Saturday, December 01, 2012

So, I'm wondering how the CSGV will spin this?*

The FBI has released their 2007-2011 “Murder Victims by Weapon” report. The results are contradictory to anti-gun industry claims that relaxing the ban on assault weapons will cause more crime.

The report indicates you are more likely to be killed by hands or feet than by a rifle or shotgun.

Since 2007 there has been a 16.2% decline in murders committed with personal weapons which are defined as “hands, fists, feet etc.” The number of murders of this type in 2011 totaled 728.

While gun ownership has dramatically increased since 2007, murders for both the shotgun and rifle categories have seen declines faster than the rate of personal weapons related crime.

*(Yes, I know: "It doesn't say anything about handguns! Handguns are EVIL!!" Etc.)

Another wonder of socialized medicine, except

they don't even get a pill:
Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’.

Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults.

But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.
(and who decides who's 'severely disabled' and 'needs' this?  The people making money off of it, mainly.  Somewhere, some nazi doctors are laughing in hell)
One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.
‘I witnessed a 14 year-old boy with cancer die with his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when doctors refused to give him liquids by tube. His death was agonising for him, and for us nurses to watch. This is euthanasia by the backdoor.’
 No, it's not; it's euthanasia by people who don't seem to mind watching people die of thirst.
Well, 'don't mind' isn't quite right, since they encourage it.  'So the poor subhuman won't live a bad life', because 'it'll be an easier death'.  Because 'the hospital makes more money if we do this.'

I'm going to urge you to read it for yourself, as I can't really write more about it right now; it gives me an urge to find the bastards who think this is so wonderful and strap them to a gurney and not give them any water, so they can see how fucking wonderful this is.

Friday, November 30, 2012

And it's about damn time

Just heard from the son, his unit landed back in the US a short time ago.

It was raining there when he left, and raining when he arrives; how Sondra & family stands it, I don't know.

In any case, he's out of A'stan.  I shall now have a drink

to celebrate

You or I would be in jail, but Only Ones at ATF

may get fired, but All are expected to receive full retirement benefits.
Oh, of course.

Note that In addition to involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, the consequences for these officials come as a result of their handling of the Jay Dobyns' arson case.
And it all magically comes out after the election! Isn't that amazing?

From the Dutchman, whose site I haven't been to in a while,

Latest from Claire Wolfe: RATS!
Also, commenting on one of the RWPP gun bigots,
I've said it before and I'll repeat: these collectivist pukes are more race-obsessed than the Nazi Gauleiter of 1930's Lower Swabia. I've run into more than a few black folks in gun shops and one gun show since the election and they are there to BUY. These are not gang bangers, but middle class folks. Do you think they are motivated by the color of Obama's skin?
 With suitable illustration, from Oleg:

One more thing, this time his full post:
 Congress adopted most of our recommendations. But this bill--as big as this bill is--still falls short, because we just could not get the Congress to carry out the requests we made of them. I asked for the national registration of all guns and the licensing of those who carry those guns. For the fact of life is that there are over 160 million guns in this country -- more firearms than families. If guns are to be kept out of the hands of the criminal, out of the hands of the insane, and out of the hands of the irresponsible, then we just must have licensing. If the criminal with a gun is to be tracked down quickly, then we must have registration in this country. -- Lyndon Johnson, remarks on the signing of the GCA 1968, 22 October 1968.

"I signed the Gun Control Act of 1968 so why aren't you peasants paying any attention to it?"
In my Sunday post "Give me that old time (gun control) religion," I highlighted this statement from the latest Congressional Research Service report on gun control legislation:
"Per capita, the civilian gun stock has roughly doubled since 1968, from one gun per every two persons to one gun per person."
The CRS report also stated:
"By . . . 2009, the estimated total number of firearms available to civilians in the United States had increased to approximately 310 million."
The official U.S. Census Bureau announced that the "2010 Census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538," so actually the number was slightly more than one firearm per person in 2009. What I neglected to give you, my readers, was the number of Americans in 1968 so that you would have a baseline to appreciate how firearms ownership has grown since the modern push for citizen disarmament began 45 years ago.
Well, here it is. In 1970, two years later, the Nineteenth United States Census determined the resident population of the United States to be 203,392,031. Thus, if we accept that the number of firearms at the time was one per every two persons that gives us something in the neighborhood of 101,000,000 in 1968.
So, by the CRS report's count, the frantic efforts of the gun banners have not only doubled the number of weapons per person, but they have more than tripled the aggregate number of firearms in the country.
The statement of Lyndon Johnson quoted above puts the number at 160 million, but this was provided him by the gun control lobby and although one guess may be as good as another (we will never know how many firearms were brought back from America's foreign wars in barracks bags and footlockers), it was criticized at the time as an overstatement. Even if we accept it as fact, that suspect statistic still reflects a doubling of the aggregate number of firearms in the country.
Personally, I think Johnson's number was inflated. Even so, give me some more of that old time gun control religion.
It's good enough for me.

 From Californicated, a public official with some brains:
The city attorney of San Bernardino is under scrutiny for telling residents to “lock their doors and load their guns” during a city council meeting.
The official explained that because the city is bankrupt and slashing public safety budgets people will need to start protecting themselves.
City Attorney Jim Penman said he doesn’t regret what he said.
“You should say what you mean and mean what you say,” Penman said.
Some 'I wouldn't recommend' waffling, but stands by the comment.

On the other hand, to the San Jose PD, "Bite me, you morons."
 Lady defends self and store against armed robbers:
In the meantime, the police are giving gun owners a piece of their mind. Albert Morales, the San Jose Police spokesman, said, "We don't recommend (drawing a gun or firing). We would have preferred that they just go ahead and comply with the request or demands of the robbers. Again they were after material items that could be replaced and again our biggest fear is that somebody would have gotten hurt, injured and possibly even died."

You know who else would have preferred that the jewelry store owner had just complied? The thieves. Who would’ve thought that cops and robbers would ever be able to agree on something?

Not mentioned by the SJPD was if she should have given them what the wanted if they'd decided to take her into a back room for some entertainment.  Or take her with them.  Probably "If you cooperate, maybe they won't hurt you, so don't pull that nasty gun, peasant!"
The problem is that when a statement like that comes from police, the subtle implication is that there’s something inherently immoral or illegal about using a gun in self-defense. It could give people the wrong impression about firearms -- whether that’s intentional or accidental is an entirely different debate.
 Intentional, I'm sure.  The bastards.

And last, from Hofmann, on the CSGV liking to call people traitors and insurrectionists,
Setting that aside as just one more example of CSGV's utter (and wilfull?) failure to understand the Constitution and the rights it guarantees, let us move on to their contention that an "ideology" can be "treasonous"--that the mere adherence to a belief is enough to make one a "traitor." So, as we have asked before, who decides what ideologies are permissible, and which are "treasonous"?
Founding Father Tench Coxe once said:
As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."…"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American....
CSGV calls such beliefs "perverted and treasonous."
Minutes later, CSGV left a comment responding to its own Facebook post, showing that they are aware of one aspect of how the Constitution deals with treason:
The Constitution also defines only one crime, the crime of Treason, which is punishable by death.
Yep--CSGV just admitted their sick belief that if you agree with Tench Coxe and other Founding Fathers, you are guilty of treason, and subject to execution.
How, exactly, does CSGV differ from a "hate group," and who, exactly, are the "traitors"?

Midway is having a blemished bullet sale

here. Rifle and pistol both, various calibers.

Mr. Doak, I don't give a damn where the money came from,

you insisting that you need your own little SWAT team for friggin' insurance fraud is bullshit.

And indication you probably shouldn't be in that office.

Y'know, one of the giveaways is the five 2012 Dodge Chargers for $23,590 each and two 2013 Chevrolet Tahoes for $26,505 apiece, each outfitted with police packages that include stiffer suspensions and wiring for additional communications equipment.  Really?  You need cars with PURSUIT PACKAGES?

Thoughts added after a comment from Sigivald:
 Problem is, they're the Insurance Commission investigating fraud; all they NEED is four wheels and a motor to get them around, maybe a radio(although they've probably got issue cell phones).  A economobile would get better mileage, too.

Which brings up another question: if they're getting set-up-for-pursuit cop cars, are they planning on pursuits?  Really?  Have their investigators been to EVO school?  If not, well, the questions that pop up after that keep going downhill.

I wonder if any of Obama's blame-takers and minions wonder what the wheels

will feel like when they go under the bus?

Dear Leader's position on the cliff: "Give me whatever I want, and I'll maybe talk to you about any cuts later."
If the Stupid Party accepts something like this, everyone involved should be dragged out of those taxpayer-supplied chairs.

Speaking of which, I keep hearing about how we're on the verge of going 'back into recession'; do these clowns just not want to say, or are they so frikkin' detached they don't know WE NEVER GOT OUT OF RECESSION?
Of course, these are largely the same people who keep saying inflation isn't a problem, so either they're lying or- again- so detached they don't actually pay for their own groceries and such.  'Cause if they did, they'd damn well know better.

Quotes of the day

 about what's happened to the ownership of arms in Finland, by e-mail from another Marja:
One example, I guess, what happens when people don't pay sufficient attention to what our lords and masters are doing, the screws here have been tightened in very small steps, but those add up to big ones when you take in all that has happened during the last few decades. I kept thinking about starting shooting, and getting myself a gun, but kept putting it off, and when I finally started to check things I was rather shocked over what had happened to our gun rights while I hadn't been looking. Right now it's getting to be lack of rights rather than rights, if you go by the local laws.

And the second:
I guess one reason why things could get so bad without most people really noticing was because for quite a long time, while there were things like that need for permits for everything it was nearly a given you would get those permits, at least if you hadn't managed to piss off the local police department, so everything seemed more free than it actually was. And those new laws, and everything getting coded to the point where the police could no longer afford to be nice even if they would have wanted to, it happened very quietly. Maybe one tiny article somewhere in the back of the newspaper, maybe not even that. Our news media is worse than yours, I think, when it comes to showing their colors in the way they choose what they report and what they don't, and how they report what they do.
Yeah, most of our media sucks; apparently theirs has a supercharger.  And we'd better pay attention to the lessons.

I'll add she's a writer, and recently started a blog with some photography and sketches

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oh no, this isn't alarming

at all.

In other news, had a chance to shoot that Little Sharps again, and I've found only one problem with it: there's an odd tendency to start humming the theme to Quigley Down Under when you're shooting it...

I admit to a certain "If only it weren't made by Chiappa" sentiment, after that crap with the RFID chips a year or so back.  Yes, they apologized, etc.; it was still a seriously dumbass piece of work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yeah, the stuff works

Two things that came out of working on a piece:
Had a pin that would not budge; no rust, just being in place for, oh, roughly 80 years.  So I mixed up a variation of the acetone & ATF penetrating oil: I used mineral spirits(no acetone, and I thought the ATF would dissolve into the ms better*).  Half-filled a jar, put the piece in, capped it and left it overnight.  Today, it came out.

Second thing, if you're not aware, if you've got a stubborn pin that doesn't want to move, use a punch with the shortest pin possible.  Couple of years back I mentioned making a set with replaceable tips; took the appropriate size and cut it to about 1/4" to break this loose.  A shorter tip both flexes less- delivering more energy to the pin- and is less likely to bend.

*Son had tried the acetone/ATF mix, said it worked well, but they tended to separate if it sat for a while.  I'd wondered if mineral spirits would work as well, and seems to; and the ATF doesn't separate.

A bit more about working with Berdan primed cases

Was looking at the Swiss Rifles forum(which has a whole section on reloading) and ran across a link to this at on the subject, which includes the hydraulic depriming tool the guy built.

I've tried the hydraulic method(makes me very glad I picked up that RCBS berdan depriming tool when I ran across it).  But, while messy, it does work.

In connected news, I found a few brass 7.62x54r cases which have the 'nny' headstamp(PRVI manufacture, I think), deprimed, and tried one with a berdan primer; it went in with very little pressure, so little that I would not fire it as there's no way the thing seated tightly enough to prevent gas leakage.  Though 'flood' might be a better word in this case.  Might work in cases of some other manufacture, if I run across some I'll see.

"I want to yell about globular warmening and make the enviroweenies happy,

but it'll hurt the airlines and both piss people off and make the airlines not give me money if I veto this; so I'll sign!"
To borrow from Insty, I'll start worrying about 'global warming' when the clowns screaming about it actually ACT like it's a problem.

Let's see, did the boobs at Jezebel do this when people were calling for Bush to be murdered?  When they were throwing racial insults at Condi Rice and Powell?
Hell no.
That's different, those people were REPUBLICANS...

If anybody actually cared what Time thought, their choice for Person of the Year would end it.  Should, anyway.
Because, even at this late age, she expects other people to pay her bills — specifically for her birth control?
Because she chose to attend a Catholic college, then demanded they drop their profound theological objections and pay for her “morning-after” pill?
Because she lacks even one accomplishment to point to, a single achievement that would put her in the same category as the inventors, presidents and popes who’ve been given this award in the past?

 One of the things for which I wanted to kick George Bush in the ass and ask "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!?" was that idiot law to phase out incandescent bulbs.
I'd still like to.

More of the crap that colleges want you to go deeply into debt to pay for.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney grew testy with reporters Tuesday over questions about UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s role in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack. 

“What is the point of the focus on this,” Carney asked of questions about Rice’s comments on the five Sunday shows days after the September 11, 2012 attack that killed four Americans signaling it was a spontaneous event.
 Because, you miserable little hack,
The President and all his minions- including you- lied to us, repeatedly, and
the clowns in charge sat there and watched while people died and made sure they got no help.  And we want to know who and why, you little shit.

Speaking of which, well, how 'bout it, Rice?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So that's why he kept that rabbit handy:

Add's another line of risk: now we know that hippo won't just chomp and stomp you, he may swallow you

Racism is alive and well, but since it's PC racism,

it's ok:
Some Democrats quickly offered to broker a nominee to avoid several African-American contenders splitting the vote in the heavily Democratic and majority black 2nd Congressional District, which could allow a white candidate to win.
 As noted, change that to 'majority white' and 'allow a black candidate to win' and these same people would be having screaming fits.
Miserable racist bastards.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas sales on gunny stuff

Listed at NLOGM

Another something good from Commander Vimes

It always embarrassed Samuel Vimes when civilians tried to speak to him in what they thought was "policeman."  If it came to that, he hated thinking of them as civilians.  What was a policeman, if not a civilian with a uniform and a badge?  But they tended to use the term these days as a way of describing people who were not policemen.  It was a dangerous habit: once policemen stopped being civilians the only other thing they could be was soldiers.
From Snuff

Exactly.  Which is why so many range from annoyed to seriously worried when cops do that.  Borrowing a quote from another character in another time,
There's a reason we separate military and the police: one fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.


I'd say these people belong in jail,

but that's far too kind.
...So I asked him how he knew that and how he had registered and cast his vote. In halting, impeded speech he told me that the people who take care of him at the home filled out “the papers” to register him to vote, told him how Obama cared for him, even taught him the Obama chants, and then took him to the polling place to vote. They did the same for all of the mentally disabled patients in their care, approximately sixty in all.
Hanging, that's the ticket.

Effing wonderful: we're losing 20,000 Marines due to 'cost-cutting'

yet Earlier this week, covered the recent agreement Barack Obama has promised billions of Yankee dollars to the oil-rich and overwhelmingly Muslim nations of Indonesia and Brunei. 

As reported, $6,000,000,000 worth of American taxes has been promised to the two neighboring nations to promote "green energy."

Again, "It's the cover-up" only counts

if the media actually bothers to investigate and REPORT on it.
And we have the racial grievancemongers (aka Congressional Black Caucus) screaming 'RACISM!!!' at anyone who dares to criticize Rice; and the media reports every damn word of that crap, don't they?
Because that's far more important than a burned consulate and CIA office and a few dead Americans.

 Speaking of which,
Forget questions of who ordered what and when it was ordered and what assets were available to assist those poor souls at Benghazi. Smucker, a known and very vocal supporter of Mr. Obama, just thinks that “shit happens.”

It doesn’t work that way with other Presidents, or for those with whom he disagrees.  For instance, he also went off on a diatribe against Mr. Bush for allowing UBL escape Tora Bora.  For Smucker, who wrote a book on the subject, UBL’s escape isn’t about shit happening.

But for the right President, people like Smucker and Kmiec are willing to throw their colleagues and good friends under the bus.  They are just so much collateral damage, and knew all about the risks associated with their job.

A point about dealing with gun bigots and control freaks:
Gun control at its root has always been about gun control.  Feinstein is a statist, and her laws and regulations will always and forever increase the power of the state. Feinstein sees through McArdle’s argument on cosmetics, which is why her proposed ban includes semi-automatic weapons. There isn’t anything cosmetic about the aims of the gun control advocates.

Arguing that their bans don’t adequately distinguish between weapons leads them to refine their ban.  Arguing that there is equivalent lethality between weapons denies aspects of utility and design, and only causes them to ban weapons that have specific utility for home and self defense.  And arguing that their regulations were ineffective only embarrasses them to pass even more onerous ones.

The correct way to argue against Feinstein’s proposed assault weapons ban is to argue that there is no constitutional basis for such a ban, and any new assault weapons ban would be at least as immoral and obscene as the last one was.

More of the 'what we're finding out is in the bill', and it sucks.
 Remember Obama promised this as a free exam — no co-pay, no deductible, no charge. That’s fine and dandy if you are healthy and have no complaints. However, we are obligated by law to code specifically for the reason of the visit. An annual exam is one specific code; you can not mix this with another code, say, for rectal bleeding. This annual visit covers the exam and “discussion about the status of previously diagnosed stable conditions.” That’s the exact wording under that code — insurance will not cover any new ailment under that code.
If you are here for that annual exam, you will not be covered if you want to discuss any new ailment or unstable condition. I cannot bait and switch to another code — that’s illegal. We, the physicians, are audited all the time and can lose our license for insurance fraud.

Well, there's another actor who goes in the 'idiot part-player' category.

Why did Obama win the election?
One more thing: it's been mentioned that Romney just didn't sell himself to a lot of conservatives and libertarians.  A week or so ago I had the radio on Rush' show, and a caller was someone who hadn't voted.  Said flatly that he knew that by not voting in his state it was essentially a vote for Obama, knew all the problems.  Asked why,(paraphrased),
"I saw Romney attack conservatives in the primaries with energy, but when it came to Obama he was measured and polite.  He made it plain who he actually sees as his opponents, and it's not Obama and those like him.  Add that to his record on a number of things, and I just could not vote for him."
I'd imagine that covers a LOT of people who didn't vote: given a choice between the socialist and the socialist-lite, they thought "Why bother?" and stayed home.
And the Stupid Party response?  "We need to be more like the socialists!"
Why yes, I DO despair.
Added: as Kevin notes,
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's too late for Halloween,

but still:

And while on the "???" subject, What If?

 One hell of a strange way to kick off.

From Robb:

You cannot stop guns. Period. If you ban the sale to law abiding citizens, the only people who won’t have guns are the law abiding citizens. If you ban the manufacture of them, then criminals will hit Home Depot, set up a shop, and make them cheaply enough (yet still sell them for a lucrative price).
Gun control will never, never disarm those who are the problem. Belief that is will is willful ignorance.

On a personal note, there was a fun show this weekend.  Unfortunately, like most in the OKC area the last few years, it wasn't very big and lacked a certain ambiance.  Only things that prevented me calling it a waste was finding a magazine I needed for a very good price(almost enough to make up for the admission cost), and a reloading dealer had some gas checks and bullets from an estate sale that definitely made it worth going.

And now, 'night, all.

Added before I lose track of it: They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside

Well, yeah, why WOULD a lot of guys threaten their future

by getting married?  You all know the mess out there, some of you have gone through it personally and I'd bet most of you have seen it second-hand.  Without going into details, I have(both, unfortunately).  And it's worse now.

Personal gripe: about a year ago was at a party at a friends' place, and a couple of the guests were mid-20's females, single.  And their prime concerns were
Managing to get through the next few days until the next party, and
Finding out when the next party was after that.
Not career, not marriage, just the next party.
Yeah, a lot of guys are the same; why not?  Hook-up culture is great for them at that age: no commitment, no actual give-a-damn.  And if you do try for more, a lot of the girls in your age group are so commitment-phobic(unless it's completely on their terms, and even then) that you can forget it.  Which means, within ten years, there'll be lots of females whining about 'no good men, they won't commit' when they helped train the men to be that way...

And let's say a guy does commit and ask for marriage: he has to keep in mind that he's dealing with a current culture where he's pretty much at fault for everything:
She hits him and he calls the cops, lots of places HE goes to jail; it's in the law 'to protect women'.
Divorce?  He's probably screwed no matter what.
Just getting through the day, we've got 'entertainment' that almost always shows the boyfriend/husband as either stupid, or uncaring, or incompetent.
Put it all together, yeah there are reasons a lot of guys either aren't willing to commit for years to come, or at all.

Remember Home Improvement?  It became a show of "How can we make men look stupid/uncaring this week, and women look smart/caring/saviors of all?"  Over and effing over.

End of rant.

Responding to Republican criticism of UN Ambassador Susan Rice for claiming that the Benghazi attack on the US mission and annex there had been caused by a photo of a stuffed teddy bear named Mohammed, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on 40 Acres, an Obamaphone and a Mule denounced any attacks on Rice as “horridly and unspeakably racist.”

While Fudge could not point to any single word that was racist, she insisted that every single word used to criticize Rice was a racist code word.
 Which is the level of stupid, arrogant and racist these idiot operate at for real.

I have an idea:  A polite letter to Reid saying "Fuck you.  You've prevented votes on a pile of things, you've slandered us, you've blamed us for all wrong, and now you want to smile and deal?  Fuck you twice.  Especially since your idea of 'working together' is "You people do what I want."  "
 And any 'republican' who wants to bend over for him should be disowned.  Preferably involving some tar and feathers.

Oh, yeah, I've had that feeling before:

I think it was the guy at Legal Insurrection who once said that it was amazing how free leftists felt to threaten someone's life.  Openly, online for all the world to see.  That's true; it's also true that people like this are first-class scumbags who deserve everything that'll happen to them.

These clowns have actively tried to get people killed(by SWATting), have harassed them and their families, threatened, and some have done it quite openly.  Pretty much dared anyone to do anything about it.  And when they actually get slammed for it, they threaten some more and whine about their 'freedom of speech'.  Some of them, it's just a ploy for sympathy; others are so effing stupid they actually believe their FOS includes harassing families and death threats and other such disgusting things.

I'm tempted to think it's in part because older methods of correction aren't used anymore.  Wasn't that long ago that if you threatened/harassed someones wife or kids, you'd either get dragged outside and the crap beaten out of you, or find a gun in your face with a warning behind it.  And it was a real warning.  Maybe if some of these clowns knew that was what they were facing, with the legal threat being secondary, it might cool some of them down.

Ogre loves Skyfall, and laments  … and I envy England because in the US… we don’t have such a character.  Jack Ryan?  (Tom Clancy) or XXX?  Captain America?  No… I want an American Bond
Oh, we've got one: Matt Helm.  Series by Donald Hamilton.  Would make some excellent movies, assuming the Hollyweird crowd didn't eff them up.  If you've never read any of the books, do.  I'd suggest starting with the linked one, it being the first of the series.  But you can read any of them in any order; while there are references to other books in later ones, it's never something that would prevent you from enjoying the one in your hands.

Oh, and Hollywood?  Heroic fantasy?  Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.   Just sayin'.

It is striking, how unsurprised Obama, Clinton, Rice et al seem to be by the Hamas barrage against Israel over the past fortnight, and by Egypt’s swift turn toward Islamist dictatorship. It’s almost like they expected these events to happen.
 Oh, Preston, you moron, can't you realize they probably not only expected them, but actively WANTED them to?

Great: another "We MUST do something!" demand

that will- again, and at best- result in another United Nations circle-jerk that will produce local-climate-altering quantities of hot air and (probably)spend a kiloton of OPM and produce nothing more than more demands that the Norks will ignore while demanding they be given more OPM.
And they'll most likely get it. Because the only thing the UN does better than send in brothel managers and child molesterspeacekeepers who don't keep the peace is giving away OPM.  Minus their cut, of course.

I'd like to remind Mr. Park that it was the UN, led by that celebrated-for-some-reason Kofi Annan, who HAD a chance to stop the Rwanda mass-murders, and didn't even try.  Hell, actively avoided doing anything*.  So just what does he think will be done to 'force' the Norks to start behaving like something other than Mongols with a bad hangover in a conquered city?

*This leaves out that when Dallaire said "Give me some more troops and authority to act and I can stop this", the UN yanked out most of the troops he did have and forbade him to do anything.