Friday, August 26, 2005

It's different this time

(Via Chaos Manor)

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Harper's Magazine has this piece in which 3 economists, representing differing schools of thought and holding differing political views, speak out on subjects such as the national debt, trade deficits and entitlement programs.

It's a long read, but worth the time. Having read it, I'm a bit surprised how much they agree on the nature of the problems, and that they really aren't that far apart in proposing solutions (as far as I"m concerned). In the end, they all agree that it will take a massive political change if we are to get our financial house back in order.

Interestingly, they don't say how likely that occurrence is. I suspect it's less likely than a collapse.


(Via Chaos Manor)

I've been a PayPal customer since they were "little guys". I've watched their "eBayization" with only small concern. That may be changing due to this article on Reason.

Of course, you can and should evaluate things yourself. Here's their User Agreement. Pay particular attention to their Acceptable Use Policy. Word is that they are cracking down on sites such as Auction Arms, one of the Internet's biggest gun auction sites.

Time to go back to cashier's checks and money orders?

Thinking dark

(Via Chaos Manor)

Peggy Noonan is thinking dark. It would seem that she's a survivalist who doesn't realize that fact.


And Jerry Pournelle's thoughts?

I have always wanted to keep good military posts like the Presidio as bases for the garrison army; enclosed closed posts, gated posts, with military people and their families living on base; precisely to save civilization just in case.

Military bases--the new monasteries? Worth considering. I've always thought Jacksonville, NC was strangely appealing....

Thursday, August 25, 2005

When the chickens come home to roost

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I have this bug about any law enforcement agency that wants to trample on the Bill of Rights, especially the Second Amendment. When the cases are all somewhere else, it's something of an academic exercise. When it happens, close to home and to someone you know, it gets very personal.

You may recall my mentions of Old Friend's Older Brother. He's had my truck all day--he's a mechanic, and I trust him implicitly to maintain my vehicles in tip-top condition. When I went by this evening to pick it up, he told me this cautionary tale.

This morning, he took his Lady Friend's Daughter to school. It's opening day, so you can imagine the nightmare this entails. Confusion, traffic, etc. So of course, one of our local law enforcement agencies decides to set up a license check near the school.

This foreshadows coming events.

OFOB pulls up to the check, and hands Officer Friendly his license. Officer Friendly sees some papers laying on the front seat and asks what they are. OFOB shows him--they're printouts of some Curio and Relic offerings that he printed off a dealer's web site. The particular guns were Yugoslavian SKSs.

(For the uninitiated, this means that he had pictures of some guns that are a minimum of 50 years old in his vehicle. Pictures, printed on paper.)

Officer Friendly "invites" him to "pull your vehicle over there". OFOB, not being the stupid sort, rapidly figures out that Officer Friendly means to search his vehicle. His probable cause to initiate this search--apparently pictures of old guns.

At this point, OFOB keeps a pretty good reign on his temper. He asks why they want to search his truck. He's told to do as he's been ordered (Officer Friendly is now playing the "lawful order" card) or he will be detained until a search warrant can be obtained. With the particular agency that Officer Friendly works for, it's a well-known piece of local lore that if you make them get a warrant, you'll spend the remainder of the day putting your vehicle back together.

At this point, OFOB does something that I probably wouldn't have had the good sense to do. He gets out, tells Officer Friendly that he has nothing to hide, but that they will have to search his vehicle here--effectively blocking traffic at the checkpoint until they finish with him. Officer Friendly calls over another officer, and together they begin going through the vehicle. OFOB didn't tell me how long this process took. I hope it was a long time.

Eventually, not finding anything, he was told that having "military items" is what got him searched. He was then allowed to go on his way, with a lecture that "if you do things like this, you should expect to be suspected of being up to no good"

Pictures of 50+ year old guns are apparently now "military items". Having them means you're up to no good.

At this point, please remove small children from the room. I need to vent.


Thanks. I feel slightly better now.

Yes, I said that and it's exactly what I mean. There is no way that anyone will ever convince me that this isn't an abuse of power by a moron with a badge. Barney Fife would have better sense.

I realize that all members of law enforcement aren't like this. But far too many are for me to ever be comfortable around them. My Sister-In-Law is a LEO, and you may bet your ass I'm very careful what I say around her. I'm going to be far more careful in the future. We own guns, we like guns, so we must be bad people.

For any LEO who reads this and is offended--GOOD! You ought to be. You ought to be offended that you work with fools who are actively creating citizens who distrust you because you wear a badge. You ought to be offended that you work with people who don't take their oath of office seriously. You ought to be offended that their actions make your job harder, each and every day. You ought to be offended that idiots like this may one day get you killed, because the citizen whose rights they just wiped their asses with has had enough and decides to strike back and damn the consequences--and you just happened to be in the way.

How many times have we read about the police asking citizens to help them with information about criminal activity? And how many times have we heard of people standing around, watching a crime and no one calls the police because "they don't want to get involved"? I know I've heard more than a few instances of such things.

But who wants to get involved with a group who thinks in terms of "Us vs. Them"--when you're always "Them"?

What ever happened to the police we saw on "Adam 12" and "Dragnet"? Were they just figments of a Hollywood script writer's imagination? I was raised to think the police--all the police--were the Good Guys. They were there to "Protect and Serve". They were the Thin Blue Line that stood between order and chaos.

I just can't subscribe to those beliefs any more. Mourn the Republic and hail the New Police State. Papers please.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

More, more, more on the Richmond ATF follies

(Via VCDL)

Showmasters has pictures on their website of various law enforcement officials at the Richmond Showmasters gun show (August 13-14, 2005) on their home page. Bravo to Annette Gelles for visually documenting this event for posterity.

G. Gordon Liddy interviewed the CNS reporter who interviewed VCDL (strange, why not interview VCDL directly?), and a MP3 copy of the audio is available here.

At this point, I think we can safely rule out the possibility of a hoax.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Even more on the ATF/Richmond gun show follies

Cybercast News Service has put up their article on the ATF festivities at the recent Showmasters gun show in Richmond, VA. It makes for some (more) interesting reading.

You've been confiscated

(Via No Quarters)

OK, so you know the Kelo decision means that you don't really own your home or land, you just hold it and pay rent (you may know it as "property taxes") until such time as someone else can put it to better use.

But did you know that before Kelo, there was 1917 Trading With The Enemy Act and the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act? Did you know that under these acts that our government can seize your gold, silver, shares in mining companies--pretty much any sort of financial instrument they desire?

Comforting thought, isn't it? Cook up some cock-and-bull emergency, get the Prez to sign off and start confiscating whatever your little bureaucratic heart desires. But of course, you're doing it for the "greater good" of "the people".

There have long been rumors in survivalist circles that the government has laws that would allow the seizure of "hoarded" food and fuel during time of emergency. Some have pointed at various laws that might be used to justify such actions. No law, as far as I know, directly addresses this subject, but martial law probably could. Of course, if law or martial law proves inconvenient, there are always Executive Orders.

Hm-m-m. No home, no money, hungry and in the dark. Sounds like a refugee who will need to go to the government "resettlement centers", doesn't it? Oh well, at least you'd have some company in the "right wing Israeli settlers" in Gaza and the West Bank who are losing their homes as you read this.

Dark and bloody days approach. The big question is "How long?" Will it be in my lifetime, or my children's lifetime? None of us know the answer, but the time to prepare is NOW. Not tomorrow or next week or next year, but NOW. While you can.

Good luck to us all.

One of our own needs a hand

(Via Blackfive)

Citizen Smash may be on his way to becoming Unemployed Citizen Smash. While he isn't in desperate straits just yet, check out his qualifications and spread the word around. Let's put the power of the Internet to work and help one of our own.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Save the Skeets!

As noted earlier, The Freeholder had plans to venture to the range this past weekend to try out a new shooting sport--skeet shooting. We had quite a crowd for the event, including Daughter, Son, Old Friend, Old Friend's Older Brother and new participants, Old Friend's Younger Brother and OFYB's Son. Gun-wise, we had a Remington 870 Express Youth in 20 ga., a couple of Mossbergs in 12 ga., a Browning A500 in 12 ga. (at least I think that was the model) and my late uncle's Winchester Model 12 in 12 ga.

The guests of honor were 5 cases of unfortunate skeets and an untold number of boxes of shotshells. Given the 95o+ weather forecast, we also had 3 coolers of various soft drinks and water.

All of the Old Friend clan has had between some and a lot of experience in wing shooting. As for myself and my children, shooting anything moving is a new challenge. Heck, for the kids shooting a shotgun is something new.

Having never shot the Winchester or moving targets, I was of course given the honors. 2 escaped skeets later, I magnanimously allowed OFYB his turn, in which he promptly eviscerated 3 skeets. OFOB followed and clobbered all 4 of his skeets. OF tallied 2 of 4, and was followed OFYB's Son who, in a generous bid to make me feel at home, missed all of his skeets.

Daughter declined the opportunity to play the game. I think it was those 3" magnum loads OFOB was using. I swear, it looked like something out of the Revolutionary War--fire a shot, wait for the smoke to clear and see if the enemy was still there. However, she proved an excellent operator of the range's throwing machine.

Son, ever the game one of the pair, tried the 870. Unfortunately, he's still a bit short of the stature needed to easily handle even a youth model. We tried giving him some help in holding up the barrel, but that isn't a workable system. Eventually, we resorted to lining some immobilized skeets up on a log, and allowing him to shoot them, fish in a barrel style.

He also demanded to try the Winchester, which he found a bit stout to his taste.

At any rate, we continued the rotation, pausing a couple of times for gun cooling and hydration (us, not the guns). Everyone tried just about every gun. Based on the experimentation, if I decide to do this regularly, I want a semi-auto. It's really nice to have that gas action soak up a bunch of the recoil.

Eventually, even the worst of us (ahem) was able to get in the 40-50% hit rate. I was kind of pleased, until OFYB just had to tell me that we were making this easy by releasing the skeets pretty much straight down range. I reminded him that "easy" is a relative term.

After comparing shoulders, we sent the kids downrange to capture any winged skeets, along with any that were just tired of flying and laying in the grass. These will be held in their cardboard cages, and will eventually be sacrificed on the alter of the .22s at a later date.

Adjourning before the real heat came on, it should be obvious that we all had a real...blast. A repeat engagement is planned for cooler weather.

du Toit on the Richmond-Showmasters-ATF "issue"

Kim du Toit has some further thoughts and information on the problem with ATF in Richmond 2 weekends ago. He has the answer to my "how did the cops know who to visit" question. Now that I hear that answer, this whole think stinks even more.

Many folks are still waiting some local media confirmation on all this, but as noted by a commenter (poster or source) on VCDL, there seems to be a blackout on local media coverage. This might be taken as a negative confirmation, except this is getting media time in other areas of the country.

This could still turn out to be a very successful hoax, a possibility pointed out by many others, but I don't think so. VCDL isn't noted for going off half-cocked about gun issues.

Carnival of Cordite #27 is on the air

Gullyborg himself is hosting the Carnival of Cordite #27 at Resistance is futile!

Oh, and Gullyborg? The proper Glock safety technique is to buy something else! Nah-nah!