Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of my readers. Let's hope it's a quiet one, without any drama.

What the Hell Is That In the Room?

What? We don't see anything.

Chicago’s murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, the Midwestern 4.5 or the Illinois’ 5.6 rates, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicago’s murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war or decades of tyranny.

But Chicago isn’t even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be New Orleans which at an incredible 72.8 murder rate is ten times higher than the national average. If New Orleans were a country, it would have the 2nd highest murder rate in the world, beating out El Salvador.

Louisiana went red for Romney 58 to 40, but Orleans Parish went blue for Obama 80 to 17.

St. Louis has a murder rate just a little lower than Belize. Baltimore has a worse murder rate than South Africa and Detroit has a worse murder rate than Colombia. Obama won both St. Louis and Baltimore by comfortable margins. He won Detroit’s Wayne County 73 to 26.

Homicide rates like these show that something is broken, but it isn’t broken among the Romney voters rushing to stock up on assault rifles every time Obama begins threatening their right to buy them; it’s broken among Obama’s base.

Voting for Obama does not make people innately homicidal. Just look at Seattle which is agonizing over its 26 murders. That’s about the same number of murders as East St. Louis which has only 27,000 people to Seattle’s 620,000.

So what is happening in Chicago to drive it to the gates of hell ahead of Zimbabwe and Rwanda?

A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago last year had criminal records. In Philly, it’s 75%. In Milwaukee it’s 77% percent. In New Orleans, it’s 64%. In Baltimore, it’s 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.

Chicago’s problem isn’t guns; it’s gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico, and trying to cut off their gun supply will be as effective as trying to cut off their drug supply.

America’s murder rate isn’t the work of the suburban and rural homeowners who shop for guns at sporting goods stores and at gun shows, and whom news shows profile after every shooting, but by the gangs embedded in the urban areas controlled by the Democratic machine. The gangs who drive up America’s murder rate look nothing like the occasional mentally ill suburban white kid who goes off his medication and decides to shoot up a school. Lanza, like most serial killers, is a media aberration, not the norm.

Could've sworn I saw an elephant in the room. A black elephant. Must be imagining things.

Hey, did ya hear the latest? Kim Kardashian is pregnant with Kanye West's baby!

Can't Say I'm Looking Forward To 2013...

...because this:

I did speak to one harried clerk, briefly. They didn’t know when they’d be getting anything back in stock, from magazines to rifles to pistols. Manufacturers were running full-bore, but couldn’t come close to keeping up with market demand.It wasn’t just the AR-15s, the AK-pattern rifles, the M1As, and the FALs that were sold out. It really hit me when I realized that the World War-era M1 Garands , M1 carbines, and Enfield .303s were gone, along with every last shell. Ubiquitous Mosin-Nagants—of which every gun store always seems to have 10-20—were gone. So was their ammo. Only a dust free space marked their passing. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Every weapon of military utility designed within the past 100+ years was gone. This isn’t a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.

I wonder if this is what it felt like during the time of the Powder Alarm, and fear politicians both sides of the aisle are no more speaking the same language as most Americans as Gage was unable to think like the Colonials. There is an earnestness now on both sides, and a great chance for unintended consequences.

Happy New Year!

Quote of the Day

"You may not get any more revenue, you may not get any more economic growth. But you can say, ‘I stuck it to the rich people.’”

From the man who, if the GOP had any sense, they'd nominate for President in 2016: Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

OK, That's Enough

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to deal with comment spam any more. Anonymous commenting is now verboten here at The Drawn Cutlass. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.

He's Poor, Sick and a Veteran.

Why can't you just leave him the Hell alone?

CLOVER, S.C. There are at least nine wise men – three sets of three – in the yard. There is a baby Jesus in a manger, five “Santy Clauses,” Christmas trees, reindeer and lot of lights on trees and bushes.

“I figured it was Christmas, I would make it all even nicer out here and make it ‘purty’ so the kids around here could come and look at it,” said Johnny Ramsey.

“I don’t know how many years I got left,” the 79-year-old said. “I just want to make it, what’s the word, festive, out here. I don’t know why Clover would bother an old man like me over this.”

Ramsey collected this stuff, and more, to pay the bills and buy medicine for his wife.

And because he wouldn’t clean it up, Ramsey went to jail because the town of Clover considered his junk a public nuisance.

It was that junk – and Ramsey’s stubborn fight to keep what he collected and sold – that eventually landed him in jail for 72 hours in early October after being found guilty of contempt of court.

Ramsey easily had been found guilty. He was the worst defendant in courtroom history – he admitted everything. Ramsey said he had junk, and could care less if it was against any town rules because it was how he, plainly, survived.

Click the link to read the rest.

Vacation Suggestion

Frying Pan Tower, NC:

While it's still relatively cheap. Once the tower is fully restored/renovated/upgraded, most of us won't be able to afford it.

Walter Russell Mead's "Yule Blog"

He's been doing one daily for the 12 days of Christmas, from Christmas to Epiphany. Here's today's: Personal Meaning.

Virtually all human beings encounter something in life that seems to transcend ordinary experience. This is true whether or not we believe in one God, many gods or no god at all. Almost all human beings have ‘peak experiences’ from time to time. There are moments and relationships in life that point beyond the physical realities toward the meaning of life. Painting a picture, talking with a friend or a loved one, holding the hand of a small child, volunteering in a homeless shelter, watching the surf roll up the beach as the sun rises on the horizon: at certain moments in our lives these very ordinary experiences connect us with something that somehow feels more real than the superficial and trivial concerns that usually engage us.

That feeling of deeper, truer perception doesn’t just illuminate the moment in which we have it; it casts a light onto the rest of our lives. Something triggers a moment of special clarity and insight that puts the issues and problems of our daily lives into a new and more meaningful perspective. Mystics and people with strong religious beliefs see these moments as encounters with God. But others feel that these experiences are ‘spiritual’ rather than ‘religious: they experience a feeling of intense meaning and perception that isn’t grounded in any specific religious or theological context.

Click the link to read the whole thing. And the whole series, for that matter.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Oxford Hobbit

Returning to the simple life.

It might be easy to ridicule her, and some probably would; not me. She's living a life I've been tempted to try myself.

Yer Science Experiment of the Day

Which are hit more often in the road by motorists: snakes or turtles?

Speaking for myself, I try to avoid all reptiles, even venomous snakes. I've even rescued a turtle or two, if I'm on a quiet back road. How about a poll?

Do You Swerve To Miss Reptiles? free polls 

h/t The Anchoress.

saw this comment in a follow-up:

if you want to save the turtles, start making foam replicas that have large steel spikes inside and leave on the center lane. when enough people blow their tires on turtles they are trying to kill they will stop running them over. nobody tries to squash a deer with their car. I d wonder though if some people running over turtles are just bad drivers. look at all the highway patrol officers stopped on the side of the road giving tickets or assisting drivers that have cars slam into them.

Caltrop turtles!

Meanwhile, Down In Wilmington, NC...

...the Wilmington Police Department is deploying the proto-Terminators that soon will target enemies of the State:

Yep, imagine that thing rolling up on you and squeezing your head between those arms like a grape. Squish!

Doubling Down

That New York Gannett newspaper that published information about gun owners, including an interactive Google map, is at it again:

Apparently undeterred by retaliation from a pro-Second Amendment blogger, the editorial staff at Gannett’s “Journal News” is at it again.

After creating an uproar for publishing the names and addresses of gun owners in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties, “Journal News” announced it will release and publish the names and addresses of permit holders in Putnam County, according to Reuters.

“Further names and addresses will be added as they become available to a map originally published on December 24 in the White Plains, New York-based Journal News,” the report notes.

Prediction: this will go on until some enraged gun owner shoots out windows at a journalist's house, at which point the New York state legislature will step in and try to craft a law to muzzle the newspapers, resulting in lawsuits.

Can it be any more obvious that journalists just have complete contempt for the Second Amendment at this point? If these bozos manage to gin up a civil war in the US over guns, it's only fair that they become targets themselves, isn't it? And when they lose that war, only poetic justice that they be stood against a wall and shot with the guns that they hate so much?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Piers Morgan Wants To Amend Bible


CNN host Piers Morgan has said he believes the Bible and the U.S. Constitution are 'inherently flawed' and that the Bible needs an amendment changing its stance on same-sex marriage.

The bold statements come days after the British journalist divided America with his strict stance on gun laws following the Sandy Hook massacre, even sparking e-petitions to deport him.

While interviewing Pastor Rick Warren on his CNN show, he said: 'Both the Bible and the Constitution were well intentioned but they are basically, inherently flawed. Hence, the need to amend it.'

Not to put too fine a point on it, but that calls to mind another attempt to "fix" something religious that was perceived to be in need of repair:

Any questions?


Higo no Kami Aogami-Honwarikomi Tokudai (sizeXL)

Pic (website photo):

I only bought one, not two. These are Japanese utility knives; a simple friction folder (no backspring)that is opened with a protruding lever. The blades are hand-forged and are of san mai construction, meaning a layer of hard steel (for the cutting edge) sandwiched between two layers of softer steel (for toughness). Handle is a piece of folded brass.

This is a workman's knife, priced inexpensively so a working man can afford it. In this it is no different than the French Opinel or Douk-Douk or the German K55 "Cat" knife. It's very thin, only 1/8", about 1/2" wide and approx. 4.5" long.

Making a sheath for this one would be a bit of a conundrum, because that opening lever complicates things. You'd probably have to forego a lanyard/pigtail and sheath it with the lanyard hole toward the bottom, and pull it out of the sheath between thumb and forefinger. Or maybe work out a horizontal sheath style.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Headline of the Day

"George H.W. Bush Bantering With Nurses, Missing Dim Sum In Intensive Care."

I have to admit I at first misread it as dim son and thought to myself, "Damn, why can't George W. go see his father when Poppy is sick?"

Just a joke. I've sent prayers out for President Bush 41 to enjoy a complete recovery, and I hope you all will, also.

Charlotte's Own Antique Fire Engine Fleet


30-image slideshow here.

Sample pic:

"Manna of St. Nicholas?"

We're not talking Sanny Claus here, but St. Nicholas of Myra, on whom he was based:

Today he is buried in the Italian city of Bari where his tomb is visited by thousands every year.

An annual ceremony since 1980 goes so far as to extract a clear liquid from his bones called the ‘manna of Saint Nicholas.’ According to the Catholic Church, the extract is said to hold healing properties.

Gah. Wonder how you use it? I ain't gone drink no bone juice.

Interesting Gun Article In Washington Post

Turk Turon points out an interesting Washington Post article on the US gun culture.

And so it goes with people looking for solutions to gun killings in America.

We’re talking about the very best people, the people with statistics and proposals for regulation, crawling around in the sunlight of their social-scientific rationality.

They never find a solution because all their legislation, academic studies, mathematical proofs, and proposals for waiting periods, background checks and buying limits aren’t going to do much more than they ever have.

Nor are the pleas of the progressives asking why anyone would ever want to own a gun — thereby demonstrating their arrogance toward the people who own the hundreds of millions of guns in the United States.

Both the problem and the solution lie elsewhere, in what historian Richard Hofstadter called “America as a Gun Culture.”

Guns get handed down through generations, symbols of patriarchy.

They’re symbols of protection of the home, the romance of industry, equality, cool daring, mean-street savvy, fighting for liberation and family tradition.

There are complications of class, too. Campaigns against “Saturday night specials” were campaigns against the arming of the lower classes. In 1941, a Florida Supreme Court justice wrote an opinion that a gun-control law had been “passed for the purpose of disarming the Negro laborers and. . . was never intended to be applied to the white population.”

Right there the writer butts up against an error in his thinking, and doesn't realize it. There are two dominant gun cultures in the US: one white, one black. They almost never interact. Almost all of the gun crime and gun murder statistics that so horrify the world and provide the Brady Bunch with their raison d'être come from the black gun culture. That is the culture of thugs and gangbangers and drive-by shootings, of convenience store robberies, of home invasions. I'm not saying that whites never commit these crimes, get that clear - - I'm saying, though, that the vast majority are carried out by blacks. Most of these young men (it's mostly a crime of young men) ignore laws requiring concealed carry permits. Indeed, many of them wouldn't qualify for permits, having felony arrests on their criminal record that prevents gun ownership. The black gun culture doesn't join the NRA, spend time on gun forums, or read historical articles on guns; the gun is simply a tool for acquiring the money they desire, to be used to buy drugs, jewelry, cars. In this they are no different than any outlaw class of the past.

The writer goes on:

Last week an analyst talked to an NPR talk-show host about “insurrectionist” gun owners — a rising of the masses against, presumably, some of the people who listen to NPR. When elites talk about “armed rednecks” and “gun-toting trailer trash,” they may think their bigotry stays secret. It doesn’t. Those maligned Americans are aware that governing classes throughout history have sought a monopoly on violence, in the manner of the British redcoats trying to seize American guns at Concord, Mass.

The writer did indeed get this part right. This is the white culture divide under the microscope: the coastal/urban elite versus "flyover country," as the elite likes to describe us. You'll see these culture wars fought out on Twitter, and in newspaper comment forums (not so much in the old letters sections of newspapers, because elite editors chose what letters would run in that section, creating skew.) When Larry Pratt get into a shouting match with Piers Morgan on CNN, resulting in gun owners starting White House petition for Morgan to be deported, you're seeing the culture war being fought.

Then the writer gets something horribly wrong:

We might start with public pressure on the media and mass entertainment. We might stop catering to gun fetishism. We might increase the number of high school rifle teams, the dwindling of which, following calls for bans starting in the 1960s, has helped leave gun training to movies and video games. We might point out that the great names of American gunsmithing — Winchester, Colt, Smith and Wesson, and Remington — are now just brands bought and sold by corporations. U.S. pistols are so shoddy that our armed forces chose a pistol from Italy, the Beretta. Our police carry pistols from Austria and Germany.

All of us white gun culture types know that the US military dropped the 1911 for a bunch of reasons: we wanted commonality of ammunition with Europe, which uses the 9mm; women, who were joining the military in increasing numbers, have a difficult time mastering the recoil of the .45ACP; the design of the 1911 is less forgiving to the fool than the Beretta and other modern pistols are; switching to 9mm allowed an increased number of cartridges per gun, an important feature for people who miss a lot. None of this had anything to do with shoddy construction. Indeed, there are 1911's in storage that have been carried by soldiers going all the way back to World War I. You'd have thought they'd have broken by now, if they are so shoddily constructed.

And as for why most police forces these days choose "pistols from Austria and Germany," that has more to do with the marketplace than with any shoddiness of US construction (and, in truth, many of those Austrian and German gun manufacturers have factories here in the US, so if quality is a concern, why are they building them here?)

All in all, it's an article that goes a little further toward understanding of the US gun culture(s) than the usual MSM article. Wish we'd see more articles along these lines.

Headline of the Day

And your chance for sarcastic comments:

"California lawmakers drove less, saved money without state-paid cars."

You may fire when ready, Gridley.*

When Lanyards Are Outlawed...

...only outlaws will carry lanyards.

Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson has banned the use of all lanyards in provincial schools. Most of Alberta's 2,000 schools have long used lanyards for hall and restroom passes. But a Grade 3 student recently almost choked to death on a lanyard, prompting the ban.

Why It's Called That

Boxing Day.

It's also the feast day of St. Stephen the Protomartyr.

Translation: Yer Screwed

"If There's An Apocalyptic Zombie Invasion, You Can Be Rest Assured [sic] We Are Well Prepared."

Yah, sure you are. A mostly-disarmed populace with an entitlement mentality? Good luck with that.

Ghastly Dreams

I'm a third shift worker, and I worked last night. I went to bed around 10 this morning, just now got up for the second time, 2:45 (not much sleep; hopefully I'll nap before work tonight). Anyway, had a ghastly dream about being infested with foot-long "worms" that looked far more like bright-green centipedes than worms (possibly sand worms). Anyway, these horrible things burrowed into my body, and the only way to get rid of them was to prepare a noose of string and wait with it near the entrance hole that they dug as they burrowed into my body: when they stuck their heads out to breathe, you snag them with the string and jerk them out, then stomp them flat. It worked with one of the two worms, the other one I broke in half, with the still-living half burrowing back into my body. At this point I woke up for a bio break, and in that hazy, still-dreaming way, tried to figure out a way of ridding myself of the broken worm, and to prevent re-infestation in future.

Don't really want any more dreams like that one, thanks.

Music Recommendation

Advent At Ephesus.

It's currently topping the Billboard Classical Music chart. You can hear samples of the music here.

I watched a TV special on these nuns recently, via a recommendation of The Anchoress. And you do have her on your bloglist, right?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Wish

I wish I could sit quietly at a Carthusian Charterhouse and listen to the monks sing the very special Matins and Lauds of the Night Office. It's the single most important event in their calendar. Carthusians don't allow casual visitors, however.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers. I hope you enjoy God's blessing upon yourselves and your families. Remember our military people serving overseas, most especially those in war zones away from their families, and remember the police, firefighters and EMT's who will be watching over us all during this special night.

I'll be taking tomorrow off from posting. Posting will resume Wednesday morning.

Bob Evans
Matthews, NC


Villagers all, this frosty tide,
Let your doors swing open wide,
Though wind may follow, and snow beside,
Yet draw us in by your fire to bide;
Joy shall be yours in the morning!

Here we stand in the cold and the sleet,
Blowing fingers and stamping feet,
Come from far away you to greet--
You by the fire and we in the street--
Bidding you joy in the morning!

For ere one half of the night was gone,
Sudden a star has led us on,
Raining bliss and benison--
Bliss to-morrow and more anon,
Joy for every morning!

Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow--
Saw the star o'er a stable low;
Mary she might not further go--
Welcome thatch, and litter below!
Joy was hers in the morning!

And then they heard the angels tell
`Who were the first to cry NOWELL?
Animals all, as it befell,
In the stable where they did dwell!
Joy shall be theirs in the morning!'

(Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In the Willows, Chapter 5.)

Looks Like Another Movie Director...

...forgot to get the Spike Lee Seal of Authentic Blacknezz in a movie featuring African-Americans:

Yesterday, director Spike Lee ripped into Quentin Tarantino’s new ultra-violent slave revenge fantasy pic Django Unchained. Lee told VIBETV, “I can’t speak on it cause I’m not gonna see it. All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me … I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

Lee, you will recall, feuded with Clint Eastwood over the same subject.

Video: Henri - - The Worst Noel

via Daily Caller:

Sort of a feline version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, I think, with Henri as Scrooge.

Today's LOL

via IMAO.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Meanwhile, Outside My Window...

Our neighborhood Red-Shouldered Hawk is looking for an unwary rodent to snack on:

OK, I Signed

"Deport British Citizen Piers Morgan for Attacking 2nd Amendment."

Update: Bye, Piers.

A Simple Exposition Of How Taxes Affect the Economy

via Reason: Taxpayers Aren't Stationary Targets.

Leaving recessions out of the account, for the past 60 years federal tax revenues have been rather steady at just under 19 percent GDP regardless of the tax rates. The top income-tax rate has ranged from a low of 28 percent in 1988-90 to a high of 92 percent in 1952-53, yet the flow of money has been a fairly constant proportion of the economy. This would seem to confirm the apparently controversial hypothesis that taxpayers are purposive human beings who can be counted to modify their behavior according to the incentives and disincentives that government places in their paths.

Yet most politicians don't get it. In The Wall Street Journal a few years ago, W. Kurt Hauser, formerly of the Hoover Institution, wrote:

Even amoebas learn by trial and error, but some economists and politicians do not. The Obama administration's budget projections claim that raising taxes on the top 2% of taxpayers, those individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning $250,000 or more, will increase revenues to the U.S. Treasury. The empirical evidence suggests otherwise. None of the personal income tax or capital gains tax increases enacted in the post-World War II period has raised the projected tax revenues.

"Hauser's Law" seems quite robust. Over 60 years, "there have been more than 30 major changes in the tax code including personal income tax rates, corporate tax rates, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, investment tax credits, depreciation schedules, Social Security taxes, and the number of tax brackets among others. Yet during this period, federal government tax collections as a share of GDP have moved within a narrow band of just under 19% of GDP."

The explanation is simple enough for a child to understand, though politicians have difficulty with it:

When tax rates are raised, taxpayers are encouraged to shift, hide and underreport income. Taxpayers divert their effort from pro-growth productive investments to seeking tax shelters, tax havens and tax exempt investments. This behavior tends to dampen economic growth and job creation. Lower taxes increase the incentives to work, produce, save and invest, thereby encouraging capital formation and jobs. Taxpayers have less incentive to shelter and shift income.

Click the link to read the whole thing.

Wooden Russian Churches, Decaying In the Wilderness

Some of them date back to 988 a.d.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas...

...from The Walking Dead:

Via Reason: "Grandma Got Indefinitely Detained"

Will a Gun Ban Or a Confiscation Even Work?

History says: NO.

In fact, New York City’s situation with guns is mirrored in Europe, where countries with tight restrictions also find themselves awash in illegal firearms without any clear parallels for the relatively liberal laws of Virginia or South Carolina to blame. According to the Small Arms Survey (PDF) at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland:

Contrary to widely-accepted national myths, public gun ownership is commonplace in most European states. It may appear to some outside observers—especially Americans—that Europeans have blindly surrendered their gun rights (Heston, 2002). The reality is that the citizens of most European countries are better armed than they realize. …

Regulations tightly control gun ownership in only a few European countries like the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom. In much of the rest of the continent, public officials readily admit that unlicensed owners and unregistered guns greatly outnumber legal ones. …

“Greatly outnumber?” Just how greatly?

Click the link to read the whole thing. It's clear that, even in countries that have tried the ban/confiscation route, people are no longer willing to trust their governments - - you all know the list of countries that tyrannised their citizens - - and are willing to live as official felons rather than surrender their natural right to self-defense with effective weapons.

Oh, It Was In Somebody's Hand?

Then it did not go off:

WENDELL -- A 15-year-old Wendell boy died Friday night after a gun went off and killed him, according to the Johnston County Sheriff.

The boy, who name was not released, was at the home of Robert Furey at 200 David Road.

So there the gun was, lying on a table, and Hey Presto! It goes off. Is that how it happened?

Furey was showing the boy a gun when it went off and killed him at 9:30 p.m., said Tammy Amaon, spokeswoman for the sheriff.

Ah, now it becomes clear. So, there you are, showing a boy a loaded gun (Rule 1: A Gun Is Always Loaded), and the muzzle just happens to be pointing at the boy (Rule 2: Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Willing To Destroy), and Hey Presto! It goes off? Is that how it happened? Damned unsafe gun, if you ask me. Too unsafe to leave loaded.

But...but...the gun hadn't gone off before, had it? When lying on a table? Stored wherever you store it? No?

Only when you were handling it? So maybe it's possible that your finger was on the trigger (Rule 3: Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until Your Sights Are On the Target)?

Furey was charged with voluntary manslaughter and is in the Johnston County Jail with no bond.

According to the Department of Public Safety, Robert Keith Furey has three convictions for driving while impaired, the most recent in October 2011.

Those three DWI convictions were all misdemeanors, according to the NC Offender Search. Two of them came back in 1988, when Furey was around 35; the newest one was just last year. So he was a drunk lacking judgement and self-control in his thirties, cleaned up his act for 20+ years, and just recently relapsed into bad habits.

So he didn't do anything heinously bad that would have prevented him from purchasing a firearm; he was just stupid and forgot safe gun handling practices, if he ever learned them to begin with. Maybe we should ask that a prospective gun owner take a class before being allowed to purchase a gun? An hour's class on gun safety, to include safe handling practices and storage, the passing of the class a pre-requisite to purchasing a firearm? What do you folks think?

A Favorite Christmas Tale

Chapter 5 of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In the Willows.

The sheep ran huddling together against the hurdles, blowing out thin nostrils and stamping with delicate fore-feet, their heads thrown back and a light steam rising from the crowded sheep-pen into the frosty air, as the two animals hastened by in high spirits, with much chatter and laughter. They were returning across country after a long day's outing with Otter, hunting and exploring on the wide uplands where certain streams tributary to their own River had their first small beginnings; and the shades of the short winter day were closing in on them, and they had still some distance to go. Plodding at random across the plough, they had heard the sheep and had made for them; and now, leading from the sheep-pen, they found a beaten track that made walking a lighter business, and responded, moreover, to that small inquiring something which all animals carry inside them, saying unmistakably, `Yes, quite right; THIS leads home!'

Click the link to read the rest. The Wind In the Willows is a favorite book of mine. It's possible to buy multiple copies of it, each illustrated by different illustrators: Tasha Tudor, Ernest Shepherd, Arthur Rackham, and many others. It was a favorite of President Theodore Roosevelt's and he read it to his children.


That's the measurements of 1912's "Perfect Woman." Also, incidentally, the measurements of the Venus de Milo.

I'm ok on that hip measurement, preferring a broad-hipped woman. Waist could be a trifle narrower and the bust a little broader, though. 38-24-40 would be an awesomely female shape, IMO.

How about you, readers? What is your ideal for a woman's body?

Fun Facts About North Carolina

via IMAO.

Here's a sample. Click the link to read the entire list.

* North Carolina became the 12th state on November, 21st, 1789. Then, as now, it was the nation’s leading producer of tobacco products and is the only state in the US whose constitution includes a Surgeon General’s warning.

* The state song of North Carolina is a wet, hacking cough.

* The state motto of North Carolina is “Esse quam videri”, which is Latin for “arrogant basketball snobs”.

* At nearly 6700 feet, North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi and is rumored to be the hiding place of the notorious terrorist Bubba bin Laden.

* The Venus Flytrap is a carnivorous plant which is native to North Carolina. It will eat dead flies, spoiled hamburger, and most other things commonly found in the kitchen at McDonald’s.

* The Mile-High Swinging Bridge near Linville, North Carolina, is 5305 feet above sea level. It wasn’t originally designed to swing, but that’s Union labor for ya.

* Pepsi was invented in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898. The secret ingredient in the beverage is a closely-guarded secret, but here’s a hint: the beverage was originally called “Peesi”.

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry #8 (Final Entry)

I woke up a couple of hours ago. I appear to have survived the Mayan Apocalypse.

I wonder what the next cockamamie end-of-world scenario will be? And how soon it will be predicted for?*

One thing that you can confidently predict: Every generation has the conceit to convince itself that the End Times will occur during its lifetime. It's been the case since humans developed beyond the hungry wanna eat/thirsty wanna drink/horny wanna fuck stage (which, sadly, some never grew out of).

*Update: January 1, 2017. Told you so.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry #7

Going to bed.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If Mayannaised before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry #6

Pizza on the way from Pizza Hut. Hope I don't get Mayannaised before it gets here.

Musical Interlude

Portishead, Glory Box.

Today's Hollow Laugh

Found at Hope 'n Change Cartoons.

No More Lip Service... the Second Amendment.

The governor of the state of New York is talking confiscation:

During the course of the interview, Gov. Cuomo didn’t outline any specific gun control measures, but he did say the following: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”

Well, Threepers, looks like it's time to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. The tyrant has shown his ugly face.

h/t Gateway Pundit

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry #5

I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic that we won't become Mayannaise. Don't want to get too cocky, however.

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry #4

Walked the dog, ate lunch. Cold and very windy outside, but the sky a lovely blue. Still not Mayannaised.

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry # 3

Still not Mayannaised, even after that abortion kit of an NRA "press conference."

He Never Read Ruark

Or he'd have known better:

GAINESVILLE — A man hunting coyotes near Gainesville is being treated at the hospital after a shooting accident.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report says 61-year-old Norberto Mondilio Quinones-Caseres was airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville on Tuesday. He told wildlife officials he was climbing over a fence when his gun discharged and a bullet hit him in the abdomen.

I'll take the liberty and guess that the man, with his Hispanic name (and probably heritage) has never read Robert Ruark's classic book The Old Man and the Boy, or he'd have known not to climb a fence with a gun in his hand:

The Old Man put on his hat and whistled for Frank and Sandy. We walked out back of the house where the tame covey was. It was a nice November day, with the sun warm and the breeze not too stiff, and still some gold and red left in the leaves. We came to a fence, a low barbed-wire fence, and I climbed it, holding the gun high up with one hand and gripping the fence post with the other. I was halfway over when the barbed wire sort of caught in the crotch of my pants and the Old Man hollered.

"Whoa!" the Old Man said. "Now, ain't you a silly sight, stuck on a bob-wire fence with a gun waving around in the breeze and one foot in the air and the other foot on a piece of limber wire?"

"I guess I am, at that," I said.

"I"m going to be pretty naggy at you for a while," the Old Man said. "When you do it wrong, I'm going to call you. I know you haven't loaded the gun yet, and that no matter what happens nobody is going to get shot because you decide to climb a fence with a gun in your hand. But if you make a habit out of it, some day you'll climb one with the loads in the gun and your foot'll slip and the trigger'll catch in the bob-wire and the gun'll go off and shoot you or me or somebody else, and then it'll be too late to be sorry.

"There's a lot of fences around woods and fields," he said. "You'll be crossing fences for the rest of your life. You might as well start now to do it right. When you climb a fence, you lay the gun on the ground, under the fence, with the safety on, ten foot away from where you intend to cross the fence. You got the muzzle sticking in the opposite direction from where you're going. After you've crossed the fence you go back and pick up the gun, and look at it to see if the safety is still on. You make a habit of this, too. It don't cost nothing to look once in a while and see if the safety is on."

It's a damned shame that the book is semi-forgotten now, as is Ruark. A lot of good lessons on gun safety and wilderness skills in Ruark's books.

NRA Press Conference Coming Up

Supposedly scheduled for 10:45 EDT. David Codrea has a link here.

Update: moved up to 11:00 a.m.

Update 2: not taking questions from the press, so it's just the NRA lecturing. Lame.

Mayan Apocalaypse, Entry #2

Still not Mayanaised. Time 9:22 EDT.

Can't Really Say I Disagree On This One

"Bloated Lib Michael Moore: Americans Own Guns Because Of Racist Fears…"

Anyone aware of current US demographic projections and violent crime demographics knows there's a reason to give young black men a wide berth; they're likely to be armed (illegally, usually) so why would you want to be at a disadvantage if a confrontation occurs?

Keep John Derbyshire's rules for interacting with blacks in mind. And get your CCW license, because on this one issue that bloated slug Michael Moore is actually right.

We All Know the Real Reason, Don't We?

"Why Spree Killers Kill Themselves."

The writer spouts a lot of psychobabble theories, but we all know the real reason you don't want to live after committing a massacre, right?

Because these guys are waiting for you:

Mayan Apocalypse, Entry #1

Woke up alive. So far so good. I'll update regularly throughout the next couple of days. If the updates stop, you'll know that I'm Mayannaise.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meanwhile, Over At Larry Correia's Place...

...Larry has posted a long, but well-thought-out essay on the gun control issue.

I'd post some excerpts, but it's Larry Correia, for Pete's sake. Just go read the whole thing.

Chuckie Schumer, Voice of Reason On Gun Control?

Cue the flying pigs and the weather reports of snowfall in the infernal regions:

The gun debate of the past two decades has devolved into a permanent tug-of-war between the National Rifle Association (NRA) and advocates of gun safety. One side has viewed the Second Amendment as absolute; the other has tried to pretend that it doesn’t exist. The result is a failure to find any consensus, even as one mass shooting after another underscores the need for sensible reform.

Heller told the two sides that they were each only half-right: The right to bear arms is constitutionally guaranteed, but reasonable limitations are allowed.

The first part is something many gun-control advocates did not wish to hear, but it was a needed dose of reality. Before Heller, the goal of some gun-control activists was an outright ban on handguns. Heller removes that possibility for good. Progressives should move on and work within the ruling. This means no longer harboring ideas of a future liberal majority on the court someday overturning Heller. It also means that states and localities should abide by the spirit of the ruling, not just its letter, and not seek to impose undue burdens upon law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The truth is, it was bad strategy to ever deny an individual right to bear arms and, similarly, the special place guns hold in our culture.
That mentality alienated potential allies in the ideological middle of the gun debate — something I learned three years ago when my friend Ben Nelson invited me to Nebraska for my first hunting trip. I returned with true respect for how, in many parts of America, gun ownership is not just a constitutional right but a way of life. It has the same meaning in Nebraska that playground basketball did for me in my Brooklyn neighborhood. Heller understands that reality.

Click the link to read the rest. Left unsaid in the piece is what sort of solutions and compromises Chuckie will expect from the gun rights side. I'm guessing that, despite the lip service quoted above, Chuckie's solutions will involve bans of various guns and probably "assault magazines," as Nancy Pelosi calls them.

via Hot Air Headlines.

Jesse Ventura's Evil Twin

We'll call the evil twin "Scruff Face."

A lawyer for the ex-Navy SEAL sniper who is being sued for defamation by Minnesota's former governor over an alleged punch argued Tuesday, Dec. 18, that in order to claim punitive damages, Ventura must prove the former SEAL didn't punch someone who "looked and acted like Ventura."

John Borger, the attorney representing former SEAL and best-selling author Chris Kyle, told a federal magistrate that Ventura has to prove Kyle fabricated the story about the punch and knew it was false when he stuck it in his book.

Ventura's lawyers haven't shown that Kyle knew his statement was false, Borger said.

"They can't rule out the possibility there was a Ventura impersonator," Borger told U.S. Magistrate Arthur Boylan in the pretrial hearing in federal court in Minneapolis.

Lawyers. They fuck everything up, don't they?


"Rielle and John Are Gettin' It On."

DON’T come a-knocking when JOHN EDWARDS’ love shack is rocking!

That’s the general con­sensus ever since the disgraced presidential candidate started spending nights with his baby mama Rielle Hunter at her new home.

“Rielle’s place is only a hop, skip and a jump from John’s home, and it’s pretty much turned into his booze and sex romp hideaway,” a source close to the couple told The ENQUIRER.

“When they get a little tipsy, they get so frisky that their lovemaking becomes embar­rassingly loud. One day, an el­derly neighbor walked right up to Rielle, and snickered, ‘Try to keep it down next time.’ John was mortified when Rielle told him the story, but she clearly got a kick out of it.”

"There are no second acts with American lives," F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. Obviously he never knew many sleazy Southern politicians.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Local Catholic College Defeats Obama Administration

A three-judge U.S. District Court panel has sided with Belmont Abbey College in its case against the Obama administration over the requirement in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that employers must provide free contraceptives in employee insurance plans.

In a decision announced Tuesday, the judges ordered administration officials to rewrite the law, so it will not force religious institutions to offer contraceptives.

Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic institution in Gaston County, had sued the Obama administration over the health care mandate. College officials said it would require the school to act in a manner contradictory to church teachings.

Roman Catholic doctrine is opposed to the use of artificial birth control.

“Christmas came early this year,” Belmont Abbey College President William Thierfelder said in a statement released Wednesday.

Click the link to read the rest. The school is named after Belmont Abbey, which is a Benedictine monastery on the grounds. The abbey church is lovely, and listening to the monks sing Vespers this time of year, with the church almost totally dark inside except for the illumination near the chanting monks is quite charming.

This Was My Story Idea

Maybe it was others' as well; anyway:

I'll update if he gives me credit. Permalink found here.

Law-Abiding Arizona Gun Owner Nabs Bank Robber


A gun-carrying man in Flagstaff, Ariz. is being credited with helping stop a bank robbery suspect — but he never even had to pull out his gun.

Dave Young was driving up to the Arizona Central Credit Union branch when he saw a friend’s son trying to stop a man jumping over a fence.

Young says he quickly confirmed a bank robbery had occurred and took off after the two in his vehicle.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports Young caught up with the pair and placed his hand on his sidearm, showing the suspect that he was armed. He didn’t pull his gun — but he was ready if he needed to.

Young called 911 and police took the suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Joshua Nesmith, into custody.

“I provided cover for him. If the suspect had tried to pull a weapon I could have stopped him,” Young said. “I told him don’t move. I looked him over for weapons and visually inspected the suspect, then called 911.”

In Arizona, gun owners can carry a concealed or exposed weapon without a permit or training. Young says he’s held a concealed carry permit since 1998. He also said carrying a firearm is the responsibility of able-bodied, law-abiding men.

Carrying a concealed weapon legally without a permit or training, as can now be done in several states, is often called "Constitutional Carry" by gun owners. I hope the practice spreads.

ATF Agent Sold Gun To Fast & Furious Straw Purchaser

And he's still employed by the ATF. Go figure.

CBS News has learned that two guns found in the area of a recent Mexican drug cartel shootout have been linked to Fast and Furious: one trafficked by a suspect in the case, and the other purchased by a federal agent.

Mexican beauty queen Susana Flores Maria Gamez and four others died in the brutal gun battle between Sinaloa cartel members and the Mexican military in November. CBS News has learned that an FN Herstal pistol recovered near the crime scene in November was originally purchased by an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) manager who was faulted by the Inspector General in Operation Fast and Furious: George Gillett. Gillett was the Asst. Special Agent in Charge of ATF Phoenix when Fast and Furious began.

The Herstal pistol is nicknamed a "cop-killer" because of its designation as a "weapon of choice" for Mexican drug cartels. We've learned the Inspector General planned to question Gillett today after a hastily-opened inquiry to determine how this agent's personal weapon got into the hands of suspected cartel members.

CBS News spoke to Gillett, who is still employed at ATF. Gillett acknowledged he once owned the weapon in question, but says he sold it in Phoenix sometime last year after advertising it on the Internet. He declined to provide the name of the man who bought it, but says he went "above and beyond" what was required by law to complete the firearms transaction. That included asking the purchaser to fill out a form giving personal information and stating that he was in the US legally; and checking his driver's license, which Gillett said was issued in the US.

"I didn't do anything criminal," Gillett stated. He calls himself a gun enthusiast: "I've been a gun collector all my life." He told CBS News he ran into financial difficulties in recent years and sold some of his firearms. Gillett says the Herstal pistol may have sold for approximately $1,100.

"I didn't do anything criminal." Yah, we know: I am not a crook. We've heard that one before.

Click the link to read the rest of this story. More fine reporting by Sheryl Atkisson, one of only two reporters willing to embarrass the Obama administration (the other is ABC's Jake Tapper, who asked President Obama in today's press conference on gun control, "Where were you for the last four years?")

Benghazi Blame Affixed, Resignations Ensue

No, not the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Don't be stupid.

Three State Department officials resigned under pressure on Wednesday following a report that detailed “grossly inadequate” security measures at the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night assailants besieged it in September, leaving four Americans dead, The Associated Press reported.

The A.P., quoting an unidentified administration official, said Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, and Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, had resigned. The third person, who was not identified, was an official with the department’s Bureau of Near East Affairs, The A.P. said.

The report, by a panel called an accountability review board, investigated the attack on the diplomatic mission and the C.I.A. annex in Benghazi on Sept. 11, which led to the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. It criticized those State Department officials for ignoring requests from the American Embassy in Tripoli for more guards for the mission and for failing to make sufficient safety upgrades.

Wonder if Hillary will do the honorable thing, as Donald Rumsfeld did when confronted with the Abu Ghraib scandal, and offer to resign?

Nah. It's a Clinton we're talking about, after all.

Predator, Prey: Redux

While walking up the driveway just now to retrieve our rollout garbage bins from streetside, I saw our neighborhood Red-Shouldered Hawk swoop down to seize a rodent in its talons, quickly gulp it down, and fly off. No video, unfortunately, so I could be hoaxing you or just outright lying about it.

Meurent Plus Vite, Putain!

Which is French (I hope) for Die Faster, Whore!

France should allow doctors to “accelerate the coming of death” for terminally ill patients, a report to President Francois Hollande recommended Tuesday.

Hollande referred the report to a national council on medical ethics which will examine the precise circumstances under which such steps could be authorised with a view to producing draft legislation by June 2013.

If the legislation is in accord with an individual's expressed desire to end his/her pain and suffering, I'm cautiously supportive; if, however, it is done to anyone who hasn't explicitly expressed such a desire, then I do not support it.

Predator - - and Prey

The predator, in this case, a Golden Eagle. The prey? A toddler. A human baby.This happened in Montreal, Canada.


Please note that in the end of the video, along with the cheesy Vangelis music, someone has dubbed in the call of a hawk, probably a Red-Tailed Hawk. A Golden Eagle call can be heard here.

Update: The video might be bogus. Thanks to Borepatch and Walt for the heads-up.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grumpy Cat's Modest Proposal

In the Last Four Days...

...why hasn't anyone mentioned this particular scene from a popular movie?

Quote of the Day

"All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share." - - Sally, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Damn! An entitlement attitude, all the way back in the early 1960's!

Another Fast & Furious Gun Surfaces (At a Murder Scene)

A Mexican beauty queen was murdered in a gunfight in which it showed up.

A gun found at the scene of a shootout between a Mexican drug cartel and soldiers where a beauty queen died was part of the botched “Fast and Furious” operation, CBS News reports.

Authorities had said that Maria Susana Flores Gamez was likely used as a human shield and that an automatic rifle had been found near her body after the Nov. 23 shootout.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tells CBS News that the Justice Department did not notify Congress that a Fast and Furious firearm was found at the scene in Sinaloa.

I don't think any Presidential gun control task force that VP Biden is heading will be willing to discuss Fast & Furious guns, do you?

NRA Breaks Silence On Sandy Hook

via Facebook:

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.

Barack Obama's Signature (Vertical Edition)

Found here.

Pat Buchanan On the Sandy Hook Massacre

A desire to be famous coupled with a dead conscience is the common thread running through these recurring atrocities. These loners and losers want us to know who they are. And, to succeed now, each almost has to outdo in horror those who went before.

Not long ago, there existed in our hearts “a fear of God.”

How, we would ask ourselves, if we commit an evil act like murder, will we answer at God’s judgment seat? For He will decide if we enter what the president called in Newtown, God’s “eternal house in heaven.”

But if God is dead, not to worry. Just put the gun to your head and pull the trigger, and it’s over. No trial. No disgrace. No prison. Nothing to worry about anymore.

No voice of conscience told Adam: Do not do this evil thing! Now he is no longer a nobody, a nerd, a recluse. He is famous. Everybody is talking about him, and ruminating on what might have motivated him.

Adam wanted to be somebody. And now he is.

And out there others like him are thinking: That could be me.

Read This, Please

The clash that will define the future of America is this collision between the individual and the state, between disorganized freedom and organized compassion, between a self-directed experiment in self-government and an experiment conducted by trained experts on a lab monkey population. And the defining idea of this conflict is accountability.

The rest of it is just that good. Click the link to go read it.

h/t Joan at Primordial Slack.

Headline of the Day

"Squeezing breasts 'could stop growth of cancer cells'"

*honk honk* It's a medical procedure, honey. You don't want cancer, do you?

Oh, It's a Medical Procedure? OK!

Potential Massacre Stopped By Armed Security Guard

Minimal blood for the MSM to dance in.

Two people are hospitalized after a gunman chased terrified restaurant patrons into the lobby of the Santikos Mayan 14 movie theater during a showing of "The Hobbit" last night, 1200 WOAI news reprots.

Police detectives and sheriff's investigators say the incident started in the China Garden Restaurant on Southwest Military Drive about 9 PM Sunday, when an employee of the restaurant walked in looking for a woman.

When the woman, who officials say is also a restaurant employee, wasn't there, the man pulled a gun and attempted to open fire in the restaurant but his weapon jammed.

"It started at the restaurant and then went into the parking lot and then into the movie theater," Deputy Lou Antu told 1200 WOAI news.

Investigators say some of the terrified restaurant patrons poured into the movie theater, and the gunman followed.

He opened fire, shooting one man in the chest, before Antu says an off duty sheriff's deputy who was working security at the theater shot him once.

"The officer involved, she took the appropriate action to try to keep everyone safe in the movie theater," Antu said.

"Weapon jammed." All too often massacres are prevented because the weapon of choice is a semiauto, rather than the inherently more reliable revolver. That's the reason I'm a revolver man, myself.

Seems to be a lot of copycat craziness going on in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Wish everyone would calm down and take a few deep breaths.

Humor of the Day

Twenty years ago, Hasbro, a major American toy manufacturing company, tested a playhouse it hoped to market to both boys and girls. It soon emerged that girls and boys did not interact with the structure in the same way. The girls dressed the dolls, kissed them, and played house. The boys catapulted the toy baby carriage from the roof. A Hasbro manager came up with a novel explanation: "Boys and girls are different."

Found at Amy Alkon's place.

Tommy Jordan Talks Gun Control

Tommy Jordan, the man who shot up his daughter's laptop computer earlier this year, has an extended commentary on guns and gun control in the USA, focusing on the massacre at Sandy Hook. It's intelligently written and worth reading in full.

There are some places you'll no doubt disagree with him - - I do, myself - - but he spent a lot of time working on it and it's a worthy addition to commentary on guns in reaction to Friday's tragedy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Australian Regrets

An Australian talks about the gun control measures introduced after the Port Arthur massacre, in which 35 people were killed:

We could have all responded like rational human beings and grieved for the deceased (35 in all). Instead, militant anti-gun activists viewed the massacre as an opportunity, and set out to punish freedom.

The passage of gun control laws fueled our illegal arms market, and gun-hungry gangs multiplied. The significance: many gangland deaths/wars involved bullets. The tribal fights exploded after the Port Arthur massacre-inspired gun laws, against mainstream media predictions.

To concerned Victorians, too, it felt like our criminal class was running the state. The problem though (in Australia at least) is that campaigning newspapers and television networks are never wrong — no matter how many people are killed or threatened by guns, there’s always a “complex” excuse.

The odd thing about gun control is that a culture of censorship often increases after anti-gun laws fail to deliver. So, it would be hard for an Australian writer to submit a piece on Switzerland’s pro-gun ownership culture and low gun crime rate because our media isn’t “ready” to accept opposing views. Only a “thought control” culture can sustain a “gun control” culture.

When one punishes law-abiding citizens for the sins of criminals, good intentions will backfire. By criminalizing productive citizens, we have made life easier for criminals, and wasted precious police resources on policing farmers.

Moreover, Australians were wrong to exchange scare stories about the “Wild West” because few understood that the Old West was not so wild, according to modern historians. And, we’re still too quick to report on massacres in firearm-welcoming America and too reluctant to report on bigger massacres in firearm-restricting Mexico. We’re quick to report on shootouts across the U.S. but unwilling to report on thousands of Americans who were saved by pointing their easy-to-access guns at criminals, a.k.a. would-be thieves, murderers and rapists.

Gun control is a myth, or rather a mountain of myths sustained by campaigning elites in secure buildings with armed bodyguards: the myth that if law-abiding citizens hand their guns over to the big government to burn, then we will enter a new peace; the myth that if we feel that we are gun controllers, then we are humanitarian citizens even when statistics undermine our self-praising image; and the myth that punishing thousands of farmers and sporting shooters, for the crimes of others, will bring healing. But we (meaning anti-gun Australians) were (and are) wrong.


...while monitoring Twitter on Sunday evening I noticed plans by leftists to march on the Washington, DC headquarters of the NRA. Any of my readers in the area should be aware of this possibility and act accordingly.

A Few Observations On School Shootings

Most teachers are women, and liberal women at that, and few of them have any experience with guns, or even want it. Many of them are rabidly anti-gun, in fact. Expecting them to train and carry guns to deter maniacs is a fool's desire.

Supposing, though, you did manage to persuade teachers (and school administrators and school lawyers) to carry guns: there's lots of details there to take care of. Do the teachers carry them on their persons, in holsters? In their purses? In a locked cabinet in the classroom? What happens if when a teacher has a negligent discharge? Or feels threatened by an unruly teen and throws down on him? If the guns are locked in the classroom 24/7, it makes a target for thieves.

Probably a better solution is what the airlines came up with in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist hijackings: making access to the cockpit impossible by "hardening" the access door. The same could be done for classrooms: metal doors with no windows, with a heavy metal bar on the inside to keep a gunman out and the kids/teacher safe within. Periodic drills to familiarize the staff and students with the necessity of getting inside the secure classrooms.

Limit access into and out of the school building itself with more hardened steel doors. If the school has a "resource officer" (read: cop), he should be stationed at the main entrance so as to monitor people arriving at the school.

Well, those are my ideas. Feel free to contribute others as you like.

US Naval Academy Stunned By Drug Culture Revelations

27 Midshipmen dismissed for drug use.

When the Naval Academy closed its 11-month investigation last year into the use of synthetic marijuana by midshipmen, officials said they’d dismissed 16 mids — but found no evidence of drug dealing.

What the academy’s account didn’t reveal was just how significant a drug culture Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents found.

The investigation ended the military careers of at least 27 midshipmen, including those allowed to resign while being investigated for drug use and an undetermined number suspected of drug use who were dismissed for collateral reasons.

The investigation also uncovered a drug culture replete with users and dealers. Agents not only found use of synthetic marijuana, called “spice,” but that some mids had used cocaine, mephedrone, mescaline and psychedelic mushrooms.

Some mids possessed soda bottles with secret compartments to hide their drugs, and fake bladders called “Whizzinators” to avoid detection of their drug use in urine tests.

All this at a higher education institution regularly ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s “most sober.”

The drug problem was so rampant NCIS agents sometimes interviewed dozens of mids in a day, according to NCIS documents The Capital received in September in response to a federal Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request.

“If I had to estimate the number of mids who are actively smoking spice or doing other drugs,” a midshipman and lead informant told NCIS, “I’d say it’s about 300 to 500 mids.”

Click the link to read the rest of the shameful story.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Proud Man Makes a Stand

Gérard Depardieu:

Gérard Depardieu has said he is handing back his French passport and social security card, lambasting the French government for punishing "success, creation, talent" in his homeland.

A popular and colourful figure in France, the 63-year-old actor is the latest wealthy Frenchman to seek shelter outside his native country by buying a house just over the border in Belgium in response to tax increases by the Socialist president, François Hollande.

The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described Depardieu's behaviour as pathetic and unpatriotic at a time when the French are being asked to pay higher taxes to reduce a bloated national debt.

"Pathetic, you said pathetic? How pathetic is that?" Depardieu said in a letter to the weekly newspaper le Journal du Dimanche.

"I am leaving because you believe that success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned," he said.

The Cyrano de Bergerac star recently bought a house in Nechin, a Belgian village a short walk from the border with France where 27% of residents are French nationals, and put his sumptuous Parisian home up for sale.

Depardieu has also inquired about procedures for acquiring Belgian residency.

He said he had paid €145m (£120m) in taxes since beginning work as a printer at the age of 14.

"People more illustrious than me have gone into [tax] exile. Of all those that have left none have been insulted as I have."

"Who are you to judge me, I ask you Mr Ayrault, prime minister of Mr Hollande? Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love of life, I remain a free man," Depardieu wrote.

Never seen Depardieu? Check him out in this scene from Cyrano de Bergerac:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Follow-Up: Any Amateur Cryptographers Out There?

The pigeon leg code from WWII, which I first mentioned in this post, has been broken.

It was the Second World War code no one could crack – a message from 1944 found decades later attached to a dead carrier pigeon in a fireplace.

Wartime code-breaking analysts and experts from GCHQ were all left stumped. But now a historian has come forward with the right codebook to finally reveal what it says.

The despatch, sent by 27-year-old Sergeant William Stott, identified German troop and panzer tank positions in Normandy and highlighted ‘Jerry’ headquarters and observation posts to target for attacks.

It read: ‘Hit Jerry’s right or reserve battery here. 'Troops, panzers, batteries, engineers, here. 'Counter measures against panzers not working.’

Expert Gord Young deciphered it by consulting a Royal Artillery codebook which had been kept by a relative who fought in the conflict.

Mr Young, who works at Lakefield Heritage Research in Ontario, Canada, says the message proves paratrooper Sgt Stott went behind enemy lines to help military planners direct the D-Day offensive.

Looks like they found a copy of that one-time pad, Ted.

Gun Control Debate: Links at Reason Magazine


The discussion of gun control, self-defense and crime in the United Kingdom is particularly interesting from a civil liberties standpoint.

Why, Yes, That IS the Body of Richard Crookback

Skeletal remains found in a Leicester parking lot are in fact those of King Richard III, the last Plantagenet king and the last English monarch to die in battle.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Reflection On Today's Tragedy

From the Ellis Peters novel The Virgin In the Ice:

"Girl, dear, why are you not long ago asleep? Can you not leave anything to us, and beyond us to God?"

"It was God let her die," said Ermina, and shuddered. "They are hers - - I know, I saw! The wimple and the gown, they are Hilaria's. What was God doing when she was befouled and murdered?"

"God was taking note of all," said Cadfael, "and making place beside him for a little saint without spot. Would you wish her back from hence?"

And so let it be for those poor souls who died in gunfire today.

First Lady Gets OK To Hate Whitey Again

First Lady Michelle Obama Thursday suggested Republicans are engaged in rampant lying as they debate the issues with President Obama.

“People have to stay focused on what’s going on, because it’s easy to get confused in all the back and forth that goes on, and there’s a whole lot of not-truth telling going on, if you know what I mean,” Michelle said during a radio appearance on the The Tom Joyner Show.

Note to First Lady: the word you are looking for is lying.

Michelle’s comments suggest that, with the election over, she may be less concerned about her image, which was remade after the 2008 campaign from that of a harder edged woman who said she hadn’t been proud of her country into an embraceable first lady who cares deeply about veterans and kids’ waist lines.

Probably we'll see Rev. Wright doing sleepovers in the White House soon, too.

You're All a Bunch of Zoophobes, You Are!

The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name - - for fear of uproarious laughter:

A Marion County man accused of having sex with a miniature donkey says a state law banning "zoophilia" is unconstitutional.

Assistant public defenders for farmhand Carlos R. Romero, 32, filed a motion asking a judge to have the statute overturned, according to the Ocala Star-Banner.

According to the motion, filed Dec. 6, the law was based on moral objection, that authorities could not prove the animal was injured and that there was no proof "of the sexual activity being non-consensual."

"The statute demeans individuals like Defendant (Romero) by making his private sexual conduct a crime," according to the motion.

Romero was arrested in September and charged with misdemeanor sexual activity after a witness reported seeing him with his pants down and "up against the rear" of a female miniature donkey named Doodle, investigators said.

Remember "Carlos the Jackal?" This ain't him. This is Carlos the Donkey-Fucker.

I'll leave you with this video which many of my newer readers have probably never seen:

If you click the link to the news story, there's a bit of resemblance between the picture of Carlos the Donkey-Fucker and the actor in the "Thanks, Smokey!" video.

h/t This Ain't Hell.

I Wonder If Columnist Charles Krauthammer... a Warren Zevon fan?

WASHINGTON — For all the fury and fistfights outside the Lansing Capitol, what happened in Michigan this week was a simple accommodation to reality. The most famously unionized state, birthplace of the United Auto Workers, royalty of the American working class, became right-to-work.

It’s shocking, except that it was inevitable. Indiana went that way earlier this year. The entire Rust Belt will eventually follow because the heyday of the sovereign private-sector union is gone. Globalization has made splendid isolation impossible.

Splendid Isolation?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yer White Trash Musical Interlude

Ray Wylie Hubbard singing James McMurtry's Choctaw Bingo, with McMurtry himself and Gurf Morlix along for the ride:

Still Need To Try This Sometime


Whiskey gets all the fun: the Jon Hamms and Christina Hendricks-es of the world showboat it, bands like Bon Iver and Chromeo shill for it. Any drink by comparison will look a bit lacking in pop culture—but you're particularly behind if you've only been legal in the states for five years.

So sits absinthe. It was once said to be a favorite of classical culture. Artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin have all been associated (no, it is not directly responsible for ear slicing) and Ernest Hemingway snuck it into For Whom The Bell Tolls.

It's sort of like the drinker's version of pipe smoking, with a fussy ritual to go through if you wish to make the most out of it. And no, fire isn't involved in the traditional absinthe ritual:


Spammaz With Attitude:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Happy Thanksgiving!": The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

*NFL Jerseys*

*jordans for cheap*

I guess they've decided to operate on the principle of the dunk tank carny,using insult to achieve their goal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

She Had a Gun. It Wasn't Enough.

86-year-old Linnie Mae Ward followed the old rule that in a gunfight, the first rule is to have a gun. She also had the willingness to use it, and tried, when a man entered her bedroom and announced his intention to rob her.

The man rushed her as she attempted to bring her rifle to bear and overpowered her, then strangled her.

It's possible that he only wanted money, and didn't intend to kill her. Maybe she should have submitted, hoping for the best. She had the heart of a warrior, though, in her aged body, and though the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak, and she was unable to follow through on her effort to defend her home and her life.

God rest her soul.

Another Headline of the Day

"Amsterdam to ban smoking pot in school."

My mind boggles that they allowed it to begin with. I mean, damn, I know the Netherlands has liberal pot laws, but...damn! Sparking up a doob between math class and P.E.? Just...damn!

Headline of the Day

"Medal of Honor recipients talk to Marines about suicide."

Reports that they told the Marines "If Obama was OUR Commander-In-Chief we'd suicide, too" went unconfirmed as of this writing.

"You Dudes Are SO Fucked."

What's Camoflaged Blue and Screams a Lot?

A sailor in the issue Navy Working Uniform (NWU) that is on fire:

The Navy working uniform will melt when exposed to flames, a new report has found, potentially putting sailors at risk.

The digital blue NWUs — which are not rated as a flame-resistant uniform — are made of a 50/50 nylon-cotton blend that “will burn robustly until completely consumed,” according to the results of a mid-October test conducted by Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility in Natick, Mass.

But not only that: Its nylon material “melts and drips as it burns,” according to the Oct. 15 report, which was obtained by Navy Times. “If this sticky molten material came in contact with skin it would contribute to increased burn injury…”

Sailors have been told by Navy leadership it’s OK to respond to fires in NWUs. Meanwhile, the testers concluded the uniform “is not recommended” in cases “where there is potential for a flame or thermal threat.”

Researchers tested the blue NWU uniform in mid-October as part of a larger electrical safety review. In the Natick test, testers hung 3-by-12-inch strips of NWU material alongside strips of flame-resistant Army and Marine uniforms, exposed them to flame for 12 seconds and observed the results.

The Army and Marine combat uniforms tested were made of flame-resistant materials. They didn’t burn after the flame was removed, experienced no melting and were only charred from 3 to 4 inches.

The NWUs ignited. The entire strip burned. Plastic fibers melted.

“All material samples totally consumed by robustly burning flames,” the observers noted in their report, noting that the uniform burned for longer than 60 seconds after the flame was removed.

When I came through Navy boot camp in 1980, we were told horror stories of what could happen if you were wearing polyester uniforms and were caught in live steam from either a ship's engines or a flight deck catapult. Your uniform would literally melt onto your body, making treatment impossible. Thus the reason for the traditional Navy dungarees we wore: blue chambray shirt, denim trousers, white cotton t-shirt, black wool socks: all fire-retardant. Same with the dress blue jumper uniform, which was wool, and the white summer uniforms, which were a cotton/poly blend. Then we were introduced to our new white jumpers, made of "Certified Navy Twill," which was...100% polyester. WTF? Ours not to question why, ours just to do or die...

Here's a pic of the uniform in question from the article: