Friday, July 31, 2015

Magpul Magazines

I just want to give a quick, positive review of the Magpul Glock 17 magazine I received this week.

The con, as in one, no witness holes.  

The pros:  roughly half the price of a Glock brand mag and flawless performance so far.

I can't imagine they will hold up as well as the factory mags, and I'll use them primarily for practice.  Still, excellent value and good quality.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Without Representation

As you know, Senator Ted Cruz called out Tooter Turtle, AKA Mitch McConnell, for lying about the Import-Export bank bill and the Iran deal and some other issues. 

The leadership of the Republican Party sided against national security conservatives on Iran.  They sided against fiscal conservatives with the pork-laden highway bill and the Import-Export bank.  They ignored social conservatives by not having a meaningful vote to kill funding for Planned Parenthood. 

It kind of makes you wonder what constituency they actually represent, doesn't it?

Over on The Freeman, Max Borders and Jeffrey Tucker ask, "Is Politics Obsolete?".  They offer the idea that technological advances are making the current way of doing politics and government in general obsolete.  While I'm not necessarily on-board with some of their examples, such as electric cars, the larger point is probably valid.  Politicians and government are not adapting well to the ramifications of some of these technologies. 

News is no longer controlled by the media gatekeepers.  We can all see what Ted Cruz did in context.  We can all see how duplicitous some of these politicians are, regardless of the labels they pin on themselves. 

Mitch McConnell doesn't represent the people of Kentucky.  He represents the Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, crony capitalists and K Street lobbyists, just like Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Obama, Clinton, and the rest.  There is no difference between the actual constituencies of Blunt (R-MO) and McCaskill (D-MO).  Neither represents me.

I am still a small-government, fiscal conservative.  I am a social conservative, but I don't want the federal government setting moral standards or education standards or telling people where or how to live.  I am a national security conservative so long as national security means keeping Muslim terrorists and other invaders out of this country, profiling those who are here rather than harassing and intimidating honest citizens, and destroying potential threats abroad with extreme prejudice and rules of engagement that give the advantage and the benefit of the doubt to our troops rather than the enemy. 

In other words, I have nothing in common with the Big-Government, Establishment components and leadership of either political party in Washington, D.C. 

Politics is just another word for dealing with disparate groups of people.  I don't think it will ever be obsolete.  Centralized government is not only obsolete, it is a disease that is killing the United States.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rocket Man

One of these days one of these crazy ideas is actually going to work.  The impossible rocket drive might be it.

The Telegraph headline says, "'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours".

There's this little problem called acceleration, but the point is that it could go really fast.  It also appears to violate the law.  No, not the posted speed limit: 

The drive, which has been likened to Star Trek’s Impulse Drive, has left scientists scratching their heads because it defies one of the fundamental concepts of physics – the conservation of momentum – which states that if something is propelled forward, something must be pushed in the opposite direction. So the forces inside the chamber should cancel each other out.

I particularly enjoy this part:

However scientists still have no idea how it actually works. [NASA] suggested that it could have something to do with the technology manipulating subatomic particles which constantly pop in and out of existence in empty space. 
Which reminds us that even physics is an approximation and not reality itself.  Shakespeare wins again:  There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.

Why the Post Office Can't Break Even

I ordered a couple of Magpul magazines and a polymer sport holster for my Glock from Midway.  Midway will get their orders out as quickly as possible.  UPS always does well, too.

I'm having a little trouble, though, understanding this:

I'm giving the USPS the benefit of the doubt here in saying that it may only be the notification that was sent to the Springfield depot.  I'm not really sure there is a Springfield facility anymore. 

But it sure looks like my package is being held in a Postal Service facility in Springfield and will remain there, unable to cover the last leg of the journey, until Thursday.  I can be in Springfield in less than an hour.  The only explanation I can think of is that the pack mule is on vacation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cholesterol, Common Sense and Denninger

The lipid hypothesis does not hold up.  For most of us, cholesterol is kind of essential.

Denninger includes this quote from NIH about cholesterol-lowering meds:

Lipid lowering drugs, particularly statins, are being more widely used to reduce the cardiovascular mortality. Recent studies show that cardiovascular risk reduction is proportional to the level of reduction of LDL. Therefore the American National Cholesterol Education Program recommends a more aggressive lipid lowering strategy for high risk patients with cardiovascular disease. This means that LDL should be <70mg/dl (1.81 mmol/l). Although cholesterol lowering to this degree is more cardioprotective in high risk patients, other possible complications may neutralize or even outweigh this benefit. For example; hypocholesterolemia was associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer [36], endometrial cancer [37], and liver cancer [40]. Furthermore, some other studies directly link the use of lipid lowering drugs to cancer development. The CARE trial, showed a significant increase in breast cancer [42], while the trial of Pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER) concluded that the significant increase in cancer mortality counterbalanced the benefit of fewer cardiovascular deaths [43]. Moreover; high cholesterol has been found to be protective against intra cerebral hemorrhage [76–78], therefore lipid-lowering medications may increase the risk of ICH (at least theoretically), and several studies have demonstrated that hypocholesterolemia is a risk factor for ICH [73–75].

As one of the comments notes, there are people who have familial hypercholesterolemia, and those appear to be the people who might be helped by this new drug. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Falsifying History

Stalin was famous for censoring history

I'm sure that would never happen in an enlightened nation like America.

Group takes a shovel to a Confederate general's grave.

“If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone,” said Isaac Richmond with Commission on Religion and Racism. ” We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up.”

No, Mr. Richmond, as long as you live there, there will be racism in Memphis -- in between your ears, if no other place. 

Nathan Bedford Forrest is dead.  Whatever sins he committed during his time on earth, he must answer for before his Maker.  What he did, how he lived, and his undeniable military genius are part of history -- the history of all -- all Americans.  You don't have to agree with his cause, his beliefs or his actions to respect that. 

Denying history is not the act of a wise people.  Desecrating a grave is not an act of the civilized.

When I see this kind of insanity being manifest and not being immediately and categorically condemned from all quarters, it really causes me to wonder what kind of new dark age we are heading for. 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

That Much? Really.

"Experts" say Trump's border wall would cost "tens of billions".

I have no doubt the cost would be substantial.  The cost of allowing invaders to illegally flood across our southern border is substantial, too.

Perhaps night-vision equipped, armed drones or a salt-water moat with lasers mounted on sharks would be more cost-effective.  I don't know.  I don't care that much.  I just want the invasion stopped.  The problem will need to be addressed on multiple fronts.

The objection of "experts" is not to spending a few billion on a wall.  We spend more than that on pencils and rubber bands for bureaucrats -- every year.  The objection is to doing anything to stop the invasion.

Whether these invaders become staunch Democrat voters or not isn't even the issue.  They are a whole new class of government dependents in terms of social services, health care, and housing as well as law enforcement, the legal system, and the prison system.  Their presence strengthens the central government and the concept of a police state whether they are honest, hard-working leaf-blower operators and hotel cleaners or MS-13 gangbangers and drug dealers.

This is why the ruling class in D.C. doesn't want the invasion checked.

I'm libertarian enough to think that we could find a non-government solution to the problem that would not require a border wall.  I think a truly free market and the end of government intervention, the welfare state, and central control of the economy would remove much of the incentive for undesirable foreigners to pour across the border.  Until that happens, we are stuck with what we have,  and things like border security are necessary.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2015 List of Best States for Gunowners

Missouri is in the top ten.  At number 9.

What turned MO around more than anything was term limits for legislators.

Arizona is No. 1

Virginia's in the middle at 24, just ahead of Wisconsin.

Washington is 40.

They evaluate on the right-to-carry, black rifles, NFA (suppressors and such), castle doctrine and use-of-force in general.  The miscellaneous category includes opportunities for the shooting sports -- which helped MO, I'm sure, and the presence of elements of the firearms industry. 

Click the link and check it out.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Record Heat in June

Not around here.  Where are they taking these temperature measurements?

I know there are doubtless some locations with record heat.  There always are, just as some place sets a new record low most winters.  We set no record lows in June that I know of, but it has been below average temperature-wise and above average in rainfall in this region for the last several months. 

We've had some heat and tons of humidity for the last week, but nothing out of the ordinary for July.  Even the 4th was not a particularly hot day. 

What I see is weather.  The climate where I live is the same as it has been for sixty years.  Some years are hot and dry, some wet and cool, some winters have heavy snow, some are very cold.  The last couple of winters here have had some usually cold stretches. 

The more these experts froth at the mouth, the less attention I pay them.  The science was settled on butter and eggs as the cause of cardiovascular disease.  Everybody needed to switch to oleo and tofu.  Climate change -- same thing.  Who is getting paid and to whom does the power accrue? 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Condor Tools and Knives Heavy Duty Kukri

I realized I had not done a review on this chopper.

That's a Condor Kukri.  The little tree it chopped down is what some around here call a blackjack.  It's some variety of black oak.  They are scrubby with dense, twisty grain, tough to take down with anything except a chainsaw, and they can be rough on the chains.  The Condor handled it about as well as a axe would.  I was reasonably impressed.

I've had the Condor for a few months now, and it's my Sunday-go-to-meeting chopper. I haven't roughed it up too much.  I'll probably give it more of a workout this fall.  There are a lot of things to like about it, and one caveat -- not necessarily a con, just something to know.  It's heavy.

The blade is 1095 (oops) 1075 carbon steel.  It has to be maintained, but it is sharp.  It has an axe grind, which is what you would expect.  What's going to happen if I ever drive this into a rock is that the blade is not going to roll, it's could chip, or it could go right on through the rock.  I'm going to try not to find out. UPDATE:  note my correction on the steel as 1075 is less likely to chip than 1095 and will behave much like good quality axe steel

Blade length, measured straight is 9.75".  I imagine they call it 10".  

Depth maxes out at 2", giving a lot of back to the natural sweet spot on the edge.  

Blade width is 5/16ths of an inch -- about 8mm, I guess. 
It's substantial.  You could brain a zombie with the back side.  

The haft is smooth and comfortable with a nice swell at the butt and a brass-lined lanyard hole.  The fitting and workmanship is exceptional.  I confess that I cannot verify what I paid for this knife, but I think it was around $60 (confirmed).  That's not "cheap", but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality for the price.  UPDATE:  Found it.  Apparently I ordered from Amazon.

The sheath is heavy leather, and it, too, is well made.

On of the things that I've found appealing about the scabbard is that the belt attachment swivels.
I appreciate that when I am in the truck or on the tractor.

It's a good general use knife in a lot of ways.  I could dress out a buck with this, build a shelter, get wood for a fire, make other tools, behead the occasional vampire -- you know, the usual. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Snakes in a Truck

This is truly a sad story.  An 18-year-old boy who worked in a pet store in Temple, TX, died in the parking lot of a Lowe's store on North I-35 in Austin.  It appears that Grant Thompson was bitten repeatedly by a venomous snake, possibly a monocled cobra that is missing from his collection.

I can't imagine keeping any snake as a pet, certainly not something as deadly and vicious as a cobra, but it sounds like this young man had a passion for such things.  I applaud his nerve.  He would no doubt have grown wiser had he had the chance to grow older.   

Here's the link to the Austin Statesman story:

Austin is weird, but it's still Texas.  What are the odds that it ends up decorating somebody's hat?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Have We Reached Full Retard?

The Treehouse has a good post on sanctuary city crime.

dizzymissl comments:

This will make your head explode:

A reminder to Senor Vargas:

For myself, I started by NOT breaking the law and NOT sneaking across the border into someone else's country.  It's OUR country, Jose.  We make the laws -- or at least mostly we did B.O. (before Obama).  We don't make the laws in Mexico where accidentally driving across the border will get an American arrested and imprisoned indefinitely.

I keep wondering, if the folks that are coming across the border illegally are so amazing, wonderful, honest, hard-working, and industrious, why don't they just stay in Mexico and make it better? 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Not A Conspiracy Theory

John mentioned the Not-Us yesterday, and the Irish Savant suggests that we should not be surprised by what happened in Greece.

The link has a list of quotes about the scam of central banks.

I don't think this counts as a conspiracy theory.  For one thing, it isn't a theory but objective fact.  The banks control the monetary system.  The Founders were opposed to a central bank.  Coinage was supposed to be controlled by Congress.  Devaluing money is bad.

Second, it's not a conspiracy really.  It is just bankers pursuing their own interests.  So long as their interests and the national interests were roughly aligned, we did not notice it so much or consider it a problem.  Our interests have openly diverged over the last half century or so, and the gap continues to widen. 

Politicians aren't going to admit that they have to do what the bankers say, but it's not like it's a big secret.  The bankers are buying up government debt, thereby enabling the politicians to stay in power through the funneling of money to social programs, the education mafia, government workers, public sector unions, and corporate welfare, including agriculture and green energy subsidies.

This is really the lesson we should learn from Greece.  The citizens voted overwhelmingly to, essentially, abandon the euro and the EMU and return to the drachma.  They are not going to be allowed to do that. 

The Germans figured out a better way to conquer their lazy neighbors than killing them with tanks and bombers.  Banks, the new Wehrmacht.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Border Fence Is Being Built

Unfortunately, it is being built by the Hungarians to keep out illegal immigrants coming in through Serbia

Quite a concept. 

Oddly, the AP article doesn't declare the Hungarians racist or "islamophobic", despite the fact that the border jumpers are coming from places like Syria and Afghanistan. 

They aren't staying in Hungary for the most part:

Around 80,000 migrants and refugees have reached Hungary already this year. About 80 percent of them are from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most of them request asylum, but they quickly go to other, wealthier European Union countries like Germany and Sweden before their requests are settled.
I suppose the refugees filter in from the Middle East through the less prosperous parts of southern and southeastern Europe similar to the way Central Americans find no good reason to stop in Mexico on their way north. 

Our border with Mexico is much longer than that between Serbia and Hungary, but our military is much larger.  Border security could hardly be considered "domestic law enforcement" and thus subject to posse comitatus limitations.  Not that the Obama regime or SCOTUS pays any attention to constitutional limits these days. 

If they would let me run things, I would bring our soldiers home from most of the places in the world where they are stationed, functioning as enforcers for the globalists.  It seems to me being stationed in south Texas, west Texas, southern New Mexico, Arizona, and California would be much preferred to an overseas deployment in some of the planets less pleasant ratholes. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

On Handguns

A friend mocks my abiding affection for handguns.  I blame it on Gunsmoke and all the other TV westerns that I watched growing up.  I think they are fun to shoot and an interesting challenge.  I have occasionally hunted small game successfully with my Single-Six.  On a good, cold day next deer season, I may take a deer with my .44.  But mainly, I just enjoy shooting handguns. 

From the .44 magnum up, handguns can generate some serious muzzle energy and begin to approach the power of lesser centerfire rifle cartridges, but most handguns carried for personal defense are pretty puny.  That's not a criticism of anyone's choices, rather it is simply an objective consideration of muzzle velocity and bullet weight relative to the average rifle round.  When you push a projectile over Mach 2, as Col. Cooper observed, interesting things begin to happen. 

I tend to prefer wheelguns on aesthetic grounds.  They have an elegant, functional simplicity that I admire.  A few years ago, I finally came into the modern age by purchasing an autoloading .40 S&W, for which I have developed some affection.  The .40 is a high-pressure round that still does not manage to be terribly powerful.  It is adequate for personal defense with proper expanding ammunition. 

I've always been somewhat dismissive of the 9mm.  It doesn't have a bad record, and it is the round used by most western military forces.  But then our military has been using a fine little varmint cartridge in their battle rifle for the last fifty years.  The 5.56 is rough on groundhogs and coyotes and will humanely take a whitetail deer out to 150 yards with good bullets and good bullet placement.  Sadly, it has also killed a myriad of God's own children in the last half century.   

The other day, my nephew bought an American-made polymer-framed 9mm.  It's essentially a Glock clone made by Diamondback Firearms of Coco Beach, FL.  I got to shooting it a little -- having never before fired a 9mm, and, while unimpressed with the weapon itself, I liked the Nine.  It's about like shooting a .22.  Right now 9mm ammunition is far easier to find and not much more expensive than rimfire rounds. 

So I bought a Glock 17. 

The Nazgul were waiting outside the store to welcome me to the Dark Side. 

(Yeah, I know that's mixing nerd-doms, but there are Nine.  Get over it.)

It took me about thirty or forty rounds to settle in with the grip and sight picture and all so that I was comfortable shooting it.  I have vast amounts of room for improvement, but the gun groups well with cheap CCI aluminum-cased 115-grain FMJs. 

Here's the thing:  it is more fun to shoot than the .40.  I still love my big .44 plow-handled single-action above all, but I can run through a magazine full of 9mm and come away grinning.  I've got a bunch of FMJ blasting ammo already.  I'll get some more.  I'll also get some expanding ammunition, just in case.  They will be light, fast bullets, which, in my opinion, is the proper formula for a defensive Nine. 

If I knew I needed a gun to defend myself, I'd fetch Geraldean, my 870.  I still prefer a long gun or .40 and above for serious social interactions, but this stupid Glock is fun. 

How Convenient

I find this hard to believe -- via

FBI Director James Comey said Friday that his agency’s background check system failed and alleged South Carolina church shooter [name redacted by me] should not have been allowed to buy a gun.
The FBI Director said that issues with the federal government’s screening system, which did not appropriately flag [punk]’s name based on a previous felony charge for narcotics possession ...
Information about [punk]’s prior arrest had not been fully processed through the federal computer systems, Comey told reporters.

I get flagged and delayed based on getting fingerprinted for work-related background checks.

Notice the wording "felony charge" and "prior arrest".

Was he not convicted?  Was he under a felony indictment at the time of the purchase?  Had the charges been dismissed or reduced? 

An arrest is not a conviction, but the punk was processed as part of the arrest and his prints are on file.  They flag cops in the system.  They flag gun dealers.  How is it they just happened to miss the one drugged up psycho punk who was going to shoot up a church on prayer meeting night?  Good thing I don't believe in conspiracies.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Could We Find A Better Word?

I understand the word "race" as it is used in descriptions of humans, but it has become so loaded with connotations that it is virtually useless.

The way I think of various peoples with different physical and mental characteristics is similar to the way I think of various breeds of animals.  You can cross a wolf and a Yorkie -- assuming the wolf doesn't eat the Yorkie.  You'll get a dog of a sort.  A Workie?  A Yolf?  Yorf? There are Thoroughbred horses and Tennessee Walkers, Missouri Foxtrotters and Clydesdales.  They are all horses, and they are all the same species in that they produce fertile offspring, but no Clydedale or Clydesdale/Thoroughbred cross is ever going to win the Kentucky Derby.  He'd come in second if he was the only horse in the race.

Hounds, particularly scent hounds, are not usually known for intelligence.  Beagles are usually fairly bright but stubborn.  Border Collies are intelligent and live to herd.  I've been around dogs all my life.  We had shepherds, some of extremely high intelligence, but the smartest dog I've ever known was a scent hound, a variety of the English Foxhound called "Julys".  He was a unique individual variation, but he was still a very good coyote hound.

Selective breeding by humans has created great variety and utility among domesticated animals.  My granddaughter has chickens that will lay green eggs and some that are "cherry eggers" and "Easter eggers".  It's pretty cool.

Humans themselves have not, as far as we know, had much in the way of intentional selective breeding, but different environmental pressures and geographical separation and isolation as well as an apparently inherent tribalism has led to noticeable variations within the human species.  To deny this is to deny evidence and common sense as well as science. 

There is nothing "wrong" with one variation compared to another.  I've come to be pretty comfortable with the variety to which I belong.  I get along with people like me pretty well -- for the most part, some members of my family notwithstanding. 

It doesn't make me racist to observe that Kenyans seem to do disproportionately well at distance running, or that a higher percentage of people with African ancestry of a different sort are exceptional sprinters.

Some of the differences we see in society are more environmental than genetic, there's no doubt.  I used to work for a company where we would get young people with newly minted MBAs.  Oddly their last names were often familiar.  A previous generation had founded a notable company or was prominent in some industry.  But one wonders, if that kind of thing went on for several generations, what the end result would be in terms of what might be called selective mating.

Using "breeds" to refer to human variations also has bad connotations.  Ethnicity is pretty good.  "Nations" probably worked well enough before we all melted together here in the States and to some extent in the Commonwealth countries.  "Tribe" seems to be gaining some popularity, but it hasn't really expanded its meaning sufficiently.  I personally like "clan", but it has the same problem as tribe.  Other possibilities might be culture or kind.

We need to be able to talk about differences reasonably and sensibly.  Working our way past the history associated with race might help us.  I don't know.
How about "brand"?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

You've seen the story about the 22-year-old who put a mortar tube on his head and died.  Because he was drunk and probably stupid.  His mother is upset, naturally, and is "calling for stricter laws on who can have access to the explosives."  The young man was 22.  He had access to alcohol which kills far more people any given day than die in fireworks accidents every year.  In fact, I don't think this is technically an accident.  

I feel sorry for the mother.  In the midst of her grief one wishes to offer comfort and not make things worse.  I blame the people who go after these stories.  What human compassion to go out and make a buck off a woman who has just lost her child under such grotesque, senseless circumstances.  

I'm thinking we might want to kill all the journalists before we start on the lawyers.

Maine was one of those states where fireworks were illegal until just three years ago.  Now some people want to repeal the law that allows people to do what they want because a stupid drunk did something stupid while drunk.  One of those people is Rep. Michel Lajoie (D) (why does the (D) not surprise me?):

"They're going to say, 'Well, you can't regulate stupidity'...and it's true, you can't," he told AP. "But the fact of the matter is you have to try something. I'm not giving up." 

So, you know what you want to do won't work, but you're going to do it anyway.  I'd say, Rep. Lajoie, that makes you stupid.

Orwellian Voodoo

In the sidebar, Monty Pelerin talks about our Orwellian times as it relates to the rebel flag.  Be sure and read the whole thing.  He also include Thomas DiLorenzo's piece on "Jeffersonian Secession", which is thought-provoking.

Here is a quote from Monty I like:

Edgerton’s position on the Confederate Flag sounds reasonable, although I am not a historian capable of passing judgment on his interpretations. To be against his position, however, is to be against free speech.  

Indeed, this is true.  The whole point of freedom of expression is to allow us to discuss matters openly.  Speech and displays that offend are necessary.  Yes, there is a limitation.  If something is slanderous or libelous then the person impacted may sue.  If a threat is made against someone, that's a violation of the law.  Threats intimidate an opponent.  They cow and silence the opposition.

I once heard a preacher -- it may have been John Hagee -- say that witchcraft is "manipulation through intimidation for the purpose of domination".

Waving a flag threatens no one.  I might be offended or disgusted by whatever flag ISIS waves.  I think anyone who waves a rainbow flag is a pathetic loon and loser.  I can understand someone thinking the same thing about a Gadsden flag or Robert E. Lee's battle standard.  I would disagree, but I can understand.  What I can't understand is the taking of such a display as some kind of threat.  

It's not the people waving a rebel flag who are trying to silence the other side.  The wielders of political correctness are using threats to try and silence us.  They want to intimidate us and control what we say and do and even how we think.  Here's another quote from the link:

Anyone in favor of Political Correctness is against Freedom.

My people were in Indiana during the First Civil War.  The battle flag is not part of my heritage, but I'm going to find one and fly it.  Just because they tell me I can't.

Run for your lives!!!!
It's a small thing, but it is a strike back at the denial of reality that afflicts far too many in this country these days.  Metaphorically speaking, it is time to throw a bucket of water on the wicked witches of Statism.  

Monday, July 6, 2015


That stands for Functions As Designed.

Apparently, Perla Trevizo writing for the Arizona Daily Star is unfamiliar with this concept as regards the purpose of a fence, which is to keep things separated.

Break the law; break a leg. 

It works for me.