Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuco Is Proven Right Again

From Hillview, KY, Police say home intruder wrestled gun away from woman, shot her. 

Fortunately for the victim, it appears that she will survive.  The shot struck her in the shoulder. 

Remember -- I am not a judge, attorney or law enforcement officer.  This is just my personal opinion as a hillbilly.  Do not take my advice.

I mentioned the other day that my wife has a laser-equipped 10/22 and a revolver in .38 Special as her home defense weapons.  I've explained the use of the rifle to her.  For the handgun, my instructions are very simple. 

  • Retrieve the handgun.  Keep it down and out of sight.
  • Retreat as far as possible while screaming, "Go away!  Don't hurt me!" or whatever comes to mind.
  • If the intruder continues to advance and reaches a point almost within arms' length, thrust the revolver toward the intruder while pulling the double action trigger.  Continue to do this until the gun is empty.  
  • Do not drop the gun immediately but attempt to use it as a bludgeon if the intruder has not dropped or retreated.  
We have practiced this with dummy rounds in the revolver so she is familiar with how quickly someone can close the distance and keep her from firing.

If someone has entered my house without permission, they have already committed the crime of breaking and entering.  They should have no expectation of safety at that point. 

  • Pointing a firearm at someone is technically assault.  
  • Warning shots are a waste of ammunition.  
  • Firing a gun at someone is use of deadly force.  
 It seems to me I might as well try to make it count.

Despite looking a lot like this old cracker -- just add a big white mustache --
as a relatively active and substantial male with some firearms' experience, I have a little more leeway in deciding when to pull the trigger.  The frailer and the weaker a person is the less they can afford to wait.  Teach them well.

God Bless Darnell Barton

You need to watch the video which shows the actual event via the surveillance camera on the bus.  I can't say much about the quality of the video.  My screen keeps getting all blurry.

Mr. Barton is a bus driver in Buffalo, NY.  As he was driving, he saw a woman on an overpass who appeared to be preparing to jump onto the freeway below.  He stopped his bus, got out, went over, and talked her into coming back onto the sidewalk. 

It is not only inspiring that Mr. Barton went out of his way to help another soul but that the passengers applauded his actions at the end.  No one, probably, would have thought less of him had he kept driving his route.  Almost no one.

"I'm a football guy," Darnell Barton said, "... you sit on the bench and the coach calls your number you gotta go in there and make a play .. you gotta do what the play calls for ...". 

I think The Coach is happy. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

At Last We Have a Diagnosis

I've read Fred, usually via Vanderleun, on rare occasions.  I hate to link to him.  He is, I think, a former journalist, which is to say, an ass.  I find him semi-amusing, at times, in very small doses.  But, I had to grab this quote:

Fourth: “Therapy.” This disguised witchcraft is very much a subset of the female fascination with emotional relations. It allows them to talk endlessly about their feelings. Men would rather be crucified. Thus everything becomes a “disorder.” Among these absurdities are things ilke Intermittent Explosive Disorder (appropriately, IED), and Temper Irregulation Disorder. These disorders have only been discovered since women took over the schools.

IED.  I've probably told this story before, nevertheless.  Dad owned a pretty good John Deere baler -- back in the square bale days of the sixties and seventies.  My cousin lived a mile from us, less across the field.  My dad being his uncle, we would swap work.  He and his boys would help us get our hay in then we'd pull the baler over to his place and put up his hay.  We did this for years until all of us boys were grown up and gone and Dad switched to the modern big round bales.

This particular year, we had successfully gotten all of our hay crop, several thousand bales, up and hauled to the barns.  Dad pulled his JD baler up into the yard, ready to go to my cousin's place the next day.  He decided that he ought to sharpen the rotating knives that cut the twine before he started on his nephew's hay.  So he got a wrench and started unbolting them from the frame.  One bolt was a little reluctant to turn. 

I asked if he wanted me to try it.  He replied, "No, you're apt to twist it off."  Every time I tell this story I stop and sincerely thank God Dad didn't hand me that wrench.  It was about one more turn until we heard that odd little ping followed by the head coming completely free.  There was the raw, gleaming metal of the broken bolt staring up from out of that green steel. 

Dad looked at it for a second then began to violently and repeatedly strike the heavy chute with his wrench.  Clank! Clank! Clank!  I'm not sure he even cussed, he was so mad.  He just kept whaling on that baler for what seemed like five minutes, though it was almost certainly less than a minute.

Little did we know back then that my father was afflicted with IED.   

The Unbearable Lightness of Stupidity

You have to get this right, Sebelius.  The proper response is, "What difference at this point does it make?" not "Whatever" -- via Townhall:

Under pressure from lawmakers to hold President Obama accountable for the horrific Obamacare roll out today on Capitol Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded to questions about Obama's responsibility with, "Whatever." 

When you think about it, arrogance is almost always a sign of stupidity.  Genuinely intelligent people usually know better than to display hubris.  For anyone not a member of the protected and privileged elite to answer a Congressional inquiry with such obvious contempt would be unwise, to say the least. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sarah Hoyt Sets Things Straight

Buck Up, say Mrs. Hoyt.

Hoyt refers to Fernando Aguirre, Ferfal, formerly of Argentina, now emigrated to Ireland last I heard.  Sarah, who experienced the effects of an economic collapse during her youth in Portugal, recalls many similarities to what Ferfal describes in his book.  Hoyt notes:

Like me, he’s bemused by Americans who think when the economy collapses we go back to either the stone age or frontier days.  That’s not what either of us has experienced.  Things just get dirtier, shabbier, and more unreliable. The niceties of civilization peel away.  But we are not suddenly living in a Mad Max world.

She also has some reasonable things to say about the American psyche and the rest of the world.  Better just to follow the link and read the whole thing.  I promise it won't make you mad.

I agree in general.  There seems to be a lot of people out there who think that preparation means preparing to survive a complete breakdown of the system including fighting off hordes of police state ninjas, UN blue helmets, and feral cannibal packs. Personally, I am not preparing for small unit maneuvers or worrying too much about my load-bearing vest and all that stuff.  I have no objection to other people doing it.  I understand why the former military guys like military-style rifles and mil-spec gear and why such tools are high on their list.

There may come a day when warlords control Chicago and Los Angeles.  That day was probably about last Tuesday.  But for most of us, the collapse will be a lot like now, only worse.  I mean, we have seen the government raid raw milk producers.  How much more totalitarian is it supposed to get? 

Given that, I have long guns suitable for foraging and home defense, but the firearm most likely to be used is one you can have on your person.  That is true now, and it will be true in the future.  Everybody should have a good centerfire handgun with plenty of ammunition.  We should practice with that handgun until drawing and firing with reasonable accuracy at close range is second nature.  A person should know how their weapon functions, be able to clear jams and address other problems, and be able to maintain it.   

I have to admit that carrying around a handgun when I'm building fence or bush-hogging or working in the garden seems insane to me right now.  I don't do it all the time.  But sometimes I do, because I know the day is coming when it will seem  a lot less ridiculous.  My place will probably never be raided by a gang and my family kidnapped or held hostage.  In the not-too-distant future, though, it will not sound so far-fetched and fantastic.  The reports will not come from far off places like Somalia or Argentina or Mexico -- Mexico, you know that place just across the Valley from Texas, over the fence from San Diego, that exotic and distant locale.  It never hurts to be ready, even if you are a generation ahead.

Monday, October 28, 2013

One More Reason To Hate Fascists

Who killed one of the great American automobile name plates?  The Feds told GM to drop Pontiac or they would receive no bail-out money. 

I'm not sure who I hate more:  the fascist government despots who demanded the death of Pontiac for the sake of the UAW pension funds or the cowards at GM who acquiesced like good little corporate fascists.  They were talking an all rear-wheel drive Pontiac line-up -- a new generation of high-performance, high-efficiency, affordable muscle cars.  Would there not have been a new Trans Am to complement the Camaro at some point?  I loved my Pontiacs.  I loved my Silverado.  I'll never drive another one. 

I sincerely hope that General Motors goes belly up and that all the people who were involved in the death of Pontiac, especially the UAW leadership, end up unemployed and having to ride the bus. 

Angry White Men

They say this like it's a bad thing:

The Republican Party’s 16-day temper tantrum over Obamacare shuttered large parts of the U.S. government and left 800,000 civil servants sitting at home without pay. In the Washington area alone, that translated to $217 million a day in lost wages.
If we can furlough hundreds of thousands of "non-essential" government workers with very minimal effects, does it occur to any of the brilliant elites that those workers might be, oh, I don't know, non-essential?  In other words, they are essential only to lowering the unemployment rate.  A non-essential government worker is a welfare recipient in a suit with an office and a commute. 

Most of the Maclean's article linked above is a fairly typical celebration of the demise of the straight, white male.  The problem with such analysis is that it focuses on race and sex rather than the root which is the tyrannical expansion of government intrusiveness.  I'm not upset about the president's skin color but his policies.  By the estimation of the leftists, I should have been very happy back in the good old days of the Clinton administration when a white southerner was in office.  I was not.  I am pretty sure that more white males voted for George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole than voted for Bill Clinton. 
After all, the vast majority of men have quietly adapted to the last few decades of change at home, in the workplace, and the public sphere, he notes. And those who haven’t are more like dinosaurs than America’s founding patriots. “They don’t have the skill set—emotionally, psychologically, or socially—to cope,” he says. “They’ve staked their claim in the downwardly mobile marketplace.”
 What the left is eventually going to have to face is that "emotional, psychological, or social" skills generally don't get food on the table, the houses or cars built, the websites working, or the bills paid.  Suck-up skills, though, are the only skills some people have.

The deficit game world-wide is running its course.  Obamacare is already a failure because the whole premise is that people who don't need health insurance will agree to pay the bills for those who are very sick.  Those of us who are angry are angry because we're being asked to pay, not just for what is unnecessary but for what is counterproductive and destructive. 

Maybe the title of the article should be changed to Angry People Who Can Do Arithmetic.    

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Location, Location, Location

As readers know, I have had, for a couple of years, a link to the Greg Ellifritz's stopping power study via  Based on that study, my posts on various calibers and their effectiveness easily get the most traffic of anything on this blog.  Regular readers also know that in addition to my inexplicable fascination and mystical connection with the .22WMR, I have acknowledged that a .22LR, especially from a reliable rifle like the Ruger 10/22, might not be a bad defensive weapon.  For some people.

In fact, that is the very weapon that I have taught my mostly non-shooting, small, somewhat frail and very recoil-sensitive wife to shoot and which she keeps within reach in the bedroom. 

So I happened across this video on Youtube, put up back in January of 2013, in which a gentleman, imikewillrockyou, asks what is the Best home defense weapon?  He is looking at the Ellifritz study as well, primarily, at the average number of rounds to incapacitation.  He concludes that the shotgun with 1.22 is equivalent to the .22LR with 1.38 rounds.  And he's right that the difference between those two numbers is not really significant.

But there is another number in that study that one might want to consider.  The percent of people who were not incapacitated is 31% for the .22 (and by the way, that's an aggregate -- we don't know the breakdown for rifles versus handguns, short, long, long rifle, high speed, standard, etc.).  For shotguns, only 12% were not incapacitated.  Twelve percent versus thirty-one percent is a significant difference.

Basically what we know is that anyone who is shot with anything, if they are going to be rendered, shall we say, inoperable, is down and out after two or three rounds in the average situation.  Some who are not incapacitated leave the scene and go seek medical attention, go into hiding, try to find their mommy, whatever.  But, in theory, an armed attacker who was not taken out could continue their aggression and possibly kill you.

I understand the gentleman's point, and, as I say, I have no problem letting my wife use the .22LR because I know she cannot handle a 12-gauge or even a 20-gauge.  She can't rack the slide on an autoloader, so she also has a .38 revolver on her side in the nightstand.  When a person has to shoot, as Tuco says, they need to shoot.  If one is so fearful of muzzle blast and recoil that they hesitate at a critical moment, the result may be worse than if they had not been armed at all. 

Far better to have a .22LR that will be fired than a 12-gauge that won't be.

I want the reader to understand that I'm not in disagreement with imikewillrockyou's general conclusion.  What this really points up, once again, is that the caliber wars are mostly senseless.  I think, all other things being equal, I would rather have my 870 than my 10/22 when repelling boarders. 

Things are rarely equal.  Shot placement is always the most critical factor.  No matter what kind of a gun you are using, a single shot to the head will stop 75% of attackers. 

If a person is most accurate with a .22LR and better able to put shots into critical areas, he or she may well be better off with that firearm.  Nevertheless more power, velocity, and momentum -- if the person can handle it -- will give the defender a better chance of stopping an assailant and ending the threat. 

If a .22LR is chosen, I would pick a rifle over a handgun and a semi-auto or pump over a bolt-action, with perhaps a red dot sight or something similar to aid more rapid and accurate target acquisition.

Anyway, I appreciate imikewillrockyou's video and the opportunity it gives me to think about my own choices. 

Andy Lopez

Armed thugs brutally and callously gunned down a 13-year-old child carrying a pellet rifle

Some Americans offer justification for the killing in light of the fact that the thugs were wearing police uniforms and carrying badges. 

I'm not sure the Yahoo story is a good factual source.  The Daily Mail suggests that it may have been simply a plastic toy gun not even capable of firing pellets.  The individuals who shot the child, in the open, in broad daylight, appear to allege that, when they shouted at the boy to drop the "weapon", he turned toward them and raised the "replica" to his shoulder.  What do we think they are going to say?  Maybe he did.  Maybe he thought they were playing.  Maybe he was suicidal.  Maybe, though, he just turned so the BB-gun or whatever it was pointed in their general direction. 

Cops have a right to defend themselves, as does every other human on the planet.  Police officers deliberately and willingly take risks and go into dangerous situations to benefit the rest of us. I appreciate that.  I know that our police officers are challenged by the escalating violence in certain areas of this country.  We don't want make their jobs more perilous by placing unreasonable restrictions on use of force. 

For all I know, with the way things are these days, the kid could have been on his way to rob a convenience store with his little plastic gun.  But he wasn't robbing a store or threatening anyone when he was walking along the road.  If he threatened the officers they still had no justification to immediately open fatal fire.  No shots were fired at them.  No shots could have been fired at them -- albeit, they had no way to know that. 

Give the kid a chance to put down his toy.  If you are going to be a cop, if you are going to demand that we respect your position and authority, then you ought to expect to be held to a higher standard.  You ought to demand that we hold you accountable for your judgment and your observational skills.  

Accidents happen.  People make mistakes.  I called the cops who killed this boy 'thugs'.  That may be too much.  I want to call them cowards, but it is hardly fair for me sitting here to judge the courage of someone looking down the barrel of what he or she thinks is a firearm.  Nevertheless, the State of California and many police officers seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to deny ordinary citizens -- civilians, as they call us -- the basic right to self-defense against legitimate and genuine threats.

They would judge the store owner who, after repeatedly facing armed robbers, fights back with a firearm.  They would judge the "untrained" mother who shoots an intruder threatening her and her children.  They would judge the frightened husband carrying a weapon to make sure he gets home to his wife and family. 

As shown by this shooting and many others in California and other places, they would not only be the judge but jury and executioner as well. 

The police cannot prevent every crime.  They can't be everywhere.  They cannot watch over us like guardian angels.  But they can avoid being criminals themselves.

Remember Andy Lopez.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Am So Shocked

Shocked might be too strong.  More like bemused.

From Business Insider -- Richard Koo says no one can refute his claim that the U.S. is in a 'QE Trap'

I am bemused thinking there are people who would even try to refute it or not realize that it is the case. 

Koo, chief economist for Nomura Securities, had initially sent out a note to clients explaining his "theory" after the Fed's September announcement that it would not begin the reduction in QE commonly called Taper.  The Fed, he said, is now facing the true cost of QE.  

"Amid all the talk of ending QE, I think hyperinflation is a less likely outcome than a QE 'trap'," says Koo. "As soon as the economy picks up a bit, the authorities begin to talk about tapering, which sends long-term rates sharply higher and nips the recovery and inflation in the bud, effectively preventing them from winding down the policy. In this kind of world the economy never fully recovers because businesses and households live in constant fear of a sharp rise in long-term rates."
Of course, what Koo fails to mention is the government sector that depends, at this point, on deficit spending in a low-interest environment.  Abe in Japan illustrated our situation by kicking the yen up from 70-something against a weak dollar to nearly 100 against an even weaker dollar to try and keep the rates at zero there. 

It is telling that with all this central planning, central banking, and market intervention we have come to the point where the planners see stagnation as the best possible scenario.  Financial geniuses at work.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

At Least It Wasn't Another Dog

Jody Putnam was, until he was dismissed, a police officer in Mountain City, Tennessee.  As reported by the Mountain City paper -- which has the best name ever -- The Tomahawk, Officer Fife Putnam was dispatched to the Mountain City Dollar General on September 27st, 2013.  A squirrel had entered the store and apparently taken hostages.  Dollar General is known for it's excellent selection of nuts.

I only wish Jack Webb were alive.

Witnesses say that Officer Putnam entered the store where the squirrel was, according to Tomahawk reporter Lacy Hilliard, "becoming increasingly hostile, presumably due to the stress of the incident."   Faced with aggressive and threatening behavior, Officer Putnam maced the squirrel.

Paging Ray Stevens.

While the gas failed to subdue the bushy-tail, it did drive a number of gasping, choking customers from the store.  With the hostages now out of harms' way, Putnam made the fatal decision to deploy his service weapon against the unarmed rodent.  Reports from the scene vary with some witnesses insisting that as many as three shots were fired.  All agree that the quiet horror of that day was shattered by nightmarish screams during those final bloody moments.

When the crowd ventured back into the Dollar General's now still and silent aisles, they saw the bloody remains of the furry perpetrator lying lifeless beneath Officer Putnam's shoe.

Other reports (Breitbart and WBIR)  seem to indicate that Putnam was dismissed by the City Council in the aftermath of the incident less for macing and shooting the squirrel than for refusing to file the report required after discharging a service weapon.  

I don't know if this will be detrimental to Mr. Putnam's law enforcement career, but I can imagine he will have a hard time living it down.  He certainly would in my town.  I just hope there aren't tree-rat versions of Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump out there planning riots and civil suits. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Death by Doctor

Cholesterol is one of my pet peeves.  Beware -- I have no medical training and don't know too much about biology.  I am not giving anyone medical advice or suggesting that a person discontinue any medication.  However, I do recommend that people do a little reading and thinking, research the side effects of various drugs and make decisions about their own quality of life. 

Denninger is talking about health and weight loss.  Read the whole thing.  What he says is what I think, especially this jewel: 

Finally, cholesterol.  There are literal billions of dollars made every year prescribing statins to "lower" cholesterol.  The problem is that cholesterol is necessary for life, that it is synthesized by the body and that most forms of it in the body are either benign or helpful.  Worse is that the standard three-panel test for cholesterol (LDL, HDL and Triglycerides) is worthless because the triglyceride number is not directly measured and only one subtype of LDL is harmful in the body!  The only meaningful test is one that is much more expensive and thus rarely used.  At the same time statins have a litany of side effects that are in and of themselves dangerous, including cognitive impairment and muscle damage, some of which can be permanent.

Emphasis is from the original.

I have no scientific evidence for what I am about to say.  Nevertheless, I suspect that, some day, the medical community may be forced to admit that a lot of diagnoses of Alzheimer's and other cognitive degeneration can be linked to cholesterol-lowering medications.  Personally, I would rather drop dead from a heart attack than wander around in a semi-vegetative state as a burden to my family or be stuck in some stinking facility. 

Medications have side effects.  Virtually every medication has some sort of impact apart from the condition it treats.  I think Rogaine was originally a heart medication.  NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers and damage a person's liver.  Some side effects are worse than others. 

And this does not apply just to medicine, any time you consult an expert who stands to gain financially from the advice or recommendation he or she is giving you, it does not hurt to be a little skeptical.  That is just wisdom.  The expert may be passionate and sold on the solution, but even that can cause a person to lose a little objectivity.  There's no need to go full cynic or avoid doctors altogether.  Moderation is a good thing.  Be careful.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Logic of Climate Change

Or the lack thereof is demonstrated in this article from Discovery News about the finding of a Stone Age bow and arrows uncovered when a patch of "ancient" snow melted during the summer.

"It's actually a little bit unnerving that they're so old and that they're coming out right now," Callanan told LiveScience. "It tells us that there's something changing."
Let's think about this.  The bow and arrows made from the wood of elm trees -- which currently grow in the region at lower altitudes -- was found on bare ground.  I wonder, 3800 or 5400 years ago, when those hunters were up there after reindeer, was the ground bare or snow-covered?

You know, 6200 feet, that's a little above the altitude of Denver, albeit in more northerly latitudes.  My guess is that, during drier periods, snow tends to get pretty thin in those very long days of summer.

Climate changes all the time.  No one argues about that.  Does man affect the climate?  Sure -- cities are heat islands.  Man-made lakes, highways, and other features alter the conditions at the surface on a micro-scale.  The miniscule amount of CO2 most likely has no effect on climate except to feed the flora that gives us O2 to breathe.  

Greenland, for example, experienced a relatively milder climate between 800 and 1200 AD, when Norse settlers farmed there.  They did not drive over in Chevy Suburbans.  The climate got progressively colder until about 1700, after which it has gradually returned to more hospitable levels.

It's quite possible, then, that the hunter who dropped his bow was on bare ground.  We really don't know what the conditions were like at the time.  It could have been an unusually warm stretch as has happened throughout the centuries since the last great Ice Age.  

Instead of talking about the significance of the find for history and archeology, we talk about climate change.  That sounds less like objective science and more like propaganda.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013


One thing that the last few years, and especially the last 18 months or so have done for me, is remove all concern about electing Republicans to federal office.  State Republicans are a different animal, though some need to be primaried-out, my state has the luxury of term limits.  At the federal level, it does not make much difference who is in the White House or under the Capitol Dome; both parties have betrayed the Constitution. 

Some will still talk about Reagan, and I loved and respected Ronald Reagan, but he did not change the direction of this nation away from big government.  He slowed the acceleration, and that's about it.  The two Bush presidencies are nearly indistinguishable from Clinton or Obama.  Republican Senators like McCain, Graham, and McConnell, who attack the smaller government, libertarian views of the Tea Party are as bad as their Democrat counterparts.  The only difference between a Republican Senator from Arizona and Democrat Senator from New York is possibly a vote on gun control.  I can't even count on that.  The House has Peter King lambasting his own party members over de-funding ObamanationCare.  If Peter King, John McCain, and Chris Christie are Republicans then what am I? 

I'm free.  I am free of the GOP.  As long as I can pay the price in taxes and aggravation to keep the police state ninjas off my lawn, I will.  When I can't, I won't.  As I have said before, I am a patriot because I love my country.  I despise my government, and I owe it nothing.  I will live by the laws of God and the morals and ethics consistent with my faith in Christ. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Little Bits of Lead

The shotgun has a wide variety of loads readily available.  Because shot is spherical, it tends to lose velocity rather rapidly.  Since it has no spin imparted to it, an individual ball does not necessarily fly straight and true for very long.  The more choke a shotgun barrel has, the more it helps cluster shot at a greater distance, the less choke the greater the dispersion. 

Despite all the shot sizes, types, and brands available, all the shotgun shells I have were manufactured by Remington.  Other companies have good products, but Remington, and especially Remington "Nitro Express" loads, are simply what we have always used, and I have never had any reason to change.  Green is a good color.  If checked the green boxes I have, you would find some rifled slugs, some 00 buckshot, some #2 (not buck) shot, some 2 3/4" #4 shot, a couple of versions of 3" #4 -- one regular Express and one copper-coated and buffered Turkey load -- and finally some #8 shot.

If I were going turkey hunting, I would put on my vented barrel with a screw-in Extra Full choke and load it with 3-inch #4s.  If I were going after deer, I would use my 18.5" barrel with rifle sight, and I would load it with slugs.  For doves, I would go with the longer barrel and, depending on the situation, screw in a full or improved cylinder choke -- since I don't have any #6 shot, I suppose I would have to use #8.  Theoretically, my #2 shot would work for geese but steel is required most places.  In practice, I use the #2 shot for coyotes, again with the extra full choke. 

Buckshot, as far as I'm concerned, is mainly a home defense load.  All the experts recommend it.  It will certainly work.  I have a couple of 3" 00 buckshot rounds in the shell-holder on my shotgun's stock.  But in the magazine, I have #2 and #4 loads.  That's because I use my 870 for pest and varmint control at night.  There is no sense wasting a load of buck on an armadillo digging up the wife's flower beds.  Also, because I am not an expert in these matters but having seen many coyotes sent to their rest, I have always thought that a load of #2s at household distances would be discouraging to two-legged varmints as well. 

I was out the other day fooling around with the 870 in short-barrel configuration.  This barrel is choked Modified --  which means, despite its short length, it is supposed to keep roughly 60% of the shot in a 30-inch circle at 40 yards.  Just for reference a Full choke is supposed to put 70% of the shot into the same area at the same distance, an Improved Cylinder does 50% and a Cylinder bore (no choke) does 40%.  A Skeet choke puts 50% of the shot into a 30-inch circle at 25 yards, which is good for skeet, I guess.  A Super/Extra Full is, as expected, even tighter than a Full and, with the proper loads, is used for head shots on turkeys out to 40 yards.  You don't want to pick a lot of shot out of your turkey breast. 

As it happens my short Modified barrel handles Remington rifled slugs quite nicely and enables me to hit consistently at ranges between 50 and 100 yards. 

Back to my main point, I was fooling around and decided to test the penetration of #2 shot on a relatively hard object.  In this case, a chunk of cedar about three or three and a half inches in diameter.  I cut this cedar down a couple of months ago, so it is dried out a little.  This is what the front looked like after being shot with a load of #2 Nitro Express 2 3/4" 12 gauge with a Modified choke from 10 yards. 

I would call the vertical spread about six inches so the little log caught a good portion of the load.

What surprised me was the back side.

Now this cluster of shot did not penetrate three inches because it is on the side, and it did not go through much of the red heart wood, but it still got through.  Below is the sapling my cedar chunk was leaning against. 

I'm pretty sure that a load of 2s at across-the-room ranges would ruin a bad guy's day.  Number 8 shot at very close range could prove fatal.  The smaller the mass of the individual projectile, the faster it dumps energy.  Take that cedar chunk out to 20 yards and not only would fewer pellets strike it, there would be a lot less penetration.  At 25 or 30 yards, buckshot, with its greater mass, is a better choice if you need more penetration. 

The thing about shotguns is that everybody is always right and always wrong when it comes to shot choice, loads, and chokes.  It all depends on the conditions. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saving the Skins

The brilliant Mr. Greenfield wrote on the Redskins today, and it got me to thinking:

Forcing the Redskins to rename themselves the Washington Community Organizers or the Washington Bureaucrats isn't up there with the Lewis and Clark expedition; but it's all they have and they won't stop.

The Sultan's point is that this is just another battle in the long war.  Controlling language is another way of controlling thought and people.  If you haven't read it already, please follow the link.

I care about the Redskins.  Though I have been a Cowboy fan as long as there have been Cowboys and a Chiefs fan since before they won their last Superbowl with Lenny Dawson, the Redskins have always been a favorite rival team.  Despite their success against the Cowboys at times, I always loved Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer.  Back in those days, when a pass occasionally imitated a wounded duck, the 'Skins might have changed their name to the Washington Lobbyists. 

Still, I am looking for a way to keep the name Redskins.:
Mr. Peanut could be the new mascot.  They could play at Planters Stadium.  

If we can't get that arrangement and the Redskins are forced to adopt a new designation, perhaps we could come up with something appropriate to D.C. --  the Washington Stealers probably won't work.  It would be hard to call a game against Pittsburgh.   Instead, maybe they could be the Pickpockets and specialize in interceptions.

Or, we could make all the college professors happy and call them the Progressives -- the Progs. 

How about the Revenuers?  That would be intimidating.  "Well, Bob, it looks like the Giants were audited today."

They could be the Overruns. 

The Washington Debtors?

Ah, I've got it, the Washington Dictators.  They'll win every game.

Short Term Memory

Just about a month ago, the genius light-worker Obama said, "Now, this debt ceiling — I just want to remind people in case you haven’t been keeping up – raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy.  ... It’s always a tough vote because the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt ...".  This is the link to the Human Events article which says Obama is lying, which is harsh but accurate, to paraphrase Dan Rather.

The article itself does a better job than I can do of dismantling Obama's arrogant assumption of stupidity on the part of the American people.  But then, more than half of the electorate voted for this twit, so maybe it's not such a bad assumption. 

In any case, I bring this up because people tend to quickly forget ridiculously false and/or dumb statements by leftists when such remarks are ignored by the Media -- the overall intelligence of which it is impossible to underestimate. 

Here's the problem with Obama's statement on a simple, easily communicated level:  if we are not going to borrow more money, why do we need to increase the debt limit?  And, isn't borrowing more money by definition increasing the debt? 

We already know Obama, however good his memory may be, or however clever or intellectual or well-read he may or may not be, has no common sense.  Obama has never held a real job, never solved an actual concrete problem in his entire life.  He has no connection with the real world.  All he knows is politics.  Clinton, as in Bill, is a despicable, disgusting, perverted lump of protoplasm, but, growing up in small-town Arkansas, he has more of a connection to the blood and soil of America than Obama.  (Clinton, as in Hillary, is, essentially, the old, fat, white, masculine version of Obama.) 

The truth is that a default need not occur if the debt limit is not raised.  Remind everyone every time you get the chance that the federal government has revenue coming in every month.  The interest on the debt as well as obligations to Social Security, Medicare, and the military payroll can all be covered by incoming revenue.  Back in July of 2011, the interest payment amounted about $29 billion, or roughly 15 to 20 percent of what the Treasury takes in during any given month. 

It is undoubtedly more now since we increased the ceiling just two years ago and added another trillion or so in that time period, but the ratio should be about the same.  But let's call it 25% of the monthly revenue just to help us think about it.  People who have a house payment, a car payment or two, and a credit card payment can relate to that quite well.  A significant portion of a family's income in that case goes to debt service and nothing else.

Right now the U.S. can still handle the payments.  It's rather dependent, however, on the current Fed policy that buys $85 billion in bonds every month to keep the 10- and 30-year rates low.  If the 10-year were to go to, say, 5%, there would be a lot less revenue left over after the monthly interest was paid. 

Somewhere we have to start thinking about what we are going to give up in terms of federal programs and government services.  Somebody has to get serious and realistic and tell the truth that we cannot continue indefinitely giving away money we do not have. 

Friday, October 11, 2013


Via CNS News, a new Gallup poll is reporting that 52% of Republicans think America needs a third party. 

The standard joke is that I'd settle for a second party.

Seventy-one percent of Independents and 49% of Democrats agree with the Republican majority. 

Finally, it is something we can all get behind.  Democrats and Republicans apparently represent a grand total of 26% of the American people.  This means that one in four of the people you meet on the streets are union bosses, welfare queens or bankers. 

This points up the reason that Republicans are losing ground in public opinion.  Those of us with small government, libertarian leanings are quite unhappy with the GOP-e big government, interventionist types like McCain, Graham, Cornyn, and Blunt. 

What would a viable third party look like? 

First, it would be non-interventionist.  That's not the same as the isolationism often associated with the Libertarian Party. 

Second, it would be neutral on social issues.  Kind of non-interventionist domestically as well as internationally, we might say.  To the extent possible, this new party would let people live their lives with minimal interference and allow local communities and states to make their own decisions on things like education, abortion, religion, environmental restrictions, criminal laws, licensing and regulation. 

A third plank in this new party's platform would be balancing the budget:  no expenditures that are not matched by revenue.

As a sort of corollary to that, I would suggest a new party advocate for serious, far-reaching tax reform.  Even though it would hurt me, I would still back the elimination of the income tax with the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment and a move to the Fair Tax. 

The new party should take issue with the militarization of police forces and of many government bureaucracies.

There should be a demand for an audit of the Federal Reserve and an insistence that the Fed be held accountable for inflationary monetary policies. 

Returning health care to a market-based, supply-and-demand system without government intervention is probably going too far for a lot of people, but it would be nice to hear someone at least suggest that as a goal. 

Small, controllable, efficient government would be the vision. 

It would be nice to have a choice, like when you are shopping, and the salesman comes up and says, "Perhaps you would like to see something in a Constitution?"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Preaching, Praying, Singing Down on the Public Square

Street preacher Aaron Brummitt was arrested during his usual Friday night sermon on Park Central Square in Springfield, MO.  KSPR does a reasonable job of giving both sides of the story.  Dee Wampler is representing Brummitt pro bono.  Wampler is pretty well known as a defense attorney and as a Christian.  I would imagine the City would like to work something out.   

The reporter, Melody Pettit, isn't on a personal crusade.  She reads everything with breathless drama:  "There was a fire! In a burn! Barrel in a rural! Area near! Springfield this afternoon!  No! Injuries were! Reported!

Anyway, if Rev. Brummitt does limit his speaking to one hour on Friday nights, I really don't see where that would interfere with anything going on around the Square. 

By the way, that's where Wild Bill Hickok had his duel with Davis Tutt. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Neverland

Boxer says, Republicans won't ever open EPA

President Richard Milhous Nixon, from Boxer's home state of California, established the EPA. 

Nixon was a Republican. 

If stupidity were a crime, Boxer would be on death row.

Grid Threats

Everyone has probably heard about this incident in central Arkansas.  As you read on the Gateway Pundit link, whoever took down the poles actually went to a lot of trouble.  They stole a cherry-picker type tractor to use in pulling down the poles they cut. 

I'm not going to go into detail, but there are easier ways, and more devastating ways to shut down the grid.  I have less apprehension about EMPs than about a coordinated, low-tech attack that could take out big blocks of the grid for days.

These jokers in Arkansas might be terrorists, but they are more likely mere pranksters or environmental mental cases.  I would look for young, white males of moderate intelligence with some college credits and a hankering to impress the girls. 

Back when I was in college, my home area endured a massive winter storm that took out power lines in some very remote rural areas.  My parents were without power for an extended period of time -- over a week, if I remember right.  Of course, they had grown up with no power and heated with wood.  Not being able to get water to make coffee was their main complaint.  That was probably the last time the old deep freeze was completely emptied before my father passed away. 

(As an aside, that big chest-type freezer is close to fifty years old, might be a little more.  It still works.  It is not frost-free, but it is a tank.  I think it is a GE, made by Americans, probably.)

Anyway, the main reason I have a generator is so I won't be caught without power for my well.  I like water.  I also have my refrigerator and freezer on it.  I can run the blower for my gas furnace and even my heat pump off of it, but, of course, the less pull on it, the less fuel is consumed.  Even my wireless modem will still be up.  So far the longest outage has been three or four hours.  I also had a whole-house surge protector installed when we did the generator.

A generator won't keep things going forever, but it does provide some breathing room to get everything squared away. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Things That Make No Sense

The death of Miriam Carey is one of those things that I cannot fathom.  You can read Esther Goldberg's American Spectator report here.  Goldberg asks why this is not a national tragedy.

I'm not sure exactly what happened or what the sequence of events might have been.  A lot of people are defending the officers involved.  Maybe they did what they had to do.  I certainly want the President, Vice-President, Senators and Representatives protected.  I want the Secret Service agents and other law enforcement personnel to go home to their families at the end of every shift.  The political class, because they are public figures, naturally draw more attention, animosity, and ire from the public.  They are at greater risk than I am.  Since I am not a drunken, incompetent pervert I also probably have fewer personal enemies than most politicians.  I can take of myself.  The people in Washington really do need protection.

Still, on the surface, gunning down a mentally ill 34-year-old mother with no weapon other than her car, after the car was stopped (if that was the case) seems like something of an over-reaction.

I'm not a brave person, and I don't want to criticize those who put their lives on the line.  There is, though, some risk inherent in the job of law enforcement, and a person who takes the job has to accept that.  These officers are obligated to protect the White House, the Capitol and the people there in, but they also have a duty to the public in general, including confused, possibly delusional people like Miriam Carey.  

Plus, this is not all that unusual.  Back in August, we noted a similar case from November 2012 that took place in Cleveland.  Over-reaction is bad, no matter where it happens.


Just Read It

I don't see a link in Monty's post, so go here and read David Stockman's remarks from 9/26/13

It's fairly long, and Stockman spares no one, including his old boss, or himself, for that matter.  Truth.

Read it, and sigh.  Tears will spoil your aim.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Winners and Losers

There is a lot of disagreement about the wisdom of the government shutdown as it relates to the Republican Party.  Mona Charen compares it to the misguided "Charge of the Light Brigade" with the Russian cannons replaced by the liberal media outlets.

I don't think there is any question that Obama and the Democrats are winning the war in the media.  They have the advantage.  Republicans may well suffer in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

You know what?  I really don't care.  If the Republican-controlled House caves and gives into the demand to fund Obamacare, they might as well be Democrats.

Yes, I know there are other issues:   gun-control, immigration, oversight of the NSA, investigations into Benghazi, Fast and Furious, et al.  While those are important, most of the Tea Party-backed Republicans are there because we wanted to thwart the attempt by the government to destroy what little is left of a free-market health care system.  Obamacare will fail, but, if it is not stopped now, most likely it will be turned into a single-payer nationalized system.

Personally, I do not see the House going back to a Democrat majority because the Republicans stood up against Obamacare.  If it does, we are doomed anyway.

The point is that the debate should not be, should never be about whether the Republicans or the Democrats win.  Do the taxpayers and the hard-working citizens out here in the private sector win?  That's the question.  So far we have not.  Obamacare was a victory for the insurance companies who were suddenly going to the recipients of millions of new, young, healthy premium payers who would not need much in the way of expenditures.

TARP was not a victory for taxpayers but for the big banks and investment firms that had leveraged themselves to wealth on thin air.

The bailout of GM was not a victory for Americans but for the UAW pension funds.  Not even autoworkers have a right to steal money from my grandchildren.  Do a better job of making cars and you won't have to worry about it.

We could go on, but you get the point.  If the people who pay the bills don't win, the parasites win.  Politicians, especially the ones like Obama who have never had a real job in their worthless lives, are parasites.  When they lose, I win.  I don't care.  If America has gone so far down the crapper that we fail as a people to see through the media's agitprop smoke screen and see Obama's recalcitrance for the despotic idiocy that it is then we are dead as a nation and just waiting around for free drinks at the wake. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Trends are like rabbit trails.  They do not necessarily go where we might think at first glance.  "If trends continue" is roughly equivalent to "a priest, a rabbi, and a duck walk into a bar", still, they do give us something to consider.  Today Sultan Knish is talking about "Why Terrorists Kill":

Israel has been hailed as the Start-Up Nation for its dot com companies, but more Middle Eastern youth are joining a different kind of start-up. Get some guns, get some friends, head to Syria and take over a village, town or a few city blocks. Control the bakeries, the oil production and the protection money from Christian businessmen.

Don't bother finishing college. You won't need it where you're going. Your business plan is simple and the profits are impressive. Call your men [a] brigade.

Certainly this is true, but it also sounds like something else.  What is the difference between a gang of Muslim terrorists taking over a town in Syria and a gang of Black Muslim terrorists taking over neighborhoods in an American city?  I feel an eerie parallel between the claims of Mideast Muslim groups and the claims of Al Sharpton.  Are the trends in American urban violence heading us toward the Palestinian-ization of the United States?

Probably not.  Still, I read the other day that the U.S. is the third most violent nation on the planet -- I suppose in terms of murders.  However, if we remove three urban centers -- Chicago, Detroit, and (I think) New York City, instead of being third from the top, we move to fourth -- FROM THE BOTTOM.  That would seem to indicate there is already a very distinct cultural divergence.

Back in the early '80s, I used to joke with a co-worker about how to create the perfect state.  We decided that we would take Missouri, give St. Louis City to Illnois, Jackson County to Kansas, everything north of the Missouri River to Iowa, then join the southern half of Missouri to northern Arkansas.  Times have changed a lot, but the notion that there is a serious split between the outlooks of urban and rural populations is still valid.  It is not just a matter of age demographics.  Young people in more rural areas have a different worldview than the same age groups in large cities.

It doesn't take much looking around the internet to realize that there is a counter movement to the urban gangs.  Patriot groups and militias are also organizing and talking about tribes, taking over and controlling areas.  Some of these militia folks are offering classes not just in self-defense but in military tactics and such.  How much of it is in the realm of fantasy and fraud I don't know. 

There is always danger in tribalism and revolution.  I understand and share the frustration of a federal government no longer restrained by the rule of law insisting, nevertheless, that we "subjects" are bound by it.  It would not take much of a change in the thinking of most Americans for Washington, D.C. to become completely irrelevant.  Their relevance now is mostly an illusion, albeit one that a lot of us find comforting and unwilling surrender.  Yet.  The federal government rules these days less by the consent of the governed than by the threat of violence, by entrenched bureaucratic regulation, by police state thuggery, and by propaganda. 

The federal constituency are those parasites who live off of government, from inner city welfare queens to the millions of bureaucrats feeding at the public trough.  As long as leviathan nurses them, it can count on their votes, and upon containing the violence -- if trends continue.  But the punch line is coming. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bid the Mob a Good Day

I can't even get up enough enthusiasm to mock the slight reduction in government interference. 

The EPA is still banning wood stoves.

Greenfield's evisceration from yesterday is a thing of beauty. 

Lileks does a typical, sweet low-key mockery of the loss of the PandaCam.

In the same entry, James links to the clash between the bikes and the SUV we talked about on Monday.  With multiple streams of information about the incident, some new insights emerge.  First, this Hollywood Stuntz ride is apparently a potential source of trouble every year.  This is not just a bunch of boys out on Ninjas and CRs feeling their oats.  Once a large group is formed, for good or evil, it doesn't take much for the mob-mind to predominate.

I recall the streaking phenomenon that occurred on college campuses in the early '70s as an amusing and relatively harmless manifestation of the mob mind.  About that same time I was also witness to two mob actions related to sporting events, one of which I actually participated in.

The first event occurred following a basketball game between Lincoln University -- a historic black college in Jefferson City, Missouri -- and the what was then known as the University of Missouri-Rolla (originally the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, now the Missouri University of Science and Technology).  The Rolla school was not and is not known for its outstanding athletic programs.  The Lincoln Blue Tigers could, at that time, field competitive if not outstanding basketball and football teams.  This particular game was played in the Rolla Fieldhouse, and, in a very close game -- clearly the result of an off-night on the part of the Blue Tigers, the Rolla Miners prevailed.

When it was clear that Lincoln was going to lose with under a minute to go in the contest, the Blue Tiger pep squad came out of the stands and clustered on the edge of the court.  Then they began coming onto the court.  Then the first folding chair went sailing out onto the hardwood.  I decided I had seen enough of the game and very calmly and casually (really) left the building. A small riot ensued where the Lincoln contingent found a truck loaded with firewood and proceeded to use the wood to smash windows, damage vehicles and destroy property.  A few innocent people were injured in the fracas, but police managed to contain it to the vicinity of the Fieldhouse.  Eventually everybody got back on the buses and headed up Highway 63.

The second event followed a win by the University of Missouri-Columbia football team over Bear Bryant's Alabama Crimson Tide.  This game:

When it was over, Columbia erupted. Students filled the Quad, where fireworks were shot and Marching Mizzou showed up. The impromptu parade spilled into downtown, where somebody etched "Missouri 20, Alabama 7, 9-8-75" into fresh cement.
Yes, that happened.  Alcohol may have been involved.  I did not see the cement incident.  Instead, carried along with the flood of the crowd, I watched street signs waver and go down.  Then somehow we ended up at the chained gates of Faurot Field, the football stadium.  Some started to climb the fence.  I got pushed up against the gate which -- fortunately for me -- opened.  The next thing I knew I was putting guys up on the crossbar of the goal post.  They pulled down the uprights.  I had nothing to do with it.  I was just the escalator.

From firsthand experience, I know that any given member of the mob becomes less an individual and more of a tool.  At the time it really didn't bother me, but, thinking about it later, I found it just a little frightening.  How is it possible to suspend all personal judgment and allow the mass mind to make the decisions?  Drugs and alcohol are clearly lubricating agents, but that is not the whole of it.  A person's normal sense of responsibility gets transferred to the greater entity.

As an aside, I wonder if that is not a factor in some of the racial and political stupidity that plagues us.

In any case, one of our first rules of prudence is to keep in mind that the larger the group, the less responsibility any individual member is going to assume.  To put it in my father's terms, "One boy is a boy.  Two boys are half a boy.  Three boys ain't no boy at all." 

Crowds are dangerous and unpredictable.  Their actions can range from mindlessly terrified stampeding to looting to vicious assaultsPeople get trampled to death by Black Friday shopping mobs

Gang and mob activity seems to be becoming more prevalent.  It is definitely something to keep in mind, watch out for, and avoid if possible.