Saturday, August 25, 2007

Australia and Britain:

Screw the facts, we'll wet our pants if we see those nasty guns!"

Instapundit linked to the first, Tim Blair to the second.

"We teach children about how bad guns are and yet we are being put into a position where we have to explain why there is a man in the car park carrying a gun bought across the road."
How about "Because, dear, not everyone is such a wussy as your father and I."?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chris reminds us of murder and other disgusting crimes

committed fifteen years ago by US Marshalls, ATF and FBI.

At the time I thought that, second to the deaths caused by these jerks, the real damage would be to law enforcement, particularly federal; after witnessing this crap and the coverups and lies after, how the hell were people supposed to trust them on anything?

Add in some years, and the PC attitudes- or fear thereof- that kept FBI brass from even requesting a warrant to search the laptop of a terrorist, and caused them to- instead of demoting or firing his sorry ass- transfer and promote a Special Agent(very special, yes indeed) who refused to do his job because "A muslim does not tape another muslim". And the continuing lies and BS and crimes committed by ATF. Then add in the FBI lying in court and withholding evidence, sending innocent people to prison to cover for informants, and as I asked before, we're supposed to trust these people why?

When a friend sends you something like this

and your firstone of your first thoughts is

"Good trigger discipline", you need help.

Or a date.

Heard from the son this morning

As I mentioned before, I'm not sure about security/risk aspects of the information so for now I'm going to be vague: he's still in one hot & sandy place, about to travel to the other hot & sandy place to the FOB where he'll be stationed.

Comments so far boil down to: It's hot(120F) and it's flat. As to the latter, "Looking out in the desert there's some bumps on the sand. Then you zoom in, and it's a bunch of camels. It's FLAT out here."

And so things continue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Does anyone know what the hell

this is?

I don't have any 'fish of the world' books, and every time I try to find something like this online I get sidetracked. Any guesses?

Guy sent it to me with the caption 'world's biggest piranha', but I don't think so; the body shape seems wrong, and the teeth are different. But it's an interesting thing in any case.

Why I have a label of "Liberal 'thought' "

Couple of days ago Kim had this post, which led to the article. I just read it, and out of all the "Oh, God..." things in it, this one really seems to sum up what's wrong not just in Britain, but with a bunch of the nanny-state weenies we have to deal with here:
There's at least a vague agreement among progressive people that if you live in reasonable accommodation you are asking for trouble. To occupy a decent house, after all, is to provoke the less fortunate.

Think about that. If you work hard and save up and have a nice house, you're 'asking for trouble'. Not 'you worked hard and succeeded', not 'if he can make it, others can'. Oh, no, working and succeeding is 'asking for trouble'.

I need to practice tying a noose.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"So there ah wuz..."

I ache. All over, but especially my right shin. It's been a long day.

Yesterday I noticed some limbs on a couple of trees that had grown far too close for comfort to the power line to the house, and a big limb on one elm that was dead. I figured I'd get them tomorrow before it gets hot. So this morning after I regained consciousness woke up I headed out, got out the ladder and polesaw and got to it. The elm took less than an hour, cutting the thing up to get rid of took longer. Then to the other side of the yard to clear the power line.

Let me preface this with "I do not like working around power lines". Period. But I could get this done without getting too close to it, so to work. However, after the first bit I found that the limbs I really needed to prune could not be reached from the ground or the ladder; I had to get them from the trees themselves.

I don't know what kind they are. They're only about 15-feet high at most, but they'll forever after be known as 'those damn tangled trees'. Lots of little twigs and branches going every which way, so to get to the main problems I had to get up in each with a pruning saw and loppers and
first, cut the stuff I could reach that needed pruning, and
second, cut enough small stuff out of the way so I could get the polesaw to the stuff I had to cut.

First tree, no real problems. Second tree... more tangled than the first, by this time it was afternoon and getting hot(combined with high humidity, oh joy), and a lot harder to get in a secure position to cut. But had things going along fairly well, when the polesaw overbalanced, and I overbalanced and all went forward. No, I didn't quite go to the ground; I did find myself facing back up into the tree with a branch in each hand and one foot on a limb and some definite pains. I hauled my fat ass back into the tree, wilted some leaves with language expressing my feelings of upset, and managed to drag the saw back up and get it done.

By the time I got down I now had a big damn pile of limbs to cut up-some to be fed through the chipper and the rest cut to proper length so I can put them out for big trash pickup in a couple of weeks- and a scrape on one shin that goes from a little below the knee damn near to my instep. Which of course bled and hurt like a sonofabitch when I took a shower. So I was very careful when I dressed to go out and take care of some things to make sure my sock was rolled as low as possible.

So the evening consisted of every bang and strain I hadn't felt earlier presenting themselves for inspection and drinking a lot because I damn near overheated while doing all this. And when I took the socks off I discovered(of course!) that the sock on that leg had worked its way up a bit, so pulling it off took some scab with it. To the accompaniment of more language practice.

I so much do NOT want to repeat all this. The pruning not for a while, the gymnastics practice ever.

More general

Support MYOB in comments on the mining deal Rosia Montana referred to this, a blog by a local. Check it out.

How Societies Commit Suicide.

Science is supposed to be about asking questions of everything, whether anyone likes it or not. But the nanny-state "You hurt my feelings!" people will try to ruin you if your question upsets them.

And a bunch of people have made note of this study, this post from Anthroblogogy:
For example, handguns are outlawed in Luxembourg, and gun ownership extremely rare, yet its murder rate is nine times greater than in Germany, which has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe. As another example, Hungary's murder rate is nearly three times higher than nearby Austria's, but Austria's gun ownership rate is over eight times higher than Hungary's. "Norway," they note, "has far and away Western Europe's highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate. The Netherlands," in contrast, "has the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe (1.9%) ... yet the Dutch gun murder rate is higher than the Norwegian."
Yes, definitely an interesting piece to bring up to GFW's who blame guns for everything.

Oh, and just to cover it again:

Pentax red-dots suck!
Pentax customer service sucks!

Pentax red-dots suck!
Pentax customer service sucks!

Pentax red-dots suck!
Pentax customer service sucks!

On disaster preparation

There are things I hate to shop for or buy.

Not because there's something inherently bad or unpleasant about the thing in question, but because of what it stands for. Medications or vitamins mean accepting that there's a health problem or the possibility of, crap like that. Some things, sometimes, it means you've looked at a very unpleasant possibility, decided it could happen and then decided to get ready. Just in case.

One thing a lot of people have a real problem with, in this line of thought, is buying a gun for self-defense. Or just deciding to use one they own for the purpose. Many of us have known someone who liked to hunt or target shoot or collect, but would not have a loaded gun in the house; the idea of looking down the barrel at another human being, even in the gravest circumstances, they can't handle. Especially if you've been around people who've prepared for that(law enforcement, military, just people who've decided their life and their families lives are worth defending), it's usually not as big a problem. With the exception of a few people who have a screw so loose it's about to fall out, nobody likes the idea, but the idea of being unarmed and helpless in the face of an attack, especially if someone you care about is at risk, is far worse than the thought of firing a shot into another person.

The step that started me thinking about this was buying a holster. Someone, can't remember who, a while back wrote that part of his get-home or bugout bag was a thigh holster, because his standard belt holster didn't fit well with a backpack.

Simple thing, right? Which I'd never thought of. I've got a get-home and a bugout pack(which I tend to keep fooling with what's inside, but that's another matter) and I'd adjusted the straps and so forth, but I'd never actually worn the damn things with a pistol on. So I tried it, and yeah, a low-ride holster would be a very good idea.

I'd looked online and found a couple, but wanted to actually see the thing before buying. Other day I finally took time to hit a local shop(nobody else locally had one I could find) and found a couple. And then spent a while comparing, and trying to decide between(one more expensive but more solid, the other less expensive and lighter) and it finally hit me why I was dithering: for some reason, this step- even more than putting the packs together- was admitting that certain things could happen to make the world go to hell and I'd better be ready, just in case.

I spent the drive home thinking about this, and wondering why this step hit that point so hard. I couldn't figure it out, still can't(just amazing how the mind works at times). It did remind me of something, which I finally found. Ever heard of Harry Flashman? A gentleman named George MacDonald Fraser wrote a series of books about him, all well-worth reading. Harry is a no-crap coward who wound up in the British army and was involved in some very important events for the British Empire, and some other nations as well. In Royal Flash he's been enticed into a trip and he's packing, when he runs into a quandary over a pair of pistols:
But I pondered about taking them. The truth was, I didn't want to believe that I might need them.
I knew, as I hesitated with those pistols in my hands, that if I took them I should be admitting the possibility of my own sudden death or maiming in whatever lay ahead.
And experience has taught me that, as with all weapons, while you may not often need it, when you do you need it badly.

A few months back Kim had a letter from a guy who'd basically been disowned by 'polite society' for doing a horrible thing: during a discussion about disaster preparations, when some of the neighbors/friends said if things blew up they'd come stay with him- since he was prepared- he basically said "The hell you will!" This struck them as being absolutely horrible of him, proving that he was uncaring and uncivilized and hateful and probably ate kittens and puppies for breakfast. I commented at the time that at least some of that nonsense was probably because he faced them with a terrible thought: that if things did go to hell they'd have to take care of themselves. Even if only for a little while. And that just flat terrified them. Especially since, as for Harry, they were faced with the thought of their death. And maybe the deaths of their family.

One of the mantras of self-defense is "mental preparation and attitude is vital, even more so than physical preparations". Really, it goes for pretty much any emergency. And, as per Harry's words, one of the possibilities you have to face is "I could get hurt. I could get killed, even in winning." Because, especially if you're protecting wife/husband/kids/etc. from attackers, the very unpleasant fact is that 'winning' can mean you stop the attackers, but you're crippled. Or dead. Not a nice thing to contemplate, but it has to be faced. So part of preparation is working scenarios in your head, and including in them you getting hurt but not stopping until the fight is done.

I think I've gone a bit overlong in this. It just struck me that this kind of reluctance to do/buy something has to hit a lot of people, and getting over it is part of developing the mental state of I will survive. And getting to that proper mental attitude can be a lot harder than buying the tools.

Remember the AP story about LE ammo shortages?

Caused by the nasty war?


And in other news:
Enviroweenies and rich socialists don't care about people who's lives are at stake:
And in late 2004, the Council of Europe sent Eddie O'Hara, a British Labour Party member of the European Parliament, to Rosia Montana to file an official report. Opposition to the mine, he said, was "substantial," but it was "very much fueled by outside bodies, presumably well-meaning but possibly counterproductively. It seems in part at least exaggerated." Mr. O'Hara concluded the opposition "do not take account of modern mining techniques and in fact the Rosia Montana project will help to clear up existing pollution." He also warned that not allowing the mine "would remove any chance of local development for some time."

Gee, outside agitators telling the locals what's good for them. Who'da thunk it?

Quote of the day:
It’s easy to see why he’s so anti-gun. He thinks we all have as little self-control as he does.

And last, more on the New Republic/Bullshit Beauchamp situation, here and here.
More later. Once I can find the book I'm looking for.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What is it about spiders

that brings some of these people out? Remember the guy whose pet black widow killed him? At least this guy got rid of the beast before something really bad happened, but still...

Not one of the rescuers dared to open the container, lest the orange arachnid get loose or bite them with its half-inch fangs.

Half-inch fangs? On a freakin' spider?? No, I do NOT want one around. Strange I may be, but not that strange.

More point-shooting pics

Also from Jordan's book, his sequence on draw & fire from concealed carry at close range.

Starting, his gun hand sweeps in & back to start carrying the jacket out of the way, and he does something you can't really see in these: he sways his hips to the left a bit

The motion continues, the jacket out of the way as he grasps the pistol,

draws a sweeps it forward and level to fire

Sunday, August 19, 2007

On the 'hallowed halls of journalism' and other bullcrap

Insty linked to this which led to the article. I'm not going to go through it, you should just read it and marvel at the attitude.

'Sacred and magical place' my ass.

Erin is a bitch

even this far from water.

My rain gauge shows about 5" since yesterday afternoon, and we got off light compared to some areas west & southwest of here. They had heavier rains, strong winds and some tornados yesterday evening through last night. The storm came through Texas, into southwest OK and then looped north & east, wetting all over the place as it went.

There's a system called Mesonet in the state, observation stations for the National Weather Service*. A little earlier I heard one of the weather weenies saying that it sends in wind readings every five minutes, and for a couple of hours in some areas it kept reporting wind speeds in the 60's. We get lots of storms and such with gusts in the 60's, but continuous winds of that speed aren't real common around here. Lots of damage, lots of power & phone lines down.

And lots of flooding, to the degree of closing down I-40 out west for hours due to water flowing across the highway. Hard enough and deep enough to wash a semi into the median.

Now it's moving further off to the east and we should have just some sprinkles or light stuff before it clears out completely. A little rain to water the landscape would have been nice, but this was not needed; most ponds and lakes and reservoirs are still as full as they've ever been from the rains May-July. Downright messy out there.

*Interesting system. They wanted to expand it years ago and wound up making a deal with the state law enforcement network. They set up stations(usually at/near a police or sheriff's dept) and hook up to the LE network; that way they could set up a lot more stations, with people nearby who can check the equipment if it drops off, and they didn't have to pay for independant circuits to move the data.

"Gangs, alas, are offering what boys need"

is the title of this article Insty linked to, in which a lady reports on a year spent digging into why the gang problem in Britain has become so bad. Her two main points are:
Young boys join gangs, they told me, because they are afraid. There is nobody else to protect them, certainly no responsible adult.
The second:
Teenage boys need different treatment to girls to become responsible members of society. They need a role model.

Now, I know a lot of you are rolling your eyes over the latter and thinking things along the lines of "Well, no shit!" And a lot of people have said this over time and been ignored(I think she's probably catching a lot of crap for daring to state that 'boys need different treatment', thus violating the pc demands that there's no difference between boys and girls other than genitals). I have no hope for the upper reaches of the Brit government, it overall having shown itself to be so dedicated to nanny-state BS that no pointing out of facts will sway them. And the way their government is set up(as I understand it) the people in general have real problems trying to change things. At least until, as Kim puts it, the Glorious Day arrives.

A big part of her fix is both more male teachers, and more sports. As to the male teachers, that can have some really good benefits, but only if the teachers are more worried about teaching than about being pc:
One young man teaching in a school in a deprived area in the northeast said his “main focus” was not to offend his pupils. “I don’t want to push my middle-class values on them,” he explained earnestly.
Never mind that they NEED someone to tell them to work hard, to study, to try to become better, to shut up and behave: far more important to too many(and we've got the bastards here, too) is being 'sensitive and caring and non-judgemental'. No matter the cost.

And sports, be it said, can be a real lifeline to some kids, but in so many cases it's substituting for having a family that gives a damn and demands the kid actually perform.

Going back to her first point, there's a bit that I had to read twice:
The police and the Home Office have not taken crimes against young people seriously because they do not know they are happening. The British Crime Survey, described by the Home Office on its website as “the most reliable measure of crime” does not include crimes against anyone under 16.

Well, hell, no wonder nobody believes their idiot Crime Survey when it says things are better! How the HELL can you leave that group out? Sheer idiocy. Or completely deliberate: I very much doubt the 'they do not know they are happening' is true. Considering some of the crap that's come out in the past, I think they may deliberately have left them out so as to make the 'official figures' look better. No, as a matter of fact, I don't trust them; God knows why anyone would.

Personally, I'd say a hell of a lot of this boils down to the fallout of the multi-culti PC crap. If you don't judge people behaving badly, if you don't demand discipline and learning in school, if you have no problem with women(to use the term loosely) pumping out bastards from different fathers- none of whom bother to stay around- and think society has some obligation to provide a check and a place to live to people who don't want to take care of themselves... You get gangs, you get crime, you get social standards disappearing.

Oh, as a finish, I can't pass up this line about teenage boys: In times of war we value their aggression, their sense of immortality, their loyalty to one another. But in peacetime they are at best a nuisance, at worst a threat.
Not exactly encouraging, is she?