Friday, January 28, 2005

Your Nightly Mental Run With Scissors

I have just discovered the genius of P.J. O’ Rourke. The man is terribly funny, and very sharp. I am in the middle of PARLIAMENT OF WHORES, and it pretty much accurately describes the U.S. government.

His book quotes General Robert C. Schenck, who gives us the following pearl of wisdom:

“Put not your trust in kings and princes. Three of a kind will take them both.”


The following information comes from AMERICA’S FIRST FREEDOM, February 2005, and an article titled, “Will Britain Rise Up?”

The reader might be aware that private ownership of firearms has been pretty much abrogated across the pond. That’s bad enough as far as I’m concerned, but it gets much, much worse.

The article notes that a farmer named Tony Martin shot and killed one of three burglars who entered his home in the dead of night, wounding another. He did it with an unregistered shotgun. He was convicted of murder. The surviving wounded burglar sued him, with government-donated funds. Martin eventually had his sentence reduced to manslaughter. However, the state argued that “...burglars are members of the public who must be protected from violent householders.” (P.39)

England is facing an escalating violent crime rate. Criminals are boldly entering homes, and doing what they will to the occupants. They are armed with knives, clubs, chemical weapons, and even guns. This is despite the fact that gun ownership for private, law-abiding citizens is only a historical note now. This once again proves the point that gun control defangs the law-abiding citizen only.

A proposal to pass a bill guaranteeing homeowners the right to use any means necessary to defend their property was blocked in May of 2003. (P.40)

There is hope for the Limeys. There seems to be a groundswell of public support for some sort of guarantee that homeowners can defend themselves in their own abodes. (P.39-40)

This, dear reader, is exactly what will happen over here, if liberals hold sway in our government.

In my humble opinion, when a government says that a person no longer has the right to defend his own life; the government is illegitimate. Obviously, that government no longer has the best interest of its people in mind. And if the government doesn’t protect its citizenry, what good is having one at all?

England has effectively given its criminal class free rein to break into whatever home they desire. They know there are no guns in there. They know they can terrorize, beat, rape, and torture whoever they find in the home. They aren’t afraid of prison. The only thing that might deter them is the thought they might get blown to hell if they break in.

Does an empowered citizenry work? It sure helps. The U.S. has a far lower rate of domestic burglary that the UK. (P.41)

Does the reader think it can’t happen here? Keep in mind that many people who act to defend themselves here in America face (at the very least) civil lawsuits for injuring their attackers. Many face criminal charges.

This is another good reason for lawsuit reform in this country. A criminal should be estopped from filing suit against his victim, under any and all circumstances. The right to shoot the bastards shall not be abridged.


I was warned in advance that one of last night’s episodes was hilarious. It was. The kids buy ninja weapons, and proceed to transform into Japanese Anime characters. Cartman became a ninja whose sworn mission was to rid the world of “hippies.”

A noble goal indeed.

I don’t mean exterminate them, unlike Cartman. Just make them get jobs, quit smoking dope, pay taxes, and bathe occasionally.


I go in search of an abode for the various pets. No blogging this weekend. Not that anyone’s heartbroken over that proposition or anything.....

Thursday, January 27, 2005

More Fun Than A GIRLS GONE WILD Video

Well, not really. But I bet the headline caught some attention. What I have for you today is:


The Only Thing in the Middle of the Road Is Roadkill

So Hillary’s now a moderate. How lovely. People have a tendency to get run over in the middle of the road.

Crap Monster Sighting, Beware of Smell

W. let me down yet again. He’s not going to fund 2,000 new border patrol agents? Dare I hope he won’t need them because of the giant freaking wall he’s going to build on our southern border?

I doubt it. I guess I should be happy he’s not disbanding the Border Patrol altogether.

This crap has got to stop.


Well, this really has nothing to do with Zen. I have just enjoyed the whole blogging experience to no end. What’s made it really worthwhile has been the comments I’m getting. It’s nice to know somebody is taking the time to read this stuff I’m spewing over the Internet. I even appreciate the ones that disagree with me. Sort of.

Hugh Hewitt mentioned on his blogsite (as well as in BLOG, his new book) that the strength of blogging is in the instant feedback available. The mainstream journalists seem to whine and moan that there is no accountability in blogsites. Hewitt correctly points out that the accountability is far greater for the bloggers than in any other medium. It’s true. Basically, there is a whole world out there able to jump online and check facts.

As a trained journalist, I can tell you there is no mythical professional tribune waiting to swoop down and pounce on journalists who sometimes go astray with their stories. If that were the case, Dan Rather would have been torn apart like a gazelle at a lion buffet. Nobody has held reporters accountable until recently.

That idiot at the New York Times went for a few years, just making stories up. Nobody caught him. Dan Rather goes on the air with forged documents, trying to ruin the President. He should have been arrested for election racketeering. Instead, he gets to retire somewhat gracefully. If Powerline puts something on their site that’s wrong, I guarantee you one hundred people will let them know within five minutes of posting. Nobody’s ever held Dan Rather that accountable, until now. If it weren’t for them, Dan would still be spewing his distorted news stories until he croaked.

It would seem to me that bloggers have the same sort of legal liability that the press does. One can print just about anything, as long as its not defamatory. And even if it is defamatory, a plaintiff (at least a public figure) would have to prove actual malice in order to recover in a lawsuit. I don’t see any reason for the rules to be different for bloggers on that score.

It wasn’t until the bloggers broke the forgery story that we the people started to catch on to this powerful tool. The internet is a great source of information, but I don’t think anybody caught onto exactly how powerful it was until now.

Blogging is powerful for a number of reasons, but I think the most important reason is that it now actually allows a private citizen to get his or her message out in the open. This is truly a free press, unconstrained by corporate greed, pressure from employers, or anything which might serve as a prior restraint.

All one has to do to publish is to have a web host. It can be done for no cost, other than getting on the internet. Even if a person wanted to publish a printed leaflet, they would have more cost in ink, paper, and printing time than a blogger has. Want to rail about how your city sucks? OK. Want to talk about how your neighbor’s dog keeps using your yard as a restroom? Whatever. Nothing’s off limits. Everyone can read it.

It’s also great because we can completely shut out what we don’t want to read. Wonkette won’t get any traffic from me anymore. Neither will Kos. I don’t care what they have to say, so why bother reading them? They’ve got the freedom to publish, I’ve got the freedom to ignore them. It works great.

Blogging is putting power back into the hands of the people, which is where it belongs in the first place. This is truly a free press.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Pursuit of Happiness IV...All In The Family

Despite the out-and-out attack on the institution of the family in America, I think it is one of the most important factors for true happiness. At least, it can be.

I’m not sure when the tag “dysfunctional” started to get applied to families in America, but it’s stuck there now. I bet every family in America has gotten that label applied to it at one point or another. Probably, the label got stuck on it by one of its own members at some point.

What is a “functional” family, anyway? The last I knew, we all had problems of some sort or another. We’ve all got personality quirks, nervous habits, bad habits, or general weirdness. If the functional perfect family is comprised of members without some sort of flaw, then it doesn’t exist.

Maybe your family was broken up by divorce. Maybe you suffered the death of a parent at a young age. Perhaps you lived with an alcoholic parent, or a drug addict. Maybe your sister ran away and joined the circus. Maybe you have a parent in prison. Perhaps one of your siblings is in an insane asylum. You could have step-parents and step-siblings. You could be a Kennedy. Whatever. We’ve all got something like that in our family, somewhere.

If you’re lucky; you’ve at least got a group of people who are related to you, that will be there when you need them. They will give you money when you’re broke. They’ll listen to your problems. They’ll help you move. They’ll donate kidneys when yours crap out, even if it’s because you drank Sterno for 14 years while living under a bridge. They’ll help you bury bodies.

They know you. They don’t pass judgment on you, at least not to your face. They accept you with all your weird flaws, purple hair, nose rings, etc. They may not like it, but they treat you like....well, family.

They do this for no other reason than they are related to you. That’s pretty mind-numbing. Nobody else on this planet has to put up with you, but your family is always there. Think about it. Ted Bundy still had people out there who loved him.

I realize that some people don’t have this kind of family. That’s a sad thing. However, even these people have someone who will take them in and love them. It can be a spouse or grandparents. It can even be friends. I say this because I have three friends who are as close to me as brothers. They qualify as family, as far as I’m concerned. They accept me unconditionally, and I them. They meet the criteria for family in my book.

I count myself very lucky indeed. I have a pretty big extended family. Both my parents are still alive, and still married to each other. We get together often, despite the distance between us. Truth be known, it’s one of the biggest reasons for my big move.

I wished everyone had a support group like that behind them. It gives one the courage to go out and do great things. So what if you go broke trying to open a new business? Your family is there for you. They’ll at least give you a roof over your head if the bank forecloses on your home. When you have a stable base to venture out of, it helps give you the courage to risk it all.

The family is at the core of this country’s strength, and I think the core seems to be under attack. The family as an institution is threatened by divorce, substance abuse, and activists who want to destroy the very definition of what a nuclear family is.

The basic unit is one man and one woman, married to each other. They have children. That’s it. It’s worked for thousands of years, and it got us to the level of society that we enjoy today. An erosion into that basic unit will cause a corresponding erosion in all aspects of society. I think we’re seeing proof of that everywhere we look. Nationwide, the divorce rate is better than 50%. More children are being born out of wedlock than ever before. And boy, does the country have more problems than it has ever seen before!

I don’t think it’s coincidence.

At any rate, I think I owe most of my modest success to the fact that I had people behind me to catch me if I fell. The unconditional love of people that you are related to is a pretty happy thing.

So we’ve got a meaningful career, hobbies to enjoy, a comfortable place to live, and family as key ingredients to happiness. I think there’s a final element that links all of these things together. I’ll get to that one at another time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Pursuit of Happiness III...Location, Location, Location

I’ve talked a bit about things that seem to make people happy. I’ve covered the job, as well as the fun little hobbies that make the job seem worthwhile. I have yet to talk about the best place to pursue all this happiness.

No matter where you go, there you are. It would seem that one could be happy just about anywhere, given that logic. Not true. A devotee of the winter sports would find Del Rio, Texas to be something pretty close to hell on earth. On the other hand, they would probably love Nome, Alaska. So the place one calls home probably has as much to do with relative happiness as the job and the hobbies. Indeed, it might well be the most important factor of them all.

Since high school graduation, I have found myself living in cities. Understand that I grew up in a town of (at that time) around 5,000 people. Anything with a movie theater in it seemed like New York City, as far as I was concerned. So I’m not exactly what one would call a big-city sort of person.

Cities aren’t inherently evil, I suppose. On average, I think people probably have more economic opportunities in cities. There’s simply more people, who need more things. They need food, cars, shelter, tax write-offs, and lawyers. This generates all sorts of business, and that is a good thing.

There’s a ton of things to do in the city. Art and entertainment abound. There’s always a big show in town, or a game to go see. It doesn’t lack for activity 24 hours a day. This is also a good thing.

On the other hand, there are all these people to deal with. They jam the roads at the same time every morning, they bleat their horns like demented little sheep, and they jam themselves into small houses and apartments like sardines. They crash their cars, they shoot one another, they rob each other, and they generally act worse than animals.

Not that people don’t do this in small towns, mind you. It’s just a higher concentration of humanity all in one place in the city. The bad elements are a little higher per capita than they are in the small towns.

The cost of living is much higher in the city. Basically, cities are running out of room. Because of that, land in their borders is much more valuable. Compare the cost of a three bedroom house in Manhattan, as opposed to Seguin, Texas. Where is the consumer getting more for their money?

There’s a trade-off here, of course. As noted, one can probably make more money living in the city. Therefore, one can probably afford a better house, etc. However, there is a point of diminishing returns. Eventually, the cost of the items in the city surpasses the potential for income. Everybody tops out salary-wise somewhere. Even Bill Gates.

So where is the highest potential for happiness? Again, it depends on what the particular person wants out of life. I can only speak for myself, and I have found out a few things in the last couple of years.

First, I hate the city. There are too many other people here. I don’t like a lot of them. I can’t see stars at night. It is never silent here. There’s always traffic noise, airplane noise, neighbor noise, etc.

Traffic frustrates me, to no end. Lines in the grocery store hack me off. Movie theaters jammed with teenagers with no manners or consideration for fellow movie-goers bring out some pretty uncharitable thoughts. Everything is rushed, and everyone is in a hurry.

Second, I can do my job just about anywhere. If there are people, they are going to be in legal trouble of some sort. They’ll be divorcing, getting thrown in jail, buying property, or needing a will.

Third, maybe the money won’t be as good. Who knows, it could be better. However, I noted in my earlier posts on this subject that money is a poor substitute for happiness. Can it perhaps buy happiness? Nope. Money isn’t the primary motivator. I’ve seen where that can lead, at least for me.

I’ve turned down a job which would have probably earned me six figures. Granted, four of them followed a decimal point, but that’s not the issue here. The job would have required me to work about 60 hours per week, mandatory Saturdays, in the heart of the biggest city in the area, and doing nothing which even faintly resembles fun. It would have got me a nice BMW, which I could use to get back and forth to this job. It would have bought some nice clothes, which would have been used to dress up in to go to work. It would have bought a nicer house, which I probably would never see in the daylight. I would have represented some lovely banks and corporations, and done nothing remotely important.

I’ve been this route already. No more.

In light of this fact, I’m moving back to God’s Country. No more city life. One of the readers over the last couple of days remarked on how nice it would be to be a country lawyer. Well, we shall see how nice it is. I think it’s going to be all right. I’m heading for a small town, and going into business with a 60+ year old lawyer, who wants to groom somebody to take over his practice. We’re talking small town, here. No traffic jams. No lines in the store. Just a small general practice and the chance to do the rewarding stuff I mentioned in my post a couple of nights ago.

There’s a golf course where less than $200 per year buys all the golf one can stand. There’s land for $500 an acre or less. There’s family. There’s hunting. It’s the area where I grew up.

Don’t get me wrong; the city has plenty of attractions for some people. It just depends on what one wants out of life. This is all subjective, and we are talking about what seems to float my particular boat. I don’t need to be constantly surrounded by the stuff in a city anymore. I’ll be close enough that I can drive there if I need to, or want to. Which of course, I will. However, I can go months on end without going there at all, if necessary. I don’t even plan to live inside the town limits. If I can see a neighbor’s house, I’ll think the place is too crowded.

So happiness so far appears to be a rewarding job, fun things to do when I’m not working, and living in a place that’s not a huge city. There are three ingredients so far. I think there are a couple more worth mentioning, but those will have to wait for another time.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Pursuit of Happiness II...The Smell of Cordite

It occurred to me that I had a very enjoyable day yesterday. It was one of those days that you probably would have if you made it to heaven. Everything was ok. My myriad problems were not dwelled on once. Everything seemed to go my way. Rarely have I felt so content.

What constitutes a great day for me, you might ask? Keep in mind this is all subjective, but here was my little slice of heaven.

For starters, I got a good night’s sleep. Since I’m an insomniac, a good night’s sleep is worth more to me than gold. I still didn’t go to bed before 2:00a.m., but since I didn’t stir until 11:00a.m., I consider that a good night’s sleep. Those of you who don’t have a hard time sleeping cannot understand this. Trust me, this was a good thing for me.

The next thing that happened was a couple of hours spent playing my Xbox. This is pure entertainment for me, escapism at its best. This HALO thing is like mental crack.

This was followed by a great movie which I happened to catch. It was called THE LAST HARD MEN, and featured Charlton Heston and Lee Marvin. I’ve never seen it before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story followed an old retired sheriff whose daughter was kidnapped by an escaped convict in turn of the century Arizona (20th century, I feel compelled to add). A great movie. Nothing beats a good western, in my opinion. This was a pseudo-western, kind of like THE WILD BUNCH, but better. Finding an old movie that I’ve never seen before is a great feeling. It’s like finding money in your pocket that you didn’t know you had.

The day progressed, and I managed to find my way to the shooting range. There is a lot of happiness that comes from doing manly things like blowing holes in targets. There’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that one has a skill with weapons. Why is this important? For several different reasons, that vary from person to person. I can only tell you why I enjoy it. First, I have the satisfaction of knowing I can utilize a weapon in order to protect myself, and those I love. This is important to me.

Second, it’s fun. It’s an exercise in eye-hand coordination, and some people can’t do it very well. It’s like throwing darts, archery, or hitting a great golf shot. It’s just something fun to do, which is challenging. It’s also fun to talk with other shooters about what loads they’re using, what hardware they have, and other fun gun stuff. I had the opportunity to try out a new toy, the Glock 34. This is a long-slide 9mm, designed to be a target model. It’s probably the best-shooting Glock I’ve ever messed with, and I tend to be a big Glock fan. Try one. I digress.

Third, I know that just by shooting a gun; I am making some liberal puke cringe out there. I just like making them as uncomfortable as I can, in a passive-aggressive sort of way. The more I shoot, the more uncomfortable they are. My shooting keeps the range in business, the firearms manufacturer in business, and the ammo manufacturer. As long as they’re out there turning a profit, liberals are wailing and gnashing their teeth. This is a good thing.

Fourth, I like testing my skill with weapons against others at the range. Competition is fun. It makes us better.

By the way, the H&K USP Compact in .45 did quite well at the range. I shot 100 rounds at seven yards. Nothing was outside the 9 ring, and there was a huge hole torn from the x through the 9 ring. It looked like one big bullet hole. I seem to pull to the left a bit (I have to work on that, any clues as to why I’m doing that out there? I shoot from a modified Weaver stance, and I’m right-handed. You IPSC guys ought to be able to diagnose the problem), but otherwise this was about as perfect as I could ask for. Shooters out there are rejoicing about that grouping, the rest of you have no idea what I’m talking about.

There are other reasons why the range is a cool place to be, but I’m sure I have stated enough for the time being. I loved it, I’ll put it to you that way.

The next adventure for the day was to Fry’s Electronics. Electronic goodies as far as the eye could see. Needless to say, a happy hour was spent there.

The final step in the day was a movie, enjoying the company of my significant other, and eating pizza. I then played with the various pets, and got another decent night’s sleep.

The only thing that was lacking was a round of golf, but it was too darn cold to even think about that sort of thing. Heck, no day is perfect, is it?

The bottom line was that this was a very enjoyable day, of a sort that does not come around often enough for me. Life’s problems were put on hold for awhile. No politics to worry about, no job thoughts were weighing me down. I lost myself in things that I like to do.

Everybody needs a few hobbies, if you can call them that. People need something in which they can lose themselves. As Americans, we tend to get caught up in the rat race. We worry about work, we worry about doing a good job, we worry about making ends meet, etc. This is what makes us such a great nation: we actually care about what we do, and we mostly strive to do the best job we can. It’s a good thing, but we need to forget about all of that for two days of the week, if we can. There are reasons for which we work, and one is to support all these fun things that we like to do.

So now we have two ingredients for happiness: a fulfilling job, and pleasant distractions which make us forget life’s problems for a bit.

Next time, I’ll ruminate on the best location for doing all of this stuff. This is a biggie.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is a subject that has been of much interest as of late. The last six months or so has seen me doing all sorts of strange things in pursuit of what I thought might make me happy. I think there are many parts to being a happy person, and I’m going to ruminate on them for a couple of posts.

The first part of this musing will focus on job happiness. I figured out that I have to have a job to support my bad habits like buying guns and playing golf. If I have to, I might as well do something I enjoy. But what might that be? Though various misadventures, I ended up a lawyer.

What about being a lawyer could make me happy? I think a lot of us lawyers get into it wanting to be the knights in shining armor. Along the way, most of us get seduced by the money aspect. I’m just as guilty as all the rest.

I found out that money wasn’t making me happy. The pursuit of a decent wage was killing me. I figured that less money with less stress and headache was well-worth the cost.

I thought my unhappiness was due to the practice of law. If I got out of it, maybe that would help things. So what to do?

To begin with, I quit my job with an insurance company, as in -house counsel. I realized they were going to burn me out, should I stay with them. For more information, see my second-ever post about the personal injury racket here.

There wasn’t much job satisfaction, basically.

I had enough of the practice of law, or so I thought. So I went to work for a real estate company. Those of you out there who denigrate lawyers for being scummy really need to hang out with salesmen for awhile. No offense, but they make the worst trial lawyer look like a saint in comparison. While there are honorable salespeople, there are plenty of bad ones. I was fortunate enough to work with some pretty decent people, but I also had to deal with some of less than sterling ethics from other offices than mine. .

Plus, the job was not exactly making me happy. I went into it thinking I would be able to spend more time with my family, and hopefully make more money. I was wrong on the first count, at least. The bottom line was that I didn’t think I was doing the world any good selling dirt.

The opportunity came up to get back into the practice of law. I jumped at it. In doing so, I found out a couple of things.

First, the practice of law is a lot more rewarding if you’re actually doing some good for the average person. Helping a big insurance company is not a great way to feel altruistic. Maybe I’m delusional, but I went into this lawyer gig thinking that I could have a positive effect on the world. I would be able to help my fellow man. Not doing that was creating a lot of dissonance in my existence.

Second, the practice of law is much better when you are your own boss. You can call your own shots. I was very happy to tell a potential client to kiss off the other day. Not that I didn’t need his money. It’s just that I realized hew as a scumbag, and I didn’t want to represent him. I told him to find another lawyer. That was a great feeling. I never had that sort of freedom before. I was stuck with whatever igmo the insurance company sent me. When I worked for other lawyers, I had to take their clients over because I had no other choice. I had to bill hours to justify my existence, and deal with the hand I was dealt. It’s a bit different nowadays.

Third, it’s tough being your own boss. There’s a lot of things you have to deal with that were not there before. Payroll, accounting, collectibles and receivables, etc. This is a pain. Fortunately, computers have made it to where a person really can run a one-person shop.

Being a lawyer is the cross I bear. Because of training and licensing and whatnot, I am in a unique position to be a force for good in the world. It strikes me that I have an obligation to do just that: use my skills as a lawyer and try to do some good. It also occurs to me that this is what God intended for me to do. Why else would I have ended up in this position, with these skills and training? So how can I turn my back on it?

The short answer is that I can’t. I have been adrift without much of a purpose for a long time now. On the job aspect, I think I have finally found a niche that I fit in. I’m here to try and do some good for the average person out there. There is a measure of happiness in knowing that.

Bottom line: use what talents God gave you to make your living. I think He’s got a purpose in mind for all of us.

Next time, I’ll talk about other things which I think are necessary to making one happy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Further Proof the Democrats Are Racist Scumsuckers

Robert Byrd, everyone's favorite ex-Klansman, is holding up Condoleeza Rice's confirmation as Secretary Of State.

So much for the party of diversity, peace, and tolerance. The Democrats also showed their true colors during the confirmation hearings. Barbara Boxer showed she is basically a partisan hack, and is too stupid to be allowed to go out in public.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we should declare war on the Democrats. They are a danger to individual liberty, our nation's security, and common sense. Now it seems they are wanting to backslide down 141 years of civil rights progress. Recognize them for what they are, and don't let them go unchallenged. Sure, I'm hacked at Republicans for not being conservative enough. But Jiminy Christmas, why can't people see the Democrats for what they are??? That part is a danger to the entire American way of life.

Heard any outrage over this in the mainstream media?? Thought not.

If the Democrats can embrace an ex-Klansman (one who doesn't really seem repentant, from these comments) and then have the audacity to call Republicans racist, that should be a pretty good indicator of what they are all about.

Condi for President 2008.

Still Think That Border Security Isn't Important??

Michelle Malkin gives us this very scary post about terrorist activity in the U.S., and the great job the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and other U.S. agencies have done in rounding up these villians before they kill more of us.

If you need more justification to build the Great Wall Of the United States, and have it patrolled by terrorist-eating mutant hyenas, crocigators, and big guns,'re an idiot.

By the way, Michelle Malkin is an every day, must-read blogsite. She is quite savvy about border and homeland security issues, and well-worth your time. I learn something from her every day. Usually it scares me, but I do learn something.

Worth A Look

The incomparable Kim Du Toit gives us this post for our reading enjoyment. It's a good overview of why the public needs guns. It overlooks the need to keep political power in the hands of citizenry, but oh well. When it comes down to it, there are several good reasons to own guns. Here's three good points for consideration.

I disagree on one point: should it the SHTF (as Kim so adroitly puts it) womenfolk will probably be needing rifle skills as well. Actually, he acknowleges this in his post, so I guess it isn't really a disagreement.

Comes The Hunter

Benjamin over at Reasonablenut had an interesting post, regarding the introduction of shooting to the untrained. He points out that new shooters might have a tendency to put the .22 in the same category as the Daisy Red Ryder bb gun. It sparked quite a bit of thought.

I think he has a good point. Someone who is told that they are using a starter gun (small caliber, low recoil) might very well think the .22 is a less dangerous round. As a result, they might not follow safe and proper gun handling techniques, thus endangering themselves and everyone around them.

Though the .22 may very well be small, have low recoil, and a poor reputation as a stopping round; it is capable of killing almost as easily as a large caliber. I have read an account of two Englishmen in Africa who brain-shot two elephants with .22's, from about 10 yards. Both elephants dropped dead, without charging.

Further, I would hazard a guess and say that .22's probably kill more people in the U.S. than any other caliber, if one were to look a shooting statistics nationwide. It is an easily available round, and there exists no shortage of guns to shoot it from. Its small size makes it easy to build a small gun to shoot it out of, and many so-called pocket pistols are .22 caliber.

I do lament the fact that most newcomers to the shooting sports are coming in as target shooters, as opposed to hunters. Do not misunderstand me; I welcome all new shooters into the fold. However, we are seeing more and more people learning to shoot without ever having a concrete example of what a bullet can do to a living target. A .22 rimfire is more than adequate to kill something.

I think most people in my generation learned to shoot on a .22 of some sort. In addition, we learned to shoot in the context of hunting, in some form or fashion. For a kid in rural Texas, it is not uncommon to use a .22 to dispatch nuisance varmints, poisonous snakes, or small game animals.

Forgive the morbidity of the next paragraph or so, but when a bullet strikes an animal and kills it, it is a terrible thing. Indeed, watching anything die under any circumstances is a horrible experience. All the life flees the creature at once, leaving it an empty shell of meat and gristle. Whatever exists inside a creature that makes it alive is now gone. There is a terrible finality to the transition, and one that can be seen and felt. One can literally see the light go out in the animal’s eyes.

Regardless of how one may feel religiously about the soul, I think it is undeniable that SOMETHING exists which makes our flesh and blood alive. It is something that cannot be explained by the simple interaction of living organs and tissues. The divine spark (if you will) that animates the husks of clay we call bodies can be snuffed out. Whether one believes that animals have a soul, SOMETHING leaves when an animal dies.

Every hunter knows this.

For that reason, I think every hunter at some level appreciates the delicate nature of life. The hunter knows that it doesn’t take much to end life. They understand the firearm is a most deadly tool, one that can cause damage that is absolutely irreparable. Even the lowly .22.

Hunters also understand the balance of life. Death is something that is part of the whole cycle. Some creatures exist because they are prey. Theirs is a practical knowledge of how the world works. Animals live, and are killed by other animals to survive. This is how nature works. Lions are not going to be vegans, no matter how much we hate to see them eat gazelles. The gazelles exist to feed the lions. Cattle exist for people to have meat and milk. It’s much easier to eat them when they are dead.

This is simply the way it is. Do no think this is a criticism of hunting. Far from it. I think hunters probably have a better understanding of natural conservation than any New York liberal, sitting in a swank apartment in Manhattan. The hunter knows how the real world actually works, especially guns.

This is probably an overstatement as well. I have hunted with some clods who should not be allowed to possess firearms. They handle their guns in an unsafe manner, pointing it without regard to who they might kill if the thing went off. I don’t hunt with these people anymore. It’s not worth the risk. However, these were people who had come into shooting relatively late in life, not having hunted as children.

By and large though, hunters are taught the basics of gun handling. More so, they have seen the effects of a bullet on a live target. This serves only to emphasize the importance of why a gun is never pointed at someone, even accidentally. I do not think someone who has only punched holes in targets really understands. Until they see what destructive power a .22 is capable of unleashing, they do not fully understand that even this pea shooter is a deadly weapon. Sure, they’ve heard it a thousand times, and they’ve seen in on tv a million more. I don’t think it sinks in, until they actually see it for themselves.

Gun owners have an awesome responsibility, to themselves, and everyone around them. Learning the basics of safe gun handling is essential to owning a firearm. Every time an accidental discharge happens, it is going to get more worse press than any other type of accident. Each time, it gives the anti-gun faction more ammunition to work with. We really don’t need that. An awareness of what a tiny .22 bullet can do is a good way to illustrate why gun safety is so very important.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Off To See The Lizard

Regular readers of this site (both of you) have noticed my unabashed love for all things Godzilla. The Mean Green holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s happy memories from my childhood. Maybe it’s the sci-fi. Maybe it’s because I like seeing cities stomped flat by a fire-breathing mutated iguana. Regardless, Godzilla’s cool.

So thanks to an unlimited Blockbuster pass, I found myself renting the last American version of GODZILLA. This is the circa 1996 version that came out, starring Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, and probably nobody else important.

Broderick should have retired after FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. That was a role of cinematic genius that he has never topped. After seeing THE STEPFORD WIVES, I am thoroughly convinced of this. Hank Azaria is a pretty decent character actor. Jean Reno is Jean Reno. Everybody else was lizard chow.

This movie was pretty awful, even by my standards. What’s funny is that the things that made this movie awful were things that normally would be considered hallmarks of success in Hollywood.

To begin with, there were pretty high production values. You probably could have made ALL the previous GODZILLA movies for what this sucker cost. The sets were good, the film quality good, they paid decent actors (though not great ones), and it had cool trailers.

The movie was made by the movie team of Devlin and Emmerich, who brought us such cinematic triumphs as STARGATE and INDEPENDENCE DAY. Note the sarcasm. I must admit I actually liked STARGATE, and the tv series isn’t all that bad. Nevertheless, they have a reputation for big flash and little substance. A perfect recipe for Hollywood success, right?

Godzilla himself was mostly computer-generated. Allow me a moment to rail against CGI. CGI has become Hollywood’s stopgap measure. If there’s any doubt, CGI the scene. Granted, special effects have become much cheaper to make now, but I think the coldness of CGI has drained movies of some of their hearts and souls.

Take STAR WARS, for instance. No purist can watch Episodes I-II without wanting to kill George Lucas. Most fans think one of the great things about the original STAR WARS was that everything in it looked, well....real. The Mos Eisley cantina looked gritty, dirty, and scary. You could almost smell the carious alien lifeforms in there. The vehicles moving through the streets actually looked real. That’s because they were, they were actual solid objects on a screen. They were not digital pixels dancing on a computer screen. There’s just something about using physical props, as opposed to digital dots.

I won’t even digress into the travesty that Lucas allowed his masterpiece to become. He ruined, and I mean RUINED the remade special editions of the first three STAR WARS movies. He’s got one shot at getting all this right, and we’ll find out if he nailed it in May. At any rate....

Hollywood needs to learn that we need less CGI and more old-fashioned special effects. I would direct the reader’s attention to AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. That transformation was one of the scariest in movie history, and none of it was computer-generated. It looked awfully real. By comparison, look at the transformations in AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS. Too fake for words.

The creature in GODZILLA looked too friendly. It was a big scary lizard, but there was a certain cuteness to it. Godzilla ain’t cute. I don’t care how you try to spin it, but a giant lizard tearing up a city is not cute. Ever. It’s like having an elephant in one’s living room. I don’t care how much one might love elephants, when the damn thing squashes your big-screen, flattens the dog, and messes on your new carpet, all you want is for it to die. Trust me on this one. Don’t ask why, but just trust me. A cute Godzilla just doesn’t work.

One of the things that made Toho Studios’ Godzilla was the way the thing looked. Godzilla just looked like he was created to smash buildings and spew radioactive fire. His face looked plain mean. It added something to the whole proposition. The newer version just doesn’t have the fear factor going on. Godzilla in the old movies just looked so...alien. There was nothing on the planet that looked anything like him. The new Godzilla looked like a big lizard. I think that if you can find something real to relate it to, then the thing becomes less scary. Let’s face it: we go to monster movies to get scared, at least a bit.

The CGI Godzilla moved like the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK. This is all well and good, but it just didn’t move like a guy in a big rubber suit. I know that sounds weird, but there is just a certain organic element to the Japanese movies that is completely lost with CGI.

At least they kept the great Godzilla roar. I have to give them props for that. It was one of the great movie-trailer moments in history. When the audience heard that roar back on the screen for the first time in the previews, I can guarantee there were some excited movie freaks out there.

The film-makers throw a rather dysfunctional love story in the mix. The love interest in this movie is one of the most evil women in movie history, and one of the most annoying. Broderick’s character, had he been real, would have probably done everything possible to feed her to Godzilla. I remember seeing this in the theater, and everyone there was in agreement on this issue.

There was also little or no homage to the greatness of Toho Studios’ classic monsters. How hard would it have been to throw in some Japanese tourists getting eaten or something? A little respect should have been shown here. Maybe a Raymond Burr cameo?

At any rate, a serious student of Godzilla must watch this movie, just to appreciate the finer points of the Japanese movies.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Now I'm Really On Big Brother's List...

...As if I wasn't already.

Here's a letter I sent to my two senators. I'm sure they'll use it to line their birdcages or something:

"I am writing to you to voice my displeasure at President Bush's immigration and border policies. I see from your website that you also support a guest worker program. I urge you to oppose this proposition.

"The guest worker program that President Bush is attempting to foist off on this country is incredibly dangerous and naive. What makes anyone think these workers will simply pack up and go back at the end of a season? We've already figured out that once they are here, they will stay. There will be no provision to make them pay for their own health care while they are here, I am sure. Requiring their employers to pay it would be grossly unfair.

"You must be aware of the incredible drain illegals are causing on our health care system. They get treated for nothing, while the rest of us have to bear the cost.

"As an insurance defense lawyer in this state, I cannot tell you how many times I dealt with plaintiffs who were in the country illegally. Every one of their cases was a fraud, to say the least. The increased cost of litigation due to illegal immigration is a further drain on the system.

"Let us not forget the criminals who slip through our porous borders. A former golf buddy was murdered by an illegal alien, who has apparently fled back across the Mexican border. My friend's family will never know justice, and his daughters will now face their teen years fatherless. His blood is on the hands of the United States government, in no small part.

"If our government provides any useful function, it should be to protect our citizens from threats crossing our borders, whether they are economic, criminal, or terroristic in nature. It appears the government is unwilling to do that.

"I implore you, do not support Bush's guest worker program. I further implore you to introduce legislation which will seal the border with a wall, and guard it with United States military forces. Our security and our very lives depend on it.

"I have decided that I will oppose vehemently any candidate who moves even the slightest bit to the left. I am bitterly disappointed in President Bush so far into his second term. I have been a supporter of both him and you in past campaigns. However, I find the so-called conservative party is willing to move left in order to save votes. I am not willing to compromise on conservative ideals, and I will not support candidates who are.

"I have a feeling this letter will go unheeded, as most citizens feel about anything they try to get across to their representatives in government. Nevertheless, you should realize that you have at least one vote at stake.

"I thank you for your service to Texans, and hope that you become an even stronger conservative advocate.



Kim Du Toit made me do this. It's his fault.

I am starting to feel Republicans aren't quite conservative enough for me. Theodore Roosevelt started the Bull Moose party, when he felt Republicans were letting him down. If we could start another party, and have a good idea that we'd have enough votes to win before we ran, I'd be all for it. I wouldn't do it if it would Perot away an election.

One way or the other, we conservatives need to make ourselves heard. I'm going to pester the hell out of my elected representatives from here on out. I'm sure they're giddy with anticipation.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Terrorists Busted By A Waitress In The Sky

At least one reader will know what band produced the song which I pay homage to in the title of this piece.

This little tidbit of information comes from Michelle Malkin's webiste. The lowdown: rumor has it that a bunch of razor blades were found on a commerical airliner by a flight attendant. The razors were hidden in blankets in the overhead compartments.

One of the most striking things about this article came from a commentary by one of Michelle’s readers towards the end of the article. He highlights that it was a flight attendant who supposedly finds the razor blades in the blanket. His point is that it is common folks who have to carry the weight of our nation's self-defense. I agree with this reader’s comments wholeheartedly.

Should this rumor turn out to be true, it is indeed a perfect example of what I am coming to believe more and more: one cannot rely on the government for one’s own protection. It is up to us to ensure our own safety, whether it is using power tools, walking in a bad neighborhood, or stopping terrorists in our country.

The police can’t be everywhere. They’re usually going to good only for investigating a crime, after it is all said and done. The same goes with the federal government. The only thing they can do is usually pass some sort of knee-jerk reactionary law, after all the damage has been done.

Keep this in mind. As individuals in a free society, we are responsible for our own safety.

With that in mind; I'm going to dig a moat around the house, and fill it with mutant hybrid crocigators.

Random Question:

If a homeowner kills a would-be burglar in the act, shouldn't he be allowed to keep the body and display it outside as a warning to all others foolish enough to illegally enter? That might make a much more effective deterrent than those stupid alarm company signs. It worked for Vlad Tepes, after all.

I guess the crocigators won't leave much to display.

Friday, January 14, 2005

In Defense of the Second Amendment, Part 1000

Here's a great piece on why liberals hate guns so much. It's much more eloquent than I have managed to be in defense of the Second Amendment so far.

It boils down to the simple fact that you can't control a person who has a gun very easily.

I've argued before that the Second Amendment is the basic right which guarantees all the others. I believe in this proposition more and more every day. Unless your basic, average citizen has an empowering tool with which to resist tyranny, any government can become totalitarian in the blink of an eye.

Those of you out there who don't own a gun: go buy one. Learn to use it safely. There are numerous reasons for doing this. First, it really pisses liberals off. This is a good thing. It makes them think even less clearly than they normally do. Second, you are empowering yourself, in more ways than one. You can protect yourself and your family from crime, and you now have something with which to back up your political vote. Think of it as the gold standard your legal tender (vote) is based on. Fourth, more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens means less overall crime, so you're actually doing your neighbors as well as yourself some good. Third, it's really fun to shoot. Once you try it, you'll see what I mean.

Don't worry about finding someone to help you learn to use it. Any gun range will have people falling all over themselves to welcome you into the gun owner family, help you learn firearms safety, and the basics of shooting. If that's too much for the shy among you, ask around. Odds are, you know a gun owner or two. You'll probably be shocked at first to realize they are not separated at birth from the Unabomber. They're normal people just like you, and would be overjoyed to help you with firearms advice and training.

Also, check the NRA's website, or give them a call. They can provide you with all sorts of goodies, as well as training materials. It probably won't cost you a dime.

Now go forth, and make a liberal REALLY mad.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Daily Dose of Random News

I’m Glad They Didn’t Tell the One About the Piano Player in the Cathouse, They Might Be Executed.....

Now this is sad. These guys were arrested for telling lawyer jokes.

I’m not so thin-skinned about my profession that I can’t take a little teasing about it.

Stereotypes exist because they are generally true. You have to laugh, to keep from crying.

That’s Gratitude For You

Indonesia wants our troops out.

Screw them. If they don’t want our troops to help rebuild, I guess they really don’t need our money, either. Yeah, right.

I’m a bit tired of the US getting treated by the rest of the world like a parent giving money to an ungrateful, spoiled child. Fine. No more aid money. Suffer. We’ve got plenty of our own problems to fix.

Help Oppose This Insanity

Bush is pushing his idiotic amnesty program. Stop this cold. Call your senators and tell then no way in hell do they support this and expect to get re-elected. And while you’re at it, tell them to get busy on the Great Wall of the United States. And the mutant hyenas.

This ain’t tax relief, as Mr. Bush tries to equate it to. Check out Kim Du Toit’s post on this matter.

Really Great News–The Supreme Court Gets One Right

The Supreme Court has basically voided federal sentencing guidelines. This is really great news.

Our judicial system should allow for varying ranges of punishment, depending on criminal history, circumstances, etc. I don’t think a person who steals food when they are starving should be punished the same as a three-time loser who mugs somebody in a park for crack money. Call me crazy.

The federal sentencing guidelines basically took out any and all discretion in punishment ranges. If you did x crime, you got x time, no matter what the circumstances. Sounds great, but again, justice requires looking at the totality of the circumstances. The federal sentencing guidelines failed to do just that. No discretion at all was allowed for mitigating circumstances, first-time offenders, etc.

Now, there will be a bit more fairness in the system. That’s a good thing, I think. Power is back in the hands of the juries. I don’t ever mind when the law gives decision-making into the hands of private citizens. This is how it should be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Idiocy On Both Sides of the Fence

And We Wonder Why We Have A Deficit??

I hear the cost of the inauguration is going to top 50 million. And now they expect Washington to take money from Homeland Security to pay for it? All this for an oath of office that takes about 30 seconds or so.

I don't see the point of this at all. Further, I don't see how spending this kind of money on a self-congratulatory celebration is anything resembling conservative. He's supposed to be about fiscal responsibility, and not wasting our taxpayer money.

What a Crap Monster. There. He's earned the coveted title.

If Bush was a good leader, he'd just get sworn in by the Chief Justice in the Oval office, have it televised, and get to work figuring out how to keep this country safe. This is grandstanding of the worst sort. Michael Savage pointed out this money should be diverted to body armor for the troops. I don't think a good leader spends 50 million on a party while his troops are in a foreign country dying for him. With a lack of equipment to keep them safe, no less.

As a conservative, I am very disappointed in the man. I think this behavior is pretty shameful. We don't need pomp and circumstance. We need to figure out how to effectively kill terrorists, and those who harbor them.

Hippy Freaks Teaching In Our University

Professor Robert Jensen shows his true colors in this opinion piece, which I am ashamed to admit the Ft. Worth-Star Telegram actually printed.

The reader can pretty much figure out what this guy is all about from this small quote from the aforementioned manifesto:

"...So, as a U.S. citizen, I welcome the U.S. defeat for a simple reason: It isn't the defeat of the United States -- its people or their ideals -- but of that empire. And it's essential that the American empire be defeated and dismantled."

I can't believe a person has that much negativity about our country. Notice he says that we are only doing the Iraq war because of some sort of bizarre Yankee imperialism. Not by acquiring territory, but by allowing the big companies to control oil profits out of Iraq.

Notice there’s nothing he says in the piece to back this up. It's just leftist hatred of the worst sort, with no facts to back it up. I think the left really DOES hate this country. This piece seems to reinforce this proposition. I also note he lives in the greatest state in the Union, and has not moved to Cuba or China to live in a worker's paradise.

Looking at Professor Jensen's website will give the reader even further evidence about the left-wing loon. He hates conservatism, hates America, hates white people, and hates war for any reason. This is odd, since he's whiter than Wonder Bread, lives in the greatest country on God's Green Earth, and lives in the greatest state in the Union. Keep in mind tax dollars are paying for Jensen's website, not to mention tuition fees at U.T. That hacks me off.

In short, Jensen's a lefty moonbat, with no firm grasp of reality.

I was listening to Sean Hannity rip him a new one on my drive home this afternoon, during a telephone interview. I don't particularly care for Hannity's interview style. I think he should have allowed the guy to speak a bit more than what he did. That way the entire country could have heard how moronic this guy really is. As it was, Jensen was unable to come up with any facts to back up this garbage he spouts. I missed the part where we were defeated in Iraq. It was fun to hear Sean latch onto Jensen, though. I was reminded of a pit bull latching onto a coyote.

Why am I spending so much time on this rather insignificant left-wing puke? Perhaps this is to illustrate the caliber of people who are teaching in universities today. Jensen teaches journalism, if one can believe that. This is what parents are paying for when they send their kids to college these days.

Perhaps it is to illustrate that hope is not yet lost. Even though we are bombarded by this socialistic garbage while at school, some of us actually turn out sane. Well, conservative, anyway.

I was one of Jensen's students at the University of Texas at Austin, and he didn’t manage to corrupt my values. It's not to say he didn't try. I can't remember specifics ( I try to blot U.T out of my memory, except during football season) about what liberal garbage he spouted in class. I do remember a general impression of left wing lunacy from the man. This was the general impression I got from most of the professors at the U.T., now that I think about it. I hated the place with a passion, in hindsight. While I had a few good professors in the history and English departments, I can only think of two good professors in the journalism department. Jensen wasn't one of them. I can't remember anything he taught in his class that was a valuable writing or reporting skill. Odd, since his class was a prerequisite to any other journalism course.

I definitely remember Jensen himself. He was tall, gangly, appeared to be about the same age as his students. He wore t-shirts to class, along with the obligatory Birkenstock hippy shoes. He wore little round John Lennon (Lenin?) glasses as well. If one were to cross Dave Barry with John Lennon, with a bit of Chairman Mao thrown it, wrap it up in a tie-dyed package, and slap some of those retarded sandals on it, one would have something that could be mistaken for Robert Jensen. I get the impression he got the crap kicked out of him a lot on the playground when he was a kid. He just had that look.

I remember another student in class taking him to task on several occasions. That student was the president of the College Republicans there at U.T. Yes, they actually DID exist at that school. This student also ended up at the Texas Tech School of Law with me, three years later. This guy actually made ME look like a liberal....scary, huh? I used to enjoy those verbal fisticuffs as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A Good Dissection of the Armstorng Williams SNAFU

This is via Michelle Malkin's website, linking to Lashawn Barber's commentary on this issue.

She's dead-on.

See my post from last night. This sort of crap hurts us all.

All The News That's Fit to Retch Over

But What About the 10 million or so that Actually Made It??

This from Michael Savage’s website. The Border Patrol stopped over a million illegals from getting in here, and over a billion worth of drugs.

Not a bad start. Imagine how many we could keep out with mutant hyenas roaming through the no man’s land between the Great Wall of America and Mexican territory? Oh well. Nobody listens to me, anyway.

Not a bad job out there, Border Patrol.

What a Crock of @**!!

Dan Rather gets away with it. Well, he’s at least been forced to retire. Though why he gets to ride off into the sunset without at least a libel suit is beyond me. I think this rises to the “actual malice” standard required to show proof of defamation. CBS did do some face-saving firings of lesser henchwomen and one henchman. The real tragedy here is the report found no evidence the fraudulent news report was motivated by political leanings.

Oh, right. We believe that one. Why does nobody take these people to task, other than the bloggers and conservative radio? Not that it would matter, but I’d like to hear somebody in the MSM rip into these clowns. If this whole story wasn’t politically motivated, I’m the Pope.

Look at the timing of the story. Look at the leanings of the people involved. Look at the connections between Mapes and the Kerry campaign. I’d hate to see what they could do if they WERE politically motivated.

Nobody was flogged. That’s a shame.

Speaking of Flogging....

Armstrong Williams sure needs one. This casts a disparaging pall on the whole conservative media, from bloggers to talk radio. You can bet the liberals will be poking into the dark closets of every conservative media figure, looking for any paid connection between the Republicans and these media figures.

One reason why I’m a conservative is that I believe conservatives try to do the right thing, at least most of the time. I believe the majority of the talk radio shows and commentators out there are motivated by ideology, rather than money. We are fighting the good fight as conservatives, and that makes us morally superior to the Democrats and liberals. We don’t resort to their tactics. We don’t pay people to doctor up false reports from the 1970's. We don’t engage in race-baiting. We don’t try and frighten old people into believing we are trying to steal away social security.

In short, we try and wear the white hat. We fight under the Marquis of Queensbury rules. We don’t “dry-gulch” our opponents. We play by the rules, and we expect everyone else to do the same. We occupy the moral high ground. That’s why it’s so great when the Dems get caught in dirty politics, making up false stories, and trying to scare the bejesus out of people. It makes them look like the mean-spirited fools they are. It makes them look crooked. It makes them look ...evil. And it lets the rest of us know that we are on the right side, both figuratively and literally.

Conservative media figures are our standard-bearers. They are the ones who the public sees, and makes their impressions about the rest of us from. Williams has cast doubt on all of us with this stunt. If it is proven that conservative media is bought and paid for by politicians, then what sort of light does that cast on the rest of us? Not a very flattering one.

I guarantee every conservative media figure is being bombarded with accusations as we speak about them being on the take. The Good Lord help us all if some of these accusations prove true.

Williams needs a good public flogging. His antics have cast doubt on conservatives as a whole, not to mention undermining the President politically, at a time when he really couldn’t afford to have that sort of problem come up.

Furthermore, the administration itself ought to be ashamed. They ought to know better than to engage in something like this. They should know that if they are doing the right thing, every conservative media figure will back them up to the hilt. Without pay, I might add. When they step over the line, we will be there to call them on the carpet. That’s the essential function of the media. When its favors are bought by the government, that puts us all in a bad light.

If the government wants to sell a particular project, do what every other big business does: get a public relations person and advertise it. Put it out there for debate. As noted, if the proposition is the right thing, conservative media will back it up.

I expect this kind of garbage from the Demoncrats. I don’t expect it from the people who supposedly hold the ethical and moral higher ground.

Monday, January 10, 2005

5.56mm Worth of Antibiotic, and the Return of the Crap Monster

I like this idea. Not that anyone needed my approval at the Pentagon, and I would imagine this has been going on for awhile, but it sure seems like a good idea to me. It’s kind of like injecting dead virus cells into a person, in order to kick up the body’s immune system. In this case, the antibodies generate quite a punch with an M16.

I’m all for death squads pulling out these insurgents, and treating them like the vermin they are. We shoot rats in my neck of the woods. It’s the only way to get rid of them. Since they don’t want to win popular support and take their country democratically, they are in vermin status.

Of course, it appears that some practitioners of the religion of peace don’t think democracy is all that good, anyway. Here’s another interesting tidbit of news. Everyone’s favorite bowtied maniac Louis Farrakhan says democracy is the rule of the devil.

I hereby bequeath him with the coveted title of “Crap Monster.” This is a great term a friend of mine came up with awhile back. I don’t know exactly what a Crap Monster is, but it sounds pretty unpleasant. My working definition is a creature most loathsome and vile. Other favorite Crap Monsters include: Bill Clinton, James Carville, Yassur Arafat, Osama Bin Ladin, Sarah Brady, Diane Finestein, Charles Schumer, and Dan Rather.

I have often wondered whether or not his Nation of Islam would prove to be a terrorist threat. They’ve been remarkably quiet since 9/11. Or have they? I haven’t heard anything about them, at any rate.

Where does the guy come up with this stuff? Does he actually believe it? Does he actually think we’re out to subjugate the Middle Eastern people, simply because they are of a darker hue? There’s no rational basis for this malarkey.

One way or the other, this kind of garbage the Crap Monster is spewing is not helping our troops in Iraq.

Here’s an item that made me fairly mad. For the record, I hate what Clinton did with the Presidency. He allowed terrorism to flourish, made the U.S. a laughingstock, and got disbarred for perjury. This was after he presided over largest tax increase in U.S. history, and not mentioning all the weird deaths of his cabinet. I shall not even discuss his pardoning people who gave him lots of money. I could go on for awhile.

I voted for Bush because he seemed to be better than that. If he’s friendly with the worst President in U.S. history, I don’t really think I like the guy anymore. Couple this with the pathetic border security Bush has put forth, I have to say I’m starting to regret casting my vote for the man. I don’t regret NOT voting for Kerry mind you, I just feel like the reasons I voted for W are getting flushed right down the White House crapper.

I’ve scoffed at conspiracy theorists in the past. There’s a strong movement out there of people who think our politicians are pretty much cut from the same mold, and are working for a one-world government. (Check out the folks who talk about the Bilderburg Society, for instance.) If Bush and Clinton are really friendly, it actually lends some credence to that particular Chicken-Little scenario. They’re friends because they have some common ground, other than the Presidency. Clinton’s a noted globalist. Bush seems hell-bent on letting illegal aliens swarm in here and take the place over. Might there be something to all of this conspiracy stuff?

Either way, W’s heading towards Crap Monster status.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

"There's Something Strange Going On Tonight.."

“....There’s something going on that’s not quite right.” A big fat pat on the back for whoever recognizes the title of the song, the artist that song comes from, and the album it was on. I digress, however.

There is something strange going on tonight. Topically, I am not coming up with much. It’s been another one of those days where nothing in particular has struck me as being worthy of attention. The country’s going to hell in a handbasket, we’ve already established that. The tsunami relief thing is a giant crock of crap, we’ve covered that one as well.

We’ve talked about religion a bit here lately. That’s usually pretty entertaining, at least for me. If nothing else, it allows me a format to work out things in my tiny little mind.

Of course, we’ve talked about all manner of weaponry, which is another fun subject for me. It’s a love of all things that roll and explode.

I noticed that I haven’t really discussed books much on this blog. This is strange as well, because I spend a lot of time reading them. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for a love of reading. Some would say I’d be better off, but I digress yet again.

Books are a dying art form, and writing a skill that is de-evolving in our culture. Not for the better, I might add.

For instance, the younger generations are becoming less and less literate. This is evidenced if one takes a look at other blogs out there. Should one come across something written by a younger person, they would find things that would land my high school English teachers in the insane asylum. My junior-year teacher should have been there anyway, but again I digress. People can’t write anymore, and they can’t spell worth a rat’s butt. Especially the younger generation. I see things on these blogs that are mind-blowing. Words spelled phonetically, incomplete sentences, dangling participles, the list goes on.

Not that I am a perfect writer, mind you. I know I commit various grammatical atrocities. However, I at least try to do it halfway right. One of the reasons I do this blog is to try and hone the writing skills. One day, I will create the great American novel.

I have developed a theory about all of this, based in part on my experiences as a trial attorney. I think that people’s minds are becoming a bit more lazy than they were before, in part because they seldom read a good book. The information age is upon us, and the electronic media bombards us with information at a high rate of speed. Images are thrown at us from television and the movies, at the speed of light. Information is available on the Internet, at our fingertips.

There are both good and bad things about this. The bad thing I see is that people no longer have to engage the imagination. Movies create the images for us. One does not have to create an image of a scene or a character; it’s been ready-made for us. As a result, the imagination becomes stagnant. The brain needs exercise as well.

Nobody has to read anymore, so the rules of grammar and good writing are not being followed. This is simply because there is less exposure to it. Take a look at some of the writers from the turn of the 20th century. Take Edgar Rich Burroughs, for example. If one were to read anything by him, one would notice an incredible command of the English language. Scenes are painted vividly by his words. He uses words and turns of phrase that are almost alien to us today. Pages upon pages are used to describe scenes or characters. The reader creates an image in their minds of alien landscapes, monsters, and beautiful people.

Now compare that to your average sitcom. Less than thirty minutes of nothing which would engage the imagination. Slang terminology abounds. Poor grammar is the rule, and not the exception.

I learned in a jury seminar that juries want quick sound bites, with just the bare facts. They no longer appreciate a good orator, who can spin a great story. They think it’s a waste of time. They want everything reduced to its component elements, which they can take in and move on to something else. That’s why sitcoms are the most popular form of television show. They are quick and to the point.

So the lack of writing ability we are seeing on younger blogger’s websites seems to be a function of the electronic media as whole. Nobody can write, because they don’t read books anymore. They don’t want to read books because it forces active thought. This takes more time than what people want to spend. Why think about it when one can have it blasted directly into the cerebral cortex via electronic imaging?

I have to say this may seem a bit of a dichotomy. I love movies. Partially because I still think it’s a medium that requires more active imagination than the average television show. The plots are more intricate, because of their length. It beats a sitcom hands-down. However, were I forced to choose between losing either movies or books for the rest of my life; I can say with certainty that I would never give up my books.

I would venture to say that the decline of writing skills in our youth is not a positive thing. It seems indicative of an overall lack of cognitive ability, not just poor grammar. I blame this on the fact that nobody reads anymore.

Now I’m off to watch SOUTH PARK.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Teachings of Brother Robert

Robert Duvall is probably the greatest actor of his generation. I recently saw the movie SECONDHAND LIONS, which I followed up with OPEN RANGE (for about the 5th time, I just love westerns). I won’t even mention the scores of other great movies he’s been in. Well, ok. I’ll mention THE GREAT SANTINI and LONESOME DOVE. For starters.

SECONDHAND LIONS is a great little movie, filmed down in God’s Country. It features two old men who take in a great-nephew. The old men are played by Michael Caine and the aforementioned Robert Duvall. I’ve watched it twice so far, and I can see watching it a couple of more times in the very near future. It definitely strikes a chord with me. I am not ashamed to say that I cried, though I’ll call anyone a liar who quotes me on that. It’s well-worth seeing, if one has a spare couple of hours to watch a good DVD.

Without giving a boring review of the movie, I will simply focus on a little speech Robert Duvall gave Haley Joe Osmet’s character. He talks about how a man has to believe in certain things, such as honor, courage, and love. He also mentions that these things are worth believing in, whether they are true or not. It makes them no less worthy of belief.

This is an interesting point, and one that I think bears some discussion. Let us assume that God does not exist, and Jesus was not the Son of God. Let’s assume the Bible is not divinely inspired. Would that make the Christian faith any less worthy of belief?

Agnostics and atheists often say that Jesus’s teachings are great moral lessons. From that standpoint, it wouldn’t much matter that Jesus wasn’t divine. He still set forth some pretty great rules to live by.

However, I think this misses the mark. One of the fundamental differences between Christianity and other religions is the fact that Jesus claimed from the get-go that he was the Son of God. Mohammed didn’t make that claim. Neither did Buddha. Jesus didn’t claim to be divinely inspired, he claimed to be God himself come to Earth. This makes him one of two things:
1. A lunatic of the highest magnitude.
2. God personified.

There’s no middle ground.

So let’s continue to assume the Bible is not divinely inspired, and Jesus wasn’t the Son of God. Does this invalidate Jesus’s teachings? From one standpoint, I suppose it would. Again, his whole message was that he was God personified. On the other hand, it’s pretty good stuff to live by, even if it’s completely untrue.

I do not think I am missing out on anything believing in Jesus as the Son of God. I think I try to live my life by his example, and by doing the things he told us to do. That means I’m following a code of moral responsibility that’s really not going to hurt anything. In fact, the world will be a better place because I am doing just that. If I do what I’m supposed to, I love the sinner but hate the sin. I go to church. I try to avoid being judgmental. I try to follow the Ten Commandments. I try to be a good representative of Christianity. I try to be humble, and respectful. (By the way, I’m just trying. I fall short every day.) If I’m doing it sort of correctly, none of these things hurt anybody else around me.

So by being a Christian, I am not doing anything other than putting my faith into a guy who says he’s the Son of God. I’m following his rules. Nobody loses.

So Duvall’s speech is true in that regard. There are things worth believing in. Should they prove to be untrue, so what? The teachings of Christianity are still worth my faith in them. I don’t lose a darn thing by believing in them. On the other hand, I stand to lose a whole lot more if I don’t.

OPEN RANGE makes the point that there are things worth dying for. I’m positive that’s the case. Freedom and democracy are worth it. Protecting innocents is worth it. It also proves the point that a man can come back and be forgiven for things in his past. All that matters is making the change, and trying to walk the right path.

To think this post started out as a discussion of two movies with Robert Duvall. Look where it ended up.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sig Sauer-Security in an Unsecure World

As many of you are aware, the Mexican government is publishing a comic pamphlet with instructions on how to sneak across the border without attracting attention. It also tells the dirty rats how to keep from dying of thirst, how to find shelter, and how to integrate themselves into society once they get here. This sounds like an invasion to me. That sort of thing used to be considered an act of war. Imagine if we had found Russia publishing something like this at the height of the Cold War. Or found Al-Quaeda operatives with something like this.

Since there are going to be even more illegal aliens crossing into my country, I figured I’d write about another fine weapon which might have to be used to defend myself from the onslaught of criminals crossing the border, should they decide to get really out of line. I freely acknowledge that not all of the illegals crossings the border plan to rape, pillage, and murder once they are over here. However, there is a significant number who do plan to do just that. And let’s not forget: everyone who does sneak in here is breaking the law. Every. Damn. One. I’d say they probably have a predisposition as a group to hold the law in little esteem. Crime statistics bear this out. Consider, for instance the El Salvadorian gangs now running amok in major cities. They snuck in here from south of the border as well, though their predecessors came over under asylum.

Is it any wonder there are people flocking to get a concealed-carry license across the United States? Our little safe country is getting a bit worse every day, thanks in no small part to the hordes of illegal aliens coming across our Southern borders.

Sig-Sauer is a fine German firearms manufacturer. The Germans tend to do quite well with things that roll or explode, and Sig-Sauer is proof-positive. Their pistols are high-quality, and very reliable overall. I am now a big fan of the Sig-Sauer P232. This is a great little .380 auto, with good looks, great balance, and superb shooting characteristics.

I know, the big caliber bozos are already clamoring. “It’s a .380,” they moan. “It’s not big enough to do maximum damage. It’s not manly, like the .45.”

Yeah, it’s not a .45. I have written on this site about the .45 and the 9mm. I love them both. However, small calibers have their place. I have also written on this site about carrying a gun in Texas. It’s hard to carry a big pistol in this state. Small guns are good carrying weapons. Personally, if I could predict when and where I’d need a gun, I wouldn’t go anywhere near the place. If I just had to, I would probably pack an M1 tank. Since we can’t predict stuff like that, it makes since to carry something comfortable.

Besides, an armed citizen will more than likely deter any attacker with the simple brandishment of a weapon. More than likely, they won’t even have to fire. To that end, any gun one can carry is better than the gun left at home because it weighs more than the national debt.

The Sig 232 looks a bit like the Walther PPK and PPK/S. It is a bit longer, and definitely lighter. The Sig also lacks a manual safety, though it does have a decocker on the left side. The 232 also sports a European style magazine release, on the butt of the pistol close to the magazine well.

The Sig P232 is a great size. It can fit in the pocket of a good pair of jeans, without too much difficulty. It can fit nicely in an inside the pants rig, without excessive bulk. It is a full-size grip, so the shooter won’t have their pinky hanging off like a lady at a tea party. The 232 has a very slim profile, less than two inches. It is less than five inches tall. The blued version weighs less than 18 ounces. It is less than seven inches long.

All this adds up to a great gun for concealment. You can virtually hide it anywhere. Ankle holster, pocket holster, and belt holster all work with this great little gun.

The ergonomics are pretty impressive as well. The gun’s grip is full-size, as noted before. The upper part of the grip swells nicely, to fill out the palm of the hand. The engineers really studied the human hand, and its various widths and different points of the hand. The grip is contoured to fill the hand almost perfectly. The gun has a low bore axis, so it points very naturally.

The sights are well done. The P232 has a three-dot sight, with a decent low profile. The profile is not so low as to make sighting difficult. There is, of course, tritium-lit night sights available for this gun as well.

The 232 is an eight shot magazine, with the ability to carry one in the chamber. This gives the shooter nine rounds of .380. Most pocket revolvers have a five-shot capacity. The .380 hits about as hard as a .38 special, so the 232 has a definite edge there. Most other small autos have less magazine capacity, which is not really wonderful when you are talking about a .22 or .25 caliber. The 232 has them beat handily.

The pistol is a single-action/double action. The gun has a recessed hammer, which is still very accessible to the shooter’s thumb. The pistol has a fairly heavy double action pull. I like this feature, since the gun does not have a manual safety. Subsequent shots are single-action, unless the decocking lever just behind the trigger guard is engaged. The pistol will then lower the hammer, as well as return to double-action mode. As noted, the pistol can be easily cocked for a single-action trigger pull. When cocked, the pistol has a very smooth trigger, with almost no overtravel before snapping. I would guess the single-action pull comes in at no more than five pounds. The double-action pull is probably 12 pounds or better. The gun also sports a loaded chamber indicator, in the form of a red-tinged extractor which protrudes when a round is in the pipe.

Like the Walther PPK’s, the Sig 232 has a fixed barrel. This makes the pistol very accurate. Groups of less than an inch are easily obtainable at seven yards. That is plenty accurate for a pocket pistol. The recoil is very mild, probably due to the heavy recoil spring.

Field stripping is much like the PPK’s except the Sig has a takedown lever just in front of the trigger guard. It is very simple, and easy to clean. However, the pistol does have a tiny spring and pin located under the slide, just above the trigger. When cleaning, the shooter must be careful not to pull the pin loose. The spring will fling it to parts unknown, and finding it can be a problem. It’s very tiny. In this regard, the Walther has the Sig beat. No tiny parts will fly off when cleaning the Walther.

The stainless version of the gun is about 10 ounces heavier, which does make a difference. One of the main reasons I like this gun over the Walther PPK is because of the weight. I like the features of a Walther better, with the decocker/manual safety. However, the Walther is incredibly heavy in comparison. Also, the Sig has better grip ergonomics, probably some of the best I’ve ever seen on a pistol.

Reliability seems to be very high. No jams were suffered in testing with a variety of jacketed ammunition, including hollow points. The pistol went “bang” each time it needed to.

The fun factor is there, as well. One can shoot this gun a lot, without beating one’s hand to death. It’s just plain enjoyable to shoot.

As noted, the .380 is not a .45. Since the relative stopping power of the .380 is pretty close to a .38 special, I do not think the shooter gives much up with this caliber. I wouldn’t want to shoot a bear with it, of course. However, it should do nicely against the average goblin. A good defense round such as the Hydra-Shok or Glaser Safety Slug can greatly increase the stopping power. Also as noted, the pistol has a pretty decent ammo capacity for a pocket gun. It’s better than a .22, not as good as a .45. What more does one want? To maximize concealment, one has to sacrifice in the large caliber department. That is, until my dream .500 S&W derringer comes along.

I would venture a female shooter would find this gun pleasant to shoot as well. Recoil is very mild, and the pistol fits a female’s hand nicely. The long double-action might pose some problems to a female with weaker trigger fingers, but the pistol does have the option of being cocked for a very smooth single-action pull. XFILES fans will perhaps note Scully carried a 232 in the first couple of seasons of the show. How I miss it, but I digress.

All in all, this is a very impressive piece of hardware for concealed carry and self-defense. It’s also just plain fun to shoot. Plus, it's a bit of security in a world that seems to be going a little more mad each day.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What'd I Tell You?

It appears private donations from U.S. citizens have topped $200 million so far, and it appears the numbers are climbing. I think in short order, the private sector will have eclipsed what the government can do, and prove they can do it more efficently than the government. As noted; it will probably be with less strings attached, since it comes purely from the goodness of the American people's hearts. This is not tax dollars we're talking about. This is stuff we have voluntarily given on top of what the government has leeched off of us. (Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs)

Of course, this does not include the great work the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN's carrier group is doing over there right now. They are flying supplies in, and generally being great Americans, while the U.N. postures and preens. The cost of having the carrier over there is astronomical, and that's something the private sector certainly can't do. (hat tip: Michelle Malkin)

I hope this puts to rest the "stinginess" of America once and for all, in the eyes of the world. I doubt it, though.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Mixed Emotions

The U.S. has pledged $350 million in aid to countries blasted by the tsunami. How should one feel about that? To say the least, I have mixed emotions.

On the one hand, I feel an incredible sorrow. As of this date, it appears 155,000 are dead in the various countries affected by this tragedy. I cannot begin to imagine the devastation. The loss of life is almost incomprehensible. The loss of homes, businesses, schools, and other man-made things is staggering. It is hard to wrap my mind around a tragedy such as this.

On that same hand, I am proud that America has rallied to the cause. As we speak, there are American troops on the ground there, doing everything they can to help the victims, search for survivors, control looting, and helping the place put itself back together again. This is cause for pride. We're also in the process of giving out a buttload of dough, as noted.

On the other hand, I cannot help but wonder why we are doing all of this. The U.S. seems to be putting on a show of generosity for the world. We seem to be trying so desperately to look like the good guy that the government is willing to throw a lot of money at the problem; money that doesn't really belong to them in the first place.

Consider the fact that we are pledging $350 million dollars in U.S. government- funded relief. This does not even begin to count the cost of having our soldiers over there, not to mention two ex-Presidents.

$350 million is a whole lot of money, and that's just an early estimate. That comes close to replacing the GNP of some of the countries we are trying to help out over there. That's money our troops in Iraq will never see. That's money that could be used on our disabled veterans, who are coming home after protecting us missing limbs. That's money that could be used to secure our borders, which would in turn save us BILLIONS per year, as discussed on this website previously. That's money that could be used to help out our own people. That's money social security will never see.

Let's keep in mind where this money comes from: the U.S. taxpayer. Me. You. Everyone else around us. We are being asked to pay for something that really doesn't affect us. We are being asked to pay for something that will not do a darn thing to earn us brownie points in the world's opinion. I can say with certainty that the U.S. taxpayer will not ever get a thank-you from anybody we have been forced to donate to. France isn't going to like us because we're generous. Iran won't hate us any less. I know it's arguable that this disaster doesn't affect us, but it sure hasn't affected my daily life so far. Not like when 19 terrorists started crashing planes into buildings along the East Coast. It seems the U.S. government is awfully proud of the dough it's shelling out, simply for the public relations value.

Of course, that's not the point of helping out these people. I am so much more inclined to be proud of the millions of people out there who are donating money out of their own pockets, and out of the goodness of their hearts. They are truly doing God's work, and they won't ever get a thank-you note either. They don't expect it, nor do they want the limelight for doing it. They do it because it's the right thing to do, and I don't think our government's motives are so pure. So to that end, the taxpayer-extorted relief fund is an insult. Read this article, which seems to point out that the private sector is going to end up giving way more than the government could ever hope to. This is how it should be, and it's a great thing. Never let it be said we are not a generous, compassionate nation.

Where exactly is this money going to go? Who is coordinating this relief effort? If it's going to the U.N., I have to say it's been wasted. We have seen how great the U.N. is at taking care of disaster victims, or anything else for that matter. How much have they done for the genocide over in Rwanda, for instance? The oil-for-food scandal should have shown everyone out there exactly what a load of crap the U.N. tries to foist off on the rest of the world. There is not another more corrupt organization anywhere in the world, including the U.S. Congress. That's a bold statement.

Plus, why give this money to people who hate us? Sri Lanka is the home of the Tamil Tigers, a radical Islamo-fascist sect, hell-bent on taking over that country. We want to help them out why, exactly? Their stated goal is right there with Al-Qaida: kill the infidels, impose Islamic law on the world, and make Allah happy by blowing themselves up. I don't want to fund that, and if every one of them was killed in the tsunami, so what? That means there's less of them that will try and kill us later.

I know it's harsh, and I feel somewhat guilty about feeling this way. However, I think my tax dollars are better spent in defending my homeland, better arming the troops defending my homeland, taking care of my borders, and generally looking after the welfare of my country first, before spending it on other countries who really don't give a rat's butt what we do for them anyway. I know it can be argued that what happens over there will affect us over here, and that we should be generous in our aid to them.

As noted, the private sector is doing just that. Plus, it's doing it cheaper, more effectively, and with less chance of some bureaucrat stealing the money for themselves. I would prefer the relief donations to come from a pure heart, and not motivated by an attempt to spiff up our image to a world that is going to hate us anyway. Charity should be anonymous.

Monday, January 03, 2005

B-Movie Means Buckaroo-Movie

That's right, people. The cult classic BUCKAROO BANZAI will gear up for a sequel, according to Ain't It Cool News.

This is indeed, cool news.

For those of you out there who did see the movie starring Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, and John Ltihgow, you probably have that little cool tingle running up and down your spine.

For the other cultural 'tards who might read this: go rent the movie. However, rent it only if you are a fan of movies like BUBBA HO-TEP, ARMY OF DARKNESS, etc. Heck, go rent it anyway, you just might be surprised.

At any rate, I'm excited. It will apparently kick off with a novel, then a graphic novel, then a movie. I'm stoked.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Brain Dead, Can't Help It

I have nothing of importance to say this evening. Not one frelling thing. Not that I did any other night, but tonight seems especially un-noteworthy. Nothing grabbed my interest this evening. Nothing particularly made me mad. Nothing so far has struck me as being really cool, that I must tell you all about.

I've spouted off about how hacked I am at George W. Bush for not closing the borders, and not genetically engineering mutant lions designed to eat illegals to patrol them. Nothing's come of that one so far.

I've spouted off about movies. Again, nothing really important came of that. I did get a comment, which is always nice. Hopefully it will start a grand movie debate, or something.

I've waxed philisophical about firearms. The subject seems to have left everyone cold for the time being. That's a shame, because it is one of my favorite subjects.

I've talked about the assault on Christianity. Nobody really seems to feel like discussing that one, either.

I could bore you with my New Year's resolutions, but why bother? The reader could undoubtedly care less, and I'm not sure if I want to air out my dirty laundry on the internet, anyway.

So this blog entry is kind of like a Seinfeld episode. Many words about nothing.

Reader feedback is nice. If anybody actually reads this darn thing (other than the usual suspects, for whom I am extremely grateful), spout off. Let me know you're there. Take issue with my posts. Call me a moron. Whatever. I'll read it. I won't hunt you down for it. I'll debate reasonably, and be civil as long as you do the same. What more can we all ask for??

Perhaps it will trigger some discussion with the other folks in the ether.

Come on, it can't hurt anything.