Friday, February 24, 2017

Target Maintenance

I've been building targets lately, with a lot of assistance from my sons, who work metal as part of their trades.  In any industrial shop, there is welding and cutting, and they have the skills and tools to make pretty much anything that we need.

I'm trying to expand my backyard range to four lanes.  And, the CFDA is making a smaller target optional for sanctioned competition.  We can shoot the 24" disc at 21 feet, or we can shoot the 17-3/16 disk at 15 feet.    o, I wanted four each of the large and small discs.  Of course, these are wax bullet targets, so we don't need AR500 steel.  These are mild steel and will work fine for our purposes.

There's two each of the large disc and small disc, welded, threads chased, glass installed, and ready for paint.

Two of the small discs leaning against the fence after the furst coat of black paint.

Two of the large discs on the target stands after the second coat of paint.  That decorative iron behind the close target is being prepped as a free-standing bulletin board for use during Louisiana State Championship, scheduled for late April.

I have an errand to run, noon-ish, and Belle told me that I'm on the hook for boiled crawfish later today.  Luckily, I'm off today, the beginning of the Mardi Gras holiday.

Seveen weeks from today we kick off Louisiana State in Natchitoches, LA.  Y'all come.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fourth Circuit Screws Up

It looks like the Fourth Circuit screwed-the-pooch on the Maryland Assault Weapon Ban.  Jazz Shaw talks about it here.  Likewise, Charles Cooke talks about it here.  When you go to the decision, we see this interesting little phrase.
“weapons that are most useful in military service”
This is a test I haven't seen before, and others are commenting on it as well.

Reading the opinion, I see a lot of trying to conflate the AR pattern rifles with the M-16 pattern rifles.

I think they got this one wrong, and when it's appealed, it should be struck down.

My argument is that rifles that are "useful in military service" are precisely the rifles that the Founders were talking about when they talked about the militia.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gender Is Simple

Okay, we're going to take a look at an article, and we're going to go over this one more time.

From PJMedia:
Radical feminists and conservative women are joining together to defend womanhood from transgender incursions via Title IX, calling it a war on women.
The question is really quite simple; do you have a Y chromosome?  It's basic biology.  It really is that simple.  Gender is not a choice, it is assigned during the chaos of conception.  It is what it is.

Don't get me wrong, I generally love gay people.  I'm a live-and-let-live kind of guy.  I don't care who you sleep with; it doesn't matter to me.  But, gender is not something that is open to choice.


The climate-weenies are full of gloom and doom because their Global Climate Models (GCM) show the earth warming at an horrific rate.  The problem is that the model doesn't match the observations.
Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs.
That's not a problem, just divide your prediction by two.Obviously, the global climate model has a bad assumption, but it can be corrected by a simple halving.  Of course, that's impossible, as Stephen Green reminds us.
Reality must be made to better conform to the models, which are of course correct.


Discretion, I was told as a young man, is the better part of valor.  For a soldier, that's good advise.  Discretion is also important for a law enforcement officer.    President Obama had removed the discretion of certain immigration cops, but now it's being restored.
The secretary said agents are still to give priority to those with criminal rap sheets, but are free to use discretion — taken away from them in the Obama years — to detain anyone they believe to be in the country illegally.
It doesn't sound like a crackdown, per se, but immigration cops don't have to ignore illegals that they might come in contact with.

That's the thing about executive orders.  What one president does with the stroke of a pen, another president can undo with the stroke of a pen.We can argue both ways on executive action, but the plain truth is that Congress needs to pass an immigration reform law.  If Congress does that, then no one will have anything to gripe about.

Democrats had an opportunity during the Obama years to pass any type legislation they wanted to pass.  With a majority in the House, and a majority inn the Senate, they could have passed anything they wanted to pass.  They didn't do that. That's on them, and they have no room to complain.

Republicans have that same opportunity right now.  If they choose to pass an immigration reform law, they can do that as well.  Until then, we should enforce the law as written.  And, give those good immigration agents the discretion to do their jobs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

McMaster, huh?

I see that H.R. McMaster has been pegged as President Trump's new National Security Adviser.  I thought I remembered that name out of the Cavalry School.  So, I did a little digging.  Sure enough, it's the same guy.  McMaster first came to national attention when he was but a young Cavalry captain, leading a troop of armored cavarly during Desert Storn.  From Wikipedia:
The Regiment moved from the 60 Easting with eight of its nine cavalry troops generally abreast of each other. (Lt. Colonel Kobbe had pulled his Troop F out of the Second Squadron's leading echelon when his zone narrowed.) The operation escalated into a full-out battle as E Troop (call sign "Eagle") maneuvered to the 70 Easting around 3:45 p.m. Heavy combat then spread to the south as I Troop of the Third Squadron closed the gap between the two squadrons and joined the fight. G Troop's attack to the north of Captain H. R. McMaster's E Troop made contact with defending units farther east and combat there became intense around 4:45 p.m. Fighting continued into darkness as the Iraqi division commander reinforced the 18th Brigade with his 9th Armored Brigade in the G Troop zone.
At 4:10 p.m. Eagle Troop received fire from an Iraqi infantry position in a cluster of buildings at UTM PU 6801.[9]:443[14] Eagle troop Abrams and Bradleys returned fire, silenced the Iraqi guns, took prisoners, and continued east with the two tank platoons leading. The 12 M1A1 tanks of Eagle Troop destroyed 28 Iraqi tanks, 16 personnel carriers and 30 trucks in 23 minutes with no American losses.[15]
 At about 4:20 Eagle crested a low rise and surprised an Iraqi tank company set up in a reverse slope defence on the 70 Easting. Captain McMaster, leading the attack, immediately engaged that position, destroying the first of the eight enemy tanks to his front. His two tank platoons finished the rest.
There is much more at the link above.  McMaster went on, later in his career to take a regiment of cavalry back to Iraq and was very successful in the counter-insurgency that we encountered later in the war.

By all accounts, H.R. McMaster is one of the best combat leaders to come out of the Gulf Wars.  He's also a student of international relations, a leading thinker in military circles, and just a hell of a warrior.    H.R. McMaster may be one of Trump's best picks.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Letists Fail Civics

Sally Kohn is an idiot.  She posted this last week on Twitter, and is being roundly reviled for her lack of knowledge of the Constitution.  (You know, that Constitution that sets the criteria for succession of the presidency.

1.  Impeach Trump and Pence on what grounds?  Neither one has committed a high crime or misdemeanor
2.  No constitutional crisis.  Paul Ryan would be president.
3. I just looked at my handy pocket Constitution.  No authority for a special election.
4.  Ryan v. Clinton?  Yeah, maybe after you've impeached Trump and Pence and Ryan is president, but that would be in 2020.
5.  President Clinton?  We've already had one.

I've got a better idea, Sally.  Why don't you stick to what you know.  Music, maybe?  Or just being an idiot.  Or, you could go back to school and study basic civics.  Or, get a pocket Constitution and see what is actually in it.  It might surprise you.

Never Let the Bureaucrat Win

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin reports that the worthless, toothless, bureaucrats at the EPA were working the phones, lobbying to stop the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the agency head.
Employees at the EPA have reportedly been working the phones in order to convince the Senate to stop the nomination of Scott Pruitt:
If that's not a violation of Civil Service regs, it should be.  Bureaucrats in the public service should serve the whole public, regardless of political persuasion and should not be allowed to actively lobby during business hours.  Luckily, the Senate saw through their pissy little ploy.
The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Republicans desperately want to rein in after what they charge was eight years of dangerous activism under the Obama administration that hurt businesses, jobs and the economy. 
Bureaucrats should be reined in regularly They serve the public, not their own peculiar interests.  If I were Scott Pruitt, I believe I'd show up for work carrying a hard snaffle bit, and wearing spurs.  If those worthless bastards wanted to buck, we'd have a rodeo.  Before the end of the day, they'd know who was running the show.  They'd bend to my will, or be run up the road.

Kim's Back

Kim's back.  Just damn!  Several years ago, he went silent for reasons purely of his own, but we kept track of him via mutual internet contacts.  Several months ago I learned that his beloved Connie had taken ill, and recently learned that she had passed.

But, via Instapundit, I learned that he's come back to the intertubes.  Kim was one of the first bloggers I ever read. Back in the days when the internet was just catching speed, and I had a dial-ip modem, Kim duToit was one of my daily reads.

So, first, my condolences for your loss, Kim, and second, welcome back.

He calls this edition of his blog Splendid Isolation.  It should show up on the blogroll soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Best President?

It seems that historians are already talking about President Obama.  Politico ranks him at #12, overall.
"That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive," Douglas Brinkley, a Rice University professor and C-SPAN adviser, said in a press release.
Don Surber is a little more critical of the Obama years.
 Obama leaves the White House having achieved nothing positive on the economic front, nothing positive on the international front, and nothing positive on the domestic front.
He’s the best black president, though, and given the way he poisoned the racial well, he’s likely to hold that status for quite a while.

Obama was our affirmative action president.   He was the liberal dream-boat, but I can't see anything positive out of his tenure.  His lasting legacy will be nailed down over the next 20 years, but I think that 12th is overly optimistic.  I'm no expert on the presidency, and I'm certainly not an historian, but I'd rank him near the bottom of the presidents during my lifetime.

Pulled Pork

I was digging around in archives and I can't find my Pulled Pork recipe.  That's a shame, because it's easy-peasy simple and a crowd pleaser.  My sister Margaret first gave me the recipe, and I've done very little with it.

All you need is a five or six pound pork butt, some seasoning, a beer, and a slow cooker.  A pork butt might be called different things in different locations.  The cut is actually a shoulder, with the bone-in.  It might be called a Boston Butt, it might be called a pork shoulder.  Whatever.

I start the night before, by putting the pork butt in the slow cooker.  I use a liner in my cooker to make clean-up easier,   When the butt is in the cooker, add the beer, then season it liberally with whatever you like.  I use Tony's seasoning.  Put the slow-cooker on LOW, put the id on it and enjoy your genning.  When you get up the next morning, it will look like this:

Oh, yeah, that's about right.   Get a second bowl, and start takinng the poork out.  It will fall apart, but what you're looking for is that bone.

When the bone comes out clean, the pork is completely cooked.  Then it's just a matter of taking the pork out of the cooker, transferring it to another bowl and shredding it.  I use two standard dinner forks.  Pull it apart and add a little barbecue sauce.  I use Sweet Baby Ray's, but other sauces work just as well.

Then, I clean up the slow cooker, put in another liner, and transfer the meat back to the slow cooker.

Add a little more barbeque sauce, clean up your mess, and let the pork stay warm till the guests arrive.  Total cooking time is about 10 hours.  Total "cook in the kitchen time" is about 15 minutes.  It really is a simple recipe.  We serve it on a bun, with chips and a cold drink.

The kids will be over in another couple of hours, and lunch is prepared.  Pulled Pork, easy-peasy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Role of the Cavalry - II

In yesterday's post, we looked at the opening moments of the engagement at Gettysburg.

Harry Heth had  problem.  He was an infantry commander under Robert E. Lee, and was leading the march toward Gettysburg.  Some say he inteneded to find shoes in that town.  But, he was tactically blind.  Lee's cavalry under General Stuart was off riding, God-knows-where.  Heth had sent pickets into Gettysburg the day before and had encountered militia..  On what we now call the first day of the battle, he thought that his infantry could move into the town virtually unopposed.  What he didn't consider was John Buford, who had moved into the town the late afternoon of the day before.

In this first clip, Buford is trying to save the defensible terrain for the main army, who is behind him several miles.  Buford is deceiving Heth, showing only a portion of his force.  We call this "economy of force", by only using the force necessary to obtain the objective, which for Buford is to slow Heth down until the main body can arrive.  During this phase, Buford drives off the first attack, then strengthens his line for what he knows is the seond attack.  Buford will put two brigades on line, with a screen to his north, because he knows that the Confederates are massing on Gettysburg.

With two brigades on line, Buford is committed to this location.  He's awaiting Reynolds, who commands a corps of infantry.  As the day progresses, Reynold's infantry arrives, and again strengthens the line, allowing the battle to proceed.

Now, let's go surprise Harry Heth.