14 December 2009

Another AD, this time with injury...

- I'd like to start off saying- this one wasn't mine. Thank goodness!

We'll call him Mr. Z, one of the engineers I work with. Apparently he had been cleaning his carry sidearm (I don't know what sidearm he carries, nor is it terribly important. Suffice it to say, it's a 9mm semi-automatic).

To clean said sidearm, he dropped the mag, racked the slide, checking the chamber visually as he did, reinserted the mag, racked the slide again, riding it forward.

Some of you already see the problem- bear with me.

What he neglected to do, if he is going to use the mag as a hold-open method when clearing the weapon, is to *check the mag* AND ENSURE it's empty.

So that was first gig...

Then he inserted the mag into the weapon, and rode the slide forward. This is two failures, way I see it: he didn't slingshot the weapon (pull slide back forcibly, and release), and he failed to maintain control of the weapon, ending up with his hand in front of the muzzle.

Additionally, he apparently had his finger on the trigger throughout this. I can attest to how easy this can be to do, and yet swear you never touched the trigger-- I have a 45ACP hole in my wall to this day to remind me of it, from my own AD about this time last year.

Adding insult to (severe) injury, the weapon sent a 9mm bullet through his (I am not a doctor, I am relating what I was told) 2nd metatarsal near the radius, effectively shattering the metatarsal and causing damage to the 3rd metatarsal, and perhaps some damage to the wrist as well. Subject has no feeling at all in his offside index finger, and no feeling in the near side of his middle finger on same hand. He's visited a (hand surgeon- what're they called?) today and will likely be out all week in the near term before attempting to come back to work- nevermind the time he'll have off work for PT, surgery, etc. There may even be a concern of him losing the finger, the way it sounds. (Again, I am relating info third-hand, as "what the Doctor said")

I won't relate any of the "black humor" that's circulated around the office regarding this. Let's just say that once we'd related our wellwishes for his recovery, he was fair game- most of us are former military, and a lot of us are former military shooters at an above average level. Yeah, once he's healed up, he's gonna have to run the gauntlet... this is our way of saying "we're sorry you had an accident, hope you get better soon... NOW- don't ever do that shit again!"

(I have mentioned, I am not a Politically-Correct person, haven't I?)

So- I've said it before, I'll say it again. I am kinda OCD about clearing weapons after my experience. To clear a semi-auto, I:

-Drop the mag- examine the mag. DO NOT put the mag back in the weapon. Verbally state if the mag is cleared or not- if it isn't cleared, clear the mag of all ammo.

Parenthetically: if you're one of these folks that uses the mag as a hold-open- stop it! Stop working around the system, stop being lazy! Use the slide lock, or hold the slide open manually if your weapon doesn't have one! Hell, stick a spent casing in it- stovepipe it intentionally, if you're using that special semiauto that doesn't have a slidelock! I use spent shtgun shells as holdopens/chamber flags on my AK for exactly this purpose.

-rack the slide and lock it in the open condition. Visually look in the chamber for a round. Insert the pinky finger into the chamber as you do- verbally state the condition of the chamber, and make it clear if need be. Then and only then:

-visually examine and touch the breech. Verbally state the condition of the breech. Make it clear if it isn't. Then and only then:

-look down the magwell via the ejection port. See daylight or other light through the empty well. Verbally state the condition of the magwell. Then and only then:

-State the condition of the firearm as "Weapon is clear".

-if you put the weapon down, immediately clear the weapon upon picking it up again. Same, if a weapon is given to you, even if you've seen it cleared by someone else. NO exceptions! I will often do this three times in succession- I've seen an old rusty shotgun that had a shell stuck in the tube come free unexpectedly- could have been a horrible surprise.

Is this OCD? Why yes, it is. Will someone likely comment that it's too much work, or duplicative? Of course- that's the point.

I haven't been shooting for all my life. I am not a dummy, either. I know intellectually that a weapon I just set aside, turned my back on, with no ammo in the house, and noone else home, IS empty. But how long does it take me to clear the weapon every time I handle it? 10 seconds, on a slow day. Isn't that worth it?

I hate to play Armchair Quarterback, but if my friend had done my little OCD clearing drill, he would not be looking at possibly losing a finger, nor would he be in great pain as he is presently. Also, we wouldn't be writing rude nicknames on his whiteboard for his return ;)

Worst of all, by far-- he's gonna have to listen to the Misses rag his arse about this one till he dies. Believe it. ;)

Clear 'em, folks. Laugh at me when you see me clear a weapon three times as I pick it up. I'll laugh with you, and hope like hell I am wasting precious seconds of my life. But remember- the moment you quit respecting these weapons, they can and will bite you, and they exact a heavy price.

- and most importantly, Teach your kids better than you yourself were taught! None of this circumvents the 4 rules- in fact, it reinforces them.

03 November 2009

So.. .how long till these guys are declared "terrorists"?

Anyone checked out the Oathkeepers site?

While I do feel they are in the right, I wouldn't at all put it past the present "leadership" to declare them terrorists.

You know, kinda like the rest of us, who are veterans, believe in the Constitution, the right to bear arms, etc, etc...

While I agree with their stance, I don't think I'd say it would be wise to go sign up on their forum-- seems a real handy damned way to get put on a watch list.

Yes, I am WELL aware of how paranoid that sounds, thank you. But lest we forget, the White House DID stand up a "snitch" line for just this sort of thing, publically, not too long ago.

02 November 2009

On my absence...


The good news is, I am fine. I had a minor upper respiratory thing going on last time I made that post, and it returned two weeks ago-- so I missed like a week's worth of work. :(

I'm fine folks-- just pretty fed up with the direction I see things going.

10 months ago I would not have given a second thought to speaking my mind. Now, with this... cabal... in power, I'm not so sure.

Every day I wake up and am just astounded at the absolute idiocy of our present "leadership". It's like they're TRYING to bring the whole system down. I wish that I could honestly say that is crazy talk, but looking at the track record of advisers, etc, I can't honestly say it's not possible that's exactly what they're after.

So, I bite my tongue, for the most part...

Some may say this is cowardice. I prefer to think it's being prudent. Because the more I see going on, the more it seems like the fight's ours, and the Cavalry ain't comin'...

10 September 2009

Out sick :(

So I called out sick yesterday, and just now as well.

Being sick, sucks.

Other than the physical illness part, I ALWAYS feel like I am faking it, even when there's evidence to the contrary.

Nevermind the fact I didn't eat yesterday ( I loves me my food, as you can tell if you've met me :/ ), threw up, and etc. I have a 3 degree above normal fever and feel like crap. I feel like everyone's seeing the email I sent in, rolling their eyes dramatically, and sighing loudly with a very put-upon feel to the whole thing.

It doesn't help that there's an inspection, and someone else is going to have to address my cube in my absence- even though I rarely work at that facility. (Note to self- keep things straightened out in said cube, going forward).

Also, since a large portion of the engineering staff was out for the whole of last week, the Director actually put out a notice that if you don't feel well and have a fever, you should stay home.

But in all, I keep feeling like "well the fever isn't debilitating, and not 105, so suck it up and drive on". I intellectualy get that I *am sick* and should stay away from work lest I make the whole damned building sick. But I'm the guy that says this H1N1 thing is much worry about nothing (I am not a doctor, just cranky) and even though I am not claiming to have it and don't have any medical training, I still feel like I am riding the coattails of it to get a couple free days off.

Even though I know I am not.

25 August 2009

Welcome to the Blogroll...

Welcome to the blogroll, Lawdog

Blogging's been a bit light lately since the software guys at work put out a new release, and I've been *busy*.

Even more so, in my off time, it's looking like. I just got railroaded into being my son's Den Leader.

Also, there's been mention of me becoming a Range Safety for the troop, as well. I've done it before, with older "kids" (in some ways, trainees are just big kids). Anyone know what's involved? I wonder if they'll accept the Eddie Eagle program for training material.

Come to think, I wonder if it's too soon to start 'em on Small Unit Tactics? Bounding Overwatch, Travelling Overwatch, just the simple stuff. ;)

I've had tons of stuff I wanted to blog about of late- a lot of it political in nature. But admittedly, there's a bit of me that is concerned about anything I post coming back to haunt me. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not setting up an email box at the White House for people to snitch on each other...

Seriously, though- I've had a bellyfull of politics. I gave The One a chance when he got iinto the office-- after all, surely his stance couldn't be as bad as the opposition represented? Turns out, it's even worse...

15 August 2009

Fancy trick-shootin' with a Benelli

I feel very, VERY sorry for whoever tries to break into this guy's house at 3am.

To say this guy knows a thing or two about point shooting is just entirely missing the point...

"ya throw the gun, you throw the bird, you load the shell, you shoot the bird"

Like it's nothing. I am just gobsmacked at this guy's skills...

Moment of Zen

Penny Jar
Interesting what you find when you google for "Hippie, please"

03 August 2009

Remember "Band of Brothers"?

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg bring us the same level of drama, set in the Pacific campaign:

Oh yes, I WILL have HBO while this is playing...

Magic Jack- VERY pleasantly surprised!

OK, so I've seen this magic jack thing on TV for like 3 years and I admit I've been curious.

I'm no luddite and I'm sure not a stranger to things Geekish - in fact I've used Vonage for about 6 years, but still-- it's on an infomercial-- how good could it be? It's a rule or something- on an informercial, it HAS to be crap.

Things being what they are and times being the same, ie: TIGHT- I finally decided to throw $40 ($20 for the device, $20 for the year's service... and there's a 30 day money back guarantee which, according to several folks on the web, is valid) at the thing and see what happened.

(yes, two both my readers- I did my research-- found that the folks that are complaining about the device seem to fall into two categories: mouth-breathers who can barely use a keyboard when on the web... sorta... to spit their vitriolic complaints into the ether, and people who would starve to death with a truckload of canned goods, a rifle, a canopener, and an axe, and 50,000 rounds of .223 at their disposal. Either way-- not the brightest bulb on the strand, they)

Got the Magic Jack in the mail today- it arrived in 4 days (ok, I spent the $4 for express shipping- hell, it's reasonable, and I'm impatient- there's geekin' to be done!). It came in a soft-sided mailer, same sort you'd ship an AOL disk back in the day. (Yes, I know. Shut up.) Opened it, it ships in a simple cardboard and foam affair. There's no real directions to be had other than "plug into USB jack. Do not plug unto USB hub that isn't powered by AC"

(at this point, our complainers are already losing their damn minds.. "ZOMG111!!! THERE'S NO DIRECTIONS!!! IT'S SO haaaaaarrRDDDDDD1!!!! SOMEONE COME FIX THIS, I DON'T HAVE AN ENGINEERING DEGREEEEEE!!!)

No, I'm not kidding. I have supported users for... well, WAY too long. I know of what I speak, ok? Let's just say-- I'm way burned out on IT work. WAAAAY. I'm seriously considering getting my welding certificate.

So anyway-- being devil-may-care, I plugged the damn thing in... and...

.. it just worked!

One minor caveat- you must have patience- it'll install the software (software lives on the device- there's a bit of flashram, see) automatically, bring up the softphone (software phone.. this isn't that technical, really) panel, and bring up a wizard to walk you through getting your phone number, all automatically on most systems (those that have registry hacks done to avoid USB Autoplay may- *MAY*- have minor issue. But if you can figure out how to disable autoplay, you can damn sure open Explorer and launch the app yourself). The only gotcha- and it wasn't a huge one- is that I run Skype in the background 24/7 on this machine, and it wanted to use the Magic Jack as an audio interface. I clicked "disable" when the window spawned, and it's not a problem.

I got this because my ATT cellphone gets horrible service in my home. For $20 a year, why not? I've already made a couple calls and am VERY happy with the quality. I'll be keeping the device, no doubt about it.

BTW- the website and presumably the salesdroid if you elect to go that way on the phone, will try to sell you the next 5 years of service for a discount of $60, right when you buy, giving the impression it's "now or never". Don't. Get the bare bones, see if it works- *for you*- and if so, you'll see an advert pop up in the softphone panel giving you the same offer after you've installed the device.

For those techincally inclined: my system is an AMD Athlon64, 2.0Ghz, 2.0GB RAM, XP Pro 32-bit. Nothing stellar by any means. I can't comment on what the Mac experience would be with this product, and I don't believe they support Linux. Knowing LUGs like I do, though, I would be VERY surprised to find there's not already someone supporting them in the OS community.

The hardware side of things, in terms of what you'll use every day with the Magic Jack... is a standard single-line set. AKA a "telephone". I'm actually using a GE 28300EE1-A SkypePhone/landline combo handset. It's likely why I had that little instance of Skype trying to use the MagicJack as an audio device. Oddly enough, this actually sounds better on that handset than it did over my Vonage line. There will likely be some comparisons on that front in the near future.

So, yeah-- sometimes there's some good stuff to be had on infomercials. BTW- you can buy these at WallyWorld, Best Bastard, and Rat Shack as well.

Quite honestly, for $20/year, I'm not real sure how they're even leasing the phone number. If this holds out I may well kick Vonage to the curb- and they're already a stellar product even at $15/month.

So overall- my review for this product is 5 out of 5 rounds dead-center-mass.

01 August 2009

31 July 2009

"Cash for clunkers broke"... the math does not add up...

OK, so this Cash for clunkers program has a billion dollars in it...

That's 1,000,000,000. 1, with 9 zeros behind it.

For comparison, a million is 1,000,000. 6 zeros.

A million is a thousand thousand. At least here in the US. The Brits have a different idea, but we ain't talking about their math...

1,000 X 1,000 = 1,000,000. This is 5th grade math.

Likewise, a billion is a Thousand Million:

1,000 X 1,000 X 1,000= 1,000,000,000.

So then- I just saw where there's been 27,282 cars sold under this program.

Let's assume each car sold took the max benefit under the program (they didn't- it's a tiered approach. But let's keep the math simple, and be generous. It's only money!)

22,782 X 4,500 = 102,519,000.

Or, said in word: One hundred and two million, five hundred nineteen thousand dollars.

Which means there's roughly 898 million dollars left.

But they say the program is brooke already. WTF?

Musical Interlude

Johnny Cash does Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt"

29 July 2009

... and on that note....

I'd like to welcome Dr. StrangeGun to the blogroll...

came across his site while looking for 1911 hammer hook pics.

(yeah, mine is POOCHED! Might be able to save it with some file time, though...)

So.. looks like I get to play gunsmith...

Couple months back I bought a Colt Sistema, used (no, really?)...

Got to doing some research on 1911 issues- hammer follows, trigger stacking, safety work, etc...

Turns out the gun is a basket case. I'm looking at replacing the disconnector, sear, hammer, possibly the trigger, and safety.

Given that the gun is not stock (it's got a Kart National Match barrel) and was ripping chunks out of my hand, I might as well throw a beavertail in there while I'm at it...

Add to that some stripped out grip bushing holes...

... and then there's the issue that I'm not sure I prefer the curved backstap, though it does have a lanyard loop like I wanted...

I bought a couple hammers and safeties off gunbroker. I'm not convinced they're serviceable. They were sold as Colt takeouts- I am no expert, but cursory investigation leads me to believe they may well have been from some smith's "oh, shit!" bucket.. cast offs from a wayward slip of a file. Example-- I'm not sure the half-cock notches on the hammers are even there anymore.

I got a hammer from the local smith- it has a functional and serviceable halfcock (though it holds the hammer AWFULY close to the fully-decocked position- pics forthcoming) and fullcock. The halfcock IS held off the firing pin, so that's good.

Dropped in the takeout ambi-safety from my Taurus 1911AR. While it works, I would prefer something made from tool steel in that application. Also, being a righty, I prefer a non-ambi safety.

I've got it shootable now-- but it's by no means where I want it. Also, it's missing a lot of the finish. There's a Duracoat session in its near future. I'm debating between Flat Desert Earth or Dark Green for the frame, with a black slide. Need to scare up my airbrush and airbrush compressor first, though.

Scarey: When I took the ambi safeties out of the Taurus 1911, I installed the takeout safety, and had intended to carry the weapon. Luckily I didn't- because I found that the weapon would fire if I had the safety on-- *something* caused the safety to toggle off, and hammer to follow.

Got to researching this evening and discovered that, in dryfire, luckily. I was reading a thread on THR regarding safety fitment, and learned much!

26 July 2009

Got a smokin' deal...

I've been muling over getting a Beretta 92FS (as I understand it, it's the civvie version of the M9 the military uses) for quite some time. The only thing that really had me hesitant was that I was originally trained on the 1911 platform and while I did have some time with the M9 in my military service, I never cared for the slide-mounted safety. By that time it was just counterintuitive to have to reach for the safety waaaaay up there.

I'd heard there were versions of the Beretta with frame-mount, but as I understood it they were early models, and weren't the recipients of better metallurgy in the locking block and slide. I was aware of the Taurus offering, and I am a fan of Taurus, having several of their pistols, but didn't want an M9-type of pistol to pay upwards of $500- if it came to that I was going to grab another 24/7, maybe the OSS version that Taurus makes-- I'm already equipped with holsters for them and am quite happy with the platform.

Stopped in at a pawnshop "just to look" after picking up my Sistema and an AR15 from them for a great price-- there was a Taurus PT92AF(d) with decent finish (though showing some holster wear) for $200. I pawed it for a while, asked i they would move on the price-- they said they couldn't till the boss got back. Figured I would come back the nect day and talk with him about it, jumped in my jeep and headed home. On the way, I got to thinking that $200 for a decocker-equipped Beretta 92 clone with frame-mounted safety and decocker was more than fair, so I went back and bought it. It came with one mag, that apparently gave trouble- it wouldn't reliably hold the slide back, and would not drop free. No worries-- mags are cheap.

Went to the range, sure enough, the mag fed fine but wouldn't reliably hold the slide open after the last round. Bought a Promag to address that- problem solved.

The next day I stopped in at the local surplus store and saw 10 Army-surplus M9 mags in their case. 1 old civilian Beretta mag from the first lot of pistols with the Euro mag release in the heel of the weapon, 2 Beretta M9 contract, and the balance being checkmate mags. Aware of the problems with the checkmates, I asked what he wanted for all of the mags. $70. Sold!

I got to experimenting and found if I changed the spring and follower in the heel-release and the Taurus mag, I ended up with two mags that both worked just fine. Odd, but it works for now- I can always swap in Wolf springs if there's issue. Of course the Beretta and M9 mags won't work in the Taurus without being held in place- the mag release catch is different- but that's easily addressed. A few minutes with my Dremel tool and they'll stay in place. However, the front of the Beretta and M9 mags is just a hair wider, causing it to catch on the Taurus release. A few passes with a stone to relieve the lower side of the catch solves that problem as well, and they work slicker than one would expect a "noncompatible" mag to work. While it's true that if one were to swap the mag release to a left-hander, I'd have to go about modifying the other side of each mag, and would probably have to replace the mag release-- I don't care. I'm 1) not left handed, and 2) not getting rid of the weapon.

So all told, I've got the ability to carry about 210 rounds of pistol ammo on me, should the need occur. I don't expect it ever should- and in fact pray it doesn't-But for the price, you can't beat it. Just a hair over $300 for a serviceable weapon that's proven in combat (the Taurus is carried by the military and police of Brazil as well as a few other nations, and has seen service in Iraq, though I have no way of knowing if this weapon has a history), and enough mags to carry over 4 boxes of ammo. Works!

Taurus haters- send it to /dev/null. The 92 series is a proven commodity, and in fact the Taurus surpasses the Beretta original in several areas- example: the locking block. Also, as I understand it they're built on the Beretta tooling in Brazil, much the same as my Sistema was built on Colt tooling in Argentina.

Look for a series of posts on the modifications that I had to make to the mags, complete with How-To pics, possibly this evening...

21 July 2009

National Right-To-Carry recognition bill to be voted on

Courtesy of the NRA/ILA

(I realize most of my readers are probably NRA members, but in case not:)

U.S. Senate To Vote On National Right-To-Carry
Reciprocity Amendment Early This Week

Contact Your U.S. Senators TODAY And Urge Them To Support Your Right To Self-Defense by voting YES on the Thune-Vitter Amendment!

July 21, 2009

The U.S. Senate is now considering the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390). As a part of the consideration of that legislation, Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) will offer an amendment this week to provide for interstate recognition of Right-to-Carry permits. There is a very high likelihood of a Senate floor vote on this important and timely pro-gun reform between now and Wednesday.

Now is the time for Congress to recognize that the right to self-defense does not end at state lines. Under the Thune-Vitter amendment, an individual who has met the requirements for a carry permit, or who is otherwise allowed by his home state's state law to carry a firearm, would be authorized to carry a firearm for protection in any other state that issues such permits, subject to the laws of the state in which the firearm is carried.

Contrary to "states' rights" claims from opponents who usually favor sweeping federal gun control, the amendment is a legitimate exercise of Congress's constitutional power to protect the fundamental rights of citizens (including the right to keep and bear arms and the right of personal mobility). States would still have the authority to regulate the time, place and manner in which handguns are carried.

Expanding Right-to-Carry will enhance public safety, and certainly poses no threat to the public. Criminals are deterred from attempting crimes when they know or suspect that their prospective victims are armed. A study for the Department of Justice found that 40 percent of felons had not committed crimes because they feared the prospective victims were armed. The Thune-Vitter amendment recognizes that competent, responsible, law-abiding Americans still deserve our trust and confidence when they cross state lines. Passing interstate Right-to-Carry legislation will help further reduce crime by deterring criminals, and -- most important of all -- will protect the right of honest Americans to protect themselves if deterrence fails.

The Thune-Vitter Amendment represents a giant step forward in the protection of the basic right to self-defense. Its passage will recognize that the rights of law-abiding Right-to-Carry permit holders should be respected, even when they travel outside their home state.

Gun control groups, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" are running ads trying to scare your lawmakers and the American people into opposing this crucial Right-to-Carry reform. It is critical that your U.S. Senators hear from you immediately.

Please be sure to contact both of your U.S. Senators today, and urge them to cosponsor and support the Thune-Vitter interstate right to carry recipocity amendment. E-mail and call them immediately!
To find contact information for your U.S. Senators, please click here, or call (202) 224-3121.

15 July 2009

Two presidents, meeting the Marines

Hattip to Crucis' Court

Yes, I realize that the occasional rabid leftist will see this and sneer in disapproval.

To you, my Leftist reader, I say this:

Fuck you.


THESE, and men and women like them, are the reason you are able to sneer in disdain as though you are superior to a common soldier, instead of being lined up against a wall and shot for your crime of being an "intellectual".

It is telling that the Left isn't bright enough to realize this last point.

12 July 2009

The Lock-Up-Your-Opponents Bill of 2009

We're living in FAR too interesting times lately, folks:

Hattip to HotAir.com

Text of the article:
The lock-up-your-opponents bills of 2009?posted at 11:08 am on July 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Share on Facebook | printer-friendly Would Congress ever pass legislation that would allow the executive to determine at its own discretion whether political opponents had crossed the line into domestic terrorists and build camps in which to keep them? Sounds like something out of 20th-century totalitarian systems or dystopian fiction. Mark Tapscott says it’s not fiction, and he warns readers about an effort by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to do just that:
Rep. Alcee Hastings - the impeached Florida judge Nancy Pelosi tried to install as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until her own party members rebelled - introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that gives Attorney General Eric Holder sole discretion to label groups that oppose government policy on guns, abortion, immigration, states’ rights, or a host of other issues. In a June 25 speech on the House floor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, blasted the idea: “This sounds an alarm for many of us because of the recent shocking and offensive report released by the Department of Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as ‘extremists.’”
Another Hastings bill (HR 645) authorizes $360 million in 2009 and 2010 to set up “not fewer than six national emergency centers on military installations” capable of housing “a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster.” But Section 2 (b) 4 allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to use the camps “to meet other appropriate needs” - none of which are specified. This is the kind of blank check that Congress should never, ever sign.
It’s not paranoid to be extremely wary of legislation that would give two unelected government officials power to legally declare someone a “domestic terrorist” and send them to a government-run camp.
To be fair on the second point, most legislation includes phrases similar to the “meet other appropriate needs” as a means of allowing flexibility in using facilities commissioned by Congress. Under unforeseen circumstances even apart from creating concentration camps for abortion opponents, the six national emergency centers might need to get some use other than housing military personnel or civilians evacuated from a disaster area. That language allows the Pentagon and Homeland Security leeway to adapt for other issues without having to worry that lawyers will descend upon them like locusts for not strictly limiting use to the statutes.
However, the designation of domestic terrorist groups — a necessary and critical process for keeping the peace — should not fall into the hands of just one person. That process needs oversight and consensus to be credible and fair. Congress should have some involvement, especially in oversight. Holder could be the greatest AG in the history of the US but still should not have the absolute authority to make that designation, especially after the track record of the DHS in using vague parameters and broad-based smears of legitimate political protest earlier this year.
Mark may also want to look at HR 1966, introduced by Rep. Linda Sanchez last April in reaction to the suburban mother who drove one of her daughter’s acquaintances — a 13-year-old girl — to suicide. Bas cases make bad law, and that’s doubly true here. Look at this language and imagine how this could be used:
Sec. 881. Cyberbullying
‘(a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Who decides what constitutes “substantial emotional distress”? What is the definition of “severe” and “hostile”? What kinds of persons can claim victimhood under this bill? This purports to be a bill to prevent cyberbullying — which is hardly a crime wave in America anyway — but could easily be perverted to shut down “mean” bloggers.
This Congress has taken a strange and dangerous turn away from the principles of free speech and towards … something else entirely.
Update: Apparently, the Irish are also having trouble with this concept.
Update II: I think I was a little too subtle in my post. I don’t think Hastings is passing a “concentration camp” bill, but just a badly worded piece of pork. Irishspy in the comments sums it up better than I did above:
I read the original text of these bills a few days ago and, while I have strong concerns about the lack of due process in allowing the AG to simply designate someone a dangerous person just because of his beliefs or (IIRC) tattoos, Hastings’ amendment about the regional command centers looks more like a bunch of pork for areas affected by base closures than anything else.
That was my point. The language that Mark points out is pretty much legislative boilerplate, probably meaningless in the sense Mark takes it. I’m much more concerned about the cyberbullying bill and the authority Hastings wants to grant to the AG.
Update II: Radio Vice Online has been looking at the cyberbullying bill, too.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, folks...

There's paranoid, and then there's reasonable reticence to get on board with such actions. This administration is giving us EVERY reason to be VERY reticent to get on board with any of their programs.

Think "re-education camps" can't happen here, folks? I'm sure the Jews in Poland and elsewhere thought so around the late '30s. I'm pretty sure the Japanese thought it couldn't happen -HERE- in the early '40s, too.

It HAS happened here, folks. If we're not damned careful, it WILL happen here again, too- do you want to give the Government Carte Blanche to do it?

I find it VERY interesting that the majority of groups that were bitching and moaning at every turn with the Bush administration, are damned quiet now.

What was the line they used all during their Bush Delusion years? "Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism", while calling Bush a fascist, etc...

Now we have an administration that is rapidly moving towards Socialism and possibly even outright REAL Fascism, and they're quiet. Worse yet-- if you raise your voice against the actions of the administration you're called a racist, terrorist, et al.

I'm sorry-- I am no racist-- did not Martin Luther King himself say that he looked for a time when his children ".. would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

I'm not judging Obama on the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. I find he has none, or at least none that shares anything in common with the American spirit.

06 July 2009

Someone explain this to me?

Link to Infantry patrolling what looks to be a US Town

Now I don't want to be alarmist-- but this smells funny.

If it is the US Residential neighborhood it seems to be (for a moment I thought it might be on post, but post doesn't have satellite TV antennas too often), will someone PLEASE shine some light on what is going on here?

I can see taking the troops out for a roadmarch in town- we did it in my old NG unit several times. We were even in full combat loadout, too-- except we didn't have weapons on us.

Really trying not to go all kneejerk here-- but this smells funny...

25 June 2009

The "King of Pop" is dead at 50

.. and I could care less.

If my Christian friends will excuse me for a moment-

- if there's ANYTHING to the Christian Mythos, I hope that it's the whole "burn forever if you're a sinner" bit.

Because that sonofabitch child molester is surely burning right now, and that makes me VERY happy.

Let's see you buy off THAT jury, "King".

I wouldn't be surprised to see them try to get him laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

24 June 2009

Spammed. By the White House. WTF?

from:President Barack Obama
reply-to: President Barack Obama


date: Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 4:51 PM
subject: Time to roll up your sleeves
mailed-by: service.govdelivery.com

Dear Friend,

Last week, I announced United We Serve – a nationwide call to service challenging you and all Americans to volunteer this summer and be part of building a new foundation for America.

And when I say “all,” I mean everyone – young and old, from every background, all across the country. We need individuals, community organizations, corporations, foundations, and our government to be part of this effort.

Today, for the official kick off of United We Serve, members of my administration have fanned out across America to participate in service events and encourage all Americans to join them.

The First Lady is rolling up her sleeves and getting to work too. But before she headed out today, she asked me to share this message with you.

Our nation faces some of the greatest challenges it has in generations and we know it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get us back on track.

While Michelle and I are calling on every American to participate in United We Serve, the call to service doesn’t end this fall. We need to stay involved in our towns and communities for a long time to come. After all, America’s new foundation will be built one neighborhood at a time – and that starts with you.

Thank you,
President Barack Obama

Got that in my email inbox the other day.

On Gmail, no less- interesting, that- they by and large supported Obama in the election- makes one wonder how they got my email address, since I have NEVER emailed the Whte House, and especially not from that address.

Don't know about you, comrade, but it makes me want to go grab a shovel and get to work. (Note my SEVERELY dubious smirk)

Guaran-dam-tee if the Bush White House had done this, the Leftards would have been all over it. But we won't hear a peep from them-- it's their rock star, Barack Hussein.

EDIT to add: if I were to use my government email account to send an email supporting a candidate or his policies, I'd be in SEVERE trouble. How is it different when it's the POTUS? IT's not HIS network, and I goddamn sure as hell didn't ASK to receive his propaganda...

16 June 2009

There's strange... and there's ARMY strange...

- and now for something completely different...

Just ran across DeltaBravoSierra, a webcomic loosely based upon the cartoonist's experiences in the military...


(I'm assuming the artist won't mind, as I'm linking to and promoting his site. I get nothing out of this, folks, just sharing. Author: if you mind, pipe up!)

This one's gonna be linked to as a cartoon feed on the main page if I ever figure out how to do so!

15 June 2009

Footage from the ground in Tehran...

Hattip to Breda over at Bredafallacy.....

Can't stop the signal

Personally I don't hold much hope for them-- but they're *trying*.

The other bloke that's running for election isn't much better-- after all, everyone that ran for election had to be given the nod by the Revolutionary Council (or whatever they're calling it in Iran)- point is, they're not exactly going to let some true freedom-loving antithesis to the present jackass that's running the show there, oppose said jackass.

But, you know-- it's a start.

What shames me is that if the same situation were to happen here in the US I don't know that I could expect my countrymen to stand up for what's right. After all- there's stuff to watch on the boob tube!

03 May 2009

Back to Work!

Well, almost exactly 2 months after losing my job, I have managed to land another one...

-same industry, with a good crew of people, interesting work that seems as though it will even have an immediate sense of fulfillment to it. 25% cut in pay (ouch!) but that beats 100% cut, and I'll have normal-people hours... Mon-Fri, 0800-1700, with the occasional weekend stint needed when things go pearshaped.

Despite all this I seem to be in a funk. Been downright ornery for the last two weeks since I got the offer letter and accepted it. :shrug:

Good to be back to work. Pay cut's gonna suck though...

25 March 2009


I've received several callbacks lately- as expected, most are contract-to-hire positions. I'm not terribly enthused about that, but can understand it.

A couple look pretty good-- slight pay cut on one hand, but stable hours which would enable me to pick up some side work, and get in school.

I've been able to get so much done at the house- even getting a bit organized for once, having put up a couple whiteboards in my office so I have a way to write down To-do lists and the like, and don't have to worry about losing them. :)

-Welcome to the blogroll, Wrath of Mjolnir.

15 March 2009

Second week of being jobless...

- ok, I'm feeling MUCH better-rested.

-I'm spending soo much more time with the kid (great!) and the wife (she doesn't seem so amused!)

-the job prospect that looked so good- tanked. They wanted more systems integration (I could have spun my experience on that end) and programming (not a fuckin' clue).

-I am well and fully sick of sitting around the house. Was gonna go rabbit hunting, but that ended on 01MAR. Turkey season is coming up- so I've got my shotgun ready and will get some #4 buck and give it a go on opening day (01APR).

-Currently working on a holster for my BUG. It's a Taurus 85UL in .38SPL. It'll be IWB, clipped, similar to an old holster I got from HighNoon. This is my first "from the ground up" design, so we'll see how it goes. Will be making a OWB beltslide or my P11/P40 next.

-Welcome to the blogroll, Baked Porkchop Goodness!

06 March 2009

First week of being jobless-

- hasn't been so bad.

I'm SOOO much better-rested, with an accompanying amount of increase in positive outlook on life, time with my wife and child, and believe it or not- less stress.

I also have several VERY hot irons in the fire, and expect I will have a job offer shortly. It pays to network.

I fully expect to manage a sizable raise out of this situation, actually. Yes, in this economy. Nuts, eh?

03 March 2009

Well, no more hell watches....

wow, been almost a month...

I am no longer on that task that I was on before, that resulted in the flip-flop hours and one SEVERELY grumpy IT Geek.

In fact, as it happens, I am no longer on ANY task.

This actually works out. I have consulting work that can get me by, and finally have time to study up and catch up on a few certifications I've put on the back burner (ok, in the pantry, way the hell away from the stove).

I hate to sound trite, but each closed window opens new doors. Or, whatever the hell the phrase is. But the point is- where when I lost my job my immediate reaction was "OMG, When in trouble or in doubt,Run in circles, scream and shout!!" Now, I actually am rather relieved. I was on that project WAAAAAAAYYYY too long- and to be honest, it was mostly my fault. I didn't train up when I could have, at company expense, and stuck myself on a dead-end road. Got tired of it, fed up, frustrated, and unchallenged, and became a classic example of burnout.

Now? I have to say, the feeling is one of.... "relief". To an EXTREME degree.

I am aware my former coworkers are laughing at me. I just don't CARE. Have a good one, guys- I escaped and am actually the happier for it.

Bad decisions made, lessons learned. Moving forward.

(now, if anyone happens to know of any IT work in the South Carolina lowcountry, do tell, hear?)

06 February 2009

2 X .22

Stood another hell watch last night-- did absolutely nothing, because all of our gear worked for a change. So we stayed awake and watched lots of movies.

Got off, and had a ton of errands to run- replace the battery in my truck, this that and the other thing- and dropped by the gun shop on the way home. The shelves are getting SKINT! Picked up a .22LR target pistol (Walther SP22) and a Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle. After running a few mags through the pistol it became apparent a 6 oclock hold was called for, and it's a tack driver.

Pics and details forthcoming- as it is now, I have been up for 27 hours and have to do it all again in 6 hours. I'm off.. to sleep, perchance to dream... (yeah, right!)

The Tool is Tooling Up...

...or, I'm finally getting the holster-making business together.

Just ordered about $200 worth of leathercrafting goods from Tandy. 15 square-foot 8 ounce double shoulder, edgers, slickers, tragazanth gum, stains, sealers, groovers, the whole freaking lot of it.

Have 5 guys at work (carrying weapons when not on duty seems to go along with the job, here) alrady asking me to make holsters for them, and I've not even advertised yet. Also a couple guys from the range, and there's at least 3 holsters I want to make for my personal sidearms as well. Even if that's all I get out of this, it's break-even.

05 February 2009

Cavalry Arms Back in Production

A few months back, all of Cavarms' stock was seized by the BATFE goons for reasons not yet clear...

they've recently been allowed to go back into production, though they're not being given back the seized property as of yet.


They're pretty cheap, too. It's basically a Glock-ified AR15 lower receiver. Think I just found out where some of my tax refund is going...

30 January 2009

Some Brits still have a spine

H/T to Crucis:

"Where will you be, without your freedom?"
Go, go, mobile blogger!!
Mobile blogging testpost. How copy, DX?

23 January 2009

Google-fu: Holster-making

in checking out my stats, it looks like I am one of the top 5 hits when one looks up holster-making in AOL search, Google search, and a few other search engines.

I need to get back to work on that. I've a few handguns that I need holsters for at the house, and several friends that are wanting holsters as well.

Suzanna Gratia-Hupp on the 2nd Amendment

This young lady gets it.

13 January 2009

Defend your 2A rights

Hattip to The Shootist @ http://www.theshootist.net/

Cut off a foot to save your Arms

Basically, it's a similar prospect as what finally prompted Congress to get off their duffs and get started on securing our borders. Except instead of mailing bricks, it's mailing 1' sections of lumber with an attached message.

If one of them arrives? A curiousity...

100 of them? a minor annoyance....

10,000 of them, an obvious indicator of intent.

02 January 2009

Musical Interlude

Because Amy Lee is Smokin' Haaawwwt:

Love the lyrics of this song.

Song is "Good Enough" by Evanescence.

01 January 2009

The Big Lebowski- short version

OK, be warned- there's...err... "some" language in this link...

But it pretty much boils down the movie to the important points.