Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week With The Kids - Day 2

Today went well, but it was a lot more work than yesterday.

Got myself up a little early and got everything ready for Boo and Girlie Bear's day before getting read for work.  Boo asked where Mommy was when he got up, but didn't have any trouble accepting "She's gone away for a couple of days, and she'll be back soon".  We've prepped him, so this was more of a reminder than anything else.

Work was work, but I was a bit tired all day.  I'm fighting off a head cold, and I didn't sleep well last night.  Luckily, today was mostly project planning and clean-up from my work this past weekend.

Dinner was bolognese sauce I put in the crock pot before leaving for work over pasta and whole wheat Italian bread.  Boo seemed to like it; he looked like an oompa loompa by the time he was done with his plate.  Girlie Bear ate and had a lot of good things to say about school.  She's working hard to keep the good grades she got last quarter.

The crisis of the broken pinball machine was averted when I figured out how to get it out of the error state, which gave me something with which to reward Boo.  He just keeps feeding it quarters and trying to work the paddles.  Luckily, I own the quarters and the game, so all it costs me is time and electricity.

I've gotten the dishes done, done some laundry, got everyone else in bed, and I'm not far behind them.  Hopefully a little of Kentucky's finest in hot water with lemon and honey will help me get some rest.

No sign yet of open rebellion on the part of the kids, but I'm keeping my eye out for any disturbances in domestic tranquility.

Tomorrow will be easier.  I've got everything laid out already, and dinner will be leftovers from the past few nights.  Hopefully things continue to go smoothly.

News Roundup

  • From the "Not Her Job" Department - First Lady Michelle Obama announced yesterday that Family Medical Leave Act rules are being changed to make it easier for families to care for military patients and still keep their jobs.  First, let me say that I think the changes are a good thing.  But is it really the place of the president's spouse to take part in policy discussions and announcements about them?  Mrs. Obama has made military families her special project, such as Laura Bush made reading, so I guess she has some reason for being present at the announcement.  I'm not naive enough to believe that she has no pull with the president, but is it appropriate for an unelected, unconfirmed spouse to be the point person when things like this are done?  I'm especially troubled because the Secretary of Labor was present when Mrs. Obama made the announcement.  Isn't that the job for which we pay cabinet secretaries?
  • From the "What?!?!?!" Department - The mayor of Ciuidad Juarez, Mexico, has announced that due to safety concerns, he will henceforth authorize his police officers to take their weapons home when they are off duty.  This absolutely blew my mind.  Mexico in general, and Juarez in particular, has been in what any objective observer would call a state of revolution for several years, and now they're letting the cops take their weapons home to protect themselves and their families?  Heck, even the hoplophobes in the United States don't believe that the police should be disarmed when they're not on duty.  I seriously have to wonder what he's been thinking would happen if he let them arm themselves in the past couple of years.  It's not like the situation could have gotten worse.
  • From the "They Do That" Department - A woman with more heart than brain in Boston has gone to animal rescue groups with 71 rats that are the descendants of a pair she bought to save them from being used as Purina Snake Chow.  Apparently she'd never heard the term "breeds like rats".  
  • From the "They Do That Too" Department - A woman in Wisconsin got a scare recently when she was bitten in the face by a python she had taken from its enclosure.  The reptile latched on and refused to let go until its owner removed its fangs from the ladies face.  Coincidentally, the group she was a part of was beginning discussion of "The Girl With the Python Cuban Tattoo". Who ever said that reading groups couldn't be exciting?
  • From the "Invasive Species" Department - Scientists are reporting that the number of mammals in the Florida Everglades is shrinking, and they blame the thriving Burmese Python population in the area.  I believe that Florida has opened a snake hunting season, but it may take more than that to get a handle on this.  Maybe if snake skin holsters, belts, jackets, and belts come into fashion, we can start to draw down their numbers.  If we can find an extract in pythons that makes one body part or another grow, they'd be wiped out.
  • From the "Stanky" Department - Authorities in California are reporting that a bumper crop of skunks is coming to Sacramento in order to mate.  Remember kids, if you disturb a skunk in the middle of mating, they can get a little testy, so a little discretion might be in order.  Experts suggest that homeowners make sure that things that will draw amorous skunks to their property be cleared off.  These can include little dinners for two, tiny bottles of champagne, and of course, Barry White music played on speakers in the yard.

Today's Earworm

This one has a lot I can relate to.  Raised by an unrepentant hippie in the Country/Western heavy Dakotas.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 29

The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace.

My Take - Our defense policy ought to pretty much state "We're not afraid to come home covered in blood, so long as most of it's not ours.".  Our defenses should be strong enough and our responses to provocation and attack ruthless enough that anyone who considers harming a hair on the head of any American does it knowing that the world is about to fall in on them.

Aw Crap!

Looks like there won't be any pictures of Ma Deuce, Civil War cannon, and shopping at the best gun show I've ever been to this spring.  Knob Creek has announced that due to flooding and damage to the bridge to the range, they are canceling their spring machine gun shoot.

We've been getting a lot of rain here in IndiUcky, and the creek gets over their bridge every so often.  Basically, the Ohio River backs up into its tributaries when there's a lot of rain in the area, and KCR's bridge is only a couple of miles from where the creek empties into the river.  Apparently this time their bridge got damaged badly enough that they don't want to plan on having it fixed by April.  When they open back up, I'll go back out and get the straight skinny on what happened.

Hopefully they get this taken care of soon.  I want to go out and see how that new '03 does and my Mosin is starting to feel unloved, and KCR is a small business.  Taking weeks or months off with no business and having such a large event cancelled can't be good for their bottom line.


The 30 Days of Reagan are winding down.  What do you all think?  Keep doing blocks of quotes from notable people or let it go before it gets stale?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week With the Kids - Day 1

Today will probably be remembered as the easiest day.

I worked until late last night, and then worked for a couple of hours again in the wee hours of the morning.  I got the kids off to school, went to a couple of appointments, and basically just puttered around the house for the rest of the day.

Dinner was chicken fajita quesadillas with a salad and fruit.  Both kids ate heartily.  Supplies look good for the rest of the week.  Dinner tomorrow night will be spaghetti with sauce I've already made and thrown in the crock pot.  I'll just put the crock in its cradle in the morning and make the pasta when I get home from work.

Girlie Bear has been a godsend.  She's good at doing the big sister thing by making sure Boo doesn't hurt himself or anyone else while I cook or clean up.  She's currently putting the finishing touches on homework before she heads off to bed.

Boo had a "very active and happy" day at school, and he nodded off at 7:30 or so.  I put him to bed and he didn't protest at all.  Before dinner, he continued to be both happy and active, and my living room looks like a bomb went off, but it's mostly just toys and such that I can pick up before going to bed.

All tuckered out

Irish Woman made it to Iowa with no issues, which is good.  Last week the first group of her co-workers to go for this training had to return to Chicago after take off when the airplane cabin started filling with smoke.  Luckily her trip has been boring so far.  She has called a couple of times to talk to Boo, and he seems to be accepting Mommy being away.  We'll see how he does in a couple of days.

Our one crisis so far has been that the pinball machine doesn't seem to want to work properly.  When I turn it on, it goes into some weird error state.  Irish Woman knows how to make it work, and I'll figure it out.  We use pinball as a reward for good behavior, and I had to resort to letting Boo watch Star Wars after dinner instead.  Note the light saber in the photo above.

So far, so good.

Product Review - 5.11 Professional Polo

The good folks over at 5.11 Tactical asked me to do a review of some of their apparel, and since I wear polo shorts most of the day, they let me do a review of one of their Professional Polo's.

The shirt itself is a standard, but well built, short sleeved polo shirt, but with a few extras thrown in:

First, instead of having a breast pocket or no pocket at all, there is a double pen pocket on the left sleeve.  It stood up to capped pens, metal mechanical pencils, and old fashioned wooden #2's with no stretching or ripping.  The pocket is bisected so that pens can be carried without becoming tilted to one side or another.  The pen pocket is deep enough that a pen can be entirely encased in it if necessary, but isn't so stiff at the opening that you can't get it out easily or have it clipped to the outside for quick access.  It is a bit more difficult to get at your pen when you're wearing a jacket, but it's not too bad.  You just look like a goober reaching up in the sleeve of your coat for a few moments.

Pen completely inside pocket
Another touch that 5.11 added was permanent stays in the collar to keep it from curling.  I put this shirt through 10 cycles in the washer and dryer, and the stays didn't deform at all.  The collar stays folded correctly and the corners do not curl at all.

Collar Stay after 10 cycles through the laundry
5.11 also advertises the shirt as not wrinkling, shrinking, or fading, and it meets that standard.  After 10 cycles of warm water and hot dryer, the shirt stayed completely wrinkle free after being hung on a hanger, and had only minor creases after being stuffed in the bottom of a gym bag for a few hours. These minor wrinkles came out after a few minutes of wear.  The shirt did not shrink at all, and I only noticed extremely minor fading at the top of the collar notch seam.  Please note that I went over the shirt with a fine toothed comb looking for defects after use, and the fading I saw had to be looked for.  Irish Woman did not notice it until I pointed it out, and I only noticed it after the first washing and it got no lighter or larger.  It may have been excess dye in the material coming out at a point in the fabric that is held tight by the stitching.

The shirt has generous cuts at the bottom of the side seams to make it more comfortable to reach for a wallet or a something carried at the belt line.

The material used isn't the softest cotton I've ever worn, but it is very comfortable and wears well.   It's also pretty rugged.  It's not the shirt I would wear to go out and cut wood with the chainsaw, but I have snagged it on car doors, had computer equipment rub against it with sharp edges, and worn it while doing work around the house with no wear and tear.  I didn't cut at it with a blade or a sharp rock, but that's not the kind of abuse it's designed to take.  

I tested how well it took getting dirty in a few ways.  It got splattered with tomato sauce, finger paint, greasy crud from the inside of an old computer, and motor oil.  I washed it after each of these messes in warm water with standard laundry detergent, and it all came out with no staining or oil marks.  That alone impressed me.

I wore the shirt to work, while out with the family, and around the house.  It wore well, didn't bind up when I was reaching for things or wrestling with Boo, and was very comfortable to wear.  This being winter, I wore it with an undershirt, and it was warm enough that I didn't need a sweater for quick trips to the car and such.  The material is light enough that I expect it will breathe well in warmer weather.

5.11 Tactical's Polo Shirts for Men are priced between $34.99 and $49.99, which may seem a bit high for a polo shirt.  However, the quality, comfort, and ruggedness of the shirt lead me to believe that it would last and be wearable in an office environment for much longer than the less expensive polo's I wear from department stores.  They come in a myriad of colors, so you don't have to go to work looking like Tactical Tony in coyote brown if you don't want to.

So my take away on this shirt is that it's a good value, it's comfortable, and it will last as long as you care to wear it.

Disclaimer - 5.11 Tactical provided me with the material I tested for this review.  I was given no other consideration for writing it, and I am offering to return the shirt now that the evaluation is over.  

Quote of the Day

I’m so hetero, it hurts. I love a good set of breasts and a firm butt like nobody’s business. I also love guns almost as much. Technically more since I can touch someone else’s guns without the Mrs. stabbing me in the neck with a set of poultry shears.

Robb Allen, who may have just proven logically that guns are better than breasts because you can touch guns without someone screaming at you.



Guess what I did while drinking my coffee this morning?  By the way, when you try to take 60 year old ammunition out of its cloth belt, make sure you have good callouses on your thumbs, your hands are absolutely dry, and don't make any plans.

By the way, if anyone has an M1919 and needs a couple extra ammo belts, drop me a line. I don't have any use for them.  The bullets, on the other hand, will be put to good use.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 28

My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

My Take - Never miss a chance to make your adversaries worry that you just might be a little insane.  It keeps them guessing and makes you unpredictable.

Plan for the Week

Irish Woman will be flying away on the big silver bird to the wilds of Iowa for training tomorrow morning.  Based on the amount of preparation and admonishing she's done today, I think she's expecting to come home to "Lord of the Flies", with me playing the part of the pig with a head on a stick.

I've got a fully stocked larder, a set of menus listed out for what I'm going to cook, all the laundry is done, and the house looks better than it has in a long time.

Not saying this is going to be a piece of cake, but I think I can handle this.  The kids have to sleep sometime, don't they?

Yeah, I know, pride goeth before the fall.

Watch this space for updates on how I handle single parenthood for five days.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

News Roundup

  • From the "That Explains A Lot" Department - Fran Drescher, an actress who has 'entertained' us for almost 20 years and whose voice has been shown to cause seizures in primates, claims that she was abducted by aliens when she was a teenager.  She also claims that her ex-husband was abducted early in his life, and that explains why they sought each other out.  Actually, I'm inclined to believe her story.  There is no way that her voice and laugh come from anything but advanced alien programs to drive us to shove screwdrivers in our ears until they come out sticky.  Also, you'd have to be under the influence of an alien mind probe to want to be around her for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Here's hoping the little green men come back to see how their "catch and release" subject has been doing and take her back to their planet for further study.
  • From the "Make a Bigger One" Department - The Air Force is working with weapons designers and manufacturers to improve its latest model of bunker buster bombs.  Reports are that even though it's one heck of a good penetrator and bomb, it would have issues destroying Iran's most deeply buried facilities.  My guess is that the Pentagon wants a "one shot, one kill" solution for each facility it would hit in the event of war.  My solution is a little simpler than making a better penetrator.  First, you use the best penetrator you have.  Then you use another, and another, and another.  Then, you make the surface around the target uninhabitable for a few decades.  It's called "over servicing the target".  Someone in what used to be Strategic Air Command might be able to dig up old war plans that the current leadership in Washington could use as a template.  If we care enough to bomb the bejeezus out of someone buried in a hole, we ought to at least do it in a way we know will work.  Maybe you can't get the guys at the bottom of the hole, but you can for sure make it so they can't come out of it before they run out of air and food.
  • From the "Loose Lips Sink Ships" Department - Secretary of Defense Penetta is publicly wringing his hands about the fate of a Pakistani doctor who is accused of aiding the CIA in pinpointing the location of Osama bin Laden so that Navy SEALs could pay him a courtesy call.  Apparently Pakistan is trying the good doctor for treason, which will probably end up with him taking a short drop with a sudden stop.  That's strange.   Penetta, Obama, Biden, Clinton, Pelosi, and the rest of the usual gang of idiots weren't worried about the fate of our servicemembers, intelligence agents, and information sources in the days after bin Laden was introduced to the business end of American ordnance.  Now that there's no publicity to be gained by not only admitting that we did it and giving a blow by blow "No kidding, there I was" timeline and script for the raid, but also possibly giving Hollywood a quick look at the action shots of the raid and how it was planned, everyone's worried about what might happen to someone who may or may not have helped us.  How about Penetta hangs whoever told the press about the fact that the good doctor was at all involved up by their thumbs, and then I'll believe that he's serious in his worry. Until then, I'm a little cynical about it.
  • From the "Some Animals Are More Equal" Department - A state legislator in Colorado is coming under fire for reportedly being let off the hook for a DUI because she mentioned to police at the scene that she was in the legislature.  Colorado law prevents the arrest of legislators travelling to and from state business, probably so that members of the loyal opposition aren't thrown in jail to keep them away from their jobs.  She is claiming that she did not get let go with a traffic ticket and a cab ride home because she's a state Senator.  If that is how Colorado handles all DUI's, I'll buy that.  If not, then she's got some 'splaining to do and there's a law in Colorado that needs amending.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 26

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them — this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved good-bye, and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

Today's Earworm

Friday, January 27, 2012

Firearms Owners Freedom Act - A Modest Proposal

A Bill

To restore constitutionally protected firearms rights to lawful firearms owners and other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as `Firearms Owners Freedom Act'.


The Congress finds the following:

    (1)  The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees and protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for all citizens of the United States. 
    (2).  The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 1, guarantees and protects equal treatment under the law for all citizens of the United States.
    (3). Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution grants the power to regulate interstate commerce and collect taxes to the Federal government.
    (4).  The National Firearms Act of 1934 and the codes and regulations enacted to fulfill it currently contain an unreasonable restriction on firearms accessories that suppress the noise of the firearm discharging.
    (5).  The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the codes and regulations enacted to fulfill it contain unreasonable restrictions on the lawful and constitutional interstate commerce of firearms.
    (6).  Several states, territories, and the District of Columbia impose onerous restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms by requiring a license to own a firearm but still receive funds paid as excise taxes by citizens when purchasing firearms and ammunition.
United States Code Title 25, Chapter 53 shall be amended to remove any reference to silencers or suppressors.  Existing licensed suppressors shall no longer require licensing to own.  All future sales of suppressors shall be done in the same manner as other firearms, with no need for additional licensing nor taxation.


United States Code, Title 18, Chapter 44, Section 922 shall be amended to remove language that restricts the interstate commerce of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories by anyone other than restricted persons.  The requirement that interstate commerce in firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories require a Federal Firearms License shall be dropped.


United States Code, Title 16, Chapter 5b, Section 669 shall be amended to include the following paragraph:

No funds collected as excise taxes on the manufacture or sales of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories shall be dispersed to states, territories, or districts that require a license in any form to keep and bear arms.  The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Treasury shall jointly determine on a quarterly basis which, if any, of the states, territories, or districts of the United States shall have their share of excise taxes withheld.  Any withheld funds shall be held by the government of the United States until such time as the effected state, territory, or district shall drop such firearms licensing requirements.

Y'all, that's just 477 words that would restore a lot of our gun rights.  There would be some proforma stuff added to the top and bottom, and I'm sure it would be cut up, thoroughly blended, and have amendments added to it before it got out of Congress, but if the core survived, I'd be a much happier gun owner.

First, Congress declares publicly and no uncertain terms that the legislative branch agrees with the judicial branch that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Next, it removes the part of NFA '34 that makes putting a muffler on the end of your gun barrel something that requires paperwork, months of waiting, and a yearly tax.

Then it makes it possible again to buy and sell firearms across state lines.  That does two things:  First, you can buy a handgun while you're in another state and not have to go through the hassle of finding an FFL on both end of the transaction to ship it home.  Next, if city or state makes it difficult to have a gun by making it exceedingly difficult to be an FFL, you can cross state lines to buy a gun.

Finally, while not telling states that they have to drop licensing requirements to own a gun, which would violate the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, the act tells those states that as long as they require a license to exercise a right, they won't be getting the money from the excise taxes on firearms and ammunition.  Want the money from firearms owners to pay for your parks and such?  Then treat firearms owners as first class citizens and adults.

What do y'all think?

Happy Birthday WAM!

No, not that horrid act by George Michael and the other guy. I'm talking about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born on this date in 1756.  His music has inspired and entertained people since he was BooBoo's age.

So raise a glass and give an ear to one of my favorite composers.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 25

It's true hard work never killed anyone, but I figure, why take the chance?

My Take - Sounds like a good plan for the weekend to me!

New Car Line

Recently the People's Collective Automotive Fabrik announced a new car line:  The "Pendejo".  The line will include several models:

  1. Pendejo Rapido - This model consists of the frame and body from a 1980's muscle car, bolted-on extra fins and a spoiler, extremely stiff suspension and steering,  a huge V16 mid-body engine, a cosmetic blower in the hood, and one heck of a stereo to drown out the road and engine noise.  It will also include an "auto-stick" transmission so you can pretend you're driving a standard transmission, even though you may never do anything but put it in park, reverse, and drive.  It will be marketed at people who saw "Cannonball Run" and "Fast and Furious" one too many times.  It will allow the driver to leave 15 feet of tire marks at intersections both stopping and starting, whip in and out of traffic, and cut off school buses.  This car screams "Live fast, die young!".
  2. Pendejo Verde HTS - This model is a plug-in, electric, low emissions, recyclable, sustainable commuter car with a range of about 15 miles.  The car is composed of two recombinant recumbent bicycles welded to three ironing boards, with the trickle charger from a 1978 Winnebago connected to a bank of lithium batteries.  The body is made up of synthetic materials made out of recycled two-liter pop bottles and aluminum parts made from sintered ground-up Schlitz malt liquor cans.  This sporty two seater is furnished with airliner chairs taken out of old DC-8's, with a small cargo area big enough to carry not just one, but two loaves of organic, whole-grain, shade grown, high fiber, low carb, artisanal focaccia.  HTS stands for "Hipster Transport System" and that is the target market for this little beauty. Sure, any collision in this deathtrap at over 2 miles an hour will leave the occupants looking like underdone lasagna, but who wants to live forever?  As an added bonus, when the lithium batteries go critical after an accident, the carcasses of the occupants will become totally organic ash that will fertilize the byways of America for generations to come.
  3. Pendejo Grande - This is the largest of the models in this line.  It will be marketed to middle-aged parents who want the convenience of a station wagon or minivan, but don't want to be seen in one.  The vehicle is the body and frame of a 1990's vintage minivan, with the suspension jacked up about a foot and a half, big knobby tires, bolted on extended wheel wells and headlight frames, deer stalker lights on the front of the cab, a hitch capable of towing a 155mm cannon, and a diesel engine salvaged from a garbage truck, but without the muffler.   American Moms and Dads will be able to pick up the kids from school, go to the grocery store, and haul all the groceries, soccer gear, Cub Scout equipment, and a load of mulch for the front yard confident that no-one will mistake them for someone who grew up and had kids.  This beast will come in coyote brown, OD green, and matte-black.  Accessories will include luggage containers that bolt to the included rooftop cargo rack that double as sails in high winds.  
Remember this name:  Pendejo - The car that matches your personality!

Today's Earworm

News Roundup

  • From the "Spelling Under the Influence" Department - In a recent interview, Pat Sajak admitted that he and Vanna White used to drink, sometimes to excess, during dinner breaks while taping episodes of their game show "Wheel of Fortune".  That's fair.  Usually I have to be drunk to watch the show, so who am I to judge if they thought they needed to be drunk to make it.  But usually when I'm drinking and things start spinning, it's not a good thing.
  •  From the "Victim Selection Process Failure" Department - A teenager in Florida is in jail for burglary after he broke into the home of a police officer.  Around here, a lot of officers bring their cruisers home, and if that's also true in this case, then Mr. Einstein here had all the warning he needed.  The report says that the officer restrained the suspect, so I guess he's lucky he's not listed as a victim of gun violence.
  • From the "Spotting a Trend" Department - Following the example of American gun manufacturers, LEGO has begun marketing its block sets to girls.  The toy giant will include sets with pastel colored blocks and kits that make beauty parlors.  I take the same stance on pink LEGO's as I do on pink guns:  If that's what it takes for you to buy and enjoy a product, have at it.  But almost every woman I know shoots evil black guns just as well as they do the pink ones, and the girls I know who play with LEGO's tend to make the same thing as their male counterparts:  houses and guns.
  • From the "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise" Department - Officials at the United Nations called the police recently when a fake diplomatic pouch containing two bags of cocaine were found.  Of course, the U.N. is disavowing any knowledge of the Peruvian marching powder.  I mean, it's not like the U.N. would have a narcotics trafficker mixed in amongst the dictators, potentates, spies, and sycophants.  But hey, if the U.N. snorted a bit of the devil's dancing dust every once in a while, they might get something constructive done.

My Newest Time Waster

H/T to An Ordinary American

Let's hunt some prairie dogs!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


The state of North Carolina has offered a settlement of $50,000 to people who were forcibly sterilized by the state prior to the program being shut down in 1974.  The principle subject of the article was sterilized in 1968 when a board of 5 people labeled her as "feebleminded" and decided she should be sterilized because they worried she might become promiscuous.  The lady was 14 at the time and a pregnant victim of rape.  This "feebleminded" woman has since gone on to graduate from school and be a productive member of society.  Draw your own conclusions there. 

This one hits close to home for me.   My family, like most, has members who are impaired in some way, either mentally, cognitively, or physically.  My sister has learning disabilities, I am an arthritic, and one of my sons is slightly autistic.  I'm a responsible, productive member of society, as is my sister.  My son may be one someday, if he can ever grow out of the case of the galloping stupids that every teenager goes into. 

My point is that under the standards that these boards, which were active in at least 30 states and sterilized 65,000 citizens, any of us could be considered genetically undesirable and sterilized. 

I'm not trying to Godwin here, but if the term "Final Solution" just went through your mind, then we have something in common. Eugenics, whether it's done under the auspices of a fascistic regime in Europe or promoted by Margaret Sanger in the United States, is evil.

Can the state of North Carolina truly compensate Ms. Riddick for what was done to her?  Definitely not.  She was fortunate to have a son with whom she has remained close.  But thousands of others were sterilized before they could have children.  Money won't do it.

Now the state wants to compensate victims with $50,000.  If only 2000 people who were forcibly sterilized in North Carolina are still alive, the state will spend at most $100,000,000.  That's assuming they can find all of the victims and all of them take the check instead of taking it as the insult it is.  

But the road for the victims of eugenics could be smoothed considerably if the governments in question would make a true apology.  Ex-governor Easley issued a one line apology in 2002.  Governor Perdue and the state legislature, as well as the leadership of the other states who perpetrated this barbarity, need to make a public apology that does more than check the block and throw money at the problem.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 24

Well I've said it before and I'll say it again — America's best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.

Caption This Photo

Today's Earworm

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Overheard in the Living Room

Irish Woman, watching the end of "The Empire Strikes Back" with Boo - "Where's Han Solo?"
DaddyBear, distracted by going through the monthly bills - "He's frozen in carbonite.   Haven't you seen this before?"
Irish Woman - "Well, yeah, but it's been years.  So the rebel fleet just drifts around and the new DeathStar is chasing them?"
DaddyBear - "The new DeathStar hasn't been started yet.  That's the next movie.  There's a gap of a few years between this movie and Jedi.  A lot happens in those years by the way.  Luke continues to improve his Jedi powers, Leia has to get her metal bikini body, Lando has to make all those Colt .45 commercials, and Chewbacca becomes a Ron Paul supporter."

Books for Junior Officers

H/T to Blackfive for pointing this new list out.

Company Command has done a survey of Army officers about what they read and then published the top fifty.  They call it Read2Lead.  I've always thought that when a leader isn't doing his job, he ought to be learning how to do it better.  I was blessed to have a Command Sergeant Major in Germany who believed that an NCO should read through all of the same reading lists as the officers he serves under.  He would assign reading at each NCO development session, and expected us to be able to discuss the contents of each of them, the lessons to be learned, and how they applied to us as Intelligence professionals.

Here's the list from Read2Lead, with ones I've read in bold and my notes:

(Links to Amazon if you want to get your own copy will also drop a few shekels in Uncle's gun fund.)
  1. Once an Eagle - Read it, reread it, made my son read it.  My daughter will also read it, and so will Boo when he gets old enough.  It's a morality play about the selfless warrior played against the self-interested careerist, but you have to have ideals to strive for, and this one provides them with sprinkles on top.  The lessons in this one apply to anyone, military or not.
  2. We Were Soldiers Once…and Young - Excellent telling of the story of one of the first big fights in Vietnam. Also gave me background information when I learned who Rick Rescorla was.
  3. Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat
  4. Taking the Guidon: Exceptional Leadership at the Company Level
  5. Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle
  6. Small Unit Leadership: A Commonsense Approach
  7. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society - I've read some excerpts from this, and I need to read the whole thing.
  8. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest - Another one that I've read and reread.  Also gave to my sons to read, and will give to the daughter when she's old enough.
  9. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
  10. Infantry Attacks - Read all of it in English and then reread parts of it in German.  There is a difference in content.
  11. A Message to Garcia
  12. NIV Study Bible
  13. The Prince
  14. On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace - I've read some excerpts from this, and I need to read the whole thing.
  15. The Good Soldiers
  16. Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae
  17. About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior - Read it initially as a young PFC.  Reread it every couple of years since.  If half of what Hackworth says about his career is true, he was as hard as chicken lips.
  18. The Leadership Lessons of Jesus: A Timeless Model for Today’s Leaders
  19. Principle-Centered Leadership
  20. The Defence of Duffer’s Drift
  21. The Heights of Courage: A Tank Leader’s War on the Golan
  22. How to Win Friends and Influence People - Believe it or not, I've read this one.  One of my former employers thought I needed "people skills".
  23. Team Yankee - Great novel.  A little dated now, but the leadership shown by the main character still shines.
  24. The Forgotten Soldier
  25. East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout In Korea, 1950
  26. Leadership and Training for the Fight: A Few Thoughts on Leadership and Training from a Former Special Operations Soldier
  27. The Places In Between
  28. Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, United States Army, Vietnam - Another great one by Hackworth.  He expands on something from his first book and discusses how he took a broken down battalion and turned them into fighters.
  29. Street Without Joy - I used to think this was kind of dated, but considering how Iraq and Afghanistan are going, I know now that I was wrong.
  30. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t
  31. The Village
  32. First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
  33. Passion of Command: The Moral Imperative of Leadership
  34. Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II
  35. Leadership: The Warrior’s Art
  36. Company Command: The Bottom Line
  37. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters
  38. The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa
  39. Infantry in Battle
  40. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  41. Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer
  42. Words for Warriors: A Professional Soldier’s Notebook
  43. The Arab Mind
  44. Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessonsfrom General Ulysses S. Grant
  45. It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
  46. Muddy Boots Leadership: Real Life Stories and Personal Examples of Good, Bad, and Unexpected Results
  47. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations
  48. This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History
  49. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
  50. The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander
The list is interesting because it's the books that our young leaders, who will be our battalion and brigade leaders in the next war, are reading for their own professional enrichment.

I think I need to read more.  I haven't read too many books on the list that have been published since I got out.  How about the rest of y'all?

30 Days of Reagan - Day 23

I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.

Thought for the Day

DaddyBear's rules for watching political speeches, regardless of the political affiliation of the speaker:

  1. Assume you're being lied to.

Actually, that's about it.  If you can keep that in mind, then you'll do better than 99% of the people in your demographic.

Today's Earworm

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sporterized M1903-A3

A while back I was wandering through my gun store, and took a look at their bargain rack.  They usually have a couple of Mosin's and the occasional Enfield there.  One old rifle was mixed in with the used muzzleloaders and such, and something about it caught my eye.  After taking a good look, I realized what I had:  A sporterized M1903, with an asking price of $225.

Closer inspection showed that it was a Smith Corona M1903-A3.

WECSOG.  Some things will just make a man cry
A previous owner had drilled and tapped it a couple of times, finally settling on a Weaver side mount and a scope of unknown manufacture and quality.  Almost all of the markings on the scope were worn away.  Other than the holes in the receiver, the rifle appears to be in good shape.  The finish is pretty thin on much of the gun.  There is a bit of surface rust here and there, but I can't find any pitting.

The person who sporterized it didn't cut the barrel, so the original arsenal marks are still there:

The arsenal mark says "SC above the Ordnance Corps Symbol above "4  43"

Not sure what the "U" mark on the bolt means

Finish on the bolt is spotty, but not bad
I tried to get pictures of the bore, but couldn't get the camera to cooperate.  It's shiny, and the grooves in the rifling are sharp.    My guess is that the gun was brought out of the cabinet every so often, fired at the range or at a deer, then cleaned up and put back in the cabinet.

Here's an indication of how long ago the sporterizing was done:

1976 Bi-Centennial Quarter embedded in an old RedHead stock.
The glue holding it in has turned yellow with age.
So what are my plans for it?  In the near term, I'm going to give it a good cleaning, put a better scope on it, and use it for my deer rifle.  Assuming of course, that it still shoots well.  It seems to be mechanically OK, and the trigger is pretty good for a mil-surp.  There's about 1/4 inch of easy travel back to a stopping point, then another 1/8 inch against resistance to where it breaks.   Next, I need to get a manual on how to care for it that shows all of the parts that I'll need for restoration.  As time and money permit, I'm going to collect all of the parts I need to put original-ish furniture and sights on it. I'll see if I can get a gunsmith to fill in the holes that are drilled in the receiver, then see about getting it re-parkerized.  I'll be sure to mark it in such a way that no-one will confuse it with a collectible gun, though.  No amount of restoration will make this more than a shooter, and a serious collector would notice it right away.  However, I don't want one of my grandchildren to sell it to someone and both of them be unaware that it's not original.

I talked the clerk at the store down to $200, which is less than CMP was selling M1903 actions for when I was up there last summer.  I figure I'll have to put another $200 in parts on her, then another couple of hundred or so to get her assembled, repaired, and re-parkerized.  Not bad, considering how rare and expensive even an abused M1903 is getting these days.

So, I guess I've got my first project gun.  I won't be able to restore it soon due to money constraints, but as I see parts that I can afford, I'll pick them up and squirrel them away.  Hopefully by the time Girlie Bear heads off to college, I'll have what I need and the money to get it done up right.  The first .30-06 I ever fired was a sporterized 1903, and I've always wanted one.  Now my goal is to reverse the sporterizing as much as possible and restore this beauty to as close as original as I can.

The American Peasant Class

I've heard and read a lot of references lately to the "Democrat plantation".  The term refers to the belief that Americans of African descent will tend to support Democrat politicians and causes so long as Democrats continue to provide them with bread and circuses.

I'm not just calling out Democrats on this.  The Republicans have their taken-for-granted class too: conservative voters.  For an example, consider the push to make Romney the nominee even though his appeal to the conservative base of the party is shaky at best.

You can call them plebs, serfs, peasants, peons, or whatever; it's all the same:  people who are brought up in a system that assumes that they are at the bottom of the ladder, don't see that there are better options, and have little to no motivation to find something better or different are used to ensure that some political movement or another gets and stays in power.

Every person or group that wants to exert control over everyone else requires a lower class because it provides the muscle, either at the ballot box or in the street.  The Chekists in the USSR didn't draw from the cream of Bolshevik society.  They recruited their foot soldiers from the lower classes of Russian/Soviet culture and used them to instill fear in anyone who might oppose the regime.

The Democrats have their reliable voting block of urban African-Americans.  The Republicans have their reliable voting block of conservative middle-class voters.  Either way, they're all just peasants working the fields of those who tell them just enough scary stories about the bogeymen on the other plantation to keep them in line and voting a straight party ticket.

Thoughts like this are one of the reasons that I'm considering myself an independent voter more and more.   Maybe I'm just cynical, but I honestly don't believe that either party cares at all about what happens to the people on the streets of America so long as their personal gravy trains and power trips keep rolling. In this way, they're no better in my eyes than the most staunch Stalinist or banana republic dictator.  So long as we all know our place and do as directed, they're just fine.  If one of us pokes our head up and dares to bleat out of time with the rest of the herd, then they drop the hammer down on us or cut us off from the herd lest our disease of independent thinking infect the rest of the flock.  Only if enough of us make our voices heard do we have hope that those who think they rule our country will listen.

So I'm going to stop being a good peasant.  I will vote for a good Democrat instead of a bad Republican if I think that the Dem would do a better job.  I refuse to vote for or against something on the ballot just because the local Republican committee thinks I ought to, and I won't be quiet about it.  Hopefully others will get the same idea.

What do you call it when the peasants quit working the fields or toiling in the factories?  You call it revolution. 

30 Days of Reagan - Day 22

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.

Monday, January 23, 2012

News Roundup

  • From the "Yanking the Leash" Department - The Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant before affixing a GPS device to a vehicle in order to track a suspect's movements.  I agree with this.  If the police want to know where I go and when, they ought to have to go before a judge and prove their case a bit.  Of course, any policeman tracking my movements is going to die of boredom, but hey, I might become interesting again.  It could happen!
  •  From the "Pretty Lights" Department - A large and powerful solar flare is expected to impact flights over the Earth's poles this week.  I expect to be going out and watching the Northern Lights if the sky is clear.  I need to get a short wave radio one of these days so that I can show Girlie Bear how to listen to the aurora borealis.  It'll be a bummer if the storm interferes with digital communicaac8qfnq1l24kinmva8.
  • From the "Tread Lightly" Department - My senator, Rand Paul, was detained at the Nashville airport yesterday because he refused to allow a TSA agent to perform a proctological exam on him after the porn-o-tron showed an anomaly on his leg. Apparently showing the part of the body that's been indicated isn't good enough.  For those of you paying attention, inconveniencing a senator who will have an impact on your funding is considered a less than optimal move for a federal agency.  Personally, I hope this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
  • From the "Wishing Her Luck" Department - Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in an assassination attempt by a deranged man last year, has announced that she is resigning her seat in Congress so that she can concentrate on her recovery.  I wish Mrs. Giffords luck and continued progress.  Brain injuries are a hard row to hoe, and she's going to need all the time and energy she can muster.
  • From the "Steam" Department - NASA has announced that it has observed and recorded a comet disintegrating as it plunged into the sun. I can draw a political line from this in that if the Republicans don't get their act together soon, that's what's going to happen to them in November.
  • From the "Blotto in a Volvo" Department - A man in Florida was arrested after police discovered he was drunk.  Nothing particularly newsworthy there.  Unfortunately, people get drunk and climb into the driver's seat every day.  What is unique here is that the gentleman was so drunk he didn't notice he was missing a tire.  Now, I've had a tire fall off of a car before, and it puts on quite a light and sound show, so you'd have to be pretty messed up not to notice.  Maybe he just thought the sparks was part of a new flame job he didn't know he had.
  • From the "Prescient Without a License" Department - Authorities in Massachusetts are summoning psychics in the Boston area to a special board to explain why they are operating without a license.  Apparently in order to look at auras, stare at tea leaves, and gaze into crystal balls in Boston, you have to give city hall their pound of flesh.  I'm guessing the psychics will cooperate fully.  I mean, it's not like they're holding the tribunal in Salem or anything.  Although, if I were one of these people, I'd be getting with anyone else and seeing if anyone has a bad vibe.  You just never know.
  • From the "Don't Let The Door Hit You" Department - A member of the Norwegian government has stated his opinion that unemployed immigrants should go home and stop utilizing the generous benefits of the Scandinavian country.  Sounds good to me, and I'm not surprised that people would be staying in Norway for the benefits.  It's not like they're staying for the mild winters.  
  • From the "Don't Mess With Grandma" Department - An 85 year old woman saved her husband's life by driving off an angry moose with a shovel recently.  Having been chased by a moose across two lakes in the Minnesota Boundary Waters, I can appreciate how much guts it took to start whacking the swamp donkey about the head and shoulders.  One thing's for sure:  That husband will never give his wife lip again.  Not only does he owe her his life, he also knows that she is not afraid to die.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 21

"We the people" tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us.

My Take - This opinion, of course, assumes that we can still vote our way out of this.

Quote of the Day

I don't like it when the pilots introduce themselves and use their first names.  "This is Captain Jimmy and First Officer Zachary".  This isn't a puppet show, you're flying a plane!  I want some credentials:  "This is Captain John R. Richardson, U.S. Navy, 1500 carrier landings, 43 confirmed kills in air-to-air combat.  Take your seat belts off, I got this.".

-- Greg Hahn, on the Bob and Tom Show.  Link may be NSFW for some W's.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thoughts on the Weekend

  • There is no quicker way for a wife to get her husband's attention than for her to go to the basement and then shout from the bottom of the stairs "Honey?  Where's the Saws-All?".
  • When you tell your lovely wife you want to wait to do work in the basement until the renovation of the bathroom closet she's in the middle of is finished, you should plan to spend half your Saturday pulling down plaster, metal lath, and two-by-fours that are older than you are.
  • You always find the breathing masks 10 minutes after you finish inhaling all that plaster dust.
  • It is indeed not necessary to use a reciprocating saw to demo a bathroom closet.  
  • Corollary:  Insisting that getting the reciprocating saw out of the basement is not necessary means you will tear it all out by hand with your wife making suggestions.
  • It is physically impossible to keep a band-aid on a cut in the palm of your hand from a pry bar.
  • The formula for a good afternoon does not include putting your youngest son in a headlock so that the barber can finish the haircut he's halfway through.
  • Mark your  calendars.  Today I got to watch all four quarters of a football game.  Of course, I missed the overtime, but I'll take what I can get.
  • Prepping Fail:  Noting that you are going to be getting some pretty bad weather, you check the preparations for tornadoes and power outages.  You turn on the battery operated radio, and the batteries are dead.  You go to the supply cabinet, and you have no D cell batteries.  So, instead of watching the overtime of said football game, you get to drive through the rain to Superdoopermegamart to purchase a pack of batteries.  Note to self - Order a case of D batteries.

Quote of the Day

You came into this world covered in someone else's blood you should, in the midst of a violent attack upon you, at least leave in the same fashion.
-- Matthew, Straight Forward in a Crooked World, Dark Arts for Good Guys:  The Right to Knife Pt. II

30 Days of Reagan - Day 20

And we are especially not going to tolerate these attacks from outlaw states run by the strangest collection of misfits, Looney Tunes and squalid criminals since the advent of the Third Reich […] There can be no place on earth where it is safe for these monsters to rest,or train or practice their cruel and deadly. We must act together – or unilaterally, if necessary – to ensure that these terrorists have no sanctuary, anywhere."

My Take - President Reagan said these words in reference to rogue states such as Libya and North Korea, but his words 16 years before September 11 were prophetic, but ignored by succeeding administrations.  Those who want to bring the craziness of the rest of the world to our shores need to know that our reaction will be fast, violent and brutal.  We also need to be proactive to find and eliminate threats before they reach our shore.  That's why I support a reduction of our foreign involvement, but not a complete dismantlement of our world-wide defense strategy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Today's Earworm

I'm not normally a big fan of blondes, but for Faith Hill, I'll make an exception.

News Roundup

  • From the "Gangster Guns" Department - Two guns formerly owned by the notorious Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were recently auctioned in Kansas City.  The Thompson submachine gun and Winchester shotgun sold for $210,000.  I hope the new owner is a young person, because by the time the ATF OK's the transfer of the machine gun, they're going to be antiques themselves.
  • From the "No Kidding?" Department - The captain of the Italian cruise ship that ran aground after hitting a rock has admitted that he "messed up".  Remember, this is the guy who ran his ship into an island, got off the boat as fast as he could, then argued with rescue coordinators as to whether or not he should return to his ship and assist in rescue efforts.   Son, "messed up" is what I call it when I put caramel flavored creamer in my coffee when I meant to put in un-flavored.  What you did can best be described as "poking the pooch", "stepping on your schwanz", or "biting the big one".  I wonder how you say "soup sandwich" in Italian?
  • From the "Performing as Planned" Department - A TSA agent and his wife have been charged with theft after investigators discovered that the agent was putting pilfered belongings from travelers in a pocket that had been sewn into his uniform.  For those of you who are keeping track, this one goes in the ever-increasing "Breaking the Law and Violating People's Rights" column of your scorecard, while the "Catching Terrorists" column should add up to precisely "diddly" over "squat".
  • From the "Hole in my Head" Department - A man in Illinois walked around for several days with a 3 1/2 inch nail in his head.  He took a knock to the noggin with a nail gun, thought the nail had missed, and went about his business.  I can sympathize with him.  I once walked around for a couple of days with a piece of buckshot in my hand before noticing that my left hand was turning funny colors and changing shape.  Some would call that a high pain tolerance.  However, the official report from the emergency room probably included the term "not too bright".

30 Days of Reagan - Day 19

Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thought for the Day

It is by Browning alone that I set lead in motion.  It is by the squeezing of the trigger that the hammer comes forward, the primer becomes flame, the powder becomes gas.  It is by Browning alone that I set lead in motion. 


I have to make an announcement:  I am going to vote for Ron Paul in the Kentucky Republican primary.  I'm not going to be voting for Paul because I like him.  I came to this decision in a process of elimination, and Paul was the only one I can't discard:

  • Newt Gingrich:  I'm as flawed a human being as you can get, but I can't vote for a serial adulterer who didn't flee Washington like his hair was on fire after he wasn't re-elected.  Yes, I'm making a subjective and probably unfair judgement call about someones character based on what I know about his personal life.  But to be fair, I did the same thing to Bill Clinton, Gingrich's nemesis.  He's a great debater, or at least a combative one who would make Obama work for it, but I've never seen anything from him that tells me he'd be able to lead the country. 
  • Rick Santorum:  Seems like a good guy, but after the things I've heard him say about gay people and their ability to marry, I can't support him.  A president can't be choosy about whose rights he holds dear.  I always say that if the rights of one of us are violated, then the rights of all of us are violated, and I believe that if I as a twice-divorced heterosexual man can choose whatever other human being I want to be with (hopefully) the rest of my life, then every other citizen, gay or straight, should be able to do that too.  Look at it this way, if he was saying "I love guns, just not those guns" instead of "I love marriage, just not those marriages" would you vote for him?
  • Mitt Romney -  Do I believe that Romney will be Obama light?  Actually, I've come away from that.  Romney isn't a wannabe socialist.  I see Romney as a political chameleon who will try to govern through consensus rather than fight for what he believes is right.  He will compromise base principles in order to say he's accomplished something, even if it's counter to the philosophy of the people who elected him, and therefore I won't vote for him. 
So I come to Ron Paul.  Now, I like a lot of what Dr. Paul has to say about domestic policy, but I have problems with his foreign policy stance.  I'm all for reducing our foreign military involvement, but I think he wants to cut too close to the bone.  I also know that what a candidate promises on the campaign trail, what a sitting president tries to do in concert with the Congress, and what actually happens in the end are three very different things, so maybe my concerns aren't that big a deal.

Do I think he has much of a chance of getting elected?  I have no idea.  Obama would be able to paint him as an extremist kook, but he would be able to re-energize the Tea Party movement.  If he chose a conservative running mate, he might have a shot.

However, none of the Republicans are the kind of candidate and leader who you can look at and say "He will beat Obama".  Gingrich and Santorum will bring the nutroots out of the woodwork, and Romney is the opponent that Obama wants and he won't get the Republicans to the polls. 

So I'll cast my vote in the primary, try to get excited over the summer, and consider third party voting in November.  I'm seriously beginning to think that it would be better for Obama to have the White House with a Republican Congress than for any of these four to have a compliant Republican Congress.

30 Days of Reagan - Day 18

The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Blogs Roundup

  • Robb does a review of a holster maker in my neck of the woods.  I'll have to stop by and give his wares a look.
  • Flier389 relates a great story of an encounter he had with a mama bear and her cubs once upon a time.
  • Mr.G's has a great write up on gun control and how it seeks to make slaves of free men.
  • Warning, this post from Auntie J. is sweet enough to make you adjust your insulin.
  • TinCan Assassin is going to have a lot of fun raising his daughter.  The force is strong with this one.  
  • Shepherd K. has good news about his new little one, and learns the parent's lesson of "If you build it, they will spew upon it".  I would have commented with some words of encouragement, but didn't see a comment link.
  • DefenseTech has a quick write-up on a concept design for a stealthy military cargo plane.  Looks neat, but my totally non-flying self has to ask why you would need a fleet of cargo aircraft to replace the C-5 that use technology designed to make bombers survivable over an area defended by a sophisticated anti-air infrastructure.  I could see having a few for dropping supplies behind the lines or dropping in paratroopers covertly, though.
  • Big Hollywood is reporting that some of the big Obama contributors in Hollywood are pulling their support of the President after he came out against SOPA and PIPA.  Gee, that's too bad.

Thoughts on the Evening

  • I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  It's better to be shot and lay on the ground for an hour than it is to be captured, flex-cuffed, and questioned.
  • Apparently the United States military is recruiting rhinos now.  One of them powerslammed me when I was uncooperative about being flex-cuffed.
  • Note to self:  When being questioned and you are asked what you do for a living, telling the interrogator "I used to be a soldier until I took an arrow to the knee" might be very funny, but it will not endear you to said interrogator.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Maddening Linguistics Question

OK, this is making my brain itch, and I need your help.

I'm an upper Mid-West transplant, so Southernisms sometimes don't work for me.

My question to the crowd:

When referring to the set of furniture in a given room, is it a "suite" or "suit"?


"We went to the store the other day and bought a new bedroom suit"

My mind says it's "suite".  But four different Kentucky people, including my lovely and long-suffering wife, say "suit".

Also, when referring to the little shelf that sits at the base of a window, is it a "sill" or "seal"?  Again, several Kentucky people use "seal", while I've always said "sill".

Please help.  It's making my head hurt.


I don't think it surprises anyone when I say that I'm pro-gun rights.  But you can't be for the 2nd Amendment if you're not just as strongly for the other amendments.  I don't agree with the anti-gun bloggers and activists, but I will do nothing to stop them from making their arguments and I will resist those who try to shut them up.  I have a visceral dislike for those who prey on our society, but I am even more opposed to those who would deny them proper legal representation, a fair trial, or have them convicted on evidence gained through illegal means.  I have a lot of respect for law enforcement, but I have nothing but contempt for those who use their power as a policeman to abuse other citizens.  I have my own religion, and I don't agree with the tenets and practices of some other religions, but I'm not going to try to impose my faith on someone else or prevent them from exercising their own faith so long as they don't hurt someone else.

Our country was created when a group of people took the stand that their rights as Englishmen were being violated by a distant monarch.  They believed that each of us is endowed at birth with several rights.  A condition of ratifying the Constitution was that amendments to it that restrict the ability of the government to infringe on those rights be ratified along with it.  The Constitution doesn't grant us any rights; it just lists out those things with which the government may never interfere.

Over the past 100 years or so, those rights have been chipped at by those who believe they are doing good.  Honestly, they usually do it because we clamor for them to do something for us.  Each time we go to the government for a solution, we ratchet down our freedoms a little more.


"We're at war!  Bolsheviks are taking over Russia!  We have to keep foreigners and malcontents from endangering our American way of life!  Do something!"

Click - Espionage Act of 1917
Click - Putting Bolsheviks and anti-war activists in jail


"People are getting drunk and causing misery in our nation!  Do something!"

Click - 18th Amendment


"25 percent of us are unemployed!  People are hungry!  The nation is tottering on the edge of revolution!  Do something!"

Click - Commerce Clause abuse


"Gangsters are using guns to commit crimes!  Do something!"

Click - NFA 34


"We're at war!  There are a lot of immigrants in the country that come from our enemies!  Do something!"

Click - Internment of citizens of Japanese, Italian and German descent


"People are assassinating political leaders!  Anyone can get a gun wherever they want!  We don't feel safe!  Do something!"

Click - GCA 68


"Hippies are getting high!  The fabric of society is tearing!   Do something!"

Click - Drug laws and the War on Drugs

1986: - 

"People are still buying machine guns in this day and age!  Do something!"

Click - Hughes Amerndment


"Gangs are selling a new form of cocaine to poor people!  I don't like that!  It should be illegaler than selling me that powder form that I like to use on weekends!  Do something!"

Click - Crack Cocaine Laws


"Criminals are using scary looking guns to kill people!  Innocent children are dieing in the street!  Do something!"

Click - Brady Bill


"People are saying or writing things that offend me or piss me off!  Do something!"

Click - Hate speech codes


"People are exercising the fair use part of copyright!  I'm not making money off of it!  Do something!"

Click - DMCA


"We're at war!  We need new security organizations to make us safe!  We have to give our police new powers so that they can fight terrorism!  Do something!"

Click - PATRIOT Act


"Those people are living on land that I want so that I can make money!  They're standing in the way of progress!  Do something!"

Click - Kelo v. City of New London


"People don't have health insurance and the cost of getting health care is rising!  I don't want to take the steps to make it more affordable because those would be hard!  I don't want to pay for it myself! Do something!"

Click - Obamacare


"People are still using the Internet to exercise the fair use part of copyright!  I'm still not making as much money as I want to!  Do something!"

Click - PIPA and SOPA

Every one of those clicks is a part of our birthright being locked down so that we can't exercise it, and I'm only hitting the ones that are at the top of my mind at the moment.  There are many more, and we are locking ourselves down so well that demanding that we be left alone to exercise our rights gets us labelled as dangerous.  Each and every one of them happened because a significant portion of our population demanded that the government do something to make their lives better.  They do it out of want or fear, but rarely think about the consequences of their demands.  Now their unintended consequences are killing our republic.  Each time the government provides or restricts something, it becomes easier for something new to be done that restricts our rights.

In a way, we're a bunch of frogs that have been demanding that someone turn up the heat under our pot of water every so often, and now we're almost boiled.

What we need to do is get back to basics in our nation.  We need to all sit down, look at the Constitution, including those parts we don't care for, and start yanking the leash of government to get it out of those parts of our lives in which it has no business.  We need to stop looking at the government as the provider of solutions, and start accepting that life is hard and that we have to take care of ourselves.
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DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at daddybearden.blogspot.com.