Friday, April 22, 2005

There are days I'm ashamed to be a Republican

It would seem that Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania has decided that the National Weather Service is a Bad Thing, and that they are unfairly providing weather data to the taxpaying public--you know, the people that pay the taxes that pay for the NWS?

I'm not much of a fan of our over-sized, over-reaching government. But the NWS is one of the things I genuinely don't mind paying for. Knowing the weather comes in handy a lot of the time, and I don't see why I should have to pay a private concern, who is most likely getting some if not all of their data from the NWS, to repackage it and add ads or charge me. I've already paid for this once.

I guess it's time to start writing my Senators. Heck, they haven't heard from me since the Assualt Weapons Ban (of unblessed memory) was expiring. I'm sure they've missed my letters and emails.

Should you want to write, you can find your way to their contact information here.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Avast, matey!

Pirate Captain to take helm of N.C. State student government

I bae lovin' it, I tell ya.

Of course, the chronically humor-impaired remain unamused:

If I was going for an interview with new student body president I put my hand out and say, "Hello, it is nice to meet you" and his response is "aargh." That would be immature, and I would be annoyed.

Meghan, dear, you really need to loosen up. Take your hair down and hoist a cup o' grog with the Captain.

"Students here think student government is a joke, a mockery. This just further displays that," student Chris Rook said.

No Chris, I think this is a savvy move by an astute individual to get those who have given up on the process to give it another try. It may be working, since turnout increased 11% in this election. (At least I think that's the number, I lost the URL.)

Although a majority of the students that voted like the Captain, it seems that many of the "student leaders" don't want him around:

"How is it possible that the administration will take you seriously?" Sen. Tracy Hutcherson asked. "I say cook the bird and eat it or walk the plank."

I hope his answer was "I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request. Means 'No'."

NC legislators starting to back off

It would seem the intense publicity revolving around H1183, the Yet Another Giveaway to Illegal Immigrants Access To Higher Education & A Better Economic Future is leading some legislators to withdraw their support. (Hm-m-m, politicians reacting to pressure and bad publicity. Might be a useful lesson there....)

According to the article in The Daily Tarheel (Which by the way is the student newspaper of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--and I'm a Duke fan, so don't even get me started!), at least one of our elected geniuses didn't even read the thing before signing on:

“I didn’t read the bill before I signed it,” said Rep. Eugene Wilson, R-Watauga, who withdrew his support from the bill last week. “I just thought I was helping a bunch of young people.”

ARUGH! You signed onto a bill you didn't read?! What's wrong with you? Oh never mind, just sign these too. Oh don't worry, it's just the deed to your house, general power of attorney, things like that.

I shouldn't be surprised, but I just can't help it. Reminds me of the Congresscreatures that voted for the blasted Patriot Act without reading it.

We elect these people. We go out and vote and we put them in there to represent us, our best interests, the State of NC's best interests, and this is what we get. Where do we go to get a refund?

Of course, the Liberals have a different viewpoint:

“It has arisen so quickly that I’m not sure a lot of citizens out there fully understand,” said Ferrel Guillory, director of UNC’s Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life.

“What’s at stake here has to be explained fully. A lot of people are jumping to conclusions with partial information.”

No, we do fully understand, and that's the problem. We understand that we, the legal citizens of North Carolina, are going to get screwed. We have to figure out how to meet our kids tuition bills, while we're giving a 75% discount to illegal aliens.

Yes, you see illegal aliens have always been welcome in the UNC systems schools. Just apply, get accepted and pay out-of-state tuition, and you're there.

Getting angry yet?

Guillory said North Carolina’s Latino population increased by 400 percent in the 1990s and doesn’t show any signs of slowing.

Ah, we've noticed. Thanks for asking.

“These aren’t law-breaking people,” he said, referring to the students who would be looking to attend college. “Their parents may have entered the country in an unauthorized fashion, walking across the border, but that’s an issue we’re dealing with in Washington.

A, Yes, they are, and B, no they aren't. Mommy and Daddy may have brought them here, but if they weren't born here, if they aren't green card holders, if they aren't naturalized citizens, then they're

ILLEGAL ALIENS, MORON!

Some people are obviously unclear on this concept.

Nor are they "dealing with in Washington." Not unless your definition of it is ignoring it.

Of course, if we just merged with Mexico, the whole problem would just go away, wouldn't it.

Hangover

Well, a hangover of a sort. Kim du Toit's link from yesterday, along with some mentions of it in various other places frequented by us "gun nuts", brought in 1222 hits to this blog in 24 hours. To put that in perspective, I'd only had something like 3500 hits since the inception over a year ago.

Today it's slowed down considerably, but still running at something like 100x normal.

I really am sort of amazed by the entire process. I guess now it's up to me to see if I can keep any of those folks coming back. It'll be an interesting job.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Whew!

I've just found out that Kim du Toit has sent an avalanche of readers my way. If you've made it here to the top of the blog, welcome. I hope you'll stop by again.

It's a strange feeling when you go from a few hundred hits in a month to a few hundred in a few hours, but I'm having a ball (at my employer's expense, since I'm alledged to be working today) watching the Sitemeter stats go up and looking at all the places people are coming from. It's pretty cool. I've had all 5 military services (yes, I count the Coasties), a bunch of universities, several government agencies and more ISPs than you can shake a stick at.

I understand that it's a one time thing of course, and soon I'll be back to my deeply demented core of readers. But again, thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

And people wonder why gun owners usually view the ATF as an adversary

This one came in via email from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I've verified the quotes on the Houston Chronicle's website.

Prepare to be PO'd.

"If it wasn't for criminals, there wouldn't be a gun industry in this country," Nunziato said, adding that the claims of the NRA and other gun-rights groups that they are protecting law-abiding citizens with their policies are false.

"The only people it's protecting are criminals."

Nunziatio is Gerald Nunziato, the former head of ATF's National Tracing Center. Since he left government employ, he's become a partner in Crime Gun Solutions, which is a private concern that seems to specialize in hiring ex-AFT agents.

The entire article is full of this sort of nonsense. If you're a concerned gun owner, you should read it no matter how angry it makes you. Some more jewels:

...the NRA is obstructing the ability of law enforcement to crack down on the dealers who sell weapons to criminals.

...

Also troubling, said Ron Schuman, another former ATF official who works for Crime Gun Solutions, is the NRA's attempt to protect the gun industry from lawsuits that could help shut down gun dealers whose firearms routinely make their way to criminals.


...

But the former ATF officials say the NRA's policies actually protect criminal gun purchases because they are the bread and butter of the U.S. gun industry. Since a gun lasts about 100 years, most law-abiding gun owners buy only one or a few in their lifetime, Nunziato said.Criminals, on the other hand, buy new firearms every few years, he said.

Remember, this is what "they" think of us. We're equated with criminals in their minds. Don't ever forget it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Motor City Madman Speaks

Da Nuge says

To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em.

(There's a cool picture on the home page of the site of him making his entrance to the NRA stage.)

Works for me. Now let's throw a protein-dense slab o'meat on the BBQ and crank up the volume! "Cat Scratch Fever, duh-duh-DUH, Cat Scratch Fever, DUH-duh-DUH!"

A day at the range

Sunday was a great day to go to the range. Not only was the weather beautiful (73o, sunny, light wind), but it was the third Sunday of the month--the Single Action Shooting Society was on hand. Since I had the kids on hand, this was a real treat for them. If you've never seen cowboy shooting, do yourself a favor and go. Beware, though, because it's an infectious sport.

Most of my club's SASS shooters are pretty good, and any 3 gun competition is fun to watch. We spent some time watching the fun, but eventually we went off to have our own fun.

I've been teaching the kids the art of pistol shooting. Now even though my version of the art looks a bit akin to finger painting, the kiddies are showing some talent, 2 lessons in.

My daughter has taken quite well to the Walther P22 (3.4" barrel) I purchased for them to learn with. She's taken to it so well that's she taken over the blasted thing!

Although with scores like this on the 8" plate rack, it's hard to be upset:
  • 10 yards: 9 hits, 1 miss
  • 15 yards: 10 hits
  • 20 yards: 8 hits, 1 miss, 1 FTF
  • 25 yards: 9 hits, 1 miss
Did I mention this is the second time she's shot a pistol? Young men, when my daughter begins dating, I suggest circumspection will be in order. Hands to yourself; kiss only with permission.

My son, however, can't hit the broad side of a barn with the Walther. Even at 5 yards, he only manages 50%. I asked him if he would like to try the Smith & Wesson 22A (5.5" barrel) I bought for myself. Well of course he would--it's Daddy's gun.

He then proceeds to shoot around 80% from whatever distance he tries. A marked improvement. Teacher is happy.

Teacher, however, would also like to shoot, and being that Teacher has his favorite, a Springfield 1911 Custom Loaded in .45 ACP (there's other calibers available in 1911s?), the desire is no problem.

Execution, however, is a bit lacking. Teacher is not shooting well. The best I can manage is around 60% on the 8" plates. I even tried 25 yards from a rest and couldn't do any better. It's possible that the sights are off, but I'm not sure. The kids aren't used to reading shots yet, so it's hard for them to tell me where they're landing.

Teacher obviously needs more time at the range. Darn!

For your approval

On this Patriot's Day, April 19, 2005.

The Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1837)

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We place with joy a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

O Thou who made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, --
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raised to them and Thee.

We owe a debt that can not be repaid, and as such, it's our duty to pay it forward to our children and grandchildren. Let's not forget that we owe it.