Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thieves sell YOUR account numbers on underground black markets

Debit and credit cards stolen in Target breach reportedly for sale in underground black markets | Fox News:
Credit and debit card accounts stolen during a security breach involving retailer Target have reportedly flooded underground black markets, going on sale in batches of one million cards.
The cards are being sold from around $20 to more than $100 each, KrebsOnSecurity reports. The security news site said it spoke to a fraud analyst at a major bank who said his team was able to buy a portion of the bank’s accounts from an online store advertised in cybercrime forums as a place where thieves can buy stolen cards.
The analyst was not identified, but said the purchase was made before Target admitted Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.
(We first reported this here on December 19, 2014)

Fortunately, I don't do my Christmas shopping at Target.

No, that's misleading ... I don't do Christmas shopping at all.  I'm less prudent than I am a curmudgeon, but apparently it's an Unexpected Consequence (or benefit?) of Curmudgeonlihood!

CHASE bank responded by putting temporary "restrictions" on the 10% of their accounts which may have been affected.  About 2 million of them, apparently. 

As expected, Target customers had trouble reaching the national chain's call center.  Many refused to shop at Target stores.  It's obvious that as much as it affected consumers, it affected the chain's profitability even more.  During this, the most frantic shopping period of the year, that could sound the death knell for Target.

My opinion, not fact ... but Watch This Space.

Personally, I tend to use debit cards rather than debit cards for purchases.  I don't keep enough in my bank account to cause fiscal ruin if I'm hacked.

On the other hand, my single credit card account does have protection plans.

Last year I reported that my credit card had been hacked.  Some $1500 had been used for what seemed to be "charitable contributions"   (presumably accounts set up by the hackers to accept stolen funds).  When I noticed the charges the day after they occurred, I notified my Credit Card Vendor and they cancelled the account, deleted the charges, and sent me a new credit card.  It was upsetting, and inconvenient ... but didn't cost me a penny after I reported and challenged the charges.

Unfortunately, not all bank debit cards offer the same kind of protection.

TARGET was responsible in reporting the problem immediately after they discovered the deception, and they are presumably taking steps to prevent its recurrance.

On Friday, Target reiterated that the stolen data included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip found on the backs of cards, Target said.
There was no indication the three- or four-digit security numbers visible on the back of the card were affected, Target said. It also said Friday there was no indication that the stolen data included a customer's birth date or social security number. The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said.
Target also said it didn't believe that PIN numbers to customers' debit cards have been compromised.
 That's a single ray of hope for consumers whose card numbers have been compromised.

My credit card company offers a 'notification service'; when they see a charge which does not seem to match their customers' normal shopping patterns ... they hold the transaction and contact me personally to confirm that the transaction is legitimate.  That's a responsible way to manage an account, if you're a credit card company.  So far, all of the transactions which they have notified me about have been legitimate.  I can only assume that the two "bogus" transactions had not yet tripped their BS-ometer before it tripped mine.  (Considering that the two charges totaled over $1,200, it's a good argument for credit card holders to regularly monitor their own account!)

And yes, I did check my credit card account ... my only charges since my last payment are only purchases which I recognize.

Can you say the same about your own credit account?  May I suggest that you check it ..... now?


Protective Eyeware

Seattle girl escapes serious injury when bullet hits glasses - U.S. News:
By Jonathan Kaminsky, Reuters

A teenage girl avoided serious injury when her glasses deflected a bullet fired during a drive-by shooting at her Seattle home, police said on Sunday. 
The 16-year-old girl was asleep on her living room couch at about 9:40 p.m. local time on Saturday when shots were fired from a dark-colored sedan as it passed her house, Seattle police spokesman Detective Mark Jamieson said. Several bullets went through the walls of the house and one through the front window, Jamieson said. 
One of the bullets struck the bridge of the teen's glasses, Jamieson said. She suffered only minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital, he added.
 People sometimes question what KIND of protective eyeware is appropriate when on the range.  As the accompanying article illustrates, ANYTHING is better than nothing.

Certainly, they should be impact-resistant. That's the first criteria for choosing safety glasses which are appropriate for wear on a shooting range.   Of course, any brittle material is limited to the amount of resistance they can provide, which is why Polychromate* POLYCARBONATE materials are among the first choices for shooters who want to protect their eyes from injury.

Yes, they should be shatterproof, too.  You don't want shards of glass poking out of your eyeball when the integrity of the lenses is interrupted by impact, either by a bullet or rocks from the berm or even a piece of brass as ejected from the breach of a semi-automatic pistol.  That's why Polycarbonate materials are preferable to, say "tempered glass".  They're made of plastic, which means "bendable".  So, even though they may dent or bend or even break, they are less likely than glass to actually shatter.

Finally, they should protect the eyes from impact from the sides, not just from the front. Ricochets may come from any direction, so if you can see the source of the object, that object may hit your eye.  This makes it important to you to choose frames which continue this protection in directions other than straight ahead.  Wrap-around frames (such as Smith&Wesson "38 special" offers) allow not only heavy frames, but the lenses also wrap around so that you retain peripheral vision.
Other considerations are price (the S&W example costs less that $12 .. they're affordable), protection from sun, glare, reflection and UV (many polycarbonate lenses are available in a variety of coatings), and style.

Also, some of us have vision problems such as astigmatism near-sightedness and far-sightedness.  Opticians have become increasingly aware of these concerns, so it is possible that your own optician can offer you prescription glasses using "safety glass" materials.

If that's not your first choice, there are also glasses which are made to allow you to grind lenses to your prescription and insert them into frames which are designed to accept inserted lenses ... or "RX INSERTS".   These are usually heavier frames, sometimes "goggles" and may not suit your sense of style.  However, they do allow a combination of materials and vision which are not readily available from other options at a price which fits your budget.

You may have noticed that STYLE is not the first criteria here.   Well, styles change, and if you want to spend the money you can get STYLISH safety glasses which meet all your needs and your "wants", too.   However, not everyone can readily afford to spend extra money for style when their primary need is safety.

Also, your vision requirements may change as well, which means that every time you have to order a new prescription, you have to spend a lot to replace your old glasses.

As an example, I offer my own changing visual requirements.

I am "far sighted", which means I can see just fine past about five feet but about 20 years ago my eyes changed so much that I need special lenses in order to read comfortably.  Ten years ago, I could no longer get a clear image of my front sight, even when my arms were fully extended.  That was when I had to change from sunglasses to bifocals.  I can see the front sight clearly through the lower half of the lenses, and the target is only slightly blurred at distances far enough that it matters. I can see the targets clearly through the upper half of the lenses.  I have the option of choosing to use the lower lenses for far targets, or the upper lenses for the near targets, so I've learned to just tilt my head to get the best compromise .. a perfect sight picture, or 'good enough for close work'.

I shoot right-handed, but I am left-eye dominant.  I've learned to handle that but it makes the choice of which lens of which EYE to use in sighting ... again, based on distance.

Now, my vision is again changing.  Vision in my dominant left eye has changed to the point where now my RIGHT eye is dominant!   I had to change my prescription and order a new set of glasses .. at $480 for the set.

My glasses are NOT strictly speaking, made of "Polycarbonate".  Instead, they are "Trivex".

Click the link for specific comparison of "Polycarbonate" vs "Trivex" lenses, but for a quick summary:
Trivex thicker, but lighter, so provides more protection for less overall weight; provide "crisper" optics, both 'central' and 'peripheral';  usually more expensive; comparable impact resistance and coatings (eg: UV protection).  Also, Polycarbonate lenses are available in a "wider variety of ... progressive lenses and multifocals".

On the other hand, my bifocals works work just fine for me.  Given that I hate wearing glasses ... but "need" to ... it was my choice to go for the more expensive lenses so that I didn't have to buy one pair of glasses for shooting, and another pair of glasses for my daily wear.  I have comfort day-by-day, and I don't have to compensate/compromise comfort for safety when I go shooting.  Yes, it costs more, but when I'm shooting I am wearing EXACTLY the same glasses I wear every day, so I'm not distracted from my accuracy by looking through lenses which are uncomfortable or unfamiliar.

Your choice may not be the same, and that's fine.  If we were not individualists, we would probably not be shooting IPSC matches as often as we can .. or can afford to .. or can find materials to reload our ammunition.

But that's a topic for another discussion.



A final word.

I often use the terms POLYCHROMATE and POLYCARBONATE interchangeably.  That's wrong.


n.1.(Chem.) A salt of a polychromic acid.

1.(Chem.) A compound which exhibits, or from which may be prepared, a variety of colors, as certain solutions derived from vegetables, which display colors by fluorescence

Any of a class of thermoplastics characterized by high-impact strength, light weight, and flexibility, and used as shatter-resistant substitutes for glass.

If you, like me, are sometimes confused by the similarity of compound words ... the word we're looking for here is POLYCARBONATE!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Merry Christmas Day

Kids Lip-Syncing A Wonderful Christmas Song:
Kids stealing the show, literally, with a so cute lip-sync routine for the holidays. The boy who does bass really gets into it! This was of the many fantastic songs performed during the annual "Living Christmas Tree" performance at the Florence Baptist Temple in Florence, South Carolina. A gospel quartet's van broke down nearby and the quartet took to the stage with this hilarious performance. Be sure to share so you to can "spread joy" to others.

Oh my, we are getting into the Christmas Spirit now.

As is often the case the Hat-Tip goes to The G-man, who somehow manages to find the most interesting videos on the Internet.

I, on the other hand, don't promise to NOT get all grouchy before the holidays are over.  I can only hope that you can enjoy THIS, and recognize that even though I'm probably going to be ranting about things like all-lead bullets being banned nationwide .... it IS The Season To Be Jolly.

Ho.  Ho. Ho.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Definition of the term "Selfie"

Barack Obama Caught Taking a Selfie at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial | OK! Magazine:

Eeek. It’s already an entry for that tumblr, Selfies at Funerals. Obama was photographed taking his own photograph with none other than British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. They were in attendance at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg at the time, at which Obama gave a speech. Probably not the best time, guys?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Target customer? Watch your wallet!

Millions of Target customers' credit, debit card accounts may be hit by data breach

(December 19, 2013 ... CNBC)

Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts used by Target customers may have been impacted by a major data breach, the retailer said Thursday.
Customer names and credit or debit card numbers are involved in the breach—along with the expiration date and three-digit CVV security code of each card, the store said.
Shoppers who made purchases at their stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 were urged to check their debit and credit card accounts and report suspected unauthorized activity to the firm.

"And I heard him exclaim, as he rode out of sight,
Merry Christmas to All, and to All a good Night!"

This comes as no great surprise to me, and it probably doesn't surprise you, either. Need I point out that November 27 was the day before Thanksgiving?  The thieves cleverly timed their incursion through the Thanksgiving/Black Friday and then (supposedly) kept the good times rolling until the Retail Monster of America caught the hack.

Not to sound as if I approve of what may turn out to be a mega-million dollar White Collar Crime, but one can't help but admire their timing and their expertise.

Give me a moment here.

Okay, I think I've recovered my equilibrium.

We don't know who did this .. one person or a Russian Mobster Conspiracy?  Was it the bunch of idiots who send me Nigerian letters on a weekly basis?  At this point, it doesn't matter.  For the sake of convenience, let's call him/her/them "The Grinch(s) Who Stole Christmas".

Ignoring for the moment the financial disasters that the Grinch(s) have imposed upon thousands of American consumers, we might consider that Christmas has been transformed into a mercantile moment in the last half of this century...or longer.  It is no longer a time for Christians to reflect upon the Advent of Jesus Christ, but a time when we feel obligated to spend our childrens' inheritance in order to provide presents.  Most of those presents may not even be what they want, but only what we can think of to give them.

I have no idea what to give a pair of five-year old boys, for example.  Or 8 or ten year old boys, or ten or 13 year old girls!  I'm (mumble mumble) year old, and while I'm clueless I know that it's not enough to tuck money into an envelope and tell them to buy their own darn toys!  Yet, that's probably what I'll end up doing ... if only to avoid the crowd of last-minute shoppers.

Now I have another reason to avoid shopping:  How am I suppose to protect myself from Identity Theft in this turmoil?
As for the "financial disasters", I find I'm changing my opinion even as I type.

At least I have a good excuse for avoiding chain stores between now and Christmas,

Yeah ... that "money in an envelope" thingie is starting to sound a lot better.

"Here, Kid.    Buy your own darn toy!"

I mean:

Much Beloved Child,  please accept this gift of cash money.  I'll take you to the store, and together we can pick out something that you REALLY want!

Works for me.

(Hint: five dollars seems more substantial, when it's all in quarters.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

24/7/365 Porch Light

About six years (2007?), some 25-watt congress-critter decided that incandescent light bulbs were WA-a-a-a-a-y too twentieth-century and we should all use "Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs"  (CFL) to light our home.   Never mind that they contain Mercury and, if we break one, we should call in a Federal Agency to sweep up the debris (never happen!); they're energy efficient, and this is what we should be doing to Save The Environment!

No, I never understood this either.

But I decided to give it a try.

I went to my local hardware store and bought a "60-watt equivalent" CFL  My front porch light had burned out, as happens about annually, so I decided that even thought the Politically Correct Lightbulb (PCL) was more expensive, I would give it a try.

See ... there aren't a lot of streetlights on my home-town cul-de-sac, and there's this trick step up to my front door.  It's particularly tricky if I or my guests have had a couple of adult beverages before they come to my door.  So I leave my front porch light on all day, all night.  Every day.  Every night.  I never turn it off ... that's when light bulbs go BLOOEY, y'know, when you turn them on.

So I leave it on all the time.

I figured it would last about a year, and then I would replace it with one of the incandescent bulbs I bought in case-lots a while ago and have been hording ever since.

A year later, it was still burning.

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2013 ... every time I step in or out the door, that damned light is still burning.  I'm beginning to like this!

I got tired of replacing my hallway light in 2009, so I bought another 60 watt Politically Correct Bulb and plugged it in.  I live in a "town-house duplex", which means my hallway light illuminates my stairwell.  It has been burning 12 hours a day or so, on the average, for four years.

Then In 2010 I got tired of replacing the front room light.  Yep, another PCL.  In 2011, I put a PCL in my Hell Room (the spare bedroom upstairs where the computer is).

I still insisted on two 100-watt Incandescent lights over the mirror in my upstairs bathroom, but they burned out every six  month and they're a pain to replace.  The light is kind of funny up there now, but I've grown accustomed to not looking to close when I shave in the morning anyway, and it's a good excuse for the unnatural greyish tint to my hair when I DO look too close.

This morning I opened my front door at 5am, to take the trash to the curb for my weakly garbage collector.  It was dark out there!

I'm not accustomed to dark at my door, so I got a flashlight to see what was wrong, and ... the light bulb was missing.

Somebody stole my freakin' light bulb!

I don't know if someone decided they needed a light bulb more than I do, or if one of my neighbors grew annoyed at having the lights always on at Chez Geek.

One thing's for sure;  I need not worry about disposal of a burned out CFL/PCL.   Apparently all I have to do is leave something lying around and someone will steal it.  Disposal is THEIR problem, now!

My reaction was just to go to my cupboard an pick out another 60 watt (equivalent) CFL and screw it into the front porch light socket.

Yes, I'm still hoarding Incandescent bulbs.  But I now buy CFLs by the six-pack .... about once a year.  They DO last longer, and as such they cost less to buy.  (I bought this six-pack over a year ago, and I still have four bulbs left!)

As for the low-down bottom-dwelling scum-sucker who stole my porch light?

I really hope it was someone who was annoyed by my 24/7/365 porch light.  Because however much the bulbs cost, it's worth it if I annoy my neighbors ... especially the couple next door with the whining dog who starts yapping and howling at 9am every morning when they leave for work!

I may be old and crotchety, and I'm definitely petty ... but I ain't cheap.

Monday, December 16, 2013

3D Plastic Guns Printer .. damn, they're illegal!

On November 9, 2013, we explored the legal ramifications of plastic guns created by the new 3D imprinting technology.  I mentioned at the time that I was looking forward to the turmoil when The Federal Government scrambles to find away to combat this menace to civilization.

It didn't take long, according to this BLAZE article from December 11, 2013:

With a group hoping to promote “popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution” by developing a working design for a 3-D printable gun, a Democratic congressman has called for the renewal of legislation that would ban plastic guns. But would it really put a stop to the 3-D printed gun project?
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) late last week issued an announcement for legislation that would renew the ban of plastic guns under the Undetectable Firearms Act, which will expire December 2013.
“Congress passed a law banning plastic guns for two decades, when they were just a movie fantasy,” Israel said in a statement. “With the advent of 3-D printers these guns are suddenly a real possibility, but the law Congress passed is set to expire next year. We should act now to give law enforcement authorities the power to stop the development of these weapons before they are as easy to come by as a Google search.”

The "public outrage' which led to fast action by Congress might have been fueled by this article from Think Progress ... a progressive tranzie website which has long been opposed to anything which allows the individual to duck the Nanny State rule over their lives and their Constitutional freedoms:

November 14, 2013

Only Law That’s Standing In Way Of Completely Legal Undetectable Guns Is About To Expire

On December 9, a law banning firearms that can go unnoticed by a metal detector is set to expire. Since 1988, the Undetectable Firearms Act has banned undetectable guns, which can be made from plastic through 3D printers.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) have introduced legislation that expands the undetectable firearms law to ban 3D-printed guns, require guns to be recognizable as guns, and them to contain significant metal. “The expiration of this law, combined with advances in 3D printing, make what was once a hypothetical threat into a terrifying reality,” Schumer said, according to the Associated Press. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced his own version in the House to renew the law. Still, the urgency of the issue does not mean Congress will take up the bills in its remaining days.
Even the soon-to-expire law contains a major loophole that permits plastic guns as long as they have a small metal piece that could be easily removed. One widespread model, the Liberator, uses a nail so small that it would not be picked up by metal detectors. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently tested the model, only to find that “the .380 bullets fired from the Liberator penetrate sufficiently to reach vital organs and perforate the skull.”
Let's think about this.

  • Democrats from New York (aka:Chuck Schumer, who has had much to say about the Second Amendment over the past few decades ... and none of it supportive);
  • Transnational Progressive wetsites;
  • A President who only offers the hope that if he says "If you like your plastic gun, you can keep your plastic gun" we at least KNOW he's lying to us.  Again.  Just like when he said "We aren't going to take your guns away from you".

I'm so fed up with this two-party system, which consists of The Progressive Trans-Nationalists, and The Stupid Party.  Why can't Republicans find a sane, electable Presidential candidate who is a true conservative?

Oh, by the way, you probably cannot produce a workable firearm in your home using a "$2,000 3D printer".

Saturday, December 14, 2013

▶ Jack & The Pushpins

▶ Jack & The Pushpins - YouTube:

From my daughter:
This is Jacks favorite band. They always let him join them on stage to dance and play the Maracas.

My Grandson, Jack Ryan ... who says White Boys Can't Jump?

Saturday, December 07, 2013

FNG and the Hasty Ambush

It was a sunny spring day in Vietnam, 1970, and we had spent the afternoon doing "A Walk In The Sun".  Just ambling along, not being particularly aggressive, patrolling our AOR (Area Of Responsibility).

We hadn't any recent news from other platoons in our Company that they had contact with VC, and we were all enjoying the sunshine after months of Monsoon weather.  

So the sun was still up when we stopped our patrol for the night.

The drill was, we got up early in the morning, wandered through the "jungle" which was in this area mostly bamboo thickets, high-grass fields, and the surrounding alder thickets.  If you didn't run across an adder or an eight-inch centipede or a booby-trap or a VC patrol, and you had plenty of water and your socks weren't wet, we considered it "A Walk In The Sun".

We were a little uncomfortable with the day because only a week ago we had lost Bruce, and "The Chief" had been wounded by a booby trap.  The memorial ceremony for Bruce was tough on us.  He was walking "Pace" and The Chief was walking "Point", when Chief caught a trip wire which was connected to a couple of hand-grenades, and .. well, the Chief was in the hospital with shrapnel wounds in his back, and Bruce was coming up on the buried grenades when they went off.

But that's another story.

Enough to say that we were down a couple of men, and we were trying to deal with their loss (Chief came back to the platoon after he got out of the hospital, and the memorial ceremony for Bruce was .. weepy).  In the meantime we had a replacement from the REPL-DEPOT ... Division Replacement company.  We weren't quite sure how to fit him into the company, so the LT had given him to the two squads I was leading on this particular patrol.

At the end of this day, we were tired from a long hike and I decided to take advantage of what was a beautiful, pastoral setting.  Surrounded by thin trees, the high grass offered concealment and with the onset of sundown we expected to have only another twenty or thirty minutes of daylight before we could relax in the concealing comfort of the night.

We had set up Claymore Mines (Command Detonated, directional bombs which projected 700 .30 caliber steel ball-bearings in the direction in which they were aimed) and had established a watch-list.  In the meantime, we were doing our pooping and peeing, eating C-rations, laying out Ponchos and Poncho Liners as our "beds" in the soft Spring grass, and generally getting ready for a night of "Hold Your Ass 'Til Daylight".

That was how we described camping out in an alder thicket where we knew that VC might possibly travel through.  Think "Platoon", where Charlie Sheen sits and watches a VC patrol walk past him while everyone else is asleep.  My favorite nightmare, and I was happy that I never actually had that happen.

What DID happen, was that just as we were getting settled in we spotted a 5-man patrol of VC walking by on the trail which we had chosen to 'ambush' that night.  A trail that we had been paralleling for the past few hours.

I made signals to the squad to hunker down and get ready, but the FNG  (F**king New Guy) was up on his feet wandering around, smoking a cigarette and trying to get acquainted with the rest of the half-platoon members.  When everyone was saying "Shhhhhh!", he was saying "WTF?"  He hadn't yet learned Situational Awareness, and when we were trying to get him to lie down in the tall grass so we could avoid been seen and shot up by the passing VC, he thought we were being rude to him because he was .. well, the FNG.

I was positioned, as always, by the initiators .. or "Clackers" as we called them .. which controlled the Claymores.  Each clacker was arranged in a circle, so I knew which clacker would detonate which Claymore.  I had clackers for the two Claymores which were pointed at that arc of the trail which the VC patrol was traversing, but I couldn't trigger them because the FNG was still standing up and arguing with all the guys who were saying "SHHHhhhh!" and making frantic hand-motion for him to lay down!

Understand, if you will, that while Claymores are directional, they are encased in a plastic body.  And with a pound and a quarter of Composition Four Plastic Explosive, the back-blast can be quite powerful .. and will blast small plastic particles back toward the party which sets them off.

That "party" was US, and especially the FNG who would rather argue than obey commands from his Platoon Sergeant.

It took a few seconds for the FNG to notice that he was the center of attention, and then he turned around and looked where we were pointing ... at the VC.

The VC had spotted him, and were starting to point their AK-47's in our general direction, so I blew the mines.  I had no choice; they were ready to shoot and all we had in the few seconds since we had spotted them were the clackers in my hands.  And the FNG was standing between the Claymores (and the VC), and the rest of is.

KaBOOOOOM!  Both of the Claymores went off.  The VC went running away and we never saw them again.  All I can say is that they got out of the Forward Kill Zone of the Claymore Mines before they were detonated.

The FNG, however, did not escape the back-blast.


When the smoke had cleared, and we determined that the VC had escaped without injury (due to the delay in initiating the "Hasty Ambush"), all we were left with was a wide swath of close-mown grass and a bleeding FNG.

A moment of silence, and then the FNG was back on his feet.  He looked at the bloody gash in his pants and starting screaming "WHAT THE F**K DID YOU DO THAT FOR?  YOU ALMOST KILLED ME!  LOOK, ANOTHER INCH AND YOU WOULD HAVE BLOWN MY BALLS OFF, YOU BASTARD!"

It hadn't yet occurred to him that he was perhaps the luckiest man in the Army.  He had caught just one fragment of the plastic Claymore case, and it hit his upper thigh just a few inches from .... yes ... his Family Jewels.

There was a little blood, a lot of pain, and it took only a few minutes for us to clean the wound and put a band-aid on it.

He should have been dead.  In fact, his squad leader later told him "I almost killed you myself, you sorry bastard, for standing up and giving us away to the VC!".

In the end, the VC got away probably a lot less damaged than our FNG.  HE never forgave me for almost blowing his balls off, and I never forgave him for being such a clueless ... person.

We tried to track the VC, but never picked up their trail.  We were running out of light. So we packed up and slipped away, and didn't settle down for the night until we were far, far away.

The next week, I got the FNG transferred to another company.  I didn't tell their Platoon Leader that he was an idiot, but I suppose he figured it out soon enough.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Geek Humor

 "Sorry, your password has not been in use for 30 days and has expired
 - you must register a new one."
"Sorry, too few characters."
pretty roses
"Sorry, you must use at least one numerical character."
1 pretty rose
"Sorry, you cannot use blank spaces."
"Sorry, you must use at least 10 different characters."
"Sorry, you must use at least one upper case character."
"Sorry, you cannot use more than one upper case character
"Sorry, you must use no fewer than 20 total characters."
"Sorry, you cannot use punctuation."
"Sorry, that password is already in use."

Hat Tip from The G-Man

Thursday, December 05, 2013

"Don't Give An Inch!"

NYPD cracks down on long guns that hold more than five rounds | Fox News:  (December 5, 2013)

The New York City Police Department is taking aim at owners of shotguns and rifles capable of holding more than five rounds, demanding such guns be surrendered, altered or taken out of the city. The demand came in the form of some 500 letters mailed out to owners of registered long guns that are in violation of a 2010 city ordinance. The first option for the letter's recipient is to, "Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter." 

 The notices, mailed Nov. 18, also give owners the options of demonstrating the gun has been moved out of NYPD jurisdiction or modified by a licensed gunsmith to comply with the law. 

Although an NYPD spokeswoman told the law has been on the books since 2010, critics say this year is the first time the notices were so widely dispersed. The notice was first reported on the  website
 It's good to be King.  You get to sleep with the Queen.  And you get to make your own laws!

This is wrong on so many levels:
  • Unconstitutional
  • Undermines the public confidence of the Citizenry in their "government"
  • Includes taxes on AMMO?
  • Options include "modification by licensed gunsmith"
  • Exposes lies of "registration"
  • Exposes lies of "confiscation"
Let's look at these questions:

Violates Second Amendment.  What part of "shall not infringe" do you not understand, Mayor Bloomberg?   The Second Amendment is as inviolable as the First Amendment, and all other Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.  They apply equally to all states, all counties or parishes, and all municipalities.  Mayor Bloomberg, you may be a King, but you are still constrained by the Constitution of the United States of America.  (I see a Constitutional Challenge on this law, now that The King of NYC has established, and is openly attempting to enforce, an unconstitutional law.

Question: in a feudal society (which Bloomberg is apparently attempting to establish), would he be more than the Baron of NYC?  The Governor would apparently be a Duke or an Earl, one would think.

Undermines the public confidence:

This 'law' was enacted literally overnight, and was approved immediately by Gov. Cuomo without question.  Both the Mayor and the governor were approving "Government by Edict".  I know we are a Nation of Laws rather than a Nation of Kings, but this kind of action on a municipal and provincial level makes it clear that the public cannot count on the good will of its elected leaders.

Includes taxes on AMMO?
This portion of the law was apparently tossed in as a 'freebie', as it has nothing to do with the ammunition CAPACITY of the referenced firearms.

In 1993, then-Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) proposed an addendum to President Clinton's  "Hillary-care" bill to include a (500% - 1,000%) tax on ammunition.

"Guns don't kill people; bullets do," he told the Senate as he introduced his legislation today. "It is time the Federal Government began taxing handgun ammunition used in crime out of existence."
(SEE Blog Search for "MOYNIHAN")

But Bloomberg has taken Moynihan's radical approach to gun-control one step further by (apparently) applying the same approach to long-gun control in addition to handgun control.

Oh, and in case you're one of those poor confused people who think that removing firearms from civilian hands will 'tax ... crime out of existence', I suggest you look at the crime rates in England, where it is illegal for most people to own ANY kind of firearm.  Assault and violent crime rates are UP, because the law-abiding citizen has no way to protect themselves against aggressive violence.

So Bloomberg's Law only exacerbates the 20-year-old effort of Moynihan by applying it across the board.  Even Moynihan, that colorful Irish Clown, avoided long-gun crime because he knew that it represented only a small percent of violent crime.

Options include "modification by licensed gunsmith":
 This is merely a note of confusion;  are gunsmiths required to be licensed in NYC?  Why?  Not to disparage Gunsmiths, but they're mechanics.  You wouldn't take your car to be repaired by an incompetent auto-mechanic, why would you take your firearm to be repaired by an incompetent gunsmith?  Are all Gunsmiths required to be licensed?  Is that, like, a Federal law?

Exposes lies of "registration":
 We saw this in California in the 1990's where certain firearms were subject to registration ... and then, the State Assembly decided that some firearms were just too "evil" to abide at all.  Then they confiscated the firearms.

We've talked about this here before, and it's probably been over-discussed.  The fact is, that "Registration" almost invariably leads (eventually) to "Confiscation".   It's just one more arrow in the quiver.

We've also talked about Mayor Bloomberg (see 2011 post "Boo Bloomberg")

 Finally ... why confiscation of  'banned' firearms?   There will come a time when (as Robert Heinlein so graphically illustrated in his brilliant set of essays stories based on the premise "If This Goes On"), any trend either scientific or cultural will eventually advance to its logical absurdity.

We mentioned England a few paragraphs ago.  There's a video in a 2008 post by Xavier (who has since ceased blogging) which graphically illustrates the conundrum that --- "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns".

The lesson is clear: it's about Liberty.

Don't give an inch!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

My holiday was exceptional .,., I spent it with my Son, "The Squid Kid:" and his family.  And my sister, and bro-in-law.
I can only hope that your holiday was even better than mine.

My loving sister hosted the gathering, she and her husband John.  Good peope, I've been blessed .

This is the third anniversary of the passing of SWMO

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

High School Football: "If you can't remember the play, You May Be A ......"

Star QB for Utah high school takes ‘big hits,’ can’t remember scoring winning TD | Fox News:
A Utah high school is under fire after its star quarterback told reporters during a post-game interview that he took big hits on the field and could not remember the last play, reported. 

 Britain Covey, the Timpview High School quarterback, was addressing a scrum of reporters after winning the championship on Friday and said, "I don't even remember who scored on that last drive. I think it was me,, I took some big hits, but it was all worth it. Unless I have permanent brain damage, which I'm really praying not...not to have."
 (Underlined Emphasis Added)

One of the things I say to people who ask to enroll in the "Introduction to USPSA" class which I teach is that ".  it's safer than playing High School Football".

In the interest of brevity, I don't expand on this theme in my "boilerplate" (standard) commentary.  However, my personal commentary is easily exemplified here.

The thing about Practical Shooting is, surprising?  That it IS truly safer than playing football.

"IPSC" is demonstrably less likely to result in physical damage to its practitioners.  Which has, admittedly (by my practice of comparing it to High School Football), established a very LOW standard of safety ... as this article establishes.

"IPSC"   (the International Practical Shooting Confederation) has established several "rules" which are not acceptable to "USPSA" (The United States Practical Shooting Association), primarily because some national states have LAWS which require, for example, that the targets involved must not, in their judgement, represent the human form.  Other laws have to do with the restrictions upon the specific technical forms of firearms which may be owned and/or available to adherents of the sport ... and other restrictions which are to numerous (and diverse among nation-states) to delineate in detail here.

Well, these folks do not live under the beneficent and benign Constitution of the United States of America, which recognizes the Rights of Man as opposed to the Rights of The State.  Their loss, and since the USPSA folks have made it clear that they are not required nor disposed to accede to the laws of foreign land, this is why the United States Region of IPSC (USPSA) has been "allowed" to establish and issue its own Rule Book for Competition ... which is quite different from the IPSC Rule Book, in that we fortunate few have a Constitutional right to take advantage of our own laws, rather than follow the laws of ... say ... Kazakistan *.  (They can't "always" have guns legally, but some folks have guns because they actually need to worry about, y'know, "shooting at people".)

* (Apologies to the good folks in Kazakistan.  I wasn't trying to make the case that they were the "worst place in the world to be", but only to emphasize the point that even though local laws might be restrictive, The People may find that their personal security needs may be more fundamentally a priority than National Laws ... and they can still see Practical Pistol Shooting to be a legitimate sport.)
Back to "Safety" and "IPSC":

I don't know how it is with other trainers, especially in other nations, but within the limited confines of USPSA .. when I teach a class in "Introduction to USPSA", my primary goal is to instruct people in how to run&gun SAFELY!

The secondary goals are to introduce them to the safety rules in a benign manner.  Which is to say ... you don't want to run & gun with people who are unsafe, so we're teaching you have to be the kind of gunner that you would feel comfortable with in your squad.

Beyond that are other goals:
  • Learn the practices and purposes of  competing with a loaded gun;
  • Become comfortable with the range rules, the Range Officer Commands, 
  • Understand how and why the safety rules reflect on basic gun safety, and also who and why the competition rules address safety first, and then address rules of competition
  • Evaluate the ability of the individual competitor to practice basic gun-handling skills
  • Make the new competitor familiar (and comfortable) with the practices and procedures consistent with safety, skills and competition rules

All of these goals support the basic premise of instruction:

If you can't handle a gun, if you aren't safe, you will not pass the course.  Other than that, our primary goal is to insure that EVERYONE who commits to USPSA competition is a Safe Shooter.   Essentially, we want everyone to be a gunner who doesn't scare the pants off their squad members.  And the only one who can hurt you, is .. you!

First Turkey of the Season

Democratic Colorado state senator resigns to avoid recall over gun law | Fox News:

A Democratic Colorado state senator resigned Wednesday to avoid a possible recall election over a controversial gun control law that led to the ouster of two of her colleagues earlier this year.

Sen. Evie Hudak, who has represented a district that includes Denver’s western suburbs since 2008, announced her resignation less than a week before opponents planned to submit petitions to recall her.
So, a Colorado state Senator dodges the bullet and refuses to oppose a recall ballot which would castigate her for her support of unreasonable and outrageous "Gun Control" (read: "anti-Constutional) bills.

Ho hum, nothing new here.  Just another Democrat who got herself elected, decided to impose her own biases on her constituents, and when push leads to shove ... she hasn't the nerve to stand her ground against the mere threat of opposition.

Why is she the "First Turkey"?

Because her fellow state legislators were ousted well before the Thanksgiving Holiday.  She brought this approbation upon herself.  Other than that, she's just one more arrogant sow sucking on the public teat, until her constituents realized that she represented not them, but her own warped interpretation of "Civil Rights".

This follows the successful recall of Colorado State Senate President John Morse  and State Senator Angela Giron, both of whom not only supported but actively lobbied for strong state bills within the Colorado Senate.  Those bills would  require draconian restrictions on the number of rounds which would be allowed to be loaded into the magazine of a firearm, and would also require a "Universal Background Check" (and the parties involved in transfer of a firearm would be required to pay "a fee" for the background-check process).

Since the bill did NOT pass the Colorado Senate, the details of the background check are less specific than the "fifteen round" magazine capacity limit.

The good citizens of Colorado could see no reason why their civil rights should be so limited by local laws which so obviously obviated the Second Amendment Rights which were clarified in the Constitution, and they (rightly) availed themselves of their rights under both the Federal and the Colorado State Constitutions to recall their "representatives".

Silly Senators: Kix are for Kids, not elected public officials.  When you try to exceed your legal powers, when you abuse your office to advance your personal preference, should it be surprising that your "constituents" decide that you are no longer representing their common interests?

Fortunately for all the citizens of Colorado ... there WERE enough "Cajones" in Colorado to unseat two leading State Senators:  Senate President John Morse, and Senator Angela Geron.

Subsequent to their political demise, Coloradoan citizens set their sights on the second tier of (Democratic) senators, starting with Ms  Hodak ... who at least demonstrated the basic humanity to admit that she was acting under the emphasis of her own personal bias, rather than representing her constituency, and had the good grace to just quit!

Those among us who believe that the Constitution of the United States of America is the basic
"Law of the Land" in America should recognize the citizens of Colorado for their valor and determination.

The ONLY way we can defend our own Constitutional Rights is to stand up to those wussies who would impose their will upon us, whenever they clearly refuse to represent us.

These three State Senators chose to represent their own political bias, rather than their constituents.

They got JUST what they deserved:  when our representatives refuse to serve us, they should fall upon their political swords.

And this is JUST what Senator Hodak has done.

Whether she has done so because the realized the error of her ways, or because she chose to quit her "Day Job" because she would rather commit political suicide rather than being voted out of office ... is ultimately immaterial.   She saw which way the hammer was going to fall, and got out wile the getting-our was less bad than being summarily ousted.

Good for you, Colorado!


Other comments on the original FOX article:

The recall efforts came after Colorado's Democratic Legislature and governor last year approved a slate of gun-control measures including ammunition magazine limits and expanded background checks. ----

KDVR reports that by resigning, Hudak ensures that a Democrat will be appointed in her seat and the party will retain its one-seat majority in the Senate, which they would have lost if Hudak was successfully recalled.
(As if the Colorado Voters have confidence in the Democratic Majority in the State Senate!   Best Guess:  The Colorado voters will be VERY cautious about electing another Arrogant Democrat to that Senate,)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kaleidoscope Glass Works

Kaleidoscope Glass Works Home Page:
 "I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze". (Horace)
Join me in spending some time admiring the artistry of a true master of Liturgical Art Glass.

I am in awe, and I'm sure you will be as impressed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Washington man sticks with 'Joe Biden defense' for firing shotgun

Washington man sticks with 'Joe Biden defense' for firing shotgun | Fox News: VANCOUVER, Wash. –

 A Vancouver man who fired a shotgun in the air to scare off car prowlers has refused a plea deal and says he's sticking with what's become known as the "Joe Biden defense." 
 Jeffrey C. Barton was at the Clark County Courthouse on Tuesday and had his trial set for March 26 on a misdemeanor charge of illegally discharging a firearm. 
The 52-year-old told The Columbian he will not admit any wrongdoing for the incident last July because he was protecting his family, within his Second Amendment right, and following advice from the vice president. 
In response to a question about home defense, Biden told an interviewer in February Americans don't need semi-automatic weapons because a couple of blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.

'You don't need an AR-15, it's harder to aim, it's harder to use... you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!'

(February 20, 2013)

The NRA (according to the Washington Post) says that the advise is 'unwise', if not "Illegal" --- as the article suggests:

“Great advice, Joe. Not only would that be illegal, but then a woman would face an attacker with an empty shotgun. For tips on safe and responsible gun ownership, ask the NRA, not Joe Biden.”

 Biden has been a United States Senator from Delaware for 36 years, and I still can't get over the concept that a state ... even one of the smallest states in the nation, can continue to re-elect The Senior LameBrain in Congress year after year after painful year.  He makes Dan Quayle look smart!

The odd thing is ... there is something in what he says.

A shotgun, especially a double-barreled 12 guage, is a very good choice for a Home Defense weapon.
Like a Revolver, a loaded double-barreled shotgun can sit in your closet for years and still be as effective years later as it was when you first loaded it.  Unlike semi-automatic weapons, the ammunition is not retained in a spring-fed magazine.  The second round is as reliable as the first.

(We're assuming that this is an exposed-hammer variety, of course; the spring tension is not loaded until the hammers are cocked; and nobody ... not even Joe Biden .. would have a shotgun with the hammers cocked.  At least, we hope not.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No ObamaCare

No ObamaCare

Oh, go watch the six minute video.  You'll be glad you did. (H/T to The G-Man)

Why "No Obamacare"?

Because of the problem of "The Tyranny of the Majority".

The concept of "The Tyranny of the Majority" states that when the majority rules, and the government must -- or chooses to -- dictate policy based on the dictates of the majority, then the people learn that they can get anything they want based solely on their desires .... not necessarily based on their needs or their inability to provide for themselves.

This was a cautionary of Alexis De Tocqueville in his book "Democracy in America":

"Tocqueville speculates on the future of democracy in the United States, discussing possible threats to democracy and possible dangers of democracy. These include his belief that democracy has a tendency to degenerate into "soft despotism" as well as the risk of developing a tyranny of the majority .... ".
 Another interpretation of the term "tyranny of the majority" is "Mob Rule".

The American Founding Fathers introduced the Republican, rather than the Democratic system of governmental philosophy (along with the attendant "Electoral College") specifically to avoid this "Mob Rule" aspect of a true democracy.    True democracy works well for small groups; the Greeks found it worked well for city-states.  But in a nation of over a third of a billion citizens, the temptation is strong for the sick, lame and lazy to prey upon the productive minority.

True, President Obama has not yet turned America into a Socialist state; he has not yet nationalized industry.

Well, there's General Motors, and "Organized Labor:, and savings & loans, and banks, and the entire "mortgage industry", and  ... but that's all the fault of the Bush Bail-Out.

However, George W. Bush did not intentionally commit the entire National Debt for the next ten generations for the purpose "redistributing the Wealth of the Nation".

This is the avowed goal of our current president.

New Stamp

[Hat Tip to The Hobo Brasser]

The Postal Services created a stamp with a picture of President Obama on it.   The Postal Service noticed that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes.

This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation.

After a month of testing and $1.73 million in congressional spending, a Special Presidential Commission presented the following findings:

  1. The stamp is in perfect order.
  2. There is nothing wrong with the glue.
  3. People are spitting on the wrong side.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries: Vol. 2, No. 5:

Now it happens that our elected government, after a fifteen year hiatus, has resumed the destruction of 1911 45s, M1 Garands, 03s, and Springfield 22 Trainers. Note that this has nothing whatever to do with crime. This is aimed directly at obviating the armed citizenry which is historically the only guarantee ohorf human liberty. Act on this at once. If you have not got a 1911, get one. If you have not got an 03, get one. If you have not got an M1, get one. (If you can possibly afford it, get two.)

Spending a dreary Friday morning surfing the nooks and crannies of the Internet, including the corpses of lapsed blogspots, I happened upon a link to Col. Jeff Cooper's "Commentaries".

(The opening exemplar quote was taken from his May 1994, edition.)

Senior members of the IPSC/USPSA addiction (speaking of seniority in terms of longevity rather than skill, and using the term 'addiction' for the same sake of accuracy) are almost invariably familiar with The Colonel.   However, during my recent experiences introducing new initiates I have become aware that most of the 'not-senior' people are ignorant of the origins and history of this addiction we share.

Thus a short historical note on the origin of the sport, and the significance of both The Colonel and his Commentaries seems both timely and appropriate.

Jeff Cooper has had experience in the Military, and did come by the nomenclature with some justification.  He founded and ran "The Gunsite Academy" for some significant decades where he, with a staff of experienced instructers, provided training in both handgun and long gun handling.   His emphasis has ever been on military and law enforcement, but his own extensive hunting experience rounded out his qualification to instruct in civilian hunting-related application of these   techniques.  (Which is not to suggested that he taught tracking and stalking skills.)

As a consequence of his association with men who went armed daily, mostly on a professional basis, he became interested in what was at the time termed "Combat Shooting".  Generally speaking, marksmanship and gun handling skills are "degradable".  If not practiced regularly, ones proficiency deteriorates. Standing on a firing line and shooting at bullseye targets is only "better than nothing".  It certainly isn't "sufficient" and in a sense probably isn't as appropriate as plinking at tin cans.  At least the shooter has a variety in target range and attitude when it bounces around every time you hit it,

So a more realistic target was designed which, yes, DOES share a general size and shape of the human body,  The scoring zones of this cardboard target were scaled on the relative lethality of a shot in the corresponding 'vital;' areas.

This stadardization of targets made it simple to form a competition based on shooting which was obviously more "practical" than bullseye shooting.  (Hence the expression "Practical" pistol shooting.)

Originally, the folks who gathered together to challenge each other were assumed, even expected, to be armed when they arrived at the range,  Anecdote suggest that at one match, when a shooter signed in he was asked where his pistol was.  Why?  Because the procedure for the first stage of the match specified that the gun stayed where-ever it was when the shooter signed in, and if he had it locked in the trunk of the car he had to go get his pistol after the signal to begin shooting.  Well, if he was a deputy sheriff and needed his pistol while he was "on the job", it wouldn't have  been very 'practical' to keep his gun in the car until he really needed it, now would it?

Most of the basics for IPSC competition are directly based on the imperatives that these pistoleros had learned on the job ,,,. often, the hard way,

SPEED?  When you really have to shoot, you really have to be the first one to shoot,
ACCURACY?  It's not going to help to shoot first if you can't hit what you aim at.
POWER? Everybody knows that a bigger or faster bullet is more effective ... and shooting follow-up shots quickly and accurately is more difficult if the shooter has to deal with heavy recoil, so the effectiveness of the more powerful pistol in "marginal" hits is reflected by a higher hit.  Thus, Major power scores higher than Minor power in the B, C and D zones of the IPSC target.   Of course, in Combat Shooting, Jame's Bond's pocket .380 would be right out!

Also, note that these pistoleers liked the idea of several targets, often of several types, at ranges which were not always the same.  They didn't have "standard" stage designs ... they made it up as they went along and each stage had some application to a "real life" combat situation.

For example, for the Classifier stage "El Presidente",  the scenario depicted was being attacked from the rear by the Presidente of an imaginary South American junta along with his two bodyguards.

(I have included this stage as the "final exam" of the Live Fire exercise in my "Introduction to USPSA" class.  It's fast and exciting, it's a change of pace from the rest of the period in which I have been encouraging the participants to take their time and always aim carefully at the A-zone.  We actually record their score and time, and an the conclusion of the exercise we use those statistics to calculate Hit Factor.  Then we declare the stage winner based on highest HF, and show how their stage points can vary dramatically based on each shooter's percentage of the stage winner's HF.  This is a graphic representation of the importance of shooting accurately quickly.)

So much for The Colonel's contribution to the beginning of the sport, except to say that a disgusted Cooper eventually divorced himself from IPSC after the "competition" became so emphasized that "practicality" had, in his opinion, completely obviated the purpose of the exercise!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Because No One Really Needs Ten Rounds in Their Gun

Because No One Really Needs Ten Rounds in Their Gun - Patriot Outdoor News - Patriot Outdxoor News

I keep saying this .. you keep repeating this .. but nobody listens.

Perhaps someday, somebody who thinks we're all just a bunch of paranoid extremists will actually THINK about it!

Ten rounds?  It should be enough for anyone, right?

9mm?  The Gang-Bangers think it's the schitz!  But it's a mouse load.

When you laughingly discount armed citizens by saying:
            "What's the worst that can happen" ...

You probably ......  Have. No. Idea.
And if I told you, you would laugh at me.

Think it's a Politically Incorrect Joke?

Think that nobody would possibly be so lame as to invade your home with guns, and a bad plan, and a sincere intent to kill you and your family?

Think again.

Who really needs more than ten rounds, honestly?

How about the Liberal head-of-the-family who thinks .. honestly, "I've got a gun and I know how to use it, and what's the  WORST that can happen???"

"Surely, there's no scenario in which I would need to have more than (6, 7,  10 .. whatever number) round in my magazine?  Anything more would be just ...another gun nut!"

Really.  What's the worst that can happen?

You have no idea, what can go wrong when the SHTF. (Shit Hits The Fan!)

Any thing that can go wrong, WILL go wrong, and usually in the ONE time when you can least afford the slightest mistake.

Open Letter to 'Hanoi Jane'

America's top UN diplomat has high praise for 'Hanoi Jane' | Fox News:

New U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power didn't waste her diplomatic skills on Vietnam veterans at a New York speech, praising actress Jane Fonda for "being outspoken on behalf" of her convictions.

Power, 43, was speaking at the United Nations Association of the USA 2013 Global Leadership Awards in New York Wednesday, where honorees included Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by Taliban thugs and is now an education advocate for girls.

 “Hi everybody,” Power said, according to a transcript. “You know life has changed when you’re hanging out with Jane Fonda backstage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being 'all in' in every way — than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.”

But Vietnam veterans have long held a less charitable view of the Oscar-winning actress, who in her younger days took her anti-war activism to North Vietnam, where she posed with Viet Cong soldiers at a missile battery and earned the derisive nickname "Hanoi Jane." The now-75-year-old actress has since apologized for what she told Oprah Winfrey was an "unforgivable mistake" made in 1972. Fonda told Winfrey she was taken to a North Vietnam military site during the last day of her visit, despite her objections.
"I was an emotional wreck by [then]," Fonda told Winfrey last year. "I don't know if I was set up or not. I was an adult. I take responsibility for my actions.
(This article is way, WAY too long!)

Dear Jane;
I was "an emotional wreck" when I was being shot at by Viet Cong in 1968 and 1969.

The difference between you and me is that you were a stone cold camera-loving BITCH, and I was just a guy who got drafted and wanted to live out my year in Hell, come home to my wife and have babies.

Guess we both got our wish, huh?  I know my two children are happy with the result, and they don't resent you at ALL.  But then ... they weren't "there", were they?  (No thanks to you!)

Here's another difference between us:

You got stardom; I got to live.

You achieved your goal from having your picture taken in an anti-aircraft gun which shot down American airmen.  I achieved my goal by not dying.

It's kind of a Woody Allen thing:
"I don't want to achieve immortality though my work; I want to achieve it by Not Dying!"

Yes, I realize I am repeating myself.  I don't expect YOU to understand the emphasis .. you were never in your whole life threatened with being shot, regardless of the drama in your many, many movies .. which brought you fame, stardom and great good fortune.

Jane, I'm pleased for you in that you are being lauded for "... being outspoken for what you believe in ...".   I think that is just SO sweet!

Forget the definition of "Treason" includes "Aid and comfort to our enemy".  Which you provided.  You were just cute as hell in Barbarella, and so socially significant in "The China Syndrome".

We can almost forget that you were a traitor, that you encouraged the North Vietnamese to continue a war by political means .. even though they could not win it militarily and that thousands of American boys died to support your cinematic career.

Almost, but not quite.  You may count me among the dissatisfied few who still resent your brain-dead gesture of support for the people who were killing American men of your generation.  I'd give you some names of the men in my platoon who died, or who were wounded, by your North Vietnamese friends ... but they deserve more honor than to be linked with YOUR name.

So I will honor them in my heart, because I lived with them and fought with them and trod through the jungle with them every day until they died.  But you will never know their names.  You might be tempted to speak of them, someday, and you would only dishonor them by speaking their names.

I've held this contempt in private for over 40 years, but until I saw you being lauded for "being outspoken about (your) convictions", I never had a reason to publicly excoriate you.

If there is a God in heaven, you will die in pain.   I watched too many young men die, in the jungle, in pain, for reasons which they never understood nor will ever have the opportunity to repudiate  if they would ... as you repudiated your actions, to your everlasting shame.

They never got to say whether or not they thought that their "public service" ... as an infantry man dying in Viet Nam .. was the best way they could serve their country.

I leave you with this one, single word:


Between The Berms: Paging Uncle Ted | Shooting Wire

Between The Berms: Paging Uncle Ted | Shooting Wire:
November 6, 2013

So, the internet began blowing up, again, with cries of betrayal and boycott.
It seems that yet another gun writer has weighed in with his considerable wealth of knowledge, years of experience and expertise to help those less knowledgeable better understand the constitution's second amendment.
Previously it was hunting expert Jim Zumbo who set us all straight on the AR-15, the modern sporting rifle...the black gun.
Now it's gun expert Dick Metcalf whose recent Backstop column in the December issue of Guns & Ammo helps us understand that the second amendment was intended to be heavily regulated, and that onerous regulations are not infringements.
Instead they simply reflect the wishes of the founding fathers.
Oddly enough this pro-regulation stance hasn't been a hit with readers, and instead of accepting the position of one of Intermedia Outdoors' - the publisher of Guns & Ammo - most respected contributors, they've taken a decidedly different position as evidenced by these few examples of comments left online in the many blogs and forums covering this story.

The story here is that a long-term, highly respected gun writer has made statements to the effect that gun owners should accept draconian firearms-confiscation laws without protest.

Dick Metcalf?  I've been reading his 'stuff' for a lifetime, and I have never had a whiff of "confiscatory laws" in what he had to say before.  Mostly, he talked about hunting.  Not a whole bunch about politics.

Now. has he had joined the Bad Boys who talk about how you and I should not contend against the Feds (eg: Obama) proposed confiscatory anti-gun legislation?

I don't know.  

I haven't read the article.  I don't subscribe to the magazine.  I don't know what Metcalf said.

I'm just putting this out her to make people aware of the controversy.  I'm not saying ANYTHING about Dick Metcalf, or his political bent.

You ought to know that this is an issue, and you ought to look it up (read the magazine!) and decide for yourself.

That  is, if you care at all about the supposed issue.  Which may not be an issue at all, except that Shooting Times thinks it is.


Sometimes I think the "why can't we all just get along?" thingie is perhaps ... if inadvertently .. the most wisdom we can expect in our modern age.

This is one of those days when I wonder why I have lived this long, that I should be inundated by so much crap.

The Latest "Appcessory" is for Your Rifle?

Shooting Wire: The Inteliscope Tactical Rifle Adapter and App turns a smartphone into a rifle scope for tactical rifles, paintball markers, and airsoft guns and records video from the rifle POV. The Inteliscope turns your Apple mobile device into an intelligent scope. Newly conceived just six months ago in April, 2013, the Inteliscope Tactical Rifle Adapter is now shipping and the App is now available for download from the Apple App Store. The adapter to mount the mobile device to your rifle sells for $99; the App is included in the price and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for evaluation at no cost. Customers may order the adapter now at or from one of over 350 firearms dealers worldwide.

From the ridiculous to the sublime.

I'm not sure whether I think: "Whoopie, this is SO great!" or "Damn!  This is even more stupid than if I had thunk it first!"

First thing my Verizon Guy said when I bought my StupidPhone was: "This isn't as robust as the last (non-smart) phone you had.  I will break.  Easily.  And the battery won't last as long."

So ... I'm encouraged to count on a StupidPhone to (a) endure against the recoil of a rifle, and (b) be 100% reliable in a SHTF situation?

I don't THINK so!

Kewl technology, if you have an IPhone (as opposed to an "Android", which I have).  But I believe I'll just stick with iron sights or ... maybe, if I'm feeling lucky ... the 6x scope on my .25-06.

Too many failure points on THIS hash-up to make me comfortable that it will be there when I really need to make a shot.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

First gun all-3D-printed gun created

First gun all-3D-printed gun created: (MSN)

A company that specializes in direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS, has created a gun it says is composed entirely of 3D-printed metal. 

It reads like a plot of a dystopian novel: People develop a technology that allows them to manufacture—themselves, in the privacy of their own homes—working guns. Law enforcement is unable to regulate firearms. Chaos ensues. 

When a design for The Liberator, the open-sourced and 3D-printed gun, was released last year, worriers could take some solace: The gun wasn't entirely composed of 3D-printed materials. The gun's firing pin—the thing, essentially, that put the fire in the firearm—was made of metal. And metal is extremely difficult to use as a material for 3D printing. Until ... it's not. 

A company called Solid Concepts, which specializes in direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS, has created a gun, it claims, that is composed entirely of 3D-printed metal. The gun is not only fully metal-made; it is also capable of firing multiple rounds. (Liberator-style guns made of extruded plastic, on the other hand, are at this point able to fire one shot—ever.) The gun Solid Concepts is testing—and, indeed, using as a proof-of-concept—can fire 50 rounds. And be ready for more.
(click on the link at the top of the page to read the entire article ... Hat Tip to The G-Man!)

 I remembering watching an episode of Jay Leno's Garage (or whatever the show is) where he demonstrated this kind of laser technology.  What's it called?  Sintering?  I looked it up: this wikipedia article is almost 4 years out of date, which only proves that any published article is obsolete by the time we read it, if it involves engineering processes.

Yes, the machinery is quite expensive ... the old versions allow Jay Leno to build a plastic carburetor.

But .. a metal sintering process which creates a functional semi-automatic pistol?  Oh my, that's quite a different thing.

It's easy to believe that the skills and knowledge which allow one to construct an entire firearm, such as a 1911-style pistol with it's 54 distinct parts, present a daunting challenge.

The thing is, you can BUY parts for a 1911 on the open market with no governmental oversight.  They're not all that expensive.  The only part that the Feds define as a 'firearm' is the part that has a manufacturer's serial number on it:  the frame.

All one needs do to create a completely under-the-roses pistol is to create the frame.  You can buy the rest of the farm from Brownells (or Shotgun News, for that matter) with no more tracking/tracing/regulation than buying "parts".

Using sintering to build a (relatively) simple 3-dimensional object such as the frame of a 1911 seems to be less challenging.  The "Solid Concepts" people made the entire thing, one supposes, including the springs.  Coil springs require special metals.  The sear spring  is also 'special'.   But we're talking chump change here, and absolutely no governmental monitoring.  Same with firing pins, etc.

So, does this recent technological advance present a threat to Government regulation of firearms?

Hell yes!

What will the Feds do as a stop-gap measure?

Oh, you're so smart.  You're right, they will regulate the HELL out of this technology.  In fact, they're working on it already.

The REAL thing is ... do you remember "Jurassic Park", where "Malcolm" (Jeff Goldblum) is told that there is NO way the dinosaurs will reproduce?  His reply, in stentorian overtones, is that " will find a way ..."

We're saying, technology is expensive and hard to find, and cumbersome.  At first.  Then it gets simpler, and cheaper, and easier to operate.

For example, my first "cell phone" was a "Bag Phone".  It weighed a ton, was very expensive, cumbersome and ugly.

My current "smart phone" cost 20% of what that bag phone cost.  I've had it for five months and I'm still trying to learn all the ins and outs of using the damn thing, but I'm getting the hang of it without the need to register for a night-school course at my local community college.

I couldn't MAKE a cell phone (or an automobile, or probably even an electric generator), but if I HAD one, I could learn how to use it.

Saying that a DMLS is too complicated for most people to use doesn't buy many turnips, if the Feds expect that sheer technical complexity will prevent people from building their own untraceable, unregistered, non-serialized firearms.

Ever look at the receiver of an AR-16?  And the parts which make it different from the AR-15 (the semi-automatic only version of the fully automatic version)?

Shucks, the different parts you could almost make by hand, if you had the specs and were patient and fairly good with hand tools.  You should note, of course, that this was the kind of "cottage industry" which landed Randy Weaver in Federal hot water at Ruby Ridge.  He just sawed off the barrel of a shotgun, and look where that got him.  That was in 1985, under a much more 'understanding' President.  (Can you say "I must have mis-spoken", Children?  I knew you could.)

Defying the Federal Government is risky business.  They have their job to do, and they can be downright mean.

This is still a government of We The People.

Oh, I am SO going to enjoy the next 20 years of watching the Feds trying to put THIS toothpaste back into the tube!

Also reference the following:
  • pandora's box
  • can of worms
  • meme
  • gestalt theory of ideas