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...