Monday, June 18, 2018

Just a couple of points

Armed bystander shoots, kills gunman in Walmart parking lot.

Point #1: You are your own first responder.

Point #2: It isn't fireworks or balloons popping. It's gunfire and you need to react according, NOW. Better to be embarrassed than dead.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The rest of the story

(With apologies to the late Paul Harvey for stealing his famous tag line.)

A few posts ago I did a little thing about how the excellent equipment of a fishing boat made the rescue of the crew nearly a non-event in the annals of search and rescue. Now we have a new article with details on the mechanics of the rescue from someone who took part in it. At least for me it's a really interesting story which raises some interesting questions about just how did the crew of the Aunt T wind up needing rescue in the first place.

More later if I happen to see it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

When things don't go quite the way you thought they'd go


I'm not sure whether I feel sorry for these sanctimonious turd burglars because they're being taken advantage of by unscrupulous adults who don't give a tinker's damn about them or if I'm simply laughing at their utter blindness to how the world really works. Either way, they're giving The Gun Salesman of the Year, 2008-2016 a run for his money. Keep it up, kids. One of these days you're going to look back at this episode in your life and go "Oh God, that was me!"

And the Internet will never let you forget it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The top X items that will disappear from the shelves when something horrible happens

So how many lists have you seen along the lines of that title? Five, 6, a dozen? 50 items, 100 items--crap, if something bad enough happens the shelves in every store of any description are going to be stripped as bare as, well, pretty doggone bare. If you don't believe me, get on YouTube on look for the videos of people stripping grocery stores ahead of snowstorms or hurricanes. These are events that we know are relatively localized and where outside help will be coming, at some point at any rate.

Imagine what your local Big Box Mart is going to look like within a few hours of Whatever Big Event Makes Everyone Realize We're Screwed. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the thing myself.

But these lists can serve a purpose, and that is to help your thinking about things you may have missed. Yes, you're supposed to have lists of lists and all that, but how many of us actually do that? I'll admit I haven't. I should, but there is always something that--squirrel!

I've had a few tabs open for weeks, and this list of 72 items is one of them. I left it because it's one of the ones that seem to have some small amount of thought in it. However, in the interest of helping you preserve your capital for the important stuff and give you even more to mentally chew on, I'm going to fisk this thing.

  • Bottled Water: Don't buy it, store it. Use old soft drink bottles or 55 gallon food grade blue drums (or better, both) and store the stuff out of your tap. Have at least two ways on hand to re-purify the stuff when you need to tap into the supply. If you use the barrels, you're going to need a pump (two is better) or keep them in racks and then have taps for them.
  • Cooking oils, powdered milk and all storable foods: Nothing wrong with any of this, but for heaven's sake, store what you eat, eat what you store and don't store more than you can eat before it goes off.
  • Jerky: Only if you make your own. I've seen good steak that costs less per pound.
  • First Aid Kits: No, no and no. Get advice from someone like Patriot Nurse or Doc Bones and Nurse Amy and build your own. The pre-made kits are usually junk.
  • Wines and Liquors: I wouldn't. While they may make good barter goods, you don't need the temptation and that particular sort of barter good makes you a really tempting target while not doing you a lot of good if you can't barter it. If you want to make tinctures, store Everclear or high-proof vodka and skip the rest.
  • Tobacco products: Ditto.
  • Gas Masks: Please, put the money into N95 masks instead. At least you may find those useful. If you really need gas masks, you'll probably going to die anyway. Seriously.
  • Construction Supplies: They mention a lot of things, but not nails, screws, nuts, bolts and so on. Without them, the rest will be somewhat difficult to use.
  • Clothing: Again, they mention certain kinds of clothing, but you're going to be wearing out and using up all kinds of clothing. You're going to want a deep closet if whatever the Big Problem is lasts for a long while.
  • Candles: Only if you have no other choice, and this goes for any sort of fuel burning light generating device. Why? Because you can burn down your house, and there will be no fire department to call if you have an oops. Learn ways to make light without flames. Solar landscape lights are great for this. Stock up on extra ni-cad batteries in the appropriate sizes for when the originals wear out.
  • Insulation: A big roll or two of bubble wrap will be handy. Stick it to windows for extra insulation in cold weather, peel it off and save it for re-use when it warms up.
  • Bicycles: Darn skippy! Mountain bikes or similar will be best, because the roads won't last forever. In my book these will be a better option than horses for a long time.
  • Generators: Only useful until the fuel runs out. Bear that in mind. This also goes for any fuel-powered vehicle or tool. Consider how you'll be cutting wood when you run out of gas for the chain saw. (Or you run out of bar oil, or the last chain runs out, etc.)
  • Firewood: One of my three biggest security items. I like to have 3-4 years worth cut, split and under cover. If things go bad, you might not have time to deal with wood for a year or two.
  • Solar power: I'd only do it on a small scale in order to keep communications gear, minimal lighting, minimal refrigeration etc. available. Buy good parts, such as panels and batteries, and spares of everything--there may well be no resupply in your lifetime.
  • Gold and Silver: Only if you are so squared away on everything else you can do it without shorting other things.
  • Motorcycles: See Generators and Bicycles.
  • A grain grinder (grain mill): Definitely get one of these as soon as you start storing whole grains. You have to have a way to process those grains.
I hope between Sevenpod and me we've given you more than enough to get your juices flowing. And have fun with it, because if this isn't enjoyable for you, you won't be able to make it a lifestyle.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Again, we remember


While those few that remain are still young in their memories, and many who were were once young will forever remain so, those of us who came after once again remember and commemorate the sacrifices made on this day in 1944 when the Allied Armies invaded Festung Europa. Less than one year later, Adolph Hitler lay dead in the burning remains of Berlin and for one glorious second, Europe was free. Men like these paid the butcher's bill for that, and they deserve nothing less than our everlasting gratitude and remembrance.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

What we have here...

Is an amazing lack of situational awareness. Along with some amazing stupidity.

The swarm of teenagers milling around the Village at Sandhill on Saturday evening was "alarming," but Monica Elkins-Johnson continued into Blue Fin Seafood Restaurant and Bar to meet a friend for dinner.

However, dinner was interrupted when the area outside the businesses erupted into chaos.

"I saw a huge amount of students just running," said Elkins-Johnson, who is a member of the Richland 2school board. "They were running from the back of the movie theater to Blue Fin. They were running across the street, jumping over cars, running into cars."

Minutes later, teenagers began fighting in front of Elkins-Johnson, who was sitting on the restaurant's patio. That's when the educator of more than 20 years jumped into action to try to break up the fight. A server at the restaurant jumped over the patio railing to help, Elkins-Johnson said.

Just briefly, let's run down the list:

  1. "Swarm" of teenagers
  2. Ignored a feeling of alarm
  3. Saw people running, apparently sat waiting to see what was happening
  4. Jumped into the middle of a riot
Numbers 1 and 2 should have led to her saying to herself "Self, I think we'll be eating elsewhere tonight." Number 3 should have led to her dropping more than enough cash on the table to cover the food and a tip and de-assing the AO immediately by the nearest exit that took her in the opposite direction. Number 4 is just stupid--you get hurt or killed pulling dumb stunts like that.

But the money quote is this, from Elkins-Johnson herself.

"You don't run to fights; you run away from fights," she recalled telling them. "A bullet does not have a name on it."

She really should take her own advice.

Do you blog? Have a Facebook account?

Then the Department of Homeland Security is probably going to be creeping on you.

I suppose I should apologize for all those times I made light of the concerns of those who said something about "being on the list". Then again, for me, what's one more list? DHS, welcome to The Freehold. You already know who I really am, so wave when you drive by the house. :-)

Friday, June 01, 2018

"Their safety equipment took the search out of search and rescue."

We preppers sometimes let ourselves go down the garden path thinking that prepping is about big emergencies like hurricanes or economic collapse. But stories like this one, about 3 guys who were rescued from a sinking fishing boat by the US Coast Guard in just over 90 minutes, should drive home the need to be prepared when ever we go out--or for that matter are just walking around our own yard. Sure, we can say "Hey they were out on the ocean, of course they should take all the precautions,", but you'd be amazed at how often you will need things "out of the ordinary" as you go through your daily routine.

Let me give you one to think about. It hasn't happened to me, but it's something that I've had to consider. I'm not going to sit around the house all day until someone comes home so I can do the "dangerous" stuff where having someone around would be a good safety precaution. Take running a chain saw for instance. Even with appropriate safety gear, a chain saw is a dangerous tool. You can quite easily amputate a limb.

So there you are, looking stupidly at the bleeding stump. You have a cell phone, but you're going to bleed out before the ambulance gets there. Not, however, if you can keep your head (admittedly difficult) and you have a tourniquet on you. You can, with just a little practice, put a CAT or SWAT tourniquet on yourself with one hand. It's called self-rescue. If you work with dangerous tools or carry a gun, it's one of those things you should practice.

Because at its root, prepping is about saving your life. And the lives of your fishing buddies on a dark night on the ocean, along with surviving other bad days.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Upgrades for your AR

(Via The Woodpile Report)

Practical AR Enhancements That Work

From practical experience, I can endorse reliability enhancements I, II and IV. I feel that III is to some extent a matter of personal choice once the lubricant is of sufficient quality to make the gun run.

As far as the accuracy enhancements, I'll support I with the caveat of "If you use an optic." I can make an argument for Joe Average not having an optic on his SHTF gun that goes along the lines of "normally will have insufficient training for effective use". I don't support II unless your AR is for competition. I'll have to take their word on III. I unfortunately don't get any opportunity for night shooting.

Low budget wind turbines

(Via Gab)

So the world has gone all Mad Max on you and you need to make some energy. You didn't stock up on solar panels, you don't have access to a stream suitable for micro-hydro (Who does?) and wind turbines were out of your budget before everything went to hell.

Could you scrounge up some blue barrels and plumbing pipe?

Be sure to catch Part 2 on Youtube, where he adds the actual power production, as well as the bigger 6 barrel version (before the gun grabbers think it's a firearm and start trying to ban it). Hackaday also has a lot of other interesting stuff scattered about if you have the time to go down that particular rabbit hole.

The comments on the videos are full of suggestions for improvements, plus the usual BS YouTube idiots.

Owned

Simply and succinctly, owned.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Reason #4,237 why we go armed in public

(Via the Drudge Report)

18-year-old wants-to-be-famous bad guy walks into a restaurant and shoots a mom and her daughter who are celebrating a birthday. On his way out the door, an armed citizen drops him, ending the problem permanently.

Thus endeth the lesson.

The inversion continues

I have tried to keep off of politics on the blog lately, with the exception of the gun thing, which I'll never lay off of. But reading this John Nolte piece on "How Donald Trump Killed Off the 1960s" just made that bell in my head go "DING!"

When you stop and consider it, the world really has turned itself upside down in many ways. No matter what theory of history, if any, you subscribe to, it's an interesting time to be alive.

Personally, I'd rather it was boring as hell, but that doesn't seem to be an option. Maybe it never has been.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

That statement, attributed to Rahm Emanuel, mayor of the gun-controlled paradise of Chicago, takes on new meaning in light of the news that Obama-ear Education Secretary Arne Duncan was emailing Emanuel for advice on pushing the gun ban agenda in the days following the Sandy Hook school shooting--literally before the victims funerals.

There's a reason we call it "dancing in the blood of the victims".

Sunday, May 20, 2018

As Michael Bane has said so many times, "The mask is off."

Okay, Now I Actually Do Want To Take Your Guns

This is what many/most/99% of anti-gunners want, and why even hypothetical discussions of alternatives run into brick walls on both sides.

Not as if it's a surprise, I guess. But I always have this foolish and unreasoning hope that humanity should be better than it apparently capable of being. Too much Star Trek as a kid, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Yes, Virginia, you do need a gun

(Via The Woodpile Report)

Not that most of the people who stop by here need to be convinced of that fact. As we all know, you need several. And magazines. Ammo. Spare parts. Ammo. Training. Ammo. Friends with guns. Ammo--have I mentioned ammo? You need plenty of ammo.

Kurt Schlichter has a piece on Town Hall pointing out that if you don't have an "assault rifle" then you really need to get yourself to the nearest gun show or real gun shop and get yourself one, because the day may be coming where you need it.

Nothing to argue with there.

However, what I find most interesting is this. Read this carefully and then we'll do the math. Schlichter was in Los Angles for the Rodney King riots as an Army 2LT. He has this piece of wisdom from that event.

Being the new officer in the unit, I got put with the battalion commander as his assistant S3 (operations officer) so he could observe me and decide if I was worthy of getting a company command (I eventually got two). I went everywhere in his hummer because our troops were everywhere. And I was hugged by the residents because we brought safety to their neighborhoods – something they had not had even before the riots. All it took was two divisions, about six combat brigades, of soldiers and a bunch of Marines to pacify just one part of one city.

The Army currently has 58 active and reserve brigade combat teams. Again, do the math. The military will do its best, but the cavalry is almost certainly not coming.

So it took six brigades and some Marines. Let's call it 7 brigades to bring those riots under control. So if all of Los Angles had decided to go apeshit, it could in theory take the entire US Army's active and reserve combat force to bring it under control. If there are problems in Dallas, or Atlanta, or Charlotte, or insert the name of your least favorite big city here, well, they better hope there are a lot of Marines with nothing to do. After that, you're looking at the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard, and the last I looked they're a little light on combat brigades.

We're not even going into the facts that our military is spread all over the world and it takes time to spin reserve components up to combat readiness.

You might want to add some more ammo to that buying trip.

The End of the World as We Know It will not be what we think it will be

(Via The Woodpile Report)

From a guy who has been there and collected most if not all of the "been there, done that" t-shirts, the 5 Deadly Mistakes Preppers Are Making.

Number 2 ought to sound rather familiar to anyone who has undergone formal self defense training.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Will this "Make You Go Hm-m-m"?

Jon Stokes claims to be a "gun industry insider", and claims he goes to church on Sunday with his 9 mm tucked inside his fanciest jeans. A quick Intertubz search tells me the first is rather a stretch and totally fails to confirm the rest. However, he's written a thought piece that should be given a read: A Gun Nut’s Guide to Gun Control That Works

Now, stop yelling. Yes, it's on Politico, so that's Strike One. Yes, he says "gun control", so there's Strike Two. Yes, when you read it and he goes on and on AND ON about those uber-deadly semi-automatic rifles and it becomes painfully obvious that the guy's never been to a SASS match in his life and seen what people can do with lever actions, well, that's Strike Three, and in any normal baseball game he's out.

We, my friends, are not in any normal baseball game. He points that out, although I believe he overstates his case. And while we appear to have once again beaten back our enemies this time; as has been often pointed out, we have to win every time and they only have to win once.

He's correct when he points out that "Our side faces a potent new enemy in the form of private-sector companies like REI, Delta Airlines, Citibank, YouTube and Reddit, which are taking an increasingly anti-gun stance." Add to that Bank of America, Yeti, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz, TrueCar, Walmart, Kroger, LL Bean and the list goes on. There are a lot of private companies out there who have not been against us before who are against us now. This does not bode well for us, at least at the moment. At best, we have some significant damage control to do. At worst, we've taken a significant hit that we won't recover from.

If it's the latter, then we had better consider a Plan B, because our traditional Plan A, otherwise known as "Because Fuck You!" isn't going to work so well for us.

While his proposal for a federal license for semi-auto long guns isn't something I can support, it might be something we could work from. Just for fun, what if they tossed in all NFA items plus national concealed carry reciprocity in addition to his proposal, then what would you think of it? A sort of one-stop license for all of it. Maybe we have to cough up semi-auto pistols to keep the other side happy. (Remember Jerry Miculek--we aren't giving up much).

Yeah, it gets a little harder to say "Hell No!" and be all Second Amendment Absolutist when the Giggle Switch comes into play, doesn't it?

Just sayin'.

But why would a business owner need to carry a gun?

When you're a part of a group that is being targeted for robbery and murder, it's an entirely reasonable reaction.

Chinese-American business owners in the Triangle area of North Carolina are tired of being unarmed targets, and they're doing something about it. They've formed the North Carolina Chinese Hunting Club (OK, the name's a little unfortunate) and they're learning how to shoot back.

Welcome to America, folks. I hope you enjoy your freedom to protect yourselves.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Time to ridicule the anti-gunners and anti-gun politicians

(Via the Drudge Report)

Yes, I know, this is something you'd never expect to see here. Ahem.

The weekend just past saw a gun show in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal except for the hard core anti-gun crowd, but OMG Parkland. How dare these terrible people have a gun show anywhere within 200,000 miles of these poor, traumatized children.

What a load of chicken feces. I have to wonder about the parents of the dead kids and the parents of the ones who are being used as shills. What the hell are they thinking? You're going to allow the memory of your kid to be used like this to advance the viewpoint of people who don't give a tinker's damn about you? You're allowing your kid to be paraded around and used as a meat puppet to spew out the opinions of the same cynical groups? Great Bleeding Ghu.

Deep breath...10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Exhale. OK. Blood pressure is out of the stroke zone.

Of course, said gun show went off without a hitch. None of the evil guns jumped up and shot anyone and no gun show loop holes were seen to be waving signs saying "Criminals! Buy guns here!" Blood still stubbornly refused to flow in the aisles as the crowd refused to start shooting over slights real or imagined. Funny how that works.

But for the Fort Lauderdale city commissioners, none of that is good enough. They want the gun show gone. For the families.

“I fully respect the right of people to own guns,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said on Saturday. “I just don’t feel we should have a gun show in the middle of Holiday Park, a playground where children play soccer, volleyball and baseball.”

So the mayor respects your right to own a gun, he just wants to make it more difficult for you to buy one. Because 7 weekends a year, reasons. OK, got that.

Fortunately, Mr. Mayor doesn't know when to shut up. Pro Tip: Politicians, learn when to shut up--it's a job skill.

On Saturday, Trantalis was stunned to hear that families were bringing children to the gun show, where firearms of all types were for sale, from tiny pistols to AR-15s like the semi-automatic rifle used in the Parkland shooting.

“Wow,” Trantalis said. “What can I say. I don’t know how to respond to that.”

Well, Mr. Mayor, your best move would have been to shut that gaping stupidity dispenser in the middle of your face. Failing that, you could have fallen back on your earlier “I fully respect the right of people to own guns.” Luckily for us, you let your true feelings came out. You're a liar--you no more support the Second Amendment than City Commissioner Heather Moraitis, who tweeted:

“When our contract ends this fall with Gun Show, I hope we never see the words Fort Lauderdale-Gun Show-War Memorial again. It’s time to think about different programming options at War Memorial in the heart of our city.”

The elected elite in Greensboro, NC recently tried this crap with the Greensboro Gun and Knife Show. The immediate blow back from the local gunnies shut that down fast. Here's hoping the Fort Lauderdale gunnies let their elected "betters" know that the way out the door will be paved with an attempt to close their local gun show.

Get up on your hind legs and fight, people. The other side isn't going to go away. There is no slacking off. The battle is every day, from now until forever.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

But for the grace of God, there go I

(Via the Drudge Report)

Over the years I've been blogging, I've written about finance, both macro and micro. I've also written about prepping in all manner of situations, including as you age. This combines both of those themes.

The story is of a man who once walked the corridors of power, and who now walks the streets. I don't really know anything about the people he worked with and for except Rudy Giuliani, and I only know the least bit about him to be honest. Perhaps this man is reaping what he sowed, perhaps he is the victim of his own poor choices and perhaps he is simply one more unfortunate person living a life of quiet desperation, waiting for salvation or the end.

For our purposes, he is probably deserving of a word of prayer if you tend toward such, and some consideration in light of your own circumstances no matter how you tend. I can tell you from personal experience that it is very easy to go from being on top of the world to on top of the trash heap, and it can happen all too quickly. You should devote some of your planning time to this concept, because it isn't as far-fetched as you might want it to be.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation strikes back

It seems you can't be a Dick's and be a member of the NSSF. And that's a good thing. We need to stand fast--together--if we're going to defend the Second Amendment. No corporate weaseling allowed.

Oddly enough, I was at a local minor league baseball game last night, and they were handing out $10 off coupons for Dick's Sporting Goods like you wouldn't believe. Dick's is a big sponsor at this particular ball park. I'm not going to boycott the team or anything goofy like that; they have a lot of sponsors who in aggregate are much larger than Dick's.

I'm curious, however, if Dick's is getting any good from an investment where, on any given night, I can see a lot of the crowd wearing gear that would indicate they are members of groups that would tend to be more rather than less supportive of the Second Amendment. For crying out loud, there was a kid there wearing this shirt:


Warmed the cockles of my heart, that did. I loved the 80s. :-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

If you won't give up your guns, the banks will force you to

I heard this on the morning's "Flash Briefing" from the Amazon Alexa on the Wall Street Journal, but not having a paid subscription, it wasn't exactly blogable. Now, via Claire Wolfe and the Captain's Journal, you may read about the financial sector's latest post-Parkland effort to curry favor with...whoever it is they're attempting to curry favor with. They want to identify your individual gun transactions. For reasons.

Remember when everyone said to buy guns and ammo with cash only so you didn't get on "The List". Doesn't sound so funny now, does it?

Slimy bastards. I'm glad I'm with a credit union.

Occasionally the other side of the street gets it

(Via The Woodpile Report)

I'm not one to read Medium very often. The tone of the place isn't one I find compatible with my world view for the most part. However, as with all things, nothing is 100% one thing or another, and Medium will regularly have something that will take you by surprise, such as "The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper".

It's not often that you have someone make a mathematical case not only for prepping, but for gun, and in particular AR-15, ownership. Plus a few cans of ammo. Along with food, water purification gear and maybe a sailboat. Seriously.

Dragging you through the article in detail will spoil it. Just go read it yourself. If you disagree with it, that's fine and good, but I find it a refreshingly well thought out look at a subject that the other side of the street likes to either ridicule or ignore.

About those cell phones and biometric security

Allow ol' Uncle Freeholder to refresh your memory on why you never use biometric technology as the "password" on you cellphone. At least make the bastards pay the big bucks for the unlock gear.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

This is one of those 2.5 million defensive gun uses the CDC couldn't be bothered to release to the public

(Via The Woodpile Report)

It's also an answer to the questions "Why I need an AR-15", "Why I need standard capacity magazines" and "Why I carry a gun at home."

It was 7 against 3 at 4 AM in Glen St. Mary, FL when the seven kicked in the door, claiming to be from the sheriff's department. Two of the three gunned up and unleashed an answer of high speed lead "No, we don't think you are" on the intruders. One intruder DRT (Dead Right There), one wounded and hospitalized, one treated and released to the cops and the rest are being sought.

The mouthy children from Parkland have yet to be heard from on the subject.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Interesting firearms manufacturing news

SCCY Firearms is moving from Florida to Tennessee.

Obviously, something like this takes a lot of time and planning, and therefore isn't a reaction to last month's foolishness revolving around the Parkland, FL school shooting--although I wouldn't be surprised if the alleged Republican governor's actions didn't add an exclamation point to it. Instead, I would suspect this is nothing more than the creeping Yankification of Florida that has been going on for the last couple of decades. While the northern retirees weren't so bad, the new waves of younger immigrants are bringing their liberal viewpoints with them, and the word from sources in Florida is that times are a changin' in the state that gave us shall issue concealed carry.

Pity, since there is a lot to like about Florida once you get outside the cities.

You really want to zero your rifle?

Then you do it this way. No shortcuts.

Of course this CDC study on defensive gun use never saw the light of day

It's really quite simple. The CDC buried a study that showed that guns are used defensively nearly 2.5 million times a year because it doesn't fit the narrative. It simply wouldn't do to have that sort of information out running around when we're trying to demonize gun owners and legislate he right to own guns out of existence.

And scientists wonder why the public doesn't trust them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Someone in the Minnesota legislature doesn't like guns

(Via The Woodpile Report)

The masks have come off in Minnesota, as Representatives Linda Slocum, Fue Lee, Jean Wagenius, Karen Clark and David Bly have introduced HF 3022, an unnamed bill that will, in essence, make it well-nigh impossible to own a firearm or ammunition in the Gopher state. Seven other legislators have had their names removed as authors from the bill. There is no word if that had anything to do with voters armed with tar and feathers.

According to alloutdoor.com, this steaming pile o' crap will mean

– Permit required to own a gun
– Permit required to buy a gun
– Permit required to sell a gun
– Local law enforcement gets to deny all types of gun permits
– Local law enforcement gets to deny permits to carry
– Personal medical information must be shared with law enforcement
– All firearm transfers must be reported
– All guns must be registered (fees set by local law enforcement)
– Registration must be renewed annually
– Local law enforcement may conduct warrantless “safety inspections” of gun owner’s homes
– Local law enforcement sets “safe storage” policies
– Five day waiting period for all transfers
– Transfers must be done through an FFL (even between private parties)
– Fees may be charged for transfers
– Local law enforcement may conduct background investigation on transfers
– Total ban on any gun which meets broad “assault weapon” definition – banned guns must be destroyed or surrendered
– Ban thumbhole stocks
– Ban adjustable stocks
– Ban pistol grip stocks
– Limit fixed magazine capacity to 7 rounds
– Ban any magazine capable of holding more than 7 rounds
– Suspension of gun rights based on complaints from anonymous parties
– Recriminalization of suppressors
– Bump stock ban
– All ammunition sales will be registered
– Permit required to purchase ammunition
– Make gun owner private data public, including number and type of guns owned and your address

Just remember, the gun banners' end game is for all of us to be disarmed and dead. If you think I'm exaggerating, please re-read the above.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Guns are not the solution to our safety."

So sayeth the spokesperson for the North Carolina Council of Churches, a group that contains churches that, as a resident of North Carolina, I recognize among the more liberal in my state.

Obviously, I don't buy that, and I doubt that few if any of you do either. Unfortunately the population growth here has attracted certain elements that I wish had remained where they came from. "Californication" doesn't only happen when residents from California move in.

But the thing that offends me is that this group claims that we view our guns as idols. Seriously? I don't have a shrine to my guns. There isn't a dark room, lit only by candles that holds and AR-15 in a cradle, flanked by cases of XM855 ammo.

That would be a fire hazard. :-)

This does, however, point out quite nicely the bizarre viewpoint of some gun grabbers as well as their depth of misunderstanding of gun owners. I think it also points out that this is a gulf that will not be bridged.

I fear what is coming.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

We'll have successful commercial nuclear fusion in 10 years

(Via The Woodpile Report)

We've been hearing the 10 year refrain for nuclear fusion every year for at least 2 decades now. Could it be possible that someone is really on the verge of making it come true--next year?

Saying that this would be a game changer is putting it mildly. Not only would it change things here on Planet Earth, but can you imagine what it could do in space?

We'll all be "tinfoil hat-wearing, black-helicopter conspiracy theorists" soon

Ars Techica reports that the Directorate of State Security Department of Homeland Security is building a database to "keep tabs on over 290,000 "global news sources" and develop an extensive database for an unconfirmed number of "media influencers."

Furthermore, the DHS contract calls for the firm selected to build this monstrosity to

...deliver "media-comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers" for a span ranging from one to five years, all with the aim of tracking "any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event." Part of that data-combing effort would include the development of a "database" that gathers intel about "journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers, etc.," including locations, beats, reporter "types," contact details, overviews of each "influencer's" previous coverage, current publications, and "any other information that could be relevant."

Yes, there will apparently be an app to allow easy access all that for authorized users. But don't be concerned, access to the data will be password protected.

For those concerned that this is going too far, DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton says that this is "standard practice" and continues that "Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tinfoil hat-wearing, black-helicopter conspiracy theorists."

I'm not buying DHS's BS. If they were simply tracking news stories, OK. That's nothing more than what a clipping service provides. But tracking the authors, editors, their contact details and on and on? I view that as stepping into an entirely new realm of activity that is meant by the Deep State to chill the exercise of free speech. They intend it to be taken that way and they know it will be taken that way. The frightening thought is that They. Don't. Care. They don't believe they need to care--no one has ever made them care before. The Big Question is "Will anyone be able to make them care this time?"

Now excuse me while I hit up Amazon and order one of those restaurant-size rolls of aluminium foil, suitable for the entire family.

Edit, 4/12/2018, 1526: According to The Woodpile Report #524, per Denninger this database is already built and in production. I didn't understand this as such in the original report, but Remus's link does say that. Effing wonderful.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

You're actually surprised?

(Via SurvivalBlog)

Karl Denninger seems surprised at the following:


The government is, of course, entitled to be wrong and repair that error which is what they're claiming they're doing now.  What it's not entitled to do, however, is turn you into a felon if you don't destroy or turn over a thing you were explicitly told, in writing, was legal and nothing more-nefarious or subject to regulation than a plastic box.  At absolute minimum the government is required (under the 5th Amendment) to pay you for the current fair market value of that device plus all your costs (e.g. sales tax) associated with same and to pay the manufacturers the imputed value of their facility, inventory and forward foregone earnings (and employee salaries) that would have been generated but for their error.  They could also ban the things on a forward basis (limiting any 5th Amendment claim of "taking" to the manufacturers) and leave alone anyone who already owns one.





Folks, it isn't like this is something new. The Federal Government has done exactly this before, and in the realm of firearms. They will do it again, if not with bump stocks, with some other firearms accessory. I can't recall an incident, but I'm sure they've done it in non-firearms areas as well. Governments want to control everything and everyone, "for their own good", not to mention the safety of the public and the stability of the government.

THIS IS WHAT ALL GOVERNMENTS EVENTUALLY DO WHEN LEFT UNCHECKED.

We The People have let our government go unchecked for far too long. In fact, we've probably let it go so long that, like a garden that has suffered decades of mistreatment and neglect, it's simply better to rip it all out and start over. Of course, there is much more danger in that approach with government than with a garden, but we've tried for most of my lifetime to "fix" government, and every fix has made things worse over time.

We are facing a time when our choices will be so constrained that they will all be equally bad, all equally high risk. I suppose it's possible that we are already there, but the optimist in me hopes not. But even if we aren't there now, we had best prepare for that time. It may arrive sooner and more suddenly than we expect.

My hero!

A Greensboro, NC citizen lets the Greensboro City council have a piece of his mind as they consider closing down the long-running Greensboro Gun and Knife Show. The city attorney has already warned them that this would be illegal, but as with so many liberal politicians, they're going to plow ahead anyway. Because they're smarter, you know.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Who will be your allies?

I was reading through some back content on SurvivalBlog when I came across this quote from Mike Williamson:

I have noticed, as have several others, that the last few weeks have had a huge upswing in black attendance at gun shows. I saw a significant increase in black families–middle class, respectable–coming into the local show and leaving with purchases. Most were buying AK and AR platform rifles, pump shotguns and Glock or Smith and Wesson handguns. These are all practical, reliable defensive tools.

Clearly, they’re aware of the threats they will face during civil unrest, and are insuring against it. Anti-gun rhetoric to the contrary, they were of course welcomed by the rest of the firearm community and the vendors.

It will be interesting to see if this presages any shift in the upcoming elections.

As I've noted in a number of my "gun show report" posts, I've been seeing a constant increase in the attendance of women and blacks at gun shows for several years. I view this as a welcome trend, since more gun owners is a good thing for the gun culture. Mike's last sentence brings me around to something that I've discussed with folks in the real world, but not here. I want to toss it out and see if any of my 3 readers have thoughts on it.

I grew up during the time of the civil rights movement, school desegregation and the cultural upheavals that accompanied them. In my part of the South, it wasn't that big a deal for us kids--it seems to me, at least in my memory, that the adults had most of the issues with the process. Middle and upper class whites picked up, packed up and moved when school districts were redrawn or when the urban renewal caused neighborhoods to, shall we say, change complexion in ways they didn't approve of.

Poor folks just stayed put and figured out how to make it work as best we could.

Where I grew up wasn't all that far from a black neighborhood. This was normal in the South; the rich folks didn't care for poor people of any skin color in their neighborhoods. So I had already been going to school with some black kids, although it wasn't that many. Desegregation saw to it that that changed.

Desegregation also saw an increase in the use of school buses, because almost no one went to the schools closest to them any longer. I couldn't walk the third mile or so to my neighborhood school, I had to be bused halfway across town to a different school, and the kids who had went to that school were in turn bused to my old school. This was somehow going to make things better for all of us.

I don't know how it worked out for them, but for me it wasn't so great. The first couple of years weren't too bad, but when junior high school came around, it became a dangerous and miserable experience. I was one of the smaller kids, had no muscles to speak of and was a nerd to top it off. I may as well had a target painted on my back. Every bully and wannabe bully in school seemed to gravitate toward me. My Dad tried to teach me how to fight so I could stand up for myself, but that simply got me hauled into the principle's office for fighting (well, more like getting my ass kicked) and my parents' called in as well. Not so good.

The school buses were even less pleasant, if such thing were possible. The only positive thing, I'm ashamed to say, is that there were a couple of girls on my bus who were even more popular targets than I was, so until their parents removed them, I caught a break. But once they were gone, I caught hell.

So I decided that the school  bus could go fuck itself. My Dad dropped me off in the morning, and I could just walk home in the afternoon, a distance of several miles. Through the black part of town. Not the nice black part of town, either. But none of the black kids ever had bullied me, so somehow I figured it would be OK. I didn't tell my parents about my cunning plan.

So I walked home, occasionally accompanied by some of my black classmates who lived close enough that they had to walk. No bus service if you lived withing a mile, I believe it was, so some of them had to walk. You know what happened?

Nothing. Not when I had someone with me, and not when I didn't. I made that walk for almost 2 years, rain or shine, warm or cold, with and without company, and I never, ever, was bothered by anyone on my way home. Me, this skinny white kid in the middle of one of the least "nice" neighborhoods in town.

At the time, I never really thought much of it. To me, people were people, and I didn't make much out of race. Sure, I knew there were black people who were slovenly, criminal, "not nice". I also knew a hell of a lot of white people who fit that description too. One lived next door and was a city cop. He also cheated on his wife and beat her and the kids. That's life on the poor side of town.

But as I got older and accumulated "life experience", I started to put some things together. As I've gotten older and seen even more, I've been able to boil it down to something of an essence. It goes like this.

By and large, the color of one's skin doesn't matter half as much as another color, the color green--as in money. Allow me to expand on the thinking behind this.

There's an old saying from the 60s, "Life is like a shit sandwich--the more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat." Having been poor and having been well off, I can tell you there is a large amount of truth in that.

Poor people, no matter the color of their skin, have more in common with other poor people than poor people and rich people with the same skin color. The concerns of the latter group have little in common with those of the poor. Poor people are very concerned about keeping a roof over their head and having something to eat. These aren't concerns for rich people, other than what neighborhood they want to live in and what restaurant they want to eat in.

Poor people are concerned if they can get a cheap car and keep it running, and do they have $5 for gas. (Hey, 1970s.) Rich people are concerned what their next car will be and when they can buy it--and they always "fill 'er up!"

Poor people have to be concerned about every interaction with the police, and with good reason. Poor people are far more often the victims of crime and far more often the perpetrators of it, so there is a certain amount of built-in suspicion in the cops when they deal with the poor. Rich people generally don't deal with the police, and when they do, the attitude of the police is totally different. I've seen this first hand. I've went through police roadblocks on a weekend with a friend in an old truck, dressed for yard work and hauling trash, and I've went through them dressed for work in the office and driving my car. Trust me when I tell you they were very different experiences.

I could keep on, but hopefully those examples are enough to give you a feeling for the concept I'm espousing. To misquote F. Scott Fitzgerald, the rich and their concerns are very different from ours. I don't say that this is good or bad, I merely recognize that it's a fact.

So if things get tight, or should things go pear-shaped on us, who will be your allies? What groups will you look to when you reach out beyond your friends or your immediate neighborhood in order to create some sort of alliance of like-minded individuals so that everyone has a better chance of surviving?

This is a question that you may want to consider now. While you can look at the news and see all sorts of signs pointing toward future hard times, we aren't there just yet. There is still time to build the friendships and acquaintances that prove important in future hard times. But you want to concentrate on those who are going to be the most compatible with you over the long run.

Be sure you pick the right folks.

Edit, 4/3/2018, 1217: Sorry about that unholy white background that was present in the first 24 hours this was up. I'm going to have to start reviewing every post from the blog view rather than trusting Blogger to get things right, I suppose. Effing Google.

They want more gun control

Gun control has had its chance since 1934 and the National Firearms Act. There are over 20,000 gun laws in the US--20,000 chances to show gun control works. But, as always, the gun grabbers want more. Just how many more chances do we need to give gun control before we have a blinding flash of the obvious and declare that it doesn't work?

We all know the answer to that. After they have managed to enact the law that allows them to go door-to-door and confiscate them all by force. Remember, their ultimate goal is to take them all, and then eliminate us by whatever means they deem necessary.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The NRA, its positions and my relationship to them--one last time

I'm going to address this subject one final time. After this, anyone who brings it up is going to get branded as a troll and I will ban your ass from commenting. This has gone on long enough; this is my place on the Intertubz, you're wasting my time and I'm officially over it. Comments will be closed on this post. You don't like it, get your own blog.

Before that, some housekeeping. This came in as a comment to a totally unrelated story, with the comment that they couldn't find a way to contact me on the blog. 

On the right side of the page there is a contact form. If you're running something like Ghostery or Ad-Block, you may not see it. I run Ghostery as well and I've found it buggers up a lot of the standard Blogger widgets. If you're going to read Blogger blogs, you may want to white list the entire *.blogspot.com domain, or if you want to be more granular, each of the Blogger blogs you frequent.

I've recently come to discover that these tools, used without discretion, are more of a club than a scalpel. There are a ton of things blocked in Ghostery, and not all of them are "bad". But that's a different post. If you want my take on it, leave me a note and I'll write about it.

On to the subject at hand, which is the NRA, my support for it and the incessant idiocy that some people want to keep trotting out on the subject . I received the following over the weekend:


I'm an NRA Benefactor member. I've bought Life memberships for both of my kids. This weekend I wrote checks to both the NRA Political Victory Fund and the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. That's called putting your money where your mouth is. I have to wonder how many of the NRA's detractors have as much coin invested in the political side of the game, not to mention things like working tables at gun shows and talking to local politicians, as I have in the last few years.

I'm not going to bother to go back and search for the number of times I've taken the NRA to task on this blog. Just because I support them doesn't mean I'm blind. When I think they're wrong I'll let them know. After writing checks this weekend, I wrote to them letting them know that any support for these bullshit ERPOs is an idiotic move that hearkens back to the bad old days of the NRA. I put it nicer than that, but that was the gist of the message.

I also have in front of me my 2018 ballot for the NRA Board of Directors. One of the nice things about being a Life Member or above (or an annual member of some years standing) is that you get to vote for the BOD members. This year there are 35 names and I can vote for 25. I plan on vote bombing, which means I'm going to vote for a few candidates whose positions would tend to put more hardcore Second Amendment backbone into the NRA's positions. At the same time, I don't want to turn the NRA into a group that is so absolutist that no one in DC or the 50 state capitals will listen to them.

You see, it's a balancing act. Politics, and yes, Second Amendment advocacy is politics, is the art of the possible. The secret is recognizing what is possible, and I think the NRA, living in as close proximity to DC as it does, often doesn't see the world the way those of us further away do. They get caught up in all the "inside the Beltway" business and start believing all the propaganda they're immersed in, including their own. I think they'd be well advised to have another headquarters elsewhere and a staff rotation system so that people got a break from the Beltway.

However, I'm one voice, and a tiny little one, out of 5 or 6 million NRA members. If you want to have a voice, you're going to need to join and put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, you're just background noise that's going to be tuned out. The NRA has been doing it to you for years, and I'm starting as of now.

Edit, 3/27/2018 1142: Fixed the comment instructions to say that the form is on the right side of the page rather than the left. Derp. Thanks to Bert for the catch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

#DeleteFacebook ?

I believe I've posted a few times on the utility of Facebook and the declining utility of same. Well, about a month ago, I deactivated my account and told Facebook not to bother me with their incessant "so-and-so posted this" attempts to get me back on their (dis)service.

No one thing brought me to the place where I turned it off, rather, it was a long series of events. As with my on-going efforts to de-Google my life (you're reading this on the last major vestige of Google in my life), I sort of walked into it slowly and deliberately, and one Sunday afternoon, I pulled the plug. *plink* No more Facebook.

There were still some things on Facebook I liked. Various ham radio pages, some WW II pages and the like all were still of interest. But the on-going deterioration of the overall experience due to the constant changes to the all-holy Facebook Algorithm, more and more intrusive ads and the steady leftist politicization of the platform all told me it was time to leave, and leave I did.

You know, I don't miss it at all. I have other places to get the ham info, and while I do miss the WW II stuff (it was mostly pictures), I don't miss the constant bickering that went with the content. I guess that silence is really golden, at least to a great extent.

I'm not alone. More and more people are retreating from or deleting Facebook from their lives, enough so that the hashtage #deletefacebook is trending in a minor way.

I wonder if we will ever learn the lesson of the Amish? They understand that technology is a double edged sword, and that it has to be rigorously controlled lest is take control of your life. I also recall a high school reading of Thoreau, "Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." After a lifetime spent in and with high tech, I doubt I will ever be able to renounce it all, but I find myself more and more willing to give up parts of it nearly without argument. As a father who will very soon face an empty nest, the urge to clean house, to rid myself of possessions held tightly for years, many of them of decreasing utility to an aging man, is growing in strength.

I think this is simply the natural progression of someone who is unarguably in the autumn of their life. Luckily for me I've always loved autumn, with it's bright days, crisp temperatures, the changing colors of the trees, high school and college football and wood smoke in the air. There's still time for a little more fishing, some afternoons at the range and now, again, cycling. Camping takes on an extra level of pleasure as well.

But it's also time for putting the yard and garden to bed for winter, ensuring the house is ready for the cold rains and snow, that wood is split and the chimney is swept. For us humans who have to face our age, it's a time to do those same things in our lives. We update family trusts and wills, check over powers of attorney, ensure that the "Do Not Resuscitate" order is is findable and unfortunately start attending the funerals of friends who are departing early.

Still, if the actuarial tables can be trusted, most of us have many years left in which we can find things of interest and joy. Like others, I'm just going to look for them in places other than Facebook.

I see this as a Good Thing.

About that school shooting in Maryland

This little jewel popped up on one of the last social media sites I still frequent. Take a look at that long list of laws, most of them relating to firearms, all of which were passed by politicians who assured us that each and every one of them was "A good first step" or "Another step to reign in gun violence" or that we had to "Think of the Children!" or some other phrase meant to appeal to those who emote rather than think.

You know, I'd like to take all those politicians and their allies in all the gun grabber groups, stand them en masse up against a wall and...slather them in the blood of all the victims they have created. After all, they enjoy dancing in the blood of those victims--why not give them a full treatment.

My built-in nasty streak aside, this little graphic once again points out something that our side has been saying for years. You stop a bad guy with a gun by having a good guy with a gun close at hand. This doesn't mean no one will get hurt or killed. The good guy will always be, unfortunately, behind the curve. The bad guy will always control the where and when of a mass shooting. We have to wait for the balloon to go up and then react to the situation. But when you have an armed person on hand, whether they are, as in this case, a police officer, or they're just your average citizen who has decided to take personal responsibility and act as their own first responder, quick reaction in a mass shooting event saves lives.

No amount of angry teenagers on TV will change that fact.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Who needs the geographic coordinates of your front door?

When we can geo-locate every outdoor picture on the Internet?

It's getting hard to have a reasonable conspiracy theory these days; government is so far ahead of the tinfoil hat brigade that there's no catching up.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Let there be light

As usual, I found this while I was looking at other things on the Intertubz. The Humphrey Gas Light.

I remember similar lights in old travel trailers when I was a kid. I don't know what models were available back then, but today there are a variety of models, colors and accessories that should allow you to adapt these for just about any use. The immediate uses I see is for off-grid lighting or emergency lighting. If you were building or retrofitting a house or a building, it wouldn't be much trouble to pipe in propane to various locations and install some of these for future use.

Boy...

This week's Woodpile Report is a dandy. Yes, you ought to read it yourself, but I'm going to toss out a few items that I liked in particular.

I'm not sure if you've kept up with the information drops by or even heard of the Internet entity known as "Q". In certain parts of the Internet, there is much speculation on the information being dropped--some of it is pretty much conspiracy theory on steroids. But what if it isn't, and Q is really someone or a group of people who are in the know of doings so dark that they make the average conspiracy theorist look tame?

Illinois moves toward gun confiscation: a bill introduced in Illinois would attempt to force, probably unsuccessfully if history is any indicator, 18-20 year olds to surrender legally owned "assault rifles". Lawsuits are likely being prepped in the event of the passage of this affront on the Constitution, but frankly I won't give them much chance of success, given there is already a national prohibition of the purchase of handguns by 18-20 year olds. I still contend we should raise the age of majority to 21 and allow the Democrats to put their money where their mouths are.

Washington State "extreme risk protection order" law is actually used, by the book, Intertubz loses it's mind. The Raconteur Report rolls out some  information on why this is not the end of the world for gun rights and why it may actually be a good thing. I'm willing to let the court case work itself out before calling for everyone to go to the mattresses.

Young socialists in expensive locals are willing to pay old socialist big bucks to be miserable, as long as it's a comfortable misery. At least that's how I understand it.

We need to try socialism again, harder, because Trump. Or Whiteness, or some such BS. Personally, I think we need to try a complete societal breakdown. At least we might be able to get away with shooting the damn socialists without legal repercussions.

I'll stop here, before I just re-link the who thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Big government killed free checking; Amazon may save it

(Via Claire Wolfe)

An interesting tale of how a checking account came to cost a bank $349/year to provide, why they can't make money off checking accounts any longer and how Amazon may change that dynamic.

Once again, an over-reaching government screwed things up for everyone. A healthy dose of unintended consequences didn't help. Who couldn't have seen those coming?

A little something from Miguel

(Via Michael Bane on Facebook)

Miguel has harsh yet true words for those who oppose the "Fix NICS" bill and the NRA haters.

He's right. The people who want to kill these things need to be forced to eat the entire shit sandwich the next time we have another school shootathon and the liberals finally get their wet dream gun ban. If we won't clean our own house, eventually, they're going to get the opportunity to do it for us, and we won't like it.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cycling, anyone?

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that I've taken up cycling as an enjoyable way to get some exercise. I may go into some depth about it as the weather gets better, which I hope is soon. It's supposed to snow tomorrow--not much, but it's March and we should have seen the last of Old Man Winter for the most part. Life in North Carolina.

At any rate, I've subscribed to a few cycling email newsletters, and this was in one of them. 8 On-the-Road Bike Repairs You Need to Know. Being of the prepper nature I had already thought through a tool kit for my bike, and I have most of these skills from my old high speed, low drag days when I road biked. However, there are a couple of tricks in there that I didn't know about. Very cool.

Like rust, gun grabbers never sleep

Here is is, straight from the horse's...mouth. They want them all, folks. AR-15s, your old Marlin Glenfield, great-grandpa's shotgun. They want them all. They will use whatever pretense they can use to get them. "This is merely the beginning."

When gun grabbers tell you something like this, you'd better take them at their word. They're not done yet.

Understand that there is no politician, no political party, that we can trust to stand by us in this fight. The latest assault on our rights in Florida was passed by a Republican controlled legislature and signed by a Republican governor (who happens to be a transplant from gun ban happy Illinois). Politicians blow wherever the wind blows them. Right now, the wind is not blowing from our direction. That needs to change.

There are things we can do as individuals to make this change. It's important to write, email and call your elected critters at every level when you get the word they are considering legislation that will curtail your rights. I just got an email from our state gun rights group on a move by a local municipality that would shut down one of the biggest gun shows in the state. You bet I'm letting those worthies know that I'm not happy with that idea.

You should be a member of the NRA. While there are a lot of gun owners who piss and moan about the NRA not being pure enough or asking for money too often or whatever, the NRA is suing in federal court to overturn the Florida law. Things like this cost money, and I'm going to drop some coin into some of the NRA's various online cups to help support the fight. I'd much rather the fight take place in a court room than on my front porch.

Speaking of the NRA, if you aren't a member, why? Because you were once and they asked you for money? They called you on the phone or sent you mail? Like I said, fighting for your rights costs money. Lobbying in DC and 50 state capitals isn't cheap and if you want it done well, you don't do it on the cheap. You hire professionals and you give them the best tools of the trade, and that includes money. We gun owners supply the money. You don't want phone calls, just tell them and they'll stop. You don't want the mail, simply toss it.

And please, for the love of John Moses Browning, don't tell me about Gun Owners of America and the rest. Sure, they're doing good works, but the NRA is the 800 pound gorilla. With something like 6 million members, when they knock on doors, the doors open. We need to give them more members so they can say they represent 8 million, 10 million, 20 million voters, because nothing gets a politician's attention like the possibility of being an unemployed politician.

Way too many people thought they could relax when Trump won the presidency. They've spent the last year plus kicked back and doing jack for gun rights. Well guess what? The other side hasn't been kicked back--they've been organizing and waiting for the right time to make another mad dash for gun bans. 17 dead kids in Florida was their right time. They're on the move and moving hard and fast. Get off your butt and start fighting back.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

I think I'm going to print this out and frame it

(Via The Shooting Wire)

"Our chief politicians, billionaires, anti-gun Hollywood celebrities, and even money being transported in trucks are all protected by people with guns. Aren't kids just as important? What's wrong with these people? Why do they demand that we keep the kids at such risk?"


And every time a Hollywood star, a media talking head, a gun grabber or a politician mouths off with some idiotic nonsense about guns, I'm going to take it off the wall and beat them over the head with it.

When my kids were in school, which is about a quarter mile from our home (middle and high school are next door to each other) and were old enough to understand the issue, we had a talk about the possibility of a nut job showing up at their school with a gun.

Much to Mrs. Freeholder's chagrin and against her will (she's a teacher, you see), Daddy told them that at the first sound of gunfire they were to get out of their school by the fastest route possible and run like hell for the nearest cover or concealment, then make their way home staying concealed as much as possible. They were specifically to ignore the orders of any teacher or staff who told them to do otherwise--Daddy would deal with the fallout if there was any.

The reason I told them this is that I had no intention of my kids becoming statistics. In the event of a school shooting, that's what the previously mentioned crowd wants--they want a body count, and the bigger the better. They want to climb up on that pile of dead kids and lecture us on how smart they are and how evil we are until they can convince just enough people that they can force their viewpoint on us, oddly enough at the point of a gun, this one held by the state.

Well, I wasn't going to have that then with my kids, and I won't have it now with someone else's kids. It's time we protect our kids as well as these worthless pieces of protoplasm are protected. I read that at the self-congratulatory Oscars a few days ago there were over 500 cops in multiple rings of security, all so the beautiful people could feel safe and protected while they patted each other on the back and lectured the rest of us on Trump, sex and guns.

In the meantime, out in the real Los Angles, the lectured were being robbed, raped and murdered, and all they could do was call Dial-A-Prayer 911 because California's laws make it nearly impossible to carry a gun for self defense.

It's high time that the lectured stand up to the lecturing and pull them down off that podium. And hit them over the head with our own brand of "common sense".

Edit, 1958: Wow--sorry about that white background. Not sure where that came from, but it's fixed now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

When the antibiotic chickens come home to roost

For some years the medical community has been warning that there might well be a time when bugs would show up that no antibiotic would work on. Recent research shows we're another day closer now.

This has implications for how we live our lives. As someone with a legitimate allergy to flu shots (I landed in the hospital the two times I took them, so my chart now has a big flag on it), I recently rescheduled a trip to the doc, pushing it out a couple of months. Why? To avoid the hack-n-snot brigade which is currently infesting every medical office in the area. I haven't gotten any bug this winter and I'm hoping to not get one before warm weather arrives. Others do the same; a couple of weeks ago Mrs. Freeholder refused to go to the doc-in-a-box with what turned out to be a raging sinus infection because she didn't want to be exposed to them either.

Imagine this attitude in a time when we have a bunch of superbugs that laugh at antibiotics. The medical community, however reluctantly, has been forced to acknowledge that a doctor's office or a hospital is not only a place to get care, but also a place to get sick. If there are antibiotic immune bugs out there, will people avoid seeking medical care for fear of contracting one, even if their problem is treatable? The implications for creating a multi-faceted public health crisis seem very real to me.

It would be very bad if one or more became epidemic, or worse, weaponized. I could see Johnny Jihadi now. "Ali, we must gather 500 martyrs. Ahmed has the contracted the . We will allow him to infect them all, then fly them to the cities of our enemies, where they will spread it to as many people as possible before they die."

Talk about a low-tech end of the world. You know, that concept would make a great doomer TV show.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Saran? Like Saran Wrap?

(Via The Woodpile Report)

Storing parts to minimize corrosion. This may come in handy soon.

Weaponized high school students

(Via In the MIDDLE of the RIGHT)

The Federalist asks "Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Students’ Astroturfing?" Author David Hines lays out the case that there was a well oiled machine behind this, and I don't doubt it. However, I don't think that was why it took two weeks for folks to figure this out, although it doubtless had something to do with it.

I think one of the biggest reasons, at least for the folks on our side, is that we're good people. We don't dance in the blood when a mass shooting occurs. The other side, our enemy, has absolutely no problem with doing that and a lot more besides. Like taking advantage of kids in the aftermath of a tragedy. Especially when those kids have already been primed to be taken advantage of by an educational system ran by the same leftists that want to take away our guns.

Feel free to say I'm a conspiracy theorist nut. But wait until the next spree killer shows up a a gun-free school zone and see how fast this happens again, and just how many well known leftists are involved.

I'll be happy to be proven wrong--if you can.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Being a good neighbor

There's a post on the SurvivalBlog about being a good neighbor in the American Redoubt. I would suggest that it's applicable to pretty much anywhere those of good intentions live.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

When is a bill to shut down online sex trafficking a bad thing?

When it does nothing for its stated purpose and damages online communities instead.

I have this terrible feeling that someone wants to cripple the Intertubz as a method of communication. The sad thing is that they can do it, given enough time. Might want to see if you can fleaBay an old modem and download a copy of the FidoNet software.

Handy item when you're debating

Or if you'd like to check your own thought processes. A list of cognitive biases.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

They'll take it away and kill you with it

An MSNBC "terror analyst" very nearly trots out the old anti-gun canard of "You don't need a gun for self-defense because the criminal will just take it away from you and kill you with it." Rather than that, he says that if we start arming teachers, the police will shoot them.

Honestly, given the rash of police shootings of armed good guys recently, I do have to almost say the guy has a point. However, if the police officers are properly trained and held to the same standard as an armed citizen, this becomes a much smaller risk.

"But wait! Ermagherd! The police have only a split second to react to the armed person!"

So do we, cupcake, and we're held to a much higher standard. It's time the folks with the badges were held to that higher standard that everyone says they should be held to. It can start right here. The police's seeming free pass to shoot anyone with a gun and walk away needs to end.

Monday, February 26, 2018

They don't make them like they used to

Portraits of fighting men of the American Revolution--made in 1864. An amazing snapshot of our history.

The quality of and fact checking your decision making

(I'm trying to close some of the jillion tabs I've been keeping open in my browser for weeks. I believe this one comes via Charles Chu.)

People, as a group, generally suck at making good decisions on the big things, but we as individuals generally think we're pretty good at it. And we, as individuals, are normally wrong in that conceit. Even when we get a decision right, there's a good chance we got it right, but not for the reasons we think.

That's gotta leave a ding in the ol' ego, don'tcha think?

Unfortunately it's all too true. Do an Internet search on "decision making" and you'll get an astounding number of pages all of which say they can give you a leg up on making good decisions, big or small. Now consider this question: Would there be so many of them, many of them academic in nature, if we made good decisions most of the time? Yeah.

Looking at some of those pages, there are numerous and complex ways to improve your decision making skills. There are so many that reaching a bad decision on which one to use could lead you to disaster.

I'm fully aware that I don't always make the best decisions--it ticks me off, too. I try to learn from my mistakes, but it is difficult because you don't always remember exactly why you made a certain decision. "I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time," doesn't really help you out.

This article describes a fairly simple and technologically retro technique called a "decision journal" that might appeal to some interested in improving their decisions on the big things. It's not suited for small decisions because it's a manual system, and honestly, most of us do fine a picking out which gas station to stop at or where to eat lunch. But those big decisions, like should I leave my current job for this "I think" great new job or should we leave this economically moribund area and move here because "things seem to be going better", are exactly the sort of thing it's suited for.

I'm not making any of those big decisions right now. Us retired folks don't have many big decisions to make, it seems. However, I think I'm going to print our a few of those pages and slip them into a binder for use when something does come up, and see how they work out.

And that Internet search on "decision making"? Now there's an interesting rabbit hole for a rainy afternoon....

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Best response to gun control advocates I've heard and thoughts on spree killings/mass murders

Last night NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch stuck her head (neck, shoulders and the rest of her body) into the lion's mouth at a CNN "town hall". I want to pull out this one exceptionally pithy quote, because it's the best response I've heard to those who keep demanding more gun control in the face of the failure of gun control.

"The government can't keep you safe and some people want us to give up our firearms and rely solely upon the protection of the same government that's already failed us numerous times to keep us safe. And then they also call Trump a tyrant but they say they want the president to also confiscate our firearms? Try to figure that one out."

Don't stretch your brain, because if you're able to deal with elementary logic, you know that the demands of the gun banners equate to a demand for a magic wand, and there are no magic wands.

Nothing I've heard trotted out as a potential solution since the latest murderous rampage appears to have any hope of stopping the next murderous rampage. The closest thing is finding some way to identify these men (Sorry guys, but it's us men doing this--when's the last time we had a female shooter at one of these events?) before they strike. Great idea, if someone happens to find a crystal ball. I expect that to work as well as finding that magic wand.

We've had spree killers and mass murders in the world since forever. Wikipedia has a list with entries dating back to 1543. We hear more about them now because we communicate better. CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC and a host of others are all on TVs in every place I go, or so it seems. Even my barber can't do without the noise. We know that the increased publicity about a suicide actually increases the likelihood of more suicides--it's called the Werther Effect. There's now evidence that there is a similar effect relating to mass murders. Great.

From the historical data I can find online, it seems that spree killers and mass murders, while known historically, are more prevalent in modern times, say the last 150 or so years. Why? Obviously, technology has to play some part. Being brutally honest with ourselves, it's easier to kill a bunch of people with a magazine fed firearm than it is with a rock. But that can't be the only factor, because these things have been happening for hundreds of years and probably much longer. Humans have killed humans since the Og picked up a rock and conked Mog because he wanted that tasty morsel of mammoth meat Mog had.

It appears that these occurrences have become more prevalent in the last 40 years based on data. Why is that? It isn't because guns suddenly became more available or more easily available. Restrictions on guns and gun purchases, contrary to the piteous whines of gun banners and the media, are at their highest point in US history. It also can't be because guns have suddenly become more deadly in some way. The AR-15 has been readily available in the civilian market since the late 1980s, and other so-called "assault rifles" have been available for nearly as long. If it was the guns, we would have seen this crescendo of violence far sooner.

 Looking around the Intertubz to see if I could find any academic work on the subject, I stumbled across a non-academic piece on Medium, The Cost of a Good Story: What the Mass Media Doesn’t Tell You About Mass Murder. Author Anthony Galli makes a decent case that we, the media consuming public, working hand in glove with a media in search of ever more sensational stories to feed a public that is becoming thick-skinned to televised bloodshed and suffering, have built a feedback loop that has unwittingly incorporated that "mass murder begets mass murder effect" I mentioned earlier. The result is outbreaks of spree killings/mass murders followed by periods of calm, followed by another outbreak.

He also believes that the potential mass murderer is motivated by fame, and that the media attention to the current killer simply helps to spin up the next killer. Where have we heard that before?

Galli proposes that we as media consumers need to "chide" the media every time they report on a mass murder in a way that gives the killer any attention. Don't use his name, blur out his face if he's on camera. Deny him the fame he craves. Sounds like a reasonable idea, at the very least it couldn't hurt. The trick would be getting the media to go along with it.

Galli also points out that we are easily distracted by statistics. We're far more concerned by the realistically very few people who are killed per year in mass murders, something that has pretty much been proven time after time we can do little about (other than being armed and taking responsibility for our own safety, but that's not something I think he's agree with) and yet we don't seem concerned with the 37,000 people who die every year in traffic accidents, which is something we could effect.

This's a good point. I believe there is actually a psychological term for this, but it escapes me (maybe someone else who does remember will be so kind and leave it as a comment), but we have a natural propensity to do this sort of thing.

I'm sure there may be other things I'm not think of at the moment. But we've trod this ground so often that it's getting so I can't see it clearly any more. Familiarity is breeding contempt, but it is breeding brain fog.

Can we pull a solution out of what we have so far? If we're looking for a magic wand that will fix the problem, the answer is no. We may have a tool or two that we as a society could use to help ameliorate the issue, if we could persuade the other side to listen, which I think is unlikely.

Instead, I think we're going to remain two groups of chimpanzees screaming at each other for some time to come. Each side wants something that the other either can't or won't give, so the screaming will continue. Perhaps one side will pick up some sticks and beat the other into submission. That's been tried before, and worked to some extent. Then the other side picked up some sticks and fought back, so now we all have sticks and we're still screaming.

But remember, until we do come up with some answer or some improvements, we will see this happen again. Some guy is going to want his 15 minutes of fame, and he'll find a soft target to achieve it. As individuals, all we can do is carry, train and stay vigilant.

Maybe, in the end, that's all the answer we really need.