Friday, April 06, 2007

'National' vs. 'Local' news

Among the reasons I don't trust the major media:

John Stossel mentions this:Here's another example. What do you think is more dangerous, a house with a pool or a house with a gun? When, for "20/20," I asked some kids, all said the house with the gun is more dangerous. I'm sure their parents would agree. Yet a child is 100 times more likely to die in a swimming pool than in a gun accident.

Parents don't know that partly because the media hate guns and gun accidents make bigger headlines. Ask yourself which incident would be more likely to be covered on TV.

Of Arms and the Law finds this:Two young children and their father, found dead in the woods together, were hanged, police said Wednesday.
Tuesday's discovery came a week after a man and his four young children were found dead in a townhouse about 20 miles away in Frederick. In that incident, police said three young girls had been suffocated and their brother died from skull fractures. The father hanged himself from a bannister with nylon rope. The mother is still missing.

I guarantee if these people had used a gun- any gun- to do this, it would've been on the national news for at least a day, with various politicians using it to push a ban. But since they were only hanged, strangled and beaten to death, local news. Big deal.

Same as some kid is beaten to death or stabbed in school, local news; some kid brings an unloaded gun to school, national news and calls for 'something to be done'.

Senator Reid speaks to vets,

and gets his ass handed to him. Any bets as to whether the major media will have any mention of this?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ever heard of Leslie Fish?

Among other things, she's a filksinger; someone who takes traditional tunes and makes lyrics- usually related to a sci-fi or fantasy story/movie- to go with them. She also composes her own stuff(a talent I'm somewhat in awe of). Here's one of hers:

Black Powder and Alcohol

Black powder and alcohol
when the states and the cities fall
When your back is against the wall
black powder and alcohol

Give me charcoal to the measure two,
sends the bullet where you want it to
Give me sulphur to the measure three,
make the powder gonna keep you free
Give me saltpetre measure fifteen,
sweetest shootin' that you've ever seen, remember


Give me water, yeast and veggie trash
leave it sittin' in the slurry mash
When it's ready put it in the still
if you can't heat it up the sunlight will
Draw the alcohol away and then
put the slurry back and start again


Booze'll clean your cuts and run your car
you can make it anywhere you are
Black powder in your cartridge shell
Will send your raiders runnin' clean to hell
You can make it if you just know how
so kids, remember what I'm teachin' you now

chorus twice

Here's a place with some of her stuff in mp3 form, check it out.

The Modern 'Liberal'

as Chris puts it. I'd heard of this the last week or so, but since it's a long video and my connection is slow(no, Og, I haven't gotten cable or whatever yet), I haven't watched it. But Chris has the transcript.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Why DO I do this?

Med-Fair, I mean? In some ways it's a bloody pain: load up several hundred pounds of stuff, some of it messy as hell, cart it to the site & set up, use it for three days(while talking yourself hoarse and getting either sunburned, frozen or drowned), then pack it all up and take it home and unload. Add in sometimes having to dolly all this crap a ways because you either can't drive onto the grounds or can't park close. And there's always the exciting possibility of of some freelance socialist stealing a tool or some piece you sweated over for hours to make.

Biggest reason? I really like showing this stuff to people. I like showing how people took whatever was available and made needed things out of it. I like demonstrating how this is done. I like answering a lot of the questions(excluding things like "Is that real metal? Is that real fire? Can I have that?*) I love it when some grandkid finds out that grandpa used to do this on the farm/ranch, and even has some of the tools back home still; you can see their face light up and "Wow!" go through their mind.

I like it when someone asks how to get started and I can tell them places to go for information and materials. I like it when someone shows up and asks "Can you fix/duplicate this?" and stands there watching while you do it. Pointing out pieces of history that someone's never heard of before, folklore about smiths in different cultures. And, on occasion, using a song they've never heard of(ever heard 'The Two Magicians'? Or 'A Lusty Blacksmith'?) Get to be the first to tell a kid interested in Irish history about Chu'hulainn and where his name came from.

One of the really nice things is to finish some small piece, and one of the merchants comes up and says "Can you make this stake/hanger/hook/support for me?" You get a description, figure out size, then pick out a piece of stock and make it, then deliver it or have them pick it up. And the folks watching get to see it all, just like a smith at a fair or town shop way back when.

Yeah, it can be a pain in the ass. But it does have compensations.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Crime in Canada and dhimmitude- and stupidity- in Britain

For the first, I present this thread I ran across at High Road which links to this article on crime rates. Interesting reading. The problem with something like this is that different countries figure the numbers differently(remember England figuring 'homicide' numbers so as to lower the stats?), and I don't have time to dig into this to check it out.

As to the second, Kim and others noted this piece of amazing dumbassery and cowardice:
Schools are dropping controversial subjects from history lessons - such as the Holocaust and the Crusades - because teachers do not want to cause offence, Government research has found.
I say cowardice specifically because of two points:
And one school avoided teaching the Crusades because its "balanced" handling of the topic would directly contradict what was taught in local mosques.
The report said the teachers feared confronting "anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils".
Both of which translate to "We're scared of the muslim community and don't want to upset them. And the government will screw us over if we do. It's all in the holy name of 'tolerance', you see." Etc. Just read the whole damn thing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

On what's happening with the British hostages

I found a link to this at Instapundit, and it reminded me of two things.

The first was an incident in India(I believe) of a British officer captured by whatever force they were fighting at the time*. He was basically given the choice to crawl and live, or die. He looked them in the eye and said "Do your worst". He was killed; and the people who saw it spoke of him with honor for the rest of their lives, and worried about a people who produced soldiers like that.

The other? With British sailors and Marines being held hostage- largely because the Brit government didn't allow them to open fire in self-defense- and the Brit government bitching to the UN and so forth, I remember a phrase I once heard. Compare this crap to the Royal Marines who strapped themselves onto the weapon wings on Apache choppers because it was the only way to try to rescue one of their own, and an old phrase rings true: "Lions, being led by mice".

The Fair, and the aftermath*

Fair's over, truck's unloaded, laundry's done. I'm just about done after this day, though not as badly as after closing Saturday & Sunday. Some stuff I forged needs to be wire-brushed and oiled(later), the forge has been oiled and covered, tools put back where I usually keep them. I hosed out the back of the truck to get rid of the dirt. And did laundry, and mowed(the back yard grows amazingly this time of year if there's rain)

I finally looked at my rain gauge this morning. Mind you, this was Monday morning, when the rain ended Friday night: 4.5". That's a lot of rain in a 72-hour period, and I think most of it fell Friday afternoon & evening in a series of what could be called downpours. Or that damn
cow being force-fed fluids as she was tied in place over us. Part of my garden in the back yard washed out, I think it'll take about three bags of topsoil to repair that. God, it was nasty that day; if I'd done anything to piss off Sondra, I'd think she'd cursed us with her lousy weather.

Friday started off cloudy, and had some occasional sprinkles, which was fine. Then the thunder started rumbling to the south. Which did give me enough warning to cool down the forge and get everything under cover before it hit. Friday evening is already described. Saturday I woke up and it seemed kind of dark, so I looked through the blind and crap! I couldn't even see the other side of the street it was so foggy. Except...(note to self: put on glasses and you'll be able to tell it's the condensation on the window, not fog). Turned out it had dawned with naught but a couple of clouds in the sky, and thanks to cooler, drier air from the north stayed clear and helped to firm up the ground; was almost chilly most of the day. Sunday was warmer and still clear, which helped a lot at breakdown since nobody was allowed to drive onto the grounds, which meant dollying everything out. Ever tried to dolly an anvil and stump, about 200 pounds, about 1/4 mile over ground? It ain't fun.

Met the gentleman who goes by Pagan Blacksmith Saturday, nice guy. Lots of people I haven't seen since last year

seen once again.

I can confirm that naproxyn can be your friend: I started on it Thursday and will keep it up for a day or so, and my hands and various troublesome joints have gotten along much better than expected.

Oh, the other folks from last year? Like Heather

Natalie & friends?

Yeah, they were there. Also, meet Tullamore:

That's Mary, Mark and Rachel. Damn fine musicians and singers.

And, of course, Your Host at work:

And now, I'm to a glass of something comforting and then to bed.

*Actually, it strikes me that that would be a good chapter title for a bodice ripper; but if you use it, I want royalties, dammit!