Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vietnamese Throw Rocks

The Communists in control of Vietnam decided to confiscate some land.  People were unwilling to sell.  So:

Faced with a group of farmers refusing to give up their land for a housing project, the Communist Party officials negotiating the deal devised a solution: They went to a bank, opened accounts in the names of the holdouts and deposited what they decided was fair compensation. Then they took the land.
"We are working together to build a more prosperous Kim Son," said Vu Van Hoc, chairman of the local people's committee.

He said the project used land that had been owned by 852 families, and that less than 10 percent of them disagreed with the government's compensation rate of around $6 per square meter. He said just seven families were continuing to refuse the deal.

Villagers now allege the land has been resold for $310 per square meter. Hoc denied that, saying the land had yet to be sold.

He said he hoped that by depositing the money into bank accounts in the villagers' names, "the issue could be resolved." He dismissed the protest in late December as the work of "village extremists who had managed to persuade others" to join.

Notice that Mr. Hoc did not deny the price, just that the deal was finalized. And it's always those damn extremists.  Probably Vietnamese "teabaggers".

Video of the protest was recorded by people on their cellphones and posted on the Internet by dissident groups, which seek to capitalize on the public anger generated by the conflicts.

For two minutes, police cowered behind riot shields as young men hurled rocks and bits of concrete at them, but officers eventually regained control.

State media reported that 12 people were arrested. The police chief refused to identify them, or to say whether they were still in detention weeks later.

Good thing they took all the guns away.  That could have gotten ugly.

Read the whole thing.  The government's lines are pure propaganda, yet sound somehow vaguely familiar.  We have already had the Kelo decision, and we have property taxes, so I'm not sure we are any better than serfs on the manor.

But we are better armed.

It's always the same, though.  Somebody knows better what to do and how to manage than does the individual.  We always have to consider the greater good.  The government can always find a handful of intimidated, bought-off peasants to glowingly endorse the tyrants' decisions.

We have no excuse if we let it happen here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Egypt, Bread and Islamic Circuses

Spengler defends against his critics.

I can vouch for the fact that Goldman called the North African uprisings "bread riots" right from the start.  He never saw it as a move toward democracy but rather as a cry of desperation.  That the situation is deteriorating in Egypt and Libya indicates that he called it correctly.

The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Japanese Central Bank, along with growth in demand from India and China, has put upward pressure on food prices while decreasing the available supply in the poor and barren regions of North Africa.  

Islamic militants have taken advantage of the situation to unseat western-friendly strongmen and "democratically" replace them with their sharia-sympathizers, but the basic cause of the unrest remains outside of the militants' control.  The rather naive support of NATO and the U.S. has given the militants access to additional weaponry.  The situation will remain unstable where the nation does not devolve into an outright authoritarian, Taliban-like Islamic "republic". 

In essence we are in the process of creating a whole tier of Afghanistans with the potential to wage effective war on Israel while threatening Middle Eastern oil supplies. 

This may not end well.

GDP Decline

Via Denninger, Gross Domestic Product declined by 0.1% in the 4th quarter

This really isn't too surprising, except that it has taken so long to show up.  You can prime the pump all you want, if the well has run dry, nothing is coming out.

Metals and bonds seem more in touch with reality than the equity markets -- so far.  The lack of a plunge in stocks makes one wonder if the markets are manipulated or just hysterically desperate. 

Defense spending decreased in the fourth quarter, but, overall government outlays increased over third quarter expenditures -- over $900 billion between 10/1 and 12/31 versus a little over $800 billion in the previous three months.  Do not be fooled by the BS the media will be spewing which will focus on Hurricane Sandy or the DOD.  The Treasury chart is here.  It's pretty scary when you look at the massive deficits every month except for April and September -- April being income tax month and September being the end of many corporate fiscal years.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Losing the Will to Live

Rebecca Costa gets to the root of the problem. 

Our philosophy really does influence how we live.  Though I am a Christian, this is not the blog where I spend a lot of time advocating for a Judeo-Christian worldview or offering messages and encouragement from a purely Christian perspective.  The reason I try to be less evangelical here is because I believe I have allies for the cause of liberty among non-Christians, nominal Christians, atheists and agnostics. 

However, even the most ardent atheist benefits from having been born into a culture with a positive, spiritual worldview.  The anti-Christian progressives who would love to suppress or at least subsume all religious allegiance to the supremacy of the State derive whatever moral values they possess from the very foundations they seek to undermine.  When the anti-tradition, antichrist cultivation and indoctrination -- especially via the educational system -- has gone as far as it has here in the West, it is not surprising that we should see some of the bad seeds sown begin to bear fruit.  One of those prolific and poisonous vines is nihilism.  

Our children are preached to from the secularist pulpits of government schools.  They are denounced if they believe in the Bible, if they pray over their school lunches (and we all know if any food needs sanctifying it would be a school lunch), if they profess to believe in a higher power than the all-mighty State.  They are told that they are simply animals -- animals whose very presence somehow destroys the "balance of nature" -- though nature alone produced these aberrations through evolution. 

A fairly large percentage of children, frankly, are dull enough to accept the contradictions and confusion of a government indoctrination without protest.  They pursue their simple animal pleasures, get fat, get pregnant, and get high.  Others get angry and express it through violence, especially in the context of gangs where meaninglessness is felt less poignantly in the framework of the new tribalism. 

But what about the loners and outsiders who never seem to quite find their place, who cannot quiet their consciences and the voiceless, wordless longings of the human soul?  They accept the vain and pointless philosophy because they seem to have no other choice; yet they have an intellectual capacity that exceeds that of the dumb cohort.  They see the implications of meaninglessness, of emptiness, of an existence for existence's sake.  They lose the will to live. 

Gang members, thugs, the criminal class in general -- they are a problem that we have always had.  But the nihilists are truly dangerous, and they are the express and highest creations of a decadent and dying culture.  Welcome to your brave new world.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Reasonable Compromise

I kind of hate to link to Claire Wolfe because she's probably on some list, but she suggests that the banning of private sales and universal background checks will be offered as a reasonable compromise.  She explains why this is not reasonable.  Both the article and the comments are worth the time to read. 

I suggested, with much less wisdom and eloquence, something similar a few days ago.

It seems to me that these police-state politicians are way too eager to know who has what kind of gun and how many.  The "reasonable" attack may be via pressure on Congress to close the "gun show loophole", to "encourage" checks for private transactions.

It is also possible that Congress will yet go tell Obama to pound sand.  If they do, Obama will circumvent the law.  How will he do that exactly?  He will find a regulatory way to put pressure on manufacturers of guns and ammunition through the Department of Labor, the EPA, the Justice Department, banks, etc.

They are not going to give this up.  In the minds of the police-state totalitarians, we must be disarmed.

Oh, look here, Breitbart's Hawkins speculates on Holder's push for new rules... the third measure "would authorize the FBI to retain records on denied firearms transactions in a separate database for longer than 10 years."

Some of the comments on Breitbart are indicative of the kind of "reasonableness" that Wolfe fears.  What could possibly go wrong with the federal government creating a "no-buy" list of American citizensFor one thing it is illegal and useless.  For another, without any legislation being enacted, it could easily become an "enemies' list" maintained by the ATF (of course we can trust the murderers of children at Waco and the creators of Fast and Furious). 

Bond Rates Continue to Climb

Even Apples are subject to gravity, though AAPL is up over 1% today. 

Thirty-year U.S. bonds are up to 3.16% today.  Ten-years are threatening 2% at 1.98.  Crude is up.  Inflation is becoming a reality to everyone, and "core" isn't fooling those who have to go to the grocery store.  People will buy food even when the price escalates, as it is right now. 

I see people talking about housing making a comeback -- and it could be in some regions -- and, more to the point, in some kinds of housing.  But as the working population continues to decline, there will be less demand on the upper end of housing.  People stuck with all the upgraded, over-sized homes on tiny lots with homeowners association dues and restrictions will likely be stuck for a while.  There are always fluctuations, seasonal and otherwise.  We may see a spurt of home-building, but I am wondering if it will not be more in multi-family dwellings. 

The market climb is a response to the last round of QE.  With the Dow approaching 14,000, how can we be in a recession?  Right?  That's basically what the Fed has been counting on, and it has worked, with the cooperation of an addled and distracted media more focused on celebrity gossip and scandal than economics doldrums or corrupt politics. 

Bond rates will check QE at some point.  It has to.  But a crash in equities would check bond rates.  And there are multiple central banks playing -- with Japan now gaming in earnest.  There's simply no way for anyone to know what will happen in the next six to twelve months.  But I would figure on a very bumpy ride. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We Need the Rollback Party

Sultan Knish says of a revolutionary right:  It would not do this in the name of conserving anything, because it recognizes that there is hardly anything left to conserve ...  Hit the link and read the whole piece.

We need to rollback seven or eight decades of federal encroachment on individual liberty.  If we are content to "conserve" the present situation, we are guaranteed that the eventual collapse will be both more cataclysmic and more inevitable.

Here's a quote from John in the comments yesterday:  Maybe this nation will just disintegrate with a kind of nation-wide ignoring of the Feds, let the Federal level die off and then re-integrate with a Federal Government at its Constitutionally mandated size.

Now that does not scare me at all because about the only thing I'm afraid of is an out-of-control government  Totalitarian governments kill their own citizens, in some cases, by the millions.  Weak, severely limited central governments do not do that.   

Conversely, there are probably millions of people in this country who would be quite upset at such a thought.  A lot of them probably consider themselves "conservatives".   

We must stop and ask ourselves what we expect of government, and what we expect especially of the central government.

The federal government can serve a legitimate purpose.  There are a few specific things it will do better than the several states acting individually.  One such function is clearly national defense, defense of the borders.  Federal courts should serve as a arbiters for individuals and groups who have been wronged and denied their rights in state courts.  The coining and issuance of a national currency is under the purview of the federal government.  Interstate commerce can be regulated, but this should be only actual interstate commerce and not potential commerce, nor should it be expanded to areas other than shipping of goods between states.

There is clearly no place for the federal government in areas such as education, energy, agriculture, housing, health care, and social services.  In some other areas we could see some possible benefit to cooperative, voluntary interaction between state, local, and federal governments --  trucking and road construction, the use of waterways, construction and use of railways, air transport.  I do not think the federal government needs to be involved in local law enforcement or regulating drugs or determining what kind of cars we can drive. 

The free market will take care of most things.  Local governments can pick up some issues, the state some other issues, and the federal government can leave us alone for the most part.

Ultimately that is the only way we can restore our liberties.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be implemented wisely or voluntarily.  It might happen in the wake of a debt default or a civil war or some other horrendous crisis that brings about the collapse of the federal leviathan.  We will just have to remember what we want if we ever get the chance to start over.

One Gun?

Perish the thought.

Via WND -- which is a site I tend to stay away from -- if Joseph Farah says the sun rises in the east, I'll get up in the morning and check.  However, Creek Stewart of Willow Haven is a good resource for those interested in being prepared for odd things happening. 

Mr. Stewart recommends the Ruger 10/22 as the possible one gun.  I've mentioned his work before.  It looks like the WND write-up is based entirely on the existing Willow Haven article, with a few updates.

Stopping power of the .22LR gets a lot of hits, and I just added a bit about the fact that most of the time it is better to be good with what you have than worried about what you ought to have.  We have discussed the effectiveness of a .22LR as far back as the basics in August of 2010.

Really, almost anyone can learn to shoot a .22 rifle fairly well.  It's the cheapest firearm to feed there is.  It is -- or can be -- effective all out of proportion to its size.  There's no recoil.  Most of the weapons that chamber a .22LR are accurate.  It is easy to obtain and carry plenty of ammunition.  Everybody should have one or two or several (like me).

However, if someone is concerned about the impending breakdown of orderly society, I still think the One Gun to have is a 100% reliable center-fire handgun, since it can be there when a person needs it, regardless of the circumstances.

I think it was Kurt Saxon who said something like a handgun by the bed, a shotgun in the corner, and a rifle over the door.  When things start falling apart, you are going to need to have something "close at hand".  

Sad News Today in the Motorcycle World

Bike journalist Kevin Ash was killed Tuesday in a motorcycle accident in South Africa.  More details are at the Cycle World link.

The initial report (always questionable) makes it sound like something of a fluke, possibly involving another rider.  Cycle World says: 

“I worked on him with another American who also had some medical training,” said Hoyer, “and then I assisted the medics. He looked like he was going to be okay. He appeared to have suffered a broken humerus and/or shoulder. We put him on a backboard when the medics arrived about 30-40 minutes after I contacted the second patient.”

Hoyer reported they were riding on a straight, dusty, gravel road.
It can happen that fast and easily.  I enjoyed reading many of Mr. Ash's reviews on his site.  He knew bikes and loved bikes. His death is a great loss to the rider community.  He will be missed and mourned by family and friends, as well as by a great multitude of readers like myself who knew him only through his insightful prose.  

While this is a sorrowful end for a man in the prime of his life, given the choice between dying in a nursing home and dying on a bike under the open sky, I know what I would choose.  

God speed him to his rest.

Equal Protection

Ellsinore, Missouri rarely makes the news.  People from the Sticks go to Ellsinore to get away from it all. 

An 82-year-old man from Ellsinore successfully defended himself from a home invasion.  The gentleman had to be taken to the hospital as he suffered head injuries in the "alleged" attack by one Charles L. White.  White was shot in the arm by his intended victim. 

Or, perhaps we should say that White was shot by the intended victim's firearm.  That seems to be the way the loons in this country look at things.

In any case, a glance at White's mugshot indicates he is likely a healthy and active young thug, fully capable of beating and overpowering an elderly person.  People like Charles White do not need guns to perpetrate their crimes of mayhem and theft.  He was stopped only by a frail old man's ability to access and discharge a firearm.

One sad thing about this story is that the bullet went into the thug's arm and not between his eyes, but we'll take what justice we can get. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Projectiles, Powder, Primers

Two out of three -- it isn't too bad.  I have 200 180-grain .44 bullets on their way, to go with the 240-grain ones I usually use; they should probably arrive today or tomorrow.  Next week I'll get 200 .30-caliber bullets, and another toy that I'll review here once I have it up and working. 

I found a box of large rifle primers and a box of large pistol primers yesterday -- 1000 each to add to my stockpile.  Not counting my loaded ammunition, I think I'm somewhere around 3000 plus the small rifle and small pistol primers -- probably another 500 each.  I have lots and lots of .22-caliber bullets, and I have quite a bit of pistol powder, but I am virtually out of rifle powder and none to be found.  I realized I was running low when I finished loading up some rifle rounds over the weekend and started looking for my "other" can of powder.  I guess I was using it.  

I hate to pay the hazmat premium to have it shipped, so I'll keep looking.

I spent fifteen minutes or more on hold when I called Midway today.  That has never happened before.  Some stuff I intended to order was sold out.  They are selling out of paracord.  How can that be?

You really would think people are preparing for an apocalypse.  

That's the Way I Like It

Via the Market Ticker, we have a letter from the Utah Sheriffs' Association to Obama. 

I'm sure those Utah sheriffs are all racists.  And Mormons.  Mormon racists.

Wyoming, Texas, Missouri, Utah, et al, Support Your Local Sheriff.

Revenuers? -- Hang 'Em High.

UPDATE from Gateway Pundit:  MO Sheriffs sign on.  It is especially heart-warming that the Osage County Sheriff is mentioned.  German Catholics -- nice people, but you don't want them mad at you.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mama Said There'd Be Days

1-21-13 -- A new era begins in Washington, D.C., and it looks like this.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Knife Sharpening Video

Over at Knives Ship Free.

I've been meaning to post this link since I ran across it, and I keep forgetting.  I'll move it to the sidebar in a few days. 

Kyle Bass and a Japanese Collapse

Business Insider report his timeframe is 18-24 months out. 

I don't know.  The Japanese PM Abe is committed to devaluing the yen to boast exports.  It's at 90-something on the dollar today. 

I may have to buy a Yamaha or a KLR  -- just to help those guys out.  If Yamaha would ship their SR400 I saw on Cycle World a while back to the U.S. ...

BI is kind of mocking Bass as a long-time Japan bear.  I suppose it would be inconsiderate to point out that Japan has slipped below China as an economic power.

Gonzalo Lira gives some more background from a few days ago.   

Missouri State Senator Kurt Schaefer

Senator Schaefer makes the lead on Breitbart.  Congratulations, Senator!

In Missouri, we have a little something called term limits.  This has shifted the balance from Democrat to Republican in the General Assembly over the last several years.  We have good legislators get term-limited out, but we also get rid of the lousy ones.  It seems to me, lately, that facing the limit encourages members to be more likely to follow principle as opposed to doing what will get them re-elected. 

What Senator Schaefer (R-Columbia) is sponsoring is a ballot measure for Missourians to vote on later this year.  If approved, it would hold the Attorney General and the Assembly responsible for defending against infringement of a Missouri citizen's right to keep and bear arms. 

If you are in Missouri, voice your support of Senator Schaefer.  If you live elsewhere, encourage your own state legislators to take a look at this kind of "states' rights" approach to throwing off the federal yoke.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Goldman -- Gold to $1200 (in the year 2525)

Actually in 2018, Business Insider reports: 

The bank's central thesis is that the U.S. economic recovery finally takes off in 2013, and Goldman expects that to drive a selloff in the gold market as investors rotate away from traditional "safe-haven" investments.
At the time, the analysts wrote, "We lower our 3-, 6- and 12-mo gold price forecasts to $1,825/toz, $1,805/toz and $1,800/toz and introduce a $1,750/toz 2014 forecast. While we see potential for higher gold prices in early 2013, we see growing downside risks."

Now, Goldman has decided to up the ante a bit. Yesterday, its commodity analysts introduced a new call: gold at $1200 per ounce by 2018.

I think Goldman is counting on the fact that, by 2018, no one will remember.  We may not even have these here internets any more in five years.

As I recall, a year or so ago, I said I thought that the price of gold should be around $1200 based on the inflation rate to that point.  Inflation has continued, as has the deficit spending and the devaluing of the dollar to the point that I do not see $1600 or $1700 as being all that out of line.  A lot of things could happen in 60 months to make gold drop to $1200.  A lot of things can happen in 6 months.  I just seriously doubt that a genuine economic recovery is one of those things.

Do Universal Background Checks Equal Registration?

Have those in favor of "universal background checks" thought about how that has to work to be effectively implemented? 

If Joe and I trade guns, how will anyone ever know that neither of us ran a background check, or had it run on the other?

Joe and I could use a local FFL dealer as a go-between.  That is, Joe and I would go down to the pawn shop.  I would "sell" my gun to broker; Joe would "sell" his.  I would then turn around and buy Joe's gun after an NIC; Joe would buy the one I sold.  Most likely this would cost us for the dealer's time and trouble, and it is an inconvenience.

How many of us are going to do that?  If the serial number of a firearm is not tied directly to an individual, what is to keep us from swapping straight up?  The law would have to include some provision for penalizing people who did that. 

Let's say this Joe is Joe Sixpack who has one too many and gets stopped for a DUI.  He happens to have that nickel-plated six-shooter that I swapped him in the car.  The cops run a check on the serial number.  It's never been used in a crime.  No big deal, right?

Is that going to make the gun-grabbing, the anti-liberty, statist crowd happy?  No, they need that serial number to be in a database associated with MY name.  Then when the cops run the number, my name pops up, and, lo, and behold, there is no record of my having run a check and transferred that hogleg to Joe.  Now it's more than a DUI on Joe -- who will likely sell me down the river as the guy that suggested we skip the background check.  Add one to felon column.  

Even worse would be a case were an unchecked gun was used in self-defense.  The action itself could be completely justifiable, but it would have involved an "illegal transfer", thus the woman who saved herself from rape ends up being  sent to prison for five years. 

Think of the children that were saved.

This is monumentally stupid.  It's even hard to call these "unintended consequences".  I think this is precisely why the tyrants want crap like this.  We cannot afford to give these thugs a single inch. 

Missouri Senate Version of the Firearms Protection Act

From Missourinet:   Missouri State Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-Lewistown) has a bill that parallels Rep. Casey Guernsey's Missouri Firearms Protection bill in the House.

Senator Munzlinger's bill would "... charge any federal agent enforcing new federal gun laws with a felony."

That is starting to look a lot like nullification. 

The constant overreach by the federal government may be reaching a different kind of cliff.  For the better part of a century, the federal government has been able to bribe the states into cooperating with its encroachments by various programs that funnel revenues back to state and local agencies.  If you think about it, that's exactly what "community organizers" do -- they organize bitch-moan-and-whine sessions to get their share of the redistributed federal money loot. 

When it becomes apparent that Uncle Sugar is about tapped out, he may become markedly less popular.

It never ceases to amaze me that there are people who do not understand that a government's power is in its ability to tax.  Police power, you say?  No mun, no gun.  Of course, the reverse is true also.  If my neighbor is paying protection money, it sort of forces me to as well.

But anyway, another state senator, Kurt Schaefer -- good grief, he's from Columbia? -- says there is more to this whole thing:

Columbia Senator Kurt Schaefer says the argument is about more than guns. He says the real argument is about the rule of law.  And he says the issue should not be debated emotionally. He says the state should resist any Second Amendment erosion because any erosion of one amendment means all amendments are vulnerable. 

Well said, Senator Schaefer.  Not everybody in Boone County is as stupid as Columbia Former Mayor-for-Life, Darwin "Reverse Evolution" Hindend, or Hindman, or whatever. 

[Correction:  I see that Columbia has a new mayor, Bob McDavid -- perhaps Darwin died.  Have I mentioned that I hate Columbia?  I hated it when I went to school there in the '70s, when I lived nearby in the early '80s, and when I lived nearby again around 2000.  We haaaatttesss it!]

Again, if you are from Missouri, contact your senators and representatives and encourage them to RESIST!

Other links here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Not referring to the year of our Lord, though I did come mighty close to meeting Him as a result of one many years ago. 

Accidental Discharge. 

I almost had another one tonight.  I was out back doing sprints up the hill.  At the top, I turn, run back down, draw my XDM and engage a couple of targets.  It's a good way to get your adrenaline a'pumpin'.  Anyway, I'm getting old, so I was pretty tired after doing that several times.  I dragged back up to the house and started pulling off guns and cell phones and sweaty shirts. 

I dropped the magazine out of my Springfield and refilled it from the box on my shelf.  Before I shoved it back in the holster, I started to drop the hammer on an empty chamber to take the tension off the spring.  It's not necessary, just something I do.  Now I had the gun pointed in a "safe" direction -- the floor of my office.  Most of my house is on a very tall crawl space, but the office is a subdivision of the garage and shares the slab, albeit several inches higher. 

Suddenly I got one of those weird crawly feelings and froze.  Looking closer, I saw that the loaded chamber indicator was jutting up.  There are no words to convey the sick feeling that swept over me as I realized what I had almost done. 

After jacking the round out, I checked it about three more times before I pulled the trigger.  Outside.  With it pointed at the ground.  I know it was silly, but it's probably what I will do from now on.

Likely no one would have been killed or injured -- unless my wife beat me senseless for taking a piece out of the carpet and probably the concrete and most likely knocking a hole in something from the ricochet.  It sure would have been embarrassing -- even without trying to explain how and why my hundred and ten pound wife blacked my eyes.

You can't be too careful.  Never take anything for granted when dealing with a firearm. 

Repugnant and Cowardly ... but Accurate ...

... to paraphrase Ol' Dan Rather ...

The White House is not happy with the new NRA ad.

Because, you know, the president would never use children as props in his speech.

I am so tempted to say something vulgar and profane at this point.

What was it the NRA did that was "cowardly and repugnant"?  They pointed out that there are armed guards at the school attended by the Obama children.  There are also armed guards 24 hours a day, every day of the year around any president and his family.  Former holders of the office have security for themselves -- at taxpayer expense.

The NRA is not complaining about this.  We are not suggesting that Obama and his children should not have protection; we are simply saying that if one is worried about the threat of violence, there is a way to prepare for, if not prevent it in most cases.

What's the matter?  Does that "elitist" stuff hit a little too close to the truth?  Is that how you worthless, unproductive, incompetent morons think of yourselves?  Do you really think you are better and more worthy of protection than the rest of us?  Does the point slip down into your conscience like a thorn in the flesh and make you just a little bit uncomfortable?  We think you protest too much.

I do not need armed security because I can take care of myself.  Part of that involves making myself a smaller, less obvious target -- an alternative not available to those in the stage lights of "public service".  I begrudge no one in the office of the Presidency the protection of the Secret Service -- not even that slimy, odious miscreant Bill Clinton or his disgusting, lying wife.  I feel sorry for the Secret Service detail, but that's another story.

I simply ask that I be allowed to use the best means available to assure, as much as possible, the safety of myself and my family, that I not be denied the right of any human anywhere at any time in history, the right to self-defense.  My skills do not approach those of the Secret Service, but I have passed law enforcement qualifying requirements, and I am a much better shooter today than I was way back then.  But even if I barely knew one end of the gun from the other, there would be no justification for denying me access to the tools I need. 

If the NRA were a left-wing, anti-freedom group shouting slurs at George Bush, the press would laud them as "speaking truth to power", to use an overused phrase favored by the self-righteous.  They would be called brave, because, the truth is, they are.  We are.  We have to stand up to this oppression.  We have to push back.  It's not that we like it or feel comfortable with it.  We certainly don't feel brave, but we are tired.  We are tired of being robbed, not just of our money, but our rights and our dignity by a bunch of thugs and bullies who hide behind better men and women with guns and armor and badges. 

I am a free man.   I will not be your subject.  I will not be your slave, and I will not be disarmed.  You will get someone else to do your fighting for you, if – and God forbid that it ever does – if it should come to that.  Nevertheless, their blood and the blood of more innocents – innocents you, by your sick, twisted lust for power and control, led like lambs to the slaughter, will be on your hands.  You might get a law passed.  You might get a judge or nine to back you up.  You might force men into chains with your staged spectacles, your feigned indignation, your deceit and deception. 

Understand one thing, fool, you will stand, one day before your Maker and the only righteous Judge, and you will answer Him.  You will answer for every false and idle word you spill like bloody vomit from your filthy lips.  I don’t care if you don’t believe it.  In fact, I would almost prefer you didn’t. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Firearms Protection Act in Missouri -- UPDATE

UPDATE:  Here is the legislator lookup link if you are a Missourian.  I would note that the zip code can be very wrong.  If you have a voter card, your state Senate and House districts are listed -- at least in my county.  Email is usually the Rep or Senator first and last name or, e.g.,

Here is the General Assembly site.  Lots of information there.  Call, write, email.

Representative Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany) has introduced legislation, along the lines of a Wyoming bill, to protect citizens of Missouri against unconstitutional attacks on their liberties.  See the Missourinet story here:

Rep. Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany) is filing legislation today that he says combats the impending encroachment of our basic Second Amendment Rights. He invited all legislators to co-sign the bill. He says several dozen of them have … all Republican.

The bill is in reaction to Vice President Biden’s task force on gun law reform, and the feeling that President Obama will, by executive order, restrict access to firearms.
 I'm sure if it included language about hunting deer, doves or ducks, those Democrat representatives would get right on it.  We have a "conservative" Democrat governor in Missouri -- but we also have veto-proof Republican majority in both chambers.  We will see if they have more courage than the wimps in D.C.

If Representative Guernsey (for some reason this makes me think of the "Ada the Ayrshire" cartoon that used to run in Hoard's Dairyman) gets this bill enacted, I will gladly meet him in Jeff and buy him all the Arris' pizza he can eat, along with his beverage or beverages of choice.  It sounds like he gets it:

Representative Casey Guernsey says his bill is about guns, but voters should be concerned any time the federal government wants to unilaterally take away rights.
I would not even qualify it with the "unilaterally" part.  The federal government did not give me my rights, and it cannot under any circumstances, by any legal means so much as limit them.  We have allowed ourselves to be hemmed in as we try to get along.  It is way past time to bust down the fence.  We don't have to have a "reason".

Guernsey says his bill says it is unlawful for Missouri authorities or firearms dealers to enforce any federal law relating to a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.

Amen, brother.  Guernsey modeled his bill after the Wyoming bill which would make federal laws limiting magazine capacity or banning semi-automatic weapons unenforceable within the boundaries of the state.

We see the author's own words in an email, quoting further from Jessica Machetta's Missourinet article:

 “This bill specifies that it is unlawful for any officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision, or any licensed federal firearms dealer to enforce, or attempt to enforce, any federal law relating to a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is owned or manufactured in this state and remains exclusively within the boundaries of the state,” Guernsey said in an e-mail. “Any federal official who enforces, or attempts to enforce, any such federal law or order will be guilty of a class D felony. The Attorney General may defend any citizen in violation of any such federal order. Further, any federal law or order created or effective after January 1, 2013, is unenforceable in the state if it attempts to ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or any magazine or require any to be registered in any manner. The bill does contain an Emergency Clause.”
 There are a couple of things about this that render it less appealing -- it seems to apply only to firearms, ammunition, parts, and magazines "owned and or manufactured" exclusively within the state's boundaries [note:  I incorrectly indicated that was a quote when it was an interpretation -- as the commenter below pointed out.  I still think exclusively within the boundaries of the state implies OR AND (it's been one of those days), but that's not what the quote says].  However, the language does seem to indicate that it would defy any future federal law or executive order restricting existing firearms.  It's probably the best that can be done short of open warfare for now.  God bless those who are supporting this effort.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dave Ramsey Replaced by Replicant

This has nothing to do with prudence or preps, exactly.  I just want you to be aware that Dave Ramsey may have been abducted by aliens and replaced with a replicant. 

The other day I happened to be in the kitchen when my wife was listening to Dave.  He said he had been watching "Downton Abbey".  Apparently he really likes this show which he watches with his wife.  So I thought if Dave, a sensible man most of the time, likes it, it might be all right.  I happened to watch some of "Nova" on PBS about the Neanderthals (which you should pronounce Nee-ander-TALL, if you are a hipster).  This was followed by "Downton Abbey".  Instead of getting up and running from the room because the Jeep needed an emergency re-priming, I stayed to watch with my wife. 

OK, folks, this is "Dallas" with funny accents.  I was expecting some really deep literary masterpiece.  This is "As the World Turns" with a better set and better lights.  This is cheap and easy schlock.  The closest thing to a clever reference was attributing "Be Prepared" to Baden-Powell which went completely over my wife's head.  A few of the exchanges between the servants were humorous, but mostly it strikes me as no more entertaining than the average sitcom.  The cars, though, are beautiful, and I recognized Elizabeth McGovern.  Still ...

... don't follow the lights. 

You may wind up with a sheep's brain. 

Like Dave.   

Friday, January 11, 2013

Practice, Confidence, and the Myth of Stopping Power

As most people probably know the late Ted Williams was much more than the last .400 hitter.  He was a fighter pilot who missed some of his prime career years selflessly serving his country.  He was also a noted outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing.  I recall a story – but not where I read it – about Williams one night hearing a noise on the roof of his remote cabin.  He stepped outside armed with a baseball bat to find a lynx or bobcat eyeballing him from the eaves.  According to the story, the cat launched itself at Williams who, naturally, dispatched it as if driving a fastball to the Green Monster.  The story sounds apocryphal, and probably is, but the point remains that no one would be at all surprised to think that Ted Williams would meet any threat with a hickory bat as readily as with a 12 gauge. 

I get a lot of hits based on my posts about stopping power from the Greg Ellifritz study.  As can be seen from the popular posts list, the three most common inquiries are to the .380, the .38 Special, and the .22LR. 

The truth is, as we have said more or less directly, is that the very term “stopping power” is misleading.  It makes us think of the television shows and movies where bad guys are knocked to the ground with virtually any hit.  Do not confuse this with reality.  Even more or less realistic depictions of gunfights, such as Blackhawk Down, give the impression that most hits (at least, by the good guys) take out an enemy.  The truth is that shoulder-fired weapons, aside from RPGs, are often ineffective in stopping an attack.  At one point in the film version of Blackhawk Down, the Ranger captain tells one of his wounded men that he needs him to watch the door, and, if anyone tries to come through, put “two in his chest and one in his head.”  That statement reflects the real world.  During some of the more intense periods in Iraq, it was not uncommon for troops to expend 300 rounds each in a couple of hours of fighting.  This did not result in 300, or even 30 casualties among the attackers. 

While in a military situation much small-arms fire is suppressive rather than aimed at a particular enemy combatant, the fact remains that it often requires multiple hits from a rifle to take someone completely out of the fight.  Still, men and women who have carried the M16 and the M4 extensively often build confidence and trust in those weapons.  Those who have fired a 1911 or an 870 or an SKS or a Winchester 94 for a long time on a regular basis will likely have faith in those weapons.  I don’t mean this to sound mystical, but we tend to build a rapport with our tools whether it is a sword, an axe, a handgun, or a bat. 

My father was really good with a typical double-bit felling axe.  He was so attuned to one of those slim profile axes that he never used a maul to split wood – and he split a lot over his 97 years.  He would hit a section of oak with what he called a “boxing lick” and split it as pretty as you please ninety percent of the time.  I was never able to acquire the finesse needed and always resorted to a splitting maul.  If a felling axe is all I have, I can make do, but it requires a lot more effort on my part. 

Stopping power is, at best, only partly a function of the tool we use.  Accuracy in terms of shot placement is critical, and accuracy comes from confidence which is created by practice.  Notice the order.  A person does not become a good shot by being sure of himself or herself.  One becomes sure of oneself by practicing a skill until it is second nature.  I would much rather face an unpracticed person with the most advanced firearm available than an “old head” with a Peacemaker. 

Here is my advice – and it is worth exactly what it costs you:

1)      If you have a firearm and you are concerned about its “stopping power”, practice with it, a lot.  Practice.  

2)      If you are really unhappy with the weapon you have, and you can get a better one, by all means, do so.   PROVIDED the new weapon is one with which you will be able to practice.  A lot.  Practice.  

3)      If you have no firearm, and you are having trouble deciding which to get – all other things being equal – get the one with which you can practice the most.  Practice.  

4)      Quit worrying about what Alphonso H. Gunwriter or Rambo M. Blogger has to say about THE firearm to have.  Quit worrying about the Miami Shootout and the FBI penetration test, what Colonel Cooper (and he was one of the best) recommended or what Mel Tappan or Mel Blanc, for that matter, thought.  Get out and PRACTICE.

I ran across this site several years ago, and I found their firearms thinking to be quite in line with my own – despite the fact that the guys at USRSOG are obviously intelligent, experienced, and well-trained professionals. 

See the excerpts below for the basics, but by all means, follow the link if you are not familiar with what these folks have to say. 

Caliber Controversy

The .22 long rifle was chosen for one specific reason, the weight and space. What most civilians do not understand is how the U.S. military operates. The average paratrooper weighs 179 lbs. After loading up his base ammo load he is given a L.A.W. or AT-4, frag grenades, flashbangs, smoke grenades, claymore mines, C-4, and then told to load up on what ever extra he wants to carry. Most paratroopers jump into the night over a foreign land carrying a 100-lb. rucksack. Most active duty and prior service personnel are laughing as they read this because they know that they carried more than that. One hundred and fifty rounds of .22 LR weighs less than 50 rounds of 9mm and takes up far less room. Ammo choices in .22 are amazing for all of the different applications that it can be used for.
... And that firearm is a heavy barreled, match grade, .22 caliber pistol.  Barrel lengths vary from 5-10 inches, the longer the better.  These are not the types of pistols you buy at a pawnshop or at a farm sale.  They are tricked out, highly accurate weapons systems.  With or without optical sights the pistols have rifle like accuracy.  RUGER and Smith & Wesson make the two most common models carried. 
I am certainly not recommending a .22 pistol as a primary defense weapon.  The point is, if you read the whole piece, really about accuracy and ability with a given firearm.  

Historic Week for Equities

BI reports $22.2 billion into equities this week.  Second best week in history?

I had no dollars in that pool.  I did make a little last year on money I had left in equities.  There might be money to be made this year in stocks.  We are certainly unlikely to make any money on anything else (other than, maybe, PMs). 

Contrarian thinking is not right because it is contrarian.  It is right occasionally because conventional wisdom is wrong about half the time.   People are doing what they have to do, gambling on inflation, for one thing. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Throw Down Your Arms

OK, this is horrific and not funny at all.

A man up in Kirksville, MO, murdered and dismembered his elderly neighbor:

Adair County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wilson would not say where Paul R. Potter, 49, is being held. Potter was arrested after allegedly murdering a man and then dismembering his victim’s body, throwing human arms at witnesses near his residence on Valley Forge Drive. Potter is also accused of setting fire to a nearby car and to a pair of apartments in an apparent attempt to divert attention from the crime.

“That’s when I noticed the object he threw were arms,” Mudd said. “It was awful. It was like something out of a horror movie, only it was real.”

Neighbors say they never suspected Potter could be capable of such violent behavior.

It might be interesting to check out Potter's medicine chest.  I would place a small bet that he was on some sort of psychiatric medication.  If I had to guess, I'd say he has been diagnosed as bipolar -- not because people with bipolar disorder are dangerous.  It's just a very common diagnosis these days.

Did he kill an unarmed man?

Or did he unarm a killed man?

The neighbors were all surprised.  Potter got along well with everybody.  In fact, they said, he was disarming.

UPDATE:  All joking aside, Denninger has a worthwhile read about drugs, mental health, and the connection to violence.  

Situation Normal

Claims off a short week come in at 371,000.  Via Zero Hedge:

Overall a report that confirms that 6 years after the start of the Depression, propped by some $15 trillion in central bank reserve liquidity injections the bulk of which has been used to prop stock markets, there is still no actual improvement in the economy.

We are in a depression.  We are not coming out unless the debt that has accumulated is cleared.  This will send many a bank into oblivion, as it should, because they made bad, stupid, irresponsible loans.  But they pressured the government with Hank Paulson's "tanks in the streets" crap to bail them out.  The Federal Reserve which controls and protects the bankers also enables the deficit to continue to climb to shelter the stupid and irresponsible from the consequences. 

The trouble we have is there is no way for the banks to reset.  They are terrified of the domino-effect of foreclosures, bankruptcies, charge-offs, etc.  Thus they are treading water, purchasing Treasuries with money that it was hoped would go into the private sector -- money no one in the private sector wants because real unemployment is high and businesses are not hiring or expanding. 

There are islands of prosperity where this is not the case, but that does not help the revenue picture in Washington or the insolvent states like California and Illinois.  The overall situation remains grim and will get grimmer before it gets better.