Friday, November 16, 2012

It's all a misunderstanding

The on-going flap over whether the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) is anti-gun was described to Examiner Friday morning as “a misunderstanding” that has been “blown out of proportion” by a top official with the organization.

I'm sure it is a misunderstanding.  I think the question that is yet to be resolved is "On whose part?"  Because I'm not so sure that this can be blamed on someone who was "new to the job".  Judging from what I found on their own web site, she was merely handing out the company line.

Part of the company line is still on the web site.  Some of it has been expunged, although you can see my copy of the original here, and the click on the text to see the new cleaned up version.

Forgive me if I take a wait and see attitude toward this.

Is this the beginning?

Hostess Brands, a maker of snack foods for 80+ years, is calling it quits.  It seems that 2 trips through Chapter 11, intransigent labor unions and I suspect a certain amount of shrugging came together and led the privately held company to begin shutting down operations and selling off the bits.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So who is this Zumbo guy?

It seems that the Wounded Warrior Project still isn't getting it.  Lifting a page from the Zumbo Affair, they have issued an official unapology.  Lifted in it's entirety from their Facebook page:

We've had a lot of questions recently that started when we declined an opportunity to appear on Gun Talk Radio. We want to clarify and help answer some questions. We have seen through this process that the language on our website and our response to the invitation to appear on the show weren’t clear, and we are working on clarifying our approach. There is now much inaccurate information about WWP being anti-gun rights, an issue as an apolitical organization we do not take a stance on. We understand and appreciate that many of our Alumni are gun owners, and we facilitate multiple hunting and outdoor opportunities for our Wounded Warriors throughout the year.

In the past, we made our logo available to appear on wide variety of products, including guns. As an organization, we owe it to our donors and constituents to maximize the return on investment of our dollars and brand. We are always looking at our business practices and whether we should continue with them in the future. In the case of cobranding, we've decided that we're not going to offer our logo to appear on weapons anymore - whether they're guns, knives, bows, swords, or any other type of weapon. There are still a few of the guns around for sale that had licensed our logo years ago, but there aren't any new ones being made. This is purely a business decision based on a review of a return on investment, especially when compared with other types of cobranding ventures.

Regarding the question of donations and events, we do permit fundraisers that are shooting- and gun-related, such as gun raffles, shooting competitions, etc., and we're incredibly appreciative of those who are willing to give their time to host or participate in an event. Likewise, we gratefully accept donations from companies and individuals connected with the gun industry.

As indicated above, we know that hunting and shooting sporting events can be very therapeutic for many of the Wounded Warriors we serve, and we're happy to work with the community to make these types of events available to our Alumni. Hunting and shooting sport enthusiasts are an incredibly supportive and generous community, and we've been honored by how often folks have opened their land and homes, and volunteered their time to make these types of events possible for our Alumni. We're so sorry if it seemed that we didn't appreciate that support with our confusing communication of a business decision. It certainly wasn't our intention!

I hope this post provides some clarity and helps answer some questions. We welcome the opportunity to have a warrior on Gun Talk Radio to discuss how hunting or events of the like have supported their recovery. We responded too quickly to his request and should have delved a bit deeper.

Clarity?  Oh yes, it provides me some clarity.  Now I'm 100% clear that you people are a bunch of tone-deaf fools.  Good luck.  The pressure is going to be building, and I plan on helping it build just as much as I can.

No, citizen, you are not allowed to protect what is yours

(Via the Drudge Report)

Only authorized state employees may perform that task.

It's funny; Mrs Freeholder and I, along with some friends, saw Atlas Shrugged Part II this weekend, and...

Well, maybe it isn't so funny after all.  Never mind.

Difficult to believe, but apparently true

I had something whiz across my Facebook page this weekend--someone had heard on Tom Gresham's radio program GunTalk that the Wounded Warrior Project (no link, you'll see why in a bit) had refused to participate in an event where guns were present.  I figured that someone had misunderstood, and not seeing the gun portion of the blogosphere blow up I figured that was it.

Listening to the podcast of the show this morning, I heard the portion of the show concerning this.  Sure enough, the Wounded Warrior Project had turned down an opportunity to appear at a HAVA event because, o-o-oh ick, guns were present.

Being an advocate for doing my own homework, I decided to do so.  I found these two things on the Wounded Warrior web site:

When organizing a fundraiser or event to benefit Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP), please bear in mind we do not support any fundraiser that is of a sexual, political, religious nature, or exchange of firearms or alcohol.


Before submitting a letter of interest, please read through our FAQs to ensure your organization will be eligible for a WWP grant. The following opportunities are not eligible for WWP funding:

If you're on Facebook (may work if you're not; I'm not sure), here's Gresham's side of the story.  Short version is that he got in touch with PR drone Leslie A. Coleman, asked if this was their actual policy and had it confirmed.

Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.

WTF?  This is the same sort of BS that we're fed when the gungrabbers have another try at our rights--blame the item used, not the user.

What we have here appears to be yet another organization that believes that Lord of the Rings was a documentary, not a work of fiction.  I'm way past tired of that crap.

It's also an organization that has gotten the last donation they'll be getting from me.  I'll find someone else doing similar work--someone who is at least not hostile to my civil rights--to donate to.  You folks do what you think is right.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why you do your own homework

On the preparedness front, there is a lot of information out there.  Some of it is inaccurate, and relying on it could cause you some serious problems.

A fairly well know survival podcast has one particular person that is their "go to guy" for all things energy.  Most of the time, he has his stuff together, and I've learned a lot from listening to him.  But lately, I've heard him say something--twice--that I was pretty sure was wrong, based on things I've heard from folks in the industry in question.  So I've done a quick check on the subject, just to confirm what I thought I knew.  Here's the background and the results.

This person advocated natural gas as a big part of your preparedness posture.  Not LPG or propane, but natural gas as in you have a gas meter at your house, the furnace and stove are attached to it and so on.  He says that in the event of a serious, long-term emergency, the natural gas distribution system almost runs itself and could stay up for months to years.  Pressure is supplied naturally from the wells, and if no one is digging, pipelines are very reliable.  You could still cook, and if you have a generator hooked up, you could power it with natural gas and have electricity as well.  With a big enough generator you could even keep your central heat in the winter and AC in the summer.  Beats candles, cutting wood and sweating in the heat, let me tell you!

Um, nazzo fast, Guido.  According to the American Gas Association, it doesn't work quite that way.  Starting in the production fields, compressors are needed to pressurize the lines.  Transmission lines need to be pressurized so that the gas keeps moving.  While many of these systems are automated, they are centrally controlled--by people, via electronic control systems.  As it gets closer to your home, pressure and flow rates are monitored to ensure that things keep moving (and I assume, nothing blows up), again by people using electronic control systems.

Much of this infrastructure is powered by the natural gas in the lines themselves, but even automated systems break down.  I suppose it's possible for much of the system to function on its own for a while, perhaps even a few months, as long as the electronic control systems work.  But telling people that they will have near limitless energy available in a long-term grid-down situation is not accurate information, in my opinion.  Heck, I wouldn't trust that systems for weeks--what happens if the power in the monitoring stations goes out?

I do believe that natural gas could be a useful strategy.  In the event of an emergency, even a regional one, natural gas will probably keep flowing.  Can you imagine how much easier your life would be in something like a hurricane event if you still had large quantities of reliable power?  You wouldn't be freezing in the dark in a nor' easter in the Rockaways, that's a fact.

But if I were worried about a months-to-years type event, I'd be sure to have a propane pig, rejetting kits and other sources of power and heat at hand, just in case.

Double check, triple check, quadruple and quintuple check not only your supplies, but your information.  Because the last place you want to get let down by either is when something has hit the fan and became airborne.

(And yes, I've confirmed this information on how the natural gas distribution system works from multiple sources. )

Another year passes

Yet some young men never age.

Thank you.