Friday, December 21, 2007

More on Mitt

Not to be piling on or anything, but this quote from Mitt Romney in a recent interview with Tim Russert has just got me grinding my teeth. The gist of the answer is that Romney supports the 1994 (so called) Assault Weapons Ban and would sign one if he were President. Then he goes on to say:

"And if there is determined to be, from time to time, a weapon of such lethality that it poses a grave risk to our law enforcement personnel, that’s something I would consider signing. There’s nothing of that nature that’s being proposed today in Washington. But, but I would, I would look at weapons that pose extraordinary lethality…"

This has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard any politician say. "Extraordinarily lethal"? So that would make you "extraordinarily dead" instead of just dead if one of these weapons were used on you? Does it also kill your wife and firstborn child when it kills you, even if they are in a different part of town? Are you any less dead from taking a 30mm cannon round (think A-10 Warthog) through your head as you are from taking a .22 cal round (think Ruger 10/22) through the head? I know cleanup would be more of the pressure-washer variety than just stuffing you into the body bag, but you're still dead!

Maybe they could take you to Miracle Max if you weren't "extraordinarily dead" and get you back on your feet that afternoon! You're only mostly dead!

No politician spouting this kind of twaddle should be on the ballot for Dog-Catcher, let alone President of the United States!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mitt Romney's speech

I'm sure I'm going to get myself in trouble with the thought police and the Federal Bureau of Intolerance with this one: I can't vote for Mitt.

According to some, this makes me a hater of Mormons. Honestly, the fact that he's a Mormon isn't at the top of my list of reasons not to vote for him. At the top of my list is that he has no moral compass when it comes to the issues that matter to conservatives. As I understand it, orthodox Mormon doctrine would be considered pro-life, pro-family, and against special homosexual "rights". Historically Romney has been none of these, but now that he's running for President he expects us to believe he is a faithful Mormon and has changed his mind on all this.

While that may have happened, it is likely it happened because he realizes that in order to become President he needs to hold those positions. Of course, once he's elected how do you know what you can count on him to do? His track record indicates he has not been what he now says he is.

Frankly, I'm tired of finger-in-the-wind politicians in both parties who have no convictions except for their need to stay in office or advance to the next office. And by all appearances that's what Mitt is.

The second thing that bothers me is his statement in his recent speech about his faith that "no authorities of my church" would influence him as President. That seems to say a lot, but to me it creates more questions than it answers.

Objectively, a man's faith has got to be the thing that drives him and influences everything he does, whether it is Mormonism, Buddhism, or atheism. Certainly then the leaders of that man's religious group would exert a certain influence on him, as they do on all their "followers" (for lack of a better term). I know my Pastor would exert a lot of influence on me if I were President, because he would be the one who was encouraging, exhorting, and teaching me. I would bring all this to the decision-making processes of the Presidency.

I would have respected his position a lot more if he would have said something like "My faith drives my life and influences every decision I make. I would seek the counsel of many in the decisions I would have to make as President, but ultimately those decisions are mine alone to make."

I know you're from Michigan, Mitt, but that alone isn't enough for me to vote for you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Button Bucks and Feeling like a Schmuck

The Michgan DNR puts out it's annual Hunting and Trapping guide, and it talks about deer identification. It essentially says that while it is perfectly legal to take a "button buck", you should avoid it so they can grow up and produce more deer. They also give tips on how to know the difference between a button buck and a doe. It has something to do with the buck having a shorter face than the doe.

As you can probably guess, I took a button buck this year, and I am feeling like a schmuck about it. My father-in-law and the next-door neighbor (both experienced hunters) are telling me that there was no way to tell, but it isn't helping me much. I feel like I have violated some unwritten rule and will be looked down upon by other hunters ("That's the guy that shot a button buck last year. Yeah, what a schmuck!") Somehow I now have the Scarlet "BB" branded on my camo.

Having pretty much only seen does in the eight years I have been hunting deer, I guess I didn't have anything to compare deer face lengths to. At least, not until now.

Oh well, it's still venison in the freezer. That's a good thing.

For those interested in this sort of thing: 295gr Powerbelt hollow point over 105gr Triple-7. 30 to 40 yards, double-lung, through and through. Scoped T/C Encore. Dropped where he stood.

One interesting technical note - I used a monopod shooting stick for the first time on this shot and found that I didn't like it too much. The adrenaline was pumping so hard that I was shaking like a leaf and was having a hard time keeping the crosshairs on target even with the stick. I think my lightened trigger helped me here as I didn't need much force to touch it off, so when the crosshairs were in the right spot I just gave a little twitch on the trigger and it went off.

I am certainly preferring a well-braced sitting or rested shot rather than the monopod. Maybe I should try a bipod shooting stick and see if those are any better.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Firearm Deer Season 2007

Well, this week marked the start of firearm deer season here in Michigan. So what was I doing on opening day? Sitting in my office! Yes, you're right - I'm likely not going to shoot any deer from my office, especially considering it's in the basement, and my employer is rabidly anti-firearm and anti-self-defense.

When these arrangements were originally made, I agreed to take the 2nd week of the season because the other guy who I back up with SQL Server administration tasks wanted to take the week to go visit his mom in Arkansas and spend Thanksgiving there (American, not Canadian Thanksgiving, for my readers in the land of the Maple Leaf). The boss likes to have one of us here at all times just in case something needs to be administered.

Today, I find out that the trip was cancelled, and that said co-worker will be working on his roof repair project all week, which he has been working on since the spring! Not a full roof re-do, mind you, just a small overhang on his front porch.

So here I sit, working and blogging, rather than being out in the woods freezing my backside off and hoping a deer decides to amble across the path. I did go out two Sundays ago and made sure my deer gun, a nice Thompson/Center Encore 209x50 muzzleloader, was properly sighted in, and it was putting those 295 grain hollowpoints right where I wanted them (as it usually does). I put a new trigger spring in it over the summer, which gives it a very light 2-1/4 pound trigger pull. My gear is washed with the soap that smells like dirt and leaves, and tonight I will be checking my fanny pack to see that all my "survival gear" is packed and in good condition. I may even go out and get my kill tags tonight if I have time.

But I won't get out into the woods until Wednesday. *sigh*

But at least I get to go out! And there are still Muzzleloader and late firearm seasons before the end of the year, so there are plenty more opportunities to go out. Perhaps I can find a place to blog in the evenings if there are any interesting stories to relate.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Swedish Nitwits and other Idiocy

The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR once again provides me with fodder for my blog. No, it isn't the spat between State Police Col. Munoz and Sheriff Bouchard (which was, by the way, disgraceful). In fact, Paul didn't even talk about these two items while I was listening this morning. I have to give credit to the news staff at WJR for these:

Item Number 1: Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize. This prize was once coveted as one of the highest honors anyone could get for their humanitarian or scientific work. If you were a Nobel prize winner, you were something!

Today, these Swedish knuckleheads have once again displayed their foolishness for all the world to see by naming AlGore, that well known purveyor of lies, disinformation, and junk science, the recipient of the formerly esteemed Peace Prize. This is how low the "scientific" community has sunk. It's no longer about science, or peace, or truth, or the enduring worth of someone's body of work. It's about giving the finger to anyone who doesn't toe the ideological line espoused by the Nobel committee. Ask Raymond Damadian. Never heard of him? Ever had an MRI? Then you know about his work.

Source 1
Source 2

So, you readers of my blog who are Nobel Prize recipients (I'm sure there are lots of you out there!), be aware that your awards have been stripped of all honor and integrity by these ignorant, vindictive Swedes.

Item Number 2: Michigan House of Representatives sends new helmet bill to Senate. In an apparent fit of pique at not getting every last percentage point of tax increase they wanted, the Michigan House has passed a bill that will allow motorcyclists to ride their machines without a helmet - if they pay the state $100 per year for the privilege.

So I guess now we have the "No Helmet" tax. No word on whether the Senate will relegate this foolishness do the nearest dustbin. Supposedly the Governess does not support this new tax. Yeah, right - she's a Democrat, she never met a tax she didn't like, or a new means of regulating everyone's behavior she didn't want to implement.

And just for the record, I oppose helmet laws as an unlawful and unnecessary infringement on the right of people to make their own choices for themselves. I'm not a motorcyclist, but if I were I would always wear a helmet when riding. That would be my choice.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More on MSP Headquarters

Several weeks ago I blogged briefly about the proposed new headquarters building for the Michigan State Police in downtown Lansing. Last night on WXYT Channel 7 in Detroit, reporter Steve Wilson asked some very hard questions and got some very interesting answers. You can go here to view the video or read the transcript. This is a two part story (so far, there is more coming) and you can link to part 2 on that page.

The Joel Ferguson angle is interesting. No-bid contract, long-time supporter and contributor, downtown wasteland. Corruption is the word that comes to my mind. And why is it only ONE legislator, out of the whole bloody lot of them, is standing up and questioning this? ONE!

So, Michigan voters - you elected this person. Are you blown away yet?

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Problem, encapsulated

Reading The Detroit News coverage of the Michigan House debate overnight on the state budget, and I gleaned this nugget:

The lone Republican "yes" vote was cast by Rep. Chris Ward of Brighton. Because he voted against the Republican tide, he temporarily stepped down from his leadership position as House minority floor leader.

"Our state is on the brink of a constitutional crisis, and the time has come for all of us, regardless of party, region and philosophy to pull together to show that our state government can work," Ward said. "The institutions of our government are bigger than any one person."(emphasis mine)

Rep. Ward's comment epitomizes the problem with government at every level. Those who are in government think it is their job to perpetuate and increase it. That it is their job to take money away from people who can't afford to have it taken away, and turn around and give it away to people or entities who either don't deserve it or who shouldn't be getting government money anyway.

Rep. Ward, not only should you resign from your Minority Floor Leader position, you should resign from your House seat. You are a disgraceful example of the worst things in government.

Here's a news flash for ya Rep. Ward, straight from a real Republican - Ronald Reagan: "Government isn't the solution to our problems, Government is the problem." Learn it, live it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hail to the Victors? Not!

A little sports commentary today, reflecting on the weekend events. If the Tigers hadn't lost yesterday, my sports weekend would have been complete, as MSU and the Detroit Lions won, and UM and Notre Dame lost.

Good wins for the Spartans and Lions, but with these teams performance over the last few years, cautious optimism is all I can muster up for them. I enjoyed the games, especially late when the game was on the line, when both teams responded on both sides of the ball.

I do have to make a comment about UM folks who were ready to fire Lloyd Carr after the Appalachian State debacle. The nastiness I have heard about him is just incredible. I'm no UM fan, but for crying out loud people - this man has done more for UM football than even your precious Bo Shembechler (who never won a National Championship like Lloyd Carr did), and you people are ready to draw and quarter him and send the pieces to all the UM Alumni clubs around the country. Any football program in the country would be tickled pink to have his record, and you want him gone? Puh-leeze! Get a grip! This ain't the 60's and there are no more football factories, and you people need to pull your heads out and realize it!

Coach Carr, here's one Spartan who respects what you have done even when it's often been at our expense. You should retire whenever you want to, walk out with your head high, and tell all those UM doofuses what they can do with their maize and blue.

Arts, Beats, and Eats on Labor Day

A bit belated, but a tip of the cap to the City of Pontiac and Chrysler Corp for their very enjoyable Arts, Beats, and Eats festival over the Labor Day weekend. We attended with my friend Aaron (from The Shekel Blog) and his family. His account of the day, including a tutorial on Fish & Chips, is here.

One thing that caught my eye was the Gem, an electric vehicle project by Chrysler.

I am the furthest thing from an eco-nut that you could ever imagine, but I am interested in vehicles like this as alternatives to gas-powered vehicles in secondary applications like commuting or utility work on a farm or large property for example. This particular car isn't a regular commuting vehicle, as it only has a top speed of 35mph with limited range, but it's interesting to see the advance of design and technology. They market them as useful for golf carts, retirement villages, and large manufacturing plants.

They had several examples at the festival, and they were also being used to transport food and supplies to the vendors, and equipment for the bands. I took a few minutes to sit in one, and they are suprisingly roomy for as small as they are. I am 6'3" and broad-shouldered, and I had no problem fitting into one - there was at least 8 inches between the top of my head and the roof of the cabin. A few more inches of beam would have been nice, but Aaron and I both sat in it together without feeling too cramped.

The funniest thing was finding the habits for our regular autos didn't fit this one. Looking for the shift lever, for instance: there isn't one! Just a rocker switch on the steering column pod: forward, reverse, and off. I didn't ask, but it is likely that it has a transmission similar to a golf cart or snowmobile, where there are no gears, and your top speed is limited by the speed the motor can run without tearing itself apart.

So, an interesting not-ready-for-prime-time vehicle which has lots of possibilities for niche applications.

We also spent some time in the Ontario Tourism pavilion. It was nice and shady there, and I'm sure Aaron enjoyed visiting his Canadian roots (having been raised in suburban Toronto). He was scouting future dive sites around Tobermory.

Topping off the experience as we were walking back to the cars was an excellent Blues band. I don't remember their name, but they sure knew what they were all about, and their progressions followed us until they were blocked out by some buildings. We had a lot of fun and appreciated the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Shekel and their beautiful daughters.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finding the gun she likes - my Wifes story

I want to tell this story because it reinforces the advice constantly given to us males to let our wives/girlfriends/moms/etc. pick their own gun. And also to brag on my wife a little.

It started several months ago when I was standing at the gun safe. I don't remember if I was putting away or getting out, but my wife looked at me and said "Where's mine?". I thought "Oh, she wants one of her own - great!", now which one? All we had were a .38 snubbie and a 1911, which is my carry gun.

I was just smart enough to remember the advice given in many places to let her choose her own, but we don't have the money to be buying a lot of guns to try out until she finds the one she wants, so I was a little stuck. Most people I know who have guns are guys and they probably didn't have a good selection and variety of guns that would fit a woman who was trying to find her first gun. Plus, the one shop in town that rents guns doesn't have much of a selection of rentals. So I was kind of stuck.

Fast forward to last month, when I am reading the forums of one of my state's pro-gun organizations (Michigan Gun Owners), one of which is for the club I belong to (Capital City Rifle Club), and there was a post highlighting an article in our local birdcage lining supplier uhh, I mean newspaper about one of their female reporters going to a "Ladies Night" at the club and learning to shoot. One of the active forum members, a lady named Kay, was one of the instructors at that event, and I had corresponded with her a while back on some club matters so I knew who she was.

Well, I remembered my wife's question and I, not always needing a 2x4 before "getting it" understood this would be a great way to accomplish my goal of finding something that she likes to shoot. So I contacted her and asked when the next ladies night was and what kind of a selection they usually had, and that I would like my wife to come and check it out.

To my utter amazement, she sent back that she prefers 1-on-1's, and would love to do one for my wife, and let's schedule it. So we did.

It was understood from the beginning that this was to be between Kay and my wife, and I was to be relegated to the 50-yard line to shoot my rifles (Oh darn, what a punishment) [Edit: Kay asked me to test a .30 Carbine magazine she had just picked up, as long as I was down there]. Kay pulled a small suitcase full of handguns out of her trunk (literally) and proceeded to go through them all with us. She had everything from a little Beretta .25 (I think she said it was a Bobcat) and some .22 revolvers up to some 9mm Glocks and Springfields. She had some .357 Magnum revolvers, too. A very nice selection, indeed.

[Edited to add "Kay even had a .40 S&W or two in that suitcase". Sorry Kay - I forgot!]

They shot for a good 2-1/2 hours, and by the end of it, my wife had learned a lot more about guns and how they worked and why there were things like decockers, and she had found 2 guns she liked - a Bersa .380 and a Springfield XD9 Subcompact. She thought the Springfield was ugly but she liked it the best. She also had a huge grin on her face at the end, and took her targets home to show off. She's also talking about getting a couple of her friends and going to a "Ladies Day" next month, where they will add rifle and shotgun to the handgun, and give them a taste of everything.

Guess I'll be selling that snubby to help finance an XD for her! Christmas is coming, after all...Now, will she want basic black, OD green, or Coyote Brown? Decisions, Decisions...

Michigan State Police Headquarters

My Dad, a retired 26-year veteran of the MSP, passed this along to me. I suspect it is from the MSP retiree listserv he is subscribed to. It was written by MSP retiree Earl James.

I’m retired from the Michigan State Police. My duties took me from Calumet in the north to Detroit in the South. I have donated thousands of man-hours to the people of the state and have shed my blood in hand to hand combat. I served in several different capacities including the Governor’s Authorized Representative for Communications with the United States President during both man made and natural disasters. So, in the light of the above: I believe I have earned the right to speak out on a vital matter of public concern regarding whether the Michigan State Police should move their headquarters to the so-called “Triangle Project” site in Lansing. Such a move is foolhardy and the majority members of the Michigan State Police are opposed to such a move. Below are some of the reasons why most State Police are opposed to the move, most reasons correspond to the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

1) The annual cost for maintaining the new building would far exceed current expenses.

2) The new building would ignore the Michigan State Police rich history. One of the main buildings on the compound is known by all state police officers as “Mapes Hall”. Corporal Mapes was shot to death outside Sturgis, Michigan when he tried to arrest a dope runner.

3) For decades recruits were trained to become troopers at the Michigan State Police compound.

4) For decades, the Operations Division on the compound controlled the State Blockade System to apprehend kidnappers, prison escapees, bank robbers and other felons.

5) I have not talked with a single former trooper who believes this move by the state police to downtown Lansing will better serve the people. Most believe the supporters of this plan have little or no concern for the troopers who must work in this building. For example, current personnel working at the headquarters can park at the compound free of charge. In addition, they do not have to pay Lansing City Income Tax. So this means that personnel assigned to the new building would actually receive a cut in take home pay if forced to move to the new headquarters building.

Employees have to be concerned about where records are stored in the new building because the building will be in a flood plain. This has happened before when the Court of Appeal records were damaged in the same area.

The supporters of this project claim it will provide jobs for 500 people. Are taxpayers being asked to support a version of the old WPA project? (The WPA stands for Works Progress Administration established under President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930’s depression)

Let us remember these 500 jobs would be short term at best.

In the final analysis, we must ask ourselves, who really benefits from this move? It certainly is not the people of the State of Michigan. It isn’t the Michigan State Police, but it is obvious the Land developers stand to pocket the most by ridding themselves of property of questionable value during a time period of economic down turn in Michigan.

Since it appears some politicians, Representative Jones and Senator Brown are notable exceptions, are thumbing their noses at the citizenry of Michigan and are disregarding the wishes of the vast majority of Michigan citizens who are opposed to building the new state police headquarters in Lansing during these hard uncertain times.

Perhaps this is the appropriate time for a federal investigation into possible corruption

Earl James Lansing, MI

This is something the Governess has been proposing for a while, and I never understood the need for it, just like I never understood the need to move people out of the State Secondary Complex south of town into downtown Lansing. The tax angle makes it very plain, as a typical Democrat loves to make people pay more taxes. This is one they can impose without increasing rates. I'm sure Mayor Bernaro has his hands in this cookie jar!

Working in Information Technology as I do, we have to do a lot of planning for what is called "Disaster Recovery", that is, what to do when things break, fail, or are destroyed. Everything from recovering a deleted file to restoring you operations and systems in case of some natural disaster like a tornado or a flood which destroys your primary site. Think New Orleans and you'll understand the scope of things that need to be planned for because if you don't, your operation is dead.

It seems to me that in addition to the reasons Mr. James lists, having important command, control, and communication facilities scattered ("distributed" is the IT term we use) makes a lot more sense than having them concentrated as the Governess proposes. This goes to the point about the flood plain that Mr. James made - it's a single point of failure. That means that a single event can incapacitate or take out all of the facilities you might need to respond to a disaster.

So, it seems that once again, the Governess is looking for political points at the expense of prudent planning. The new headquarters, if built, will probably be named the Granholm Headquarters Complex.

Does she know Robert Byrd?

It's getting positively Nagin-esqe here in Michigan! Like we need that...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fun with Full-Auto

I was honored to be invited to travel to "The Pit" in Lapeer, MI on Aug. 8 for some full-auto fun with The Shekel and the owner of Lagniappe the dog and Lagniappes Lair. These two are into full-auto firearms and were very generous in sharing the fun with several of us.

For a full account, click on over to Lagniappes Lair. There's pictures and everything!

I also got to shoot my M1 Carbine a little more, and my Enfield went out for the first time in my hands. I had done a little judicious polishing and bending of the follower in the 10-round magazine I had for the M1, and it performed flawlessly. I shot a full box, so that was five loading/shooting cycles without a jam. We'll see if that continues - hopefully it will.

"The Pit" is maintained by the Michigan DNR, but there are no shooting benches so it's hard to do some serious accuracy checking, so the Enfield No. 4 Mk. 2 got a 20-round box of Igman .303 British 180 grain bullets put through her, to check for function of the magazine and bolt. This gun is a surprisingly soft shooter, probably due to it's weight. I get a much bigger thump in the shoulder with the Mosin-Nagant (7.62x54R) and the Mauser (8mm Mauser) than with the Enfield. I seem to remember reading that the .303 is at the low end of the power scale for the cartridges of the major belligerents of WW2, but I don't know that for sure. I'll have to do a little more research into that.

One thing I do know is that I now have a couple of guns I can shoot at the ID4 match at the Capital City Rifle Club next summer!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Mississippi of the North"

That's what Detroit Branch Chairman of the NAACP, Rev. Wendell Anthony, called Michigan today, after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that a valid photo ID must be presented in order to vote in Michigan.

Somehow, in the twisted logic of Multiculturalism and Diversity, proving who you are in order to vote is racist, suppresses your right to vote, and is a Poll Tax. Rev. Anthony, this ruling is no more racist than you are - in fact, it's considerably less racist than you are, judging by your comments.

Common sense (which seems to be severely lacking in the NAACP/Rainbow Coalition camp) dictates that the principle of "one man, one vote" has four pre-existing conditions. Making sure everyone who votes has met these four conditions will guarantee the integrity of your election (except in the minds of those who think that Al Gore actually won in 2000):
1. You are a live, living, breathing, function human being.
2. You are who you say you are.
3. You are living where you say you live.
4. You are eligible to vote.

When you walk into a polling place you should be able to prove all four of these things, otherwise you should not be allowed to vote. It's that simple. The right to vote is one of the most hallowed rights given to man, and we must not trivialize it with the kind of logic being applied in the media by the good Reverend and those who are his colleagues and constituents.

Since Rev. Anthony is alleged to be a Christian minister, let me apply a little New Testament to his comments and attitude. He should not object to this, since it is supposed to be a part of the source of his faith.

Galatians 3:26-28
for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Here we see three distinctions being made between people: Jew/Greek, Slave/Free, Male/Female. The Apostle Paul (the author of the Galatian letter) was a Jewish Christian writing to a predominantly Roman/Greek audience, who were converts to Christianity from Judaism as well as a host of pagan religions. The cultural differences betweens Jews and the Roman/Greek culture around them was significant, as was their ideas about men and women. And the slave trade flourished throughout the Roman Empire in these times. What Paul was saying to these Galatian Christians was that the distinctions of culture, class, and gender were not important anymore among believers, because they had been made one in Christ Jesus.

It could also be said that this passage should be applied externally by Christians as well as internally. One of the imperatives of the early church was to share and spread their faith with everyone, but if you as a Christian held yourself aloof from others because of these different distinctions, then you were not fulfilling your commission from Jesus himself.

Now let's bring this back to Rev. Anthony's time. Rather than working to promote understanding and acceptance between people who have some sub-cultural differences, you sit back and call everyone (Christian or not) who supports this law and this ruling, as well as the MCRI, racist.

Rev. Anthony, you have a clear choice to make. You can choose to follow Christ who commands you to put away these distinctions and work to bring people to the knowledge of Christ, or you can choose to disobey the clear teaching of scripture to promote your political agenda.

Which will you choose?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Update on New Aquisitions

After a thorough detail-strip and cleaning, I took the new M1 Carbine out to the range this weekend. My main goal was to try to get it in some semblance of on-the-paper, and to see how consistently it groups.

My first adventure was to find ammo for it. I have purchased .30 Carbine at WalMart in the past, but this time there was none to be found there (the WalMart gun counters around here are no longer selling guns so all they have is ammo and accessories, but the ammo is either 12 or 20 ga. shotgun or 9mm, .38, .357, .40 S&W, or .45ACP.) I would have figured with all the CMP carbines that were sold in the last 2 months, they would have stocked a box or two, but they didn't.

I finally found a box at Dunhams at the Lansing Mall. While there I checked their C&R rifles - nothing much interesting: a couple of Mosin-Nagants, a couple of Enfields, and that was pretty much it. Oh well.

So off to the Capital City Rifle Club I went. I also took along my Muzzleloader, as I put in a new trigger spring and wanted to try it out.

Since I didn't know where the sights were going to be, I set them to zero windage and 100 yds (Type 3 sights for those of you who know M1 Carbines) and sat down at the 25 yard line. Ten rounds went into the magazine and promptly went downrange. My spotting scope revealed a nice ragged hole about an inch in diameter slightly high and right. WOW! I didn't really expect that kind of accuracy right off the bat, especially with no more support than my elbows on the table! A couple of clicks brought the group back to center, and then I moved down to the 50 yard line. I didn't shoot quite that well at 50 yds, but I think the caffeine from the large soda I drank on the way to the range was starting to kick in at that point. My groups were about 5 inches here.

A couple of observations. I really like this carbine. It's light, easy to handle, has minimal recoil, and is just plain fun to shoot. I can see why guys in WW2 liked it. Shortly after I set up at 5o, a nice gentleman set up on the bench next to me to shoot his Garand. He had never handled an M1 Carbine, so I let him have a fondle and he made pretty much the same comment: "I would rather carry this than the Garand!" He also observed that it was easier to load the magazines on the Carbine than the en bloc clips on the Garand - another point in it's favor.

I also need to get better magazines. The one that came with the gun is crap, and seemed likely to come apart the more I shot it. The follower would get stuck at an up-angle, so the bolt couldn't grab the rim of the next cartridge and feed it. I made do, but it was frustrating.

Now I have to do the same process for the Enfield. It also seems that I will be buying some reloading dies for these two, as ammo is hard to come by for them at a decent price.

The muzzleloader once again proved itself to be very accurate, hitting the 50 yard bullseye with ease. It's a Thompson/Center Encore 209x50, and I was shooting 295-grain Powerbelts over 105 grains of Triple-7. The trigger is now a very light 2.3 pounds (according to my Lyman trigger gauge), and it was definately lighter than what the original spring was giving me. Trigger finger discipline will be even more important this fall in the deer woods. My thanks to Bellm TC's for the spring and the spring tool to get it in, as well as the detailed instructions on how to detail strip it. Perhaps this year I will notch my first buck, after 6 does.

Monday, July 09, 2007

On Independence Day

I was on vacation over the Independence Day holiday and was not blogging. I found this quote from Ronaldus Magnus that sums up, in his wonderful way, what this holiday should mean for us. Thank you, Mr. President.

"Somewhere in our growing up we began to be aware of the meaning of days and with that awareness came the birth of patriotism. July Fourth is the birthday of our nation. I believed as a boy, and believe even more today, that it is the birthday of the greatest nation on earth... In recent years, however, I've come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy Fourth of July." ---Ronald Reagan

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New Aquisitions

Unfortunately, no pictures. However, 2 new rifles have joined the collection.

Rifle #1 is a very nice Enfield No. 4 Mk.2F, made in 1953. Beautiful wood, lots of finish remaining, and the micrometer sight. Cal. .303 British.

Rifle #2 is the real prize - a Winchester-made M1 Carbine, 1.1 million serial number, and lots of what appear to be original Winchester parts. I'm very excited to find out more about this little beaut.

Now I get to buy some M1 Magazines, a bolt tool, and a trigger spring tool so I can give it a deep cleaning! I love the smell of Hoppes #9!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sheffield shows his ignorance

In a bit of a departure, I'm going to talk baseball today. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the game itself, but with the ignorant comments of one of it's players. What makes it even more painful is that the player is one of my beloved Detroit Tigers - Gary Sheffield.

Here are the remarks, from an interview in GQ Magazine:

"I called it years ago. What I called is that you're going to see more black faces, but there ain't no English going to be coming out. … [It's about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do -- being able to control them."

"Where I'm from, you can't control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end, he is going to go back to being who he is. And that's a person that you're going to talk to with respect, you're going to talk to like a man.

"These are the things my race demands. So, if you're equally good as this Latin player, guess who's going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys."

Thus we see the racism that pervades the "Diversity" camp, which teaches us that we must first look at the color of someone's skin and what part of the world them come from to determine how we think about them and how we treat them, rather than treating all with respect and dignity.

Here's a news bulletin, Gary. It's probably a repeat of what your first Little League coach told you, but you were probably too busy thumping your own chest and demanding respect to listen: respect is nothing you can demand from anyone - you must earn it. It isn't automatic And I suspect any respect you were getting from those "Latino" players on your team just went out the window. Why do you want to tear up the clubhouse that has been so good to you, and whose most productive players are "Latino": Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Placido Polanco. Not to mention an organization who has had may great players who were not white: Willie Horton, Guillermo (Willie) Hernandez, Aurelio Rodriguez, Ron LeFlore, Gates Brown, Aurelio Lopez. Your ego is getting in the way of your brain, Gary.

Here's another thought for you, Gary. Perhaps these "Latino" guys want it more than you do, and are willing to accept coaching and counsel from those who have been successful before them, so they can be successful too. Perhaps they are more concerned about improving themselves and having the whole team be successful (with the respect that follows) than they are about feeding their own egos first.

I love my Tigers, and I have since I was a little leaguer in the 60's and 70's, but I would rather see them lose 120 games and have a team that represents itself well than to go to the World Series with this kind of player. There is no room for this kind of racism in baseball, and I call on the Tigers and Major League Baseball to deal harshly with Gary Sheffield, for the good of the sport.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Immigration reform

The latest proposal out of Washington has certainly generated a lot of conversation! This supposedly bipartisan plan is by all appearances being fast-tracked through Congress without going through the normal committee hearing process.

Without even going into the details of the plan, I have to ask some questions:
  1. If this is such a great plan, why wouldn't the President welcome the Committee process as a chance to get the wonderful details of it into the public eye? Instead, it is a mystery plan that was originally supposed to be voted on without having even been printed up for any sort of study. It seems to me that there were a lot of paranoid people trying to sneak something past us. Now where have we seen that before? Oh yeah - the onerous, so-called "PATRIOT Act". Guess they have a reason to be paranoid, ehh?
  2. Why does the President say "And my answer to the skeptics is: Give us a chance to fix the problems in a comprehensive way that enforces our border and treats people with decency and respect," the president said. "Give us a chance to fix this problem. Don't try to kill this bill before it gets moving." Why does he think he has any credibility left at all, especially with real conservatives who got him elected but whom he has defecated on at almost every turn?
  3. How can he not realize that a solid majority of Americans (over 60 percent, if the polls are to be believed) oppose any sort of amnesty for illegals? I'm not saying that any President should be poll driven, but when poll after poll after poll from all kinds of different sources say the same thing, isn't that a pretty good indicator of what the citizens want?
  4. How is it the President can't seem to understand that unless the border is secured and defended, all his other plans are worthless? The flow will increase, not decrease.
  5. Oh, by the way - how many miles of that border fence Congress appropriated for and the President signed off on a couple years ago have actually been constructed? Oops, there's that credibility thing again.
This President is not serious about securing the nation. He does a lot of posturing, some speechifying, but it seems that all he is focused on is Iraq. While that is absolutely important, it isn't the only game in town and constitutionally "the common defence" is one of his most important responsibilities, so that we the people might "secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity".

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I couldn't help laughing...

Once again The Paul W. Smith Show provides fodder for my blog. Regular readers (all three of you!) will recall my penchant for listening to Paul on WJR radio in the mornings while performing my morning rituals. Today it wasn't one of Paul's guests that struck me, it was one of Paul's advertisers.

The commercial was one critical of Senator Carl Lenin, err, uhh, excuse me, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). It started out saying how proud we were of Sen. Levin when he opposed the war in Iraq. "This ought to be interesting" thought I, while rolling my eyes a little.

Then, the commercial went on to say how the good Senator has now strayed from the path of goodness and light (my words) because he was one of only a handful of Senate democrats to vote against the bill to impose a timetable on a pullout from Iraq. This perked my attention and stopped the eyerolling. "Who is daring to criticize Carl Levin for that?"

They finished up by imploring listeners to contact Senator Levin and tell him that most Michiganders are opposed to the war and to tell him he should continue to oppose the evil George Bush and his evil war. I listened expectantly, almost impatiently, to see who it was that would treat poor Carl so. And then came the answer: "Sponsored by"

I couldn't help myself -- I burst out laughing! Welcome to the vast right-wing conspiracy, Carl! Glad to have you aboard! I never thought you had it in you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

German girl thwarts Educrats

By Bob Unruh
© 2007

Melissa Busekros, after her return to her home. (Photo courtesy Klaus Guenther)

Melissa Busekros, the schoolgirl taken by police and placed in a psychiatric hospital because she was diagnosed with a "school phobia" and was being homeschooled, has fled state custody to make a midnight trip back to her own family, according to Joel Thornton, president of The International Human Rights Group.

"At 3 a.m., in Erlangen, Germany, Melissa reached her home to the surprise of her entire family," Thornton told WND. "Earlier in the morning Melissa left a note with the foster family where she was being held and began the journey to her family. She left of her own volition."

Thornton said April 23 is Melissa's birthday, and on turning 16, "this gives her broader rights than it does in America. It gives her more of a voice in her own custody. So, she decided to return home."

"In fact, if the state police come for her again she is prepared to refuse to go on the advice of her attorney," Thornton said.

When I read this today, it just warmed me all over. This kid has guts! And she has thumbed her nose at the tyrannical german educrats that kidnapped her. Good for her!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ronaldus Magnus speaks to Rep. McCarthy

"There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism---government. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it."
---Ronald Reagan

Friday, April 20, 2007

VA Tech, II

Open question to the press: can't you leave these people alone so they can mourn in peace without having a camera shoved in their face at every turn?

Also: who care's what Cho's dorm room looks like? Hello, CNN? In case you were wondering, inanity like this is why your ratings are dwindling.

Great Ways to ruin your meal

1. While eating dinner at a local restaurant with your family and celebrating your wife's birthday, happen to glance up at one of the TV's placed every 24 inches around the perimeter of the dining room to see Bill Clinton holding forth on why it was wrong to fire 8 federal prosecutors. Bonus ruin points for ranting about it to your wife while she was enjoying her meal.

2. While crunching your granola at breakfast, turn on the radio to hear that Sen. Harry Reid has declared the Iraq war lost, and "The Surge" a failure (about 30 seconds after it started). Dump granola down drain as you now can't stomach anything from the wrenching in your gut you got from hearing Harry Reid. Side note: I thought you Nevada folks had more sense than to send a doofus like this to Washington. A recall election would go a long way toward remedying this negative impression. Or you could what SoDak did to Tom Daschle and vote the, umm, uhh, guy out. When is his term up, anyway?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

VA Tech

Before commenting on the reactions, it must be made clear that what the VA Tech gunman did was deplorable, reprehensible, and immoral. There is no justification for murder - mass or otherwise, whatever the means used.

Today's comments from the Gun Owners of America are spot-on:

It is also worthwhile to note that Virginia Tech is -- because of
deliberate policies set by its administration -- a victim disarmament
zone, where even those with a state-issued concealed carry permit are
denied their right of self-defense.

In fact, pro-gun forces just last year tried to get the Virginia
legislature to address the problem. The bill to allow permit holders
to carry on state-supported college campuses died, due in no small
part to rabid opposition from Virginia Tech itself.

VT spokesman Larry Hincker put it this way after it became obvious
that the bill would not pass: "I'm sure the university community is
appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help
parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

The unfortunate irony continues when one recalls that not long ago,
two students at nearby Appalachian School of Law managed to stop a
gunman at that institution. Happily, they were able to dash
off-campus to retrieve their guns from their vehicles.

If a person licensed to carry a concealed pistol were present, and had the will to stop the murderer, many lives could have been saved. That is the bottom line. It isn't gun owners and advocates for all the liberties the Constitution recognizes who have blood on their hands today, it is those who would take away any means for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against the Cho Seung-Hui's of the world.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

German Education Tyrants at it again

WorldNetDaily is reporting here today that the tyrannical German education authorities have kidnapped (yes, that is the word for it) five more children for the heinous crime of being home educated:
Five "well-educated" children have been ordered into state custody by a court that applied to a second family a ruling taking a 15-year-old homeschooler from her family and sending her to a psychiatric ward.
Let this be a lesson to us all: the State (at all levels) doesn't care about you or your welfare. It only exists to exercise and increase it's power over you. At a basic level, this is necessary (such as arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating a murderer, for instance), but when a government is allowed to expand beyond the basic level of preserving public order, this is what you get. The State will always try to increase it's power, influence, authority, and taxation, all at the expense of your rights.

As an American I have to say that we didn't send our parents and grandparents to crush the Nazis only to have them show up again in the guise of education bureaucrats. We owe it to those who died in that generation to make sure their sacrifice was not in vain.

If you would like to contact the German authorities and express your displeasure over this outrageous and tyrannical behavior, here is the information:

The IHRG said Americans also could contact:

Youth Welfare Office
Director: Edeltraud Höllerer
Rathausplatz 1
91052 Erlangen
Tel. +49 9131 86-2844
Fax +49 9131 86-2438
Responsible Official
Monika Muzenhardt

Local Court Erlangen
Family court
Richterin Frank-Daupin
Mozartstraße 23
91052 Erlangen
Tel. +49 9131-782 01
Fax +49 9131/782-361

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

AlGore Smackdown!

Since you probably won't hear this in the deadstream media, I'll help you out by posting this link, consisting almost exclusively of quotes from Rep. Joe Barton of Texas. Rep. Barton was responding to the testimony of former Vice President and current excessive carbon emitter AlGore before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and just lays him out.

Here's the link to the WorldNetDaily article:

Notice also the quote by Czech President Vaclav Klaus:

"It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment, but a clash of views about human freedom," the Czech leader has said.

"As someone who lived under communism for most of my life I feel obliged to say that the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants," said Klaus, responding to questions posed by the two lawmakers. "Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism."

(Here is more from President Klaus, which makes me even more impressed with him. Here is the full text of his letter to the committee.)

AlGore has become the high priest of this cult of Gaia, and he has the deadstream media shilling for him at every turn. But President Klaus is absolutely correct: this is a religion, and nothing less. Hey, I thought we had a separation of Church and State! That would make all these treaties null and void because it would be an establishment of a religion by the State. Can't have that now, can we?

Al - the answer to your issue is Capitalism, but you can't admit it or the entire house of cards that is your personal philosophy and worldview would fall apart. I already buy the fluorescent bulbs you want everyone to buy. Why? Because energy costs keep going up and it's worth it to keep my bills down! My next vehicle will be one of those new low emission diesels. Why? BECAUSE THEY GET 50MPG! There is an economic incentive for me to do these things, because costs are so high. If gasoline were still 79 cents a gallon, I probably wouldn't consider it, but at $2.50 plus per gallon I will.

Of course your argument will be that we need to impose taxes to get the prices up so everyone will do what I am doing but you must also realize that government can't manipulate market forces. That is what has let us to the economic catastrophe that is waiting to happen. Remember Ronaldus Magnus: "Government isn't the solution to the problem - government *is* the problem."

Monday, March 19, 2007

NJ Court Describes Unmonitored Homeschooling as "Shocking"

Full Disclosure: I am a homeschool parent.

A tip of the hat to my friend Aaron at The Shekel for commenting on this case on his blog. I had forwarded the original article to him because he comments on the law there (among other things). He gave a very nice analysis from a lawyers perspective, and he encouraged me to comment here from the homeschool parents perspective. Here is the original article, from Constitutionally Correct.

My first thought is that the fact that the judge is "shocked" that there is no monitoring by the school district is a great example of how low our Republic has fallen. It used to be that there was no meddling at any level with the right of parents to educate their children in whatever way they wished, including not educating them at all. It's none of the court's or the State's business how a child is being educated. Yes, I know - in a perfect world. The compulsory school attendance laws and State-funded public education have become entrenched in our country over the last hundred or so years. That doesn't make it right, and there is much to indicate that it is very wrong.

[And, for the record, I believe it is foolish for any parent to not give their children the best education possible, to prepare them to take care of themselves in the world. It isn't 1800 any more, and you can't get by without knowing how to read and write and calculate. Those days are long gone.]

Secondly, the court takes on the air that schools are a necessary way of detecting abuse of children, because they are "supervised". There is a broad implication here that home educators are somehow abusing their children, which wouldn't happen if they were in the public school system. Obviously the court has not read a newspaper in the last couple of years and seen the increasing number of teachers who are sexually abusing their students. They have also missed all the hue and cry about "bullying" and the establishing of "Bully-free zones" in some local schools, because of the children who are being beaten up by their peers in these wonderful public schools we run. Not to mention the increasing indoctrination of children in those same public schools of the supposed normality of aberrant sexual practices, and the demonization of those who disagree.

So I would ask the Court what exactly it is which makes public schools and public educators any more safe than home schools and home-educating parents? Indeed, I would go so far as to say that there is less abuse per capita among home educators than there is in public education. But the few bad apples in home education don't invalidate the entire idea and practice of home education, and the results certainly speak for themselves. But the systemic failure of the public education system - the illiteracy rates, the failing infrastructure, and the lack of real education in areas of history, science, literature, and civics - also speak for themselves. The more I learn about the last 50 years of public education, the more I realize that I was ripped off, and kids today are even more ripped off!

Third, I have to suspect the fathers motives in bringing this up. Since this is a divorce proceeding, I think he is using every trick in the book to get custody of the children, or at least to impose his will on his ex-wife through the big stick of the State. This woman has borne and cared for this man's seven children, very likely to the detriment of her own career. Now he gets to criticize her because she can't (in his opinion) educate all seven "adequately". The Shekel correctly points out that "adequately" has no definition, and both he and the father in question propose the public school standards should be used. To which I say: Why would you do that to children you supposedly love? (Sorry, Aaron. That isn't reasonable at all!) Additionally, I know several families with that many kids being home educated by their moms very well, thank you very much. In fact, if you gave me a few minutes I could come up with some families with *more* than seven children who are being home educated by their moms very well. It is possible to do and do well, and without any evidence that these children are being ill-served by their mom, I must conclude that this is just pure spite on the fathers part. Plus, if you weren't getting a divorce from her, you would be able to support your family by being there and providing for them, instead of quitting on them.

[Yes, I know there are lots of reasons for divorce, but it's so easy to quit any more that we just go to that option first and that's the end of it.]

I know there is a lot more that could be said on this subject, and others much more eloquent than I have weighed in on it. For a treasure trove of truthful information on home education, go to the HSLDA website. That would be the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Or to the Vision Forum.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

German courts and officials say homeschooling is a result of "School Phobia"

WorldNetDaily, in a series of articles, has been tracking the case of a 15-year old German girl who was forceably removed from her parents. The heinous, grievous crime that had been committed against her: home education. Here is todays WND article about it.

Notice the quote from the German Ministry of Education:
"The Minister of Education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling…, You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers… In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement." (emphasis added by WND)

So there you have it folks. In Germany, nothing has changed since the days of the Third Reich. The State is the ultimate controller of your life - you have nothing to say about it. Do you have religious convictions that are in conflict with the State? Tough rocks - you must conform.

Here's another quote from another famous German:
The Youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing."
As you might surmise, that famous German is Adolph Hitler himself, in a 1937 speech. Do you seen any difference in attitude between then and now? There is no difference, except they now couch it in the language of "Diversity" rather than the language of National Socialism. Woe unto those who hold different opinions or have different convictions - the self-appointed guardians of tolerance and understanding will squash you for not toeing the approved behavioral line.

Dear Reader, we are not far from this here in the supposed "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave". There are those in both major political parties that would love to be able to do this to you. Be vigilant of your rights (recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution), or you will lose them.

Monday, February 26, 2007

2006 Republican "Disaster" - again...

As I read different commentators around the internet bemoaning all the voters who didn't vote Republican in the last election, but either withheld their vote or voted 3rd party and calling them idiots and blaming them for the disaster, let me lay this quote on you:
"I didn't leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me!"
-Ronald Reagan
That, dear reader, is what happened this past election. The Republicans left those of us who have faithfully voted for them since 1980. They turned their backs on us, took us for granted, and got their lunches handed to them for it.

And have they learned anything from their disaster? Let me put it to you this way: Giuliani. McCain. Romney. These are the Republican front runners today. All three are either partly or fully against the issues that are important to real conservatives (like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to use the Founders words - which the neo-cons seem not to understand.)

Giuliani: This liberal Republican and esrstwhile cross-dresser thinks the 2nd amendment only applies to hunters. Is also pro-abortion and pro-gay "rights". But he's a "leader".

McCain: Once called religious conservatives "agents of intolerance", and thinks that restricting free-speech is what it takes to clean up political campaigns (see "McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform") now is sucking up to those same "agents of intolerance" because they vote.

Romney: You just don't know where he stands on anything. Is spending most of his time these days backpedaling from earlier positions he took on fireams ownership, gay marriage, and other topics that would typically cause conservatives to look for someone else to support. Obviously being a supposed conservative in Massachusetts you have to do some things to be a successful politician, but to me that just makes it worse. If you have convictions then stand by them even in the face of opposition and criticism. I can respect a man like that even if I don't agree with them.

Honestly, the only one with any backbone is Giuliani - at least he tells you where he stands and sticks with it. But none of them are palatable to conservatives. The only conservative that is being mentioned is Newt Gingrich and he hasn't even announced yet.

Gingrich is interesting to me, but he is such an academic that he loses people when he gets to talking on minutia and they tune him out. Plus, he has some character issues, which is why he was ousted from the House. If he came in with a simple message that resonates with everyone like he did with the "Contract with America" he could win it all.

The problem with Gingrich is that he is not a "Liberty" candidate, as he has supported and defended the "Patriot" act, one of the greatest usurpations of Liberty ever created. For that reason alone I could not vote for him.

Honestly, I would love to vote for Ron Paul, but I don't know if he will make it to the first primary, let alone be a player in the race.

So, Republicans. Here is a great sea of votes waiting for someone who is worthy of them. Will you learn from 2006 and put forward good candidates, or will you continue in your losing ways and give us the likes of Giuliani, McCain, and Romney?

We'll see.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Trolley Square

Since the Brady Bunch is once again sharing their incredible ability to deny reality with the rest of the world, I'll do my part to counteract it.

  1. Taking firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens (that is, those whose right to keep and bear them is confirmed [not bestowed!] by the Constitution of the United States) only creates more victims. It does NOT create safety for anyone but the criminal, who need not fear being shot by his apparent victim.
  2. This attack was stopped by a person carrying a concealed weapon. The gunman was not stopped by oratory, he was stopped by a bullet.
  3. An off-duty police officer out of his jurisdiction is the equivalent of a CCW holder. More people would have been slaughtered (yes, that is precisely the word for it) if this officer had not intervened. With his GUN!
  4. The fact that the Brady Bunch denies these common-sense facts in no way makes them less true.
  5. The attack was not stopped by the "No Weapons" sign on the door.
  6. Bravo to Officer Hammond!
Folks, here it is: firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens REDUCES crime. The mature adult accepts facts and understands the truth rather than trying to deny it. The truth is, the world is a dangerous place and the wise person understands his times and prepares to deal with them rather than living in some spaced-out world of denial.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Question of the Day

As the Socialist Administration of Michigan Governess Granholm continues to look for ways to solve the deepening budget crisis, it didn't take long for her to put tax increases on the table. She is proposing a 2% increase in the income tax, a 1% decrease in the sales tax, and an expansion of sales tax to services. So now you would pay an extra 5% for your haircut, car wash, legal fees, lawn care, snow removal, car repairs, day care, and all sorts of other services.

Kudos (sort of) to Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, who is indicating that there must be budget cuts and service cuts before even thinking about tax increases.

Which brings me to the question of the day: What is it about politicians that allows them to think that just because government exists, it must expand? That every idea they have must be codified into law and have money spent from the public treasury on it? And if there isn't enough money for their new idea, then we need a tax increase to pay for it!

At what point will these elected ones say "Our goal for this session is to not pass any new laws. We think we have enough laws and our people are regulated enough."? Now there's a novel idea! Ronald Reagan said it best: "Government isn't the solution to our problems, Government is the problem!"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Border Patrol is looking increasingly stupid

I have been following the story the trial and conviction of Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean in Texas. They have been convicted of shooting an unarmed man in the back. Oh, by the way, the shootee was transporting 700 pounds of marijuana when he was stopped by the Border Patrol agents.

Now I wasn't there, I don't know what happened, I didn't see what happened. These guys may be guilty as sin for all I know. But DHS and the Border patrol and the US Attorney are looking increasingly like they are either fools or petty tyrants.

Today's news on this story says that two agents who were there at the scene during the incident have been fired because they gave different testimony during the trial than they did to the Border Patrol investigators. These two were also given immunity to testify against Ramos and Compean. There are also chain of evidence problems with the bullet taken from the smuggler, as well as inconclusive evidence that the bullet was even fired from the pistol of the agent that hit the smuggler.

All in all, it would seem that these two agents should get a new trial, or have the conviction overturned entirely.

We'll see. The US Attorney doesn't seem to have any problem with these two being in jail.

This is just a sample of the carelessness and disregard for the truth that the investigation seems to have been conducted with.

I encourage you to go to to read the entire series of articles.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Governess Speaks

As is my wont, I was listening to The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR radio as I got ready for work this morning. I had to be particularly careful shaving today, because Paul was talking to Governess Granholm as I was performing that little ritual, and I tend to have forceful reactions when she is talking.

I didn't hear the entire interview, but the snippet I heard was enough to encapsulate the entire "State of the State" message last night (which I didn't listen to either, as I already know what a democrat will say: "raise taxes, more government". It never fails.).

Paul W asked a terriffic question, to the effect of "if the State is in such dire fiscal shape, why should anyone expect to, for example, have the State pay for their college tuition? Shouldn't people have to pay for that themselves?". It was a more detailed and expansive question than that, but I was never so proud of Paul W than in that moment.

The Governess' response can be summarized this way: "We're investing in our people".

What utter hogwash. Pure unmitigated socialist fantasy. Poppycock!

Voters of the State of Michigan, you did yourselves no favors when you elected and re-elected this woman. All she knows is to grab more power, steal more money, expand the nanny-state. And wrap it all up in compassionate-sounding phraseology so the doofuses will swallow it more easily.

Government invests in nothing. Government takes, by force of arms, the rewards of the labor of one person and transfers them to another who has not worked for them. Government has never created a productive job (thousands upon thousands of bureaucrats are not productive jobs), government has never produced a single product, and government has never expanded anyone's productivity. Politicians always use government to expand their influence and control over the lives of the citizens, and will do whatever they have to do to maintain themselves in that position for as long as possible.

Madam Governess - if you want investment, then cut taxes, cut the size and scope of government, and give people the opportunity to fend for themselves. They will do a much better job of it than any government program ever could.

But of course her ideology will not allow her to to accept this self-evident truth. So the people, or should I say the subjects of the State of Michigan, will bear the taxes and the consequences for years to come.

"I think we have more machinery of government than is
necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the
industrious." ---Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pfizer leaving MI "a punch in the gut"

The big economic news in Michigan today is the Pfizer is all but closing up shop in this state, leaving only a reduced presence in Kalamazoo.

Listening to the Governess on The Paul W. Smith Show this morning was a mixture of stuff. On one hand, you have to say "that must have hurt"when someone gets whacked by news like that. On the other hand, you have to say "if you had any economic sense at all, you would have seen this coming years ago".

Dear reader, when you base your policies on the failed system of socialism, this is what you get. When you think that taking more money from your citizens is what it takes to make your economy work, this is what happens. Businesses move away from you and your greedy government.

I expect that the letter and the statements that the President of Pfizer gave to you are all about political cover, not reality - although moving some of the Michigan operations to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Kalifornia makes no sense on the face of it. Perhaps they have a sweetheard deal with the Governator or the Legislaturat out there?

After the interview with the Governess, Paul W quoted the former State School Superintendent Tom Watkins from the article in todays Detroit Free Press: "Michigan adds jobs in teardrops, like Google, and loses them in roaring tsunamis". What an apt description.

So, what was the Governess' response to the Pfizer news? "We have to keep working my plan".
Madam Governess - your plan was a failure before it began, because the foundation of it is socialism - a failed economic model. When Government meddles in the economy at any level, it is a disaster for everyone. Start cutting the size and scope of government, start cutting taxes and regulation, and you will see an economic miracle that you will get to take credit for.

We don't need more laws and more government - we need to be set free from them.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Congressional Power Grab Alert!

Our august Senators, convened in Washington DC, have selected as their first bill of the new Congress, a measure to further stifle free speech in the former land of the free and the home of the brave.

S.1 is ostensibly a bill to regulate lobbyist influence in Congress. Possibly a good idea, although if these worthies don't have sense enough to know a bribe when they see one, and to take appropriate action, one must question their ability to make the great decisions of state which come with the office they occupy.

In reality, this is a bill to stifle the political speech of millions of American Citizens, by requiring the organizations they use to monitor the activity of Congress to file paperwork with the Feds whenever they communicate anything of a political nature to those who are not members. With mounds of Federal paperwork to file for each and every message that goes to "the general public" (the actual words used in the bill), these organizations will not be able to afford to send any of those messages due to compliance costs. Thus, the right of Citizens to petition their government for redress of grievances is seriously hindered.

In my own case, I subscribe to mailing lists of several organizations which I am not a member of (GOA, JPFO, Right to Life, etc.) , yet I am not a member of any of these organizations. I rely on these organizations to give me information on the happenings in Congress or my State Legislature. But this source of information would dry up on me if this bill passes.

Dear Reader - please contact your Senators and urge them to vote against this bill, and to support the amendment being offered by Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Robert Bennett which would delete the offensive part of S.1.

You won't hear about this on the old media (Us? Bias?). But contact your Senators before the end of the week.