put it simply, limited. Which means Sites could not be seeing everything going on, unless he is aiming the camera without using the viewfinder. So perhaps the Marine saw something Sites didn't?

The Marine determines that the terrorist is faking death:

"He's fucking faking he's dead -- he's faking he's fucking dead."

Then the Marine fires, killing his terrorist target.

Sites then tells the Marines then in the room:

I get up after a beat and tell the Marines again, what I had told the lieutenant -- that this man -- all of these wounded men -- were the same ones from yesterday. That they had been disarmed treated and left here.

At that point the Marine who fired the shot became aware that I was in the room. He came up to me and said, "I didn't know sir-I didn't know." The anger that seemed present just moments before turned to fear and dread.

(Fear and dread? Hell, the guy is seeing his life pass before his eyes.)

We don't know, and can't know, if these wounded terrorists had only moments before been firing on these Marines. The Marines saw 5 men, there were 5 terrorists in the room. Sites says no weapons were in evidence. Hastily stashed? Wielded by 5 other terrorists, still loose in the mosque? We don't and can't know.

"I didn't know sir-I didn't know."

The Marine was faced with an unknown situation. He had incomplete information. He perceived a threat. He had a heartbeat or two to think, reach a decision and act. He acted on his training. He eliminated the perceived threat.

Based on everything in Sites' account, using my God-given common sense (although with 20-20 hindsight available), I think he did the right thing.

Was it the "Right Thing" from an ethical or moral standpoint? I still say yes. He is fighting the declared enemies of his country--something he has sworn an oath to do.

Did he do the right thing according to his instructions and the rules of engagement? I suspect a Courts Martial will make that determination.

Could Sites be right, and the terrorist wasn't a current threat? Sure.

But in a heartbeat or two, given what you, the Marine on the ground, know about the situation, about the terrorist propensity to use fake surrenders, boobytrap their dead, and fire after surrendering, do you take a chance with your life--and the lives of everyone on your fire team? With Sites' life?

No.

The Marine did the right thing. If there were no "fog of war", perhaps this story would have a different, happier, ending. But the fog of war is real, and you can't avoid it.

Will the Marine brass realize this, and stand up to the tremendous pressure they will face to charge, try and convict this young man? I certainly hope so. Justice calls for it.

Remember these words:

"But if we find we have left our bones to bleach in these desert sands for nothing, beware the fury of the legions...." (A Roman Centurion in a letter home from North Africa, 3rd Century)

Because if we leave this Marine's, these Marines', these soldiers, airmen's, and sailors' bones to bleach in the sands of Iraq for nothing--if we try to second guess their every move from the safety that they enable us to have, we will have done far more damage to our military than the terrorists ever could. And we will deserve their judgment.

And I suspect that judgment could be summed up in the statement, "You think I'm going to die for these assholes?"

Monday, November 22, 2004

Puts a smile on your face, doesn't it?

(Via rec.guns)

A Volvo-driving, NPR-listening, DC-based reporter goes to the range.

I've seen this sort of thing first-hand. If you can get a woman to shoot once, you'll rarely have problems getting her to shoot again. It normally even works with liberals.

Next thing you know she'll be buying a pickup truck and listening to country music.

Europe – Thy Name is Cowardice

(Davids Medienkritik via Mamamontezz)

I don't know if this guy is a big whoop in Europe (if he isn't, he ought to be--they could use come clear thinking), but to quote Herr Medienkritik's post:

Matthias Döpfner, Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG, has written a blistering attack in the daily WELT against the cowardice of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat.

The original is in German of course, but Herr Medienkritik has enlisted some assistance and produced an English translation for us.

The money quote:

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy--because everything is at stake. (Emphasis mine)

At least someone over there gets the joke.

Uh-huh

(Via The Drudge Report)

Marines shoot insurgent who was 'playing dead'

The US military says Marines in Fallujah have shot and killed an insurgent who engaged them as he was faking being dead, a week after footage of a marine killing an apparently unarmed and wounded Iraqi caused a stir in the region.

"Marines from the 1st Marine Division shot and killed an insurgent who while faking dead opened fire on the marines who were conducting a security and clearing patrol through the streets," a military statement said.

No, say it ain't so--the terrorists aren't playing by the rules of war? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. *SNORT*

So when does our guy get off the hook for the same thing?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Innocent Victims

A lot is made in the media about the innocent victims of crime--the child orphaned by a murder, the family burned out of a home by an arsonist, the woman raped, the storekeeper robbed.

However, when the innocent victim is a result of a trial by media, well now, that isn't news.

Meet Brian Borgelt, former owner of Bull's Eye Shooter Supply. Yes, the place where John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the infamous Beltway snipers, somehow obtained the Bushmaster AR-15 used in the crimes.

Guilty of sloppy record keeping, poor judgment in hiring, and possibly of failing to file Federal taxes (that one is still in litigation) Brian Borgelt is a poster child for what happens when you have been tried and convicted by the media for a crime you did not commit. Yes, Mr. Borgelt, has not been, and according to U.S. Attorney John McKay, can not be charged with a crime.

To me, one of the worst things is that we, the members of the "gun culture", did not stand behind this man in his hour of need. When he needed support, it wasn't forthcoming, because he wasn't lilly white. His record was tarnished by a 2000 AFT audit for "poor recordkeeping".

Read the article, and discover what happens when an innocent man is ruined by the media. Learn also the nature and the magnitude of our sin in failing to help our fellows. Learn from his misfortune, before it becomes your own.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The other side of the story, continued/amplified

(Via Obnoxious Droppings)

Col. Oliver North has the full skinny on what, how and why our intrepid Marine killed a terrorist in Iraq, from those who were there for the event--and what had preceeded it.

Now why didn't the good old Mainstream Media outlets give us all the background? You be the judge of their motives for yourself, but I have already made my judgment--sensationalism sells. As outlined by Col. North, this was just another dead terrorist in a war meant to create great stacks of dead terrorists. But that story doesn't sell, nor does it allow all the nice liberal media types to indulge in their hatred and loathing for the country that gave them birth.

Pukes. Rummy, revise the embedded media policy NOW.

The other side of the story

(Via Across The Atlantic; originally from Power Line)

We've all heard, to the point of saturation, the media's version of the Marine shooting a terrorist in Iraq. Time to hear the other side.

If the Pentagon caves to pressure and tries to discipline this guy, beware the fury of the legions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

My obligatory post on Marines killing terrorists

I've watched and listened, swinging from amused to outraged, about the Kevin Sikes/NBC tape of a Marine shooting a terrorist.

OK, let's stipulate that he was wounded. OK, so we have a wounded terrorist in a mosque in Fallujah. You know, the cesspit that the Marines have been cleaning out lately. That Fallujah.

Two (maybe more) Marines enter the mosque, and find a man on the floor. He may or may not be wounded. He may or may not be hiding a weapon beneath his body. The mosque was a known source of unfriendly fire. It's known that the terrorists will boobytrap the bodies of their slain comrades, in an attempt to kill one more American. He obviously isn't a prisoner, or he would have been secured.

You've been fighting, house to house, for 6 days, and you're tired on a level that those of us who have never done it can't comprehend. You've been wounded, but you're soldiering on.

The guy on the floor, the terrorist, seems to be faking death. Given what you know, what do you do? Do you approach within arm's length, close enough to be attacked with a knife, and roll the guy over to see if a grenade is under the body? Do you leave him behind, maybe to fire on you and your buddies as you exit the building?

Nah, you pop a cap in his ass and continue with the mission. Problem solved; one more terrorist who will most assuredly kill no more.

Except we have the media present. A media where nearly all of them have never worn the uniform, more or less been in a battle.

So now we have tape, an uproar over "war crimes", an investigation. "Oh my, what will the terrorists think of us!' is the refrain from the Left.

My answer? "Who cares? Pin a medal on the guy, give him 10 more loaded magazines and an order to keep up the good work."

The terrorists already hate us. I don't think killing them will do any damage to their opinion of us. But one thing's for certain--the dead ones won't be shooting at our troops any more.

Give the old boys a hand

(Via NCSouth)

Dr. Louis Rubin, professor emeritus of English at UNC-Chapel Hill and the founder of Algonquin Books, penned this piece on his experiences as a young boy attending one of the last reunions of Confederate veterans.

The last major Confederate reunion was held in Richmond in 1932. My father was recuperating from a surgical operation there at the time, so I was on hand for that reunion, too. Some 1,500 veterans were in attendance. One morning we walked over to the Confederate Home, and my father chatted with some of the old men with white beards seated outside in the June sunshine.

The big public event was the reunion parade along Monument Avenue. There were various military and naval units marching in it, including an impressive National Guard drum and bugle corps from Norfolk in scarlet jackets, khaki pants and gleaming silver-chrome helmets. The old veterans came last, riding in flag-draped open touring cars, waving their canes and hats at the spectators lining the sidewalks.

"Give the old boys a hand!" my father said, just as the crowd where we were standing burst spontaneously into applause. The avenue rang with cheering for the long-ago defenders of the capital of the Confederacy.

It must have been a magic moment for a young boy. I can see it in my mind's eye, and I appreciate the chance to do so.

Compare and contrast, if you would, with this piece from the Charlotte Observer, about the latest battle pitting the Pathologically Politically Correct against our Southern heritage.

Ms. Lauren Crawford, a 20-year-old Mecklenburg county resident, apparently roused herself from her normal obliviousness to her surroundings and finally noticed a historical marker next to her Central Piedmont Community College campus, commemorating a 1929 reunion of Confederate veterans in Charlotte--after someone else brought it to her attention.

"The beliefs are not my beliefs," said Crawford on Monday, adding that she passed out about 100 fliers on campus raising awareness of the monument.

In her flier, Crawford said the marker portrays "extreme racial beliefs that most of us probably pass by everyday. Should we leave it alone? Tear it down? Or maybe move it to a museum or to a historical site?"

"Extreme racial beliefs". Really? According to the article, here is the text of marker:

"A state and city's tribute of love; in grateful recognition of the services of the Confederate soldiers whose heroism in war and fidelity in peace have never been surpassed. Accepting the arbitrament of war, they preserved the Anglo-Saxon civilization of the south and became master builders in a re-united country."

Politically Correct? Hardly. Racist? I fail to see anything about racist in this text. I do see the mention of a race, one of three I know of in the Antebellum South. Does this make it racist? I suppose if you've been educated in a public school system in the last 20 years, it probably does.

Ms. Crawford is a sad proof of what our tax dollars buy us. We are not educating our children, we are indoctrinating them. We don't teach them to think, we teach them what to think.

Those of you who are parents of school-age kids, have you asked your kids lately what they learned in school today? Try it every day for a month--you'll be surprised, especially if they're in middle school or high school.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Support the businesses who support the troops

I'd seen in several places that Sears was going above and beyond in it's efforts to support their employees, who, as members of the military, have been deployed in the War on Terror.

Doubting Thomas that I am, I sent their online customer service folks a message asking about the truth of this. Here's what I got back:

Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your support for our actions regarding our associates who have been called into active duty.

As you may have read, Sears has extended its program of military pay differential to 60 months. This includes allowing Sears reservists who are full-time employees to continue participating in the company's life insurance, medical and dental programs, if they choose. The company will also hold a comparable position for these individuals for up to five years.

Sears has a heritage of commitment to families and home. This is a difficult time for military families, and we are proud to be able to take these actions to demonstrate support for our many co-workers who are serving our Nation.

Again, thank you for your correspondence. We appreciate your interest in our efforts, and hope you will continue to make Sears your choice for quality and value. Sears, Good Life. Great Price.

Sincerely, The Employees of Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Thank me? No, thank you, Sears. Thanks for supporting the people who are doing the hard work that keeps us free. You can count on my business, as much as is possible. I support the companies who support the troops.

Surreal, man, just surreal

(Via Capitalist Lion)

Mike, the blogmiester of Cold Fury, really cuts the Seriously Loopy Leftists a new one. A quickie:

Yep, that's right, you commie bastiches, we're coming for you. It's only a matter of time now until you hear that late-night knock on the door you've been dreading all along. Our jack-booted gendarmerie is going to be working overtime rounding up every non-white and non-rich subject of our fascist regime, and we're going to be baking every last one of you into pies that we'll then refuse to share with the poor and hungry. We'll be baking those pies in coal-fired ovens, and those ovens will be devoid of any sort of exhaust-scrubber whatever, because we want to release all the toxic gases and chemicals we can into the atmosphere.

Ahem. Now before anyone gets the wring idea, the point he is is working toward is how crazy some of the twaddle from the True Believers has become since Nov. 2. Some of the nonsense, especially places like Democratic Underground, has taken on a surreal edge that Luis Buñuel would have envied.

But in a testimony to the weird way my mind works, I think we need...A CONTEST! Yes, Mike has made an excellent start in enumerating the Left's Feverish Fantasies, but as a collective whole, the blogosphere can do better.
I'm going to start this off, and anyone who wishes to chime in, post a comment. If I can get enough, I'll turn it into a blog entry.

And a name--we need a name for this. And a logo. We gotta have a logo. Who knows some seminal piece of Surrealistic art that we could use...we can start a whole new bunch of links, a la the Digital Brownshirts.

My entry:
And we're going to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve. And don't worry about the caribou--they'll make tasty burgers for the guys who are drilling for the oil to power our big new 5 MPG SUVs on all those new highways we're going to build through the wetlands.

Come on, get in the game.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans Day

I've pondered on what to say all day. Like some people, I had today off. Like most of them, there was no parade for me to go to. Our small town doesn't have a parade on Veterans Day. Like most people with the day off, I worked anyway, catching up on all the things that you have to let go around the house when you both work.

It's nearing the start of winter here in North Carolina, such as it will be. So I got up on the roofs and checked them out and cleaned the gutters. From the roof, I have a good view of the cemetery that's across the way.

This year, the cemetery staff have erected two big crosses, made up of small American flags planted in the ground. I know there are a lot of veterans buried in that cemetery. I've walked through there often, and last Memorial Day I helped place flags on the grave of every veteran.

But today, I checked roofs, cleaned gutters and picked up the leaves. There was no ceremony at the cemetery. My kids were off from school; they helped with the work. They don't really understand why Veterans Day is a holiday. Oh, they understand it in a kid's way--"It's a day we say thank you to veterans".

But they don't understand it the way our veterans do. Even though there's a war on, it hasn't effected them. Hopefully, it'll be over before it does. My son will be 18 in 9 years. Old enough to vote; old enough to go to war. Old enough to die for his country, if necessary.

I never had to do any of those things. My father did, as a member of the 9th Armored Division in World War II. He's talked about it some, but not much. I guess it's hard to explain if you weren't there.

As I worked in the yard, I watched the cars pass. Every time I saw an older man, I wondered if he'd been in World II, or Korea, or Vietnam. The ones my age, I wondered about Grenada and Panama. Younger guys, I wondered about Desert Storm and the current war.

And I offered up a silent little prayer for those in harm's way, and those who have been in harm's way. And for those who never made it back, and who sleep in the cemetery across the way.

Warm down there?

If anyone who could answer that question, it would be Yasser Arafat. Say Hello to Hitler, Stalin and the rest of the gang for us.

Want to argue with me about what a misunderstood saint this guy was? Fine, let me give you a partial list of the atrocities that were committed at his behest or in his name. In no particular order, we have:
  • The Achille Lauro hijacking, which included the heroic murder of 69 year-old disabled Leon Klinghoffer in his wheelchair
  • The 1972 murders of 11 Israeli Olympians and coaches at the Munich Olympics
  • Paid for many of the suicide bombings in Israel, then paid rewards to the families who sent their sons and daughters to blow themselves up
  • 16 dead in a 1974 attack on Kiryat Shemona
  • A 1974 attack on a group of school children on a field trip in Maalot
  • And the list goes on...

If any one of those doesn't qualify the guy for a one-way ticket to Hell, then nothing would. We won't even discuss the rumors that surround him and his death. (Google for them if you like.)

Now, do we have one Palestinian with the courage, brains and spine to take over and make peace with Israel, so that the Palestinian people can get on with their lives?


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Happy Birthday, USMC

I didn't realize that today was the Marine Corps' 229th birthday until this little gem showed up in my email box at work. It's not exactly the sort of thing that you expect to see from a tech company, and that makes it even better.

Today, as the Marines fight and die in Fallujah so that the Iraquis can be free and American be safe, take a moment and consider their history and sacrifice.

Thanks, Marines, and Happy Birthday.

Half of BBC staff face the axe

(Via The Drudge Report)

Half of BBC staff face the axe

Oh, please, Please PLEASE! Tell me it's being held by the headsman....

After some of their drivel relating to the War on Terror, it's be poetic justice at it's finest.

Gloat, Gloat On

(Via Johnny Knuckles)

Who's in the White House?

Heh. Just doing my part; reaching out to the Libs and all that.

A thought for the morning

Any morning that you pull into work to the strains of Hank Williams, Jr. singing "If Heaven Ain't A Lot Like Dixie", you know it can't be but just so bad.

"...just send me to Hell or New York City, it'd be about th' same t' me."

Ya'll have a good day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Specter of a traitor

I've been watching the Arlen Spector issue bloom over the last couple of days. I hope this traitorous so-and-so gets what he so justly deserves. If reports are correct, he should just change his party do Democrat and be done with the GOP.

WorldNet Daily has a good roundup to this point, along with some new stuff. First para:

In two newspaper interviews before the election, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter promised to block pro-life and "extremist" judges appointed by President Bush, apparently contradicting claims he is making now amid fierce opposition to his becoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It gets better in a hurry:

The [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] editorial then stated: "Before the [Pittsburgh]Post-Gazette editorial board, he promised that no extremists would be approved for the bench."

All I can say is that Bush supported Spector rather than Rick Santorum. The American Conservative Union rates Santorum an 87 out of 100; Spector garnered 43 out of 100. I hope he's happy with that decision.

Feel free to contact the Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, and let him know what you think.

Monday, November 08, 2004

News Flash!

(Via Drudge)

Freedom squelches terrorist violence

A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.

...

Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.

"In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but in fact when you look at the data, it's not there. This is true not only for events of international terrorism, as previous studies have shown, but perhaps more surprisingly also for the overall level of terrorism, both of domestic and of foreign origin," Abadie said.

Well, well. In light of current events in Iraq and the Liberals continual harping on "We must address the root causes of terrorism!" this seems most timely.

Now let's see if I recall this correctly. John Kerry (D-Loserville--I can't resist) is one of those who think that we're causing the terrorism in the world by being bigger, being more successful, being American, meddling in other countries affairs, etc.

George Bush gets bashed constantly on "We were lied to!", "No blood for oil!" and the like. Oh, and let's not forget that he's nation building, when he earlier said he didn't support that kind of activity. (And of course, he's George W. Bush, which seems to be enough reason for most....)

Along comes our intrepid researcher (a Basque, interesting enough) who not only finds that poverty isn't a root cause of terrorism, but a lack of freedom is.

Instead, Abadie detected a peculiar relationship between the levels of political freedom a nation affords and the severity of terrorism. Though terrorism declined among nations with high levels of political freedom, it was the intermediate nations that seemed most vulnerable.

Like those with much political freedom, nations at the other extreme - with tightly controlled autocratic governments - also experienced low levels of terrorism.

I can hear the sound of exploding Liberal heads from here.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Well, howdy boys!

Just for grins, I was poking through the Sitemeter stats, you know, just to depress myself before bedtime. And who do I see has paid The Freeholder a visit on 11/2/2004--why it's those wacky kids at treas.gov. Yes, the United States Department of the Treasury has paid me an online visit!

I'm taking bets on which of my posts have engendered the most interest. Let's see, posts on guns, rants about the ATF's abuse of its authority, screeds against the government, criticism of the government in general...I bet I'm now ranking a lot higher up the watch list! Yee-haw!

An interesting mental exercise

Talk about something coming the long way--Sheila O'Malley, from Dan, from Chedder X, originating at geeky.chick.blog. A new record.

Answer the questions. A warning to the readers: You may be in danger of finding out way more information about me than you'd like. Not responsible for cases of TMI.

Answers are in not particular order other than how they occurred to me.

Ten movies you'd watch over and over:
The Quiet Man
Red Dawn
Armageddon
The Breakfast Club
Buckaroo Banzai
Master and Commander
In Harm's Way
Amadeus
Caddyshack
Heartbreak Ridge

Nine people you enjoy the company of:
Tony
Jim
Charley
Alan
Liz
Will
Me
Kathy
Brian

Eight things you're wearing:
jeans
tennis shoes
sweatshirts
woobies
socks
underwear
hats
belts

Seven things on your mind:
You're asking a hell of a lot for a Sunday night after 10 PM!

Six objects you touch every day:
various computers
the steering wheel of my car
a cup
a book
cell phone
cat food bowls

Five things you do every day:
get up in the morning
bitch about something
take a shower
read something
take at least one minute for me

Four bands (etc) that you couldn't live without:
I like music, but there are no bands I couldn't live without.

Three of your favorite songs at this moment:
The Metro
Redneck Woman
Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner

Two people who have influenced your life the most:
SSG Searcy M. Doss
Wanda Thies

One person who you love more than anyone in the world:
No way. I am not that stupid, even on Sunday night after 10 PM. This ranks right up there with "Does this make me look fat?"

OK, your turn.

Godspeed, Marines

It looks like party time in Fallujah. The Marines have entered the western end of the city, securing bridges and the city's hospital.

They should have been allowed to do this the last time, but better late than never, I suppose. Kick ass, take names and come back safe.

A trip to the gun show

Yesterday was devoted to one of my favorite forms of entertainment--a trip to a gun show with one of my buddies. Heck, we not only went to the show, but also checked out a gun store that neither of us had ever visited, plus we took time for a most excellent lunch. Life is good.

As the first show I've attended since the thrice-damned AWB was consigned to the ashheap of failed social experiments, I wasn't sure what to expect.

First, a lot of guys were in the woods--deer season has just started. Since the economy has started improving, I also didn't see a bunch of guys who were having to sell their guns to feed their family. I take this as a Very Good Thing, in more ways than one.

I did, however, see one Serious Loon--the kind the media just loves to paint as the only kind of person who goes to gun shows. This is literally the first in several years that I've spotted, and I was gratified to see that the off-duty LEOs who traditionally provide security for these events also noted the SL's presence.

There were a lot of very neat toys. I'm lusting after a classic side-by-side double barrel shotgun, and there were scads to see. I just wish I could afford one...

Our favorite custom leathersmith was present, and kindly provided me with a nice shoulder rig for the latest acquisition. He didn't have a regular rig for range carry, but he promised to make up some and have them at the next event.

Of course, there were the new post-post-ban Evil Black Rifles in plenty. I even saw an actual AR-10, which is something of a rare bird around here. I want one, but not in the configuration they had. Will someone please explain to me the fascination is the sliding buttstocks on ARs?

Interesting thing on the post-post-bans were the prices--they are about the same as the post-ban guns we were putting up with. A lot of folks expected to see them come down, but I was on the side of the other group--why should they come down? They manufacturers already know we'll pay that much for them in the crippled configuration.

Also saw more than a few dealers who were trying to get their money back out of pre-ban guns. Anyone up for some $2200 HKs? $1400 AKs? $1600 ARs? I don't know whether to feel sorry for these guys or not.

Ammo, at least in my calibers, was not a plentiful as I had hoped. There was some Lake City 72 in 30-06 for a decent price, but until I have an M1 I don't really need too much of that. Very little in 7.62 (.308 Winchester), except the Portuguese stuff. Not a bad price, but with the Berdan primers they used, you can't reload the brass. Not a bit of Lake City 7.62 to be found. Sti-rike! Swing and a miss!

.45 ACP wasn't in short supply, unless you wanted a brand name you knew. The bud bought 500 rounds of "PMP" brand, which looked OK, but I can buy the Winchester white box for the same price at Wall-to-Wall-Mart. I was low on funds by then, so I passed. I'll wait on his report on the ammo.

And where the dickens has all the .22 LR disappeared to? You'd think that they stopped making the stuff. Luckily, I know where I can still get the CCI for a penny each in quantity. Time to stock up, I guess.

Reloading components were also in short supply--only one vendor. But that one was one of my favorites. They're local folks (actually live very near me) and their prices are as good or better than anywhere else--and I don't have to pay any hazmat shipping fees.

And if they don't have it, the new place we checked out caters to reloaders. Oh Happy Day, I don't have to drive an hour and a half to go to a decent gun store any more! I just wish the guy kept something approaching normal hours--closing at 2 on Saturday? Please!

We had a great day. Now I need to go make some use of my new goodies. Say bang, anyone?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The end result of the Welfare State

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

I have read some depressing, disturbing things in my life, but this one is bucking, hard, for top honors.

What is Poverty?

The fact that it was written in Spring, 1999 makes it worse--they've had 5 more years to "improve" the situation.

As with most highly literate essays, there are no pithy quotes I can extract for you. You have to read the entire work, digest it, ponder on it, then repeat. If anyone out there catches themselves thinking that "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if we have a guaranteed floor below which we can't sink...we would all have time to reach those higher Maslow orders " (a la Star Trek),, read this and see what that guaranteed standard of living does to human beings.

It may be hard to accept, but mankind must have problems to test us. Without them, rather than ascend, we descend into a black pit of apathy and despair. We feel worthless, since there are no challenges. The English are learning this. Let's hope they survive the lesson, and let's hope we don't have to learn it the hard way as well.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Whoopsie!

(Via Drudge)

It would seem that our neighbor to the north has better sense about immigration than we do:

Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada

I'm sorry, but this is just too rich. Those who would allow anyone and everyone to just show up and move in are being told that they will have to wait if they want to immigrate.

Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.

Oh, I wonder how they are going to stand it? *snort* Like I care...

RINO hunting

(Via Drudge)

Well, this didn't take long:

Specter warns Bush on high court nominations

The Republican expected to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year bluntly warned newly re-elected President Bush today against putting forth Supreme Court nominees who would seek to overturn abortion rights or are otherwise too conservative to win confirmation.

This is a fine thank you from someone who President Bush worked to get reelected. For those who didn't keep up with every political race (I didn't, but I kept up with quite a few), Arlen Specter faced a serious primary challenge from Rep. Pat Toomey (noted conservative Republican), and the help he received from the national GOP and President Bush were instrumental in helping him in the primaries.

While Specter is a loyal Republican -- Bush endorsed him in a tight Pennsylvania GOP primary -- he routinely crosses party lines to pass legislation and counts a Democrat, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, as one of his closest friends.

A self-proclaimed moderate, he helped kill President Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship. Specter called both nominees too extreme on civil rights issues. Sessions later became a Republican senator from Alabama and now sits on the Judiciary Committee with Specter.


I suppose we'll have to keep the pressure on the Republicans if we don't want them to turn into Democrats.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I thought you said the last one was the last Wictory Wednesday?

Well, I thought it would be--I figured we'd all know who won before bedtime. I was wrong, so we get a Final Last Wictory Wednesday to commemorate George W. Bush's victory.

Live a little! for 24 hours, join my fellow Wictory Wednesday bloggers



and me in taking a break from politics for a time. Reflect on the President's victory speech, and savor the moment.


Wrapping up loose ends

Working my way around the news of John Kerry's concession, I've ran into a lot of things that I'd like to direct your attention to.

(Via WorldNet Daily)

Kerry Campaign Party Turns to Tears and Bitterness

Some Kerry supporters called Bush's platform "all lies"
...
A distraught woman confronted Democratic U.S. Rep. Harold Ford in the lobby of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel and screamed, "Can you tell me why everybody made a mistake?"
...
"Bush has put forward a platform that people tend to believe even though it's all lies. Bush is dishonest; he is not being honest with the American people," Bryant said.

Another man shouted to the Republicans "This is why the rest of the world calls us ignorant Americans. You obviously don't read the newspapers or you would not believe as you do."

...
Kerry supporters from Ireland weighed in on why they believe Bush will likely be re-elected.

"It clarifies the fact that American people aren't so smart. If I could, I would have voted for Kerry," said the woman.

Where do you start with people like these--the True Believers? You can't convince them, and you ignore them at your peril. It seem obvious to me that they think those of us who support President Bush are just ignorant mouth-breathers that they're ashamed to share the planet with.






We have Tom Daschle losing his Senate seat. The GOP put a lot of effort into getting rid of Daschle and succeeded.

Stories of about various "voting irregularities" abound from both sides. Obviously, if it was there, it didn't make a difference. I'll take this as a good sign for the process.

Once again, the "youth vote" didn't live up to advance billing. Duh!--it never does.

The third party candidates didn't have much luck. Another Duh! But this one is tempered, since I wish we had a viable third party. I like the Constitution Party in particular.

Locally, we're sending the Senate a pretty good conservative in Richard Burr. He still likes Big Government more than I do, but he replaces John Edwards. Incremental improvement is better than none. His House seat will go to Virginia Foxx. She seems to have some good conservative credentials as well.

There is the usual crowd who will to leave the country if Bush wins. Uh, he won, rocket scientists. Need help packing? I've been saving boxes for ya! Jerks.

I'll probably run into more as time passes, but I may or may not blog them. I'm ready for the next phase to start. More on my thoughts there as events necessitate.

Well!

Blogging the Election, Post 4

Kerry Conceeds to Bush

I have to admit to being very surprised. I wouldn't have believed that Kerry and the Democratic Party wouldn't drag this thing out to the very bitter end. From the article, apparently some wanted to do just that, but were overruled.

The upside of the decision is that the country is not going to be put through another 2000-style post-election foolishness. Whether you support Kerry or not, we do owe him our thanks for this decision.

Jeeze, call it!

Blogging the Election, Post 3

I stand by last night's call--BUSH WINS!

However, it seems that the Democrats are going to lawyer this thing again--Florida 2000, perhaps on a national scale, with provisional ballots taking the place of hanging chads. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, but you know they won't be. And we'll have 4 more years of whining about a "stolen election". What a lovely prospect. *gack*

I'm more convinced than ever that I will see the end of the Democratic Party in my lifetime. They're going to do themselves in, and good riddance.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Watching, waiting

Blogging the Election, Post 2

But not worried. Florida is a done deal now, and Ohio just stubbornly stays Bush as the reporting precincts slowly climb. Colorado, New Mexico and Wisconsin all look good.

I like what I see well enough to go to bed. Maybe I'll click on the TV if I wake up tonight, but maybe not. I still fully expect a Bush victory, with 275 electoral votes or more.

Honestly, right now I'm more worried about the weather. We've had a significant cold front come through today, and I wonder if that wind kicking up is going to make for a poor tomorrow, weather-wise.

Night, all.

10 PM and all's well

Blogging the Election, Post 1

Early yet, but the average call is 170 electoral votes for Bush, 112 for Kerry. The entire Confederacy, except for Florida, has went for Bush--and Florida is about at the tipping point.

With the exception of Illinois ("Vote early and often!") the Midwest is lining up for Bush as well. So are the plains states.

Been surfing the blogs in between hours and halves. Read about Blackfive's adventure in voting in Richard Daleyland.

Current bet is that this thing is done and we can stick a fork in it, but I'll hold off on the celebratory Howard Dean Scream in the front yard for a bit yet.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Adding some more to the Levi's List

(A tip o' the hat to DaveH from Kim Du Toit's comments for the pointer.)

I keep what I call the Levi's List. It's an informal list of companies or groups I try not to do business with because I feel they are working against the things I'm working for. It's named the Levi's List in honor of the first company to land on it, Levi Strauss & Co. They got on it by actively supporting groups who work against our Second Amendment rights.

It's been pretty short until now. Yahoo Business has this piece about business leaders who are supporting the Kerry/Edwards ticket. It's now a good bit longer.

Among the companies who's gear I own, but will not buy more of are:

Columbia Sportswear (ouch, I really like their stuff)
Patagonia
Leatherman Tool Group
Petzl America

I really hate this, but I refuse to undercut my own efforts by buying their products. They're welcome to their opinions (I value the First as much as the Second), but my money spends anywhere--and it their case it will spend elsewhere.

For your convenience, I've made each name above a link to a customer service "Contact Us" page. Feel free to contact them and let them know what you think of their decision.


They're in the home stretch...

Before I go, I want to urge you one last time, to be sure to go vote--and vote for President George W. Bush! As you can see from my last post, who we elect makes a difference. Elect Kerry, and do you think he'll really protect those of us in the "red states" when bin Laden comes calling? Call me skeptical, but I just don't believe he will--and he'll damn well try and disarm us so we can't protect ourselves.

Bush isn't perfect, and I have no illusions that he is. But I would rather trust my safety, my family's safety, my country's safety, even John Kerry's safety, to him than to the pusillanimous fool from Massachusetts and the ambulance chaser from North Carolina.

Lock and load

Osama bin Laden warned in his October Surprise video that he will be closely monitoring the state-by-state election returns in tomorrow's presidential race — and will spare any state that votes against President Bush from being attacked, according to a new analysis of his statement.

Just bring it to North Carolina, asshole. Just bring it. No matter who wins, it's going to be open season on terrorists--no bag limit.

I'm going to go do something physical and see if my blood pressure will go down. Casting bullets lubed with port fat springs to mind as appropriate...

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Jacksonian Tradition and American Foreign Policy

Before 9/11, Walter Russell Mead penned this piece attempting to explain what, at least to the rest of the world, seems to be "an unhealthy mix of ignorance, isolationism and trigger-happy cowboy diplomacy".

I've read this essay several times over the years, and it was brought to my attention once again by Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor site. (Sidenote: This is the only website I visit that I think is worth paying for--and it isn't even mandatory.) But with slightly less than 48 hours until we start voting for our next President, it reads in an entirely different light, and explains many of the differences between those who would vote for Kerry and those who would vote for Bush.

It's long, but well worth your effort to read it.

Camping season is over

Well, RVing season actually, but for my family, they're one and the same. Each year, with the end of October, It's time to bring the camper back home from it's spring, summer and early fall residence and ensconce it in it's place of honor in the back driveway.

This year it was particularly difficult to end the season. Today was sunny, and after a nice cool morning (perfect for a campfire), the temperature rose to the upper 70s. As I type, it is already back down to "nice and cool, perfect for a campfire" again. There was more than a little complaining, but good soldiers all the entire family pitched in and worked hard to get the mission accomplished.

We're due for some more good weather, and we'll use it to catch up on some outside projects. But before we know it, it's going to be getting cold, and likely rainy, as is usual for winter in our part of North Carolina. Then the projects will move indoors, and we'll work on various home renovation projects.

Another turn in life is being wound up. I don't mind it as much as I might, but I begrudge the idea that I've had more turns than I have left.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

WTF happened to my comments?

I just noticed that my Haloscan comments were gone, and I was dealing with Blogger's comments instead. So I've reinserted the Haloscan comment code. Of course, this means comments made in the Blogger comments are hosed.

@$#^ *##@ !!!

I guess I really have to start considering dedicated hosting. I need a host for a small web site and a blog with a small, yet deeply demented, following (prima facia proof is that you're reading this, right?). Suggestions?

Secret Weapons

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

Varifrank has a "Secret Weapon". This is another of the things I've read that I won't demean by commenting on. Just go read it.

I'm going to have to start reading more from this guy.

I have in my hand the final Wictory Wednesday

We have here my last Wictory Wednesday post. The other Wictory Wednesday bloggers are




At this point, I doubt that very many people are truly undecided. We need to turn our efforts toward being sure that our fellow Bush supporters get out and vote. Take time to talk to friends, neighbors, coworkers and family and remind them that even though the President is leading in most polls, we can't relax. Every vote for Bush is a vote against post-election lawsuits. We have numerous reports of the Democrats marshalling lawyers in the battleground states, ready to file suit the moment voting is ended. We've seen the suits already filed in some places--trying to count ballots that shouldn't count while trying to eliminate those that should. If we can win by big enough margins, we steal their oxygen on the issue. So let's get those voters to the polls on November 2!

Thanks for your help in identifying you

(Via Drudge)

Terrorists hope to defeat Bush through Iraq violence

You're not surprised, are you? After all, it worked in Spain. (And I want you to note that that link is from Ajazeera, a mouthpiece for Islamo-fascists.)

As if I needed another reason to vote for Bush.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A beautiful sentiment

WorldNet Daily has this little jewel about some freedom-loving Americans celebration of UN Day.

Pardon me while I go find someone to high-five...

Oh you kids!

(Via Drudge)

It seems those wacky kids at CBS News are at it again:

60 MINS PLANNED BUSH MISSING EXPLOSIVES STORY FOR ELECTION EVE

Fresh from their miserably failed attempt to forge documents relating to President Bush's ANG service, they figured they'd try resurrecting a story from a year and a half ago, and see if they could get that to work:

Jeff Fager, executive producer of the Sunday edition of 60 MINUTES, said in a statement that "our plan was to run the story on October 31, but it became clear that it wouldn't hold..."

Well yeah, when:

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

I guess the Left is really that desperate, which is scary. I was pooh-poohing the stories about possible election violence to some friends yesterday, but today I have to wonder...

Oh, and just in case, you can take some action if you'd like.

Monday, October 25, 2004

War Plan Orange

(For those of you not versed in WWII history, War Plan Orange was the plan that General Douglas MacArthur drew up for the defense of the Philippine Islands in the event of a Japanese invasion. As history shows, it was a valiant if vain attempt.)

The Belmont Club has this interesting take on Iraq and the War on Terror. Made even more interesting in light of the news of 380 tons of explosives and munitions now missing in Iraq and Scary Kerry's thoughts on the subject.

Much as the defenders of Bataan pinned their hopes on a resurrected Pacific fleet sailing into Manila harbor to reinforce them, the Islamo-Fascists may well be counting on Kerry-Edwards and "hope is on the way" (stolen from Lileks).

This is a little something else to think about before you pull that lever or punch that hole or whatever on November 2.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A cautionary tale

(Via misc.survivalism. Thanks to Gunner--you got too much time on your hands this week?)

I'm not sure of the provenance of the story, but I don't think that matters. Its value is as a cautionary tale for the Age of Terror.

A Military Story -- Don't Close Your Blinds

The other day, my nine year old son wanted to know why we were at war. My husband looked at our son and then looked at me. My husband and I were in the Army during the Gulf War and we would be honored to serve and defend our Country again today. I knew that my husband would give him a good explanation.

My husband thought for a few minutes and then told my son to go stand in our front living room window. He said "Son, stand there and tell me what you see?"

"I see trees and cars and our neighbor's houses." he replied.

"OK, now I want you to pretend that our house and our yard is the United States of America and you are President Bush."

Our son giggled and said "OK."

"Now son, I want you to look out the window and pretend that every house and yard on this block is a different country" my husband said.

"OK Dad, I'm pretending."

"Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and pretend you see Saddam come out of his house with his wife, he has her by the hair and is hitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face, he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her to death. Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are screaming and crying, they are watching this but do nothing because they are kids and they are afraid of their father. You see all of this son.... what do you do?"

"Dad?"

"What do you do son?"

"I'd call the police, Dad."

"OK. Pretend that the police are the United Nations and they take your call, listen to what you know and saw but they refuse to help. What do you do then son?"

"Dad.......... but the police are supposed to help!" My son starts to whine.

"They don't want to son, because they say that it is not their place or your place to get involved and that you should stay out of it," my husband says.

"But Dad...he killed her!!" my son exclaims.

"I know he did...but the police tell you to stay out of it. Now I want you to look out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you're pretending is Saddam turn around and do the same thing to his children."

"Daddy...he kills them?"

"Yes son, he does. What do you do?"

"Well, if the police don't want to help, I will go and ask my next door neighbor to help me stop him." our son says.

"Son, our next door neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to get involved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop him," my husband says.

"But Dad, I NEED help!!! I can't stop him by myself!!"

"WHAT DO YOU DO SON?" Our son starts to cry.

"OK, no one wants to help you, the man across the street saw you ask for help and saw that no one would help you stop him. He stands taller and puffs out his chest. Guess what he does next son?"

"What Daddy?"

"He walks across the street to the old ladies house and breaks down her door and drags her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house on fire and then...he kills her. He turns around and sees you standing in the window and laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU DO?"

"Daddy..."

"WHAT DO YOU DO?"

Our son is crying and he looks down and he whispers, "I'd close the blinds, Daddy."

My husband looks at our son with tears in his eyes and asks him..."Why?"

"Because Daddy.....the police are supposed to help people who needs them...and they won't help.... You always say that neighbors are supposed to HELP neighbors, but they won't help either...they won't help me stop him...I'm afraid....I can't do it by myself Daddy....I can't look out my window and just watch him do all these terrible things and...and.....do nothing...so....I'm just going to close the blinds... so I can't see what he's doing........and I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."

I start to cry.

My husband looks at our nine year old son standing in the window, looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my husbands questions and he says..."Son"

"Yes, Daddy."

"Open the blinds because that man.... he's at your front door..."WHAT DO YOU DO?"

My son looks at his father, anger and defiance in his eyes. He balls up his tiny fists and looks his father square in the eyes, without hesitation he says: "I'D DEFEND MY FAMILY DAD!! I'M NOT GONNA LET HIM HURT MOMMY OR MY SISTER, DAD!!! I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM, DAD, I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM!!!!!"

I see a tear roll down my husband's cheek and he grabs our son to his chest and hugs him tight, and says... "It's too late to fight him, he's too strong and he's already at YOUR front door son.....you should have stopped him BEFORE he killed his wife, and his children and the old lady across the way. You have to do what's right, even if you have to do it alone, before it's too late." my husband whispers.

THAT scenario I just gave you is WHY we are at war with Iraq. When good men stand by and let evil happen son, THAT is the greatest EVIL of all. Our President is doing what is right. We, as a free nation, must understand that this war is a war of humanity. WE must remove evil men from power so that we can continue to live in a free world where we are not afraid to look out our window so that my nine year old son won't grow up in a world where he feels that if he just "closes" that blinds the atrocities in the world won't affect him.

"YOU MUST NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALONE!" BE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! BE PROUD OF OUR TROOPS!! SUPPORT THEM!!! SUPPORT AMERICA!! SO THAT IN THE FUTURE OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER HAVE TO CLOSE THEIR BLINDS..."