Thursday, September 15, 2005

They were only following orders...

Vox Day has an interesting view on the New Orleans gun confiscations. I'll warn you that it may make you angry at first, but you need to a take a deep breath or 10 and think about it a while.

Remember, there may be a test later--in your state.

OK, Holland's off the list

Note to self--if Holland was ever on the list of "places I might move to", take it off ASAP.

The Dutch government will begin tracking every citizen from cradle to grave in a single database, opening a personal electronic dossier for every child at birth with health and family data, and eventually adding school and police records.


Interesting take on hybrid vehicles

I've never had a lot of use for hybrid vehicles. I've always thought that the extra expense and weight penalties from 2 engines (gas and electric) and all those batteries was an insurmountable hurdle to making them economically efficient.

It seems that the European automakers agree with me.

Few European auto executives can even discuss hybrid technology without referring to a recent test conducted by a German trade magazine, Auto Bild, in which a Mercedes-Benz SUV with a diesel engine was pitted against the Lexus RX 400h in a drive from New York to San Francisco. The Mercedes finished with substantially better fuel efficiency.

Uh-huh. Remember the VW Rabbit and Jetta diesels that got 60 MPG back in the early 80s? Ever see a hybrid do that well in the real world? We have several where I work, and it ain't happenin', captain.

The Europeans are also correct in their assertion that the new generation of clean, super-charged diesels are pretty much indistinguishable from gas engines. If you've seen the GM Duramax engines, then you know what they're talking about. Quiet, clean and powerful. All you can ask for, and the mileage is much better than the equivalent in power gas engine.

Even though the hybrids (mostly Japanese or of Japanese derivation) seem to be carrying the day in marketing terms, I have to wonder if the American
and European carmakers are quietly tooling up to refight the battle.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mom's home

Well, for someone the medics had pretty much given up on, my Mom is making a great recovery. We brought her home this afternoon. Along with her we're getting some more gadgetry to make her care easier--this time it's a "crane", which will make getting her in and out of bed much simpler.

I'd like to thank everyone for their kind wishes.

My Mom will never be 100%--the stroke 3 years ago saw to that, and each successive medical problem has taken away a bit more of her "self". She faces another issue brought to light during this stay in the hospital--a "mass" in one of her breasts. A biopsy has been done and we're waiting for the results. However, there won't be much that can be done if it's the big "C"--she's far too frail for any radical surgery, and too weak to withstand chemotherapy.

So we're all going to do our best to take care of her, come-what-may. Each day will be a gift and we'll take each one as it comes.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Now: Extra Carnival of Cordite for the same price!

The Carnival of Cordite is up at Resistance is Futile! This is a special double edition--there was no carnival last week. Lots of links on the New Orleans gun confiscation issue and the role of the gun in disaster preparedness.

As always, in the interest of full disclosure (Open your eyes! I said disclosure, not exposure!), I have an entry in this edition.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

So what's up with the New Orleans gun confiscations and forced evacuations?

Now there's an interesting question that seems to have no definitive answer.

There has been much talk around the blogosphere and on the gun boards about last weeks' apparent confiscation of guns from legal gun owners. (If you missed it, GeekWithA.45 has the recap here, here, here, here and here. Busy fellow, the Geek.)

We've seen video of various LEOs acting in a manner that has inflamed a lot of 2nd Amendment advocates, including GOA and JFPO.

But here's the thing--the whole subject seems to have fallen off the face of the planet, at least as far as the legacy media is concerned. There was a big "plop" of news Thursday and early Friday, then...nothing much. Things go back to "possible" forced evacuations and guns stop being mentioned at all.

To confound the situation, the Department of Conflicting Messages has sent out news on residents being allowed to return to the city and the New Orleans airport is reopening to commercial traffic (you'll need BugMeNot).

Look, either the place is improving faster than anyone expected, in which case the privately owned firearms aren't a problem, or it's still a dangerous place, in which case the firearms become a necessity.

So what was going on in New Orleans last week? Did we have an out-of-control local government acting illegally and getting quickly and quietly reigned in? Did the media misreport the facts? Anyone? Bueller?

I'm going to keep trolling for credible first hand reports and hopefully unedited video of events. So far, I've found several reports that someone says "Hey, this is from my buddy who is a ________ with the _________ in New Orleans doing the Good Work," but none of them are confirmable. No names, no dates, no nothing.

If anyone has anything they're will to share, let me know. If I find anything, I'll do the same. In the meantime, all us gun owners, survivalist-types and similar sorts need to keep paying attention to this. It's important, and you can bet there will be a test.

What a difference a day makes

Want to get 3 doctors and a floor full of nurses confused? Have one of their patients, one that they've pretty much decided will not survive, get better.

Yup. Medical science is confounded at the moment, right here in River City. My Mom is conscious for periods of an hour or more, she has been able to take a clear liquid diet by mouth (with help), and is able to acknowledge questions by nodding her head--plus she looks healthier. This isn't as good as she was before she began a slide 2 weeks ago, but it's so far improved from what she was 24 hours ago that it's simply remarkable.

Of course, that little voice in back of my head warns "You've heard the old folks talking about 'someone getting better to die'," and indeed I've seen such things myself. I admit the possibility, but even if it happens, we were able, her grandchildren included, to spend some final quality time with her before her passing.

If it doesn't happen, then even better. Either way, we've been given a gift.

More later. It's late and I'm tired. The bed beckons....