Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On charity

Reading yesterday's Merry Christmas greetings, it occurs to me that some of you may think I've went all mushy for the holiday season, or worse, the Florida heat has affected my thinking. So I thought a few thoughts on charity and the nature of charity might be in order.

One of Daughter's Christmas presents was DVD copies of the TV show "House". Now, "House" might seem to be unrelated to the discussion of charity, but it isn't. Last night we watched the episode "TB or Not TB", where the question was whether a doctor who spent most of his time working with the poor in Africa was a selfless martyr to his cause of tuberculosis eradication or a self-serving publicity hound whose acts of charity were actually his way of getting his ego stroked.

When you have a smart kid, things like this are guaranteed to start a conversation. Especially when you're engaged in a family vacation where money is being spent rather freely (as opposed to normal) and the point is made that $20 of medicine can save a life. So we had a midnight talk on the nature of charity. I think there are several kinds, some good, some bad, some indifferent.

One kind of charity is when we do something for someone, just because we can. It makes us "feel good", and usually helps out the recipient for a short period only. Dropping money into the Salvation Army's red kettles or donating to a disaster fund usually falls into this category. We could characterize it as giving a man a fish. We fed him today, but done nothing to help the real root of his problem.

Another kind of charity, and a more difficult one sort out, helps the recipient out for a long time--perhaps for their entire life. I find it hard to come up with really good examples of this, since all of the candidates, such as Habitat For Humanity or the millionaire who said he would send an entire class of kids to college, or the gazillioanire computer geek who funds good works, always have some element of self-aggrandizement (intentional or unintentional, real or imagined) for the founder. We could characterize this along the lines of handing over the keys to a well-stocked fish market. It may help or it may hurt; it may be used foolishly or wisely.

However, there is the sort of charity where your donation is anonymous to the recipient and the world at large, and has the potential to change a life or lives forever. (That link is an example; there are plenty of others.) You, as donor, still get to feel good, but the self-aggrandizement aspect is eliminated. Charity in a purer form, if you will. We have taught someone to fish.

And this is the sort of charity I have in mind when I say "Think about those who are less fortunate than you during this season, and reflect on what you can do to help them out." Give someone your catch if that's what you desire, but better to teach them to catch their own.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from the Freehold South.

I was a little worried about just how much Christmas it could be, several hundred miles from home and in the midst of strangers. But I realized that I have my family with me, and that's what really makes Christmas.

Here's wishing all of you a Merry Christmas. Please remember our fighting men and women, both overseas and here at home, and their families as well. Think about those who are less fortunate than you during this season, and reflect on what you can do to help them out. Ponder on the wickedness and evil in our world, and play your part to eliminate them. But most of all, come up with one thing you can do in the coming year to make this world a little better place, and just do it.

Think of it as your Christmas present to your fellow man.

Why we don't allow Liberals/Progressives/Whatevers to write Christmas stories

(Found on the local newspapers' website, which must remain nameless for OpSec.)

"A Charlie Brown Holiday": Charlie Brown is tasked with directing the play for his school's Winter Season celebration. When Charlie fails miserably at picking out a proper holiday tree, Linus hops onto the stage to try to cheer him up with a moving monologue about the true meaning of Christmas. But once Linus mentions angels appearing before shepherds in the fields announcing the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem, he is suspended by the faculty for imposing Christianity upon his classmates. Despondent, Charlie Brown returns home and finds that Snoopy's holiday light display has won the neighborhood's Season of Lights contest. In the end, Charlie Brown's pals show up and help decorate his holiday tree, and cheering him up with a rousing chorus of nonoffensive holiday songs bereft of references to Christ or Christmas.

Yep.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Greetings from the Freehold South

I won't bore you (much) with the details of a family vacation. If you've ever traveled, you know what that's like. Interstates, rest stops and so on are the same everywhere. Add a 30' travel trailer and a campground, and you have the story. (There was one cool part--the campground was near Ft. Stewart, Ga., home of the Third Infantry Division. Merry Christmas, guys!)

So we arrived, set up the camper, and yesterday was Day One at the House of the Mouse. Don't believe me? Wait, I can prove it! I have pictures!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Heading South

The Family Freeholder is heading south toward a warmer clime and the House of the Mouse, among other attractions. Time and Wi-Fi access permitting, I'm planning on blogging, perhaps with pictures, from the remote location.

Let's see...how did that go?



Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ammo prices got you down?

(Found on The High Road)

If you shoot, you've probably been wondering if ammo prices will ever stop rising. gun-deals.com can't make them stop rising, but it will help you find the lowest price possible. Bookmark this one, folks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"...absolutely nothing illegal..."

(Via the Drudge Report)

"Reverend" Al Sharpton is reportedly on an FBI videotape cutting a deal with a fundraiser in a New York hotel room. For $25,000, Sharpton would help Ronald A. White win a multi-million dollar business deal. Normally, this would be a legitimate business deal. However, when you're a candidate for the 2004 Democratic nomination for President of the United States, this takes on a new and questionable aspect.

Of course, "Reverend" Al says he did "absolutely nothing illegal", and goes on to say,

"The tapes vindicate me," Sharpton said. "They show that I did not talk about bribing a public official or paying money under the table."

Maybe, maybe not. As the article says, the investigation continues. One thing for certain, though. If Al Sharpton, known for his politics of racial division, class envy and hate, takes a fall for this, winding up spouting his nonsense from the inside of a Federal penitentiary, we're all going to be a little bit better off. It'd be nicer if people simply saw him for the hypocrite he is and started laughing every time he opened his mouth, but this would work for me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Read this book

(Via Gun Talk)

I have to listen to Gun Talk via podcast, since no radio station here will dare to carry a show about *gasp* guns! That means I'm usually behind. I wish I wasn't, because a lot of people I know would have gotten this for Christmas. This is an important book.

The Great New Orleans Gun Grab: Descent Into Anarchy is the real story of what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Mayor Ray Nagin's attempted confiscation of firearms from the population. Not what the major media told us, but the real story as told to the authors by the people who had to suffer through it. It also has a lot of other tales from that time that our government and the media would prefer disappear down the memory hole.

Spread the word, folks.

What a wimp

(Via the Drudge Report)

State police say a teacher at Booth Free School barricaded herself in a classroom Wednesday when she mistook someone singing a Guns N' Roses song over the public address system for a threat.

O-o-o-o-K...I've got nothing for this one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

High geekery--Time Nuts

OK, this gets a 9.0 on the WayCool-o-Meter.

Amateur Time Hackers Play With Atomic Clocks at Home


Be sure to catch Part 2 when it comes out.

Oh, and I must have one of the hockey puck clocks. Anybody know their proper name?

Santa Claus, data thief

Well, sort of. At least it's nice to know that other countries have people who are fully as stupid as some of our citizens.

Santa Claus could be breaking privacy laws in his collection and use of data about British children, experts have warned.

I hope the experts all get a nice lump of coal in their stocking.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Something you're not going to see a lot of in the Lame-stream Media

I haven't blogged much about the recent spate of shootings. Others, such as Say Uncle, Michael Bane and others have been there since the beginning, and are doing a fine job. No need for "Me too!"

However, there is one thing that I want to point out. In the Colorado church shootings, one brave woman with a gun put an end to a nutjob's rampage. Jeanne Assam, a lot of people owe you a debt. You saved their lives and added a bit of chlorine to the gene pool at the same time.

I'd heard about this lady early today, and checked the major news sites for confirmation. Nothing. It didn't fit their script, so it must not have happened. However, tonight I found the story link on the Drudge Report. And surprise, surprise! It's now on the majors as well. Don't you know they're hating this. It's not bad enough a good gal with a gun stopped this guy, but they're forced to print the story they'd rather bury just to keep up with the new media. (Got to hate that Internet thingy. Why, anybody with a keyboard can just put news up there--no editors or anything!)

Us gunnies know that when one wannabe famous wacko with a gun decides to go out in a hail of bullets, we'll have several more who try to one up him. This time, someone with a gun was there to stop the challenger. It'll be interesting to see if another one steps up for his turn, or if Jeanne Assam saves the lives of people she's never met in a city she's never visited--simply because of what she did yesterday.

Friday, December 07, 2007

December 7, 1941

"...a date which will live in infamy..."

Today, we remember the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Click the link and then just sit there. Turn the sound up.)

God bless the memory of all those who suffered and died this day.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Absolutely and utterly NSFW

(Found on Timebomb 2000)

And if you click on it, you might want to cover your keyboard, too.

Tragedy compounding tragedy

John Lott hits it out of the park:

A Google news search using the phrase "Omaha Mall Shooting" finds an incredible 2,794 news stories worldwide for the last day. From India and Taiwan to Britain and Austria, there are probably few people in the world who haven’t heard about this tragedy.

But despite the massive news coverage, none of the media coverage, at least by 10 a.m. Thursday, mentioned this central fact: Yet another attack occurred in a gun-free zone.

In many states, compromises were made to get concealed carry laws through. One that should have never been made was to allow property holders to ban concealed weapons from their property. You can go on with academic arguments about property rights all day, but I deal with reality. Owners of places like malls have lawyers whose job is to "keep them out of trouble". These lawyers will always suggest posting "No weapons signs", because A) they think it will protect them from lawsuits and B) it's a feel-good measure that costs next to nothing.

It's about time that someone explores the legal theory that if you prohibit me from protecting myself, then you assume the responsibility for my protection, and if you fail, I can sue the crap out of you, and make it cost a very significant amount.


"Gun free zones" my ass. "Safety free zones" is more like it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

DVD sales are off

Hollyweird is worried that sales of DVD movies are tanking. As a public service, The Freeholder will enlighten you Hollyweirdos on why this is happening.

First, in case you haven't noticed, the economy is soft. Lots of bad economic news is out there, if you care to look. In times like these, while you cut back on big houses, fast cars and drugs, normal people cut back on what are known as "discretionary purchases". Discretionary purchases are things we want, as opposed to than things we need. We need food, fuel and shelter. We want DVDs. DVDs lose.

Second, many of us don't want to buy DVDs, when we know that a new, much improved version is out there. Of course, since you can't get your act together on a format (I'm talking Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD here), many of us are now sitting on purchases of movies. Get your act together on a format, please.

Third, we're getting tired of paying $20 for a movie and then seeing it in the Wal-mart cheapie bins for $10 in two or three months. We'll just hold off and save 50%, thanks.

Fourth, most of your movies suck. They weren't worth going to see at a theater, and they aren't worth watching at home. So we don't buy them, or we wait for them to show up in the 2 for $11 super-cheapie bins at Wal-mart. Then if we buy them and they are really as bad as everyone warned us, at least our range targets aren't quite so expensive.

I hope this helps. I know it's hard when you're so disconnected from reality.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Warm and cozy

One of the reasons that Mrs. Freeholder and I were able to agree on this particular house to be The Freehold v2 was the existence of a large masonry fireplace with a lined flu. A plus is that the fireplace had a heatolator insert with fan. As a special bonus, there was an additional, never used flu to the basement.

All this appealed to the preparedness streak in me. The fireplace meant we could have nice, crackling fires in the winter and generate extra heat for the house, which Mrs. Freeholder wanted, while the flu to the basement meant the possibility of a wood furnace--great for emergency heat or for simply keeping the house warm for less.

Last winter, time didn't permit us to do anything much about the subject. I was adamant that we would not use either without a professional chimney inspection, and we had way too many higher priorities. So we put up with a cold house. I can testify to the fact that heat pumps suck. Sure, the house was warm, but it was the coldest 70o I've ever lived in. I was glad to see warm weather.

This year nearly saw us back in the same place. However, rising energy costs plus a pretty decent supply of wood goaded me into getting things done. I called a local chimney guy who came very well recommended. He examined the flues, and gave me the bad news. One, the one to the basement, was a total loss. Because of poor construction when the house was built 28 years ago, the liner would have to be broken out, a cleanout door installed, and a new stainless steel liner installed. Major $$. The other was salvageable, however, it was too small and too short for a fireplace. It would have to be relined, and a wood insert installed. Also major $$.

After much discussion, we decided to write off the one to the basement. Chimney Guy had an old Emerald woodstove in excellent condition, and he would make us a package price on it plus relining. Mrs. Freeholder and I decided we would live with the compromise.

Last Thursday, Chimney Guy and Associates arrived and relined the chimney and installed the woodstove. (Pity the poor Chimney Guy and Associates. They wound up having to break out the liner in the fireplace flu as well, all for the lack of 3/4". Hard work.) We had our first fire Saturday night, and have had one every night since. Even though I spent my teens through 20s heating with wood, every stove and every house is different, and we're still learning how this particular combination of house and stove works. Tonight, the house is warm without being hot for the first time. The cheery crackle of the fire is still visible behind a removable screen, and Mrs. Freeholder doesn't mind the mess that goes with a wood stove (so far). The heat pump is not running, even with temps in the lower 30s as I type. There is enough wood to get us through the winter already cut and stacked. Son and I will split some of it Saturday.

I am content.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Didja ever hear the one...

About the mule between two bales of hay? He was so dumbfounded over his choice, he starved to death.

It would seem the eco-idiots are in the same fix--again. Sort of like "Paper or plastic?" "Cloth or disposable." "S**t or go blind."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Was Ben Franklin wrong?

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." So sayeth Benjamin Franklin, at least. However, the eco-fools who work for the Canadian government disagree:

The government-commissioned study says the old, inefficient "beer fridges" that one in three Canadian households use to store their Molson and Labatt's contribute significantly to global warming by guzzling gas- and coal-fired electricity.

"People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles," British environmental consultant Joanna Yarrow tells New Scientist magazine. "Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home. This research helps inform people — let's hope it has an effect."


OK, we can argue whether or not a beer fridge is a "frivolous luxery", but I can sort of see their point--you Canadians just need to have more efficient beer fridges. Not a problem, right?

University of Alberta researcher Denise Young, who led the study, suggests that provincial authorities hold beer-fridge buy-backs or round-ups to eliminate the threat — methods that Americans use to get guns off the streets.

OK, now we have a problem. I guess you have loonies in other places than on your currency, huh?

Damn speculators

Will someone explain to me how a pipeline fire justifies a run-up in the price of crude oil? Yeah, yeah, I know the argument that the financial geeks will trot out--it has a negative effect on the supply of oil, and that will tend to increase prices.

I call BS on that. The pipeline is a transport mechanism. The supply of oil is the same now as it was this time yesterday. The only thing that has changed is that our ability to transport a smallish fraction of the total we use in a day has been disrupted. Even that isn't as bad as it was last night--the fire is out and 2 of the 3 pipelines shutdown have been restarted. At the worst, this should cause a blip in the price of refined goods somewhere down the line.

In Shakespeare's Henry VI, there is a famous line, uttered by the character Dick: " The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.". Dick was wrong. The first thing we need to do is kill all the speculators, as least metaphorically. These people are, IMHO, the proximate cause of many of the drastic price increases we're seeing these days, as well as the unrealistic run-up of the stock and bond markets. They may (or may not, I'm not convinced of it) serve some useful purpose in the markets, they need to be reigned in--fast. Otherwise, we're all going to be in the poorhouse, while they laugh all the way to the country club.

Those of you who are better educated in the financial world feel free to correct me or otherwise take me to task. But I'm sick and tired of this transfer of my hard-earned coin to these bloodsuckers who add no real value to the market process that I can detect.

Now there's an idea...

A 400-year-old book covered in a sheet of wrinkled human skin is going under the hammer in a bizarre auction.

Now, believe it or not, that isn't what I'm thinking of here. Admittedly it's unusual, but here's what I found really interesting:

The practice, known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, had a novelty value hundreds of years ago. The most popular were court reports of murders that were covered in the skin of the perpetrator. (emphasis added)

I doubt the practice would serve as a deterrent to those who would commit a capital offense in the short term, but long term, I just have to wonder....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sometimes progress...isn't

OK, time for some computer geekery, and a little helpful advice from The Freeholder.

Long-time readers know that I work in the computer industry, doing things I can't mention for a place I can't name. As a part of my work, knowledge of Windows is one of my stocks in trade.

When Windows Vista came out about a year ago, there was what I felt was the predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth. I wrote this off as typical end user resistance to change, with a side order of Microsoft bugs. However, as time has passed and I've had the opportunity to work with Vista, and I've listened to others who have worked with Vista, I've come to a conclusion: Vista is not a worthwhile upgrade. You don't want Vista. Stick to XP, or go buy a Mac.

The thing that really got me into posting mode on this was this piece on News.com where Windows XP was benchmarked as running twice as fast as Vista on the same tasks. (You can get somewhat more gory technical detail here if you need it.)

So here's some free advice from The Freeholder. If you have an older, non-Core 2 duo machine, stick with XP. You can run XP along with a good security suite such as Trend Micro Internet Security on any Pentium 4 with 512 MB of RAM and get acceptable performance for all everyday tasks. (Of course, a faster processor and more RAM won't hurt. I'm running that configuration of a 3.0 GHz P4 with 1.5 GB of RAM, and it hums along pretty quickly.)

If you buy a new machine, depending on the model and the brand, you may get a choice of XP or Vista. If you get a choice, take XP for now, but be sure to get at least 2 GB RAM installed (4 would be better), and be sure that you can upgrade to Vista for free at a later time if things should change for the better with Vista.

If you decide on a machine that only comes with Vista, then get the fastest processor, the most gee-whiz video card and the most RAM (up to 4 GB) that you can afford. Be sure all your peripherals (printers, scanners etc.) are either new or have Vista drivers available from the manufacturer. Be prepared to change or upgrade a lot of your software, and work on your patience. You're going to need it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brother, can you spare a dime

OK, fellow gunnies, time to put our money where our mouth is. Everyone knows that Heller v. DC has made it to the Supreme Court. What many of us don't realize is that this sort of fight has some significant dollar costs, not just for the plaintiff and defendant, but for those who do such things as file amicus curiae briefs.

A group of pro-Second Amendment academics are doing just that, and they need some financial assistance. Go to their site Academics for the Second Amendment, and hit the PayPal button. Or if you can't bring yourself to use PayPal (and I can't blame you), you can send the donation to:

Academics for the Second Amendment
Post Office Box 131254
St. Paul, Minn. 55113

They don't suggest an amount, but I think it would be a nice touch to make it what a box of ammo for your favorite gun would cost.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And here we go

Boys and girls, for better or worse, we've gotten what we've asked for--SCOTUS has granted cert on Heller v. DC.

This is a high stakes game, for us as well as those who are against individual freedom. We may get the Second declared as an individual right (as I believe it plainly is), it could be interpreted as a collective right (queue the Third American Revolution) or it could be a narrowly tailored ruling between those between those two extremes.

Now it's time to hold our breath and wait for the reporting on the inevitable friends briefs and the actual arguments. We have the best possible case for this--a clean defendant and abundant and excellent legal counsel. We have what appears to be the friendliest court in decades, in terms of their outlook on the Constitution. Public opinion, despite what the lame-stream media says, seems to be on our side.

Let's pray that is enough.

What's that music I hear?

(Via the Drudge Report)

It might be the Fat Lady singing:

When Tom Brokaw, an old-time mainstream media figure in his own right, says he thinks print newspapers won’t be around in 10 years, that’s probably not a good sign for the industry.

While he may be correct about the bigger, national papers, I suspect that smaller, closer to the reader dead-tree outlets will still have a future. At the very least, they will have a chance to survive, since they're still close enough to their readers to understand the nature of the feedback they get.

What a comeuppance for the Legacy Media, if it happens. At least this time, we'll get to see if the dinosaurs realize they're dying out.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I didn't sign no freakin' contract!

John Walker at Fourmilog has apparently been considering the subject of governments and the coercive powers thereof. (If I were governments, I'd be worried. The man is a formidable thinker. He may just come up with a workable replacement if he decides it's worth his time.)

His research led him to a fact that is both astounding and frightening--in 2004, there were 104,883 Federal government employees who carried firearms in the course of their work. As he points out (with some hyperbole):

What is stunning are not the items at the top of the table: it makes sense that customs agents, border and federal prison guards, FBI agents, and the like carry guns, but rather those you find as you go down the list. [The “(IG)” annotation indicates that these people work for the Inspector General office of the respective agency, which is kind of its internal security branch.] First of all, look at what ultimately happens if you don't pay your taxes: there are 2,777 employees of the Internal Revenue Service authorised to carry weapons to shoot you down. Further down the list, we find that the Department of Health and Human Services has need of 374 pistol-packing Inspectors General to maintain its own departmental health by threatening human life. The Department of Housing and Urban Development manages to get along with a mere 213, while the Environmental Protection Agency issues 209 licenses to kill to keep the air and water pristine.

If these numbers don't worry you, then you need to start paying closer attention.


Exceptional professionalism is a job requirement

Before someone want to bash me as a "cop hater", let me point out a little something--if you are in a position of exceptional responsibility, then you'd better expect to be held to a higher standard than Joe Average. If you don't, this is what will eventually happen to you:

The Hoboken, N.J., SWAT team was axed from the department on Friday after pictures surfaced showing Hooters waitresses posing with their guns, sprawled on top of police vehicles and dangling off the shoulders of officers....

And no, it doesn't matter if they were departmental guns or not. It doesn't matter if they were in uniform or not. It doesn't matter if they were in Hoboken or not. What matters is that they thought that they wouldn't be held to that higher standard called for by their positions of exceptional responsibility.

It pisses me off that these idiots were allowed to keep their jobs. Why? They've already demonstrated that their standards of behavior are somewhat less than expected.

As a holder of a concealed carry permit, I have an exceptional responsibility. I carry around an item that gives me a huge advantage, and if necessary, tremendous coercive power over most people I meet. By the laws of my state and my senses of personal responsibility and morality, I must perform to a higher level than the unarmed public. If I display that gun inappropriately, believe me when I say that I will be held to a very high standard. I can conceivably lose the gun, the permit and go to jail. Why should our police, charged with enforcing the law, be held to a lesser standard?

Dumbasses. Thank you so much for helping hammer the public's trust in their police again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hm-m-m

Here's an interesting site, the Grandfather Economic Report. There's a lot there to read, but if you're short on time, look at some of the graphs on inflation, earnings, Federal spending and so on. You'll get your eyebrows raised.

One thing I like about this site is that the sources for the data contained in the charts is cited. I've checked a couple, and found that the charts on the subject were accurate. Of course, that just makes them scarier.

Updating the blogroll

I keep a "Blogs for consideration" folder in my bookmarks. Every time I find a blog that's interesting, I chuck the URL in there, and every so often I go through them, and see if they're still interesting to me. If they are, they get added to the blogroll.

(Yes, I know that getting added to my blogroll is roughly equivalent to having a stranger compliment you on your choice of shirts.)

Well, the folder was getting full, and I've just taken time to go through it. About a third of the entries stayed there, to be checked on again at a later date. This happens not because the subject matter isn't interesting, but because they only post once every 2-3 months. That's OK if you're an essayist, and your posts are 6,000 words long. Not so good if they're only 100 words long. Good grief, I've gotten lazy about posting and I do better than that.

About a third didn't make the cut, and got deleted. Not enough good posts since I last looked.

And the last third has just been added to the blogroll. There are a number of new preparedness/survival sites, a bunch of gun sites, and some that are just interesting. Check out a few and see if you find someone interesting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sorry, but we don't want your business

(Via Kim du Toit)

STI, purveyor of some of the nicer specimens of John Moses Browning's 1911 design, has decided that California is not a good place to do business in any longer, joining Barrett Firearms in refusing to sell their products in that state.

OK, Springfield, Winchester, Remington, Ruger et al--time to put up or shut up. Do you really support the Second Amendment? If you do, one of your loyal customers (10 guns between the 4 of you) is asking you nicely to jump on the bandwagon. It's time to go on the offensive against the forces of anti-freedom. Refuse to sell in California.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Once again, we honor our veterans

Yesterday, the small town in North Carolina where I live honored our veterans with a parade. (It was on Saturday, because the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was on a Sunday this year, and no one is going to interrupt church services, even for this.) This year, it was extra special, since Daughter, a company commander in her Army JROTC brigade, marched the state flag. This was her first parade in JROTC.

I was pleasantly surprised that along the entire parade route, roughly a mile long, there were very few gaps along the route. The area really turned out to support our veterans. I was really pleased with the applause given those who had served.

You have to love living in a place where the people understand what their military has bought them at so high a cost.

Jarring contrasts

This year, we're taking an extra month at Camp Freehold. The weather is good, and we've missed a lot of weekends this summer for one reason and another. An added benefit is that the campground is lightly populated and very quiet. This is exacerbated by the change back to Eastern Standard Time, since it's now dark by 6 PM.

Last night, Mrs. Freeholder decided that she really didn't want to be taken out to eat, and instead requested BBQ from a nearby eatery.

Obliging husband and BBQ freak that I am, I agreed and set off to the restaurant. It was dark, it was cold and it was quiet. The road was without traffic. The headlights bored a tunnel through the cold darkness as I drove.

Crossing the Yadkin River bridge, I could see the restaurant ahead. It was lit as usual, which is to say that the owners aren't going to spend much money on lights for the parking lot. I parked and got out of the car. Still cold and quiet. This place is the only eatery for quite some way on this highway, and attracts a large, but mostly local, crowd. Most nights groups would be standing in the parking lot after their meal, talking. Not tonight.

I walked around the corner to the door, and went inside. I was assaulted by light, warmth and the babble of families all around me. The aroma of food was heavy on the air. I placed my order and sat at the counter to wait for my food.

As I waited, others came and went. Old men, toothpicks in the corner of their mouths, paid their bills, greeted old friends, answered questions about kids and grandkids and opened the door for their wives as they left.

Other, younger men entered, obviously fresh in from the field--it was the first day of centerfire season for deer. Some were in groups of men and their sons, for others, it was Mom meeting them there after a day's unsuccessful hunt. They were still in their camouflage and boots.

"Hey, where'dja git that light on yore hat? That's pretty neat."

"Yeah, I used t' have to hold the flashlight in ma teeth, but I saw one of these at Wal-mart. You can git em 'bout anywhere--that little convenience store in Reeds has em."

"Didja see any today?"

"Yup. Saw an 8-pointer, but it was too late t' shoot."

"Alright son, git in there in th' bathroom and go. Why dinja go before we left the woods?"

About that time, I heard "Sweetie, your order's ready. You need napkins, ketchup, salt or some dip?"

I got some of each, and paid the bill. Then I took my food back into the cold darkness, and made the journey home to the light and warmth of my family.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Credit where credit is due

I'll give the leftists one thing--they can stick to their playbook like no group I've ever seen.

Democrats controlling the House of Representatives will try again to bring American combat in Iraq to an end when it debates legislation this week tying new war funds to troop withdrawals, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

Of course, isn't there a quote about insanity being defined as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome? Oh well, look at it this way--if they're on this topic, at least they aren't trying to raise our taxes.

Global warming is a scam?

(Via the Drudge Report)

I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you. This may actually rise to the level of incensed!

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create in [sic] allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Boys and girls, that's a part of a paper written by John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, and published on ICECAP, the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project.

Mean old John Coleman. I bet Al Gore's crying all over his carbon credits.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Spew Alert

(Stolen without conscience from the Heartless Libertarian)

And I'm nice enough to warn you.

NC voters exhibit good sense

In the 16 counties where a propsed real estate transfer tax, meant to fund things like schools and roads made necessary by unrestrained growth, was put on the ballot, it was defeated by a margin of 3-to-1 or better.

It seems to me that people are getting tired that the burden for expanded services to meet an ever-growing population falls on everyone in sight, rather than on those who are "the growth". Or maybe they're simply tired of unrestrained growth and the seemingly bottomless pit of services we provide for illegal aliens. Or perhaps they remembered that we were sold on the idea of a lottery in order to fund educational needs, including new schools. Or possibly they've decided that their taxes are high enough. Who knows.

Now if people would just stop electing Democrats to positions of power, we wouldn't have to worry about defeating new taxes every time we turn around.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A rifleman's prayer

Kim du Toit is on a roll lately--that's why you're seeing a lot of links to his posts. Today the one of interest is on anti-Semitism. The post is good, the post it references is good, and the comments are equally good. I've never understood this particular kind of hate, but based on what I see and hear, it's starting up again. Kim is seing the same thing, and he's pretty well pissed. A lot of his readers are as well, judging from those comments.

Now, like the man said, I told you that so I can tell you this. In one of the comments, there was a prayer. Another commenter identified it as The Rifleman's Prayer, by John Muir. I've tried to confirm that, but can't. But no matter who penned the words, it's worth spreading far and wide. One day soon, if things don't change, we may find ourselves needing them.

Oh Lord, I would live my life in freedom, peace and happiness, enjoying the simple pleasures of hearth and home. I would die an old, old man in my own bed, preferably of sexual overexertion.

But if that is not to be, Lord, if monsters such as this should find their way to my little corner of the world on my watch, then help me to sweep those bastards from the ramparts, because doing that is good, and right, and just.

And if in this I should fall, let me be found atop a pile of brass, behind the wall I made of their corpses.

OK, it's an oldie

(Via Timebomb 2000)

But it's still a goodie. Enjoy it again.

An interesting blog

Here's an interesting blog I just tripped over--Paper Economy. It bills itself as a "real estate bubble blog", and the content is quite interesting. If your following our economy as it subsides, you need to check this out.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Closer than I'd care for

This one can be filed under a lot of things--Thank You Lord, why I carry concealed, why North Carolina's concealed carry laws are stupid, Bad Guys don't obey laws, why situational awareness is important, and probably some others that don't occur to me right now.

1 Killed In Shooting At Mocksville Steakhouse

Myself, Mrs. Freeholder, Daughter and Son ate supper there about 5 hours earlier. Mr. Jones' name doesn't ring a bell, but it wouldn't surprise me if a picture does. In any case, my sympathies go out to his family.

The Thank You Lord part ought to be obvious enough.

Situations like this are why I got my concealed carry permit--you never know when you may find yourself in a bad situation. North Carolina's concealed carry laws are stupid because this particular restaurant serves alcohol, which means I can't legally carry there--even if I refrain from drinking. This was a concession made to the anti-freedom forces to get the concealed carry legislation through that august yet foolish body, the NC Legislature.

Bad Guys don't obey laws--well there's a news flash for you, Sparky. Is anyone surprised about that?

Situational awareness should be obvious as well. Always remember, the best place to be in a gunfight is...elsewhere. You only get in a gunfight if there is no other viable alternative. Keep yourself aware of your surroundings, and you might have enough advance warning to be elsewhere before the fight breaks out. Even if you can't, those seconds might just save your life.

Even from 5 hours away, this was much too close for comfort.

Well...

(Via Kim du Toit)

The Verve is together and on tour. I wonder if we dare hope for an album?

Oh, and guys...let's be careful who we sample, OK?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Urban Assault Wheelbarrow

(Via Timebomb 2000)

If you've been around the various gun forums on the web, or the old Usenet rec.guns group before that, you're probably familiar with the name "Gunkid". (By even daring to say that name, I have probably invoked his puny wrath. But hey, I'm strong in my faith.)

Well, who'd have though he was at the cutting edge of military technology?

Daughter's car will have one of these

(Via The LawDog)

Don't foget

Don't forget to stock up on some caliber that will make Hillary cry.

Or as Kim du Toit notes, "It's for the children".

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pretty sad

We had 11 Trick or Treaters tonight. Yes, I said eleven. We gave up at 8:30, after 45 minutes without so much as a single kid. Pretty damn sad. We used to go out in groups that big when I was a kid.

I'm not upset because we put a ton of effort into decorating, because we didn't. I'm not upset because we bought a bunch of candy that we have to get rid of. What bothers me is the simple fact that kids aren't trick or treating any more. Yeah, the world's a big scary place, but for crying out loud, you can't wrap your kids up in bubble wrap. By all means go along for the walk and keep an eye on them, but let your kids get out and have a little fun.

And for all you people who don't buy some candy and flip on the porch light to attract the little ghosties and goblins--shame on you. If you're well and truly poor, and can't afford it, fine. If you have to work, fine, But the rest of you--what's the problem? Is it too much work? You don't like kids? You're afraid they'll trample the flowers? Did some little miscreant throw a candy wrapper in your yard 10 years ago? What?

It's a damn pitiful state of affairs, I'm tellin' ya.

Trick or Tax!

(Via the Drudge Report)

If you live in Iowa, and you've decorated for Halloween, you may have an unexpected bill with the tax man.

The Iowa Department of Revenue, often accused of trying to squeeze blood out of turnips, is now searching for pennies in pumpkins. A new department policy this year has made Halloween jack-o'-lanterns subject to the state sales tax, and many Iowa pumpkin growers are feeling tricked.

The tax man's position is that pumpkins are used primarily for decoration, not for food (which is apparently untaxed in Iowa). One supposes that the tax man has never had pumpkin pie with his Thanksgiving Day feast.

I suppose that eventually corn will also be taxed, since so many folks use corn as a part of their yard decoration in the fall. Oh crap! Is that a pumpkin? Honey, where's the checkbook?

Happy Halloween

At The Freehold, Halloween is a fairly special tradition. It goes on for several days, beginning the weekend before All Hallows Eve with festivities at Camp Freehold and ending with the ritual dispensing of the goodies on Halloween Night.

I get a particular kick out of the little kids. I suppose it's remembering back to Halloweens from my childhood, trick-or-treating around my neighborhood.

So here's wishing you many little ghosties and goblins, all out to save you from yourself by eliminating that stash of candy you bought.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

How can...

A story have a happy ending and make you cry? Read this and find out.

LawDog, you sir are a Peace Officer, and a fine one at that. I hope Bugscuffle appreciates just how fortunate they are to have you.

NetApp rocks!

I don't normally blog about work. Such things can be hazardous to a blogger's health. To many folks have lost jobs over it. But this just has to go out to the masses, and this is my only way of doing it.

I run a small IT shop in an industry not to be identified for an employer you may not know. For storing our files, I rely on systems from Network Appliance. They're expensive, and they're good--in the unspeakable number of years I've used their equipment, I've had two failures.

This morning, I bopped into the office and started the first thing check of email. Right at the top were two messages from my NetApp filer. The gist of them was that a power supply was showing weakness. Not failed, just a bit out of spec. It had already notified NetApp tech support and opened a trouble ticket. The filer is still working, because (a) the power supply hasn't failed and (b) even if it had failed, it has redundant power supplies. NetApp doesn't sell them any other way.

After an exchange of emails, tech support and I confirmed the diagnoses. Normally at this point, a vendor will overnight you the part. Not NetApp. The tech I was working with said the part would be here today. "Yeah right," was the phrase that crossed my mind.

Now I will note NetApp has a point of presence a couple of hours away, so that does make this easier, but still.... They paid for a hot-shot carrier to pick up the replacement power supply and bring it here to the employer you may not know. It arrived right before lunch, and I've just installed it, ran a test and confirmed we're back in the green.

Now, I know this piece of hardware is expensive, and we spend a pretty large amount of coin each year on maintenance. Most people would say I should expect this level of service. But as I've seen, not just in IT but all over, outstanding customer service is a rare thing, no matter how much a piece of equipment costs. This is customer service above and beyond what I think anyone could reasonably expect, and I wanted to acknowledge that. NetApp, you guys flatly ROCK!

And the best part is all those end users were never any the wiser. Buying quality pays.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The real Hillary--Uncensored!

Watching this video will be the best 13:39 you spend between now and the 2008 presidential election.

Especially if you're a Democrat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Whiskey Mike Foxtrot, over?

OK, some kind soul clue me in. The referral log is showing a bunch of hits coming in via email--like there's a message floating around, and there's a link to the blog, all referring to this post about Marc Faber's gloomy forecast.

I'm dyin' to know what ya'll are saying. :-)

Hillbilly Wisdom

Given that I'm descended from hillbillies, I'm more than slightly inclined to click on a website that has that word in the title. Somewhere along the line, I found the Hillbilly Housewife. Some of the information is a bit dated given recent price increase in food, but the $45/week Emergency Menu and the $70/week Everyday Menu are well worth saving. Balanced meals each and every day, with snacks, for a fraction of what most people spend on groceries and eating out. There's lots of other goodies there, but most of the information revolves around eating well on the cheap. Worth your time.

A light in the darkness

I was going through some old emails, and found this URL, sent to me by one of my many Internet Spies:

WT Kirkman, The Source for Tubular Hurricane Lanterns and Parts

If you click on that link, prepare to loose a significant chunk out of your evening.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fair warning?

Have you noticed that the economy seems a bit shaky of late? You know, the Dow Industrials falling 366+ points Friday, the ongoing saga relating to bad housing loans, our government covering up the true rate of inflation by removing food and energy from its calculations so us proles feel better--little things like that?

Of course you have. So has Marc Faber, editor/publisher of the aptly named "The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report". He's very pessimistic about the economy. Just how pessimistic is he? His real estate advice is to "Buy a farm and learn to drive a tractor."

Ouch.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Panty Raid!

You know, you never get to blog on everything you follow during the day, such as the recent massacre of protesters in Burma. (Sorry, I don't use the junta's name for the place.) But sometimes, you have to make time for it.

The Burmese military is facing an unexpected threat from female opponents to its regime - a deluge of panties dispatched to the country's embassies in a "in a culturally insulting gesture of protest" against its recent crackdown on protestors.

According to AP the Panties for Peace initiative is not merely symbolic, since the the group behind the campaign - Lanna Action for Burma - claims "superstitious generals, especially junta leader General Than Shwe... believe that contact with women's underwear saps them of power".

Gentlemen, now we know what the problem is. All these years, we've been trying to get into their panties, and all the time it was sapping us of our power.

For my lady readers (yes, I believe there are one or two) please support the Burmese people. Skin those things off and mail 'em to Gen. Shwe. (You don't need to send me an documentary evidence that you've done so. This isn't that kind of blog.)

And applause for Lanna Action for Burma. Ladies my...hat's...off to you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

About freakin' time

My home state has finally decided to do something about illegal aliens--besides giving them drivers licenses, that is.

Eighteen law enforcement agencies in North Carolina, more than any other state, have asked to join a program that would allow them to check the immigration status of those they arrest and jail. Sheriff's offices in Wake, Durham and Johnston counties are among those that have applied.

While I'm glad we're making a start, this is only 18 out of how many (I'm guessing 200+?) LE agencies in the state. I'm going to keep an eye open for a list of the 18, so that appropriate pressure can be brought on those who aren't taking part in this program.

On the list so far:
  • Durham County Sheriff's Office
  • Johnston County Sheriff's Office
  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office
  • North Carolina Dept. of Corrections?
  • Wake County Sheriff's Office

Monday, October 15, 2007

Memory Lane

News.com has 21 pictures from the old days--computers from the 70s.

"Why, in my day, we didn't have computers! We had paper and pencil, and we were darned glad to have 'em! Some people had to use slates and chalk!"

"Thanks, Grandpa. Now take your lorazepam like a good boy...."

=:-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Something to read and reflect on

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Here are two articles by author Naomi Wolf--American Tears and 10 Steps to Fascism. I suggest that you read them. Don't worry that one is on the Huffington Joke, and don't get your whatevers in a wad because Ms. Wolf is something of a flaming liberal. Just read them, and file them away for retrieval later.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

All units, be on the lookout for...

Claire Wolfe and her blog. Wolfesblog has been off the air for some days now, as has the website it was a part of. I know that her Hardyville series on Backwoods Home Magazine was drawn to a close, but has she completely fallen off the planet? Anyone know?

Edit, 10/14/2007: Via the Backwaterblog, it seems that Claire has decided that not only is Hardyville a done deal, but so is her web presence. Bill St. Clair has been kind enough to mirror the site here.

Thanks Claire. Enjoy your well-deserved change of pace, and feel free to jump back in the fray any old time.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Greetings from Atlanta

I'm in Atlanta for a few days for a conference. So after a hard day's conferencing, I'm laying here on the bed, connected to excellent Wi-Fi, looking at the window over Centennial Olympic Park at the Georgia Pacific building. I'm not much on big cities, but at night they can be pretty attractive.

I've tried to take a few pictures, but my little digital camera just isn't up to it without a tripod, and I didn't bring one. I guess I'm going to have to spring the bucks for one of the nice SLR versions someday soon. I've always enjoyed existing light photography, and for some reason I have an urge to return to it.

Just what I need, another hobby.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A disturbing flu development

Researchers are reporting that the H5N1 virus, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu" has mutated into a form that is closer to a human flu virus than ever before.

This might be a good time to ensure you have your preparedness act together. Currently, this virus has about a 60% death rate in humans. If a pandemic occurs, that would like go down to some extent, but do you really want to be out and about among the hacking and coughing populace?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Goodbye, Miss Moneypenny

Lois Maxwell, who portrayed Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, has died at age 80.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"There are only two things I have to do: stay black and die."

(Via The Drudge Report)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has finally broken his silence about himself and his life--and how. You should go read this (from ABC, of all places) and then order your copy of the book. It promises to be something special.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

But hey, at least we don't live in a police state

Not yet, at any rate, or Ms. Flynn would be in a camp somewhere--or worse.

While visiting her family in Hillside, N.J., Flynn spotted a car with a New York license plate parked outside the house. When she left to head back to her Brooklyn home that evening, the car followed hers. Shortly after leaving Hillside, two more vehicles, also with New York plates, seemed to be tailing her, too.

Trying to assure herself she wasn't nuts, Flynn tested her hunch - changing lanes, making turns, pulling over and parking. The drivers in those three vehicles mimicked her actions.


Somehow, I don't think these gentlemen were from the Salvation Army.

Agree or disagree with the lady's politics or causes, this sort of behavior should give us all pause. Our Constitutional Republic is at a cross-roads. Down one fork lies a return to limited government and the freedom so many have fought and died for since 1776, and down the other lies--what? My guess would be a oligarchical surveillance state, where dissent is only practiced underground and at grave danger. This state will have the trappings of democracy garishly displayed, just to assure the people that they really are "free".

But if you can't speak your mind freely without fear of repercussion, are you really free?

The reason this lady is worried is the same reason I blog anonymously. I plan on at least making it a little more difficult for the so-and-sos.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Take a test

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Here's a little test that purports to help you in selecting the presidential candidate who is closest to your viewpoint.

As you can see from the icon at the top, I'm a supporter of Fred Thompson. According to this test, he's with me 80.19% of the time. Not perfect, but definitely good enough. Mrs. Freeholder and I don't agree that much, and we've been married for nearly two decades.

Not surprisingly, my best match is Ron Paul, at 81.13%, a difference that is statistically insignificant. I also matched highly with Tom Tancredo (also at 81.13%) and Duncan Hunter (77.36%). While I could live with either of the candidates as President, for reasons stated yesterday I won't be voting for them in the primaries.

The candidates I least agree with? Dennis Kucinich at 16.98% is in last place. Just ahead of him are Obama, Dodd and Clinton, all at 22.64%. Personally I'm amazed (and a bit disturbed) that I agree with any of them this much.

Of course, tests such as this are just for fun. Anyone who would let a web test pick their candidate for them is, in my opinion, undeserving of the franchise in the first place. They're obviously too dumb to be allowed to do anything as important as vote.

The big take away is this, and it's something that I'm going to keep hammering at from time to time--no matter who you are, there is no "perfect candidate" running. If there was, it would have to be you. That's because no one will ever completely agree with you except you. This leaves you in the position of picking the candidate you agree with the most who can be elected. For some folks, this doesn't sit well, and I respect that. In the last several elections, I have actively worked for candidates who I wasn't all that happy with, not because I really wanted them in office, but because they were the best available choice.

I also understand the idea that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. However, the world is an imperfect place, and I've long since realized that I alone can not fix that. I can do my tiny little part, and that's all I can do.

Feel free to discuss this in the comments. I'm looking forward to what you have to say.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What he said

I still find it funny that it's usually our legal immigrants who seem to "get the joke" about America the best. Kim du Toit, the sorry so-and-so who inadvertently and unknowingly lead me down the path to blogdom, has two excellent posts in one day. A South African expat, he gets the joke that is America as well as anyone I've ever seen.

His first post deals with the subject of Republican Presidential candidates, and why you'll never get to perfect. I've had similar discussions with some of my commenters lately, and I've had them on various forums with others. Folks, we ain't ever going to get that perfect candidate. Even if we find him, I will guarantee that he or she is not electable on the national stage. Should a miracle occur and they get elected, they will fail utterly in getting anything useful done. Feel free to disagree, but that's the facts as I see them.

His second post deals with something many believe is occurring right now, right as I type and as you read this--America is circling the drain. Indications are that this is an accurate belief. His post was occasioned by a comment left on his blog by an old blogging acquaintance, who is, like Kim, an immigrant to the US. This fellow decided to bail to warmer climes, and says he'll return "when the shooting starts".

I can appreciate his position, and if the shooting does start, I'll welcome him with open arms. But man, we need you to stay here and help us see to it that it doesn't come to that. Because if it gets to that point--a second civil war, open revolution, whatever you want to call it--we're all going to lose. That because while we're involved with killing each other off, our real enemies, the Islamists, the Socialists, the Communists and the plain power hungry, will be biting off chunks of flesh from our national carcass. And we may find, when one side or the other finally wins, that there is no America left.

So stay here, and fight the good fight. Things appear dire, but always the optimist, I think that we can win, and get back at least some semblance of the Constitutional Republic that our forefathers won for us.

Thats' what I plan to do, and that's what I'm teaching my kids to do. Win or lose, this is my home, and I see no other place to be.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Power and government

And government power...

A federal rule, made in reaction to a 2003 blackout that started by trees sagging onto power lines, will mean that many folks will be losing trees in their yards, as utility companies who once trimmed trees (well, some would say butchered) will now be cutting them down.

Property owners, understanding that the value of their homes will decrease, are not happy. Of course, they would be unhappy if their power went out for a few days, too, but in their view, that's a risk they're willing to take. Big trees take decades to grow, but a power outage is a short-term problem that occurs infrequently.

I understand why a rule like this comes to be, and I understand why the property owners are upset. Some group of government functionaries have now substituted their judgment and their calculations of risk vs. reward for those of the effected people. That's their job, and they've been granted, for better or worse, the ability to do these things.

Lesson? That government is not your friend. It isn't concerned about you as an individual, or even you as a part of a larger group. Government has its own concerns, and when they conflict with yours...

Yours will lose.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Watch your six

It isn't something I'd normally blog about, but I hope you've all been keeping an eye on the stock market/Federal Reserve/dollar goings-on. I only understand it in the broadest terms, but it looks like those hard times us "preparedness nuts" have been warning people about may be just around the corner. No guarantees, but if there has been a chance for an out-and-out depression in the last 30 years, it's now, I think.

Part of this concern is generated by things I'm observing first-hand. Business at local tourist attractions is dropping at a time when it's usually doing well. A large group of homes has suddenly been listed for sale at a time of year when housing sales normally begin to slow. Despite media reports to the contrary, prices on gas, food and most similar goods are rising at a pretty good pace. Restaurant business is declining. Business at yard sales is booming.

Here at The Freehold, we have stepped up certain activities and moved up certain plans calling for the use of those crashing dollars. It's all things we'd have done eventually anyway, so even if nothing happens, nothing goes to waste.

If you haven't made any moves to prepare yourself for what may come, you might want to consider doing so while there is still time and it can be easily (and still somewhat cheaply) done.

It's going to be a long trip, so pack a good book

(Via Drudge)

Of course, in our modern terrorist-aware society, you might want to watch just which book you pack, lest it disturb our guardians.

The bastards would crap their pants if they saw my bookshelves.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Amnesty for illegals

You know, some people just refuse to take "HELL NO!" for an answer. It seems that the concept of amnesty for illegal aliens is going to creep our from under that rock again, this time in the form of the DREAM Act of 2007.

Cleverly disguised as an education bill (After all, who can be against education, right?), this bill appears, at least on a quick read, to be a back-door attempt to grant legal status to illegal aliens in the name of educating their children. Of course, I can't see the need for this; if you visit most schools in NC they're already overrun with the illegal alien children of illegal alien adults, getting a free (well, for them, anyway) education.

You can get more information, including a list of Congresscritters who are said to be wavering or outright supporting this legislation at the NumbersUSA web site. Luckily, NC's two Senators are are the right side of the issue, but those of you find yourself saddled with one or more CCs that aren't need to get on the stick and call, email and generally make pests of yourselves.

Folks, things like this are like us gunnies' long-running battle for our Second Amendment rights--you have to win every time, and the other side only has to win once. Let's be sure they don't get that win this time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gonna be some slow blogging

At least, it looks that way. Last week was slow, and it seems that this week, and maybe the next couple will be so as well. It seems that Fall as arrived, and all at once. It was 97° last Saturday, 79° this Saturday, and something like 52° that night. Yowser, you have to like that. Of course, it feels like you're freezing to death, because it's been so hot all summer.

And of course with the coming of fall, is fall Little League Season, county fairs, getting things ready for winter and so on. And school--I don't want to go there, yet I must. With 2 kids and Mrs. Freeholder all in school, I'm in charge of picking up the slack. Plus several large home improvement projects that require my time dealing with contractors. Oh yeah, and work. They'd like to see my smiling face from time to time. Like Monday to Friday.

So if I'm not around much, now you'll know why. And who knows--maybe I can learn to do without sleep after all.

Aim carefully

(Via the ODCMP newsletter)

"What Sight Picture Is Best For You?" by SSG Tobie Tomlinson is a top notch article on sight pictures and how and when to use specific ones. You get a bonus of 7 guidelines for effective shooting. Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

6 years on

I wrote this piece last year for the 5 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Outside up updating it to say "6th anniversary" and so forth, I see no need to change it. Successes from the surge aside, it seems that we're still in about the same place.

I fear that if we don't soon understand that we're in a real war, one to the death, our children will die cursing us if they're fortunate--or do the same in slavery if they aren't.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rule 4

Xavier has a fine piece on charges files against two police officers in Noble, OK, who killed a 5-year-old kids while trying to shoot a snake.

This entire tragedy is brought to you by Rule 4: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.

If either of these officers had considered Rule 4, this would never have happened.

Now, for review purposes, let's go over Col. Cooper's 4 Rules, with a bit of input from yours truly, shall we?

1. All firearms are always loaded

That means always. ALWAYS. I don't care if you just looked, it's still loaded. I don't care if your buddy just took it out of the safe, checked it, showed you the empty chamber and then handed you the gun. You check the chamber, it's empty, and the THE DAMN THING IS STILL LOADED. Got that?

2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy

Guns are fun. They are also destructive when used improperly. Once fired, a bullet has no eyes, no ears and no sympathy. Point the muzzle in a safe direction all the time.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot

This is simple. GUNS JUST DON'T "GO OFF". Got that? I don't care if the moron who was playing with the .357 said so to the oh-so-sympathetic reporter after he just shot his kid sister. It went off because you pulled the f'ing trigger. If you keep you finger off the trigger, no boom. Very simple.

4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it

The most anemic round ever invented can kill you from a lot further away than anyone should be comfortable with. It is a moral imperative that you, the person who has successfully followed Rules 1, 2 and 3, know exactly what it is you just aimed the muzzle at, and know what is behind it to stop that bullet should it go through the intended target. And if it isn't safe--if you wouldn't want your sainted maiden aunt 200 yards behind that target when you pull the trigger--then you take your finger off the trigger, point the muzzle in a safe direction and carefully safe the gun.

These moronic "police officers" (and I use quotes because no one this stupid truly deserves the title) should have the book thrown at them. And when it smacks them upside the head, I hope it hurts just as hard as the parents of Austin Gabriel Haley, dead on August 3, 2007 at age 5, hurt every day for the rest of their lives because two fools couldn't follow 4 simple rules successfully.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle, RIP

Author Madeleine L'Engle is dead at age 88.

As a young teen, I read "A Wrinkle in Time". Later, as an older teen, I read "A Wind in the Door" and "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" many times, even though they were supposed to be "kid's books". I could go back and read them now, and I think I'd still find them entertaining and enlightening. As she said, she didn't write down to kids, and I think that made her something of a rarity.

It's odd that, as a part of the article on her death, I find that there are 5 other books that continue the story that began in "Wrinkle". Time to track them down, and enjoy one of the pleasures of my childhood again.

Friday, September 07, 2007

GI WTF?

No longer will G.I. Joe be a U.S. Special Forces soldier, the "Real American Hero" who, in his glory days, single-handedly won World War II.

In the politically correct new millennium, G.I. Joe bears no resemblance to the original.

Paramount has confirmed that in the movie, the name G.I. Joe will become an acronym for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity" — an international, coed task force charged with defeating bad guys. It will no longer stand for government issued, as in issued by the American government.


You know, Paramount can just kiss whatever naughty part of my anatomy they care to pucker up to. And they'd better watch out--all my old Joes are going to load up in that jeep and trailer and start road-tripping for Hollyweird. And there'll be hell to pay when they get there!

Valor, delayed

Thanks, George Simko, and Godspeed. My generation can never repay your generation for all that you've done.

Goodbye, Coach Smith

I never met Coach Ronnie Smith. However, when a man like this dies, the entire human race is poorer for his passing. I thought you should know who you missed.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So what's the cyberpunk master thinking today?

(Via Wired)

Through the Looking Glass is an interview with William Gibson, the co-creator of the cyberpunk genre and the man who coined the word "cyberspace". Given the man's track record, if you want to know what the future looks like, read his work. And if you want to know about the man, read his interviews, including this one.

It's official

Fred's in.

Now, the politickin' can start for real.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Solar on the cheap

(Found on Timebomb 2000)

It's often been said that, should the lights go out for a long period of time, even a little electrical generating capacity will make a big difference in you comfort. This fellow seems to have taken that concept and ran with it.

It's a good example of what any of us could do with a bit of effort. You know, I know a place where I can get golf cart batteries pretty cheap....

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Well this isn't exactly a surprise

(Via The Countertop Chronicles)

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are an Anti-government Gunslinger, also known as a libertarian conservative. You believe in smaller government, states’ rights, gun rights, and that, as Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Take the quiz at www.FightLiberals.com



Words which, in a perfect world, could legally be responded to by gunfire.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!

If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is not trying to create an electronically accessible database which contains all the firearms sold to citizens in the U.S. (past and future), then my some thirty years in the information technology field has taught me nothing.

Red Pills sounds a bit worked up, but after reading the entire post, it probably isn't without reason. Of course, it's possible that the ATF is constructing this system to facilitate their lawful activities, but given all the bad we see from them on a regular basis (Red's Trading Post, anyone?), it's sort of hard to believe in their good will.

Like the man said, time to get cranking on the emails. It's elections season, so they're a lot more likely to listen to us now.

Monday, August 27, 2007

And one last one

Good things come in threes. Plus, I'm in a blood thirsty mood.



I like the line at the end. "Well, this is what he came to do." But he didn't meet his goal, which was to take some of our guys with him. I'd say that's a win for our side.

They're not listening

You know, Jihadis must not be the brightest bulbs in the hardware store...

Stick it in the Brady Bunch's eye

I almost missed out on this, but Kim du Toit had a pointer to it on David Codrea's blog:
On August 28, activists in cities across America will hold a national day of protest to focus attention on the scourge of illegal gun trafficking.
As I said on KABA Newslink Comments:
I'm going to try and start a blog swarm at WarOnGuns to get gun owners to buy a box of ammo on Aug 28--be nice if gun stores would offer some sort of nominal discount or a door prize (no purchase necessary to enter, just to keep things legal) or some such on that day to encourage this--Tuesdays may typically be slow days anyway, so this would get people in their stores and probably work out to their profit.

It'd be nice unintended consequences for the Bradys if we could demonstrate a few percentage points of sales increases on that day because of this.
[link to the full post]

I'm sure that there is some caliber I can use a box or two more of.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The view from the other side of the pond

Since I doubt my comment will ever see the light of day, I'd like to draw your attention to this blog post from Igor Erica Diary.

Sad, isn't it? What happened to "Great" Britain? The line about democracies committing suicide comes to mind. At any rate, here's my comment, which is currently "awaiting moderation":

Actually, Philip Van Cleave gets quoted because the organization he heads (VCDL) is one of the most influential and successful gun rights groups in the United States–he is an authority in the movement for citizens to take back their freedoms in our country.

All of the things his group has accomplished, despite your attempt to portray them as “bad” or “wrong”, are simply taking back the God-given right of gun ownership, as acknowledged by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, from those who think we shouldn’t have it.

Of course, being from the UK, I don’t expect you to understand that view or sympathize with it. However, one good look at crime in the UK before and after your draconian gun bans ought to raise your curiosity, if you’re intellectually honest.

Oh, and Bloomberg isn’t silly, he’s an ass. He’s publicly acknowledged committing multiple counts of two Federal offenses, and has been admonished by our Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to cease and desist, as is is compromising current investigations by that group. Of course, if I did that, I would be under indictment and awaiting trail without the benefit of bond.

Now there’s a story for people who have more influence than you…or I.

Anyone care to lay odds on that comment actually surviving moderation?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Protest at your own risk

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Remember the news on the summit of North American leaders a week or so ago? You know, the one where the Mexican el presidente decided that if he was going to evacuate for Hurricane Dean, he was going to be sure to get out of the danger zone by going to Canada?

Sure, I'm joking, But more seriously, it seems that the Quebec Provincial Police (or perhaps their masters) decided that peaceful protests during this event should not be allowed. But since police action against peaceful protesters tends to look bad on TV, they needed an excuse to crack a few heads.

Queue the agents provocateurs. Yes, I know that accusations of this sort of behavior have been tossed at law enforcement since the 60s--but this time they have it on camera.


Faced with the evidence, the police admitted to their actions, but claimed there was no wrongdoing, and as a matter of fact, their work was a a great success.

It may not be a police state just yet, but the signs are becoming more and more undeniable. If things don't change--if we don't force them to change--this will be what the future looks like.

Thanks to Red's

Man, is that's some fast service. Ordered a Red's Trading Post hat on Wednesday, got it on Saturday. I'm going to wear it out to supper tonight (BBQ...um-m-m) and see if I get any winks or nods. I don't care if it is 101o.

Got your hat yet?

Friday, August 24, 2007

How easily we forget

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Oh, woe is us! Why are we in Iraq? Why are we in Afghanistan? Bring the troops home! Bush lied, people died!

Bullshit.

Gotta watch those surplus Commie weapons

(Via Conservative Scalawag)

One ex-terrorist, coming up.

The price of energy is going up in NC

Yes, the price of energy is going to rise in North Carolina, I'm sorry to say. The sad part is the cause. It's not a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or a war in the Mideast. It's because our meddling state legislators have passed a bill to "Promote Renewable Energy/Baseload Generation".

Now, if the bill said something like "It's the sense of the NC Legislature that energy produced from renewable resources is a Good Thing, and we'd like to see more of it" I could live with it as just another waste of time on the part of our elected officials. (Official whats is another post entirely.) Unfortunately, they've decided to impose the requirement that all NC power utilities must generate 12.5% of their power from renewable sources by 2021.

Sure, 2021 is a long time off, and sure, they will allow utilities can take efficiency measures by customers into the total amount. However, studies show that electricity produced by renewable means costs as much as twice what we pay now. Yes, twice. The only way to make it economically competitive is to subsidize it, which is what many governments do.

And I guess we can ignore the pollution caused by the mining, smelting, transportation and manufacturing of all these wind turbines and solar panels. Or the lovely views of acres of solar panels and those unsightly wind farms. (Unless, of course, you're rich and powerful and a US Senator.)

Meddling fools, the lot of them. Bring on the nuclear power plants, instead.