Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cowboy Holsters

I've been in the Cowboy Fast Draw game for about a year and a half now, and thought that it might be a good time to highlight the leather that the family uses.  I'm certainly no expert, but I've had enough experience now that I can evaluate a good holster and make some recommendations to folks who might be considering a western holster.  Let's take a look at the ones we normally take to a competition.  This list certainly isn't comprehensive, just what we've got in our bag. From 12:00, clockwise.

12:00.  That brown left-handed holster was one of the first western holsters made by my son.  He blogs here, and he calls his leatherwork, Lazy JD Leatherworks.  We've got a couple of his holsters that are routinely used in competition.

At 2:00, we have a brown holster by Ken's Leathercraft.  I've been using Ken's since Day 1.  He was recommended to me by other shooters, and I still give him a recommendation to beginning shooters.  His holsters are very well made, and the price point is outstanding.  If you're not really sure that you want to get into the game, but would like a nice holster, Ken will sell you a belt and holster for $130.00.  That's a screaming deal on a semi-custom holster and I frankly don't see how Ken does it.  But he does, and we use his work.

Just below Ken's holster is a russet right-hand, by Crease N Corral.  The proprietor is a cowboy shooter, probably the fastest man in Texas.  He's known worldwide for his whips, but he makes very good holsters as well.  Milady (Blue Eyed Belle) likes his work and she has two of them.

At 5:30, the black right hand with the JD brand is another Crease N Corral.  Also Milady's holster, she commissioned it from Dusty at an invitational shoot this past autumn.  That's her "bling" holster and she's personalized the belt with conchos.  If anyone wants conchos to "bling" a belt or other leather goods, you'd do a lot worse than  They've got every kind of concho you can imagine, and probably some that you couldn't.

Going around to 7:00 we see a brown left-hand long-gun holster in the California pattern.  That one was made by my son at Lazy JD Leatherworks.  It's probably the finest holster I own.  Very nice work.  It will be going with me to Kentucky in September for their State Championships.

Then, up at 11:00 we see a right-hand, black, Ken's Leathercraft holster.  That's the grandson's rig and he's used it to nail down trophies all over the Southern Territory.

I know that there are other fine holster makers in the US.  Mernickle Holsters and Shaniko Holsters are both well known makers of fine leather.Reddog Leather is another up and coming name in custom leather goods.  I've heard good things about his work from people I trust, but I haven't yet been able to inspect his stuff for myself.

That's what's in our competition bags.  We've got some others in the spares bag, but those go with us when we travel.

BATFE Whining

It seems that the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) is whining because he doesn't have a searchable national database of gun owners.
"There's a lot of things that don't make sense in this town, you know?" Brandon tells Schlesinger. "And, so, yeah, would it be efficient and effective? Absolutely. Would the taxpayers benefit with public safety? Absolutely. Are we allowed to do it? No."
That's right, Mr. Brandon, you're not allowed to have a searchable database.  In fact, you have to destroy all personal information in gun checks (Brady checks) after 24 hours.  That's the law.

Many folks don't remember GCA '68, or that later law that established Brady Checks, which came into existence after rigorous debate, a legislative battle, passage of both houses of Congress, and signed by President Bill Clinton.  It was a hard-fought battle on both sides of the aisle, but through compromise and  political wrangling both sides managed to come together.  The law became effective on February 28, 1994.  You can go to the link above for a full history.

The reason that the BATFE can't have a national registration scheme is because it is forbidden under the legislation that allowed them to start conducting background checks at all.  I remember it well, because for the NRA and freedom-loving Americans, it was a bitter pill.  We were afraid then (and with good reason) that keeping the background check information would eventually lead to a registration scheme.  We're still fighting that battle today.

I remember freedom.  In 1965, I walked into a gun shop (actually a gun club on an Air Force base), put my money on the counter, selected a firearm and walked out with nary a question asked.  I was twelve (12) years old.  Everything I did that day was perfectly legal, and absolutely illegal today.  That's the danger of creeping incrementalism.  That's the danger of big government.  They want to keep taking, one little step at a time, until freedom ceases to exist.  Like the proverbial frog in the pot, we don't realize we're being boiled until we're dead.

No, Mr. Brandon, we drew a line in the law in 1993.  You can't register our guns.  It's galling enough that you check us when we buy a gun, unlike that 12-year-old in 1965.  You can go this far, but no farther.

Let Freedom Ring.

**Update**.  Anonymous asks in comments about the gun I bought at age 12.  I bought my first gun at the old McBride Rod and Gun Club, England AFB, LA.  I was a "skeet boy" there on weekends, making the princely sum of 50 cents per hour, plus I got to shoot up the broken boxes of ammo at the end of the day.  In early 1966, I bought a Winchester Model 1200 shotgun from that club and I paid $87.50 for it.  That gun represented 175 hours of labor.  In today's dollars, figure roughtly a month's pay at minimum wage.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Personal Best

There's this gal in the CFDA, a shooter we call Wench.  She hails from Colorado, and they're hosting the US National Championships today.  If I know Wench, she's in the scoring tent, toiling over wins and loses, fastest times, and making sure that everything is right.

Wench isn't particularly fast, but she's a cheerleader for the game.  I net her at my first sanctioned shoot, the Texas State Championship in 2015.  She took Blue Eyed Belle (the girl you folks know as Milady) and taught her the fine points of hand-judging.  Wench is like that.  She spreads the knowledge and promotes the sport, and makes everyone feel important.

I'm a Wench fan.  Unabashedly ad completely.  Wench exemplifies the Spirit of the Game.

I was concerned about Blue Eyed Belle's shooting, so at the Southern Territorials this year, I asked Wench about it.  "What can I do to help her with her speed?"

Wench looked at me with piercing eyes.  "Leave her alone.  She's having fun, and she's winning her share of trophies and you don't need to pester her.  Just leave her alone."

Wench gives good advise, and I took it.  I left my gal alone.  She practices when she can, and she's been making good progress on her time.  Since the Territorials in April, she's knocked about two-tenths of a second off her time.

We couldn't make the Nationals this year, but we could make the club practice shoot.  Belle's big goal for the past year was to get under a second.  She's been shooting really consistent in the 1.1-1.2 second range, but she wanted to get under a second.  Practice, practice, but that magical 1.0 eluded her. She's been working on it, but she couldn't break into three-digit times.  Until today.

We were on the practice line, and Silverside was on the microphone.  Belle was on lane 2.  During the course of fire, we routinely call out times, and after one shot, Silverside called out "And on Lane 2, I see a 0.979."  The whole range went silent, and then applause.  Yep, applause.

Blue Eyed Belle broke one second, with witnesses.  On her next shot, she backed it up.  CFDA shooters will understand that.  I'm so proud of her hard work, I'm going to have to get another hat size.

And, if anyone at the Nationals reads this, tell Wench I said thanks, and give her a hug for me.  I appreciate her advise.

Why We Think Trump Will Win

Interesting article over at The Atlantic.  The author, David Frum, claims that he's no Trump supporter, but he's been listening to Trump supporters, trying to figure out what they see.  It's an illuminating argument, and I'll give you a sample.
“Here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to run up vote totals like you’ve never seen in places you’ve never been. Not just coal country, either. No, we don’t have what you’d call a proper campaign. What do we need it for? Campaigns spend most of their money on TV ads that do nothing except entertain you on YouTube on your lunch hour—oh, and pay huge commissions to the consultants who make them. It’s all a waste and rip-off. If our message is exciting, our voters will get to the polls on their own.
Or this:
 "You Acela people live in a beautiful country where everything works. You believe in institutions because they work for you. So it bothers you that Donald doesn’t seem to know what the OECD does or who’s in charge of the FDIC. But our people don’t believe in institutions any more. The institutions they do still care about—the military and the cops—you use for props when you need them, and as dumping grounds when you don’t. I noticed that when Tim Kaine took a bow for his son’s military service, he pointed out that he was a Marine—because we all know that what you’ve done to the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Yeah, they’re just as lethal as Obama and Hillary said. When you spend as much as the rest of the planet combined, you can make a lot of things go boom—even if the soldiers can’t do chin ups any more and the sailors get pregnant when they decide their tours of duty have gone on too long. And the cops! One minute you’re calling them murderers, the next you’re slobbering all over them. Our voters are cops. They know who’s on their side. Not you.
Go, as they say, and read the whole thing.  The link is here, and in the first sentence of the post.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is upon us, and as I finish cleaning guns this morning, I click over and see that the National Weather Service is tracking two tropical waves.

They don't give the disturbances much chance for propagation, but they bear watching as a hazard to navigation.
The first wave -- located about 1200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles – is moving westward quickly at 25 mph and is poorly organized, meaning development will be slow if it occurs, according to the NHC.
The second wave is just off the coast of Africa and, according to the NHC, is becoming better organized but will encounter “a less favorable environment over the central tropical Atlantic next week.”
It's that time of year again, and PawPaw will be keeping a weather eye on the disturbances in the Gulf.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Louisiana Strong

My dughter-in-law Kim is a graphic artist.  She does political signs, event promotion, tee shirts, you name it.  When she does something she thinks I might like, she brings me a sample, and this morning she showed up with a design that she was commissioned to construct.

I like the heck outta that, and it's stuck in my front yard.  Thanks, Kimmie!

Bring It On

Wayne LaPierre has a clear message for Hillary Clinton.  Bring It On.

We are Freedom's safest place.  I am the NRA.

The General Election

Hillary accepted the nomination last night, as we knew she would.  The primary season is over, and the race is on.  We'll see if the nation elects a political neophyte or a corrupt career criminal.  This is truly the race from hell.  The worst part is that one of them is going to win it.

The Democrats, to their eternal credit, are grousing because Donald Trump hasn't yet released his tax returns.  I don't know what that has to do with anything.  Thomas Jefferson certainly didn't release his tax returns.  I've read the constitution, and I don't see anything about releasing tax returns.  But, if they want to make an issue of it, perhaps the Clinton Foundation should release theirs as well.  I do note that the IRS has recently launched a probe into the pay-to-play antics of the Clinton Foundation, but I hold no real hope that they'll find anything.  After all, if FBI Director Comey couldn't find criminality, what is the probability that John Koskinen's investigators will find anything noteworthy?

Claire McCaskill is saying that we may have to prosecute Trump over his bon mot about Russia releasing Hillary's emails.  Yeah, Claire, you do that.  Start prosecuting political enemies.  That'd be great.

But, we're now in the general election, and it's a given that Hillary is not going to jail before November, so if we want to squelch her political aspirations, we'll have to do it at the polls.

It's up to the voters now.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spoofing Them

My good friend, Delta Whiskey, is in Colorado at a shoot, and we find this little video on Facebook.  In Cowboy Fast Draw, we do Town Folk Alley's where we let spectators shoot, simply to get  feel for the game.  So, Delta simply walks up to the line, says he wants to shoot, and they strap him up.

His instructor,a member with the alias Manco, doesn't recognize Delta, and takes him through the process.  What Manco doesn't know, is that Delta Whiskey is a Texas State champion, and a Southern Territorials champion, and a very fast, accurate shooter.

I knew by the second shot that Delta Whiskey had slipped into the line.  I've seen his style plenty of times before.  Normally, just before he gives me an X.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beer Bread

Beer bread is a recipe I learned from Junior Doughty, over at the old deltablues site.  It's a hearty, crusty bread that can be cooked in your oven at home, or in a dutch oven at a campsite.  Either way, it's a hit, and it's easy.


3 cups self rising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 easpoon (or less) garlic powder.
12 oz beer

Preheat oven to 375F
In a bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add the beer.  Work into a dough ball, but don't overwork the dough. (Note** I generally have just a little flour left over that didn't mix with the dough.  Don't worry about it.  What you want is a nice, sticky dough ball.)
Place dough ball in a cast iron skillet (if indoors) or a dutch oven (if outdoors) and cook for 45 minutes or until the bread is done.  When done, you can lift the loaf out of the skillet and "thunk" it on the bottom.  If you get a hollow "thunk", it's done.

That's half a loaf.  I meant to take a picture, but Milady and I were hungry and I forgot.  Beer bread goes well with savory things.  Cut a slice and butter it, and you get a hint of the garlic and the yeastiness of the beer.    Tonite, we ate it with some nice summer squash, 'melted down" in a skillet with onion and a splash of olive oil.

Summer squash and beer bread.  It's what's for supper.

My Time With the .357 Magnum

It may surprise youngsters, but at one time the revolver was the most carried handgun in police work.  Before Gaston Glock invented his plastic fantastic, Indeed, from the 1880s until about 1990, the revolver was the pre-eminent law enforcement handgun across the nation.

In 1970, Smith and Wesson introduced the stainless steel version of their Model 19, and called it the 66.  It was a stainless steel K-frame revolver and by the time I got into police work in 1981, probably 90% of the police officers carried them. Back in those days, the Model 66 was as ubiquitous in police work as the Glock is today.  About 1982, I acquired a clean used one and began carrying it.  Mine was the standard 4" revolver.  It is still in my battery today.

What I liked about the revolver for police work was the ability to match the ammo to the task at hand.  You could use the ammo like a throttle.  Mild, .38 Special cartridges for target and training, or hotter stuff for longer range work.  Back in those days I read a lot of Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, and Skeeter Skelton's work.  When I began reloading, the very first cartridge I reloaded for was for that revolver.  Target loads in .38 Special.  After a little while I started loading stouter loads for the magnum, and came to settle on a couple of pet loads.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on semi-auto handguns.  I like them just fine, but the ammo has to match the spring tension.  Too light and the gun won't cycle.  Too hot and you batter the gun.  With a revolver, that's not a problem.  From a squib load to the hottest magnum, if you can close the cylinder, the gun will probably fire and extract.

I continued to carry a revolver till the turn of the century, long after most officers had switched over to the semi.  One day right in the winter of early 2002, I was at a training class.  We had just qualified and the instructors wanted to send us through a firing scenario.  It went like this.  On our tactical range, we'd walk through a door and immediately engage two targets to our left, about 10 feet away.  Then, looking downrange, you'd see three targets at the 50 yard line, with a covered position at 25 yards.

The idea was to engage the two close targets, then run downrange and engage the three targets from cover.  But the instructors were nefarious.  The targets downrage were heavy steel silhouettes.  and we had to knock them over.  I was halfway back in the line, and I saw the problem that the guys were having with their 9mm pistols.    They would have to advance on those heavy steel silhouettes to knock them down.  My revolver was stoked with standard .38 special training ammo, and I knew that I'd have problems.

But, one of my pet loads was a heavy magnum load.  It consisted of a 180 grain hard cast bullet with a wide, flat meplat and was loaded with a stout charge of 2400.  I knew what that load would do, and as importantly, I knew it was very accurate.  And, it was visually impressive.  It threw a fireball at night.

So, I walked out to my truck, and got a box of those stout loads.  By the time I got back in line, I had swapped my pathetic training ammo for the heavy stuff, and when the instructor asked me if I were ready.  I nodded and stepped through the door.

The first round caught the close steel target at the hinge, breaking it.  The target flopped but I didn't see it.  I was engaging the second target, one round and it fell too.  Then I turned, kneeled, and engaged the 50 yard targets.  One round each, high in the steel, and they flopped too.Five rounds, five targets, I was done.  The first, close target was broken.

The instructor went ape-shit.  I had just cleaned his course, his nefarious "advance on the target" course, but I hadn't taken two steps since I came through the door.  He was livid.  He was hollering and shouting. It was one of those spittle-flinging moments.  He had carefully engineered this training so that the targets wouldn't fall with standard .38 or 9mm ammo.  I had put the lie to it with my demonstration of magnum ammunition.  He looked as if his head was going to explode.  Then the Chief Instructor walked up.

The Chief cleared his throat. "Leave him alone.  If you bring enough gun, you don't have to walk down there."  He laughed.  "If you bring the right gun, you can shoot them from right here."

That's the lesson of the .357 magnum, a very useful cartridge that can be tailored to a specific use.  It's one cartridge that can be loaded mild or wild.  My go-target load pushes a 145 grain wadcutter at about 650 fps.  My standard .38 load pushes a 158 SWC at 750 fps.  My heavy magnum load pushes a 180 grain WF bullet to just under 1300 fps.  They all shoot from the same revolver.  If I put those loads in a carbine, they gain velocity.  My heavy load goes to just over 1500 fps in the carbine, a load suitable for hogs and deer at 100 yards or less.  The .357 magnum is a handloader's dream.  Accurate, easy to load for, it loves cast bullets.

Nowadays, as do most cops, I carry one of Gaston's pistols.  It suits me, and the department, just fine.  But that doesn't mean that the .357 revolver is obsolete.  It has found it's niche in places other than a lawman's belt.  We still see them in hunting camps and pickup trucks, and in gun safes and gun shops all over the country.  If you're looking for a handgun that can go from mild to wild, the .357 magnum might be a good place to look.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DNC Delegate Mary Bayer

The big news this morning coming out of the DNC Convention in Philly is the Project Veritas video of DNC Delegate Mary Bayer, who tells the camera that .  Well, lets go directly to the quote.
You have to take that sort of moderate, “We just wanna have commmon sense legislation so our children are safe!”
You say shit like that, and then people will buy into it.
The video has gone viral, it's all over YouTube and Facebook, and probably Twitter (I don't twitter).

Many of us have known it for decades, but when Democrats talk about "common sense legislation", what they want is an outright ban.

Thanks, Mary, for being so honest with us.  We've known this for decades, but we never thought that you'd actually say it. I understand that since Mary has taken a stand, she's telling the police that she's being harassed by reporters that want to delve more deeply into her new found celebrity.

Mary is revealed as being willing to disembowel the Second Amendment, and now that she's notorious, she's not terribly fond of the First Amendment either.  This shows how poorly Democrats stand on the Bill of Rights.  As despicable as Mary is, she's simply an unwitting pawn.  She believes this crap because she has no idea what essential liberty looks like.

She's given us an amazing gift, because in her mind, Common Sense Legislation = Total Gun Ban.

It's out in the open now, and we can use it at to our benefit.  Believe me, we'll be playing Mary's quote, over and over again.  As happy as we are with her brutal honesty, laid bare for the world to see, I an only assume that the gun banners consider her a pariah.  She placed truth on the lie of "common sense" for the whole world to see.

Thanks, Mary, now go crawl back under whichever rock you came out from.  You deserve neither liberty nor safety.

My Time With The 1911 Pistol.

I never shot a pistol until adulthood.  Dad saw no reason for them.  We were shotgunners, plain and simple.  We duck hunted, squirrel hunted, dove hunted, shot skeet and trap, and he didn't see the need for a pistol.  The shotgun met our needs, plainly and simply.

I was a brand-new lieutenant in April of 1976, still in the Basic Armor Course that all young butterbars go through.  One morning, we parked our cars at the Paddock, a huge gravel parking lot, and climbed on buses that took us to an arms room, where we drew pistols.  The one I drew, as I recall, was an old rebuild.  It had a slide from the Ithaca Firearms company and a Colt frame.  It was stamped, of course, with the roll mark US GOVERNMENT PROPERTY.  We went into a classroom where a senior NCO gave us a one-hour class on the Pistol, Cal .45, M1911A1.

Then, we loaded on to the bus and drove out to the range.  That was the coolest pistol range I had ever seen.  I still consider it a cool range.  About 20 firing lanes, with little berms scattered all over the lanes, out to 50 yards.  The NCO told us to stand easy and called for the targets, to test the range.  Suddenly, all those little berms sprouted popup targets.  The close ones, at 5 yards or so, looked like a helmet.  The ones father out, were half-size silhouettes.  The ones farthest out, at 50 yards, were full size silhouettes.

Back in those days, we weren't taught the Weaver, or the Isosceles.  The pistol was a one-handed devise and we were supposed to operate it with one hand.  The Sergeant had given us good instruction, because when the first target, a full silhouette at 50 yards popped up, I did as I was told.  I raised the pistol, firmly gripping it in the firing hand.  I aligned the sights on the center of the silhouette and squeezed the trigger.  The target fell, a hit.

"That wasn't so hard," I thought.  So, I fell into a rhythm.  A target would pop up, I'd put the front sight on it, and squeeze the trigger.  It was like playing whack-a-mole with a handgun.  Target pops up, I'd whack it down.  It was a liberating experience and I was hooked.  Also, after five magazines, I was done.  Clear the firearm, holster it, and go sit down.  Later that day we cleaned them and turned them in.  I don't know what happened to that mixmaster pistol after that.

In April of '76 a shavetail lieutenant made the princely sum of $690.00 per month, and I had a beautiful wife and a brand-new son.  True, we lived in quarters, but children are expensive and my lieutenant's pay didn't allow the luxury of buying my own handgun.  A Colt Gold Cup cost about$350.00, which was half a month's pay, and before long, I had a second child on the way.

By 1981, I was off active duty, sworn on as a Parole Officer with the State of Louisiana.  At that point, I was making about $900 a month, and had two kids, with a third on the way.  I was in the Army Reserves, but the weekend pay wasn't much, and like most cops at that time, I was working every detail I could find to put food on the table and pay the light bill.  The State required that I buy my own handgun, so I asked about a 1911.

"No, hell, no," I was told.  "Those things are dangerous.  You will buy a revolver, Colt, Smith and Wesson, or Ruger, in .38 or .357 magnum."  Truth be told, I owned exactly three revolvers during that period.  A Ruger Security Six.  A no-dash Smith and Wesson 66, and a Smith and Wesson model 60.  They all served me well during that time and kept me safe during my first two decades of police work.  I kept my hand in with the 1911 during drills, shooting it every chance I could find or wrangle.

By the time I had been promoted to Captain, I was the unit's handgun instructor, responsible for annual qualifications, general handgun instruction, and over the next decade I trained hundreds, if not thousands of officers and enlisted personnel on the proper use, nomenclature and employment of the M1911A1 pistol.  I was till enamored with the device, but could never find the extra cash to get one of my own.  Life intrudes sometimes.

Even today, I have to admit that there is something magical about a 230 grain ball going about 850 fps.

In 2000, life changed.  I went through a divorce, retired from the State, retired from the National Guard and spent a year or so trying to find myself in the world.  I was lost, I'll plainly admit it.  By late 2001, a good friend saved me by offering me a job at the local Sheriff's office.  I had just met the gal that we call Milady, who also played a big part in saving me.  But that's another story.  So, I strapped on my revolver and went to work.

In early 2002, I walked into a local gun shop and there lay a brand-spanking new Kimber Custom 1911A1.  Oh, I was smitten.  Kimber called it the Eclipse.  Stainless steetl with a blackout treatment, it glowed in the display case.  The wanted $900.00 for it.  I talked to the salesman, who told me that it had been in the case for about six months, and the store was going to use it as a promotion.  They'd drop the price ten dollars a week until someone bought it.

I watched that pistol for two or three months as the price crept steadily downard.  When it broke under $700, the salesman told me that someone else was looking at it.  The next week, I walked in, it was till in the case, and I put it on layaway for the sum of $680.00.

So, I finally had a 1911, on layaway.  Next payday I took it out.  Then I researched the Sheriff's firearms regulation.  They were very specific on the type of firearm we could carry on duty, but the 1911 wasn't on the list.  On the bottom of the regulation was another paragraph which said something like "Or any other firearm approved by the Chief Firearms Instructor."

Well, the die was cast.  I happened to know that our Chief Firearms Instructor was also a retired Command Sergeant Major.  Two tours in Vietnam, he retired as the Command Sergeant Major of the same Brigade I retired from.  The skids were greased.

One day, a week after I took the gun off layaway, I walked into his office. "Hey, Sergeant Major."

He looked up from his desk.  "What the hell do you want?"

"I want to carry a 1911."

"Those things are dangerous." he said.

"Don't give me the standard ration, Sergeant Major."  I looked at him across the tops of my glasses.  "Of course they're dangerous.  That's why we carry them."

"You got it, and some ammo?"

We walked out to his range, and a half-hour later, I was qualified.    At that time, I was one of three deputies in the department that was authorized to carry the 1911.

As it turned out, the Sergeant Major was the other fellow who was looking at that Kimber in the gun shop in the spring of 2002.

I carried that pistol for about 10 years, until we got a new sheriff, who bought us guns and told us to carry a standard weapon.  It's a Glock, as it turns out, and I carry it every day.  The Glock is a fine gun, and it shoots, but it doesn't have the soul of a 1911.

As I type what started out as a blog post, and turned into a short story, the 1911 is within arms reach.  It's stoked with my good handload of a soft lead bullet that travels about 850 fps.  And, as the Sergeant Major recognized so long ago, it's dangerous.

And that's the whole point.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The HIllary Standard

I nearly spit coffee through my nose when I read this morning that Hillary is complaining that she's judged by a different standard than the rest of us.  Yeah, really.
Clinton complained of a "Hillary standard" -- suggesting that she faces more scrutiny than other top-level politicians.
"I often feel like there's the Hillary standard and then there's the standard for everybody else," she said.
Asked to explain that, Clinton cited "unfounded, inaccurate, mean-spirited attacks with no basis in truth" which "take on a life of their own," pointing to Republicans' criticism at the party's convention in Cleveland last week.
She thinks she's being treated unfairly, that the attacks are "mean-spirited with no basis in truth".  Her words, not mine. I guess uthat she means that when James Comey refuses to recommend indictment, we shouldn't take notice, or when she and her husband gets huge fees for speeches to outfits which later benefit from her tenure as SecState.  Or maybe she thinks that we're being mean-sprited when we talk about Benghazi.

There is a double standard.  Hillary walks where other people go to jail.  She thinks it's unfair, but so do I.  Anyone else would have been fired, indicted, convicted, and jailed, but Hillary is allowed to seek the White House.  Ed Morrisey, at Hot Air, says it best.
Rather than facing prosecution, or even aggressive media scrutiny, Hillary’s on her way back to the White House. If this happened to anyone not named Clinton — and especially if it happened to a Republican — there is no way that would be the case. That’s the Hillary Standard, and in large part it’s the media that enforces it.
I think that The Hillary Standard is an indictment of our political system, that a corrupt, lying, demonstrably criminal element is allowed to rise so high in national politics.  The system won't discpline her, so it's left to The People to reject her.

UPDATE** I see that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was booed off the stage this morning at the Florida Delegate Breakfast.  Some are calling it disastrous.  I note, for the record that Wasserman Schultz has resigned as DNC chair in the wake of her own emaail scandal, and was immediately brought in to the Clinton campaign.  Just annother instance of one corrupt politican supporting another.

**Upate** The new DNC chair will be Donna Brazile.  When asked about the scandal that led to her appointment, he response was classic.  If you're going to lie, steal, and cheat your way to the nomination, don't use emails, do it over the phone.  That's good advise from one corrupto-crat to another.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More Democrat Email Problems.

Some of The People will be meeting this week in Philadelphia to anoint an unindicted criminal as the Democratic nominee for the presidency.  It's interesting to note that the chair-critter of the Democratic National Committee won't be speaking at the convention.  Rumors are, she's been quarantined following a WikiLeaks email dump which some say shows that the Democratic National Committee rigged the primary so that Hillary's coronation can be accomplished.

Following the year-long investigation into Hillary's email problems while she ran the State Department, it surprises me that anyone involved in politics uses email for anything more consequential than checking the status of an Amazon order.

Everyone who even casually watched the FBI investigation unfold knew that emails were a problem when you're planning corruption.  Dud the entire Democratic Party not get the memo, or did they just mindlessly hit Reply All when plotting corruption?  The mind boggles.

PawPaw probably won't be watching the convention on TV, just as I didn't watch the Republican convention on TV.  I'm not a big fan of television that approaches the absurd, and this nomination is so far out of rational politics to approach parody.  They're locked to nominate Hillary, and her opponent still has a campaign manager.  It's unreal.

I note for the record that the Republican convention was held in an open-carry state, and the sitting goernor refused to sign an executive order disarming the population.  Yet, no one was shot.  Amazing, isn't it?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Integrity Matters

In the brouhaha surrounding Hillary Clinton and her willful disregard for security procedures, her apologists say that she caused no harm, it was inadvertent, and that America's security wasn't damaged.  The rules exist for a reason, and every soldier knows that he violates those rules at his peril, and the potential peril of the nation.

Old NFO tells a story about a young Marine captain who inadvertently violated the rules concerning the handling of classified material.  One could argue that the young officer's indiscretion was forgivable and could make the argument that no information was compromised.  That's not the point.
On the day our ships were leaving the Mediterranean, we met the new amphibious squadron near Gibraltar and made preparations to transfer security codes and other sensitive material to the incoming Marine battalion. The young captain was on duty and went to the operations office to pick up the code book. He was alone in the office. He removed the code book and placed it on the desk while closing the safe. In a rushed moment, he stepped across the passageway to retrieve something he needed from his quarters. Seconds later, he stepped back into the operations office and found the operations sergeant having just entered, looking down at the code book.
 Against all regulations, the code book had been out of the safe and unattended. It mattered not that it was unattended for only seconds, that the ship was 5 miles at sea, or that it was certain no one unauthorized had seen the code.
The young captain, to his credit, reported the incident to his commanders, and the commanders, to their credit, did what was necessary to protect those codes.
The results went by the book. The amphibious squadron stood down. Military couriers flew in from NATO. The codes were changed all over Europe. The battalion was a day late in leaving the Mediterranean. The captain, Leonard F. Chapman III, received a letter of reprimand, damaging his career. He stayed in the corps and died in a tragic accident aboard another ship.
Integrity matters, and when you're dealing with nuclear codes, or other classified material, it matters especially.  People's lives and the secrets of the United States depend on it.

Hillary Clinton's actions as Secretary of State violated the security protocols set in place to secure the secrets of the nation.  After a long, detailed investigation, the FBI concluded that she was "extemely careless" with our nation's secrets.  The repercussions are two-fold, and may reverberate across our security networks for a decade or longer.

First, she has proven that she is not capable of handling classified material.  By extension, she has also proven that she is unfit to be the Commander in Chief.  At this point, she could not pass a standard security background check.  Yet, if she is elected, she will have access to every secret that the United States possesses.

Second, FBI Director Comey has furthered the perception that there is a two-track system for judging the activities of citizens.  The rich, powerful and connected get a pass, while the lesser mortals face prosecution.  Comey stressed that people who violate the regulations are subject to administartive disciplinary processes, but those processes could not be weighed on Clinton.  All that was left was criminal prosecution, and Comey demonstrated that he had neither the will nor the integrity to make that recommendation.

So now it's left to the voters.

Friday, July 22, 2016

My Time With the AR Rifle.

I'll never forget the day I first handled and AR-type rifle.  I was a brand-new soldier at Fort Knox, KY, had been in the Arm all of 48 hours when I was assigned to Co E, 13th Bn, 4th Training Bde.  This, during the second week of June, 1973.

Sometime during the first week of training, the Drill Sergeant marched us into the arms room after morning PT.  Because my name starts with a "D", everything was in alphabetical order, and I was assigned to rack number 6, which I soon learned was a rifle.  Specifically a rifle, M16A1, a select fire, gas operated, magazine fed, shoulder fired weapon.  I wish I could say that it was a brand-spanking new rifle, but that would be a lie.  It was serviceable, rack grade, and I'd only carry it till the end of basic training.

The Drill Sergeant marched us out to the front of the barracks, and we began to learn the manual of arms.  I had been around guns all my life, being a gun nut since my pre-teen years, but I had o idea that there were so many ways to carry a rifle.  Port arms, shoulder arms, attention, parade rest, present arms, the Drill Sergeant went through the litany of the manual,   Over and over, we toiled away in the hot Kentucky sun, until lunch, when we went to sling arms, and took our rifles with us to the mess hall.

This story won't be unfamiliar to anyone who has gone through Army basic training,  After lunch, we were marched to a classroom, where we started learning the assembly, disassembly and nomenclature of the various bits and pieces.  We learned to clean, oil, and maintain it.  We were issued cleaning kits.  We were taught function tests, everything that a basic infantryman needs to know about the weapon.

For the next several days we reinforced the lessons taught. Over and over we went through the rifle, cleaned it, oiled it, carried it, marched with it.  Then, one morning, with full packs, we marched out of the company area, turned left, and went down Misery Hill toward the creek, crossed the bridge and moved into the range areas of the post.  Three days later we marched back up Misery Hill to the cantonement area.  After cleaning my rifle, I turned it in to the arms room for the weekend, then went up to the platoon bay to shower and clean up.  I found a shiny new Expert badge pinned to the dust cover on my pillow.

In early August of 1973, I gave old rack number 6 a final cleaning and turned it in to the armorer.  I was glad to be shed of it.  It was just something else that I had to keep up with. We were busy that week, cleaning gear and turning it in, so that it would be ready for the next group of trainees that would come through after cycle break.

And, for the next 25 years, on active duty, in the reserves and the guard, through a dozen different iterations, a half-dozen units, annual trainings, and deployments, I carried whichever of the rifles that the Army handed me in the various arms rooms I walked through.  I turned my last one in, in July of 1999.  After, of course, giving it a thorough cleaning.

I never had any affection for the M16 series rifles.  Oh, there were plenty of issued weapons that I liked.  I really enjoyed the M2 machine gun. Really liked it.  I liked the M3 "grease gun".  I thought that the M203 was a silly implement.  I obtained a warm affection for the M1911A1.  But, the M16 series never really took hold in my psyche.  It was a bullet-launcher, and while I understood the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, it held no appeal to me.

In police work during the late 20th century, we used a variety of patrol rifles.  Ruger Mini-14s, M1 carbines, lever-action rifles, either Marlin or Winchester.  Each had its place in a squad car, and personally, I was in a fairly rural beat.  We were still using revolvers, mainly SW66s, and I liked the ammo compatibility that a pistol cartridge lever action gave me.  I carried a Marlin 1894 with good peep sights for a couple of years.  Qualified with it on the course. I even tried once to qualify with a Remington 7600 in .30-06.  It was a good hunting rifle, but sucked as a patrol rifle because the magazines were so fiddly.

In 2003, we had a traumatic event in this area, where two good police officers died under fire from an AK type rifle.  Almost immediately, individual officers started upgrading their patrol rifles.  In early May, 2003, I walked into a local gun shop and bought a brand new Bushmaster AR.  I took it home, cleaned and oiled it, found some old GI magazines that were till in my kit, and took it to the range.

Firing it for the first time was like putting on an old jacket.  Comfortable, well understood, familiar.  I still had no love for the platforms, but I was gaining an affection.  Mine's not tricked out, it doesn't have any accessories.  It doesn't even wear optics.  I've been with that particular rifle for 13 years now, and while others have come and gone, the old Bushmaster still rides in the car with me.  Rifles come and go, they're acquired, sighted, analyzed and either kept or given away, but the Bushmaster keeps hanging on.

Over the past two decades, the AR platform rifle has become the premier rifle in the American inventory.  Millions have been sold, hundreds of thousands just like the one I have.  It's an old friend to every GI who went through basic training over the past 40 years.  It is what it is, neither good nor evil, just a tool.  But, it is a very versatile tool, a very durable tool.  That's probably why I've grown to have an affection for the rifle.  It's very good at what it does, it doesn't require a lot of tweaking, it runs right out of the box.

One day, the AR will be surpassed by something new and advanced, but for the time being, the AR rifle is beloved of Americans.  It is truly America's rifle.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Watching Grandkids III

Still hanging out with grandkids.  This morning we decided to jump in the pool, and the youngest one decided to forgo the swim vest.  He's starting to get the hang of swimming, and figured that as long as I was in the pool, he'd be okay.  My grandkids have generally started swimming unassisted at about age five, so he's right on track.

It doesn't look like he's afraid of the water, does it?

Conversation with a Grandson

Second son and I were sitting on the porch, talking about the day, when I was approached by a grandson.

Grandson:  "Do you have any hammer and nails?"

Me: "Yep.  Why do you need hammer and nails?"

Grandson:  "I'm very good at building, and I could build something."

Me:  "What do you want to build."

Grandson: "Oh, I don't know.  What do you need me to build?"

Me: "Nothing."

Grandson: "Okay, do you have the materials to build nothing?"

Me:  "Oh, yeah, I think I have plenty of those materials."

Grandson looks at me like I've lost my mind, then turns and walks away.

Second Son, suppressing a snicker: "Well, that worked out well."

The Northwest Passage

The history of global exploration, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries is interwoven with man's search for the Northwest Passage, a supposed sea route from Europe to Asia, around the north end of the North American continent.  Explorers since Henry Hudson have been frustrated by ice in the polar regions, frustrated by the fact that when water gets cold, it freezes, making navigation impossible.

Granted, the Northwest Passage has been navigable in the past.  In fact, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen first transited the passage during his expedition of 1903-06.  However, weather plays a huge part in climate, and weather is unpredictable on a large scale, as a modern day group of explorers have learned.

It seems that a climate scientist, explorer and adventurer decided that the ice would draw back far enough that the passage should surely be open.  Mother Nature, of course, showed them the folly of their science.  They're stuck in the ice.  Granted, they're in the Northeast Passage, but....
There has been one small hiccup thus-far though: they are currently stuck in Murmansk, Russia because there is too much ice blocking the North East passage the team said didn’t exist in summer months,
I'm no scientist, but I have noticed some general trends in weather, and climate.  First, if you're going to attempt that trip, go in the summer.  It's generally warmer during those months.  Second, if you think that you can predict weather, you're doomed to spending half of your career being demonstrably wrong, at least past the three or four day mark.

Since Henry Hudson, sailors have dreamed of a reliable ocean passage in the Arctic regions of our globe.  Sometimes it's navigable, sometimes it's not, and mariners seek it at their peril.  For the past 500 years, it's been a craphoot thinking that you can point a boat generally Northwest and sail across the top of the world.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Red Beans and Rice.

Alien asks, in comments:
Might you have the recipe for that dish, as in what kind of sausage, how much of what, etc. ?
I was talking about Red Beans and Rice, so I assume that he means that dish.   Red Beans and Rice is an old cajun dish.  It may be in other cultures, but traditionally, Red Beans and Rice was a Monday dish, simply because Monday was wash day,  and red beans and rice didn't take much attention.  The harried housewife could walk past the stove once every half hour or so, give it a stir, and move on.  Traditionally made with dried beans, some of us cheat and use canned beans.  Milady scoffs at my canned bean recipe, but she eats her fair share of them when it's time to eat.

There are probably as many variations of Red Beans and Rice as there are people who cook, but I'll give you my easy, quick recipe.

Red Beans and Rice.


One pound good sausage.  Whatever you like.  I've used smoked, pork, beef, kielbasa, and andouille.  It doesn't matter.  One pound of good sausage.
4 medium cans of red kidney beans.
One medium yellow onion.
1/4 cup vegetable oil.
3 cups uncooked white rice.
Brown gravy mix, or, make a dark roux.


Chop your onion and cut up your sausage into rounds.
In a large skillet, saute the onion.  When the onion is clear and sweet, add the sausage.  Let that cook for a while.  You're basically frying the sausage. Stir frequently, stay close.

In a large pot, add the cooked onion and sausage.  Add your cans of beans.  Adjust your gravy to make the beans, sausage, gravy the consistency of a thick stew.  Simmer on a low heat until meal time.  The longer it simmers, the better the flavors blend.

Or, alternatively, add cooked sausage, onions, gravy and beans to a ceramic slow cooker.  Put on low and cook for several hours.

A half-hour before meal time, cook rice according to label directions.

Serve in bowls.  A dollop of rice, add beans over it.  Serve with a prayer of thanks and the beverage of choice.

Red beans and rice is so traditional that I've known restaurants that always made a big pot of red beans on Mondays.  Generally, it was an off-menu item, but it was the specialty of the day on Mondays.

If you don't feel like actually cooking, you can use dry beans and cook the whole thing in a crock pot.  It's great for working folks, and it's really simple.  The night before, get a pound of dry red beans, wash them throoughly and put them in the crock pot.  Cover with water, but don't turn the pot on.  Go to bed.  The next morning, cut up your sausage, add some onion, make sure that everything is covered with water.  Add a litle salt and pepper.  Set the crock pot on low, and go to work.  When you get home about five o'clock, make a pot of rice.  The beans will be done, and the long cooking time helps to blend the flavors.

Red beans and rice is easy, versatile, and filling.  It's a great way to feed a crowd.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Watching Grandkids II

We've basically just stayed around the house today.  Rode bicycles, swam in the pool, ate sandwiches for lunch.  It's interesting watching a kid put together his own sandwich, under safety supervision of course.

One wanted an old standby, peanut butter and jelly.

The other was more creative.  White bread, a slice of smoked turkey, shredded (not sliced) cheese, ketchup, no mayo, lettuce (no tomato) and a couple of olives on the side.  I'd have never have figured on the olives.

I asked what they wanted for supper, and they were unanimous.  Red Beans and Rice.  I had to go to the grocers anyway, so we picked up the fixings.  I cheated and used canned red beans, but the beans, some good sausage, onion and gravy are in the crock pot.  When Milady gets home, we'll still have plenty of time to make a pot of rice before supper.

Everything is proceeding according to plan.

Personal Rifles

It seems that the head of the Oklahoma City Police has changed his mind about allowing officers to carry their personal rifles while on duty.
Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty reconsidered his previous position, he said Monday, and will allow officers to carry their personal rifles while on duty until the department buys additional weapons.
According to the AP, he had previously denied the request, based on some spurious reasoning.
Last week, Citty rejected a police union request to allow officers to carry personal rifles following the shooting deaths of five Dallas officers. He had called the proposal from the city's Fraternal Order of Police "alarmist" and said the policy would present problems for the department ensuring the quality of the equipment.
Generally, cops carry equipment that is as good as, or better, than the equipment purchased from the lowest bidder.    Additionally, officers are more apt to familiarize with their own weapons than they are to practice with agency owned firearms.

I've always carried my own patrol rifle.  And my own shotgun, and for many years, my own handgun.

Aloha Snackbar!

It seems that we shouldn't ascribe motives to people who attack others in horrific and deadly ways.
18 people were injured after a man armed with an axe went on a bloody rampage after storming a train in Germany.
 A 17-year-old Afghan refugee believed to be behind the attack was shot dead by police as he reportedly charged at them following the incident near W├╝rzburg-Heidingsfeld station.
The boy is reported to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" before the attack and investigators believed he had a become 'self-radicalised' Muslim.
One wag stated that the phrase "Alahu Akbar" can be translated as "My motives will be forever mysterious".   I, for one, don't have any trouble untangling his motives, but our President, not so much.  How many more days before he's gone?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Watching Grandkids

I have a grandson visiting this week, and PawPaw learned a long time ago that it's a lot easier to watch two grandkids than it is to watch one.  If two grandkids play together, they don't need quite so much adult attention.  So, I arranged for a local grandkid to come over.

Lunch isn't much of a challenge.  Fast food places abound.  And, the five-buck meal at Dairy Queen comes with a sundae.  Whut?  That's a deal.

Chicken strips, fries, a drink, and a sundae.  It doesn't get much better than that.  PawPaw is doing okay this week.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

No Lives Matter

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I am just sick and tired of hearing about the black lives that matter.  The basic, horrible truth is that few lives matter.  The vast majority of us won't be remembered past the third generation, simply because our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids might know us, but past that, very few people are remembered from century to century.

Sure, some people lived good, honest hardworking lives and are a credit to their time on earth.  The vast majority of us simply want to live our lives in peace, raise our kids, and worship our God.  The vast majority of us try to live good lives.  But, the simple fact is that nature doesn't care a whit about us.  Nature starts trying to kill us from the moment that we're born.

Yes, I love my family deeply and I care for my co-workers and generally want everyone to live in peace and prosperity.  That may be a defense mechanism about the horrible randomness of who lives a long life and who dies an early death.

So, I'm torn, you see.  Which is why I became a cop, so long ago.  I wanted to deny the opportunity of bad people to affect the lives of good people.  However I recognize the brutal truth that many people won't mourn me when I'm gone, and in the huge, vast universe, my life will not have mattered to people who live 200 years beyond me.

As Robert Duvall said in the movie Broken Trail, "From the sweet grass to the slaughterhouse, we live between two eternities."

Another Tragedy in Baton Rouge

It seems that some asshole began shooting police officers in Baton Rouge today.  Early reports are that a person was walking down a main road with a rifle, and when police responded to citizen calls, another person was hidden nearby.  When the officers responded, the hidden shooter opened fire.

That makes it a coordinated ambush.  Bad ju-ju.  Seven officers down, three dead at this posting.

CNN broke the story.  I'll be watching updates the rest of the day.

Time to get out the mourning band again.  I'm getting plenty tired of wearing that damned thing.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

New Shooters

We have family visiting, from the metro area of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, to celebrate our matriarch's 95th birthday.  We hosted several of them yesterday afternoon, and took the opportunity to introduce them to shooting.

And when I say introduce, I men introduce.  This was basic safety and firearms handling at the most basic level.  Wax bullets are very good for new shooters, because it increases the safety factor by an order o magnitude..  Even with wax bullets it is possible to injure yourself, and all the basic safety rules apply, the danger of lethal injury is dramatically reduced.  Accidents will hurt, rather than being lethal.

Milady's niece had never handled a gun of any stripe and was curious to try, so after a basic safety briefing, we let her try her hand.

In just a few minutes, she was pinging the target with regularity.  She had trouble initially finding the sights, but once she figured out how to put the front post inside the rear notch, she was doing well.

Niece's son had done some shooting, but had ever run a single action revolver, all his prior experience being with semi-autos.  Once we taught him to thumb-cock that hammer, he got into it pretty quickly.

And, finally, niece's daughter wanted to try her hand.  Milady took her (literally) under wing to make sure that her first experience with handguns was pleasant, safe, and enjoyable.

So, in addition to enjoying the company of family that we don't often see, PawPaw and Milady enjoyed the privilege of introducing new shooters into the world of handguns, in a safe, practical, and enjoyable manner.   The ladies told me, frankly, being from a large metro area, with no experience, they were afraid of guns, but found our experience very enjoyable.

After the shooting, Milady checked her feast in the oven, and we cracked open a bottle of wine.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Castin' Cajun Lump Crabmeat Bisque

Surfing around during a lull in the festivities, I found this YouTube channel.  It seems that a show named Castin' Cajun puts up recipes, and recently they've featured a lump crabmeat bisque.  A bisque, for those not familiar is a chowder, or milk-based recipe.

Hot Durn, that looks good, and will be just the thing to cook when the temps get cooler.

I'm going to leave this right here so that I can find it later.


Expect light posting over the next day or so.  We've got family coming in from two directions.  Milady's family is gathering for the matriarch's 95th birthday.  We visited with her and some early family arrivals last night.  In another hour, I'll start helping straighten the house, and begin cooking for the feast tomorrow.  Thankfully, the feast is in Jena, a little town up the road where Milady's family calls home.  But, we have some of Milady's clan coming for lunch.  The teenagers need wi-fi and access to our swimming pool, and Milady and I hope to take time to introduce them to CFDA shooting on the backyard range.

On my branch of the family tree, my clan is gathering to help my daughter move into her first owned house.  She and her husband closed on a property earlier this week.  They've been cleaning and painting all week and Moving Day is tomorrow.

I do notice that it appears that the Mohametans had another Aloha Snackbar celebration in Nice, France.  My prayers of course for all the victims.

It's going to be a busy weekend.  The folks on the right sidebar will be providing content.  I'll catch up with y'all later.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Second Amendment as Muskets

A US congressman, Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.C.) used a tired, old trope that seems to limit the US Constitution to the technology available at the time of the Founders.
“This is something as a non-lawyer that I have had trouble with from the very beginning. When the framers of our Constitution considered the Second Amendment, they were talking about muskets,” Coleman said during a news conference outside of the Capitol Building on Tuesday.
Representative Coleman is being disingenuous, and for the sake of her constituents, I hope that she's not as stupid as she sounds.  The Founders were fairly intelligent men, and they knew that technology would move forward.  Indeed, they had seen great strides during their lifetimes, and they knew that every advance made would spur other advances, in mechanics, in agriculture, in every facet of human endeavor.  Ben Franklin himself was experimenting with electricity.

The press that the Founders talked about was Franklin's press.  The speech the Founders talked about was the limit of the human voice.  The religion that the Founders talked about was Christianity.

 If we take Coleman's argument to its logical conclusion, there would be no internet, no electronic communication, no religion except Christianity in the US.  There would also be no female representatives in Congress.  Persons who seek to limit freedom to a specific time period should be very careful which time period they pick.

Representative Coleman would limit technology to a specific time period, relative to human endeavor.  I call on her to limit her office to the technology at the time of the Founders.  No electric lights, no copy machine, yet no telephones, nor even a ball-point pen.  Air conditioning? Perish that though, it wasn't invented until the beginning of the 20th Century.  The Founders certainly never envisioned that technology.

Otherwise, she's simply a self-serving hypocrite.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Comey Sold Out

Townhall is reporting that Bubba Clinton (you remember him; past President, serial sex offender,  head of the Clinton Crime Family) and current AG Loretta Lynch struck a deal on the plane a week before Comey announced that no one in their right mind would recommend that Clinton be indicted. (I'm paraphrasing, okay??)
After being caught by a local reporter, Lynch claimed the email investigation wasn't discussed and that social topics like grandchildren and golf were the topics of the day. She said the same yesterday during congressional testimony. 
Lynch, of course, is a Democratic operative put in office to make damned sure that no one gets in the way of he remaining months of the Obama enterprise.  Some few lower-ranking members have to be sacrificed on the altar of public purview.

Of course, Agents involved in teh investigation had to sign non-disclosure agreements.
In an unusual move, FBI agents working the Hillary Clinton email case had to sign a special form reminding them not to blab about the probe to anyone unless called to testify.
The evidence is becoming plainer and plainer.  Comey sold out.  Plain and simple.  His reptutation is in tatters and he's dragging down the FBI with him.  The sooner he's gone, the better for the agency.

The Notorious RBG

Not my characterization, but I see that some other wags have tagged Justice Ginsberg with that appellation.  After my post yesterday, the aged justice doubled-down on her criticism of Trump, calling him a faker.

I wonder if she's demented, or just doesn't care.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and there are few people as powerful as a Supreme Court Justice.  It might have finally gotten to her.  Perhaps the other justices should stage an intervention, and have the men with the white suits take her away.

It would restore some balance to the Court, and it's becoming plainly clear that Ginsberg is unbalanced, but I mean more about the philosophical balance of the Court.  With Ginsberg gone, there would be seven justices, and we don't need nine, as long as there is an odd number.

In fact, I'd be happy with only five, as long as tose five were staunch, originalist conservatives.  "Abortion?" they'd say, "nothing tn the constitution on abortion.  It can't be a right."

But, I dream of a time when we have justices that actually have read the Constitution, and understand that their job is to interpret it, not find words in there that aren't actually written.  In that regard, we only have Justice Thomas, who seems to have actually read the document.

But then, I am an idealist.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Problem With Justice Ginsburg

There's a problem in the Supreme Court, and it's becoming more and more clear to even occasional Court-watchers.  It's the absolute iron-clad, knee-jerk thinking of the liberal wing.  In any given proceeding, there may be some question about where Chief Justice Roberts (hack, spit) may fall on an issue, and Justice Kennedy is the perennial swing vote, we all know where Ginsburg, Sotomayer, and Kagan are going to fall.  Left-wing liberals all, they've long lost any pretense of impartiality.

Justice Ginsburg gave an interview to the New York Times recently, and the air of impartiality is absolutely forgotten.  For example, on the current presidential candidates:
“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
So, she's anti-Trump.  Imagine that.  Of course she is, she is the statesman of the liberal wing of the court.

I remember the election of 2000.  I was fairly apolitical then, but it comes into stark clarity for me, for several reasons.  But, I remember that it was decided by a suit before the Supreme Court.  If, (God forbid) this next election comes down to a suit to decide Clinton v Trump, how do you think Ginsburg would decide?

Ginsburg has already made up her mind.  What would happen if Trump wins outright?
“‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,’” Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully.
For Trump to win, and Ginsburg to move to New Zealand would be a double win.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Colion Noir on Guns

Colion Noir is a young man (I say young, he's half my age) that speaks truth to power.

The NRA is Freedom's Safest Place.  That's why I'm a member.  I stand with Colion Noir.

Never forget that the Democratic Party enacted Jim Crow laws, primarily to disarm black people.

Asking Cops To Do Too Much

The more I hear of Chief David Brown, out of Dallas Texas, the more I like the man.  He's got a good handle on basic police work, and in the interview below, he talks about the mission-creep that police work has seen over the past 20 years.

Police departments all over the country are involved in a lot of things that 20 years ago would have been unheard of in police work.  Jobs change, it's true, but many times in police work, especially in police work,  there is a knee-jerk reaction that if something is a problem, let the police handle it.   There are a lot of things that are problems that don't fall under the umbrella of police work.

He also issues a challenge to those who complain, and protest, and stop traffic.  Make a difference, he says, do something about it.  "We're hiring."  Fill out an application, pass the academy, and work in your neighborhood solving the problems that you're protesting.

It's a great call to action.  Get off the protest line and start solving the problems in your neighborhood.

The Eastern Territorials

The Eastern Territorials of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association was held this weekend in Virginia.  Lots of good shooters on the east coast that the western bunch seldom get to shoot with, but the shooters from the eastern US seem to be holding their own in the speed and accuracy division.

Here is the final round of the men's division, between two good shooters, Big Ugly and Bob Ed Pain.

Two great shooters, bearing down, trying to get hits as quickly as they can.  This is good stuff.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Chickens on the Smoker

My first father-in-law, Boonie, used to cook chickens at every opportunity.  He had what we called a Hamilton pit, here in central Louisiana.  Don't bother googling it.  Back in the day, oil drums were ubiquitous in Louisiana, and an enterprising metal fab guy found a market for used oil drums.  He made barbeque pits out of those oil drums and sold them locally.  Sold thousands of them.  It looked kind of like this:

Boonie's method was to cook them "low and slow", meaning that he would get the pit to a low temperature and put the chickens down on the other end, away from the fire.  He'd put them on the pit just after breakfast and they'd be ready for lunch.  He never used a thermometer, so I have no idea of the temps, but think 275-300F for three and a half or four hours.

We lost Boonie several years ago, but his memory and his recipe live on.  This morning, I took four chickens out the fridge, cleaned them good, and butterflied them by cutting down the spine.  That's not necessary, but it saves room in my smoker.  No seasoning really, just salt and pepper and some good pecan hulls in the smoker for flavor.  I put them on about 8:00.

That's four birds, just old dead chickens,  That tin-foil tray below them has some livers, with salt and pepper, and a little butter.  Milady likes them, so I'll take them off in a couple of hours as an hors d'oeuvres   

Yep, checked them at 10:00 and they look fine.  Good color, plenty of aroma, and I took the livers off.  Milady will be enjoying them soon.    Adjusted the smoker racks to that I can slide a pan of beans over the chickens to get a little smoke and yum-yum.

I meant to get a picture when I took them off, but I forgot to bring the camera.  They were a pretty pecan-brown color, the juices running clear, and the bones were falling out of the drumsticks.The beans were smoked for he last hour, and Milady made potato salad and yeast rolls.  I fed twelve people, and folks took home leftovers.Even the dawg got his ration of perfectly smoked chicken.  All I had to do was wash dishes.

Just another Sunday at PawPaw's House.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Fun With the Dalai Lama

I really shouldn't drink whiskey and blog, but it's Saturday afternoon.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Still Watching Dallas

Not much news coming out.

CNN Says he's been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson of Mesquite, TX and that law enforcement believes that he was the lone shooter.

They've given him three names, and identified him as the lone gunman.  Lots of irony there, excuse me if I'm being a bit cynical.

They blew him up with a bomb, which I think may be the first time that American law enforcement has sent an armed robot into a situation to detonate a bomb.  It's an inventive use of technology.

According to the Daily News, Johnson was an Army Reservist who served one tour in Afghanistan, and he used an SKS during his lethal rampage.  That's an interesting choice for a combat vet.

Officers Down

It seems that five police officers were killed in Dallas last night by one or more persons who opened fire from a parking garage during a protest.  The officers appear to have been targeted simply because they were police officers.

Lots of news sources covering it, and the news cycle is still swirling.  I'm sure that the picture will become clearer as the day progresses.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the officers of the Dallas Police Department this morning.

Bench Mystery

Occasionally, I stumble into things on my loading bench that I simply can't explain.  Mysteries, as it were.  I always learn something from these mysteries, but I admit this one has me scratching my head.

As I mentioned yesterday, talking about the .243 Winchester, I had reached into the drawer where I store loose .243 brass and dropped a double handful into the tumbler to clean them.  When I took the loose, clean brass out of the tumbler, I happened to find a cartridge that plainly wasn't a .243 Winchester, and I admit when I found it, I was perplexed.  I set it aside on the bench and proceeded to prep and load the empty .243 brass.

It had ridden around in the tumbling media for several hours with the empty brass, and I set it aside on the bench to ponder while I reloaded.  At first glance I thought that somehow a loose .30-06 cartridge had gotten in the .243 drawer, because the empty .30-06 cartridges are in the drawer below the .243.  But, the more that I looked at the cartridge, the more I wasn't convinced that it was a .30-06.  Then, I convinced myself that a .35 Whelen had gotten in somehow, but that would be odd, because I don't own a .35 Whelen of any type.  The .35 Whelen is a good cartridge, and we may talk about it in the future, but I simply don't own one.

So, I got out my reading glasses and decided to look at the headstamp.  I consider myself to be pretty good at cartridge identification, but this one had me stumped.

Click, if you must, on the picture for a larger image, but the headstamp plainly says orma 9.3 x 62.  That set me back on my haunches.  Until I googled it just now, I had never heard of the 9.3 x 62 Mauser.  I had never even contemplated such a thing.

Designed in 1905 by Otto Bock, it was originally fit into the Model 1989 Mauser bolt-action rifle.  It was never a military cartridge, but has been used extensively in Europe, Africa, and Canada as a heavy thumper.  It fires a .366 inch, 250 grain bullet at 2550 fps and is considered very adequate for most large game, worldwide.  As the Wiki page says:
The 9.3×62mm is ideal for eland, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, and most who hunt in Africa consider it a viable all-around cartridge comparable to the .338 Winchester Magnum, the 9.3×64mm Brenneke, the .375 H&H Magnum and the .404 Jeffery. The 9.3×62mm has taken cleanly every dangerous species on the continent. Though it is of smaller bore than the legal minimum for dangerous game in most countries, the .375 calibre, many countries specifically make an exception for the 9.3×62mm.[2][3][4] The 9.3×62mm is considered adequate for European and North American game that may become dangerous, such as feral hogs and the great bears.
So, the question remains; how the hell did it get on my bench.  I didn't know about the caliber until yesterday, I didn't even suspect that there was such a thing, but yet, there it is.  The second question is what do I do with it.  I've been jonesing lately to build an odd caliber rifle, but I was thinking about something like the .250 Savage in a nice, light package.  To be honest, I've never considered a heavy rifle, suitable for heavy game and the great bears.  I admit, I'm pondering.

How the hell did that cartridge get in my tumbler?  I guess I'll never know.