Saturday, February 19, 2005

Wild animals, city dwellers & Disney Disease

Disney Disease is my name for the attitude of otherwise intelligent people who believe the crap that started coming out of Disney years ago and continues in a lot of the 'nature' shows today. It boils down to 'animals are our friends, no animal will deliberately try to hurt you, they're only scared of us evil humans', etc. It ignores the true nature of a lot of animals, and sets a lot of people and animals up for a serious collision.

Current case in point, mASS BACKWARDS brings up the case of a woman who tried to 'scare away' the coyote that was cornered by the dog. The coyote, of course, chomped down on her when she got too close. In many cases a coyote may indeed run away; or it may decide it needs to show who's top dog and start slicing. If you are in any doubt, I assure you that a coyote can bite the tax reform act out of you with great speed. Making this case worse is the coyote tested as rabid. NOT a good situation. And this was in Cape Cod! Apparently the state wildlife people had been making noises about how since people were moving into the 'natural habitat' of the critters, people needed to scare the critters if they got too close, so they'd be scared of people. By the way, if I'm not mistaken, the coyote just moved east into areas like Massachusetts over the last decade or so; 'natural habitat' my ass.

My point is that these people believe that if you have good intentions toward them, the animals won't hurt you; and believe that all you have to do is wave your arms to scare them away. Got news for you, folks; sometimes that don't work. Coyotes are predators, and if they either feel cornered or decide they need to show who's on top around here, may very well chew on you. A fox or skunk or possum that's near a den, or around breeding season when you disturb it, may well bite the crap out of you. That's not taking into account the occasional case of something that's sick and won't act normally because of it.

Bears and elk and deer, too. Bears are big powerful omnivores who, if they feel imposed upon- or on occasion hungry- will turn you into an entree. They don't care what you think of the matter. Deer and elk won't eat you, but the males can gore you with antlers, and the male & female both can kick you into a hospital bed.

I don't want animals killed off; if we did that, there'd be nothing to hunt. Besides, I like having wild things in the woods and plains. I just wish people would often be more realistic about what they're dealing with when they come face-to-face with one of them.

Note: about a year ago I was driving home about 10 one night when I saw what I thought was a dog run across the street and stop in the median a litte ways ahead of me. I slowed down in case it decided to run back, and as I approached tried to decide what it was. It's a German Shepherd? No, it's... IT'S A FREAKIN' COYOTE! In the middle of Oklahoma City. Yes, I did get a real good look; I slowed way down, and it was standing near a streetlight. It was also about the biggest, fattest coyote I've ever seen; it had apparently been living well on cats, dogs, possums and trash cans.

Global Warming, and a lost city found

These two things both from Dean Esmay

First, this piece on the infamous 'hockey stick' chart that 'proved' global warming. And on the roadblocks put in the way of the people who found the mathematical errors/among others/ in the piece.

Second, the ancient city that was literally uncovered by the tsunami. Amazing things turn up.

The Anniversary of Iwo Jima

Feb. 19th is the date the first American troops landed on that island, and began some of the bloodiest combat of World War II.

I had two great-uncles. Ray spent WWII getting a government-paid tour of Europe as a rifleman in Patton's Third Army; he's never spoken to anyone in the family about it, just a little about some of the souvineers he brought back.

George, who died last year, was a diver in the Navy, and spent a lot of time in the Pacific. S&R and salvage of both our and Japanese vessels, and among the places he went to was Iwo Jima. He never spoke of it, either, except for one time...
When Bill Clinton was trying to drum up support to invade Iraq, remember the 'town meeting' where a bunch of people, especially some old veterans, tore his butt apart over it? My dad and I were visiting George at the time, and as this went on- interspersed with some video of Marines training for assault landings- George started talking. Some about what he'd done himself, some about what he'd seen, including "all those boys dead on the beach and in the water"at Iwo. He believed that Clinton was only talking it up because he thought he'd get political points for it, not because he really believed it needed to be done, and for George that was it; that made Clinton a sorry opportunist not to be trusted with the lives of others.

That was the only time he ever said a word about the War that put him on a partial-disability pension. He and Ray had done the same thing; finished a dirty job that needed doing, then came home and put their lives back together. I figure I'm the richer, and my kids also, for having known the two of them.

I will not forget George's words that night about what he'd seen & done. We need to make sure we never forget those who went and did.

Note: Kim du Toit notes that Adam of the Walter & Adam Fund died in Mosul from a car bomb explosion on Feb. 17th.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The first Carnival of Cordite is up!

It's right here, and has some really good stuff linked up.

That's it for me right now; the plague or something has decided to set up housekeeping in my throat.

Does whiskey kill plague? If I had a bottle I'd damn well find out right now.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I have never liked Jimmy Carter

1976 was the first year I could vote, and surprisingly for me/already hated politicians in general/ I actually paid attention to the presidential race. I wasn't wild about Ford, but there was something about Carter that set my teeth on edge. There were specific policy things that bothered me, but beyond that was a basic distrust of him. Which he proceeded to prove right.

This is the guy who put Stansfield Turner in charge of the CIA; who took a somewhat messed up agency and really screwed it up. Carter was a Naval officer under Hyman Rickover, and I've read that he and a lot of his junior officers had a really bad habit of looking to technology to prevent stupid humans from messing things up. Well, Carter and Turner decided that since we had these fine reconnaisance satellites, we didn't need all those human agents on the ground costing money and causing trouble, so they fired several hundred agents. Some were near retirement, but weren't given the option to retire; just a card saying "we don't need you anymore, don't let the doorknob hit you in the ass on the way out". Besides the fact that there are lots of things satellites can't see for you, there are things they cannot do, which was brought out by their firing what I read were the only agents who spoke Farsi just before the Iranian revolution began.

Carter did a number of things as president that really pissed me off. And after he left office, in some ways he may have actually become worse. He's declared elections fair and valid when everyone else was yelling about evidence of fraud, he's kissed up to dictators, and he's spoken against this country. His sucking up to the Nobel Prize committee so as to get a prize led to him being awarded one with the committee actually saying that it was their way of taking a poke at President Bush. And so on.

Power Line had a piece earlier about Carter, including specifics of some really dispicable things he's done. They also mention a book I was unaware of, "The Real Jimmy Carter" by Steven F. Hayward. I'm going to have to find this and read it.

I used to know a lady who thought Carter was one of the best presidents we'd ever had, apparently for two reasons: first was his various crawling around and kissing up to make up for all the evil things the U.S. had done- the CIA in particular- and second was the fact that 'he signed lots of international agreements'. I pointed out that yeah, he signed multiple agreements with the Soviets and North Korea, and they simply turned around and ignored them. Her attitude was basically that "at least he did make agreements". First time I'd really run into the attitude that the process counted for more than the results. Which I think is a load of crap.
'Course, she thought we owed the Palistinians and should beat the Israelis into submission to them, and we really got along there...

Marvelous developments!

I meant to post on this earlier. Read it over at Dean's World.

A researcher named Ashok Gadgil first developed a way to use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria in water, giving a lot of people drinkable water at a price that could be afforded. Now he's found a cheap way to filter arsenic out of drinking water; if it indeed works out, this man will have saved literally God only knows how many people by his work, and made their lives a lot better.

Not a whole lot of people manage to do such a thing. Check it out.

Do NOT register your weapons. Ever.

From Smallest Minority comes a link to the end result of registration, this case from New South Wales in Australia.

Money quote: "Mr Moroney said that, as part of the blitz, thousands of weapons were destroyed because police were not satisfied that the firearms were being kept securely, or that "possession of that firearm was necessarily further warranted"." Please note, they minions of the state decided either they didn't like the way the owners stored them, or decided the peasants didn't 'need them anymore'; so they stole private property to be destroyed.

Also note, the registration system there means that the cops can show up at your home any time they like to 'inspect' your storage and decide if they think you should be allowed to keep your property.

This is directly related to a bill some jackass tried to pass here a few years ago stating that if you owned more than a certain amount of ammo/I think it was 1000 rounds/ you would have to have an 'arsenel' license from the feds, which would entitle them to inspect your home and 'storage' any time, day or night, with the usual threat of arrest & confiscation if they didn't think you were within their specs.

Never, NEVER register your arms with some government flunky; they and the nannies will screw you with it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ok, here's some stuff to use, now for a variety of reasons

A couple of years ago I read about some stuff called Microlon Gun Juice. It's a lubricant/protectant that goes on wet, then the carrier evaporates leaving a dry film. I did a writeup of my experience with it for George at Mad Ogre to post in his weapons section. Short version, it works quite well.

George has been putting together a load of stuff to ship to the troops in the sandbox, and wrote me today that Microlon is sending him a case of Gun Juice to include. That's a bleep-load of product, and will go a long, long way.

So the stuff works, and the company is supporting the troops with their product. Two good reasons to support the company.

Note: I just sent Ogre a follow-up to my original piece. I took a knife blade and treated it to test how well Microlon worked to prevent rust. It does a pretty damn good job so far. I'm going to be using this stuff for a number of purposes for a long time to come.

It's hard to believe some people can actually exist

Over at Whacking Day, he's had a number of bits from a real and true loon named Joe Vialls. "The Jews run everything, the U.S. is about to implode, the Russians are going to strike against the Jewish-American elite", etc. This particular link is to a collection of some of his predictions for the future.

This guy brings true meaning to the term 'barking moonbat'. It's hard to describe; think of someone off his meds and a bigot and a socialist... not exactly an attractive line of thought.

Tex is good for other things, too. He reviews motorcycles, he quotes fine literature ("Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.
- Robert A. Heinlein ")
and tells off idiots like George Monbiot who tell us the sky is falling.

I've really got to go to Australia some day.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Star BM test

As my previous post indicated, had a chance to try shooting one of these. It's a 9mm semi-auto pistol, one of those originally issued to the Spanish Civil Guard. First impressions were:
It's solid, steel frame & slide.
It's nicely fitted, no slop or rattles that shouldn't be there.
Lots of holster wear on the outside, but the inside was very good; looks like it was carried a lot & shot a little.
Big sights, wide front blade & rear notch to match, though the front needs some paint to make it easier to pick up.
The bore and chamber were spotless, with strong rifling.
And a very nice trigger. A little takeup, and then a clean break, no creep or drag I could tell.

Detail-stripped it to clean, and the insides were in quite good shape. The magazine disconnect, trigger & sear assemblies were not removed; there was no old, caked grease, nothing was hanging up, so wiped it all down, wiped it clean & lightly oiled it all. As noted previously, putting the trigger/follower/spring combination back in is a serious pain in the ass. As it was, the hammer strut slot & pivot had a little grunge, and there was a little on the spring, so it needed doing, but finding the way to put it back together involved some bad words. Field-stripping for normal cleaning is downright simple.

Testing used one box of CCI Blazer ball. There was one stovepipe in the second magazine(it came with two) and that was it; otherwise it ran through without a hitch, and the slide lock worked every time. Accuracy was quite good. I had no problem keeping shots in about 3-4" groups offhand at 7 yards in slowfire, and about the same starting from low-ready, up to fire and back down. With the aforementioned paint on the front sight to make it easier to pick up, I think I could improve on these groups.

One thing I did have to watch was the thumb safety. When the hammer is cocked and you thumb the safety on, the last part of the motion takes a real push. The safety actually cams the hammer off of the sear and blocks it from falling, and seems a very secure arrangement. If you don't push it all the way on and pull the trigger, the hammer won't fall then, but may well slip off the sear and fall to the 'safety' notch when you take the safety off; which means that if the sear slips over a worn or damaged notch, the gun will fire. It might be possible to polish the surfaces and make the safety take less pressure to put fully on, but I'm iffy about messing with it. I'd say just make sure you push it all the way on.

Overall, I liked it. It's solidly made of good steel, gave good accuracy- certainly capable of better, I'd say-, and I'd guess it will be reliable. Stovepipes like the one I had could be from a number of things, one of the most common being ammo. I'd try it with several brands to see what it liked best, especially in the case of self-defense ammo. And the price was quite good. I know of very good things said of Kimber and Wilson, for instance, but at prices starting around $700 on the Kimbers and about $1200 for a Wilson... This ran the guy about $185, and I think he got his moneys worth. So if you were looking for a 9mm pistol for target shooting and/or self-defense, and you're on a budget, take a good look at one of these. Wouldn't mind having one myself.

I am going to pick up some different ammo, including some good hollowpoints for further testing. I think I'm going to be pleased with the results.

Update: over at Shooters' Carnival, here's another test on this handgun. Even if you're not interested in this, check out the Carnival anyway, lot's of good stuff there.

Ref the conviction Lynne Stewart

About damn time. She's the kind of 'lawyer' I find most contemptible; professing love of the freedoms of this country and individual rights while doing everything they can to destroy those things.

To Gitmo with her.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Note for gunsmithing

If you're helping someone take a Star BM down for cleaning, and you don't have to take out the hammer/spring/follower setup,