Thursday, April 28, 2016

Brush Fires and Catatrophes

Winter comes to Amerika.   I think the scale is interesting as well as the idea of WWII as an extended, high-level SHTF event in Europe.

A few days ago, Bruce Charleton talked about the impossibility of politics for Christians.  I am much more sympathetic to this view than I was twenty or even ten years ago.  I used to believe that electing "Christian" leaders would make a difference.  I know now that it won't as long as the system itself remains in place.  Christian politicians get co-opted and become captive to the corrupted, dysfunctional matrix of a massive central government.  It is akin to fighting a wild fire with the sprinkler you use to water your house plants.

Do you know the best way to keep your house from being burned up in a brush fire?  Build in a clearing, or create a clearing around the house.  Keep all the tall trees at a distance.  Clear the brush.  Keep grass and anything combustible cropped close to the ground.

This illustrates a principle in our pursuit of prudence.  You and I have no control over people who like to set fires.  We do not control where lightning strikes.  We are wise to assume that brush fires will take place.  We can only prepare and attempt to protect that which is under our control.

Get to know your neighbors.  Build networks with family, friends, people in your community, people at your church.  Be trustworthy.  Be wise as serpents but harmless as doves.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fill in the Blank

__________ is an ignorant, unprincipled, amoral policy lightweight opposed to free market capitalism and limited government.

This a quote I ran across on Fakebook, except there was a name where the blank is.  I followed the link to the writer's post where he broke it all down for us poor, deluded ignoramuses about this particular candidate.  Everything he said could have been applied, not only to all the candidates in this year's race, but to the last three or four presidents and probably most of the ones in the last century.  Nixon was no policy lightweight and certainly not ignorant.  Reagan was not opposed to free market capitalism and limited government.  It didn't make much difference in the long run, did it?

I wonder:  did people like this never hire a lawyer?  This country is run by the same jackasses who lambast one another in a courtroom then go out to get drunk together, play golf, and bang one another's spouses.  

The "Arab Spring", Benghazi, the Iran deal, the redline in Syria, poking the Bear in Ukraine, Obamacare, Medicare Part D, Common Core, No Child Left Alone, the TSA, Homeland Security, Iraq, Too Big To Fail, bankster bailouts, the take-over of General Motors to save union pensions,19 trillion in debt, deficits, etc., etc.  -- see where this goes?  

Our government is run by the clueless for the corrupt.  Our fascist economy is going to collapse.  Do I really think Ted Cruz is going to change the course of history?  The most corrupt, entitled runt in the world, Hillary Clinton?  Son-of-Mailman, Bernie, Trump?  Paul Ryan?  Singalong with Mitch?  

Someone is counting on these people to Save the Republic?  

We get the leadership we deserve.  The voting class in this country is, for the most part, greedy, short-sighted, unthinking, slothful, envious, and ungodly.   

Forget it, Jake.  It's Chinatown.

Monday, April 25, 2016

PFD Movie Review -- The Revenant

I was going to go watch this in the theater, and things happened so that was not an option.  I bought it on DVD and watched it last night. 

Any lessons in prudence to be taken from the movie?  Fire will keep you alive.  Cutting tools are really nice to have.  Glass' fork/striker is a good example of a multi-tool. 

Don't count on surviving if you are as badly chewed up and broke as Glass was.  No one is that tough, plus infection would be almost certain.  Perhaps hatred and vengeance are better than penicillin.  

From a purely artistic point of view, The Revenant has a better look than Jeremiah Johnson.  In some aspects, it is probably more "authentic" than the older movie.  The actors were well trained in handling period weapons.  DiCaprio, while an obnoxious and pretentious little twit -- not unlike Robert Redford, looked the part much more than Redford and is probably a better actor.  Still, I'll watch Jeremiah Johnson five times for every time I watch The Revenant.  It is not a bad movie, but it is hardly a great movie.  Hardy as the evil antagonist was unimpressive for me.  The actor who played Jim Bridger was a placeholder. 

The story of Hugh Glass, as far as the reliable sources can tell us, was mainly about his desire to get his Pennsylvania rifle back.  That would have been a better motivation for some of us.  I think there are a couple of generations who would not understand what it is to have only a few possessions and to equate wealth with one of those possessions.  A highly prized, handcrafted, state-of-the-art rifle was, for a mountain man like Glass, more than a house would be to us.  The closest equivalent might be losing the family farm.  His identity as well as his livelihood was tied up in it.

Given the historical deviation, it would have been a better movie if the characters had been renamed.  Nothing would have been lost, and some of us would have been less distracted by certain scenes and subplots.  I could have done without the Native American family-values political correctness thing.  It does have some good points.  The opening scene is impressive.  It may be the best part of the movie.  The bear attack is also good.  Because of the cinematography and visual power of the film, I would give it three stars out of four.

Putting aside the ridiculous level of damage to Glass' body from the grizzly attack along with subsequent mishaps, he survived because he could make fire, because water was plentiful and readily available, because of his knowledge, and his willingness to eat some rough stuff.  Hanging fire-making materials and some kind of cutting tool around your neck is one way to do it.  Having a metal container of some kind is good, too.  You can have more stuff in your pack or possibles bag, but some essentials attached securely to your person could be the difference between life and death.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Racial Harmony

The black president isn't helping so much.

The table below comes from the Gallup research at the link.  Whites, and especially tradition-oriented, conservative whites, are less likely to consider race relations a major problem than the so-called liberals and blacks. 

Percentage Who Say They Worry "a Great Deal" About Race Relations in the U.S.



Democrats + leaners252237
Republicans + leaners141426
COMBINED GALLUP POLLS: 2001-2011, 2012-2014, 2015-2016

If you think that the reason you don't have a high-paying job, get stopped and harassed by the police, have health problems, and live in a high-crime neighborhood is because of your skin color, it makes sense to place stress on race relations.  You've been held down by white society.

On the other hand, if you think that poverty is inversely related to a stable two-parent family, that diligence, self-denial and delayed gratification help overcome difficulties and disadvantages in life, you might be a conservative, regardless of skin color. 

By electing a black president, many Americans thought they were saying everybody has an equal opportunity in this country these days.  However, the HKB and his minions like Eric Holder continued to push the narrative that all whites are racists, that we are cowards when it comes to addressing racism, that cops looking at a potential break-in were acting "stupidly", that young thugs, on the other hand, are not acting stupidly when they attack people who are armed and are being killed because of their skin color.     

Now more than half of blacks worry a great deal about race relations compared to only a quarter of whites.  I am really sympathetic to this.  Obama as the Great White Hope has been a failure.  His identity politics and racially-charged rhetoric have set back the relations between blacks and whites.  Happy, prosperous mixed race couples vie with homosexual couples for trendiness in sitcoms, movies and commercials, yet the reality becomes more harsh, violent and bloody every day.

My suggestion to black people is to stop expecting white people to change.  Change yourself and overcome.  My message to whites is stop blaming blacks as a race for the problems in inner cities and realize that the political climate and government programs and policies have created the mess that these people have to deal with -- from the War on Drugs to AFDC to corrupt politicians and community organizers. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Redneck Ramblings

Back in 1980, before he was Cosmo Kramer, Michael Richards was on an SNL-like sketch comedy show -- probably on ABC -- called "Fridays" or "Friday Nights" or something.  I don't feel like looking it up.  Anyway, in the run-up to the 1980 presidential election, there was a skit where Richards and another cast member played a couple of '60s hippie types who had grown up a little and gotten married.  Richards' character announced to his still-liberal wife that he was voting for Reagan because he was "tired of America being kicked around".

Around the same time (again, too lazy to really care), Charlie Daniels introduced the rocking redneck anthem "In America".  I happened to be watching TV with a Vietnam vet when Charlie did that song perhaps on some award show.  My friend was a certified dope-smoking hippie who laughed about watching rocket attacks while stoned during his SE Asian tour of duty.  He was literally standing and cheering as "In America" finished.  "That," he said, "ought to be our new national anthem."

There was, in 1980, a strong undercurrent of positive, pro-American sentiment among Boomer men.  Remember, we had, despite the Beatles, psychedelic drugs, and paisley shirts, been raised on TV Westerns like "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke", "The Rifleman", et al.  We were still Americans.  We believed in the system.  We believed that America was meant to be great, that we, as Americans, were basically good people who made mistakes but meant well.  We still believed in honor, loyalty, courage, and fair play.

We were not nearly as cynical as I have since become toward the government and the economic system in this country.  We were also not the minority that we are now.  Reagan was a cowboy.  Most of us remembered him from "Death Valley Days".  We might have been dope-smoking freaks, but we felt a kinship with the mythical American cowboy, the loner who rides into a corrupt town to right wrongs and bring a little justice, even at the smoking end of a six-shooter, if it came to that.

Reagan may have had good intentions, but he did not save the system.  He got tax cuts without spending cuts.  Paul Volkmer did a good job of getting runaway inflation under control, but the Fed remained to vex us.  Amnesty for a few Mexican landscapers and lettuce-pickers didn't seem like such a big deal in 1986.

The Boomer generation is rolling over.  More of us are retiring every day.  We no longer control the culture, therefore, we no longer control the political narrative.  Reagan was denounced by the media and pop culture much the way Trump is denounced today.  The demographics have changed, however.  "Conservative" candidates are not going to win high-turnout national elections, and Trump is not Reagan.  Reagan was Wyatt Earp.  Trump is Gordon Gekko.

The United States of America as I knew it has ceased to exist.  Trump is not going to win the nomination.  As I have said, I don't think he would be a particularly good president, but I had hope he might burn the system down without violence and bloodshed.  Soon, perhaps in my lifetime, depending on how long that is, the illusion of America as one nation is going to end.  The fiction will hold through this election.  Hillary Clinton will likely succeed Obama, who stands a good chance of ending up on the Supreme Court.

Open civil war is unlikely.  Burning cities are very likely.  Race war is quite possible.  After all, if everything is racist, to paraphrase Dash in The Incredibles, nothing is racist.

I rather wish the Founders had left the Articles of Confederation in place with a few adjustments.  I kind of wish we had a parliamentary system.  I almost wish a nuclear bomb would hit Washington, D.C. during the next State of the Union address.  Not a big one.  Just enough to take out the central government and the bureaucracy with the wind blowing hard from the west.

Ok, I will admit I do not want D.C. nuked.  I want a huge wall around it with all outgoing signals jammed so Americans will no longer be subjected the infectious insanity.  As much as I detest massive central governments and the intrusive surveillance state, I don't wish death upon my enemies or the disintegration of the nation.  Like our voting choices, though, losing a few hundred politicians could turn out to be the lesser evil.  

Update:  Looks like Denninger is in much the same mood.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review of the S&W Victory .22LR

First, it is a pretty good-looking firearm.  The 4.75" 5.5" bull barrel seems proportional to the lines in general (I don't know where I got the idea it was four and three-quarters.  There ain't no such thing).  Picking it up, like most target and hunting oriented .22 autos, it seems Luger-esque.  Not a bad thing.  It comes with a couple of ten-round magazines that are easy to load.  Note the partially loaded magazine on the left.  There is a stud showing in the slot about half way down.  I slide that down with my thumb or finger to take the tension off the follower for loading or unloading.

I am a right-handed shooter.  This layout works great for me.  The slide release, thumb safety, and magazine release are all perfectly positioned for the right-hander of average to large hand size.  The slide locks back on an empty magazine -- thumb up the safety, punch the mag release, insert in a loaded magazine, pull back on the slide a little, release, thumb down the safety, and you are ready to shoot some more.  

I need more magazines.  This will be a problem with this firearm for a while since it is a new introduction and doesn't have the aftermarket accessories that are available for the Browning Buckmark and Ruger Mark I,II,III pistols.  The same is true of holsters.  I'm getting by with a holster for a 5" to 6" barrel length at the moment.

The pistol also comes with a trigger lock, an accessory rail to replace the rear sight rail, and an Allen wrench for take-down.   
The sights are bright green three-dot day-glo Tru-glo, and the rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation.  Mine was shooting about two feet high and noticeably to the right when I started -- evidence of it not being checked at the factory.  It is now shooting on at twenty-five yards.  A couple of days ago, shooting offhand at 25 yards, I emptied three or four magazines of CCI subsonic round nose into an area that could be covered by a 3x5 index card in the center of the target.  The pistol itself is more accurate than that.  I probably am not.
One of the things that sold me on the Victory is the ease of disassembly.  Remove one Allen head screw from the frame, and Viola!
The handgun breaks down into three main components plus the screw. Like everything, there are trade-offs.  It does not breakdown without an Allen wrench.  That is the disadvantage.  Also, when you re-assemble, the screw needs some decent torque or the barrel is going to shoot loose from the frame.  You don't have to stand on a pipe or anything, but you do want to make sure it is tight, and you want to check it for rattle before and after shooting -- at least for a while.  Disadvantage.

Advantage?  I can't imagine a .22 auto being any easier and less stressful to break down for cleaning.

Another advantage is that removing and replacing barrels is going to be a snap.  I suspect S&W designed this with an eye toward extensive customization in the future.

I am happy with mine the way it is.  I am scrounging .22LR every chance I get because I have such a blast shooting the Victory.  I would guess I have run in the neighborhood of 400 rounds through it with absolutely no problems.  I've used Remington subsonics, Federal auto target rounds, Aquila Interceptors, CCI Stingers and Velocitors, and CCI subsonics with no hiccups or failures to fire.

Other than making me smile, I'm not sure what good it is, but I guess that's good enough.  It would be a fun, challenging squirrel gun.  It will handle small varmints and pests, if necessary.  A few rounds into the bloody triangle would ruin a home invader's day.  I don't really expect to use it for much except target-shooting, though.

This is not for certain, but it would be interesting to test the Victory against, say, a Ruger 10/22 in penetration tests with the same ammo.  I might get around to that at some point.  Who knows?  I might even make a video.   

Monday, April 4, 2016

What Conflict of Interest?

Not much time today, but here are a couple of interesting and related links:

First, David Gregory is married to the Clinton mob.  I am sure Gregory and his wife have Important Conversations about him maintaining his Journalistic Objectivity.

Next, you always get what you pay for when shopping for unbiased opinions. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Questions That Should Be Asked

Should those who employ illegal immigrants be punished?

Should those who aid and abet the invasion of this country by providing shelter, services, and financial aid be punished?

We don’t need to build a wall.  We need to stop subsidizing the invasion.  

We need to jail those who knowingly employ the invaders.  I do not want to fine them a fraction of the profits they make by employing illegals.  I want them to do time, to lose their right to vote along with the other privileges of citizenship because they have diluted and devalued my citizenship through their actions. 

I want the mayors and city councilmen of sanctuary cities charged and prosecuted in federal courts under RICO.  It is the very definition of organized crime. 

Those are the questions that should be asked, and those are the answers that should be given. 

I am rigidly anti-abortion.  I believe a unique and valuable human life is destroyed by abortion.  And I would ask, why do we need to import anti-American third-world looters to replace the 50 million lives taken since Roe v. Wade?   

But abortion is a state and local question.  Roe v. Wade is bad judicial activism because abortion legislation is not a federal issue.  Not a single abortion clinic will be closed if Roe is overturned tomorrow.  It would only free state legislatures, governors, and state courts to decide how abortion services would be regulated.  Every politician running for federal office should memorize the preceding three sentences.

Defending our national borders is a federal responsibility.  It is under the purview of the federal government (although I see no reason border states like Arizona and Texas could not have joint responsibility) .  Further, it is the critical question that must be addressed if we intend to remain a unified, free nation.