Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For my last post of the year

(Via WorldNet Daily)

I'm going out on a positive note:

In this sleepy country town, which sprang up around a railroad junction and the start of the Chisholm trail, folks give out their phone numbers by the last four digits, the annual Tom-Tom festival culminates with the crowning of the Tomato King and Queen, and everybody knows Doc Watson.

This is a piece of America that is pretty much gone. I remember my doctor making housecalls when I was a kid--I'd hate to try and find one now who would.

Catching a clue?

(Via WorldNet Daily)

Republican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing "socialism," underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush's administration.

This almost makes you wonder if the cluebat has finally made an impact. While I doubt that the resolution is actually passed, just the fact that it's been introduced is encouraging.

A road well-traveled

(Via the Drudge Report)

The Wall Street Journal has some thought on the current Minnesota Senate election:

Sorry Minnesota, but the sequel is never as good as the original.

For those who watched the Washington State governor's race recounts in 2004, the ongoing recount drama in Minnesota is just another rehash of the same script -- albeit for a U.S. Senate seat that might put Democrats one vote away from a filibuster-proof majority.

The article goes on to draw a number of parallels between the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election and this year's Minnesota Senate race, some of which have to make you wonder if someone is following a script too well--after all, what's the likelihood of the magic number of 133 votes recurring in two races, four years and half a country apart?

I'm still surprised that the people of Minnesota aren't raising hell about this. Maybe it's too cold to go outside?


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick and dirty log cabin

(I've had this open in a browser tab for a few days' and I don't recall where I found it. If you're the originator, let me know.)

The Alaska Trappers Association has a good short video on log cabin building. It seems that chainsaws make it go much faster. :-) A shed rood rather than gable roof would save time if you were in a hurry, and if you had access to a brace and bit or a drill, you could use pegs and omit the spikes.

Of course, there are a lot of gaps in the video where I suppose they go into details about squaring without a square, doors and windows and so on. I'd love to see how they handle these. Here's hoping they put the full course on-line in the future.

Be careful what you ask for

(Via the Drudge Report)

It seems that President-elect Big O is not happy with the confines of his new gilded cage. Let's hope he gets used to this Change in his life. The rest of us will have to.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Famous doesn't mean intelligent

(Via the Drudge Report)

Or well-educated, or possessing common sense, or able to read at an 8th grade level, apparently:

When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.

Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.

Why am I...unsurprised.

Tens if not hundreds of millions listen to these people and give greater credence to what they say than they do to the words of those who are trained and experienced in the subject under discussion. Then those of us who are willing to listen to people like nuclear physicists and engineers sit around with skyrocketing electric bills and wonder why the hell we aren't building more nuclear-powered electric generating plants (for example).

The experts might not always be right, but they have a better track record than celebrities.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Well I didn't know this

(Via The High Road)

If you're a citizen of the State of North Carolina with a concealed carry permit, your name, date of birth, address and several other pieces of information useful to identity theives, stalkers, burglars and other low life is public record. NotConcealed.com has plenty of information on the subject. They're trying to drum up support for having this information removed from public view.

Time to start writing letters, folks. You can find the necessary addresses here.

*sigh* It never ends, does it?

So, what did Santa bring you?

Well, outside of the pleasure of having family and friends about, I got a DVD (There Will Be Blood; I'm wondering about my daughter...), a little 2" digital picture frame, and a few bigger items:



A nice set of DeWalt drill bits and one of their nifty cordless screw drivers, and...

A Smith and Wesson Model 65 in .357 Magnum, a set of Hogue grips and a box of Federal Hydrashocks for same.

Ho, Ho, Bang!

Now if you will excuse me, duty calls. Son and I need to utilize his new Xbox to win WW II in the Pacific (Call of Duty: World at War).

Merry Christmas!

The Family Freeholder would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Please take a moment to remember the real reason for the season, and to remember our service men and women and their families as they stand between us and the darkness beyond the walls.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This just in

This just came in via the Slice of Sci-Fi RSS feed. I gotta share:

"Nothing says Christmas like subjecting the lesser races and exterminating all those who oppose your goals of universal domination."

Doesn't that just give you a Christmas-y feeling all over?

Success is evil

Bloomberg writer Bob Ivry seems to have an advanced case of wealth envy. He can take the closing of a Wisconsin paper mill, which "pretty close to breaking even" according to the CEO of the company that owned it (How's that for a ringing endorsement of its financial performance?) and turn it into a screed against Stephen Feinberg and his firm, Cerberus Capital Management. Feinberg is a billionaire (more or less), so his highly indirect role in the closing of this mill must mean he's evil.

I wonder if he knows what his boss, Michael Bloomberg, is worth? I wonder if, in Mr. Ivry's eyes, he's 20 times as evil as Mr. Feinberg?

As the economy continues to have problems, expect more of this. Be particularly aware of it filtering down, as well. If you appear to be better off than those around you, you may find yourself a target as well.

How screwed up...

...does the law need to be before We The People decide to take matters in hand? Bear in mind, this isn't a rhetorical question for those who were bilked by one Bernie Madoff:

Like some of Bernard Madoff’s clients, a Florida restaurant owner was lucky enough to withdraw part of his investment before the money manager allegedly confessed to a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Now he’s worried he might be asked to give it back.

The 53-year-old investor, who asked not to be identified to protect his stake, took out about $600,000 this year from his $1.5 million account, using some of it to pay down a mortgage. He and other Madoff clients who withdrew funds as long as six years ago may be sued on behalf of other victims to return profits and even principal, securities and bankruptcy lawyers say.


While the article goes into it in more detail (and it's worth your time to read it), here's the long and short of it--if you were an investor in Madoff's Ponzi scheme, and you actually got any money out of it in the last 6 years, then you may have to cough it up.--even if that money is a portion of your original investment. Your only out is if you had no inkling that ol' Bernie was up to no good.

Yes, if you invested and then had second thoughts ("Gee, this whole deal doesn't feel right...no way could this guy be making this kind of money")--and you had what most of us would think of as the good sense to get out while you could--well, as we have said here before, "Nazzo fast, Guido". Our legal system is going to suck that money out of you on the principle that rather than anyone "winning", all must instead lose.

Google the phrase "anarcho-tyranny" sometime. Soon. You'll find the concept most entertaining.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The mechanics of election theft

FoxNews has a very interesting article on the Minnesota Senate election recount. I wonder if Norm Coleman has called 911 yet. He should, because he's being robbed. Read it and see if you can reach another conclusion.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Heh

Days of our Trailers has posted his favorite picture of Che Guevarra, beloved of foolish college students, opportunistic t-shirt manufacturers and leftists world-wide.

Viva the revolution, baby.

What is it with you people in Minnesota?

An election is being stolen, a few votes at a time, right in front of your faces, and you aren't raising hell in the streets? What's wrong with you--is it too cold to get out of the house already? If you let this FrankenFool keep counting the votes over and over and over, if you let him keep reworking and redefining the electorial process for his own advantage, if you fail to speak out, if you fail to fight for your rights, then you deserve what you get.

May your chains rest lightly upon you.

What you can do this week

So now that you've had some time to work on my first couple of suggestions, it's time for another idea. This one is sort of courtesy of Michael Bane and his Down Range Radio podcast, although it's something I've been practicing on a personal level for a couple of years. I just hadn't considered telling other folks that they should do it. (Silly me.)

As a firearms owner, GET OUT OF THE CLOSET! Stop hiding, stop disseminating and be proud of who you are. You are the current frontman (or frontwoman) of all those previous generations of gun owners, ranging from the first European immigrants to this land up throough today. Be proud of your history!

If someone asks you what you did this weekend, tell them directly, with no sugarcoating. "I went to a gun show." "I went to the range and shot pistols." "I competed in a rifle match."

If someone asks you about your hobbies, tell them. "I collect historic Lugar pistols." "I do custom reloading." "I'm a home gunsmith."

Put your gun books out on the bookshelves the visitors to your home can see--stop letting them sit in the basement with the reloading presses.

Get the idea?

You will get some odd looks from some folks, and some of those folks will look at you funny for a long time. However, from personal experience, I can tell you that your hobby will soon become an accepted part of you. (By and large at any rate; there are always going to be some who think you are an e-e-e-vil monster, just waiting to "go postal" at the least slight--screw them, their psychological issues are theirs, not yours. Let them deal with them on their own time.)

If it works for you as it has for me, you'll start getting more people who open up to you about their firearms ownership. You compare notes, trade suggestions, maybe pick up a member for the NRA or your range.

Everybody wins from this tactic--except the anti-freedom forces.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hardly a surprise

Bush caves, TARP funds get raided for a use that was never discussed during the legislative process, and the UAW gets its bailout. Of course, the market has been losing ground again lately; something had to be done to perk it up, and as bailouts go, this one isn't so expensive. Happy Friday, everyone.

GM and Chrysler to Receive Up to $17.4 Billion in Loans

I was taught that when you find you have dug yourself into a hole, the first thing to do was stop digging. I guess no one in either Detroit or Washington has learned that--yet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh look, more of the Chicago Mafia coming to Washington

A few weeks ago, many looked at the Big O's appointments (most Clinton administration retreads) and said "It looks like 4 more years of the Clintons". After the latest appointment, Arne Duncan to be the Secretary of Education, I'm starting to wonder if Obama isn't channeling Jimmy Carter instead. After all, it seems that he's bringing many his old cronies friends from back home with him, just like Carter did. Let's hope for the same result--4 years and out.

Perhaps he'll find a job for Gov. Blagojevich in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Bill Ayers in Homeland Security. But for the life of me, I can't figure out where to put Rev. Wright.

Is this "Change we can believe in"?

The U.S. Treasury may adopt a plan that would let a car czar or the Treasury secretary force General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC into bankruptcy if the automakers don’t show they can survive without government aid, a U.S. senator said.

Now that US senator is Carl Levin (Asshat-MI), so I do take this statement as something of an exercise in trial balloning. Or perhaps as a threat to GM and Chrysler (and by extension, the UAW) that they had better play along with the new administration--or else. Or both, perhaps.

I find it troubling that the US government is even considering choosing who wins and who loses in the marketplace. This is the red flag warning that our capitalist system is being overthrown in favor of a socialist-inspired command-and-control system. While I have no problem with creditors forcing a company into bankruptcy, I have a big problem with the government doing it.

As a nation, we face dark days ahead if these sorts of things are allowed to happen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Almost missed it

Today is Bill of Rights Day.

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
These ten amendments were adopted after a number of states became concerned that the Constitution could be misconstrued on these issues. They also viewed it as a bit of added emphasis. "Hey, we're not joking--these things are important!"

It's also worth noting that they are a package deal--you have to accept them all. None of this "I like the First, but the Second sucks" business.

Some people have asked the rhetorical question "What is worth fighting for?" I'd say that these are as deserving of our "life, liberty and sacred honor" just as much now as they were then. And we'd better start getting ready to fight for them again.

The logic of the left

(Via the Drudge Report)

It's OK to laugh and point if you happen to run into Seth Borenstein, AP "writer":

Mother Nature, of course, is oblivious to the federal government's machinations. Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.

Just remember, Seth (you tool), we're laughing at you, not with you.

"...the U.S. should probably declare bankruptcy."

Yeah, you know it's going to be a warm and fuzzy day when you see a remark like that in the traditional press, even if they do specialize in financial sector news.

The US government is engaging in a race to the bottom--zero interest rates, deficit spending on an epic scale, bailouts of everyone who can hire a lobbyist and printing presses running 24x7. Would you care to guess who is guaranteed to come in last place in that race?

If you guessed the folks who have been conservative with their spending over the past 25 years--the kind of folks who bought a home they could afford on a 30 year fixed note with payments they could handle--the kind of folks who are driving 10 year-old cars that they bought new--the sort of folks who actually work for a living--then you, my friend, win a cookie.

Stop the spending, stop the bailouts and stop the presses. The faster we get this over with, the less it will hurt.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thomasville High School--NC 1AA Football Champions!

For the 4th time in 5 years. Way to go Bulldogs!

Pictures of the game are here.

The way things used to be

Sure, it's convenient to make one stop at Walmart and get everything from groceries to an oil change. But we've given up something special for that.

Google News...news

(Via the Drudge Report)

If Google News is one of your information sources, you might want to read this piece from The Register. Short version--the placement of stories is no longer determined by a computer algorithm, but by Google staff members. While it's possible that the original method was skewed, it's certain that this one will be.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Uncommon valor

It seems that uncommon valor is quite common in one place--America's military:

By the end of the six-hour battle deep within the Shok Valley, Walton would bear witness to heroics that on Friday would earn his team 10 Silver Stars, the most for a single battle in Afghanistan.

Walton, a Special Forces team leader, and his men described the battle in an interview with The Associated Press last week. Most seem unimpressed they've earned the Army's third-highest award for combat valor.

"This is the story about Americans fighting side-by-side with their Afghan counterparts refusing to quit," said Walton, of Carmel, Ind. "What awards come in the aftermath are not important to me."

Despite all of the screwed up stuff in this country, we continue to produce warriors such as these. There is hope.

Defending her civil rights

(Via SayUncle)

I've blogged before on Meleanie Hain, the Pennsylvania mother who had her concealed carry permit revoked because she open carried at a kid's soccer game. Exonerated in court by a judge who questioned her judgment and common sense (I didn't know stupidity was a job requirement for judges in PA), she's now suing the sheriff and the county he represents.

This woman, who hasn't hurt anyone (unless you count the PSH that she's caused) has even been criticized by the Fudds less-tolerant hunters among us.

That's just wrong.

I don't want to see the gun culture tear itself apart over issues of "ideological purity", but it's about time that certain groups get with the project. With the coming of Obamanation, we'd better hang together or we will certainly be hung separately--Fudds included.

Our parents' "dirty pictures"

(Via Days of Our Trailers)

Bettie Page has died at 85. While her photos were pretty risque for their day, they're considered pretty tame now. Proof that sometimes, less is more.

OK, time for politics

Time for some politics. I recommend to you "Team Obamavitch" by Mark Alexander. I suppose this is the reality of the "Change" we all were promised. Particularly interesting is the portion on William Ayers. Just remove the breakables from the area before reading.

The man who tracked down Saddam

A must read. Thank you, Sgt. Maddox.

Ah, Christmas break!

Yes, the Freeholder is on an extended break for Christmas. Well, sort of a break. I have firewood to deal with, a metal carport/awning-thingee that will be the new "woodshed" to be installed, drywall to hang, walls to repair, electrical work to accomplish, writing to finish and, dare we say it, blogging to be done.

The firewood is started, but while I take a brief break from firewood, let's blog.

It seems that, since the last time I checked the ol' Intertubz new services, many interesting things have happened. For right now, let's deal with a couple of things of a financial nature.

It seems that the former chairman of NASDAQ, Bernard Madoff was arrested and charged Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme--he apparently was ratted out by his kids. Two thoughts on this one--First, you have to wonder about the dynamic between Madoff and his kids. Two, when I first read the headline, my immediate thought was "Gee, someone has finally figured out the true nature of the stock market."

The last I had heard from the auto bailout was that the Senate had reached some sort of deal that would allow them to vote in favor of the blasted thing. I'll admit to not pursuing the story, since I expected something of the sort would happen eventually. Then in this morning's news, I find that the Senate has voted it down. Of course, the UAW predictably doesn't comprehend their major role in this, and blames the e-e-e-vil Republicans for this turn of events.

The UAW needs to eat shit and ide. For decades, they've made upper-middle class wages and benefits for doing what is realistically a $15 an hour job. Guess what, boys, as a symbiotic parasite, you've finally managed to kill the host organism. Have a nice life while the corpse cools.

Of course, the Treasury vows that they will do whatever it takes to keep the automakers on life support until Congress returns. Expect to see some intense negotiations, a lot of nasty arm wrestling and PR campaigns from every quarter. Also expect to see the deal done, somehow, some way.

I have to wonder if I held my breath and stomped my feet long enough, would the Treasury come bail me out? Hey, I just want my house paid for and a couple of new cars. Heck, I'd even let them give me a couple of GM's excess output. This could be a win-win situation.

Perhaps that's how to bailout the automakers, get older polluting cars off the road, address those bad vehicle loans, save oil and all that good stuff--the government buys all of the automakers' inventory that has built up in parking lots all over the nation, and then gives us all new cars in exchange for our old ones. Works for me--at least I getting kissed before I get screwed.

Or we could just let them take the bankruptcy option. Come to think of it, I like that one better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This story will just warm your heart

Well, it'll warm it if your a gunnie like me. If you're someone like Diane Feinstein or Schmuck Schumer, you'll probably have fluids and semi-solids spurting violently from various orifices. Try not to get any on me, OK?

I'm sitting in my chiropractor's office this morning, waiting my turn. A nice lady was sitting next to me, and one of the ladies in the office was asking her if she was done with Christmas shopping.

The lady allowed that she was, and the next question was what was everyone getting?

"A 12 gauge for the 14 year old, a .22 for the middle son and a BB gun for the youngest. The shotgun was a little more than we were going to spend, but all he wants is deer hunting stuff, and his birthday is in January and deer season is over by then. We talked, and decided that we would combine the presents this once."

What an excellent mother she must be.

Down the memory hole again

It seems that The Bringer of Change may have some memory impairment. Did he talk to Blagojevich or not? Days of our Trailers has your scoop.

One thing that is not in question is that, in the best Chicago-style political tradition, Obama has tossed Blagojevich under the bus. He's getting pretty good at that sort of thing, isn't he?

I keep trying to put January 20 out of my mind, but it's getting harder and harder.

More of "Denial is not a river in Egypt"

A public school system attempts to deal with a problem in a marginally realistic way, and "Controversy Erupts Over School Proposal to Teach Kids to Fight Back Against Gunmen".

Of course, this reaction from education "professionals" is utterly predictable, and not just in the PRM. If you bring up the concept of any kid defending themselves in a school context, you're going to get exactly the same reaction from any school system. The horrors of it all! Even if we're just going to "teach kids to fend off a gunman with backpacks or textbooks" (as if that would work), why, we can't have violence in the schools! Even it it means lives saved, why, violence is a bad thing.

The Freeholder's children have been taught to go into "escape and evasion mode" at the first sign of bad trouble in their schools--even if that means disobeying the explicit instructions of a teacher or principal. Run, bail out through any available door or window, and get as far away as possible as quickly as possible. They are not to allow themselves to be herded into groups so that the bad guy's task is simplified. I'd much rather have to explain to some bent out of shape school administrator or any police officer why they ran rather than explain to their mother why they're dead.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas humor

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Lest we allow the stress of the holiday season get to us, how about some humor?
When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves could not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Illinois politics full of corruption and crime?

Who'da thunk it?

Our best hope is that someone involved (up to their eyebrows) in all this decides to sing for their freedom. If that should happen, all bets are off.

Question for bonus points: Do you suppose the Anointed One is nervous?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Absolutely unsure how to categorize this one...

Is this a story about the increasing over-militarization of our police, government interference in our private lives/choices or an exercise in black helicopter belief?

Let me know what you think.

There is, however, hope

When voters in Louisiana, arguably one of the most corrupt states in the union, can vote out a Congressman caught with a freezer full of bribe money, there is hope.

And it only took, what? Three years?

Ka-f'ing-Ching!

The Big O apparently believes his own propaganda. Schools, roads, broadband for everyone, sunshine and puppies (OK, you got me on the last two) are on tap for everyone. The price tag?

Well, The Bringer of Light is mum on that one. But hey, he promises that:

"We won't just throw money at the problem," Obama said. "We'll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve — by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world."

Like I said, the guy believes his own propaganda--so much the worse for us.

We remember

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What an incredibly crappy non-apology

(Via The War on Guns)

H-S Precision, the gun culture fools de jure, has issued a non-apology. What a bunch of spineless losers. Dear H-S, you're still on the list. I would probably have never bought one of your guns, but I will make damn sure I don't buy one with any of your parts. Remington, CZ et al, are you listening?

We can still laugh

(Via Timebomb 2000)

An oldie but goodie. I never saw this one.

News for global warming fetishists

The Drudge Report is just full of global warming-related items today. Good thing, since my little area of the world has been experiencing lower than normal temps for the last, oh, 3 weeks. (The firewood supply is disappearing faster than I expected. I am uncomfortable with that. Next year, we ramp up the supply by another third.)

Item One is cow farts and pig belches. No, I haven't regressed to being a 13 year old boy, I'm serious. The EPA is proposing a tax (they call it an "annual fee"--smells like a tax to me) on farm animal gaseous output. Based on the article, I'm not sure how the money will be used to fight global warming. Probably by paying for the bailouts of GM and Ford, grumble, grumble.

Item Two is that Gwinnett County, Georgia wants to impose a $500 fine for those who don't recycle. They assure the residents that it will be used only for the serious recycling scofflaws. Given how RICO and various computer crime and anti-terror statutes have been misused in recent years, why does this smell like cow farts revenue enhancement to me?

Item Three is that climate scientists say that 2008 will be the coolest year in a decade. Even though their own graph suggests that the current "warm spell" is ending, they say that this doesn't indicate anything. Except that if the religion of global warming becomes discredited science, a lot of climate scientists are going to find themselves unfunded.

Now excuse me while I go throw another piece of wood on the fire.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

How to build Stonehenge

(Via The Mountain Man (Get a blog!) and The J-Walk Blog)



Un-freaking-believable. I'm always in awe of people who solve problems with elegant simplicity.

DIY infrared video camera

Here's a do-it-yourself video camera that operates in the infrared wavelengths.


Night Vision Camera - Amazing videos are here

As a bonus, you get instructions on an infrared flashlight to use to provide the light source.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We caught a break

Saxby Chambliss has won his Senate race in Georgia. This means that the Democrats will not have a supermajority in the Senate.

This gives us a precious bit of breathing space, assuming that the Republicans will hang together rather than separately.

Snark from Fred Thompson

I got a link to the latest video message from Fred Thompson yesterday, and almost ruined a keyboard listening to it. I wanted to blog it, but I couldn't figure out a proper link to it or how to embed it. Major Chuck has. Funny and oh-so-true stuff.

Edit 12/4/2008: Courtesy of one of my readers (thank you kindly, AK), we can see it here via the magic of YouTube:



You have to love it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Adapting the new to service the old

(From pdb via Tam)

How to carry M1 Garand en bloc clips in web gear meant for other things. If you own SOE gear, you're all set, but the idea would be child's play to adapt to other sorts of web gear.

Shut up already!

Bush, Bernake and Paulson speak; Dow drops 680 points. Do you think that silence might be golden, guys? Seriously, however, I have noticed something--most days when a bailout or possible bailout is mentioned, the market is neutral to up. If any of these guys speak on the subject of the economy, the market is almost sure to tank. I think Wall Street doesn't have much faith in their pronouncements. I can't imagine why.

In related news from the same link, I'm sure we're all pleased to be officially notified that we've been in a recession for the last 12 months. Really Sparky--what was your first clue?

Based on current trends, expect economic Bad Things through the winter and into spring. With luck, summer may see a bottom, some unknown number of quarters of holding our own, then a very long road back up to what I would hope is a much healthier economy.

Be aware, however, that an Mumbai-style incident on US soil will throw that prediction into chaos. You will also need to watch the actions of the Big O and Team O. Drastic actions (perhaps in any direction) will cause problems. Also keep an eye on what the rest of the world is up to. We're all interconnected at this point, and it might be stupidity from outside that brings us down.

The world economy is at a tipping point, and the politicians are desperately trying to perfect a balancing act while on stage. While I sincerely hope they figure it out, I urge you to take whatever actions you can to protect yourselves and your loved ones. Beans, bullets and band aids are still (and always) good advice, but you also need to look after your finances. Hedging into precious metals (silver is good; gold is better) at this point seems to be a good idea from where I stand. Stay primarily in cash right now, but buy precious metals on any substantial dips in price if you're fully stocked on the 3 B's.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A big voice in Blogland goes silent

Kim du Toit has posted his final words. While I respect his decision, I hate to see him go silent, right when we need our best voices.

Enjoy your life Kim, and I hope that some day you'll change your mind.

Let me see here...

(Links via the Drudge Report and FOX News)

So, 10 terrorists were able to carry out the attack in Mumbai, India where they left bodies in piles in two luxery hotels. It took almost 3 days to get the last one. The Taj Hotel had prior warning, and took several ineffective security measures. Armed police, who could have taken early action, failed to do so. The terrorists were, once again, Islamic fanatics. And for some idiotic reason, President Bush declares that the terrorists "will not have the final word" and is sending in...the FBI?

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. With all the money that has been spent, with all the inconveniences we must tolerate in the name of "The Forever War on Terror" and in spite of all the abridgments of our civil liberties, this could have happened here. It would be harder for the terrorists, but anyone who doesn't believe that it would be a trivial exercise to smuggle 10 determined men and sufficient weapons and ammunition to replicate this right here in the US is deluding themselves.

It's time, and past time, to stop playing around with terrorists. Stop it with the security theater, and start taking concrete actions. Tracking down every remaining member of this organization, along with their families, and removing them en masse from the gene pool would be a good start. You can start with this bastard and his extended family.

I've said it before, but I'll belabor it again: These people can not be reasoned with, nor can they be negotiated with. They want to see all of us dead or converted to their world view. Our choices are simple--convert, die or teach them that we are going hurt them grievously every time they're foolish enough to attack us. They'll never love us, be they can be taught to fear us.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What you can do this week

This week's action item is multi-purpose. It can help out our project by providing cover for some of our supporters in Congress and can also help you out on your Christmas gift list.

It's an NRA membership. Tom Gresham of Gun Talk (you do listen to Gun Talk, right?) has worked a deal with the NRA so that anyone can get a one year membership for $25. I've taken advantage of it to buy a special stocking stuffer for both of my kids. (O-o-oh, I can hear Diane Feinstein squealing like a pig right now.) I'm also buying one for Old Friend's Christmas gift.

(Now, some of you are going to start with the same tired list of objections about the NRA. They did this, they didn't do that, they send me craploads of mail wanting more money. You're right, you're right again and if you ask them to, they'll stop. Consider your objections noted.)

Surprise, surprise, but I'm an NRA member who doesn't agree with every stand they take. I think they were particularly wrong with their early opposition to the Heller case, for example. However, I'm still a member.

It's simple political mathematics. When a lobbyist walks into a Congresscritter's office, the Congresscritter is only going to pay attention to the message if the organization that lobbyist represents has enough members who vote (luckily NRA members tend to actually vote) to cause them problems when it's time for them to be reelected. An NRA with 4 million members (the current number) is one thing, but an NRA with 12 million is a completely different issue. Congresscritters will pay attention without fail when the numbers start getting that large. The AARP has 32 million members--they are seldom ignored in the halls of Congress.

It's an interesting point that out of an estimated 80 million gun owners in the US, only 5% are NRA members. That means we have a 95% "free rider" problem. Every member is pulling the weight of 19 other gun owners.

It's time for that to stop. Feel free to join any of the other pro-2A groups you want, but you really need to join the NRA as a first act. Strength in numbers isn't just an old phrase--it's Truth.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Some days, all I need to fill up the blog is the Drudge Report

For those who don't bother, the Drudge Report is a simply excellent source of breaking and little-reported news. Many things that break on Drudge are not seen in the traditional media for days (if ever). I'll normally stop by at least once a day, 3-4 times if something big is happening.

Today, Drudge is filled with stories that will either enlighten or infuriate you (or maybe both).

We've all been following the terrorist attack story from Mumbai, India (You have pulled your nose out of turkey and football for at least a few minutes, right?). Islamic terrorists staged a large attack on two hotels and a "Jewish center" and have killed over 100 people. Hotel staff and Indian commandos are both being lauded as heroes of the day. I have to wonder how a major US city would fare in such an attack. I'm afraid we may find out.

In the dying spasams of our consumer economy, an over-anxious mob of bargain seeking idiots at a Long Island Wal-mart trample several people, killing two. Mrs. Freeholder wonders why I won't go shopping on Black Friday.

Al Franken looks at his options for continuing his attempt to steal an election as things continue to go badly for him. Pity poor Al--failed comic (not funny), failed Air America commentator (not interesting) and failed candidate (not electable). Al, if you're hard up for some real work, I have a yard that needs raked.

And from the Department of Rubbing Your Nose In It:

As the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, an economist, anti-totalitarian and climate change sceptic, prepares to take up the rotating presidency of the European Union next year, climate alarmists are doing their best to traduce him.

The New York Times opened a profile of Klaus, 67, this week with a quote from a 1980s communist secret agent's report, claiming he behaves like a "rejected genius", and asserts there is "palpable fear" he will "embarrass" the EU.

Yes, my friends, if you have committed the sin of being "skeptical" about man-made climate change (which means you demand to see some hard scientific evidence that man's activities are actually causing any change in our climate), then you must have your character assassinated, no matter how low we must stoop to do so. So much for the vaunted "journalism" of the New York Slimes.

Is it just me, or does anyone else sense the winding down of the current version of civilization?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We at The Freehold would like to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope this day finds you in the midst of plenty--plenty of food, plenty of family and plenty of warmth.

Please take a moment to remember those among us who are less fortunate. There are more of them this year than last. Consider what you can do to help them out.

Then take another moment to remember our service members who are away from home, many in harm's way. It's because of them that we are able to enjoy this day in peace.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Well, here's another gun company that doesn't get it

But at least they're not anti-gun. They're just in the business of hiring murderers. Look carefully at this picture of the back of of H&S Precision's catalog.

See that name circled in yellow? Lon Horiuchi. Yes, that Lon Horiuchi. The Lon Horiuchi, FBI sniper, that shot an unarmed woman in the face as she held her child (Vickie Weaver at the Ruby Ridge standoff). The Lon Horiuchi who cost the US taxpayers over $1,000,000 in compensation paid to the Weaver family. The Lon Horiuchi who never stood trial for his crime.

The Lon Horiuchi who is endorsing their products.

Yeah, that makes me really want to become one of their customers.

At first, I thought this was yet another Intertubz hoax. David Codrea at The War on Guns has been in touch with H&S. No such luck-they've confirmed this relationship.

So this is how it is--I'm not buying any of their stuff. Moreover, I will not buy a firearm from any company who uses their products. And I'm going to let them all know this, and the reason why.

I wonder how big the FBI market for sniper rifles is--can H&S survive off of it forever?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here's hoping the High Sheriff receives his comeuppance

A Pennsylvania woman Monday sued a county sheriff who revoked her concealed-weapons permit after she upset fellow parents by wearing her holstered pistol to her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game.

Meleanie Hain alleges in a suit filed in a Harrisburg federal court that Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo violated her Second Amendment rights and prosecuted her maliciously when he took away her permit in September.

Hain, 30, successfully appealed the revocation last month, although the judge who restored her permit questioned her judgment and said she "scared the devil" out of others who attended the Sept. 11 soccer game.


It's a pity she can't sue the nanny judge as well.

Some may question this lady's judgment in open-carrying her pistol. There have been interminable threads on various gun boards about the wisdom of open vs. concealed carry. I view it as two sides of a single coin. We have a God-given right to our firearms for personal defense. There are times when concealed carry may be preferable, and time when open carry might be. However, the vast majority of the time it really shouldn't make any difference. Being armed should be as common in our society as carrying a cell phone. Whether openly armed of concealed should be the individual's option, based on their own reading of the circumstances.

And those who are unreasonably frightened of this particular inanimate object should be treated with the same care and compassion that our mental health professionals treat all sufferers of phobias.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How bad can our economy get?

Pretty bad, if Bill Bonner is even close to correct:

But yesterday evening…walking along the quai…we had a thought. What if Mr. Market intends to correct the entire European advantage? What if he intends to correct the entire Industrial Revolution…bringing the developed world's GDP/person more into line with those in China and India? Maybe he intends to unhinge the sky again? Maybe we will see all five stages of collapse - financial, economic, political, social and cultural…and maybe some hurricanes and a major epidemic too!

Are you ready for it if it gets this bad--or even half so bad? It's a possibility you must consider, even in the midst of the coming Coronation of The Obama--especially since The Obama's actions may accelerate the trend.

It would be false to say that these things have never happened before, but they defiantly haven't happened in the last few hundred years. It could be that the entire world has lost the "Mandate of Heaven", and we are about to see changes the likes of which we have only read about in history books.

Best to be prepared.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What you can do this week

As promised, here's the first "thing you can do this week" to keep political pressure on our new President. The goal is to soften his support from his own party and buck up those in opposition.

Take time to send a message to your current Representative and both Senators. You're going to have to do a bit of thinking. However, let me give you some thoughts on the subject.

If you are writing to someone who has supported traditional conservative principles, thank them for that. Don't lay it on too think, but let them know you genuinely appreciate their efforts. Ask them to continue doing so in the future. Don't mention any particular items--keep it general.

If your writing someone who hasn't been a big supporter of conservative principles, write them as a concerned voter. Tell them that you value free enterprise, smaller government, respect for the law and one or two other core conservative principles. Make it clear to them (nicely, no rude or threatening language) that if they'd like your vote the nest time around, they're going to need to earn it.

If you're writing someone who is a supporter of some conservative principles, such as a Blue Dog Democrat, thank them for their support of those principles, and and pick out one core conservative principle that they haven't supported and ask them nicely to consider supporting it in the future because [fill in the blank with a good reason other than "I won't vote for you if you don't"].

In all this writing, remember the old adage "You'll get more files with honey than vinegar." Also remember to keep it short and to the point--2 paragraphs is plenty.

Email your message to them (find them here), but also take the time to send it as a written letter. Because of security, email is quicker, but the old snail mail letter will still arrive in time for our purposes and will carry some significant weight. If they have a local office, you might want to call and deliver the message as well.

Tune in next week for another little task.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just like we've been saying

(Via Xavier Thoughts)

The other statistic that emerged from a study of active killers is that they almost exclusively seek out "gun free" zones for their attacks. In most states, concealed handguns are prohibited at schools and on college campuses even for those with permits. Many malls and workplaces also place signs at their entrances prohibiting firearms on the premises.

Now some tacticians believe the signs themselves may be an invitation to the active killers.


But what do we know, we're just gun nuts.

Another hunter who doesn't "get it"

(Via Ride Fast & Shoot Straight)

Some gun owners still don't "get" the Second Amendment. They don't understand why we "gun nuts" could possible want one of "those rifles", why we won't accept "common sense gun laws" and why we won't "compromise". Bill Schneider is yet another one of those gun owners. It wouldn't be so bad if he was just your next door neighbor, but Mr. Bill Schneider writes for New West Travel and Outdoors, so he has a nice big bully pulpit to speak from. He thinks the NRA should stick to gun rights and that what happened to Dan Cooper was a "fiasco".

Mr. Schneider is perfectly OK with throwing some gun owners under the bus, as long as he can keep his hunting rifle. He apparently didn't get the memo about those "common sense gun laws" that would ban "high power sniper rifles" such as the Ruger 77, the Remington Model 700 and the Winchester Model 70.

He also, against all evidence to the contrary, believes that Barak Obama doesn't support gun control.

So what do we do? Slapping them down, one after the other, is like playing some bizarre game of whack-a-mole where the timer never runs out. Besides that, it doesn't work, since it's obvious that these guys not only don't get it, they don't want to. They don't want to leave that comfortable world where the Second Amendment isn't about protecting We The People from a government run amok, but instead is about hunting.

Mr. Schneider, I hope your chains rest lightly upon you.

(Ride Fast's thoughts on the subject are here.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hm-m-m...seems that Change is filtering down to the state level

A special transportation committee on Wednesday approved a package of money raising proposals, including a tax on N.C. vehicle owners based on the number of miles their vehicle travels each year.

Yeah, sure, this bunch of asshats doubt "the chances that the legislature would embrace many of the recommendations". But have Faith (how did Obama miss that one?) that they will keep bringing this kind of crap up. People like this never quit.

I hope all the weak-minded who voted for "Hope!" and "Change!" just enjoy the hell out of what they are about to receive. As a matter of fact, I Hope they choke on all that Change.

Yeah, I'm particularly bitter today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Look what's back

It seems that the Big O's "Urban Policy" has made a comeback:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

Geeze what a bunch of asshatery. Where to start, where to start....

I guess we go in order, starting with an outright lie on the part of the President-elect. The Tiahrt Amendment does not restrict the ability on any law enforcement agency to access gun trace information, as long as they are investigating a crime. What it does do is prevent the release of gun trace information so that the unscrupulous can conduct warrantless fishing expeditions. It would seem that the Big O has an issue with Fourth Amendment rights.

Next, we have this part about "respecting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners". OK, we can call BS on this one and move on. Obama is no friend of the Second Amendment.

Oh, and we want to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals. 20,000+ gun laws haven't accomplished this, so we'll throw a few more into the mix. I bet that works really well.

And we need to close that nasty (and mythical) "gun show loophole". You know, that thing that says, as an individual, you can sell a gun to another individual, as long as you reasonably don't suspect them of being a prohibited person. Yeah, property rights and free enterprise suck, don't they?

And lastly, we want to make permanent (and greatly expand, I'd bet) the old and discredited Clinton-era "Assualt Weapons Ban". I'm not a lawyer, but think this one might have a hard time with that Heller thingy. Obama really has issues with the Second Amendment, doesn't he.

You almost have to wonder if there is a part of the Constitution he actually likes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Zombie Reagan

Killing the last few minutes at work today, random blog surfing lead me to...Zombie Reagan.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I want you to remember that I have the greatest respect for President Reagan. Hell, it was under Reagan that The System started working for a working stiff who wanted to go back to college and make something better of his life.

But, this is funny as get out. (Especially if you can do "Bra-a-a-ains" in a Ronnie voice.) However, it has a serious side--over on the right. I'm going to copy it in, just in case you miss it:
Reagan is dead -- get used to it! They said. It's a two party system, what're you gonna do? They said. You don't have a choice! They said.

Whoa, wait a minute! I thought. No choice? Ronald Reagan would never have put up with that! Screw it! Let's dig Ronnie up and rebury him in the Pet Semetary of ideas!

We've let him down, folks. We got lazy. We stopped talking about conservative principles. Small government. Low taxes. Self-reliance. Individuality. Respect for the rule of law. BRAAAAAAAIIIINS.

Hey, remember when we argued with people? You know...laid the framework for our ideas, supported our positions with facts and observations? Think back. Remember suasion? Remember?

Then we figured we'd won the battle of ideas. We gave up hashing out the same old points over and over and decided to hurl cow pies instead.

Now, look! The silly boo-boos in our own party have forgotten we ever stood for something. They slipped the harness when we weren't looking and dashed out into the middle of the road. Now the place is lousy with RINOs!

Enough! It's time to talk up conservative ideas again! Show your displeasure with the status quo; proudly display Zombie Reagan on your blog. Or don't. Whatever. But for pity's sake, start talking up conservative ideas!

Maybe if we deserve him hard enough, he'll come back to us.

It's gotta work. You don't want me digging up Bill Buckley, do you?

DO YOU?

Now, I'm not quite ready to display the graphic on the blog, unless the consensus in comments is to do so. But I can support the message. We have let Reagan down. He left us with the strongest, most conservative Republican Party in generations, and we let it turn into Larry Craig tap dancing in the men's room, Ted Stevens and his funding issues and the 2008 election. How the mighty have fallen.

But we can take it back. All of us "little guys" are going to have to get involved and make our desires heard: Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, Respect For Individual Rights--and whatever else you want to add to the list that is a true conservative core principle.

I'm going to start working on a once-a-week post: one thing you can do to reform the Republican Party and/or stick a finger in the Eye of Obama. Some may cost you some money, some may cost you some time, some may cost you both. Feel free to pick and choose, but remember, if we don't start doing something to save ourselves and our country, we're going to get a lot of Hope and Change that we don't like.

Interesting map

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Strange Maps overlays a "red vs. blue" map of the 2008 election with an map of cotton production in 1860 and gets some very interesting results.

Well, there goes that Hope

(Via the Drudge Report)

If you had harbored and Hope that Change might not be so bad, read this Bloomberg article on the Center for American Progress and their role in the Obama administration.

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sir, you need to practice more

Gunfire broke out at a north Charlotte bar early on Monday morning. The thieves and the owner exchanged gunfire, but officers didn’t think anyone was hit in the shooting.

No word on if the prosecutor in Moscow on the Catawba will file charges against the owner. I'll try to keep you posted if I hear anything.

If you drive in North Carolina

Please be aware that state tax collections are off, and an alternative revenue plan is now in place. Pay attention to those speed limits.

Well, someone gets it

(Via the Drudge Report)

Those of us (at least on the conservative and libertarian sides) who followed the recent elections have noted that the old or mainstream media was almost completely "in the tank" for Barak Obama. A number of pundits have noted that this obvious bias will probably cost them heavily.

It would seem that Rupert Murdoch understands the problem and the potential consequences:

"My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the internet is this: it's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers," said Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp.

Of course, I think he's understating the problem a bit. It isn't "some of the editors, reports and proprietors", it's most of them, at least when looking at the national level. (Local media seems to be somewhat more even-handed, although still tending toward bias.)

Murdoch goes on to say, "The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception."

We can see that in the decreasing sales of large daily newpapers, as well as the declining viewer share of major network news organizations, while the use of the WWW for news has increased--especially the rise of news-related web sites that are not connected to "major news organizations".

The rise of talk radio in the 80s and 90s, as well as the rise of the conservative and libertarian websites and blogs, can be taken as a further sign that those with a conservative/libertarian bent have given up on an obviously biased media and went elsewhere to find their news and speak their piece. Considering that we represent around half of the US population, it's pretty obvious (at least to me) that our departure from the old media is why readers and viewership is off so badly. We've stopped buying their crap.

Now, our job is to expand our viewer/readership, as well as avoiding the bias trap ourselves. It's imperative that, as the 2010 elections approach, that we bypass the old media and get our word out there unfiltered.

If you're a supporter of our Constitution and the civil rights acknowledged therein, if you care about the future, if you're tired of the same old crap coming from your state and national capitals, it's time to get involved. For cryin' out loud, you can use Blogger for free! Add your voice to the debate. Talk about the things you're passionate about. Be heard and make a difference.

(If you're really ambitious, start a podcast.)

If you don't want to start your own blog, comment on the blogs you read. Write letters to the editors--even though the audience is shrinking, it's still large enough to be worth reaching. Talk to your friends, acquaintances and coworkers. Don't be silent.

Barak Obama got elected, at least in part, because too many people on our side bought into the media hype of his "inevitability". They allowed themselves to be manipulated by his propaganda machine, and they stayed home. They never spoke out, never put up a yard sign--nothing. They just sat it out.

(Yeah, I know McCain was hardly Mr. Perfect. That doesn't mean that he would have been as bad as what we got.)

Because they did not act, the nation faces 4 years of leftist government policies and initiatives. We need to start now to be sure that in 2010, we begin our counter-offensive.

I'm doing my part--are you?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Poor Barry

(Via the Drudge Report)

He's going to have to give up the Crackberry. (Remember, BugMeNot is your friend.)

I've read a number of pieces recently that noted that, once the Big O ascends to the throne is sworn in as President that he will quickly find himself and his big ideas for Change to be without a Hope as the law and the bureaucracy close in. This will be instructive, interesting and entertaining to watch.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A little bit of my day

Today I was off from work. I'm blessed with a rather exorbitant amount of vacation time each year, and most years am unable to use it all. This year, for reasons I'm not going to detail, I've decided that that I am going to use every freaking hour up, and maybe even make a dent in the amount I'm allowed to "carry over" from year to year.

At any rate, I'm driving down the road and get behind a Ford Escape hybrid (the concept of a hybrid SUV is still causing me cognitive dissonance 3 hours later). Said vehicle had a "Support Democratic Candidates" bumper sticker, an Obama bumper sticker, and, I kid you not, a world peace bumper sticker. You can not make this stuff up.

I manfully resisted the temptation to use my much larger gas-powered (and gas-sucking) SUV to bump them into the next phone pole. Given the political sentiments hereabouts, they obviously must be here from Charlotte (also known as Moscow on the Catawba) for the day. Momma always told me to be nice to strangers.

However, I did notice their license tag: PSH-xxxx. How wonderfully appropriate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So just how big is the monarchy?

A number of folks have commented on the media's tendency to speak of Obama's "rule". Well, apparently Obama is getting beyond the station of monarch, since he wants an "auto czar" and a "climate czar". (Well, as long as we don't have a "gun grabbing czar" we can live with it, maybe.)

But what do you get promoted to after monarch? Oh yeah--Messiah.

Cults of personality rarely have a happy ending. Food for thought, folks.

Smart lady, smart message

Gov. Sarah Palin speech to the Republican Governors Association was right on the money:

Let us resolve not to become the negative party, too eager to find fault or unwilling to help in this time of crisis and war," she told the gathering Thursday. "Losing an election does not have to mean losing our way, and for governors, the way forward leads through our own state capitals in reforms we will carry on or begin anew.

She's exactly right. After their defeats by Ronald Reagan, the Democrats spent a lot of time whining, complaining and trying to fix blame. It didn't help them out.

Learning from that bad example, the Republican party needs to focus on its core beliefs, articulate a message (based on those beliefs) that the voters can believe in, and not indulge in an orgy of self-immolation. Not things that they've been too good at lately. However, with a new generation of leadership (which I hope is based around Palin), I think that getting back on track may be less difficult than the naysayers think.

My generation may be finally stepping up to the adult table. About time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nazzo fast, Guido

There ain't no such thing.

Obama needs to stop rushing to the coronation, methinks.

Too much Change?

The Washington Times reports that The Bringer of Light's Hope and Change Agenda, which caused such a snit all over the Intertubz this weekend, has been tossed down the memory hole.

Oh dear...Google to the rescue!

Note to the Bringer of Light: Nothing ever dies on the Internet. Nothing.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Let's have a gun post...

Enough political crap for a moment--I wanna talk about guns and shooting and about a well-spent afternoon.

So I got up yesterday morning, full of plans for around-the-house stuff I wanted to get done. Then I happened to look at a calendar. Oh crap, it's the second Saturday! How did I miss that?

The reason that the second Saturday of the month was significant is that it was my range's first .22 rimfire "fun shoot". It's meant to be a low-pressure, bring what you got and have fun sorta-competition. I had promised the organizer that I'd be there. I guess it's because I'm acknowledged to be a rimfire nut. I love old .22s with a passion.

OK, I still got time to be there before the opening. What am I taking? I want to go with tradition--only one gun in the safe meets that hands down--my Dad's Remington 512 "Sportmaster". Long barrel, iron sights and a smooth bolt action. I keep one range box at the ready to shot .22s (makes for an easy, quick trip if I'm in a hurry), so I grab that, case the gun and head for the range.

I got there in time to be shooter number 2. The course of fire is already laid out--softballs, golfballs, paintballs, silhouette targets, paper plates with post-its centers, charcoal briquettes and little bitty swinging iron targets at 25 and 50 yards. Rules are discussed, with the group of shooters having a lot of input. It is the inaugural match, and things are evolving. Shooting position is shooter's choice, but no artificial supports are allowed. The sole benchrest fanatic that showed up was highly disappointed and decides to shoot elsewhere on the range. Good. It's supposed to be about having fun, not spending money.

The shooting begins. First guy shoots, then it's my turn. I missed a freaking softball at 25 yards?! No way! I also missed a tiny little steel chicken. Gr-r-r. 6-2 at the end of the stage.

I move on to the second stage. I nail 3 softballs 1 golf ball and 2 charcoal briquettes, which make a most satisfying cloud of dust when struck. (Softballs also make a most impressive "twap" when struck near the center.) 6-2 again.

The third stage, shot with large pig and turkey silhouettes at 50 yards, is shot in two parts. I go 7-1, 7-1. I feel better.

Fourth stage is those tiny steel chickens at 50 yards. I go 6-4. I missed the first four, but I was able to see that the barrel is heating and warping just a bit. Some Kentucky windage, and I got the last 6 in a row. OK, now I know how to adjust for the rest of the match.

Nest stage is small swinging iron targets at 25 yards. These things are triangles and rectangles, no more than 3" on a side. They're painted white, and against a light background, are nearly impossible to see. 4-6. After this point, the organizers decide to paint them orange instead. Thanks guys.

After a break, it's time for more softballs and such at 50 yards. No sweat, I go 8-2.

Next stage, after a longer break due to a competitor with feeding problems on a borrowed gun ("If it's gonna break, it'll do it at a match," were the wise words from the organizers), my barrel had had a chance to cool significantly. I'm shooting at a 2" target at 50 yards. Apply windage or not? Let's go with not. I should have went with--I fired a wonderful group, 2 inches above and 2 inches to the right of the target. 0-10. Ouchie.

In the end, I went 50 of 82, all shot with my elbows propped on the bench. I'm not sure how that stacks up, as I had to bug out to deal with getting a friend of Son's back home on time after a stay-over.

I'm going to have to pull the Remington's action from the stock, and see if a bit of relieving needs to be done. That'll be careful work on an heirloom like this. I don't want to insult the gun.

All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time, and it's already decided that this will become a monthly event. I'm all for that. I've tried other competitions, and save for wobble trap, most of the shooters take them too seriously for my taste. I'm out to have fun, and yesterday was Fun with a capital "F".

Geopolitical Challenges

(Via LawDog)

Stratfor has a good thought piece on the geopolitical challenges faced by The Obama on his ascendancy to the throne. (Well, it is a throne, right? I mean, I've heard that phrase on various media outlets--"How will Obama rule?" Since Presidents govern and monarchs rule, as monarch I assume he gets a throne, right? But I snarkily digress....)

Let's see if dealing with all those disapointed people and governments keeps him busy enough that he can't cause too much trouble here at home.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A potential starting point

(From Chaos Manor)

If we are to renew the Party of Reagan, we're going to have to get back to the roots of conservatism. Russel Kirk and a piece on Ten Conservative Principles that's worth your time to read and consider.

Re-enlisting with a bang

Staff Sgt. Andrew Petrulis, USAF, recently re-enlisted while in Iraq. Blackfive has the picture that you don't want to miss.

Hope seems to be in short supply in the markets today

Change--negative change--is not.

After Huge Two-Day Selloff, Stocks Near Recent Low

How's all the Change working for ya?

(Yes, I know it's evil to gloat over another's misfortune. However, it's great fun to be able to say "I TOLD you so!".)

Spreading the wealth?

(Via the Drudge Report)

Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

But wait...it gets better:

Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

"Still that's not right. I'm disappointed. I'm glad for the president, but I'm disappointed in this system," said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.

"They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90," said Charles Martin.

"I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned," said Randall Waldon.

Some people weren't satisfied with filling out a claim form for money they felt was still due to them.

"They say that they gonna call you or they going to mail it to you, but I don't know. We'll see what happens," said Antron Grose.

"Talking about they'll mail it to us. I ain't worried about that, man. They're not going to mail nothin'," said Martin.

So...how does it feel when it's your money? Not so much fun, is it?

How's all the Change working for ya?

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Internal Battles Divided McCain and Palin Camps

Two things:
  • "Journalism" from the New York Times. Sorry,but automatically suspect.
  • All of the quotes were from McCain advisers, who have a vested interest in someone--anyone--other than themselves and their candidate being the problem with a losing campaign. After all, if it was their fault, they might never work on another campaign again. Bad for their income, as well as their egos.
And if they didn't think that a politician had political ambitions beyond the current campaign...just how stupid are they?

Sorry boys, but you need to man up and deal. You all blew it. Stop recriminating and start rebuilding the Party of Reagan.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh, and another thing...

Don't blame Sarah!

Let me note something that goes with the previous post--Sarah Palin is the only reason I, and many like me, decided to hold our noses and vote for John McCain. She, like us, has never left the Party of Reagan.

Note all the "Republican operatives" who are indulging in Palin bashing--they're the same idiots who helped orchestrate a losing campaign. They represent the arrogance that helped get the party booted from power. Add them to the list of those to be excommunicated--the sooner the better.

(Edit, 11/6/2008: It seems that Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson of RedState are onto this story. Good. They've got a bigger soapbox than I do.)

Renewing the Republican Party

I've been thinking about the election a good part of the day (at least, while I wasn't at the range shooting). I've read any number of articles in the press on the subject. Allow me to share with you some initial thoughts.

In the last two elections, the Republican party has had its collective ass handed to it, and it was well-deserved. The question is, how did a party that has held the White House for 20 of 28 years (if I count correctly) and controlled Congress for nearly as long fall so far?

The answer is multi-part. First is that the Party of Reagan isn't the Party of Reagan any more. They're Democrat Lite. They want most of the same things the Democrats do (call it "more government intervention in your daily life")--they simply differ in how to pay for it. The Democrats will tax you, Republicans will borrow the money.

Second is that power brought arrogance. The American people, of all political stripes, usually don't take arrogance in public officials too well. They may put up with it for a while, but eventually they will swat you down. The Republican Party has been swatted pretty hard. Lose the arrogance, or keep losing elections. This isn't House.

Third, and perhaps worse, is that the people running the party have spent too much time listening to political consultants who keep telling them that "You just have to appeal to the independents." The people in power apparently took that as permission to spend money like a drunken sailor in a whore house while on shore leave, thinking they could buy or bribe the independents with programs. As last night's returns show, it didn't work too well.

How to solve the problems? First, return to being the Party of Reagan. We need big ideas and big plans, but we also need to espouse smaller government and less taxes, and have a plan to make it happen. (McCain allowed Obama to steal the "less taxes" part of the message without a fight. Poor strategy.) We need vision and optimism, not myopia and the same ol, same ol.

Second, learn your lesson. Power is best received when it isn't arrogant. If you hold public office, you damn well better listen to your constituents. When they calls are running 10-to-1 against a bill to allow the people who, in large part, screwed up the economy to dip into our pockets for money to "fix" it, you need to vote "NO!" Not just once and then cave in because you got some pork for your district. As an elected politician, you really need to get a grip on that "public service" thing.

Third, if you want to appeal to independents, stop trying to buy them. It doesn't work. The Party of Reagan attracted independents and conservative Democrats by being--dare I say it?---conservative. While not always successful, they espoused the ideas of smaller government, lower taxes and personal responsibility. They were optimistic and upbeat. The Republican party of today is neither.

Fourth, prune out the dead wood, expell the RINOS and root out anything that even hints at corruption. Get the house cleaned up, because company is coming.

It's going to be all those people who flock to the Party of Reagan again.

Democrats to assume power...

Stock market has the biggest post-election loss in history, big spending ahead.

Oh, and we want a "windfall profits tax" on oil companies (they missed the part of economics class where you learns that no corporation pays taxes, they just build it into the cost of their goods).

And to release oil needlessly from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, mandate more biofuels and cut carbon dioxide emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Frighteningly enough, there are those in the financial media are advocating tax hikes, so all us old farts who make too much money will get out of the way and let the next generation have our jobs, for which they expect to make as much as we did. The ignore the fact that we just usually pay the extra taxes, and take it out on even lower-wage workers by mowing our own grass, eating out less and so on. No one retires because of a tax hike.

How's all the Change working for ya?

(And yes, this is the first in what I'm afraid will become an ongoing series of posts for the next 2-4 years. Like the tag line?)