Saturday, March 28, 2009
Well, I never did get around to it.
That's why I spent the better part of eight hours today loading 200 rounds of 10mm to prepare for the Match later today. (Yes, I am up WAY past the bedtime of any Honest Man to get this task finished, and to "boast" about it.)
Very big grin here. I'm not actually very proud of how long it took me to set up a Lee Turret Press from scratch for a 'new' caliber ... I haven't actually reloaded on that press for a few years, and never for 10mm.
But I did have a LEE Sizing Die (which I used to full-length size 10mm brass ... it is reputed to be 'better than' Dillon or RCBS dies to get the FULL length of the case squeezed down to a diameter which fits in an STI chamber.
I also had several hundred rounds of once-used 10mm brass which had been full-length resized by a vendor, including in the deal a complete primer-decapping and a liquid-tumbling which left the brass shiny-new inside and out.
Anyway, this is grist for the mill of an entirely different (and Geek Length) post about my experiences of the actual process.
For now, it's enough to state that I decided to use my STI Edge in 10mm for the forthcoming match at Dundee (which starts in about 7 hours, and it's an hour driving time --- so I better close this soon so I can get some sleep!).
I may not post on Saturday night; I expect to be entirely worn out. Besides, I don't have enough pictures yet. Nor do I have the results (consequences) of my untimely reloading session.
By tomorrow evening, at a minimum, I expect to be able to provide a "Range Report" on the results of loading ammunition "On Spec" from specifications which are several years old, and which have NOT been tested before the match.
It's all smoke and mirrors. I have need of counsel from a Professional Reloader.
Wish me luck!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
This is not a match. More like ... a demonstration. Lots of folks with Class 3 licenses will bring their (entirely legal) fully-auto sub-machine guns and machine-guns during this weekend, and for the low low price of Ten Dollars U.S., you can watch.
(Click on the picture for the Full Image)
Not enough for you?
You're in luck.
For a slight additional fee, you can elect to actually SHOOT these here machine guns.
What do you get for your money? Let's look at it the other way around. The owners of the machine guns will set 'em up, provide targets,. load the magazines (or belts) with their own ammunition, and for a price (which probably doesn't exceed, say, $15, but may be lower -- let you shoot at the targets.
Be a Rambo, Smoke 'em if you've got 'em. (No, I'm not implying that you can smoke a stogie while you're smoking the targets. On the other hand, maybe you can. After all, it's an Outdoor Event.)
Directions to the range are provided on the poster (see above). If that is insufficiently explicit for you, you can also find directions and a map here. (Remember that you're expected to go to Oregon, and somehow "intuit" how to find the Interstate "5" freeway. If you can't handle that, you probably shouldn't be shooting Full Auto Firearms anyway.)
Never fired a full-auto gun before? Afraid that you'll embarrass yourself in public?
Don't worry about it. You WILL embarrass yourself, because almost nobody can hit more than one target on full-auto. I've been trained and am experienced (U.S. Army), and I CHS (Can't Hit Shit) on Full Auto.
But still, it's almost "The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On".
I'll probably be there, at least one day; taking pictures for future blog articles, and meeting folks. Chances are you won't notice me, even if I DO have my "Jerry the Geek" Internet Region shirt on. Believe me, you'll have more interesting things to watch.
Be there or be bored.
(No, it's not like this ...
... It's more like THIS!
Better ... Stronger .. Faster!
[Geek Seal of Approval]
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
That means that, on the First Saturday of the month, I will be found from 1pm to 4pm at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club (ARPC) teaching an "Introduction to USPSA" match.
By now you understand how much I enjoy meeting these eager New Shooters, and you probably understand how enthusiastically I approach each class.
It occurs to me that, even though I've tried to share my syllabus with others who intend to teach similar classes, I've never codified the information which I provide to students.
Here then, is the note which I attempt to send to each student before the class:
My name is [My_Name]. I've been a member of (and a competitor in) USPSA since 1983. I will be your instructor in the [class_date], "Introduction to USPSA" class.
To complete the certification process, you need to do the three things which [Head_instructor] has already defined. My part is the "#2" thing: "Attend Live Fire Safety Session with one of our instructors."
We have provided this instruction (in my personal experience) for a single person, and for as many as 13 people. Sunny weather seems to bring more people to the range. The medium attendance seems to be 3 or 4 people. As a member of a smaller class (if that so happens), you're lucky because we have more time to attend to the nuances.
USPSA People LOVE to have new shooters. Expect to be welcomed by the 'old' competitors at your first match; we like to see new people.
We want you to feel entirely comfortable, so here's what you will learn on the first Saturday of next month, when you take the class, and (hopefully) the second Saturday of April, when you will complete your certification.
Here is some information so you know what to expect during the Class and during your first match.
Two Things You Need To Know:
- What the Certification class will be like;
- What you need to bring, both to the Class and to your First Match.
1: What the USPSA Certification Class will be like:
You will need to bring with you:
Your handgun must fit your ammunition, your ammunition must fit within reload magazines, all reload magazines must fit your gun. This probably seems obvious to you. We'll talk about this in the class.
- Your completed test
- Handgun (minimum: 9mm)
- Ammunition (minimum: 50 rounds)
- Wear a belt which is wide enough and strong enough to support the 'stuff' you should carry on your belt.
- At least two, preferably four (depending on your magazine limits) Magazines, and sufficient Magazine Carriers which will fit on your belt. You will need to reload at least once in the certification course; you will need to reload at 3 times at your first match. (Note that this varies according to which Division you declare for competition. This is because some Divisions only allow 8 or 10 rounds per magazine, and others have no limits on the number of rounds which can be loaded in your magazines.)
We will meet at the designated bay on the North Range of the Albany Rifle and Pistol club ... probably bay 3 or bay 5. I'll try to put a sign out in front of the entry to the bay, before your expected 1pm time of arrival.
Bring your 'test'. The first hour of the class will be devoted to discussing the test question, and the various nuances of the test questions. Read the book, know the answers.
After the talking part is through, we will walk you through several scenarios designed to teach you what you need to know about safe gun-handling, and USPSA competition. Note that there will be plenty of opportunities for error. During these exercises, we will faithfully follow the three steps of successful training:
You are ALWAYS encouraged to ask question during the class.
- Describe the training scenario
- Demonstrate the training scenario
- Walk the student through each stage.
The scenarios used to teach you safe Gun Handling skills, and competitive skills (also etiquette and an understanding of the Squadding procedure) are as follows:
(1a:) What you need to bring both to the Class:
- Stage 1, designed to familiarize you with Standard Range Commands and revisit basic Gun handling skills: Engage one target with one shot. NOTE: also teaches range commands, and the appropriate shooter reactions to errors in understanding;
- Stage 2, designed to re-enforce previously taught skills, also to learn the skill needed to engage multiple targets. Engage two targets with at least two rounds each. The student may reload as needed. A mandatory reload requirement may be included, depending on the mood and whimsy of the Range Officer, to teach you how to reload during moments of competitive stress..
- Stage 3, designed to teach you the principles of safe movement, shooting behind a vision barrier, safe reloading and indexing from one shooting position to another: engage two cardboard targets with at least two rounds (see above), then move down-range to a shooting box behind a Bianchi Barricade (with a shooting box behind it.) . There you will be expected to engage one USPSA Steel Target, and one USPSA Pepper Target, from opposite sides of the Bianchi Barricade. (Note to yourself: always be certain that during movement, you make it obvious to the Range Officer that your finger is NOT on the trigger during these two events.)
- Variations on the above themes, as they seem necessary to the instructor.
Again; variations may be included, but these are the basics.
- Handgun; caliber 9mm or larger
- Ammunition, at least 50 rounds.
- Magazines (if appropriate to handgun, assumed to be a semi-automatic pistol); at least three;
- Magazine carriers, at least two .. preferably three (for a match);
- Belt, sufficient to carry holstered pistol, magazines and magazine carriers. At least 1-1/2" wide, sturdy enough to support the weight of the pistol yet withstand the action of drawing the pistol without excessive 'give'.
2: What you need to know and bring, to your First Match.
You will need the same equipment to our first match as you need to bring to your orientation class. However, expect that you will need a minimum of 150 rounds of ammunition to successfully complete the match. There will be six (6) stages at the match, with an average minimum round count of 25 rounds per stage. My personal criteria is to bring at least 50% more ammunition than the minimum, which suggests 225 rounds. For your own satisfaction, I strongly suggest that you bring 100% more ammunition than the minimum .. 300 rounds. You'll use it up eventually, so you should seriously consider bringing much more ammunition than you will need for the first match.
Depending on the Division restrictions for ammunition available in each magazine, you will need more magazines than the minimum required to complete a single stage:
The reason to bring MORE magazines than you expect to need is because if you lose a magazine, or experience a failure-to-feed jam, you may need to jettison a magazine. You should ALWAYS bring more ammunition, and more magazines, than you expect to need.
- Singlestack (8-rounds maximum per magazine) bring at least 5 magazine (40 rounds available);
- Production or Limited-10 (10-rounds maximum per magazine) bring at least 4 magazines (40 rounds available);
- Limited (either 18 or 20 rounds maximum per magazine) bring at least 3 magazines (54 rounds available);
- Open (up to 30 rounds maximum per magazine) bring at least 3 magazines (75 - 90 rounds available).
You should bring sufficient magazine carriers to legally carry the maximum number of magazines. Note that you can carry 'extra' magazines in your pockets, and use them after all of the magazines in your magazine carriers have been expended. If this financial investment is excessive to your ability, don't feel that you cannot be competitive. Bring what you have, and expect to "go to the pocket". Still, at least two magazine carriers are strongly advised no matter what Division you choose to compete in.
You should show up at the range by 8am, certainly by 8:30, for a 9am start to the match. This will allow you sufficient time to sign up for the match, and get your gear on and magazines loaded.
The match will start at 9am. There will be a Shooters Meeting, usually given by the Range Master (RM_Name), often followed by a "Walk-Through" of the stages. During the walk-through, the Range Master will describe the requirements for each stage. These requirements are described in you test. You will want to know, and be clear on, the requirements for each stage.
During sign-up you will want to make the statistician aware that you are a New Shooter. If the statistician does not do so, you will want to mark each score sheet (one for each stage) with the comment "NEW SHOOTER". This will help others in your squad to know that you should be the last shooter in your squad to shoot each stage. This is for your benefit; you will be able to watch the rest of the shooters in your squad engage the targets, so you have adequate time and experience to evaluate the best way for YOU to engage the targets on each stage.
Squadding: there is a 'squad sign-up sheet' available in the stats room when you sign up for the match. Find a group of people who you wish to shoot with, and put your name on the same squad sign-up sheet. Look for my name ([My_Name]), or the name of the demonstrator who assisted during your Certification Course. Usually, this is [Demonstrator_Name]. IF another demonstrator worked during your class, look for that person. If those squads are full, it doesn't matter what squad you join as long as they know that you are a New Shooter. Experienced shooters will almost invariably be happy to help you get through your First Match safely.
>From this point on, just ... coast. Your goal is to get through your first match safely. Do not attempt to shoot 'fast';, shoot SAFELY, and your second priority is to conform to the stage procedures. The third priority is to shoot accurately; hit each target with the first shot if possible. Be certain that you can at least engage ("shoot at") each target without running out of ammunition.
That's a lot to remember. Don't feel that you need to remember all of this. We will discuss every point, and demonstrate most of them, during your certification Class. If you have questions, don't feel shy about asking them during any part of the class.
This is suppose to be fun. It's not suppose to be as intimidating as this email probably suggests. Be assured that you will leave your Introduction to USPSA class with all of your questions answered, and you will have plenty of advice (much of it unsolicited) from the members of your squad at your First Match.
All you have to remember is (a) shoot safely, and (b) have fun.
You aren't expected to win your first match. The only expectation is that you will shoot safely, and will become irretrievably "hooked on IPSC" after a single match.
Ask questions. You can reply to this email if you have any concerns which are not already answered.
Looking forward to meeting you on [class_date].
This is devoted to the weird and awful things that "just happened, I don't know why!" around the world,
Chances are, a careful review of the TCPALM ("Florida's Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches") would reveal similarly bizarre stories. Such as here and here and here -- just for example. But tonight we're criticizing 'those other folks'.
So let's be about it.
First, in Indonesia:
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Two Komodo dragons mauled a fruit-picker to death in eastern Indonesia, police and witnesses said Tuesday, the latest in a string of attacks on humans by the world's largest lizard species.
Police Sgt. Kosmas Jalang said 31-year-old Muhamad Anwar was attacked on Komodo, one of four islands where the giant reptile is found in the wild, minutes after he fell out of a sugar-apple tree on Monday.
He was bleeding badly from bites to his hands, body, legs and neck after two lizards, waiting below, attacked him, according to a neighbor, Theresia Tawa. He died at a clinic on the neighboring island of Flores soon after.
Next, two stories from Ireland:
(1) "Naked ******
Paintings Removed" I'm not sure what "taoiseach" means, but two paintings of the Prime Minister of Ireland (Brian Cowen -- naked) have been placed on display in Dublin Art Galleries.
A painting of Mr Cowen holding his underpants appeared in the Royal Hibernian Academy and one of him pictured on the toilet ended up in the National Gallery.Sounds scandalous, right?
One woman who saw the painting reportedly offered to buy it.
(2) From "The Independent"
Man who shot himself "by accident' is critical":(No comments about "Darwinism In Action" or "Chlorine in the Gene Pool" here. Move along.)
A WELL-known criminal who is a central figure in Limerick's ongoing feud was in a critical condition on a life support machine last night after he accidentally shot himself.
Feared gangster Philip Collopy (29) from St Mary's Park, Limerick is in the city's Mid-Western Regional Hospital where he has been since he shot himself in the head on Saturday morning.
The career criminal shot himself with a glock handgun at close range in a house at St Munchin's Street, St Mary's Park. He had been inspecting the gun and removed the loaded magazine from it while handling it. However, he failed to realise a bullet was still in the chamber before he discharged the weapon while it was pointed at his head.
Finally, let's hear it for Vietnam, where three men trying to saw through a war-era bomb (apparently an artillery shell, irresponsibly left laying around by those vexatious Americans):
This is another thing I don't understand. My Vietnam experiences taught me that the Viet Cong were experts at recovering expended 'dud rounds' as the basis of what we then referred to as "Booby traps", and which are now demurely referred to as "IEDs" (Improvised Explosive Devices).
The men, between 19 and 44 years old, were trying to break open a 105mm shell when the blast happened in southern Tay Ninh province on Friday, local policeman Nguyen Minh Kha said.
"The poor men wanted to sell the metal for money. They could not escape the sudden blast,'' he said.According to earlier figures from the Public Security Ministry, more than 38,000 Vietnamese nationals have been killed and 100,000 injured by explosives left over from the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.
What happened? Have the Vietnamese grown soft? Have they not passed their skills down to the Next Generation? I guess, in this case, we can truly refer to them as "X-Gen".
Yeah, the "Late X-Gen", here.
I can understand the recovery of the metal ... sort-of. But to whom did they plan to sell the explosives?
Never mind, it's all academic now. Except to the three squatting savages with a hacksaw and without a clue ... or (now) contiguous body parts. I have seen the uncomfortable results of too-close consanguinity between Viet Names 'civilians' and Artillary. It's not a pretty sight. Apparently, Capitalistic ingenuity and high-explosives are still a deadly combination.
Okay, I can't let this go without including a couple of stories from the United States:
First, "Miss Cleo" (late of "The Psychic Hotline") is Back! She's bad, she's free, and she's gay.
At a tiny, earth-toned coffeehouse, the fliers advertise mediums and meditations. Wind chimes ring and dream catchers spin.Ultimately, let's look at Cane-Fu.
It's early afternoon. The plush couches sit empty.
And seated at a table, a silver snake earring dangling from one ear, Miss Cleo says she couldn't be happier.
''I'm a proud voodoo woman,'' she says in the thick Caribbean accent that many late-night television viewers can well recall. ``And I make no apologies to anyone.''
Around the turn of the millennium, Miss Cleo was the face and voice of the Psychic Readers Network in TV commercials and infomercials across the country, many of which still live on at Web sites like YouTube.com.
Draped in colorful robes, she urged nighthawks to call in because ``the cards never lie.''
That lasted until the Psychic Readers Network, run by Access Resource Services of Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here., succumbed to a storm of lawsuits from consumers who said they were grossly overcharged.
Cleo, a spokeswoman but never the boss, was sued, too. But she was not found liable.
ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - Pay no mind to the groans that come with stretching, to hair that is gray or gone altogether. Ignore the cautiousness of their steps and the canes in their hands.
These seniors are ready to fight.
A rainbow of martial arts belts dangles above the mirror along one wall of this small dojo; swords, nunchuks and sickles hang near the front. Punching bags and torso targets line the room, but they'll need none of these. Their weapons are their canes.
At the helm of the class is one of the country's most recognized cane fighters, Mark Shuey, a slight man who, at 62, has hair and skin starting to show signs of age. He has traveled from Lake Tahoe, Nev., to teach this group of 16 how to protect themselves from attackers.
He calls it Cane-Fu.
Cane fighting classes have popped up all over the country, in part due to the influence of Cane Masters, the company Shuey founded that sells wood canes made of harder, thicker wood, to sustain wear and wider crooks to fit around an attacker's neck. Now, it's being offered at dojos and increasingly in senior centers and retirement communities.
(See the link for details and a video. Video also available at AOL.)
"It's a medical device, you need one to get around on. And they do let you on the airplane with it."
Geez, I wish I had thought of that.
I coulda been a contender!
That's it for Blogmeat on Tuesday, March 34, 2009.
Some of these issues I have already mentioned; some ... not.
First issue: The National Park Service attempt to 'technically' renege on its recent agreement to allow shooting on Park Service land.
Second, reports about the "Springfield Armory Historic Site and Museum" being newly lead by a director who doesn't think that people are interested in "old guns", and consequently may want to shut down many of the services and exhibits. I don't get that one at all; maybe you are more intuitive than I am.
Finally, new Justice Department head Holder is taken to task by 65 Democratic members of congress in response to 'whispers' that the 1994 Assault Weapons band may be re-instated by the Obama Administration. Response: "We never intended to do that AT ALL!" That one I do get. We knew long ago that Obama is no friend of the Second Amendment. Hint: Obama will never directly attack "The Gun Lobby". He hasn't the intestinal fortitude (or has too much Political Ambition) to attack gun owners directly. He will always, always use his henchmen and attempt to maintain a position of "The High Ground". Look for statements such as: "I will not contradict nor oppose members of my cabinet as they go about addressing issues in the way they think best. If Congress sends me a bill addressing Public Safety issues, I will sign it."
Weasel, words, to be sure. Bush did the same thing during his tenure, and it bit him so hard that he still carries teeth-marks on his sit-down. (And well deserved they are!)
Now read Jim Shepherd's latest article:
Sounds like the three key elements of fencing, but it's the government moving up- and back - on firearms and ammunition restrictions. Last week, two thrusts, a feint, and some retreat made the week infuriating, but telling to gun owners.
First, the National Park Service bans lead - all lead - on any property under NPS control. Then, the Department of Defense puts ammo brass into a different category for disposal. Rather than being able to sell the spent casings, they'll have to be mutilated.
The first parry came from Senators Tester and Baucus of Montana - a letter advising them that such an action might have consequences for DoD funding. The DoD quickly issued a clarification saying they weren't really intending to go through with the mutilation, they were going through a process of review because of -you guessed it- the catch-all excuse of all excuses - national security issues.
Now, the National Park Service says its no-lead declaration last week was a "misstep" and the lead ban was for the National Park Service employees and agents only. "You can still use lead shot and lead ammunition. The point of the announcement was to let the public know that internally we want to get away from lead-based products," said Bert Frost, Associate Director of Natural Resource Stewardship & Science for the National Park Service."
Now I got it. Thanks for that clarification. Maybe the next time they close down a shooting area for no apparent reason, we'll find it's only closed to NPS employees and agents.
The latest thrust is a disquieting report we've received concerning the Springfield Armory Historic site and museum. As we reported in last Friday's edition of The Shooting Wire, sources at the NPS tell us there's a new boss at the museum, one who doesn't think people would be interested in "old guns". Consequently, a change of emphasis seems to be taking place there - as in closing down research, reassigning employees and maybe- we're told - even planning to return the weapons to storage.
As we promised last week, we're on the story. And, as expected, we're up against a stonewalling process. But we're still tracking on the story. So, too, is our colleague Michael Bane. They'll find Michael's considerably less patient with bureaucrats, so they can't say haven't warned them.
See a pattern emerging? The process of incrementalism through a ceaseless pushing of the boundaries of tolerance. It's as if the anti-gun groups have studied the advancement process of crabgrass. Once it's in the yard, it's almost impossible to get out without wiping out the yard and starting over. As the anti-gun philosophy seems hard-wired into the current administration's thinking, it doesn't look like relief is in sight.
Sixty five Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent Attorney General Eric Holder a letter last week in which they served notice that they will vigorously oppose any efforts to reinstitute the 1994 ban on select semi-auto guns and magazines. They reminded Mr. Holder that the '94 ban was an abject failure, but don't count on his remembering the warning - or the assault not coming from another quarter. Incrementalism relies on that continued pushing. Politicians have managed to add an element of misdirection, but the ultimate goal is the same- disarming "average" citizens.
And the Illinois Supreme Court has dismissed another baseless lawsuit against a firearms manufacturer. In 2001, a suit was filed against Beretta U.S.A. Corp. following a criminal shooting. The suit, as was the pattern at that time, basically sought to hold the manufacturer liable for the shooting. The dismissal was based on the 2005 Protection in Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act which bars lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse by others of lawfully sold firearms.
It's not all good news for gun owners. A federal judge has blocked former President Bush's last-minute rule allowing visitors in national parks to carry concealed weapons.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the ruling in favor of the three groups bringing a suit against the rule - the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. Those groups, expectedly, hail the decision as keeping the parks safe for visitors. Hopefully, those visitors won't walk up on any of the illegal drug growers and manufacturers who have discovered the advantages of setting up shop in national parks and wildlife management areas.
(If you are not already subscribed to The Shooting Wire, I urge you to do so here. Geek Rated "Alpha Geek" ... and it don't get no better than that!)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
To facilitate our understanding, these are the anti-gun bills which he proposed in a single Legislative session. (I don't have the session number, or the year, immediately available. I'll see if I can research this to our mutual satisfaction 'in the future'.)
S. 152 Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (NY-D)- would increase the tax on handgun ammunition and impose special occupational tax and registration requirements on importers and manufactures of handgun ammunition. To the Committee on Finance.
S. 153 Sen. Moynihan- would prohibit the use of certain ammunition. To the Committee on the Judiciary.
S. 154 Sen. Moynihan- A bill to amend title 18, US Code, with respect to the licensing of - ammunition manufacturers, and for other purposes; To the Committee on the Judiciary.
S. 155 Sen. Moynihan- would require the collection and dissemination of information on injuries, death and family dissolution due to bullet-related violence; require the keeping of records with respect to dispositions of ammunition, and increase taxes on certain bullets. To the Committee on Finance.
S. 156 Sen. Moynihan- would prohibit the manufacture, transfer or importation of .25 cal., .32 cal. and 9 mm ammunition. To the Committee on the Judiciary.
S. 157 Sen. Moynihan- would tax 9 mm, .25 cal. and .32 cal. bullets at 1,000%. To the Committee on Finance.
S. 158 Sen. Moynihan (D-NY)- would regulate the manufacture, importation and sale of ammunition capable of piercing police body armor. To the Committee on the Judiciary.
For our own purposes ... that is, to demonstrate how extreme measures can be proposed by an honorable and conscientious legislature "for our own good", these bills are noted that they were all left to die "in committee" for the simple reason that they were demonstrably too extreme to be acceptable to the voting public.
Let us leave these bills in their rightful place of obscurity, but remember them as a measure of anti-gun rhetoric and extremism.
(Please click on the above link to read the entire statement in its original form.)
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), in a response to an editorial from the Washington Times, confirms that the dera; Flight Deck Officers program (FFDO), which allows airline pilots to be armed in order to defend against aggressive take-overs of civilian airline planes, is NOT being terminated by de-funding the program. Rather, the program is expected to expand.
This is in stark contrast to not only the WaTimes editorial, but also to early reports that the United States Federal Government has historically made it exceptionally difficult for qualified Flight Deck Officers to take advantage of the opportunity to qualify for the program OR to acquire the training.
During this initial report on Cogito Ergo Geek ("Guns On A Plane"), we noted the difference between an "Editorial" and a news report. We also noted that this "opinion" is "... long on opinion and short on facts."
Historically, Liberal MSM sources have blurred the difference between "News" and "Editorializing". In this specific instance, the (conservative) Washington Times has fallen into the same editorial trap, to its supposed embarrassment.
We're not convinced that this 'expansion' of the program is the original intend of the government; it's possible that the clarification was the direct result of the initial outrage of those writers who took the Times Editorial to be literal fact.
Yes, I am suggesting that the intentions of the Federal Government have been changed in response to public outcry.
However, there is no evidence currently available to support this presumption, so I don't propose it as a valid 'conspiracy theory'.
On the other hand, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.
This week I received the following email from a well-meaning friend:
SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES(follows: 994 names, with city and state of residence)
It does not matter if you personally like or dislike Obama. You need to sign this petition and flood his e-mail box with e-mails that tell him that, even if the House passes this bill, he needs to veto it. It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If the government gives benefits to 'illegal' aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave those of us who have paid into Social Security all our working lives?
As stated below, the Senate voted this week to allow 'illegal' aliens access to Social Security benefits.
Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that requires citizenship for eligibility to that social service.
Instructions are below. If you don't forward the petition and just stop it, we will lose all these names.
If you do not want to sign it, please just forward it to everyone you know.
To add your name, click on 'forward'. Address it to all of your email correspondents, add your name to the list and send it on.
When the petition hits 1,000, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
PETITION for President Obama:
Dear Mr. President:
We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We demand that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in the
. United States
We further demand that there not be any amnesty give n to illegal aliens, NO free services, no funding, no payments to and for illegal immigrants
With a little help from GOOGLE, I determined to my own satisfaction that this was not a true interpretation of any current bill. I send the following to all of the original recipients of MY email, and I encourage you to pay attention to the cautionary statement:
I think this is not a current bill.
There was some discussion about a similar bill in 2006:
(Note that this source is dubious, as 'factcheck.org' is a notiously Liberal website.)
The nearest thing to a current bill with reference to Social Security requires a valid SSN.
I see no other current bills which refer to a clause which will allow benefits to illegal aliens ... assuming that these individuals do not have a valid Social Security Number (A Tax Identification Number, which most illegal aliens use to report taxable income, is not sufficient.)
There remains a problem if illegal aliens are able to acquire a valid SSN in their own names. I would rather see a move to tighten up the regulations regarding the assignment of new SSN to "Undocumented Immigrants" (eg: "Illegal Aliens").
Please remain dubious about any internet/email 'warning' which does not cite a bill number. Usually these are generated by people who fall within three groups:
1.) they don't understand the bill that they read
2.) they don't realize that the bill is 'old news'
3.) they are deliberately 'scamming' the public just to cause trouble.
I assume that the originators of this email alert fill into the third category. If they are upset about a bill which is three years old, they would still identify the bill. These folks didn't perform that basic requirement, so I can only believe that this represents a deliberate attempt to embarrass recipients/responders, a thousand people at a time.
Also, sending the 'petition' to the whitehouse when it reaches a given number of names (here, 1000 names are required) will inevitably result in more confusion than it would be helpful. Expect that each person forwards the email to 4 or 5 other concerned friends; the petition sign-up will result in tens of thousands of petitions with the same people signing up. Also, petitions are not legitimate without the full residential address. Just giving the town and state does not uniquely identify petitioners.
Finally, we should all be more considerate of our own and our friends' confidentiality. We don't want our names to be displayed across the internet, if only to protect ourselves from Identity Theft.
Please, for your sake and for mine, do NOT proliferate SPAM ... for this is what we see here.
I've just spent 5 minutes researching the subject and came up with links showing that the last time a bill even close to this one is at least three years old, and no current bill comes close enough to the 'warning' to be a definite match.
As concerned citizens, we need to be aware of current pending legislation; but signing 'email petitions' is not the way to respond to offensive bills.
Instead, if you would rally your friends and neighbors, do the research and ALWAYS include the bill number (and date, and applicable text to support your contention that the bill is odious.)
And then, do NOT add your name to a chain-letter. Write directly to your congress-critter. Or better yet, send a snail-mail letter, or phone their congressional office.
Whatever you do, don't send it to me!