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.