Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

I've often wondered why we make a big deal of New Year's. It's simply the calendar spinning over, and honestly there are other more auspicious days on the calendar that make more sense to re-start the year. Like the vernal or autumnal equinox, or the summer or winter solstice. Yet, today is December 31st and tomorrow will be January 1st, bringing with it the New Year. Yippee.

Milady and I were married on the summer solstice, more out of an accident of our schedules than anything else. At that time I was a cop on shift work and she was an RN on shift work. After we'd become engaged, we sat down with her work schedule and mine. The first convenient weekend that we were both off work was June 21st, and that happened to fall on a Saturday. We never considered the whole "solstice" thing at all. It was simply a convenient Saturday. A good time for a party. However, that accidental date makes it easy for me to remember my anniversary.

But, here we are at this non-auspicious New Year's Eve, and it is customary to celebrate that event by making a resolution. Here is mine.

I resolve to make no resolutions.

Tonite, Milady and I will slip off for a little entertainment. I'll put on slacks, a nice shirt, and a sport coat. Milady will, of course, dress better than I. She always does. We'll go to a place that has a champagne toast at the rolling of the clock, and we'll come home to sleep the sleep of the just.

Tomorrow, though, we'll host another couple, two dear friends with whom we've spend every New Years since I've known Milady. The menu is always the same. Baked chicken and pork chops over rice, blackeyed peas, cabbage, and cornbread. It is a traditional menu, reminding us to be frugal and humble during the New Year.

I don't have much problem with frugal, but humble is a problem.

Update:  A commenter reminded me that the summer solstice is in June.  HA!  And that's my anniversary, I really should remember that.  It's fixed above, and thanks for the reminder.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

That Pesky Budget

From the Green Room, over at Hot Air.  The budget for Dummies.

US Federal Budget
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
If I had a family budget like that, I'd be looking at bankruptcy, and we'd be having some huge conversations about draconian spending cuts.  We damn sure wouldn't be able to get any more credit, and our credit rating would be toast.

That's what our country looks like, folks.  And we're worried about a fiscal cliff?  Our Congress-critters should be worried about tar-and-feathers.

Sunday Shooting

This afternoon, eldest grandson Michael and I went out to shoot his new Axis. I think that this is going to be a great little rifle. We set up a target at 25 yards to get the scope looking where the barrel was pointed. First shot was a little low, and way off to the right. So, we started moving the crosshairs in to the bullseye and in about 12 shots, we had it hitting the bull.

That rifle has an older Weaver K6 mounted and the scope doesn't track exactly correctly.  However, this is a "set it and forget it" scope and tracking isn't an issue. Because the little scope doesn't track well, I'd have him put two through at intervals and it put those "two-shot" groups into nearly the same hole. It holds zero well, so once it's zero'd we leave it alone. At this point, he had been at the bench for a while, so I let him stretch the rifle out a little bit.  He managed to ring each of the gongs I've set at the 100 yard line.  Confidence is paramount in basic riflery, and he seemed confident that he could hit a kill-zone target at 100 yards.  That's enough lesson for one day.  I was pleased both with his confidence and with the performance of the rifle.

I think that this is going to be a fine little starter rifle for him.  And, it seems to shoot my standard .25-06 handload well.  My standard .25-06 handload is 50.0 grains of Reloder 22 under a 117 grain bullet, either the Hornady SST, or the Sierra Gameking.  Both of those have done well in our rifles, and now I have four of them to load for.

With that many rifles of a particular caliber in the family, I'm not going to segregate loads for each of them.  If the boys want to learn handloading, we can tailor some loads to a particular rifle, but I'm not going to keep brass separate  nor am I going to keep individual load data on each of those rifles.

When Michael was through shooting, I wanted to shoot one shot through my Model 700, in .308, so I loaded one round, knelt in a hasty shooting position, and rang the 100 yard gong.  Very satisfying.

A Modest Proposal

From a commenter at Legal Insurrection, I find the following:  From commenter gs, on 12/30/2012 at 12:04 pm.

1. A modest proposal:
Within the country’s borders, the only officials permitted armed federal escorts shall be the President, the Chief Justice, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the Minority Leaders of the House and Senate.
2. An alternative:
Any level of the US government which utilizes armed escorts for its officials shall authorize its citizens to carry the weapons carried by those escorts. A lower level of government shall not prohibit weapons authorized by a higher level of government.
That's two proposals I can get behind.  I understand that some of the elected officials need a protective escort and those officials should be named.  I also believe that The People should have the same right to arms as enjoyed by our elected officials.   Let's level the playing field.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Everyone got Christmas presents last week, to include the dog.  Milady hooked him up with a new jacket for winter wear.

Oh, yeah, he's a studly creature.  No doubt about that.  Happy New Year, everybody!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ghandi on Guns

Mohandas Ghandi, who peacefully resisted British rule in India during the early part of the 20th century understood what arms mean to the common man.    More recently, Natural News had the temerity to quote Ghandi, and Facebook deleted their page, claiming it violated "community guidelines".  What was the quote?
"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest." - Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.
Natural News goes farther, saying:
We have entered the era of the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell's 1984 novel. And while Facebook assaults the First Amendment in America, Senator Feinstein is busy assaulting the Second.

Savage Axis

I have two left-handed grandsons and they're both in their mid-teens.  They've been shooting with me for since they were old enough to hold a .22, and I'm confident of their safety and ability with firearms that I though it was time for their first centerfire rifle.  So, I started casting about for suitable left-hand bolt rifles and settled on the Savage Axis.  I ordered them, put them on layaway, and they finally arrived just in time for Christmas.

When I brought them home I intended to mount a scope and sling, but Milady had them wrapped and put under the tree before I was ready to work on the rifles.  The boys opened the rifles on Christmas, but I told them that I'd mount a scope, sling, and ammo carrier on each of them, then we'd go shooting.

I finished mounting the scopes today and they turned out pretty good.  The rifles are very light, in the neighborhood of seven pounds with sling and scope.  A light rifle will pound you pretty hard, but both of these are in .25-06, a caliber that's noted for being fairly mild.  The rifles came with a good soft pad, and both of these boys are big enough to handle the recoil, both of them can handle a 12 gauge shotgun.

It will be interesting to see how these rifles shoot.  I've got a standard load for the .25-06 that uses a 117 grain Hornady SST bullet over Reloder 22 powder and it's proved very accurate in both of the family's other .25-06 rifles.  I see no reason why the load won't work in these rifles as well.  Hopefully, over the next few days I can get the boys out to the range and get their rifles sighted in.

Friday, December 28, 2012

More on Gregory

Professor Jacobson, over at Legal Insurrection, continues to do the heavy lifting in the Gregory case, exposing the hypocrisy of the media.  He quotes Howard Kurtz, who writes:
The late word that NBC requested, and failed to receive, permission from the police certainly complicates the matter. But I don’t think Gregory was planning to commit any crimes.
I don't think that Gregory was planning to commit any crimes either, but that's not the point and it highlights the idiocy of most gun control laws.  I personally think that Gregory was trying to highlight the difference in the size of the two magazines, and that he was trying to catch LaPierre off guard, but he ran afoul of an idiotic law that just happens to be on the books.  As it turns out, in Washington DC, it is illegal to possess a certain type of steel box with a spring inside.

Now, Mr. Kurtz doesn't think that Gregory was planning to commit any crimes, but lots of folks who own those steel boxes aren't planning to commit any crimes.  So, why should it be illegal to own those steel boxes?  David Gregory may have done us all a favor here.  He's highlighted the idiocy of the laws against steel boxes.  And he's highlighted the idiocy of laws that don't require intent.

There is another firearms accessory that Mr. Gregory could have held during that segment that's also regulated heavily.  It's a steel tube with washers inside.  Those tubes are required in some countries, not regulated at all in others, but in the US they are considered nefarious devices, each of them is subject to confiscatory fees, absolute registration, and hobbyists acquire them after much paperwork and investigation by the government.  Yet, it's nothing more than a steel tube with washers.  Easily made in any home garage for less than $20.00, but if you make one for yourself, you do so at great risk.

However, if Mr. Gregory isn't arrested and prosecuted, then we'll all have the Gregory Defense.  The law applies to us all, equally.  No man is above the law.  Not even David Gregory.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What's Fer Supper?

Milady and I decided that we had enjoyed enough Christmas food and were ready for some plain, filling fare.  Since she had to go in to the clinic today, I told her I'd cook.  The menu for tonight is as follows:

Hamburger Steak
lightly browned, then simmered in a brown gravy with sauteed onions.

Brown Rice

Baby Lima beans, with Tasso .

If there is anything in this world that smells better than onions sauteing in a black iron pan, I've never smelled it.

  With a glass of wine, or maybe an adult beverage, that should feed us just fine.

David Gregory's Problem

I talked yesterday about the nuttiness that was starting to follow David Gregory's brandishing of a standard magazine on Sunday's Meet the Press.  Professor Jacobson, over at Legal Insurrection is doing yeoman service and heavy lifting in this story, and he's demonstrated that the Washington DC police told NBC that they couldn't use that magazine, but Gregory went ahead to use it as a journalistic "gotcha" moment during his interview with Wayne LaPierre.

From all reports, and from what I'm able to read, there is no journalistic exception to the law.  It is illegal to possess a standard capacity magazine in Washington DC.  Period.  And that's the problem with laws like this.  People get arrested in one locale for simply possessing things that are legal in other locations.  Nothing I've seen in the law has anything to do with intent, nothing I've seen in the law has exceptions, nothing I've seen in the law says that you can have that magazine for journalistic purposes.

Gregory knew what he was doing was illegal.  He decided to go ahead for his own purposes, probably thinking that his high-minded moment would shield him from consequences.  He was dreadfully, dreadfully wrong.   If he is arrested and prosecuted for having that magazine, then he'll know that we're a nation of laws, not men.  If he is not arrested and prosecuted for having that magazine, then everyone in DC who is found with a magazine like that can claim the David Gregory defense.  The law cannot be arbitrary and capricious in its application.  It must apply to everyone, equally.  That's the basis of our system, and Gregory's moment might set back the very movement that he's trying to push forward.

Martin Luther King was willing to break laws to demonstrate how unjust those laws were, and to suffer the consequences for breaking those laws.  I doubt that was Gregory's purpose.  However, I see that a prominent conservative lawyer has volunteered to defend Gregory on the charges.  He might be able to demonstrate that the DC laws are in violation of the Second Amendment.   That would be a truly ironic moment for Gregory, and NBC News.  While arguing that standard magazines should he illegal, he manages to overturn the very law that he's trying to stiffen.  Unintended Consequences.  That's generally what gun laws are all about.

UPDATE: At 9:30 a.m., Insty says that this picture is all over Facebook.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Back in the '80s I ran a hobby farm, ran a few cattle, had horses, goats, chickens, dogs and kids.   I found that there were benefits to joining the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association, so I sent in my dues, and eventually registered a brand with them.  I paid a welder to make the brand, and sometime in the ensuing decades I lost track of the physical steel brand, but the family adopted it as a logo and we've been using it ever since.  We put it on tee-shirts for family reunions, we put it on craft work, we put it on all manner of things.

Some folks say that branding livestock is abhorrent, a throwback to cruel and unusual times, but to a cattleman, his brand is his trademark.  Some of the trademarks of the old West are with us today.  Probably the most famous is the King Ranch brand, or the JA brand of Charles Goodnight's and John Adair's ranch.

However, under the Christmas tree this weekend, I saw an odd looking package and my son told me that he had made something special for me.  When we unwrapped the presents, I saw a reproduction of my brand, in the 3" horse-sized brand.

Is that cool, or what?  I doubt I'll ever heat this brand to use on livestock, but just having it gives me pride of ownership.  We call it the Lazy J-D, but in reality it's probably the leaning J - D.  Still, it's our family brand, our logo and I'm damned proud to have it in my hands.

Thanks, son.

More Nuttiness

During Sunday's segment of Meet the Press, David Gregory debated Wayne LaPierre on the magazine issue, and held up what appears to be a 30 round magazine from an AR15.  The only problem with that is that it appears that in Washington DC it is a crime to simply possess an ammunition magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.  Here's the video clip.

According to Breitbart, the DC Metro Police department is looking into allegations that Gregory broke the law.

Tam wonders if there is a Sanctimonious Dickhead exception in the law?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

We're in that stage of our Deep South winter where you're never sure if you need to run the air conditioning or the heater.  Last night, with all the frivolity and the number of  warm bodies in the house, we turned the A/C on, this morning the temperature has dropped and we're using the heating.

Milady unwrapped a Kindle Fire HD from under the tree, my gift to her as she's a veteran reader.  She seems to always have a paperback in her hand, and I thought it might be fun to set her up with an e-reader.  She's sitting now in my chair, learning to use the darned thing.  There is a small learning curve with all new devices, but I think she's getting the hang of it.  She's downloaded one free book and is reading it now.  As I look over her shoulder, I'm impressed with the little device.  It seems fairly intuitive and once you learn to navigate it, fairly easy to use.

Sister Patty, as always, excelled in her assignment.  I challenged her to bring chocolate, because no gathering is truly complete without chocolate.  She arrived with a cake from a local baker.  Death by Chocolate.

Oh, my God, that thing is rich!   Well Done, Patricia.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Away in a Manger

Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

The Conversation Continues - Secondary Markets

Cory Booker is the mayor of Newark, NJ and was on ABC News recently. During the interview they talked about guns in the city, and Mayor Booker had this to say.
In all of the shootings in his city, Booker says, only one was perpetrated by “a law-abiding citizen who is mentally stable and who bought a gun.” “I’m not afraid of law abiding citizens who buy a gun,”
He goes on to elaborate on the argument, talking about secondary markets for guns in his city.
“I’m not afraid of law-abiding citizens who buy a gun,” he said. “Buy the guns you want. What the problem is in America right now is that a terrorist person who is on the no-fly list could go into the secondary market today and buy a weapon.”
As they say, go read the whole thing, but Mayor Booker is talking about people owning guns who shouldn't own guns. The only problem I'm going to have with this argument is that any regulation must be crafted very carefully so as not to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals. For example, I routinely gift firearms to my children and grandchildren. That's an American tradition as old as our nation. Each of my sons has a firearm that was owned by their grandfather, a working heirloom, a link to their grandfather.

I'm not saying that I agree with Mayor Booker, but his argument is one that's being heard.  I agree that some folks shouldn't have guns, and we've got to come up with solutions that support the Second Amendment while keeping guns from prohibited persons.  Of course, it doesn't help at all that our own government is guilty of running guns in the secondary markets.  I don't know that anyone has been prosecuted for the government's involvement in that debacle, but it smacks of hypocrisy for the Justice Department to prosecute folks for doing things that government agents have done.

The law must cover all, equally.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Prep

Many years ago, Milady and I decided that we'd host a Christmas Eve celebration for family so that the kids and grandkids could celebrate Christmas Day however they proposed, whether at home doing the Santa Claus thing, or at the other in-laws.  Christmas Eve is ours.

The presents are wrapped, the tree is lit, and Milady and I are prepping for tomorrow.  The menu is simple, yet comprehensive.

Christmas Eve Menu

Baked Ham
Candied Yams
Cornbread Dressing
Green Bean Casserole
Yeast Rolls
Assorted Desserts
Iced Tea

Regarding the assorted desserts, I am told that Banana Pudding will be provided, as will a surplussage of Christmas Cookies.  Around here, we talk about "Nanner Pudding" and it will be sufficiently critiqued for completeness and sufficiency.  In the Deep South, "Nanner Pudding" is a dessert staple.

There will also be adult beverages for those who are interested, and PawPaw has laid on a sufficiency of Egg Nog.  Christmas Cheer will be complete, and comprehensive.  After the meal, we'll open presents and the grandkids will totally trash the living room.  It's part and parcel of our celebration.

Today, one adolescent grandson and I held a quicky course in the care and cleaning of bolt-action rifles.  He thought that he was helping me clean my rifle, but after the opens the boxes tomorrow night, hopefully the lesson will sink in.  There are actually two of those under the tree, and PawPaw will be interested to see the expressions on teenaged eyes when they open those gifts.

Note to Patty:  No one has offered to bring a chocolate cake.  We'll be pleased to see you tomorrow evening.

Sunday Song

The incomparable Luciano Pavarotti.

Maestro!  Bravo!

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's Sunday and tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  The presents are wrapped, the menu is planned and everyone is ready for a glorious Celebration.  The dog has been snacking for several days and he's as excited as everyone else.

I hope that each of you has a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Do You Hear?

One of my favorites.


Larry Correia

Larry Correia, over at Monster Hunter Nation, deconstructs ever possible argument on gun control, and then he takes aim at the politicians who want to "do something"
The ones who are walking around with their security details of well-armed men in their well-guarded government buildings really don’t care about actually stopping mass shooters or bad guys, they care about giving themselves more power and increasing their control.
Control, that's what it's all about. I'm linking to it so that I can find it later, but the whole article is worth reading. He talks about every conceivable argument, and shreds them all, one at a time. In the meantime, I'm going out to the bench to reload some ammunition.


Oh, really?  New York governor Mario Cuomo is okay with confiscation?
New York’s Gov.Andrew Cuomo said this afternoon that he’d like the state’s legislature to consider all options in debating new gun control measures, including “confiscation” of “assault” weapons
It's interesting that the Democrats are okay with government confiscation of private property. I wonder who is going to do the confiscating? And just exactly how will they know where those rifles might be?

Another question for Mario.  Is this confiscation going to be from private citiizens, or is your body guard detail going to turn in their weapons too?  As long as you are protected by armed bodyguards, do you have any moral authority to even think such a thing?  When you tell your guards to disarm, I may grant you a debating point.  Until then, thank God that they have the weapons that you want to deny to everyone else.

Godless Democrats and our elected elite.  The governing class wants to confiscate from us the same tools that they use to keep themselves safe.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Really? Kerry for State?

I'm now one drink into Happy Hour and I see that our President has nominated John Kerry for Secretary of State.

John Kerry, you'll remember, is the navy officer who left his men in Vietnam after getting three (disputed) Purple Hearts. Then he married Ketchup heiress Theresa Heinz (and to this day I will not allow Heinz ketchup in my house).  He ran for President a while back and the officers and men that served with him torpedoed his presidential bid.

I believe that John (Heinz) Kerry is a lying dog, a woeful piece of shit, a shameless whore to the political process.  He's also the senior senator from Massachusetts, a state with a long line of shameless whores as Senator.  Kerry is a left-wing radical, a liar, and a hustler of women.  He'll probably do as well a job at SecState as Hillary Clinton, who recently fell and hit her head so as not to testify on the Benghazi debacle.  I understand that Hllary willing to use any number of convenient excuses to avoid testifying before Congress, to include yeast infections, toenail fungus, and the clap.  No word yet on her hemorrhoids.

Having said all that, it makes perfect sense that the President appoints John (Heinz) Kerry as SecState.  I wonder how many more good Americans this asshole will slander?

It's about time to pour another drink.

NRA Presser

Wayne LaPierre of the NRA held a press conference today, following a week of silence after the Sandy Hook massacre.  I think that Wayne hit it out of the park.
We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.
Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!
That's true. The President is protected, our Governors are protected, our legislators are protected, but we drop our kids off at school and in many venues, they are not protected. So, ask yourself; Does the President of the United States have a greater right to life than a kindergarten student? Does the mayor of New York have a greater right to protection than a first grade student? No, yet the President and Mayor Bloomberg surround themselves with armed police officers. Must our children be left unprotected?  I think not, and in my case, my work is making sure that school children are protected.    If you want to read a full run-down of the problem, go read Karl Denninger's take on the problem.   Most of the problem of our governing class is hypocrisy, and Denninger nails them.  I'll be using some of his arguments over the next several weeks.

The reporters, predictably, are trashing LaPierre on Twitter.  They can't stand it that he's right, as is Denninger, and as am I.

Lots more at the link.

Our President, on the other hand, is supposed to be remarking soon.  The Gay Patriot nails it.

It's close to 5:00 here, and I believe that I'm going to declare Happy Hour.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


On this day in 1953, PawPaw skidded into the world, and it's been a heck of a ride.  I hope that I can keep hanging on for a while longer, and the doctor sees no reason why that won't happen.  So, today I am blessed with good health, a fine family, a warm home and a loving wife.  That's all a man needs, actually, and I feel blessed.

I will work all day today.  For reasons that only a basketball coach can fathom (because for the life of me, I don't understand it), I have to work a basketball game tonight.  I'm going to pull on my boots in another half hour and go to the school-house where I will remain until about 9-ish tonight.  What makes it unfathomable is that the coach and I share the birthday, and she insists on scheduling games on her birthday.  What makes it truly unfathomable is that her husband is the competing coach, and he knows damned well it's his wife's birthday.  All I can figure out is that it's some sort of weird sexual thing they've got going on, but that's just a hunch as I have no evidence of that at all.

Still, it's PawPaw's birthday, so I give you my standard birthday song.

Y'all have a good one, and I'll catch y'all on the flip side.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Responsible Gun Ownership

It turns out that a firearm bought by an ATF agent has turned up at a Mexican murder scene.  A Senate investigation reveals that the ATF agent who purchased the firearm might have lied on his 4473. Senator Grassley has written a letter to the ATF.
"Lying on a Form 4473 is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison," Grassley's letter states. The senator also points out that's the same alleged violation that suspects in ATF's Fast and Furious operation were arrested for. "Jaime Avila, Jr. recently plead guilty to a variety of charges" in Fast and Furious, including "for giving a false address on Form 4473."
It seems to me that between Fast and Furious, and this latest revelation about an ATF supervisor lying on a 4473, that the Obama administration has no moral standing to lecture the rest of us on responsible gun ownership.

Cool Beans

It's my birthday tomorrow, and of course I've got to work a ball game.  Milady knew that I was stressed out, so she took me to eat Mexican, and when we got home she gave me my birthday present.  Something I've wanted for a while, but wouldn't buy for myself.

That a set of ATI shotgun forend wrenches.  I'll probably use them only once a year, or once every couple of years, but it you've ever tried to take a forend off of a pump shotgun, or tighten the forend on a pump shotgun, you'll realize how important those three wrenches can become.

Now, I'm having a little taste of Kentucky whiskey and all the stress has rolled off my back.  I am indeed a lucky man.


Stop the world, I want to get off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thougths on Tuesday

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy I"m hearing calls to start a national conversation on gun control, and I have to tell you that I don't know where these people have been.  We've been having this conversation since 1968 that I'm aware of, and we're still having it today.  The difference in the conversation is that the pro-gun guys have advanced cogent arguments, done the research and made the case to the public.  We've had the conversation.  Every body who is coming now to the table is coming late.

The Atlantic posts an article on this very point, and it's worth reading.  In an Atlantic Wire post titled "It's Time We Talked About Gun Control," my sharp colleague Jen Doll writes, "We're going to have to talk about this; we're going to have to form coherent thoughts; and we're going to have to stop simply cleaving to our agendas and our selfish little opinions of what we want and what we think we should have -- and when 'the right time is' -- if this is ever going to get any better." But that isn't a call for a conversation! It's an assertion that opponents of gun control are selfish, and that they (not "we") are going to "have to" change their minds. It's fine to make that argument. The problem is couching it as a mere call for talking, when it is in fact an assertion that the only reasonable conclusion is that the other guys are wrong.  
The other guys (by that I mean the pro-gun types and I couch myself in those terms) have been having the conversation for over 40 years, and we've won. We've won in the public debate, we've won in the state legislatures, we've won in the Congress. We've won in the Courts.  If you want to talk about gun control, then I'm willing to have the conversation, but you'd better do your homework, have your research in hand, and be ready to defend your stance by something more than emotional appeal.

So, if you want to have the conversation, drag up a chair and pour yourself a drink.  But, be ready to have your ass handed to you.  I've already had this conversation and I'm winning.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Mayan

Well, this cartoon explains it all.

Only four shopping days until the Mayan Apocalypse.

Hat tip to Denny!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Song

We lost Andy Williams in September of this year.

I don't think I'll be hearing him sing this one in Branson anymore.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's mild today in central Louisiana.  Milder than it's been all week, with temps in the high 60s.  The dog and I are enjoying the overcast, breezy day.   The weather weenies are calling for thunderstorms later and we'll have to deal with that, but in the meantime we'll enjoy the back deck.

Hopefully it'll be just a lazy day.  Y'all go enjoy Sunday.  There's only five more shopping days before the Mayan Apocalypse.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Clackamas Mall

You remember the Clackamas Mall shooting last week?  I wondered why a guy with an AR had such a small body count in a target-rich mall two weeks before Christmas.  Part of the narrative is that his magazine jammed, so I get that, but now we're learning that an armed CCW holder confronted him.
part was also due to the fact that, gun-free zone or not, Jacob Roberts was confronted by Nick Meli who was armed and has a concealed carry permit. No, he didn’t fire because he feared hitting an innocent person behind Roberts if he missed. But Roberts knew Meli was there: “I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.”
We learn in police work that the best way to stop an active shooter is to confront him, to threaten him, to place fire on him if possible, to take his attention away from the innocents and on his own mortality. Generally, the shooter will eat his own gun pretty quickly after being confronted.

I wonder how many we could have saved at Sandy Hook if one administrator had been armed and trained.  If one teacher had been armed and trained.   We'll never know, will we?

Getting It Wrong

Well, I see that the pundits have started to call for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.  Unfortunately, they're either getting the facts wrong out of either pure ignorance or out of dishonest reporting.  Either way, they're getting it wrong and it doesn't reflect well on their organizations.  For example, let's start with Mark Shields over at PBS.
And if we can license people who clip our toenails and promote prize fights, then we sure as hell ought to be able to license people who have automatic weapons.
Uuuh, we do, Mark. It's called the National Firearms Act and it was passed in 1934. You'd think that a PBS reporter would know that, but you just proved me wrong. You're plainly ignorant on the subject. Then we have Rupert Murdoch asking the same question.
When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.
Well, Rupert, I know that you head the 2nd largest news organization in the world, so maybe you can get one of your fact-checkers to research that for you. However, we've already banned automatic weapons in the United States. We did that in 1934. You should know that. But, while we're at it, what kind of guns do your security team use? And what makes your life more valuable than the lives of innocent children? Just asking.

And of course, Bloomberg chimes in, calling for more gun control.  This is the same Bloomberg who lets Long Island residents go for 30 days without electricity and can't control bedbugs.  You'd think that New York City had enough problems to keep their big-mouthed mayor busy, but you'd be wrong.  Oh, and I wonder what kind of guns Bloomberg's security team carries?  Are y'all starting to see a pattern here.  The big shots want gun control, yet their security team carries the very guns they want to restrict.

And as usual, we don't yet have an update on Harry Reid's problem with pederasty.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Why would someone go into an elementary school and start shooting children?  How evil, sick, demented can you be?  I simply don't understand, the mind that would do such a thing is foreign to me.  Alien.

We'll know more as time goes on, but in the meantime let's all say a prayer for the victims.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


If you've noticed, I'm posting less about politics and more about cooking.  Hopefully I'll get more into guns and shooting after the first of the year.  Whether or not we drive off the fiscal cliff is plainly off my radar.  I just don't give a crap.  This country needs a serious realignment with reality and until there's a little pain, there won't be any gain.

However, I am compelled to think about the unions and the right-to-work states and notice that the latest round of asinine behavior is in Michigan, where the unions lost the right-to-work argument and have resorted to thuggery and destruction of property.  I find it interesting that while the Democrats won the national election for The Lightworker, that more and more states are leaning conservative with 29 Republican governors, and a majority of state legislatures are Republican.  Now, Michigan has gone right-to-work and if the governor can show increased economic activity over the next two years, there is little chance that the state house will flip sides.  The blue model is dying and when union members revert to fistic tactics, they're plainly losing.

In other news, Milady and I are heading to Texas Roadhouse in another hour to meet some friends for dinner.  I've been a good boy today, and I see a ribeye steak in my immediate future.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gumbo Weather

It's been cold all day here in Central Louisiana.  PawPaw worked a soccer game last night and didn't have time to properly prepare a meal.  I had to settle for a bowl of canned chili when I got home.  Tonight, though, I'm free and I decided to make a gumbo.  Just a basic chicken and sausage gumbo with lots of onions, bell peppers and celery.  Milady is running a couple of errands after work, so in another half hour I'll put on a couple of cups of brown rice and it should be nearly ready when she gets home.

It's supposed to get down below freezing tonight and it didn't get much about 50F all day long with a slight breeze out of the north.  A big pot of gumbo sounds good.  I'll get up shortly and give it a stir, make sure all the flavors are blending properly.

My basic recipe is here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Hobo Dinner

A poster over at The Gun Counter was talking about easy campfire meals, and I started thinking about the Hobo Dinner.  This is a great, easy campfire meal with little clean-up.

Hobo Dinner

half pound of good hamburger
One carrot
One slice of onion
One big potato
One big piece aluminum foil

On the aluminum foil, pat the hamburger into a patty, then wash and slice the potato, the carrot, and put it on top of the hamburger.  Add your slice of onion, then put some salt and pepper on it.  Fold the aluminum foil into a pleasing packet (or roll it all in a ball) and drop it in a convenient campfire.  Did I mention you needed a campfire?  Let it sizzle for 30-45 minutes, depending on how done you want the meat and veggies.  Drag it out of the fire and eat it.  For variety, you can add mushrooms, or asparagus, or anything that tastes good.

This is a great campfire meal and I've eaten hundreds of these things.  The steam and grease from the meat cooks the veggies, and you eat it right from the aluminum foil.  I've eaten them with nothing more than a pocket-knife (you do carry a pocket-knife, don't you?).  You can make them ahead of time when you're liable to be setting up camp late in the evening.  Start your fire, drop your Hobo Dinner, then set up the camp.  When you're done pitching the tent and getting situated, the meal is ready.  It's a great time-saver.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Instapundit Fiscal Cliff Plan

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), rolls out his fiscal cliff plan for House Republicans.  Revenue bills originate in the House, as we all know from high school civics, and the House is controlled by Republicans, even if many of them are only marginally conservative.  Still, Boehner and crew has a golden opportunity here.  The tax bill should consist of three parts.

1.  Adopt the Bowles-Simpson Plan.  It's not the greatest plan in the world, but it's bipartisan and it will start moving us in the right direction.

2.  Fifty percent surtax on post government employment salaries for government officials.  Lets say a cabinet officer goes to Washington, makes $200K in a year, then leaves government employment to take a private job at $1 million a year.  Simply, we tax that excess $800K at 50%.  For ten years.  The official is being hired because of his Washington contacts, so why shouldn't the people get a portion of the increased salary? Obama promised to close the revolving door in Washington, and this simple tax plan would go a long way in that regard.

3.  Make Hollywood pay it's fair share. Bring back the 20% tax on motion picture theaters, but also expand it to include CD's DVDs, and movie downloads.

If Boehner adopted this plan, pushed it through the House, then sent it to the Senate, he could say that he has sent a plan to the Democrats.  If the Senate killed it, that would be their fault.  If the Senate passed it, then sent it to Obama, he could either sign it or veto it.

Rain, Blessed Rain

I awoke this morning to the rumble of thunder, and as it was close to my getting-up time, I decided to make coffee.  The dog, of course, was completely freaked-out.  He's really quite scared of thunder.  It's raining outside and I'm glad of that.  We've been dry for way too long.  I managed to capture the Accuweather radar map.

This is the tail of the front that's been dumping snow on the Midwest.  I heard the weather-weenies talking about it last night.  The guy was calling this Winter Storm Charles.  Have they started naming winter storms?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Santa Claus is Coming

This seems to be the weekend for Christmas Parades, so the Sunday Song celebrates Santa's arrival in a particular location.

For myself, I'll be at our local Christmas parade this afternoon.  The churches in the community of Deville, LA have been sponsoring a Christmas Parade for several years, and every year it gets bigger and better.  PawPaw will be helping the church make it a memorable parade.

Sunday Morning Dawg

We're heavily into Christmas decorating this week and the dog thinks that laying under the coffee table is a safe way to spend the afternoon.  He doesn't get stepped-on nearly as much.

I can't say that I can fault his reasoning.  When Milady and a bunch of grandkids start decorating, I often want to crawl under the table myself.  Milady buys ornaments for the grandkids each year.  Of course, the dog has to have an ornament all his very own.

I see the resemblance.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Chicken Tot Pie

 We've come to use this recipe when we're feeding a crowd, such as tonight.  The kids love it and the adults think it's an interesting idea.

Chicken Tot Pie.
Tater-tots, pre-made in bag
Bag mixed vegetables
Can cream of chicken soup
Chicken, whole
Shredded cheese

Boil your chicken.  Debone it, tearing the meat into small pieces.  Boil the vegetables in the chicken broth, drain the vegetables, add cream of chicken soup.  Mix meat, soup, veggies together, salt and pepper to taste. Put mixture in a casserole dish.  Top with tater-tots and bake in a 350 oven until the tots are done.  Top with shredded cheese and put back in oven till cheese melts.  Serve.  Enjoy.

This recipe is easy to double or triple.  The picture above is a quadruple recipe.

Army Navy Game


That is all.

At the Auction

Milady and I went to the auction last night, to visit with friends and to see what might be on the block.  One of the items was a first generation Kindle.  Used.  The bid started at $25.00 and I bid it up, got out at $45.00, it sold for $50.00.

I don't feel bad for losing it.  New Kindles go for $69.00 and the one for sale was used.  It was still in the box, but I didn't know what might have been loaded on it, how it had been treated, and may have been abused.  If I'd have won it for $45.00 I'd have been happy with it, but at $50.00 I wasn't interested.  That's the game when you're at an auction.

I did score a surplus 20mm ammo can.  Real, steel, ammo cans are scarce as hen's teeth in this area and little  5.56, .30 cal, and .50 cal ammo cans routinely go for $25.00 at the auction.  I bought this one for $25.00, and while sometimes you can find them cheaper, you've got to pay shipping.  It's bigger than the cans for smaller ammo, but it will make great storage.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Juan Williams Bloviates

Juan Williams, a Fox News contributor has penned a screed defending Bob Costas.  Well, so be it.  If Williams wants to defend the indefensible, we'll just give him a little fisking.
Costas is being targeted by the politically correct crowd that muzzles important debate on issues from gun control, to immigration, to government spending and abortion. These are the same enforcers that got me fired from NPR two years ago for admitting my personal anxiety over seeing people in Muslim garb on airplanes.
I don't know where you've been for the past 40 years, Juan, but we've been having this debate at least that long. Get your facts straight.
The body count is too big to ignore. Since the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, there have been over 60 mass shootings. Recently, there was the carnage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. And don’t forget the mass attack at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, or Columbine, or Virginia Tech…
Well, the Aurora shooting was specifically in a theater that didn't allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns. That madman targeted people who he knew would be unarmed. That argument is a strawman at best.
In Georgia, Virginia, Arizona and Tennessee, the laws allow people to bring guns into bars. Members of the U.S. House and Senate have pushed to allow for guns on Amtrak trains and in our national parks. The Assault Weapons ban was allowed to expire in 2004 after ten years of slowing the sale of the most dangerous automatic weapons.
Yep, all part of the debate we've been having for the past 40 years. We've shown time and again that weapons bans don't work, which is why the Ban On Weapons That Looked Like Assault Weapons expired. It had absolutely no impact on crime.
As Bernie Goldberg, guest on "The O’Reilly Factor," said recently people on the right should agree with Costas that something is wrong when there are “more bad things happening with guns than good things.”
You don't know that, in fact, the research shows that the exact opposite is true. Years of gun research shows that more guns equal less crime. Go read John Lott, or Clayton Cramer, or any of the academic researchers who don't start out with an agenda. The fact is that more good things happen with guns than bad things. Some folks estimate that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens prevent two million crimes per year. You've got the argument exactly wrong.
Intellectual honesty and consistency dictates that it is also wrong for Costas to be punished for his speaking his mind over the tragedy surrounding football player Jovan Belcher last week. Belcher was the Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker who shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.
Intellectual honesty and consistency dictates that we realize that Javon Belcher was a murderer who took the life of his child's mother, then realized that he was going to spend the rest of his life behind bars and killed himself rather than face the consequences of his actions. Bob Costas is being pilloried for being intellectually dishonest. He's wrong, dead wrong, as are you.
I wrote about how difficult it is to have an honest debate about guns and gun control in my book, "Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate." And the need for honest debate on guns remains an American priority.
Once again, we've been having this debate for 40 years. If you'd been paying attention, you'd know that. Freedom rings, and the freedom folks have captured state legislatures, state courts, the Congress, and there have been several cases recently before the US Supreme Court that reaffirm the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The anti-gunners have been consistently dishonest, unscrupulous, and intellectually corrupt. The debate continues and your side has lost it. You'll continue to lose it simply because you have no facts, no verifiable, intellectually rigorous facts to back up your arguments.  There is no assault on honest debate, unless an anti-gunner is involved in the debate.

Brave New World

I see that stoners are lighting up in Washington, as the state referendum legalizing marijuana has taken effect. This should be an interesting experiment in Washington, and soon in Colorado.  I understand that their new law takes effect on January 5th.

As a police officer, I have been asked many times what I felt about the legalization of marijuana.  My thoughts are simple.  I am sworn to uphold the law, whatever that law might be.  If the good citizens of a state decide to de-criminalize a particular thing, or to criminalize a particular thing, then I try to uphold the law.  I don't make the laws, I am simply tasked with enforcing them.

I support freedom in all its forms, and the good citizens of Washington and Colorado have decided that the recreational use of marijuana is a good thing.  Time will tell if their decision is best for them, and the proponents of marijuana are rightly celebrating their political victory.  It'll be interesting to watch how this plays out.  The police have a lot of work to do, and they've got to adapt to the changing times.  I'm sure, in time, they'll arrest folks for driving intoxicated under the influence of marijuana.  Just as we arrest folks now for driving intoxicated under the influence of alcohol.  Time will also tell what the social costs of this expansion of freedom will be.  That's for the social scientists and the legislators to argue about.  Not the police.  We're here to enforce the laws, not make them.

Good for the citizens of Washington.  You've just launched a great and noble experiment in the percolator of freedom.  It'll be interesting to see what you have brewed.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Costas Doubles Down

After complaining that he didn't have enough time to make a nuanced argument, Bob Costas gets enough time and fails to make a nuanced argument about something as simple as the 2nd Amendment.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Bob Costas attempted to prop up his ludicrous claim that young men can’t own guns “without something bad happening,”
That's strange, I know lots of young men who own guns and nothing bad has happened. In the linked article, they even show where professional athletes own guns and nothing bad happens. Costas has lost this argument, and I guess I'll have to write another email to NBC Sports. This guy just doesn't learn. I'll be working late tonight. Y'all all write NBC Sports, too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Six Million Pounds

I don't know if y'all have been following what's going on in Doyline, LA at the old Minden Army Ammunition Plant, but some contractor has been improperly storing explosives.  By improperly storing, I mean leaving them out in the weather in cardboard drums, and I'm talking about six million pounds of explosives.  That's a lot of bang for the buck.  It's something called M6, and something called TNT, and other military explosives that were being recovered from disassembled artillery rounds.  Six Million Pounds.  The civil authorities are predictably concerned.  State Police is on scene.  Someone is probably going to jail about all this.

The little town nearby, Doyline, LA is under a voluntary evacuation.  Schools closed, etc, etc.  It seems some burglars tried to take advantage of the evacuation and stumbled upon a 77 year old woman still at home, with a .44 caliber handgun.  Really.
Sheriff Sexton said a trio of burglars apparently thought they could take advantage of the evacuation and attempted to break into the home of an elderly couple just outside the city limits early Saturday.
When they tried to break into a rear window, the 77-year-old woman shot one with a .44-caliber handgun. Sexton said the injured suspect was hospitalized in critical condition and the other two suspects were arrested. He did not have their identities.
“She dropped the hammer on one of them. One is fighting for his life,” said Sexton, 59, who is in his third term as sheriff. He said deputies were on the watch for others trying to take advantage of the evacuation.
There is a lesson here that everyone should understand. Do not burglarize a 77 year old woman who keeps a .44.

Six More Months

Today was my semi-annual checkup.  I went in this morning and they bled me, then dismissed me until they got the labs done.  As it turns out, my cholesterol is looking good, my blood pressure is okay, all the labs came back in the proper range, except that the doc is concerned about something called A1C.  Turns out my sugar levels aren't quite what they should be.  Not dangerous, just a little high.  Oh, and I'm a fat man.  Imagine that.

At any rate, no medicine yet, we're going to work on the A1C level with diet, and I should lose several dozen pounds.  SO, Milady and I looked at the labs and I talked with the doc.  I've already cut out processed sugar, so now I'm going to cut out white stuff.  Potatoes, rice, pasta, I'm off the white stuff.

The doc thinks I'll probably live another six months, so he's scheduled another appointment in early June.  That's good news, I guess.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Bob Costas Craps Himself

I was on the way to the deer lease when I heard on Fox Sports radio that someone had offed himself at the Kansas City Chief's clubhouse. I happened to know a new member of the club had just relocated from Kansas City, so I asked him, who called his son, who told us that it appeared that Jovan Belcher had offed himself and his girlfriend. I had the name Belcher before it came out on the radio.

Okay, I thought, some guy who's paid to be aggressive kills his girlfriend, then realizes his career is over and he offs himself at the clubhouse. Case Closed. I didn't watch the game on Sunday, but I learned later that sports broadcaster Bob Costas crapped himself during an opinion piece.

As it turns out, Costas doesn't believe that a NFL player is capable of killing someone without a handgun. OJ Simpson would be surprised to hear that opinion. Costas is catching flak from all corners, as well he should. He should stick to what he does best, broadcasting sports, and not worry about the social commentary. All he managed to do was piss off some gun-loving football fans.

Tam gives him a good spanking, and I'm sure that the rest of the gunny bloggers are hammering him as well. He dropped his trousers and showed us his ass. All we're doing is spanking it. I've been cruising around the NBC site, looking for a contact address so that I can send an appropriately worded memo. I do see that the Kansas City Chiefs dedicated the game Sunday to the victims of domestic violence and I thought that was a good idea. Waste no tears for Javon Belcher, but remember the victims of domestic violence. As for Coasta? Screw him. He owes us all an apology.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Let it Burn

I've been reading about our President's plan to avert a financial crisis by... wait for it... borrowing and spending like there is no tomorrow.  Most of the punditry begins with this article from the New York Times
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.
That's his plan? 1.6 trillion in taxes, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, and an end to Congress controlling the debt ceiling? That's his plan? Heh! If the Republicans fight it and anything goes wrong, they'll immediately be blamed. If the Republicans get some meaningful concessions and something goes wrong, they'll be blamed. This is a lose-lose for the Republican party. There's not a damned thing that they can do to stop it. Hot Air is covering it, as well as numerous other bloggers all over the internet.

Rather than fight it and get blamed for a disaster, the smart move would be for the Republicans to just walk away. Let the Democratic party own it, lock, stock and barrel. Put no speed bumps in the way, don't try to convince anyone that it's a bad idea, just let it happen. Vote Present at every opportunity. Obama believes that he's an imperial Presidency, that he has all the answers. Let it happen, let the country feel the heat, then turn the country bright Republican Red in 2014. I have very little faith in the American people, very little faith at all because they elected Barack Obama, not once, but twice. Unbelievably stupid people voted for Obama.

 I don't have much faith in John Boehner, either. He's a big government guy, and frankly I think he's out of his league.

However, I do love the blog post over at Ace of Spades:
I love that part about presidential control over the debt ceiling, as his Majesty might require. Fuck you. Let it burn.
Ha! He's right.

Game Camera

I went out to the lease yesterday to check my feeders and my game camera.  I got some more shots of that goofy squirrel, but also some deer pics.  It's interesting that I'm getting deer pictures later in the day than is generally considered prime hunting hours.  For example, this pic, taken at 10:34 a.m.

If you look closely at the photo, there is a deer moving into the woodline on the opposite side of the pipeline.

I've studied that picture as closely as I am able and I suspect that's a doe, although it might be a spike buck.  It might behoove me to stay in the stand until noon.  As luck has it, the batteries on that camera died on November 18, after I last checked the card on the 15th.  Go figure.

Sunday Carol

One of my favorite Christmas songs, written by the incomparable Mel Torme, performed by Celtic Woman

This is the start of the Christmas Season.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Laying around on a Saturday afternoon, Milady decided to have some chips and dips.  The dog, of course, wanted to participate.  I snapped this shot as he was laying at her feet, eating a chip with bean dip.

Snacking on a Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


My son says that it's been sew-sew. lately, getting ready for an encampment.  He is a reenactor of 18th century life in Louisiana.  The French had an outpost at Natchitoches, the end of the supply chain, and it was manned by French Marines.  Nothing else French extended to the west.  Posted there to stop Spanish encroachment,the French Marines faced the Spanish fort to the west, Los Adaes, was also at the end of the that supply chain.  Separated by a scant 20 miles, each of them several thousands of miles from their headquarters and several hundreds of miles from the nearest reinforcements, the two forts learned that trade was mutually beneficial.

They also had families.  Soldiers bring their families with them, or they court the local settlers and before long you've got a thriving little community. That's truly how America was built.  When the clothes wore out, or the season changed, the settlers did what they had to do, trading with the local Caddo Indians, making their own clothing, being self-sufficient was not only a way of life, it was the best way to stay alive.

I took the long way around to show you a project my son has completed for the encampment next weekend.  A whole bunch of reenactors will man Fort St. Jean Baptiste in Natchitoches during the weekend of December 7-9th as part of the annual Christmas Festival.  The boy-o needed suitable clothing to become a re-enactor and part of the living history celebration, so like the French Marines who populated the place, my son made the boy-o a Capote. You can make them fancy, and you can make them plain, but there's a lot to like in a well-made, sturdy Capote.  You can even spend $500.00 on one.  I much prefer the home-made versions.

I think it looks great, don't you?  Heavy wool is probably the very best coat material and I'm convinced the boy-o will be fine at the encampment next weekend.

I wonder if they need to borrow a propane heater?

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Case for more Guns (and more Gun Control)

The Atlantic posts a reasonably balanced look at guns in America.  The author's bias shines like a lighthouse beacon.
 Many gun-control advocates, and particularly advocates of a total gun ban, would like to see the United States become more like Canada, where there are far fewer guns per capita and where most guns must be registered with the federal government. The Canadian approach to firearms ownership has many attractions—the country’s firearm homicide rate is one-sixth that of the U.S. 
However, he does go shooting with Dave Kopel while in Boulder, CO. and even comes to a remarkable conclusion
But I am sympathetic to the idea of armed self-defense, because it does often work, because encouraging learned helplessness is morally corrupt, and because, however much I might wish it, the United States is not going to become Canada. Guns are with us, whether we like it or not. Maybe this is tragic, but it is also reality. So Americans who are qualified to possess firearms shouldn’t be denied the right to participate in their own defense. And it is empirically true that the great majority of America’s tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners have not created chaos in society.
I think on the whole, it's a well-balanced article.  Go read it.


It's been a long week, we're picking up speed at the high school.  Both basketball and soccer seasons are in full swing, and PawPaw finds himself coming around corners.  Next week I'll be at the school three nights.  However, this night is mine as is the entire weekend.  Milady and I are probably going to slip off later and have a little fun.  I fully intend to be on my deer stand at daylight.

Did y'all see where they think they found ice on Mercury?  Yeah, the closest planet to the sun, what I've always understood to be a baked rock.  It seems to have polar ice in places where the sun don't shine.
You might have thought there was a snowball's chance in hell of finding ice on Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. Now measurements by NASA's Messenger spacecraft suggest there is about 100 cubic kilometres of frozen water at the planet's poles – roughly enough to fill the Dead Sea.
I grew up transfixed at the space race and sat enthralled as we learned more about this solar system. We're still learning things we couldn't imagine forty years ago.

And, even today, the only footprints on the moon are American.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eleven Most Important Guns in History

Popular Mechanics published a photo gallery of what they consider the eleven most important guns in history.  They include the first hand-cannon, the Uzi, the AK47 and the Garand.  They talk about Maxim machine guns, and they talk about the much loved M2 (Ma Deuce).  Regarding handfuns, they talk about the Colt Peacemaker and the 1911 pistol.  All worthy, historical, significant designs. Then, they come up with this monstrosity.

Perhaps the most innovative small arm of recent years is the XM-25 "Punisher" 25-mm grenade launcher. A laser measures the range to the target, so the grenade can be set to explode midair at the exact point it passes over a foxhole or a wall to target enemies behind cover. Five weapons were issued in Afghanistan on a trial basis in 2010 and they have had good reports. However, the XM25's estimated cost of over $30,000 may prove to be something of a limitation for now.
I've got to scream Bullshit! That thing isn't important. While nice, while interesting, it certainly doesn't have the cachet, the history, the excellence of the Colt Peacemaker, or the 1911 as designed by the sainted John Moses Browning (PBUH).  It certainly doesn't show design excellence, or elegance like a Maxim or innovative design like the AK47.

Popular Mechanics is a great magazine, but they're off the mark including this prototype in their list.

Sec State

Hillary Clinton has told her boss that she's leaving and she's made no secret of it.  She wants to go home and rest, and as much as I disagree with the woman, I think that she's earned the right to do just that.  Who, oh who, will relieve her?

One of the two front runners right now are UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who is being pilloried over her lying to the American public about the Benghazi debacle.  I doubt that she could be confirmed if nominated, but stranger things have happened.  The other front runner is that asshole, lying traitor, John Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts.  We might do well to recall what his war buddies said about him just eight years ago.
"During Lt.(jg) Kerry's tour, he was under my command for two or three specific operations, before his rapid exit. Trust, loyalty and judgment are the key, operative words. His turncoat performance in 1971 in his grubby shirt and his medal-tossing escapade, coupled with his slanderous lines in the recent book portraying us that served, including all POWs and MIAs, as murderous war criminals, I believe, will have a lasting effect on all military veterans and their families. Kerry would be described as devious, self-absorbing, manipulative, disdain for authority, disruptive, but the most common phrase that you'd hear is 'requires constant supervision.'" -- Captain Charles Plum, USN (retired)
Unfortunately, I know of no law that prevents a lying, traitorous, sack-of-shit to be a US Senator. If there were such a law, we'd certainly have a better class of people in the Senate.

 In John Kerry's case, I believe that he has repeatedly lied to the American people, mischaracterized the service of a half-million Americans for political gain, and has cast discredit upon himself. The only thing that John Kerry deserves is the lasting enmity of the American people.

 Oh, and while we're at it, why hasn't someone hanged Jane Fonda for treason yet?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cease Fire!

While shooting handguns at the annual Thanksgiving Family Shoot, we were running through some reloaded .38 Special.  I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds of .38 special during my lifetime, and we saw something during that shoot that I've never seen.  Somehow, one box of ammo was faulty, with three squib loads.  As a handloader, we want to make sure our ammo is safe and effective, we check and double-check, and obsess about quality control.  Still, stuff happens.

There was a time almost a decade ago when I was playing with reduced loads in some calibers, trying to get the bullet to stop, hanging out the muzzle.  I was never actually able to accomplish that feat.  The bullet would  either leave the barrel and drop just a few feet downrange, or it would stick in the barrel.  I finally abandoned that experiment as unworkable.  Then, Thursday afternoon, we saw it happen.

That's a 158 grain semi wadcutter stuck at the muzzle of a 4" Smith and Wesson 66.  Of course, I was confounded at the happenstance, and we took a minute to review safety processes and to educate the assembled crowd on how something like this might happen and why when you encounter a squib load you immediately cease fire.  The handgun was placed back into service by the simple expedient of grabbing the nose of the bullet with a pair of needlenose pliers and plucking the bullet from the muzzle.  A good safety lesson for all of us.

We experienced another malfunction that I've never seen, a legitimate hang-fire.  This happened shooting shotguns during the skeet portion of the festivities.  My son called for a target, swung on it, and the gun clicked.  He took the shotgun off his shoulder, looked at the action, and the shell fired, a full two seconds after the trigger was pulled.  This with factory shotgun ammunition, bought expressly for this activity.  Good gun handling skills, years of training and experience, and no one was injured, the shot charge went downrange into the trees, hurting no one.  In over 40 years of messing with shotguns I've never seen a true hang-fire until last Thursday.

Enjoy the shooting season, but by all means, be careful.

Sunday Morning Dawg

This is the first for a Sunday Morning Dawg.  Here, I've got two dogs in my easy chair, giving them a good scratching.  We've got Beau-dog, who you all know, and Trickie dog, who you met last week.  I was watching television and giving the dogs their due, when the picture was snapped.  Yeah, I've got my mouth open.  I was probably talking to someone.

That's Beau with my left hand and Trickie on my right.  It's as good a dawg picture as any.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

I see from the reports that black Friday shopping is as chaotic as ever.  Y'all have fun with that.  For myself, more of my shopping is online and the big ticket items are bought.  One thing I give away is cash, and that always fits, the color is right, and it's easy to store.

I did make it down to the Ace Hardware this morning.  I needed some little one-pound propane bottles and I knew they'd have them in stock.  Some of the grandkids and I are going hunting tomorrow morning and I needed that propane to run the deer stand heaters.

Speaking of deer stand heaters, I'm fond of the Mr. Heater Buddy heaters.  When you're in a box blind like I am, it's nice to take the chill off of the air.  I know that there are purists who don't think that using a wooden box blind is really hunting, and that's okay. I'm realistic enough to understand ambuscade and that's really how most whitetail deer are killed these days. I still like a stalk hunt, and I'm really fond of being in the squirrel woods with a .22 rifle and easing through the oaks.  However, when you've got fidgety grandkids with you, it sure is nice to be in a box blind where the movement of the kids doesn't spook game.  When the kids are warm, they're not as apt to be whining, making noise, snuffling, or otherwise being loud.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lindsey Stone Fired

It seems that last week, a young woman named Lindsey Stone took a trip to Arlington National Cemetary, sponsored by her employer.  She took a picture, a "verbal pun" near a sign near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, pretending to yell, while extending her middle finger.  She posted it on her Facebook Page.

Thousands have called for her firing over the blatant disrespect she showed for the honored dead.  When she took the picture, she was within sight of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a place where respect, dignity, courtesy, and silence are required.  Her employer has a statement concerning the firing.

Her defenders have said, rightly, that she was simply exercising her First Amendment rights, that it was a childish prank, and that she should not suffer the loss of her job over it.  Some of that is true.  The First Amendment guarantees that Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.  This was a childish prank and I'm sure that she regrets the frivolous moment.  However, Congress isn't doing anything to her, she is not under threat of prosecution, nor will she be officially punished for a playground prank.  That's the limit of the First Amendment.

It's one thing to criticize the military  God Himself knows that I've criticized them There is no military member living that can't use a little useful criticism, either individually or as a service.  Criticizing the military is okay. Those folks at Arlington are above reproach and deserve no criticism.  They have given their last full measure of devotion to our country .Especially the Unknowns, who have given their lives anonymously in the service of the nation.  I will brook no criticism, no disrespect toward our honored dead.

No, in Lindsey's case, a nation has risen in full-throated indignation to defend those who gave their lives defending us.  They did not seek government assistance in their indignation, they simply denounced a lout who got herself in trouble over a moment of juvenile foolishness.  Lindsey had a perfect right to do what she did, and thousands of people were perfectly right to call for her dismissal.  That's the way a free nation works.

I do note, from reading the article, that Lindsey is of proper age for military service.  She is also without a job.  She might consider trotting down to the recruiter's office and signing up.  Maybe some good NCO in either of the services will teach her the respect that comes with maturity.