Saturday, November 19, 2005

So far, this laptop is ok,

but I miss my full-size keyboard for one thing. And if I hit the end of a sentance and try to do a couple of line-feeds to drop to a new para, it won't do it for some damn reason. Which makes some things a pain. And is leading to run-on sentances like this.

Well, if this works I think I have a solution to the last, but I'll be glad to get my pc back. I hope.

I've been watching the Firefly dvd's, a bit at a time, and just finished the third episode. I'd forgotten how much I'd liked this series. And no, I kept forgetting to get out and see it, so I haven't seen Serenity yet; I may have to buy the DVD when it comes out if I can't catch it at the dollar theater. Hell, I may buy it anyway.

In any case, I have brass to sort and dogs to annoy, so 'nighty-night

Carnival of Cordite #39

up at Gullyborg. Lots of nice stuff, though I haven't been able to hit it all yet.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Computer problems suck

Specifically, a pc that won't boot up. More specifically, mine. So I'm posting this on a borrowed laptop until a friend finds out if my pc can be saved, or if it bit the big one this time.

It's actually a nice laptop, but the little drag-your-finger mouse screen will take some getting used to. But I can check my mail, and if some important thought crosses my mind(shut up) I can put it here.

I was trying to remember how old my pc is, and I'm not sure. I can't find the receipt anywhere, but I believe it's about 6 years old, maybe a bit more, and has worked quite well the whole time. I had a weird problem that turned out to be software related a year or so ago, and that turned out ok. I'm afraid this time it's either the drive or the motherboard. When it first began acting weird I backed up most of the stuff that had changed since my last one, and the only important to me stuff that's not I can replace pretty easily. So we'll see.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ref my earlier piece on the ownership of arms

In the comments Kevin reminded me of a three-part post of his. If you haven't read it, you should check it out

Part one: It's most important that all potential victims be as dangerous as they can, here

Part two: Violence and the Social Contract, here

Part three: Governments, Criminals and Dangerous Victims, here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blogroll additions, and no new forging for a while

I just discovered these two tonight. I was looking over comments and checked their homepages and wow! good stuff here!

The King at Pirates! Man your women! and
the man at South Park Pundit.

Now I've got to find time to read all their stuff.

On the forging front, between weather and time and so forth haven't been able to do much for a while. Right now it's turned cold, and standing in the wind trying to work on thin pieces- like decorative scrolls and blades- doesn't work too well; they cool off damn fast when the temp is in the 40's-50's and the breeze is whistling along. On top of that, it's been pretty dry around here, and the whole state is under an outdoor burn ban. I could probably get by with the forge, but between the dry and the wind, I'm not taking the chance. The weather this time of year can run from 30's to 70's for highs and teens to about 50 for lows; so if we get some rain there may still be some days I can light it off and do some hammering. We'll see.

National Ammo Day/Week; it's a start

Picked this up today

Le's see, three cartridges, 600 rounds total. If I didn't have some other expenses that have come up recently, there'd be two boxes of the Gold Dots, a local gun shop has a real good price on them. And for practice ammo the Blazers are quite good and inexpensive. Well, maybe by the 19th...

A fine quote to add to that of Krusty

That quote? "There are three reasons to own a gun. To protect yourself and your family, to hunt dangerous and delicious animals, and to keep the King of England out of your face." - Krusty the Clown

The one I just heard? "Don't think of it as a rifle; think of it as a part of your body that shoots bullets." The kid on King of the Hill

Kevin's nomination, and thoughts on force

Kevin at Smallest Minority has been nominated for Greatest Blog Post Ever for this: Those Without Swords Can Still Die Upon Them. If you haven't read it before, take a look when you can. It's an interesting piece.

One of the things that keeps coming up from some people is the 'guns are evil' or 'guns are dangerous and should be banned' argument. There are variations on it, but it boils down to 'if you get rid of guns the bad people will be less dangerous and you won't have accidental shootings; so there!". When the people making this statement do acknowledge that bad people won't turn in weapons just because you tell them to(you, of course, become a Bad People if you refuse to turn in yours), they usually come down to two ideas: that eventually the Bad People will run out of guns/ammunition, and that it's a good idea to get arms out of the hands of honest people even if it won't help crime problems because nobody needs to own them. That last is, I think, their real Truth that leads them; they've decided that nobody has a reason- or a good enough reason- to own guns, so they shouldn't be allowed to. They don't trust themselves with weapons, so they don't trust anyone else either. They'll make exceptions for minions of the State, military and law enforcement, but that's it(it should be noted that the really rabid adherents of this idea don't like LE having arms either, and would rather get rid of the military, too). They are putting complete trust in the State to protect them and discount any right to self-defense. Yeah, for some that's a bit drastic, but for many? Seen any of the information about what's happened in Britain over the years? If you defend yourself with your bare hands, in your own home, against an attacker and the Crown Prosecutor thinks you used too much force or, at any time, had any intention of harming your attacker, you go to jail. And most of the 'you don't need to own guns' people think we should be more like Britain.

This includes the pacifist and 'no violence' types. The pacifist doesn't think force other than moral argument should be used against anyone for any reason, the 'non-violent' types don't think force should be used except in extremis with exceptions; and those exceptions almost always include only the use of force by the state. I have little to no respect for either of them. They both depend on other people to keep them safe, so they don't have to dirty their hands with violence and weapons, and don't think anyone else should be allowed to defend themselves. Oh, some will allow as to how you should be able to defend yourself with your bare hands, but use of weapons shouldn't be allowed; if you can't do it bare-handed, you should run. I just love the idea of these people telling an old woman or a pregnant woman or a mother with children that she should just run away(after, if necessary, jumping out a window) rather than take a weapon in hand. It's idiotic, but it makes sense to those who think you shouldn't be allowed to use violence even to protect self/family/home.

There are some pacifists who say "I don't want the state to use violence even to protect me", but that's really a bullshit statement. I wrote once before that a government cannot adopt a two-tier system where force can only be used to protect some of the people but not others; claiming you want them to do just that is insane. And saying you won't use force to protect citazens from the bad guys no matter what is inviting the bad guys to do whatever they want, because force won't be used to stop them. A society that tries to work that way will go the way Britain is going. Take a look at this book, or go read The Policeman's Blog and see if you like that idea. Rampant political correctness that won't let you do or say anything that might hurt precious feelings somewhere, you can't use force without having the threat of firing and/or jail hanging over your head... There are restrictions on the powers/authority of law enforcement for good reason; they also must have the authority to act as and how needed in times of trouble or the job can't be done. The crooks tend to be people who only respond to force or the threat of it, and waving your magic fluffy bunny wishing wand won't change that, and it won't make bad guys suddenly stop hurting/robbing/raping/killing people and make them amenable to reasoned discussion.

And last, among the 'guns are icky' people are those who have no problem with self-defense, but don't think guns should be used. I used to know a lot of these when I was messing around in the Society for Creative Anachronism. They'd tell- with great relish- the stories about someone using a sword or axe or knife on a burglar or attacker; they'd speak of the knife or sword they kept by the bed and how they'd use it on anyone who broke into their house. But mention firearms, and they sniffed up something terrible. Guns were bad, guns were not 'honorable', guns were excessive use of force. Slicing someone's guts open with sharp steel was acceptable, but guns were 'excessive' force... And 'honorable'? Why in the name of whatever would you give a rat's butt about giving 'honorable combat' to a rapist/buglar/murderer who is attacking you? I didn't understand it then, and I don't now. In fact, I think it's idiotic. The right to self-defense, using whatever force necessary, is the most basic right of a human being; restricting it, especially for reasons of political correctness or just because you don't like it, is a definate step toward tyranny; if people are not allowed to protect themselves they become ever more dependant on the government, and that's something tyrants like, even-maybe especially- if they don't think of themselves as tyrants.

I'll throw in another category as the 'not too-violent' people. These are the people who say a knife is nice but 'it shouldn't be that sharp because it's dangerous'(no, I'm not kidding, I have heard that). Or, as some lady wrote in a local weekly, "People should be allowed small guns for hunting and maybe self-defense, but that's all". Yes, you should be able to own this BUT; yes, you can defend yourself BUT. Again, you(and themselves) cannot be trusted so various restrictions must be placed on you so you'll be 'safe'.

You also get combinations of the above, and very often they'll be either unwilling to believe that you can't agree with them, or will dismiss you because, obviously, if you were smart enough to really understand, you would agree with them; therefore, since you disagree, you're not smart enough to be worth listening to.

This has all been covered by different people in the past, I just felt the need to lay this out after rereading Kevin's piece.

We 'woke up to reality', did we?

Looking over Instapundit, found this article on how the rioting in France continues, and how it's further weakened Chirac. And how there's no leader in Europe to step into his role.

Which doesn't really bother me. His 'role' was 'France is Great, and rules all of Europe'; a whole bunch of people over there never liked the idea of an EU dominated by France and never liked all the ten-thousand-and-one regulations on all aspects of life that grew under the EU. Big reason why the EU constitution was stomped when it came to a vote. I'd much rather see a bunch of independant countries than an EU with a bunch of provinces that are kicked into line by an 'elite' bureaucracy.

My gripe with the article comes here: "There's been a change in tone by the Bush administration, a perception of the importance of Europe to the U.S.," said Michael Calingaert, an expert on Europe with the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

"It's unfortunate that at the moment they woke up to those realities, Europe is increasingly weak and fractured," he said. "It makes that dialogue more difficult."

I call horsecrap on this statement. We spent a long time trying to get/keep Europe on board, with the result being insult and backstabbing by the 'elites' who ran the EU. Mind you, a lot of countries- mostly those who'd been under Soviet domination- helped out, and are helping out. Spain did, until the current socialist weenie got into power. But because the EU didn't back us, and there are problems in Europe, we didn't 'wake up to the reality of how we needed Europe' till now?

And if our leadership is weakened now, it's because of the actions of a bunch of politicians who don't care about facts, who don't care about what they themselves did and said before, who only care about what they can say now that they think will help them gain power.

I'll throw in a point connected to that last. There's been a bunch of noise back & forth about the holiness of 'dissent'. I say this: if you're actively hoping for us to be defeated, if you're actively hoping for U.S. troops to die, if you're actively hoping for a bunch of islamist murderers and terrorists to win, then- to borrow a phrase from Glen- you're not 'dissenting', you're on the other side. And I damn well DO doubt your patriotism. Scratch that; you are NOT patriotic. You can argue like hell with what the government is doing, you can disagree loudly without question of your patriotism. But when your 'dissent' consists of the above noted things, your 'patriotism' is not only doubted, it's denied. When you march for a communist governmnet to take over with all its' soul-destroying tyranny, when you call for murder and death as your means of 'protest', you're an asshole and an enemy of this country. "Don't question my patriotism!" my ass.

By the way, on the subject of our 'weakened leadership', the Captain notes the words of that sanctimonious jackass Sen. Jay Rockefeller, in which he admits to going to a meeting with, among others, Syria and telling them what he thought the president was going to do. One of the worst supporters of terrorism in the world, one of the worst dictatorships(look up Hama), and he tells them "... was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11". God knows what else he passed on to them while flapping his gums. And this is one of the people who's on tape referring to Saddam as one of the biggest threats in the world, referring to his NBC weapons programs, etc., and now runs around saying "I was lied to!". This jackass was/is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and made statements for years before Bush was elected talking about what a threat Saddam was, and now? "Well, Bush lied to me!". No mention of how Clinton lied to him before that, of course, oh no.

When someone acts this way not because they're more worried about trying to increase their political power than with, say, WINNING THE WAR, I damn well question their patriotism and their honor. This idiots' actions may well have made the task of defeating the enemy more difficult, damn well did give Saddam and Assad more time to sneak NBC materials out of Iraq, and he whines now because the President fights back against his bullshit? He should be kicked off the Intelligence Committee for this admission.

It's enough to mess up the whole morning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Not sure if this will come out or not

Weather changed the other day; from southerly winds and warm temps to, early this morning, strong northerly winds and colder temps. I walked outside and saw this, grabbed the camera and took some shots

Moon up high, a star below and the cloud below that. Not as clear as I'd like, but better than I'd expected

Ok, after posting this I opened the blog and viewed it, and it just didn't come out. Damn.

Like fishing?

Found here

National Ammo Day/Week

I can't believe I forgot to make note of this before, but here it is.

If you've not heard of it before, I think the Gun Guy originally came up with it; on one day, have as many gunners as possible buy at least 100 rounds of ammo. It was then expanded to Ammo Week. Officially NAD is the 19th, but the whole week counts.

Nobody around town has the same price I found for .30-06 at the Tulsa show... Hmmm. I can always use another brick of .22... I wonder of Brigadoon has any good .303?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Roll-your-own firearms

Smallest Minority has this post on small-scale firearms manufacture in Pakistan and the Phillipines. By 'small-scale' I mean what amounts to in a backyard shed in some cases, and some of these people turn out damn good firearms, stuff you would have no problems using. And all illegally made.

Which brings up the nonsense of 'ban guns and nobody will have them'. As has often been pointed out, the only people who surrender arms at government order are honest people, the criminals keep theirs. And get more illegally. And in many cases, can make them. There's been several articles about 'homemade' guns turning up in Britain, though not too many; it's too easy to smuggle them in(although the Brits have pretty much banned anything they think might be modified to fire a cartridge). And they do turn up here, too. Oh, and take note of this: "...Japanese Yakuzas were known in the past to fly to the central Philippines to collect them...". Now, that's just not possible, EVERYONE says Japan has no gun crime problem, and nobody has guns...

I first heard of this when I was a kid. Dad had a magazine from some LE agency that mentioned a bust of a gang armory in New York City. Among the things seized was a submachinegun made by the armoror, chambered for .22. They noted it test-fired just fine, and it was apparently the first; they lucked out and grabbed it and them before they could go into production. That was in the late '60's if I remember right, and nothing has changed since. Except that machinery like mills and lathes and, if needed, heat-treating furnaces are more available than ever before.

Which brings up something I read over at mASS BACKWARDS a while back. He noted that some idiot at a lefty blog had been running some posts on how the idea of people making guns and ammo was silly because of the precision machinery and special skills and materials required. As I note above, there are a number of places from which you can get milling machines and metal lathes- good ones- and they'll deliver to your door. Steel? Cheap and easily available in all grades, same for brass. And so forth. It would actually be easier to make a subgun than a revolver, and you can find plans to make a subgun from salvage yard materials, no special tooling needed except for a reamer(and as one book points out, doesn't even have to be an actual chamber reamer).

'Course, this is largely academic. With the borders as open as they are, does anyone really think that people who smuggle people and large amounts of drugs in would have any problem- or moral qualm- with smuggling arms and ammo?

Didn't think so.

Crapblogging- the variations

Og has, over the past while, informed us of a number of incidents that brought up the term 'crapblogging', among the worst of which was this from Velociman. While I have nowhere near the experience he has shown with certain phenomena(thank God!), I thought I'd pass this on. Especially since he bought a bike.

A few months ago I was out one evening taking care of some errands. Warm evening, the bike running smooth, all's well with the world. Until I was heading home, with a couple of miles to go, and my system suddenly advised me "It's Time". Maybe the vibration, or the rough spots in the road, but it was INDEED time. Every tried to ride a motorcycle over distance, in traffic, with your butt clenched as tight as you can get it? I'll save you the trouble; it ain't a whole lot of fun.

Various internal motions and close calls later, with about a half-mile to go, got caught at a light. A LONG damn light, with rumbles and disturbances threatening to not only let go but to blast me off the seat when they happened. I nearly blew the light but there was too much traffic, so I sat there, about two inches taller in the saddle than usual, and when that light changed I damn near used the curb for a berm shot as I took the turn. Residential street, can't go too fast, please don't let me get caught at the light, yeah thank you, down the final straight and into the driveway. Hit the kickstand, hit the door at a near run, I'm thinking I can feel bad things coming out of me, slam it behind me, into the bathroom nearly breaking my belt getting it open and my pants down and with my butt about two inches above the seat it begins. Not nearly at the cosmic-incident level of Velociman, but damn! I never felt thrust from a bowel movement before. Which went on for a while, with a feeling of 'all is right with the world' coming over me as my system emptied everything except my internal organs(unless that was a gall bladder I felt? Nah).

And after all that, it only took about two squares of TP and one wipe to clean up. For which I was profoundly grateful.

Something you'll never see happen, no matter how bad it is,

if you count on the UN, the EU, etc., to do it.

No matter the open slavery, the open religeon-based killings and raids and rape, the UN and EU will never agree to supply arms and/or trainers to people being oppressed. Because if you do that, you grant that they have a right to self-defense AND the means with which to do it. And the 'elites' who run both groups flat can't stand the very idea of that.

Hell, it's been covered at Smallest Minority and Geek's place and Publicola how the UN and EU work hard to ban the ownership of 'small arms'- which to them means any firearm- from private ownership anywhere for any reason. Screw your Constitution, we know better! So do what you're told, peasant! They've demonstrated that they'd rather see people dead and raped and in chains than help them fight for themselves. Hell, in too many cases they'd rather watch them die and sit bitching about why doesn't 'someone'(usually the U.S.) do something?, rather than act themselves. Military force is so 'non-progressive', don't you know?

So Instapundit has asked the question several times, why not provide these people arms and trainers?, and the answer is always the same: the UN and EU and company would rather see those people die or live in chains than give them arms. Partly because they disdain the idea of people, instead of international agencies, acting; and partly because later on, you tell an armed and free people to do something they don't like, they're just likely to tell you to go to hell and back it up.

You know, same reasons people like Kennedy and Schumer and Feinstein don't want anyone here to own arms.