Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First they came for my...

Billy Beck puts a fine point on it.

Selective enforcement of arcane and difficult-to-understand laws (or laws from another country entirely), to appease supporters and punish opponents, is the crowning hallmark of tyrannical government. The government that is big enough to give you what you want, is big enough to take anything they can from you. A government which reaches into personal social preference, rather than ensuring personal Liberty, is a government ripe for abuse by those in power and will be used eventually to oppress the people.

Those of you on the right who want to push the Gay and Drug and Marriage issues, and those of you on the left who want to push the Gay and Environmental and Welfare issues, have now gotten the government that you asked for. And brothers and sisters, you asked for it.

Do you Love it? Do you hate it? There it is, the way you made it. - Frank Zappa

The Endarkenment continues apace. Hope you like it. Hope you are prepared.

Newbius
|||

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Melson is OUT as ATF Director

BATFE Acting Director Ken Melson is no longer in charge. He is being moved internally to a new role as "Senior Advisor on Forensic Science" (AKA, the department of making s*** up). Tellingly he is still in the Department of Justice and, therefore, under their control with regard to his ability to tell the truth about Gunwalker.

Melson's replacement is B. Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota.
Jones first served as U.S. Attorney in Minnesota from 1998 to 2001. He sat out the Bush administration, as a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis specializing in complex business litigation and corporate criminal defense.

Jones was confirmed again as U.S. Attorney in August (ed. 2009), and shortly thereafter Attorney General Eric Holder tapped him to chair the AGAC, a powerful policy body that meets with top department officials about once every six weeks. (SOURCE)

From the looks of Jones' bio, he appears to be a partisan hack. Originally a Clinton appointee, he took a powder during the Bush years, only to come back once Holder and Obama took the reins at DOJ. I do not like how this is unfolding. Traver is unable to get confirmed. So instead, they bring in a dark-horse nominee with strong Leftist chops. Kind of makes one wonder what happens next at ATF...

Newbius

Melson story at POLITICO
B.Todd Jones info from MAIN JUSTICE

ETA: More from Main Justice about Ken Melson, and Dennis Burke, two figures who are central to the Gunwalker Scandal and cover-up.

Hoplophobia

So, I am at a Trader Joe's in Northern Virginia. I am perusing the selection of Cabernet when I realize that I am blocking the aisle with my cart. I look up and apologize to the woman with the pained expression for blocking the way, when she begins to apologize profusely and say it is her fault for intruding.

What?!?

She says (in a panicky, rapidly-rising squeak) that she wouldn't dream of upsetting me, especially considering the shirt that I am wearing, all while skittering away to the other end of the store like a cottontail evading a coyote.

Wow. If the sight of an AK-47 silk-screened on a T-shirt causes such PSH, I wonder what would have happened if I had been open-carrying instead? I might have had to explain to the Po-Po what the difference between shopping and brandishing is. For sure, I would have had to clean up aisle three...

Newbius

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weather II

Irene turned out to be a big yawner at Casa Newbius. We had one branch torn off of a tree, slamming onto my deck at the peak of the storm. No damage noted:

The local garden spider did her preparations, too. She went to the BACK SIDE of her web and bravely rode out the storm's fury:

We hope to have the local destruction attended to by mid-day.

Hope your hurricane went as well.

Newbius

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weather

Yes. I am in the projected path of ZOMGANOTHERHURRYCAINE!!!!11!Eleventy!

(sigh)

Earlier this week we had a little rumbler come through. 5.8 on the "wreck-ter" scale. Where I come from, that barely stops conversation over dinner. Now we face a hurricane. Projected to be 75+mph winds when it hits the house. With rain.

(yawn)

That's like Santa Ana winds without the fire.

This is not the "End of the world as we know it" people. It is weather. It is natural phenomena. It happens every year. It is predictable. It is only a tragedy to those who are unprepared for it. And only then because the sob-story makes good camera-fodder for the talking heads at 6PM.

Get over it.

Oh, and if the Scat hits the air-movement device and the Free S**t Army wants some of mine? It would be better to ask politely for help than to try force. I still have Beauty and the Beast; and a half-decent rifle, too.

Pax,

Newbius

QOTD - Josey Wales

"Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not going to make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plum, mad-dog, mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up, then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is."
Clint Eastwood, The Outlaw Josey Wales

Or, to put it another way:
"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up."
Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941

I needed that.

Newbius
|||

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

QOTD- Tam Slick

In an aside about helmet laws, Tam brings the full force of RIGHTS down on the 'anti' argument about guns:
...this is one of my biggest gripes about wading into fact- and data-laden poo-flinging arguments with anti-gunners about crime rates and murders-per-100k and so forth. The correct answer is "Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can't own a gun? I don't care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn't. So piss off."
Bravo.

Sometimes I think we try too hard. We really DO have all of the facts, figures, and statistics to back up our side on the gun issue. More powerfully though, we have THE RIGHT to own, carry, and use our guns; and more importantly, we have the RIGHT whether codified in the law or not.

Because we have the right to life, and the right to defend that life, period.

Newbius
|||

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaken, not stirred

We got a little taste of my former home today, in the form of a 5.8-5.9 temblor. Minimal damage, kitties are calm again, and it is time for a good martini.

Actually, it is time for a Vesper. I need to get the supplies for it though.

Newbius

Top 100 Fantasy and Sci-Fi (Or, things I still need to read)

The NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels with the ones I have read in bold:

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card Read on 8/25
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert - I have read the Trilogy
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Only 3233.
I make Kevin Baker look well-read. :)

Newbius

Who are they?

I have long assumed that the people actually pulling the strings and shifting the levers of power are few in number. I believe that they include Billionaire financiers, Labor leaders, Crony Capitalist industrialists, and ideologues at various think tanks and foundations around the country.

I suspect that the actual number is around 100 people. My questions for you:

Who do you think are the most influential 100 people in the USA right now? Who are the people pushing the policy decisions, legislation, and popular opinion? Who are the One Hundred people most harmful to our Founder's Republic?

Newbius

Preparing for Irene

Got the gasoline for the generator, got a case of beer, got my sign:
Image Source picpimp.net



Monday, August 22, 2011

A Different Plantation

There has been some discussion recently about how the black population in America is being taken for granted by the Democrat party. They are irrelevant to the political process because roughly 95% vote Democrat every election. "Why bother with courting a demographic that's already sold their collective souls to you?" is the basic premise.

I wonder...have gun owners sold themselves onto a different plantation? Are we taken for granted by the Republicans?

Given the choice between Statists who hate all individual liberty (except for abortion and gay rights), and Statist-lites who 'go along-get along' (but are good on guns), do we choose the wobbly Republican most times?

Discuss...

Newbius

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reminder: Northcoast Bloggershoot II

The Breda Fallacy: save the date

Now if only we could get JayG to attend...

Stocking up...

I just turned 8 pounds of beef round into 4 pounds of shredded barbecue for sandwiches, and 4 pounds of spicy beef for tacos and burritos. Packaged into 1 pound portions and vac-packed in FoodSaver bags for freezing.

Beef is relatively cheap right now (easier/cheaper to slaughter than to feed...), so I am taking advantage while I can. The really nice thing about storing it this way is you can toss it into a pot of boiling water (like when camping), cut the top, and serve directly from the bag.

How are your preps going?

Newbius

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bringing the shame

The lovely and talented Tam can compose three posts a day, while getting her face drilled by Dentist Wannabee's. Me, I can't do three posts per week while healthy.

Shame on me.

Newbius

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fresh Tortillas

Made some yesterday from scratch. MUCH better than pre-made from the store. I think I might have to get a tortilla press...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yep. What he said

Uncle Jay says it all.

I cannot improve, except to remind people that weird stuff happens whether you are prepared for it or not. Therefore, be prepared for it.

ALWAYS have your gun ready. Always have at least one more within easy reach. I carry at home, all day, every day. There are more guns strategically placed in case I need them. The likelihood of *actually* needing them is pretty small, but it is not non-existent.

When the ride gets rough, will you be ready?

Newbius
|||

H/T Borepatch

Stupid Gun Laws

Well, all of them are stupid since they regulate a THING instead of an action.  Today's example?  California's "Safe Gun" Approved Handgun Roster.

Why is certifying guns for sale in a state stupid? Because it creates idiocies like the one below:

THIS gun is approved for sale in California:



THIS gun is NOT approved for sale in California:

"But they look identical", you say. That's because they ARE identical. Well, except that the "unapproved" gun comes from the factory with 2 of these:

And the approved gun comes with 2 of these:

The above examples are for the XD-45. The XD-9 faces similar restrictions. The only difference between the guns, as-packaged, is the capacity of the magazine. In both cases, the "approved gun" is restricted to 10 round magazines for citizens. Of course, "law enforcement" is exempt from those restrictions, but that is another post for another day. Malum Prohibitum doesn't have to make sense, it just has to ensnare you in the web. The system cannot control honest men and women. They can only control criminals.

Do you understand yet?

Newbius
|||

FTC Note: "Traction Control" (well-regulatedmilitia.com/ffl) is a good vendor.  I am using these images under 'fair use' and am linking back to the source site.  I have not received anything of value in exchange for using his images or linking to him.  He doesn't even know I exist.  So, suck it.  Go pick on Bank of America for their crap customer service and fraudulent lending practices.  Oh, wait...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Hollywood View - My Response

Jeffrey Marsh thinks the Tea Party sympathizers should be rounded up and re-educated.  He believes...well, go read for yourself.  Come back when you are finished there.

Are you back?  Good.  Here is my reply:

So, let me get this straight.  The People (the only legitimate source of political power here in the USA) decided that they didn't want an ever-expanding welfare state presided over by The Enlightened like yourself.  So, in response, they said "Stop spending".  Your response to these people is to propose rounding them up, Soviet-style, and "re-educating them in camps" because they are an impediment to "logical, intelligent governing".

I will give you credit for this much, at least you are honest in your desire to impose tyranny over us poor, unenlightened, unwashed masses.  The only fly in your ointment is the fact that you will have to disarm us first in order to impose your scheme. 

I hope that you have thought that one through to its logical conclusion.  Because, this time we are going to use Bill Clinton's rules of engagement.  Under those rules, the Intelligentsia, the bureaucracy, and the media are all fair game. 

Are you ready for that, mister media critic?  Are you prepared to take on the people who believe that voting will no longer save us from the inevitable conclusion to this conflict of visions?  Are you ready to get your hands dirty?  (I assume not, since the usual expectation is that the military will do your dirty work for you). 

In your deluded fantasy, you pretend that "the debt" is the Republican's fault, and your Teleprompter Reader is just trying to restore order.  I propose instead that expansive government, in opposition to foundational Constitutional principles, is the culprit (and BTW, Congress controls the purse strings-mostly Democratically controlled congresses-but who is counting?). Runaway Government is the problem, not the solution, no matter who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Let me know when you plan to begin your round up of the Tea party sympathizers.  I want to be ready with the popcorn. 

I already have my rifle.

Newbius
|||

H/T RobbAllen and Tam

Monday, August 8, 2011

Customer Service Matters

Late last year, I purchased* a Savage Mark II F (.22LR) for plinking and general fun. I also intended to use it at an Appleseed shoot, and so I wanted something reliable and accurate. I had looked at the Ruger 10/22 and had dismissed it, although there are plenty of people who like the gun. The CZ was a bit out of my price range...

Anyway, after breaking in the gun at the range over the winter, I cleaned it and put it away, satisfied with the accuracy and the feel. Although I had experienced some feeding issues during break-in, I had attributed them to teething problems with a new gun.

Fast-forward to this Spring. I took the kids out to the range and the Savage would.not.feed.reliably. At all. With any of the mags. Accurate? Absolutely! Reliable? No chance.

While at the NRA Convention, I spoke to the nice people at the Savage booth and explained the problems. They said "send it in, with all of the mags and a brief letter. We'll take care of it." Which I did. The gun went out last Monday, arriving at the company on Thursday morning (per FedEx).

I called them this morning to see if they had looked at it and determined the cause of the problem. They had. It was already fixed and on its way to the shipping department. Wow!

The technician detailed the repair: Replaced the magazine well and retention clip, replaced all 5 magazines with new, and reamed the chamber. Tested for alignment and function.

I can't wait for the gun to come home so that I can test it. If the efficiency of the repair shop is any indication of their effectiveness, then I have high hopes. I will update this report as soon as I get a chance to test the rife. So far, I am pleased with the customer support.

Customer Service matters. Good customer service can be the difference between surviving and failing as a company. Given my experience to-date, I will definitely consider another Savage when looking at rifles.

Pax,

Newbius

*FTC Note:  I purchased this product with my own hard-earned scratch.  No inducement was offered to me to post this review of the company's service efficiency, so suck it.  Why don't you bureaucratic numbskulls go after Monsanto or Archer Daniels Midland or something?

Modern Gatling gun?

A couple of weeks ago, I was hosting a friend from out of town on a tour of the National Firearms Museum. Good conversation flowed like fresh water from a spring, and the discussion of interesting firearms was lively.

Several examples of the Gatling gun were on display, from early models on up through the final Improved Model of 1895. Properly manufactured, they were very accurate and could maintain an impressive rate of fire (claimed up to 1200 rounds per minute, but in reality about half that in combat).

Since I am a little on the crazy side, I wondered out loud about making one chambered for .338 Lapua. Just think, extremely accurate long range cartridge, with sustained rates of fire that would make any OPFOR cringe. My friend called Len Savage and left a message asking if it was possible...

Len called back.

Basically, the gist of the conversation was this: Shooting .338 Lapua was an excellent way to go broke quickly. Wouldn't chambering the gun for 7.62x54R make more sense? That ammo is available by the pallet-load very cheaply and is still a pretty formidable round. Other than that, no issues. Also, Gatling replicas are considered single-shot weapons and no NFA paperwork is required (just don't hook up your cordless drill to the crank).

I like the way he thinks.

Anybody got a spare $10k laying around? I have an itch that needs scratching. :)

Newbius

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Open Letter to Speaker Howell

Speaker Howell,

Thank you for your many years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the residents of Stafford County. Your tireless efforts securing our gun rights places you in the vanguard of state Legislators in supporting Liberty.

As you travel your district this campaign season, take note of the state of the economy, and also the developing need for citizens to defend themselves. Budgets are being cut, crime is rising, and the People are becoming prey to gangs and other criminals more frequently. I mention this because there is a small change in our laws that you can initiate, which would enable more citizens of the Commonwealth, and especially those visiting here from out of state, to be self-sufficient in their defense: Loosen the reciprocity requirements with other states.

The current text of the Code of Virginia that deals with reciprocity is in Section 18.2-308, Subsection P, and reads:
P. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day, and (ii) except for the age of the permit or license holder and the type of weapon authorized to be carried, the requirements and qualifications of that state's law are adequate to prevent possession of a permit or license by persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth under this section. The Superintendent of State Police shall (a) in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General determine whether states meet the requirements and qualifications of this section, (b) maintain a registry of such states on the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), and (c) make the registry available to law-enforcement officers for investigative purposes. The Superintendent of the State Police, in consultation with the Attorney General, may also enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with any state qualifying for recognition under this subsection.
I propose amending this section to instead read:
P. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day, and (ii) except for the age of the permit or license holder and the type of weapon authorized to be carried, the requirements and qualifications of that state's law are adequate to prevent possession of a permit or license by persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth under this section. The Superintendent of State Police shall (a) in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General determine whether states meet the requirements and qualifications of this section, (b) maintain a registry of such states on the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), and (c) make the registry available to law-enforcement officers for investigative purposes. The Superintendent of the State Police, in consultation with the Attorney General, may also enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with any state qualifying for recognition under this subsection.
This change would make the minimum standard for reciprocity with another state be only our own standards for issuance of a permit. It does away with the unfunded mandate that another state initiate and maintain an online database, and staff it for our convenience.

Speaker Howell, in making (or sponsoring) this change, you enable law-abiding residents of another state to protect themselves while traveling to Virginia, and you enable Virginians to carry their firearms in places which currently do not recognize our permits today. Places whose only objection to our permits is that we do not recognize theirs.

Please consider this proposal, for the good of the Commonwealth and her citizens.

Respectfully submitted,

Newbius

Monday, August 1, 2011

PoliSpeak - "Cut"

PoliSpeak is that language used by politicians to give the impression of saying one thing, while meaning another entirely. In PoliSpeak, a "cut" is a reduction in the planned spending growth. It is not a reduction from current spending levels, those do not happen in Washington.

Oh, and any guesses what "Bi-Partisan" actually means?

Newbius