Sunday, November 30, 2008


I was reading this article over at the Grey Lady and am appalled at our response to piracy in this century.

Piracy is as old as maritime trade, and through the centuries there has been just one predictable response to piracy. Eradicate it. Pirates in the 18th century Caribbean knew that if they were caught, they'd be hanged. Nowadays though, there is a lot of hand-wringing over what to do about pirates.
While the pirates have been buying GPS devices, satellite phones and more-powerful outboard motors, officials in Europe have been discussing jurisdictional issues surrounding the arrest of pirates on the high seas and even the possibility that the pirates might demand asylum if brought onto European Union shores.
The simple answer to that would be to make sure that they never get to shore.

It's one thing to demand asylum. It's something else entirely to get it. I'm sure that modern fighting vessels have something resembling a yardarm. The convenient answer would be that if a pirate were captured, the Captain of the vessel would convene a Captain's Mast, listen to the arguments, find the bastard guilty and hang him. This could all be accomplished in one afternoon. There is no reason to coddle piracy.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Grass Eaters

Yeah, yeah, it's 4:00 a.m. and I'm surfing the intertubes. Damn dog woke me, barking his silly ass off. I threw his butt out in the back yard, and wide-assed awake, I made coffee.

And started surfing.

Turns out, there's a new definition for people that ain't like me. Grass Eaters.
If your first reaction to a law being horrifyingly broken is “we gotta make more laws”, you might be a grass-eater. If you believe in angels — or the Just World hypothesis — you’re probably a grass-eater. Both of these delusions indicate a desire to give up responsibility (and, therefore, freedom) to a faceless “higher” power. Grass-eaters are perfectly happy to give up liberty for a little safety — even if the only safety they get is from the consequences of their actions.
I've known people like that. So have you. Frankly, they piss me off.

Some might call them "sheeple". Jeff Cooper might call them "hoplophobe", but you don't have to be afraid of guns to be a Grass Eater. You just have to exhibit the herd mentality. Mostly, calling for new laws.

At this stage of our development as a culture, I'm not sure why we need legislatures except to approve the budget. There is certainly no pressing need for new laws. The ten that Moses gave us from the mountain covers the frailty of the human condition. You can write all ten of them on one sheet of paper. You would think, after two hundred years of Congress and State legislatures, we'd have all the laws we need. Yet, we keep sending legislators to the capitol so they can legislate. It's madness, sheer madness.

So, my question to the various legislatures: You've been meeting now for lo, these hundred years and yet haven't passed all the laws we need? Are you incompetent? Or merely on the Government Dole? If I had been doing a job continuously for a hundred years and hadn't made progress at it; hadn't demonstrably shown that I was capable of finishing the job, then the people who hired me would insist that I was incompetent. Yet the legislature continues to meet, year after year without any sign of completion. Indeed, they intend to meet next year because the job isn't finished.

It's either incompetence or theft.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Range

One of the traditions of our family Thanksgiving dinner is that we go shooting after the meal. Mom has plenty of land and we set up an impromptu range, get the rifles out, and have some fun shooting. Some of my nephews only get to shoot once a year and it's something they look forward to doing.

My sister came out and wanted to shoot a pistol. She's thinking about obtaining a CCW in her resident state and wanted to familiarize. Unfortunately, the only pistol I had available was the Kimber 1911 in .45 ACP. Not the best pistol for a neophyte, but she gamely stepped up and fired a couple of magazines, declaring it a lot of fun. I told her that I'd be happy to coach her and that she should seek a coach in her home state.

Then, the boys and I got out the rifles. My youngest son wanted to try some loads I have developed for his rifle, a Savage 10 FLP in .308 Win. I had loaded some Hornady Match cases with varying weights of Reloder 15. This rifle has less than 100 rounds through it, but it's looking like a winner. The best target today.. well, I'll let you see it.

Then, my second son hunkered down behind his Savage 11FV in 7mm Magnum and showed little brother how it's done. His first three shots went into a half-inch. His next three opened the group up to just over an inch, but that's with hunting ammo. His target is below.

All together we fired two pistols, and a number of rifles, including a Winchester 94, my Bushmaster, a guests FAL, andthe two Savage bolts. All the nephews got to fire everything and we had a great time.

Which reminds me. I still have to clean that Kimber.

H.S. Precision

Remember earlier this month when I broke the stock off my rifle? Well, I did the research and the due diligence and one of the companies I looked at was H.S. Precision. Nice stocks. Nice rifles, for that matter.

As it turns out, they used an endorsement from Lon Horiuchi. You remember Lon? He's the guy who shot Vicki Weaver through the head at Ruby Ridge. Even such notables as Jeff Cooper wondered why Horiuchi is allowed to wander around free.

It's hard for me to imagine that H.S. Precision, as one of the big players in the precision rifle business did not know that Lon Horiuchi is positively anathemic to the shooting community. We believe him to be at worst a murderer, at best simply a government triggerman who will follow immoral orders. There is no doubt that he killed Vicki Weaver. Court records firmly fix that fact. There is no doubt that she was unarmed and was holding an infant child.

Personally, I wouldn't share a firing line with Horiuchi. I wouldn't allow him on my property. There are very few people on this planet that in a social situation I wouldn't extend basic courtesy and gentility. Horiuchi is one of them. I consider him unfit for polite society and would ask the Sheriff to have him removed.

So, I won't be buying anything from H.S. Precision. There are lots of threads talking about this fiasco. Lots of posts discussing it. I bet the board of directors is talking today about how to fix this fiasco. It doesn't matter to me at this point. They've been so insensitive as to actually use his endorsement that it can't be fixed. That'd be like Walther firearms using an endorsement by Heinrick Himmler, or Cold Steel knives printing an endorsement by Jack the Ripper.

There are just some endorsements you don't use.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to turn off the computer and get busy. We've got about thirty people descending on us for dinner and I've got a lot to do. We began this tradition several years ago, when we decided that Momma had enough to do to prepare the main meal for Thanksgiving and that we'd do the evening meal on Wednesday so that she and my sisters could concentrate on the main meal on Thursday. I have food to prep and tables to set up and sweeping and mopping to complete.

The menu for a Louisiana Wednesday night feast?
Crawfish etouffee over rice
Crab cakes
Tossed salad
Garlic french bread
Stuffed bread for those who don't like seafood. This is a rolled bread my wife makes. It's a stuffed bread with the center full of sausage and spices. It's darned good.
Lots of iced tea
Assorted cakes for dessert

I'd like to take a moment and wish everyone a wonderfully peaceful Thanksgiving. This is a uniquely American holiday and one where we should take just a minute to remember those who have come before and those who are standing on the thin front line.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

The Agenda

Allahpunit, over at Hot Air, makes this statement:
“How can the Republican Party rebound? The first step would be to quit letting Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham set its agenda.”
He's right, but it's deeper than that. I'm reminded of a time during the Civil War. (No, I wasn't there, but I've read the history.) The story might be apocryphal, but it's told about General US Grant while in the Wilderness Campaign.

The story is told that a number of his officers were arguing about what Lee might do during a particular time period. Grant listened to the discussion for a while then told them that he was damned tired of hearing about what Lee might do. He was more interested in what he was going to do, and Lee would learn to worry about that.

If the GOP is letting Limbaugh, Hannity, and Ingraham set the discussion, then the GOP had no business in office. We've got to decide what we're going to do and let the pundits talk about that. If our leadership can't handle the burden then we need new leaders.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Via The Smallest Minority, we come to the New and we find Bill Schneider's latest rant about gun nuts.

I'm a gun nut and I include hunting in my nuttery. A large portion of the spring and summer is taken in my quest for the perfect hunting load in one of a number of cartridges. I spend Sundays at the range and week nights poring over targets and measuring bullet holes looking for that perfect load. However, whenever we talk about gun laws, the two catch-phrases of the gun banners come to the forefront. One of them is "compromise", and the other is "reasonable gun law". Scheider hits on both of them in the same sentence.
Even after enduring the name-calling, I admire the dedication of gun nuts. Guns, guns, guns--that’s all that matters to these people. They’ve closed their minds to compromise. To them, there’s no such thing as a common sense gun law. Because of their single-mindedness, they get it done. Ask any politician who has proposed a “reasonable gun law.”
To my way of thinking, we've already compromised. A couple of examples of legislation come to mind. First of them is the National Firearms Act of 1934. We agreed, as a nation, that certain classes of firearms should be regulated. We regulated them. While we might dicker over the particulars, the law was a compromise. Lots of firearms were made illegal at the stroke of a pen.

Next, we come to the Gun Control Act of 1968. We agreed after the shootings of some high-powered activists and politicians that it probably wasn't a good idea to allow people to order guns through the mail. That was a compromise and it's still on the books. We've learned to live with it, although some of us don't particularly like it. That law set up a number of restrictions to owning a firearm and is still the law today.

Next we find the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Assault Weapons ban. Our Congress agreed, in compromise, that it would sunset in 10 years if no action was taken to extend it, and after the great 10 year experiment, it was found to have done nothing to reduce crime. It was not re-enacted and expired. All of that was compromise.

There are plenty of laws currently on the books that are the result of compromise and that are reasonable on their face. It's still illegal to murder someone, regardless of the weapon used. It's still against the law to harm someone with a firearm and numerous jurisdictions offer enhanced penalties for the use of a firearm in connection with a crime. These laws are compromise and are readily available for use.

The problem is that when someone wants compromise they don't want to give up anything. So, I ask Bill Schneider, what are you willing to compromise on? What are you willing to give up? Or is all the talk of compromise and reasonableness just an excuse to further erode my right?

We've compromised and it's gotten us nothing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

250 vs 30

The title of this post tells a tale, and we'll start back in the days when I was in the Armor School. The doctrine at that time was that an attacker had to be three times as big as the defender. This ratio of 3:1 was a rule of thumb, a generalization, a good guess. A determined defender could sustain his position against higher odds, and lackadaisical defender would lose to a smaller number of attackers. Other things might be force multipliers. Like tanks, or good intelligence, or well-planned ambushes, but generally, the 3:1 ratio was a good planning figure.

Then you get those guys who will just not be denied. Like that platoon of Marines in Afghanistan who took on 250 Taliban in an ambush and routed them. That's right. 250 Taliban sprung an ambush against a single platoon of Marines and got their asses handed to them.
During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.

“I was in my own little world,” the young corporal said. “I wasn’t even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target.”
Commanders estimate that Corporal Shewan killed 20 Taliban during the engagement. He did this under fire, one round at a time. That's very impressive.

Of course, every Marine counted in an engagement like this and all the guys deserve part of the credit. They whupped the Taliban in his own backyard.
At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more.
And they did it all without a serious wound.

That'll teach the Taliban to screw with Americans.

Hat tip to Ace of Spades.

Monday feeders

The boys and I went to the lease this morning with the express intent of filling feeders. Of course, we had to take the Mule to haul the corn. And, we had to ride the Mule while we were there. It's 36 miles from my house to my deer stand, via the road network. With gas stops and corn-dog stops and helping my brother-in-law with his feeders we were only gone for eight hours.

There's lots'a things to do in the woods, like skipping rocks in the creek and checking the muddy areas for deer tracks, and climbing in the stands. Then, when a thunderstorm blows up, you've got to count the seconds between the lightning flash and the thunder crash and figure how many miles away the lightning might be. It's amazing that we got it all done so quickly.

The least one needed rubber boots, so PawPaw took him to the Feed & Seed and got a nice pair of camo boots. They'll do till he grows out of them and PawPaw was favorably impressed that rubber boots can still be bought for under $10.00.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Turkey killing

Everbody's seen the video, right? Sarah Palin is being interviewed at a turkey farm and in the background of the shot, the turkey farmer slaughters a couple of turkeys. The operation looked to me like a wholesome, small-quantity turkey operation. The pen looked clean and not over-crowded. The killing area had only two processing funnels. It looked to be a very low tech operation.

Some folks are in shock and horror. They're also in denial if they don't think that killing precedes eating.

Your curmudgeon was in the poultry business for a while before he got into police work. I worked at a chicken processing plant. Let me tell you, those turkeys were treated with a gentle hand. Three lines running seventy birds per minute. That's 210 birds a minute getting whacked. Two shifts of 8 hours each and you have 210K chickens being processed in a single day. It's efficient, it's regulated and inspected by the USDA, and it's study in carnage. Yet, if you eat chicken in the United States, you've participated.

There's nothing like working in a chicken plant to make you never want to eat chicken again. For about two years after I left that place I couldn't look at chicken as food. That was my first leadership position outside of the Army. I was the evisceration supervisor in charge of one line in the plant. We eviscerated chickens, 70 per minute, for eight hours a day. Every worker on my line was issued two razor-sharp knives at the start of every shift. That was a leadership challenge.

If you're not willing to kill and process your own meat, then you're really not willing to be a carnivore, are you?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Military rifles

George asks, in comments:
What about military rifles? The usual battle rifle has the barrel surrounded with stock on the bottom and handguard on the top, all being bound together with rings to hold the handguard to the stock fore-end.

If I read you right, the battle rifles have built-in in-accuracy.

No, not really. Military rifles aren't known for their dead-eye accuracy. Most armies are happy if their military rifles shoot into three or four inches at 100 yards. That degree of accuracy is fine if all you want to do is put a hit on a man-sized target at 300 yards, which is the limit of fire for most infantry-type engagements. Military rifles have to be dead-nuts dependable and GI proof.

That's not to say that you can't take a standard military rifle of any of the various countries and get outstanding accuracy out of it. Our old Model 1903A3 was known to be a truly accurate piece, and the M1 Garand has fine accuracy. It's military cousin, the M14 is an accurate piece when in the hands of a good rifleman.

Most military rifles have okay accuracy. What is needed most in a military rifle is rock-solid dependability. Look at the rifles used by the (0ld) Warsaw pact nations. You find that the SKS, the Moisin, the Kalashnikov, weren't particularly accurate firearms, but they were magnificent military rifles.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On active shooters

There's a new study out, at least it's touted as new. It talks about the police response to an active shooter. The blogosphere has picked it up.

An active shooter is the guy who brings a gun into a school or a mall and starts shooting victims at random. After review of a number of these shootings, we've learned a few things. I have to admit that a bunch of us figured it out just after Columbine and changed our tactics. We don't wait any longer for the SWAT team. The first officer on the scene confronts the shooter. The next officers on the scene form an entry team and start clearing the building. We've learned that seconds count, and that once a shooter is confronted with an armed response, he loses focus on his victims.

Still, it's good to see that the study backs up our training and brain-storming.
Based on the Virginia Tech data, experts determined the first officer on scene should make entry immediately with an aggressive attack on the shooter.

Every minute the officer waits for back-up, another three or more people could die.
That's why the first officer on the scene confronts the shooter. If the first officer manages to take the guy down, people live.
Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County, Ohio developed one of the first "single officer response" programs in the nation.

TDI was teaching the tactic even before Virginia Tech. Now the National School Resource Officer Organization (NSRO) is using TDI instructors to teach school resource officers how to confront a gunman immediately.
I don't know when the Tactical Defense Institute developed that program, but that's what we've been trained to do for six years. Find the shooter, engage him, take his focus off the victims.

For every minute we wait for backup, people die.

Some might argue that these scenarios are a good argument for concealed carry. We can argue that. The one thing that a CCW permit holder has to realize that if you're confronting an active shooter, when the police get there you need to immediately surrender. The adrenaline is going to be pumping and if we see some guy holding a gun he's liable to get shot. We can talk about your rights afterwards, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

Heck, if I'm in civilian clothes in the mall and stop a shooter, when the police get there, I'm going to surrender. I'm going to go prone and let the cops handcuff me. We'll talk about my selfless defense of the public later, after everybody has calmed down.

Floating a barrel

After work today I floated the barrel on the Ruger Model 77. It seems that Ruger puts a ledge at the forward end of the barrel channel when they whittle a stock. That ledge is supposed to put upward pressure on the barrel at the end of the forearm.

Some guns shoot well with a little upward pressure at the barrel. By far, the majority of rifles shoot better with a floated barrel. I personally prefer a floated barrel if possible. With just a small set of skills and some very basic tools, it's easy to float a barrel. Basically all you need is enough tools to remove the action, a dowel, and a piece of sandpaper.

Remove the action from the stock. Wrap the dowel in sandpaper and sand stock material out of the barrel channel. I've found that a short section of 3/4th inch dowel works good for sporter-taper barrels. Here's a picture. You can click the picture to make it larger.

It took about fifteen minutes to sand that ledge off of the front of the barrel channel and take enough wood out of the channel to float the barrel all the way back to the action ring. A patch slides easily between the forearm and barrel. I finished the project by sealing the wood with three coats of boiled linseed oil, rubbed into the wood.

Then, I gave the rifle a thorough cleaning and oiling. I didn't think I was ever going to get the barrel to come completely clean, and I was right. After about twenty patches, it was mostly clean. I gave it a good wipe down with a silicone cloth and put it away.

I'll have to order dies and brass and bullets. In another month or so, we'll start seeing how this rifle shoots.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On the bailout

Legacy costs. You know what those are, right? Pensions. The pensioners are screwed. It's just a matter of how much, or how soon. Just like the rest of us. That's our money they're talking about. Not the Gummint's money. Ours.

From everything I'm reading, GM is heading into Chapter 11 proceedings. The only question is will they go bankrupt before or after Pelosi hands them a pile of cash? When the bankruptcy begins, the automakers will be able to re-negotiate lots of things that are dragging them down, including pension plans. Figure pennies on the dollar. It's going to suck to be a GM pensioner. I hate it for those guys. They worked their whole lives on a contract and now the partnership of bad management and the UAW is dragging the company down the hole. There goes retirement.

I hate it for the automakers, because Ford and whoever owns Chrysler, ain't far behind. However, this may be the death-knell for the United Auto Workers. Imagine that, Pelosi presiding over the death of organized labor. Oh, the ironing.

This is like watching a train wreck.


If you've been paying attention, you know that there is a problem in the waters around Africa with pirates. They're capturing ships and holding them for ransom.

The Indian navy is fighting back. Good for them.

Some say that the only way to end piracy is through diplomacy. Nonsense. There are more traditional ways. Sure, the Barbary wars ended with diplomacy, but the Marines had to get involved so that diplomacy could work.

I think we should partner up with the Indian navy and let a few frigates use their guns. A little battleship diplomacy might be a good thing.

Quarter bore

Back in 1978, as a young Lieutenant, I used to lay in my BOQ and read Gun Digest. One article stuck in my mind, about a cartridge I had never seen, the .25-06. It was standardized by Remington in 1969, but had long been a wildcat cartridge, first formed by Adolph Neidner in 1920. It predates the .270 Winchester by five years. The .25-06 isn't a cartridge that one sees a lot of in these parts, being more a cartridge of the open plains. It sends out a 115 grain bullet at over 3000 fps and is considered a good cartridge for whitetail deer. Neidner designed it as a dual-purpose cartridge and with today's good powders and premium bullets, some consider it the bottom cartridge capable of taking elk. I don't think I'd ever shoot at an elk with a quarter bore.

Still, it's a cartridge that's been around for a long time and has a loyal following. It's basically a .30-06 necked down to .25 caliber, so it'll fit in any action that the .30-06 will handle. Compared to more modern cartridges, the .25-06 is about equal to the brand-new .25 Winchester Super Short Magnum and is only a couple of hundred feet per second behind the .257 Weatherby Magnum. In short, it's a fast cartridge, one that can reach out across valleys and plains. It has a reputation as being a very accurate cartridge.

I've always wanted a .25-06 since those financially broke days in the late '70s. It's been on my back burner wish list since then. I'd still look at the gun magazines from time to time and wonder if I'd ever have the opportunity to own one.

You might recall a few days ago I was in my favorite pawn shop looking at a Ruger Model 77 in .270. I like the Ruger action because it's a newer, updated version of the Mauser 98. The action has that big Mauser claw extractor and is just as slick as butter. Fifteen years ago Ruger bolt actions had a reputation for being average shooters. Then we learned about free-floating barrels and bedding stocks. With just a little tweaking, a Ruger action can be made to shoot just fine. Still, I didn't want a .270 and it was priced a little high, at $450.00 for a used rifle. Plus, the action was a weird color, being kind of a deep purple rather than a rich blue.

I hemmed and hawed with the counterguy and decided to put the rifle back on the shelf. He wasn't through with me, though. "I've got another Ruger over here, an older one with the tang safety." He picked up the rifle and handed it to me.

"Oh, really", I said. I looked down and saw the caliber .25-06 stamped on the barrel. "I bet this one's overpriced too." I looked at the tag and saw it was marked at $350.00.

"We don't have as much money in that rifle." He said. "It's an older one with the tang safety and it's in a caliber no one wants. How about $300.00?"

"Hell", I said. "It's against my better judgment, but give me a 4473."

It's got a 4X Bushnell scope mounted. That scope will go in a pile for grandkids .22 rifles. It's got a lot of closet dust in the crevices and the barrel needs to be floated. While I've got the action out of the stock, I'll go ahead and bed it. The serial number reveals it was manufactured in 1992.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back in the Saddle, again

Your curmudgeon went back to work this morning, with merely a Sunday off-duty.

Nothing much happened at work today. A quiet shift is a good shift. I'll take quiet every time.

Nothing much to blog about. The economy is melting down, but gun sales are up. Go figure. I was at my favorite pawn shop this afternoon and noticed that his shelves are less stocked than they usually are. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but the counterman was processing a 4473 for a customer. An old acquaintance stopped by and after the lady had bought her pistol, the counterman, acquaintance and I discussed the various merits of the .270 Winchester caliber.

There's a Ruger Model 77 in .270 on the shelf marked at $450.00, and I was sorely tempted. There's also a Savage 110 in 270 marked at under $400.00 and my acquaintance was sorely tempted. I've never used a .270, but that Ruger seems to be priced right.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Catching up

It was Wednesday since I last posted and it's Sunday now. It's been a long week.

Thursday was a 16 hour day
Friday was a 16 hour day
Saturday was a lark. I only worked 11 hours on Saturday.

This morning I'm catching up on family and heading to church. Hopefully, this afternoon I'll put the radiator back on Momma's tractor. I need that tractor to be running, and in just another hour it will be. This afternoon, after church.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another bailout

What the hell is going on with American Express? From today's Wall Street Journal.
American Express Co. which is being hit by slowing consumer spending and rising defaults, is seeking roughly $3.5 billion in taxpayer-funded capital from the federal government, according to people familiar with the situation.

The card issuer is the latest company not directly hit by the housing crisis to request cash from the federal government. While retailers, car companies and others hit by the slowdown in consumer spending haven't gotten the government money, financial firms of all kinds are getting federal bailouts.
I didn't get to read the whole thing because I'm not a subscriber, but I don't think we should be bailing out everyone who is suffering a slowdown. Especially not credit card companies. As I understand it, AMEX recently became a bank holding company and is trying to cash in on the generous bailouts offered to the financial industry.
“Given the continued volatility in the financial markets,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chief executive of American Express, “we want to be best-positioned to take advantage of the various programs the federal government has introduced or may introduce to support U.S. financial institutions.”
Oh! I get it. AMEX becomes a bank holding company and immediately gets in line for the free cash from the Fed.

What horseshit! I'd like to become a bank too, and get a bailout. Not a big one, but maybe a couple of million would tide me over until after Christmas.

I see American Express (AXP) stock prices dropped 10%, to $20.05 on news of the bailout request. Good. They don't need a bailout. That's my money they're playing with.

While I'm at it, GM and Ford don't need a bailout either. If they'd make cars that the consumer wants and sell them at a price the consumer is willing to pay, they'd make plenty of money. If they'd get out from under the UAW thumb, they'd probably make money too. I don't know if stupidity or labor is dragging them down the worst.

Another analysis

Bill Whittle, for those of us who read the right side of the blogosphere, has an analysis of the campaign up on NRO:
So consider this, my fellows in arms: On Tuesday, the Left — armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip, and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television, and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months . . . who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded, and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent — that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity . . .

Yielded a result of 53 percent.

He takes lessons from the life of a great Union general, Phil Sheridan, and applies it to the current political situation. The parallels are instructive.

Go read the whole thing, either at the NRO link or at Bill's blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Universal What?

Yeah, that's right, universal voter registration. Another bad idea from the Democratic Party.
But now, election reformers are calling for a move toward a "universal voter registration" system, in which the government takes the lead in ensuring that all eligible citizens are registered to vote.
That's a very bad idea.
"This means the registration process would no longer serve as a barrier to the right to vote," said Wendy R. Weiser, a lawyer for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. "It would also eliminate the ACORN issue and all the gaming of the system."
Acorn is a bad idea. It was a bad idea from the start. There's no reason to compound one bad idea with another.

I, personally, think that voting is one of those rights that is also a privilege. Voting is something that should be taken seriously, with aforethought, and voters should be very protective of their right to vote. That a voter would want the system to be zealously guarded from fraud.

I also think that voter registration should be conducted at the Court House in the Registrar's office. If you're serious about voting, then you'll take your birth certificate down to the registrar's office and sign up to vote. If you're not serious about voting, then stay your butt at home. If you move, you gotta get back down to the registrar's office and change your address. You could do it by mail, but a serious voter would go to the registrar's office.

Universal voter registration is as bad an idea as universal draft registration.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Looking for stocks.

After breaking the stock on the .30-06 last Saturday, I've been looking online for a replacement stock.

I took the OEM stock off of the rifle, and while it's pillar bedded, it's also got a lot of holes and empty space around the action and recoil lug. That OEM stock has got to flex, and while the rifle has shown good accuracy, a stock with more stiffness will probably be more accurate once I bed it.

There are a lot of good stocks out there for the Savage, but I'm not interested in paying $500.00 for a replacement stock for a $500.00 rifle. That just doesn't make sense. This is a hunting rifle, and while I'd like a nice piece of wood on it, I don't think that spending the coin on a fine circassan stock is what I want to do.

There was a time when Fajen made wonderfully beautiful stocks, but it looks like they focus on a narrow range of products these days.

McMillan makes some fine stocks and has stocked rifles for law enforcement and the military, but their prices start on the far side of $350.00. Too rich for me.

Accurate Innovations make some beautiful stocks, but they don't make anything yet for the Savage long action. And, it looks like the prices are on the top side. They make lovely stocks, but they're too rich for my blood.

Hogue makes a stock with a full-length aluminum bedding block that adds rigidity to the stock and doesn't need bedding, but that stock costs over $300.00. They also make a stock for that rifle with pillar blocks, but it costs about $200.00.

Ram-Line makes stocks that are popularly priced. I have a couple around here on .22 rifles and one of their stocks on a Model 94 Winchester. They are good stocks for what I use them for, but I'm not convinced they could stand up to the recoil of the -06. I could be wrong, but I'm not convinced I am.

There's always Bell and Carlson. They have a fine line of synthetic stocks and I've heard good things about them. They might be a choice.

Boyd's was recommended to me by my brother-in-law. They make laminated stocks. He's got one that he bedded and he likes it a lot. They cost under $110.00 with no finish and under $160.00 finished. I'm leaning toward Boyd's.

In the meantime, I'm going to be hunting with the .30-30 and the .243, so the restocking project can wait till after Christmas. Right now, I'm leaning toward Boyd's.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Well,.. Poot!

You all know the fondness I feel for my rifles. One of my favorites is the Savage 110 in .30-06. It's the one I planned to hunt with this winter, and I may still get to hunt with it, although it needs a new stock.

I dropped it out of the deer stand this morning and broke the stock at the wrist.

No, I wasn't being careless. I was being careful. Here's what happened.

A long time ago, I resolved to never climb into a deer stand with a loaded rifle. More so, to never climb with a rifle on my back if possible. My stands have a piece of rope attached to the rail, whereby I can tie the rifle off, climb the stand, then raise the rifle into the stand. At that point, it's loaded and placed on safe. I reverse the process when it's time to climb down.

This morning was no different. I climbed the stand, hauled the rifle up, then loaded it. After several hours, I decided to climb down. I unloaded the rifle and tied it off. I used a slip knot around the forearm and a half-hitch around the barrel. I've lowered rifles using this combination of knots for years with nary a problem. This morning, the knot slipped. I watched the rifle fall to the ground butt first. I watched the muzzle as it fell, thinking how fortunate I was that the rifle was unloaded. Safety first. That's me.

This is what I saw after the rifle came to rest.

I said a silent prayer of thanks for my safety, then climbed down and collected the pieces.

Now, though, I have a project. New stock, fitting it, bedding it, making sure everything works. The old Savage rifle will be back, better and stronger than ever before. I'm thinking a laminate stock. What say you?

Friday, November 07, 2008

That reminds me

I need to send Sarah a nice thank-you note. Something from Hallmark.

Lately, she's had a hard row to hoe and I want to tell her how much I appreciate the hard work she's done for us.

John McCain? Not so much. I'm still pissed off at him for McCain-Feingold.

But I really want to send Governor Palin a nice card. Her contact information is here.

Decisions, decisiions.

I've got all the hunting clothes out and the thermos is pre-heating. I'll be abed in another hour and headed to the woods in the morning.

I've got to decide if I'm going to sit in the tripod stand, or if I'm going to get closer to the creek. At some point, the deer will start using that sunny southern slope that the tripod watches. We had a cool front come through this morning and Accuweather says that we'll have temps in the low 40's tomorrow morning, clear skies and a waxing gibbous moon that'll set before daylight. The deer are feeding right now, but maybe they'll move just after the dew lifts.

Then, there's another decision I have to make. I've always like a controlled round feed rifle. Particularly, I've always liked a Winchester Model 70, with the large Mauser extractor. There's one at the pawn shop, in .270 Winchester caliber. It's not a wood-stocked model, but that's easily fixed. It does have tbe BOSS device on the end of the barrel. So, the question becomes, do I want the rifle? I can get the price right, so that's not the deciding factor. The question is do I want another synthetic stocked rifle, and this one has a BOSS device?

Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

This is hilarious

It seems like Obama hired some people to canvass for votes and later it became time to pay them.
Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.
First, he's gotta call the po-leese to help control his own workers.
A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.
I wonder if all those people are getting taxed on that income? I know that when a sheriff's deputy works a detail and gets paid, the issuing agency sends a 1099 (MISC) form at the end of the year and it becomes taxable income.
Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

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

"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.
Now, they're shortchanging their workers. Of course, the underpaid workers have to fill out forms to make a claim. Obama won't even pay his workers and I bet they're not claiming it as income.

I've done canvassing for local elections, but I never got paid for it. I did it out of a sense of civic responsibility. Still, if you promise to pay someone at a certain date and time, you really have a responsibility to do that.

How's that socialism thing working out for everybody?

2nd Day

I'm watching the Dow, just because that's one of the things a guy who went to B-school does.

The Dow closed on November 4th at $9625.28.
The Dow closed this afternoon at $8695.79.

That's a two day drop of $929.49. How's that threat of socialism working out for you?

I wonder where it's going to be on the day HE is inaugurated? Just wondering?

Oh, I don't know how many people caught the smear campaign that Fox News launched during the last week of the election, where the Lightworker was quoted in a 2001 radio interview? Getting away from the business of redistributing income, he made another interesting observation in that interview he says that the Constitution (spelling cut and pasted from the interview):
says what the states cant do to you says what the federal govt cant do to you but it doesnt say what the federal govt or state govt mst do on your behalf and that hasnt shifted and i think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that 41:01 the civil rights movement becaem so court focused
Frankly, I find that damned interesting, because one of the few enumerated rights in the whole document is the right that I rail about incessantly.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
There's one of those rights, right there. And it says the government can't infringe it.

Now, if what he thinks about civil rights is that they should be positive rights, how can he go on record as saying that he wants to regulate my rights?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Didja notice?

As soon as The Lightworker got elected, the Dow dropped 500 points, the largest post-election drop in history. He's not even elected all night and the bottom drops out. Business knows that Obama is a nightmare for business.

Then, the Russians start saber-rattling:
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged on Wednesday to station new missiles near Poland’s border in response to U.S. plans for an anti-missile system and proposed extending the presidential term to six years from four.
That didn't take long, did it? They smell blood in the water and weakness in the system. If you wonder why he made that pledge on Wednesday, then you really do believe in coincidence.

Remember what Joe from Scranton said? It won't be six months and we'll be tested. In foreign policy, there are no coincidences.

New Bullet

Some time ago, I ordered a bullet mold from a group order at the Cast Boolits forum. Those guys decide on a bullet design, take orders and have custom molds made by Lee Precision.

The mold in question is a .35 caliber, tumble lubed, gas checked, 180 grain, round-flat tip. It's a hoss, a big ole bullet for either the .35 Remington or the .357 magnum.

When the mold came in, I put it on the shelf and forgot about it. Yesterday I took it down and cast some bullets. I tumble lubed them in Lee Liquid Alox and today I installed the gas checks by running them through a .358 sizer.

The picture below is four of them, with a standard 158 semi-wadcutter for scale.

Another shot, from the top, shows the big meplat of this bullet.

This ought to be one great bullet for the .357 magnum, especially when shot through a carbine. We learned a long time ago that part of the killing power of a cast bullet is the shock effect from the tip (meplat) of the bullet and that basically, a wide, flat meplat worked to make a cast bullet more effective. Junior talks about meplat effect in this article.

I'm really looking forward to wringing out this bullet.

Election results

Whoo! Damn! Whatta ride.

It looks like PawPaw was on the losing end of the elections tonight. Mary Landrieu retained her seat, Barack Obama is the President-elect. I couldn't even call the judgeship races. It seems that conservatism has taken a hard hit.

But, that's the nature of elections.

So, let's turn now to selected excerpts from Obama's speech.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
I'll give you the same respect and consideration that you've been giving to President Bush.
Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House--a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.
Good jab! Invoking Lincoln to remind the party how far we've lost our founding principles. My party has to remember the founding principles and run the RINOs off. I'd rather lose with character than flirt with compromising our principles.

And finally..
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn-- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.
You've never heard my voice. My voice is one of individual freedom, smaller government, and personal responsibility. Yes, you will be my president and I will be the opposition. You will not get my help. More importantly, with a Democratic President, and a Democratic Congress, you are in charge. Everything that happens for the next four years is your fault. Yours alone, yours personally.

I will give you the same respect that you gave George Bush.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

At the Polls

I didn't vote today until after 5:00 p.m., in my little lily-white precinct near Deville, LA. I was told that I was the 998th voter out of about 1700 registered voters and the 5:00 workday crowd hadn't made it to the polls yet. They expected about 300 more before the polls closed.

That's a high turnout. I expect high turnouts everywhere, and the polls won't close until 8:00 p.m. I'll watch the results till 9:00, or 10:00, then carry my sorry butt to bed.

There isn't going to be any rioting in Deville tonight. We've all got to be at work tomorrow morning. There's no time for that foolishness.

Rifle choices

Blogger be603 said in comments:
picked up a nice old 336 30-30 from a pawn shop -- going to the Son&Heir. He's cross dominant so hoping it works out better for him than his boltie.

Largely you to blame. :-) Always been a 30-06 bolt M70 for everything type hunter. You got me to thinking about a 30-30 a couple years back when I first came across a post by you about casting for yours.

There's nothing wrong with a Model 70 in .30-06. Nothing wrong at all. If I ever find a nice one in the pawn shop racks for any sort of reasonable price, I'll pick it up myself. The Model 70, as interpreted by Jack O'Connor, was probably the epitome of hunting rifles in the latter half of the 20th century. It's an updated version of the Mauser model 98 action. It was known as The Rifleman's Rifle, and Jack O'Connor liked it in .270 Winchester. However, he bowed to the versatility and usefulness of the .30-06.

My favorite stand rifle is a Savage 110 in .30-06. It wears a Weaver K6 scope, which is the fixed power 6X scope. There's a lot to like about the Savage 110 action and it's quickly becoming a favorite of the custom rifle makers, at least hereabouts. There are lots of guys tinkering with the Savage 110 action and if the trend continues it might surpass the Remington 700 as a tinkerers rifle. I like the .30-06 with conventional bullets, jacketed with a soft point in 150-180 grains. As it turns out, my Savage likes a Speer boat-tailed bullet at 165 grains and gives good velocity and accuracy with nearly a full case of Reloder 22 powder.

However, a lot of my hunting is wandering through the woods, the thickets and scrub of the piney-woods of central Louisiana. In places where the trees are close and the undergrowth is thick, a long shot may be something considerably under 100 yards. In those situations, I like a light, handy carbine. I don't need the power of the full .30-06 load and I'm not going to be able to see much over 100 yards (more likely under 50 yards), so the Winchester 94 gets the nod. The .30-30 has killed all the game on the North American continent, and those guys who feel undergunned with the .30-30 are spending too much time in the gun magazines and not enough time in the woods. For many years I carried a Marlin, but it lives at my son's house and the Winchester lives under the seat of the truck. It's always with me, so it gets to hunt more than the guns that live in the gun cabinet.

Tell your son to enjoy the Marlin. The .30-30 cartridge has killed all the game on North America and it's still capable if the shooter does his part. Get close, use good ammo, and place your shot. The .30-30 won't let you down.

Caveat: I'm not saying that the .30-30 is a proper cartridge for large, heavy game like grizzly bear or elk, but that it's been used to take both those animals. In the days when the cartridge was introduced, it was considered a whiz-bang, high velocity, wonder-killer. We've now got better cartridges for large, heavy animals, but the .30-30 is the cartridge that launched the smokeless powder, high velocity revolution.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Time to vote

It's all over now but the voting and I don't think I'm going to change anyone's mind with any last minute exhortations.

So, I'll just say this about that. Tomorrow night, when the votes are counted and the electoral numbers are figured, we'll know who our next president will be. That's right, OUR next president. It won't matter whether the D or the R is elected, he'll be our president and we need to try to start the healing. It's been a rough election and we've got a tough year ahead of us. We've got to win Afganistan, we've got to stabilize the economy, and we've got to get to work building this nation.

So, go vote tomorrow. Then, call someone on the other side and invite them to supper.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday afternoon

I went to my younger sister's this afternoon and hung curtain rods in her sun room. Her sun room is made entirely of brick. Hard brick. The house is eighty-something years old and the bricks are fully seasoned. I was drilling them with masonry bits and each bit was good for about two holes.

There is still one rod left to hang, but I ran out of bits and she declared the job done. I'll finish it up later, sometimes between now and Christmas.

Yesterday while I was taking pictures of the stream below my stand, I took the picture below. I was facing nearly east and the light was playing tricks in the trees. As usual, you can click it for a larger image.

That's a huge sand/gravel bed that was deposited during Hurricane Gustav. The water from the almost 20 inches of rain cut the banks and moved a lot of material. Some of that is deposited here, where the water pooled.

From where this picture was taken, if you turn left 90 degrees, you're looking north up a pipeline. Just inside the woodline to the right is a small stand of white oak trees. Historically, rutting bucks make scrapes in the leaves under those white oaks. No scrapes yet this year, but this is one of the areas I'm watching.

I'll probably set up on the south side of the pipeline next weekend and watch both the stream bed and the white oak side of that pipeline. I'll have to remember to take a lawn chair. It ought to be fairly easy to construct a ground blind when it gets light enough to see. Or, I'll just back into the thicket far enough that I can stay hidden while I watch through the woods. For hunting like this, I'll be within 70 yards of anything I'd be able to see, so the scoped bolt rifle doesn't make a lot of sense. From a stand in this area, the Winchester 94 with cast bullets and iron sights should be perfectly adequate for the chore.

Your money

Here, President-elect Obama shows a dramatic misunderstanding of the mechanisms of our economic system. At a rally in Missouri, he said this. Emphasis mine.
"Exxon-Mobil announced that it had made the greatest profits of any corporation in the history of the world: $14 billion in one quarter. That's all your money."
That's all your money.

No, sadly, it's not. Unless you own equity in Exxon-Mobil, that's not your money. You traded money for goods or services and Exxon-Mobil is very good at what they do.

If you are in a retirement plan, some of that might be your money.

If you work for a state government and your retirement fund allows equities, then some of that might be your money.

Otherwise, it's not. It belongs to the shareholders at Exxon-Mobil.

If you think I'm taking the quote out of context, go ahead and read the whole paragraph. He's making a point, I understand that, but while making a larger point, he misrepresents the entire free market. And that misreprentation, I think, is in keeping with his world view. He's said it time and time again. When he told Joe the Plumber he wants to share the wealth. When he told the Missouri crowd that the Exxon-Mobil profits belong to the people. Barack Obama is a socialist. He's a great politician. He's wonderfully motivating, but he's a socialist. He's a rich socialist, too, and they tend to be the worst. Rich socialists believe that their money is their money and everyone else's money should be used to spread the wealth.

Obama's got plenty of money to help people, but he'd rather use the tax dollar. Obama could help his aunt, his half-brother, he could lift them from poverty, but he doesn't do it. That's his money. He'd rather use the public dole.

He scares the hell out of me.

Tractor Mechanics

So, the other day, I was at Momma's house on her tractor. Momma's got an International Harvester 244 tractor that Daddy bought in 1984. When I was running it, it wanted to overheat. I cooled it a time or two, adding coolant, then put it away.

My son and I ran it again yesterday, specifically to analyze the problem. After the engine warmed, he noticed that the coolant intake hose was collapsing. The water pump was trying to suck water to cool the engine and the radiator couldn't supply enough water. Evidently, the radiator is clogged. It needs to be boiled and rodded out. We'll get that done this week. That tractor has been in the family for 24 years and I don't think that the radiator has ever been off of it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday hunt

This morning I got out in the woods. I didn't see anything from my stand, but there is evidence around the deer feeder that they've found it.

Below my stand trickles a small, intermittent creek. It's got a sandy gravel bottom and in my area it cuts through extremely thick woods. Here's a picture of the creek. You can click on the pic for a larger image (640X480)

The deer use the creek as a travel path. The thick woods on each side and the undercut banks make it almost impossible to see an animal as it traverses the creek bottom. There's one area that's extremely sandy, about 125 yards from my stand. When I'm in the woods I'll walk down to the creek and check the traffic. I always wipe out the tracks so that next week I'll know which tracks are new. Here's a representative sample. The cartridge in the photo is a .30-06 for scale.

What I don't know is what time of day the deer are using the creek bottom. If it's at night, then that knowledge does me no good, because night hunting is illegal. If it's during the day, knowing when they're moving would be a big help.