Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Gun Belt

I usually wear my handguns in a holster on the belt that holds up my pants.  For concealed carry, if the belt is involved, it is the trouser/skirt belt.  Out here in the country, I open carry most of the time.  I end up not carrying when I am working around the place because it is annoying and time-consuming to pull the belt out, remove the holster, find a place to put things, hook the belt back up, and do whatever it was I needed the firearm off to do then do all that in reverse.

A gun belt solves that problem, especially one with a quick-release buckle.  I have used a leather cartridge belt for my Single-Six and the High Standard that preceded it since about 1975 – that’s not a joke.  It’s the same belt.  It’s showing a little wear, but I have taken care of it, and it still does the job.  The other day I bought a new .22LR auto handgun – the S&W Victory.  I think it is the first Smith and Wesson, I have ever owned.  I know it’s the only one I have now.  I plan to do a review on it soon. 

Yes, I really needed it.  I know.   

Anyway, I got an Uncle Mike’s holster that it sort of fits.  Since it is a fairly new model, there aren’t a lot of choices.  I decided to buy a cheap gun belt at the same time.  I don’t know what brand the belt is, and it doesn’t matter.  I adjust it to where I want to wear it on my waist by a Velcro hook patch on the long end.  It runs through half the buckle so you have a loop that attaches inside.  The belt is wide and holds the holster tightly in place.  The buckle is one of the male/female arrangements that just snaps together.   Once the length is adjusted, it’s just a matter of snapping it around my waist, and everything is where it is supposed to be. 

If I need to take the rig off to do something with a piece of equipment, I unbuckle, buckle it around the tractor steering wheel , the ATV handle bar, or some other convenient location until I am ready to put it back on.  I am thinking about getting a couple more for other holsters and handguns. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lightly Battered with Lots of Salt

I watched the video of Michelle Fields having her arm ripped off by a Trump staffer.  It was epic, like Grendel and Beowulf.  Prior video of the death match seemed to show a Secret Service agent as the culpable party.  The now-definitive overhead security “video” is actually a series of photographs taken at brief intervals. 

Here’s the thing:  Fields filed a complaint for battery so Lewandowski had to be arrested.  That’s how it works.  I watched the security “video”, and it is not evidence of battery and does not prove anything other than Michelle Fields is an attention-whoring drama queen.  She pushed up between the security detail and Trump.  She was told to back off.  She may have been held back briefly so the group could pass.  She stumbled slightly because she was wearing hooker heels.  As I said elsewhere, Fields better never go shopping on Black Friday or get between Rosie O’Donut and the buffet line. 

As a Trump non-supporter, I am done with every talking head, talk show host, and pundit who is trying to make Trump and Lewandowski out as bad guys.  Even if it was Lewandowski that touched Fields, why would he remember doing it?  It was not a significant encounter in the press of a crowd.  It certainly did not merit an apology.  Trump “escalating” by calling Fields “delusional” is now the excuse.  It was an appropriate response.  Fields was in the security zone.  She should have apologized rather than ask for an apology. 

I hope the Lord will forgive me, but I can't help thinking of Jesus when the woman with the issue of blood touched Him in the crowd.  He said, "Who touched Me?"  The disciples couldn't understand what the Lord meant because they were in a press and everyone was touching Him.  

Perhaps since Fields is an Anointed One of the journalistic priesthood, she, too, has the special Spidey sense.

I am cynical when it comes to politics, but I am possibly not cynical enough.  This is WWF-level fakery and stage-fighting. 

We are trapped in a fascist economic farce being manipulated by and for the benefit of government technocrats and corporate paymasters.  We are controlled by fears of underclass criminals at home and terrorists abroad.  We are herded by police state martinets, tracked and spied upon by inquisitors, robbed and pillaged “for the greater good” and lulled by bread and circuses.  We have our attention focused on non-events to drive public opinion while history is constantly being re-written to suit the prevailing narrative. 

A whole lot of people should stop and thank God that my hope – and that of many like me, is in Christ alone.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Dr. Sowell Explains Socialism vs. Fascism

Obama is a Fascist, as are most politicians and political players in D.C.:

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.
Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama's point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

The "saving" of General Motors which was actually the saving of the UAW is a case in point.  The feds came and dictated to GM how they would restructure, e.g., killing the classic Pontiac badge, a heinous and unforgivable crime in my opinion, while keep Buick.  Talk about signs of the Endtimes.

I am so sick of this hubris, as if there were some group of objective, super-intelligent technocrats who could make all this work better than the mass of a truly free market.  Most of the so-called technocrats are mid-wits at best, glib people a standard deviation above average who construct solutions understandable and salable to those under the bell's peak and all the way down the left tail.  When the solutions fail, as is inevitable, they always manage to find a convenient goat to blame.

Sure, the market will make mistakes.  There will be booms and busts, but it is self-correcting.  About the only way to correct bureaucrats is to treat them with tar and feathers or hang them from lampposts.  Such remedies are apparently frowned upon these days, and far be it from me to encourage proscribed measures of ancient origin.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.  Go back and read what Dr. Sowell says.

And a quote from another genius, Miyamoto Musashi in The Book of Five Rings:  

You must appreciate that spirit can become big or small. What is big is easy to perceive: what is small is difficult to perceive. In short, it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position, so their movements can be easily predicted. An individual can easily change his mind, so his movements are difficult to predict. You must appreciate this. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Positive and Negative Thinking

I read somewhere about a study done where different groups were shown images of joy, contentment, emotionally neutral images, images of fear and images of anger.  Being subject to positive pictures of joy and contentment led the viewers to express more potential responses to those kinds of situations.  Groups that were exposed to fearful or angry situations had far fewer responses to what might be done in circumstances ruled by a threat of violence or terror. 

If we think about it from an evolutionary point of view, this makes sense.  When my ancient ancestors encountered a lion or a bear on the hunt, there were basically only two options – fight or flight.  Nine times of ten, fight meant the bear had lunch.  We are descendants of those who reacted quickly and correctly to dangerous, life-threatening conditions because those are the ones who lived to reproduce.

If we are surrounded by plenty and live in safety, there is not so much pressure.  Pleasant conditions thus leave us time to contemplate and consider our options.  It is the way we are wired as creatures that have succeeded in the game of life. 

Unfortunately, we are not final winners, for the game goes on.  The nature of the threats change from  stampeding bison herds and wind-driven prairie fires to man-made dangers, violence from those who would take our property or enslave us.  Yet there are those who would prefer to ignore the reality of man’s potential for deception, destruction and mayhem, to dismiss the willingness of some to take advantage of the weaknesses of others.  A world of plenty and relative security has led a large segment of society to rail against negative speaking and thinking, to call it racist, bigoted, xenophobic, etc. 

I don’t need to see my best friend eaten by a grizzly to know that it is a grizzly’s nature to kill a weaker creature.  I don’t need to get bitten by a copperhead to know that they are poisonous. 

I don’t like snakes, but I don’t kill every snake I see, not even every copperhead.  I kill the ones that come up close to where I live.  I don’t think any copperhead has it in for me or that a snake will seek me out to harm me.  A two-foot long snake doesn’t see a human as food.  I do, however, know that a snake does not reason; it reacts.  If I am outside at night and step on a copperhead that I didn’t see on my path, with no evil in its heart, that snake will react and inject venom into my flesh.  So, I keep the area around my house clear of venomous serpents.  It’s better for me and better for the reptiles. 

I don’t want to compare my fellow humans of any ilk to vipers.  That’s unfair to the vipers.  They are, after all, creatures of instinct rather than will.  Only humans can be truly malevolent, acting contrary to the best interests of self and of humanity in general for the sake of having their own way.

Still, there is a principle that arises from my snake story.  We live, whether we realize it or not, in a world of limited resources at any given time.  Most of us who have grown up in America in the time since WWII know almost nothing of lack or scarcity.  We have been led to believe in a variation of Moore’s Law that goes beyond computing power.  We think everything must get better, cheaper and more abundant forever.  It can’t, and it won’t.  In fact, it isn’t that way now in many parts of the world.

The “Arab Spring” began in Tunisia and Egypt because of a decrease in food supplies.  A richer China with its billion-plus was indulging its appetites and putting a squeeze on the available grain going to nations in the Middle East that cannot feed themselves.  Prices rose as supply fell, and hungry people have little to lose.  Hungry people make their way into the West, Europe and the U.S. every day as “refugees” and “illegal immigrants”.  So far, we have been able to feed the invaders and keep the peace, giving them welfare, which further enriches and empowers the governments.  Governments stand to gain even more power over their productive, native citizens by the threat of crime and terrorism the invaders bring. 

I have nothing against Muslims or Mexicans or anyone else.  I don’t think most Muslims mean harm any more than a bolt of lightning means to start a forest fire.  Arson and lightning differ in intent, but if your house is in the path, either will destroy it. 

There is a clear threat to our civilization, our future, and our way of life from unchecked immigration.  Positive thinking is not going to make that go away.  We cannot assimilate the number of people who want into our countries, especially when they do not wish to assimilate.  I am not suggesting we can’t welcome immigrants, on a restricted, carefully controlled basis.  What we can’t do is welcome the invasion of the West by third-worlders. 

And remember, as the pressure increases and the threat become more evident, the number of options goes down.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

John C. Wright Nails It Down

Reading the comments on YouTube beneath this video was very revealing, and not in a good way.
I noticed in the comments there the Trump-haters always pause to insult America or the American voters.
Myself, I am willing to vote for Trump merely to show that I am tired of stupid ignoramuses half my age on one third my IQ and one eighth my education calling me ignorant and stupid. 
I am tired of morally depraved perverts calling me immoral because I dare to have moral standards. 
I am tired of filthy liars, who have not a drop of truth in them, calling a man of my perfect rectitude a liar, merely because I love this country and love the truth. 
I am tired of Progressives, Liberals, Leftists and Morlocks of every breed ungrateful and ungraciously hating this nation and everyone in it calling me every filthy name their limited imaginations and unlimited fury can invent, merely because I love my nation, and they hate it and me.
I am sick of their hate. Trump is coming. Go to Canada. Or to the devil.

As noted in John Lien's comment on the previous post, there is a day of reckoning rapidly approaching, and the world as we know it is about to end.  I won't like that.  The snarky little smartasses that have ticked off Wright will like it a lot less.  I grew up with hard labor and without so much the current elites take for granted.  I will adjust and survive.  I am not so sure how some of the ruling class will handle it.


*Sorry about the font weirdness.  I am working off my tablet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Burn It Down

According to this CNBC story, some Republicans are insisting the party chooses the candidate.  They quote North Dakota delegate Curly Haugland:

"The rules haven't kept up," Haugland said. "The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That's just the way it is. I can't help it. Don't hate me because I love the rules."

I confess that I went out yesterday and voted for Trump.  It was mainly to stick my thumb in the eye of Romney, Boehner, Ryan, the Bushes, and the rest of the Establishment.  I am fairly confident Trump will not, if elected, by a particularly good president.  Probably Cruz would be better, even Kasich, but neither of them nor any of the rest of the field will burn this system down.  

And that is what we need.  My country is being run by a corrupt, incestuous oligarchy.  The people who do not like Trump don't like me much either.  

The enemy of my enemy is my friend -- or at least my ally until the fires die down.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Return of the Opinel

A little over three and a half years ago, I first reviewed the Opinel #7.  Recently, I bought a slightly smaller Opinel #6.  I thought this might be a good time to review how well the old #7 has done over a couple of seasons of relatively hard use.

The angle of the top picture exaggerates the difference in size.  The blade on the #6 is only about an eighth of an inch shorter (72mm vs. 76mm).  Like a lot of us as we age, the #7 has lost a bit of length due to extensive use and resharpening. 

Most of the size difference between the #6 and the #7 is due to the grip length and diameter and blade depth.  It's a slimmer knife.

The first thing I noticed is how much wear old #7 has in the pivot.  It's a lot looser than the new one -- not in a sloppy way, just worn. It's a wooden handle.  It's going to wear.  I have used it a lot, in the garden, in the field, doing repairs around the house, and odd jobs from cutting Christmas paper to scraping bad sealer off a tile floor.  Scraping the tile was really hard on the knife, but it held up, did the job and honed right back to a shaving-sharp cutting tool.

I don't mean to brag, but I am kind of proud of the way I've managed to maintain the blade.  I tested it against the untouched #6 and the older blade actually cuts smoother and easier than the new one.

Sometime last year we were talking about grab-and-go bags.  I wound up buying a tactical backpack similar to the one Allena-C recommended at the time.  Then I also have tool bags on each of my bikes that I carry a few things in -- Altoids and earplugs to superglue and puncture kits.  One of the things I tend to keep in the bike bag is a spare folding, lockback box cutter, such as this fairly inexpensive Husky with handy extra blade holder that I probably picked up at Lowe's. 

An alternative to the boxcutter would be an Opinel, and there is a good chance the #6 or old #7 or some other Opinel will find a permanent place in my backpack. They are light, inexpensive, easy to sharpen (especially the high-carbon, non-stainless versions), and made to be used and abused.  Opinel folders make excellent utility knives for common, everyday tasks.  Throw one in the glove box, the tool box, or the tackle box. Have one when you need it. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Stupid CCW Tricks

Warning shots at fleeing shoplifters is a good way to lose your permit, and possibly your firearms.

Despite my philosophical reservations, I have taken a CCW class and am on the list at the county sheriff's office to get my permit.  However I did not need the use of force section in the coursework to know that I have no business firing a weapon in a situation where there is not even a potential threat to anyone's life or safety.

This is one of the downsides to so many people getting permits.  The ratio of stupid to sensible starts to come into play.  I am happy that so many honest, law-abiding citizens are preparing to defend themselves.  I agree with Heinlein that an armed society makes for a generally safer, more respectful, and courtesy society.  Keep in mind, though, that half the population is below average when it comes to anything.  I, for example, ride the back of the short bus when it comes to dancing and most things musical.  To quote Harry Callahan, "A good man knows his limitations."

When it comes to use of force and use of deadly force -- two different things, by the way -- most of the time, it is not that difficult to figure out.

  1. Never initiate force.  Never be the aggressor.   
  2. If you can leave, LEAVE. 
  3. Property can be replaced.
  4. The only excuse for deploying a weapon of any kind is an immediate threat to life or of serious physical harm.

I started to say "an immediate, credible threat".  That's where it starts to get muddy.  A threat to me is very different from a threat to a frail, seventy-year-old lady or to my 95-pound granddaughter.  Being backed into a corner in a dark alley by four or five thugs is pretty clearly a threat -- unless all they want is money.  I can hand over my wallet and cancel my credit card a lot cheaper and easier than I can retain an attorney to defend me in a shooting.  Purse-snatchers, shoplifters, burglars (as opposed to home invaders), smash-and-grab robbers -- none of those, in my opinion, pose a reasonable threat.  In some cases, use of physical force might be justified, though it is not necessarily wise.

Here is the problem:  if I decide to initiate physical force, such as attempting to detain a fleeing perpetrator, what happens if the person is willing to cause significant physical harm in order not to be detained?  This was one of the arguments in the Zimmerman case -- that Zimmerman had "started" the confrontation then shot Saint Trayvon when it went bad on him.

The trouble is that a person has only a few seconds to react.  You don't really have time to sit around and have a discussion.  That is what will happen in court when your every utterance and movement for the past twenty years will be analyzed, dissected and beaten to dust.

I have said this before, that if a person has a weapon, he or she should spend a lot of time with that weapon.  Your main weapon is your brain, and, for the cost of a cup of coffee or two, you can run through and game scenarios in your head.  You can write things out on a piece of paper, too -- just make sure you burn the paper when you are done. 

It's important to know what your state statutes say about self-defense, what its "castle doctrine" is, how it defines a weapon, etc.  It is equally or more important to know what your own boundaries are, what you think justifies taking a human life, because -- make no mistake, if you point a firearm at someone you have decided you are willing to kill him or her.    

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cold Steel American Lawman

I recently purchased a Cold Steel Lawman folder from my friends at Midway.  I have owned a couple of Cold Steel products (this one for example) over the years and have been generally pleased with them despite the hyperbole that seems to go with the company. 

One thing that interested me about the CS Lawman is the Taiwanese steel.  It is called Carpenter CTS XHP Alloy, essentially a high-hardness (60-64 HRC) 440C-type stainless.  The reports on it are mostly positive.  The cutting edge of the blade, less the half-inch of deep choil, is 3 inches.  The blade is about an eighth of an inch (4mm) thick with a nice drop-point  profile.  It is sharp.  It is, perhaps, the sharpest knife I have including my Mora and a scary-sharp custom skinner.        
 The scales on the Lawman are G-10, with an intense but relatively shallow stippling that provides good traction without being uncomfortable.  I am glad because the grips are also quite thin.  While it carries easily and unobtrusively in all kinds of trouser pockets, it might be a little tough to hang onto when working with it for an extended period of time.

Unfolded the Lawman measures a shade over eight inches so there is plenty of room for my remarkably average hand.  If I have a gripe, aside from the concession to slimness in the scales, it is that every other folder I own carries tip-down and the Lawman carries tip-up.  We have heard for years about muscle memory.  I am experiencing the consequences of muscle memory every time I draw this knife.  I have to retrain myself and form a new habit.  It is annoying but something I will adjust to in time.

The Lawman gets carried a lot.  The clip is extremely secure so I don't worry about losing it on the bike, knocking around in the brush, or working on equipment.  I sometimes pair it up with a Leatherman Sidekick when riding.  While the Lawman is an excellent all-around utility knife, it does not have the heft or capacity to make pommel strikes that my CRKT Crawford Kasper does.  It would be a cutting son of a gun, though. 

Then there is the lock.  Most of my tactical folders are linerlocks.  Linerlocks are solid and dependable and relatively cheap.  They can get enough wear so as to make me less that confident they will hold.  I have retired a couple of knives because the lock made me wonder.  That is not going to happen with the Lawman.  It has Cold Steel's Tri-Ad lockback mechanism which is rigid and solid.  It may be about as close as you can get to a fixed blade in a folder.  

If you are looking for a dependable, high-quality, reasonably-priced tactical folder, I recommend checking out the Cold Steel Lawman.