Wednesday, December 26, 2007
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
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.
"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.
Monday, December 24, 2007
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
Let's see...how did that go?
Yeah, that's it.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Still a beautiful old gal, isn't she?
Officials in a Northern California school district might not think Tiggers are such wonderful things after agreeing to pay $95,000 in lawyers' fees to five families who sued the school over its dress code.
The parents went to court after a student was disciplined for wearing socks with the "Winnie the Pooh" cartoon character Tigger on the first day of school last year.
Pity there is no damage award, but it's a good start.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
"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.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Joe, you're still the man....
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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.
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
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 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
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
Thursday, December 06, 2007
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.
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
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
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
Thursday, November 29, 2007
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?
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, 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
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
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.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
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.
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.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
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.
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
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.
(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.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A federal judge in Ohio has ruled against a longstanding foreclosure practice, potentially creating an obstacle for lenders trying to reclaim properties from troubled borrowers and raising questions about the legal standing of investors in mortgage securities pools.
Judge Christopher A. Boyko of Federal District Court in Cleveland dismissed 14 foreclosure cases brought on behalf of mortgage investors, ruling that they had failed to prove that they owned the properties they were trying to seize.A local lawyer, quoted later in the article, is noted as saying that requiring this proof is "Law School 101". Is their hope for our legal system after all?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Demarest School District Installs Laptop Surveillance Videos Monitored, Operated By Local Police
I don't even need to say it, do I?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Monday, November 05, 2007
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.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
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?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
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.
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?
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
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
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I'm dyin' to know what ya'll are saying. :-)
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
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."
Friday, October 19, 2007
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
Monday, October 01, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Police are investigating the death of a man who collapsed after being headbutted by an armless man in a fight over a woman.
My mind is boggling right now....
Tuesday, September 18, 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
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.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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
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
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
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!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
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.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
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
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
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
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.[link to the full post]
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.
I'm sure that there is some caliber I can use a box or two more of.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
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
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.
Friday, August 24, 2007
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.