Tuesday, August 06, 2019

BLOGGER, YouTube and the Second Amendment


The Internet is not as free today as it was last week.
Why?

Major Internet websites have decided to bowlderize their content by dissuading Second Amendment websites from publishing on their internet access mechanisms.

YouTube is tightening its restrictions for content about guns and now forbids videos about the selling and making of firearms, ammunition and accessories.The Google-owned video sharing site recently banned videos about how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly, such as bump stocks. The Justice Department recently took action to ban the devices that speed up the pace of gunfire and allow semi-automatic guns to fire at a rate that mimics a fully automatic firearm. 

I DON'T KNOW how you feel about this, but as far as I'm concerned this is the equivalent of denying individuals the right to exercise their first amendment rights on the most popular means of public expression on the internet.

It's not just about the second amendment, although that's the way it reads on the surface.

Instead, it's "This is MY Website and *_I_* get to decide what I allow you to say here!"

Oh, well, we can't argue with that.  Although, one would think that the most visible website in the WORLD would make an effort to remain neutral about the content it hosts.

Unfortunately, the consequence of this corporate decision is to equate the Constitutional rights of Americans (2nd amendment, remember that?)  as the equivalent of hard pornography.

So the "most visible" website in the world has now assumed the position of the "most powerful".

I'm pretty sure there's a "back story" to this decision, and I would love to learn what it is.
I'm equally certain that you and I will never learn about the discussions which lead to this corporate decision.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Second amendment ... why isn't it the FIRST Amendment?

Like many of you who read this spiel, I consider the Second Amendment (the right to "Keep and Bear Arms") to be one of the most important freedoms which are recognized by out Constitution.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
(You have no idea how awkward it was to find the actual text of the 2nd Amendment!)

Like many of you, I find it ... "awkward" ... to rely on a Constitutional Amendment to define our right to defend ourselves against armed predators.  

And more important, it seems that the right is so obvious, it doesn't seem necessary to include it in our Constitution.  

But sadly, there are so many people who think that the whole "GUNS ARE BAD" thingie should predominate American thought, we who depend upon our own willingness not to be predated upon (rather than expect "police" to protect us) ... we find ourselves in the minority.

As it happens, the First Amendment (freedom of speach, etc.) is PROTECTED by the Second Amendment ... the right to keep and bear arms.  

If we can speak our mind, and if some violent persons disagree with us ... we cam only counter violence with superior violence.  Witness the American Revolution, when England was our master and we revolted against a country which was stronger and as well-armed.  

Americans prevailed because they were armed, and willing to use those arms to support their cause of independence.

Today, America is the most powerful nation n the world, and we continue to support our independence through force of arms.  We don't have to fight our enemies, because the know that (A) our force of arms dominate the power of any other nation, and (B) our armed citizenry is well known for being feisty and aggressive against would-be aggressors.  


(And they can't afford a war against the richest nation.)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Damned if you do ...







https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-dems-formally-condemn-trumps-racist-remarks-floor-fight-pelosi
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday evening condemning President Trump's "racist" remarks this weekend -- although the moment was largely overshadowed by a dramatic floor fight earlier in the day that ended with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ruled out of order for a breach of decorum.

As far as it's obvious, the "Racist Remarks: were:

Trump had tweeted on Sunday that unnamed "Democrat Congresswomen" should go back and fix the "corrupt" and "crime infested places" from which they came and then "come back and show us how it's done." He later all but affirmed he was referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley -- all of whom, except Omar, were born in the United States.
Personally, I'm confused when I try to find the elements of "Racism" in this reference/.

The instigator of the boondogle seems to have been a female senator from California. (Democratic, of course), and it's difficult to find a state which is more mired in political boondoglery ... if we ignore New York (which I do daily).

The female representatives are connected with eastern states, which are often prone to Liberal interpretation of laws and regulations .. much like California.

Well, nobody is perfect.

My understanding is that the Trump comment referred to the states which the individual career politicians represented, rather than the nations and cultures of their ancestral origin. 
That sort-of shunts the emphasis from "we're offended because you denigrate our ancestry" to "we're offended because you represent the "OTHER" Political Party".

But that's too simple, and unlikely to provide fodder for the bottom-feeders of Ameica's most sensitive political party.


Trophy Hunting

Bambi Lives!

I once shot a chipmunk with a .22 pistol.
Not because I had felt threatened or because I was hungry, or because it was a "varmint" raiding a farmer's Alfalfa crop, but because I was young and bored and couldn't find any jackrabbits.

That statement is "full disclosure";  I've shot things I didn't need to shoot, and I regret it.

A recent Rant against "Trophy Hunting" included this:
 A couple photographed kissing next to a lion they have just killed while on safari has caused outrage.
...
But the pictures were widely condemned after being placed on the website of Legelela Safaris – a tour company which specialises in organising big game hunts.
... and :
Australian TV host Danny Clayton said: “More idiots that get their rocks off by pointing a boomstick at a beautiful animal."

(spelling irregularities in original copy)

V
V
V

Heat Wave

Be careful in the sun:  Seek shade, drink lots of water, and remember that perspiration is God's way of telling you that you're going to Hell!

In Viet Nam, (1969-1970)  ... three months into my tour.

We were assigned to "Firebase Security", my platoon and another, and we were assigned to a "cloverleaf patrol" outside Firebase "November 2" ..

"We" was Charley Company, 1/18th, First Infantry Division.  One hundred Infantrymen commanded by Captain Cagill and we were Third Platoon ("Third Herd") commanded by Lieutenant Smith ... known as "The Rutgers Ranger" ... he was a graduate of the ROTC program at Rutgers University.

Lieutenant Smith (all names are invented here) commanded First and Second platoons, I was senior NCO (E6/Staff Sergeant) of Third Platoon.   Fourth platoon did not exist .. manpower was short.  We had to use everyone we had, regardless of the risks.

I led the 30-man platoon, which we had split into two 2-squad elements; our company mission was to perform a day-light "cloverleaf" patrol around the four corners of the firebase to search for daylight infiltrators or any enemy positions.  Mostly, we were just showing the flag so Charley knew he couldn't sneak observers into the area of the firebase without being discovered.

In truth, it was a bullshit mission because the CO didn't want us to just sit behind the wire and get soft.

It was a delicate minuet we danced: Chi-Com Charley vs GI Joe.  We all  knew that November 2 guarded Hiway 15 (AKA "Thunder Road" as it was the most direct access to Saigon from the North .. where Charley ruled the High Ground and we guarded the road ... the easiest and fasted route to Saigon in the country.

Running a daylight patrol in the 130 degree tropical sun is not a softening exercise.  It had its own threats, including that Charley might have set up a few trip-wires to break up a (REALLY important) Night-time patrol.  It was one of Charley's favorite games.  He set up a daytime booby-trap  which would have attracted defensive fire at night in a quadrant which was NOT the planned access for a late-night    We HAD to patrol, every day, regardless of the high probability that some of our men would be unable to withstand the terrible heat and high humidity.

But Charley left a few routes "not mined".  If we could find where the traps were, we could figure out the routes which Charley was un likely to pour troups at us during the hours of darkenss; a pre-dawn raid was their favorite tacktic.

So .. yes!  Taking a patrol out in the heat of the day was risky because of the chance that American troups would be decimated by heat-stroke.  It was stupid to send troups on patrol in the heat of the day.

That's why we did it, and that's why we assumed the risk of the deadly noon-day sun.

And Charley's simple little trap worked, at least as far as it went.

All of our attention was on providing First Aid to a "wounded comrade", and our patrol never completed its assigned mission because of the need to (a) get our man the best medical attention immediately, and (b) get the rest of our men under cover.


(For what it's worth, we never found any mines, booby-traps, or other conditions which might have hazarded a night-time patrol .. so we patrolled the outside perimeter that night, too.)



What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a serious condition that occurs when our body’s temperature rises over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. It is usually the result of overexerting yourself in extreme heat and is an emergency. “With heat stroke, the body tries to lower its internal temperature by systematically shutting down organs to protect the heart and brain,” explains cardiologist Paula Montana De La Cadena, MD.
In a word .. "Heatstroke Will Kill You!" almost as fast as a bullet.  (Okay, more than one word.)

We all carried three to five canteens of water 

 I also carried a 5-gallon backpack of water, because when you're on a long patrol, the three or four or five canteens won't last anyone if the patrol is extended.  The weight was grueling at first, but we always took it slow and easy for the first day of the patrol.  When we stopped for the night, I refilled canteens from my back-pack.  It still wasn't as much as we wanted, but every man "hydrated" every time we stopped. Sometimes, more often.   My backpack was necessary because we typically didn't meet a "resupply" convoy more often than every 3 days (unless we were in contact .. when we sometimes needed ammunition resupply anyway);  and we always needed more food ... humping through the bush required a lot of calories, and the one thing that the Army was good at was supply!

It wasn't my choice to carry extra water because I was "noble"; I didn't walk as far as everyone else in the unit, but I always encouraged them to "hydrate" (drink water) at every stop ... even if it was only a sip from a canteen.  You are not your best judge of your need for water in a combat patrol; that's MY job, as Platoon Sergeant ... to look after your men.   I would send them out on short patrols to investigate the flanks of our line of match, and they would come back later having travelled two or three times as much ground as I had travelled.  They were our "Flankers", and our first line of defense.

These men were our most important members of any patrol.  I was nothing more than the guy who sent them off on dangerous missions ... and I was their Water Bearer.  They did the hard work; I sent them out as well-supplied as possible.  I knew I might not see them back for hours .. or alive.

After all these years, I have lost contact with the men I commanded, and also with their families (with whom I maintained an email relationship until they ceased to respond.

I am very proud of the men who allowed me to work with them in the most dangerous part of their lives.  Most of them came home again, and I talked with them.  Those who didn't come back "whole" left me with family contacts, and for a while .... but then it became more uncomfortable for them to talk to me, and i did not force myself and my memories upon them.

But I hope they know that I have not forgotten the brave men who fought with me.  A couple of whom I watched die, some of whom went elsewhere .. and the most of them just don't want to talk about Viet Nam any more.

I hope that this is the last time I'll talk about those awful days .... my brother-in-law accuses me of having "Loved It", but he avoided the draft (I wish I could have done so .. for m soul's sake) and i can't guarantee that I won't have more "War Stories" to get off my chest in the future.

The truth is, it's helpful for me to talk about The Bad Old Days.

Fighting in an undeclared war against an enemy who had never constituted a direct threat ....
against me, my country or my family, is not my "Bravest Moment". ... I wish I had never been involved.  Why couldn't they just let me be?  But NO .. they drafted me and (GOD help me) I did my best to be the most fierce warrior possible.

It's late nights such as this one, when I wonder if I should have just renounced my American citizenship and moved to Canada.

But that would have been an act of cowardice, I think, and I should always wonder whether I had renounced my American Citizenship out of moral outrage, or fear of death in war..

In the end, I did not have the moral courage to refuse the draft. 
What would my children think of me then?

No, I did what I thought was the lesser of evils .. I "served my country" to the best of my ability, and for a cause that I did not espouse .... because it IS My Country.

No Mission Too Difficult;
No Sacrifice Too Great!
Duty First!

That's the motto of the First Infantry Division.




Monday, July 15, 2019

How many witches does it take to constitute a coven?

Apparently, within the Democratic party, the coven-quorum number is four:

Progressive lawmaker responds to President Trump's tweets.
In spirited remarks tinged with open animosity, (1) Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., standing side-by-side with Reps. (2) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,(3) Ayanna Pressley and (4) Dashiki Tlaib, declared at a news conference Monday on Capitol Hill that "it is time for us to impeach this president" for "openly violating" his constitutional oath.
Well, that seems fair.   After all, the Republicans wanted to impeach President Clinton for (essentially) Moral Turpitude and Being A Democrat.

At least the Democrats learned that an impeachment movement needs something a little more "political" than a BJ in the West Wing.

Unfortunately, the Dems have just delivered the moral equivalent (although not in the West Wing) with the Progressive Movement to impeach Trump for "being Presidential".

As nearly as anyone who isn't a radical leftist can guess, the reason for the current impeachment movement us because  "... he's a Racist ..."!!!

(Oh, and he also made some unkind remarks about people he has never met.)(Also, he hurt their feelings.)
Most importantly, the Democrats are attempting to impeach Donald Trump for not being a Democrat

This political strategy has apparently been attempted only twice in American history (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton) ... neither time successfully:impeached-3368130
There are only two impeached presidents in United States history, meaning only two presidents have been charged by the House of Representatives with committing "high crimes and misdemeanors."." Neither of the two impeached presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were convicted by the Senate. In fact, there has never been a president removed from office using the impeachment process.
(emphasis added)

Well, then there was John Tyler.  But he wasn't sufficiently colorful to show up in a quick internet search.   And Andrew Johnson.  (You can look them up yourself.)

Essentially, being impeached includes being accused, not being convicted of a charge which might ultimately resulted in the removal of a sitting president from office.   Yeah, like THAT'S gonna happen!  If they couldn't kick Nixon out, EVERYBODY is safe!

  (Oh!  Wait a minute ..... never mind.)

My guess is that Donald  Trump might be secretly pleased by any kind of impeachment proceedings against him.  He's a Glory Hound, and obviously loves the attention. 

BUT GETTING BACK TO THE MAIN THEME ... it takes only the accusation of a sitting member of congress (or two or three ... who knows?) to mount impeachable accusations against a current office holder.

It works out quite well for every one:

-- the accusers get their names in the newspapers (Headline Hogs)
.. the accused suddenly seems "colorful" to the Hoi Poloi.

In Trump's case, that's worth a good twelve to fourteen points in next week's Gallop Polls!

(Unless you're Richard Nixon)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

KaBOOM in School

A teacher brought a gun to school to "teach" his students about safe gun handling.  Unfortunately, he served as a good example of a bad example.

He pulled the trigger, and the gun went "BOOM!" 
My oh my, what a wonderful lesson plan!  And reportedly, three students were wounded.

Even total incompetents can teach a lesson.  Unfortunately, it's not always the best approach.   (See Below for link)

THESIS:  The teacher probably thought the was a "competent" gun owner

ANTH-THEIS: he was a total incompetent.

The guy probably thought he was qualified to teach "Gun Safety".  Obviously, he was not.

Chances approach 100 percent that he did NOT notify the school board about his lesson plan ... and he would probably be denied permission to bring a fully functional firearm into a school.

We would be interested to learn what background training he had received, or experience he had, to convince himself that he was an 'expert' in safe firearms training.  Our guess is that the answer to either question would not be acceptable.

Thankfully, he kept the muzzle pointed in a (relatively) "safe" direction and apparently nobody was wounded in this horrible boondoggle.

A High School Teacher's Gun Went Off During a Gun Safety Lesson - VICE: A day before thousands of students marched out of their classrooms to rally for gun control after 17 people died at a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a teacher in California brought a firearm to school for a lesson about gun safety, CNN affiliate KSBW reports. Dennis Alexander, who also serves as a reserve police officer, was in the middle of teaching students at Seaside High School how to disarm a gunman when he accidentally wound up firing a shot, wounding three kids.
(He fired one shot, and wounded three kids?  Where was his muzzle pointing???_

The event serves only to reinforce two sad assumptions:

(1) There is no such thing as a "Safe Gun"
(2) There is no such thing as a "Gun Expert".

This teacher served only to emphasize the increasingly negative opinion of firearms owners, and to undermine the concept that "armed school employees may make schools safer from predators".

GUNS don't "go off" without humans touching them.

And Teachers are subject to error

UNFORTUNATELY ... this individual lapse in judgement may lead to a reinforcement in anti-gunners' hypothesis that firearms ownership should be subject to intense training and governmental restrictions before a LICENSE to possess a firearm is ALLOWED by some board of review ... and consequently may be denied under regulations which anti-gun people are just itching to impose on the Second Amendment.

I cannot think of any situation which might be more antithetical to the Second Amendment.

No word on the extent of the wounds incurred on the "wounded three kids" ... I'll try to research how one shot wounded three children (although I have small expectation of determining the bullet path).

I'm looking forward to news reports which detail the "Three Students Were Wounded".   Considering that the bullet apparently impacted the ceiling of the room, I suspect that the "wounds" were minor damage caused by ceiling debris falling upon them and were minor in nature. 

But I'm not prepared to argue the presumption without further information from people who were "on the scent" and are qualified to provide detail information about the wounds.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

People often say ... "Why Do You Need A gun?"

Nobody really "needs" a gun!

Actually .. nobody really "Needs" a gun ... Until they really need it!
(Criminals .. subconsciously provide Society a service in their ineptitude; they prove the concept that everybody needs to provide for their own defense!)

Witness this incident where they attempt to attack an Armed Citizen in his home ... and are foiled by an A Man With A Gun


Kentucky homeowner shoots at intruders: WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (CNN Newsource) - A violent home invasion was caught on camera when four men burst through the door of a home in Kentucky, but they soon discovered the man inside was already armed. The home security cameras caught what happened next.
The consequences of this foiled "Home Invasion" was, of course, that the armed home-owner was able to interrupt their plans by the simple display of a firearm.

It's "axiomatic" that the Left should encourage the concept that "nobody needs a gun".

Perhaps the graphic evidence that a man with a gun was able to thwart the expectations of people who are bold enough to rob an occupied residence ... suggests that the Second Amendment is still pertinent.


"When seconds are important, the police are only hours away."

Anyone who expects the police to protect them from immediate threats by criminals, is naive.  At best.  Stupid .. at worse, because when you really need a gun, the police are  minutes away.

(Their only duty is to clean up the mess when your wife and daughter have been killed because you couldn't protect them.   Sorry if I seem overly critical, but they are not charged to "Protect You", regardless of the motto  their car.)

There is no police force in the nation which accepts the responsibility to protect you from casual violence; the best they can do is to collect evidence and hope to find murderers "after the fact"; they are not liable to civil suit for their failure to protect you, irregardless of their common motto   "To Protect ... And To Serve".


Yes, I've said almost all of this before.  You need to be aware that there is NOBODY who is going to protect you.

You need to protect yourself ... and your family, and your home.

If you are not armed in your home, you need to buy a gun and learn how to use it responsibly.

Wikipedia suggests that there is approximately one gun per home in America.


(Actually https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_ownership )
393 million guns for 326 citizens
Does this sound like "Too Much"?

I don't think so.  I own a couple of dozen guns myself, and every one has a different purpose .. for varying criteria of competition, and also home defence.

 (There are  different needs for "home Defense" versus "Personal Defense".
For example, I need concealability for Personal Defense, but I need high-round capacity for Home Defense.  And I also shoot "competitively", which has an entirely different requirement for Match Meets.
Don't even ask me about "hunting",)
For people who have no experience with firearms, all of these  variants seem obvious:  "Why Do You Need So Many bullets?" for self-defense.

The answer is equally obvious; you never know how many bullets you will need in a self-defence situation.'

For those who would assign an arbitrary number of bullets allowable to a gun, I suggest that they don't know what they are talking about; for each specific situation where an armed citizen needs to defend him/herself, a number of rounds fired versus the number of rounds needed to reduce the threat, may vary.

Most people aren't currently proficient with their firearm.  Which means they haven't gone to The Range to practice.   BAD PEOPLE!

( I haven't been to the range in a month, so I'm no better than the people I talk about!)

Having the experience of armed combat (Viet Nam, 1968 - 1970) I know that the number of rounds  expended versus the threats eliminated are ... phenomenal.

When you're being fired upon, the rounds expended toward a specific threat are often more intended to threaten the aggressor (keep their heads downthan to actually kill them; essential, you shoot to threaten your opponent more than to fulfill the expectation that you will kill them before they can kill you.

It's called: "incoming Fire Suppression", and it has been the  primary tactical philosophy of American troops for a half of a century. 

(Not that it has not been essentially effective; just "making a Loud Noise" and "Returning Fire" has been the most effective tactic of American Infantry for decades; it gives our Infantry something to do, and sometimes actually does succeed in suppressing enemy fire ... if only because they like to see us waste ammunition!)

It's usually better to drive away the guy who wants you to die NOW, than to hit him!
Which leads us to the concept of "Defensive Fire"; which is best defined as "whatever it takes to not get shot, as long as it keeps him from shooting at you ... rather than to shoot the other guy".
Why?

Paperwork.

Psoriasis

I recently ran across a blog article in which the author complained about suffering from Psoriasis.

This is a skin ailment which is typified by open sores, itching and burning, and often pustules.   Nobody seems to know where it comes from, or whether it can be transmitted from one person to another.  Nobody knows where it comes from, nobody knows where it goes.  Nobody knows why it happens.

I've suffered from this for years ... literally ... and I finally found a treatment which has been effective for me.   Perhaps not to "cure" it, but at least how to "control" it .. to the point where it might seem to lapse into a non-active skin affliction.

I don't know hoe to stop it, but I've found ways to ameliorate the symptoms (pustules, open sores, etc.)

If this is your primary medical issue, please note that the frequent (regular) application of MS217 (a 3% coal tar based formula) in shampoo form has proven effective in my specific case.  It's a "medicated conditioning shampoo", which I have found effective in topical application in my daily shower.

My problem was that I not only had scaling and itching on my scalp, but I also had experienced pustules on my hands and fingers.  (I know, it's disgusting to even talk about.)

Once I began to use this topical ointment during my daily shower, massaging it in my hair ... it also eventually eliminated the pustules on my hands.

This is not the kind of topic which people commonly discuss online ... but when you have this dermal issue it quickly becomes the most important issue in your life.  Well .. not always, but for people who don't face life-threatening issues on a daily basis, it eventually becomes the issue with which you must deal "daily".

No, I'm not being paid for my comments; I don't care about the sales figures for a non-pharmaceutical topical treatment.  I only know how very debilitating it can be when your skin turns into pustular sores and you can't even comb your hair without wincing.

It's a rare disease, and most people are blessed by having lesser issues (such as "dandruff") to deal with.  It doesn't begin to challenge diabetes, beri-beri, and other diseases which are directly associated with life-threatening conditions.

All I can say is that I'm delighted to finally have found a cure treatemt for a disease which is annoying, humiliating (premature balding), and quite uncomfortable.

Ninety-nine percent of readers will have no idea what I'm talking about, and will dismiss it as .. well, NIMBY  (Not In My Back Yard).

But for the one percent of people who MIGHT do an Internet search and find this article .. I hope that they will try it out; it may not work for you, but I'm so relieved that this is not my most common daily concern (I THINK I've finally cured myself, but I'll keep on with weekly treatments)  ... I can only point my fellow sufferers of a painful and debilitating disease to what may be a cure.

(that link may be important to you if you suffer from this disease)

NOTE:  Not sure:  I will continue to treat my scalp on a regular basis.  I don't know if I'm actually "cured", or if the treatments only alleviate the progress of the disease.


But whatever happens, just a simple relief from the symptoms of scalp disease may be ... if not a cure .., at least a way to alleviate the most discomfortable symptoms of this annoying disease.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, physical contact with sufferers is not the primary source of scalp disease.