Saturday, February 08, 2014

Freeze, storm, snow, thaw

the thing about a winter storm is that it has four faces, each with its charms and each with its hazards.

At the first freeze, you worry that your car may freeze up. Thankfully, you have kept up your radiator antifreeze to the point where the radiator is protected to sub-zero temperatures. So, havig spent two nights with a lamp with a 60 watt bulb under the hood, you're confident that you have over-reacted.

Second phase .. the storm!

After a while, the Winter storms come. Hail, sleet, and eventually snow ... you're comfortable until you realize that the snow is over a foot deep, and you HAVE to go to the store because you're fast running out of consumables, such as Milk and Cigarettes!

So it takes you a few seconds to rock your car back and forth in he deep drifts, and then that four-wheel drive just floats you out of your drive way and on your way to the grocery.

The snow: The next day the snow is even deeper, but you know that it's a "Dry Cold", and the increasing drifts are just powder. You can DO this! A trip to the store is "No Big Thing"m, and besides the last time you endured such a snow stormn (in 1968 ... so much for Climate Change!) you were driving a 1963 Corvair Spyder Convertible, and you made it though the Mean Streets of Winter okay. Besides, your worst problem in that rear-engine car was steering. So you threw a couple of sandbags in the front trunk, and kept on trucking.1965 ir 2914 ,,, LESS THAN 50 years, and you're still The Man!

The next day, the weatherman speaks of freezing rain, thawing, and "possible power outage". No big deal. Who needs electricity?

I do.

My bed is an electrically heated water bed. IU have candles and a TON of oil lamps, but it gets cold by morning.

And youknow what> The Thaw is not the best thing that can happen,

What is is that the trees have accumulated snow and ice for three days, and then The Thaw makes the ice start to melt. But not evenly. Eventually, the boughs bend, and then they break, and the boughs that hang over power lines?

They break the lines.

That's what happened a half hour ago, and now I'm on UPS power (which lasts about 75 minutes, so I'm typing as fast as I can!

We actually had a major power outage this afternoon. It lasted 82 minutes. But was in the daytime, when the Linemen For The County could see. Now it's dark, and deep, and they have promises to keep. I have no confidence that they can find and repair the breaks in the Main Line before my UPS dies, so I'm typing as fast as I can. (Which is none too fast, considering that the coal-oil lamp doesn't put out enough light for me to see the individual keys on the keyboard; my touch-typing is good, but not THAT GOOD! So I must type slowly, carefully, and use my flashlight when I have typos.)

Am I inconvenienced? Yes, I am. But I wouldn't have it anyother way. Calf-deep snow, freezing cold, power outages ... it sounds funny to say, must sound really weird to read ... but life can become too easy, and we stagnate.

Man needs a challenge from time to time. He NEEDS to understand that life is not without challenges, even if they are only petty inconveniences. I have food, water, air and life. How much more it is appreciated when the conveniences are not available!


Last night I found it difficult to go to sleep, because the college students a the end of the block were standing in the street talking loudly. In sub-zero temperatures. At first it was annoying, and then I realized that they were actually enjoying the challenge of the weather! For a while, I thought to join then Then I realized: That's stupid!

NRA Mag Replaces Maxim in Magazine Top 25

NRA Mag Replaces Maxim in Magazine Top 25:
(January, 2014)
According to Ad Age, Maxim's paid circulation fell from 2.5 million to 2 million last year. At the same time. American Rifleman's readership jumped from 1.7 million to 2.2. This puts American Rifleman among the top 25 magazines in circulation. American Rifleman's increased circulation is also indicative of the NRA's growing popularity among Americans. The NRA's Andrew Arulanandam explained: "Last year we had a 25 percent growth in membership. People who sign up for membership get their choice of one of three official journals for the NRA. American Rifleman is one of the most popular journals that we have." It is telling to note that, while gun control proponents continue to claim Americans want more gun control in 2014, rank-and-file Americans are walking past a magazine like Maxim in order to pick up a magazine that covers bolt-action rifles, AR-15s, and shotguns.

This makes sense.

People today reflect the same attitude when Obama took office after the 2008 elections.  Nobody knew where he stood on any issues (he is that good in his rhetoric that we don't know what he's saying, but DAMN he sounded good at the time!) so they voted for him anyway.


Even after they knew better.

And both times, people started buying guns, and going to Basic Handgun classes,  and trying desperately to learn how to shoot them.


First, because they (both times!) were suddenly concerned that their Second Amendment rights would be overturned by Government Fiat, regardless of his solemn promise that "we are not going to take your guns away".

um ... "if you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor".  The jury is still out.  On everything.

So, we have a president who proudly declares "I have a pen, and I have a phone" and apparently that's all he needs to rule.

In the meantime ..digression to a personal story.

In the 1980's I volunteered to tutor an "English as a Second Language" course, as a Teacher's Assistant.  In truth, the teacher was overwhelmed so she halved the class and gave me the second (more 'elementary') class.  I met a young Vietnamese man who probably taught me more about Communism than I taught him about English.

His lesson:  "Pay no attention to what the Communists say; but pay close attention to what they DO!"

I have been applying his warning to my political evaluations since then, and I find the mantra to be entirely applicable more frequently than I find comfortable.

Seems as if I'm not the only one who thinks we should own a gun. 

Washington, DC has begun a firearms registration process which may lead to confiscation ... and even so, they can't keep up with the demand!

The District’s law is the first in the nation to require all firearm registrations to be renewed on a regular basis. A law passed in New York in 2013 requires permits for pistols and assault weapons to be recertified (sic) every five years, though the process only asks for personal information such as the owner’s address and type of weapons owned. Lawmakers intend that information to be used to conduct background checks to determine if a gun owner has become ineligible to own a firearm.
In the District, firearm registration renewal will cost gun owners $48 regardless of the number of guns they own, according to police. The reregistration is completed when the gun owner is fingerprinted, pays the renewal fee, passes a criminal-background check and submits a renewal form that confirms the owner’s home address, the serial number and type of gun owned, and answers a series of questions about their fitness to own a gun.
Any gun owner who does not renew their registration within the designated time frame will have their gun registration canceled, making possession of the firearm illegal.
Possession of an unregistered firearm is a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine or 1 year in jail.

Even so .. DC residents are dancing to the tune.

Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois are the two most recalcitrant municipals  to (oh so reluctantly) accede to the Supreme Court's ruling that the Constitutional Amendment "Right to Keep And Bear Arms" must be respected.  But it's not necessarily any foot-dragging on the part of the cities to "do the right thing";  there are just so many people who want to finally exercise their constitutional rights to firearms ownership, and only a few policemen who are available to perform the administratrivia necessary to perform the steps required by Local Law.

What if ... what if the Federal Government stepped in and made it as difficult to obey the 2nd Amendment on a National basis?

This is exactly the question which haunts citizens across the country.

And this is exactly the reason why the National Rifle Associations 'rag' is becoming so popular.

WE have only just begun, on a National basis, to understand that our rights are universal and that our government is required to recognize those rights.

But President Obama is almost universally recognized as a Political Wild Card .. we don't know what way he will jump next week.

So, as we did in 2008, and in 2012 .. in 2014 we are frantically doing all we can to ensure that at least we have the physical presence of a firearm for defense of our home, our lives, and our Liberties.

That's what the Founding Fathers had in mine in the 18th Century, and where Our President accepts it or not .. that's what we have in mind today.

The Liberal newspapers in Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle et all be damned!  We know what we want, and it is NOT to feel helpless in our own homes.

Ala + CHL + IRL = DRT

Breaking News: Dallas County Man Killed after Store Shooting in Orrville | CBS 8 News | Top Stories: By Alabama News Network Story Created: Jan 16, 2014 at 3:58 PM CST Story Updated: Jan 16, 2014 at 3:59 PM CST

A Dallas County man is killed after a shooting at a Dollar General store in Orrville. Investigators say the man entered the store with a gun and began waving it around as he walked around the store. They say the man pointed the gun at a customer and forced him to the back of the store. They say the customer then pulled out a gun of his own and shot the man. No arrest has been made and the incident remains under investigation by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.

If     ALA = Alabama,
and  CHL - Concealed Handgun License,
and  IRL = In Real Life,
then DRT = Dead Right There

In a 'normal world', this announcement would either be (ho hum, dog bites man) a normal news article which was covered widely but without much fanfare.

In an 'imperfect world', it would be covered by major news agencies through-out the land.  Kudos to the hero, and the governor goes on nationwide television to express the thanks of a grateful state for the daring and courage of this man who put his life at risk for the benefit of his fellow citizens.

In this flawed world,  the Media don't want to hear happy endings wherein the good guys take on the bad guys and win .. it's hardly reported at all. And almost ALL of that reportage is by bloggers on the internet.   You can't blame the media; they would rather that nobody but the bad guys have guns.  That way, it's easier to tell the bad guys from the good guys; the bad guys are the ones with the guns.  That IS their mantra, and they are firm believers in the idea that most folks can't tell the players apart when things get complicated.

Unfortunately, it's a complicated world.  Sometimes (but not as often as should be) the Good Guys have guns;  that's why all those people in the Alabama Dollar General Store are still alive.

Well, except for the Bad Guy, of course.  Which is how it should be.

Bearing Arms dot com has more thorough coverage.  According to that source, the villain was one Kevin McLaughlin and the hero was Orrville resident Marlo Ellis.

Ellis was a customer in the store, and while McLaughlin was in the process of herding customers and employees into a store room (with the apparent intent to find "people to shoot"), Ellis pulled out his own (concealed) handgun and shot him dead, Dead, DEAD.

Sheeple are herd critters; heroes shoot the bad guys, and then finish their shopping.


Sooner or later, some liberal dolt will ask:  "Why didn't he just shoot him in the shoulder?"

We direct their attention to the 1968 movie FIRECREEK, where the bad guy (Henry Fonda) says of the good guy (Jimmy Steward), whom Fonda's character had 'only' shot in the leg:

"I knew better.  Any man worth shootin', is worth killin'"

Today's version: the paperwork is about the same, only you only have to live through the experience to fill out the paperwork.

PS: the store had a sign up which prohibited the open carry of firearms.  There were no restrictions on concealed carry.   That may be something to think about, America.  Best guess is that the man who put up the sign thought it through before he posted it.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Part Time Jobs

I was phoning with my daughter in San Diego,  as we teased each other about the relative climatic advantages of Southern California vs Central Willamette Valley in Oregon.

She and her husband are trying to relocate to Central California.  Her mother (my ex wife) and stepfather (my best friend) are experiencing both  physical and economic challenges.  Daughter wants to move closer to her mom and step-dad, to support them.

The problem is, Daughter and son-in-law can't find jobs which will allow them to support themselves and their families. 

Said daughter:  "I didn't get the job I applied for; I was #2 on the list, and the woman who was #1 hasn't committed to the job yet.  I DID find another job, but it turned out that it was not a full-time job, but two half-time jobs."

To be more clear .. it was the same job with the same employer, except that it had been administratively redefined.  The same number of hours, the same work ... but not a full-time job.


Nobody knows.


Okay, we do know.

Any employer who offers a full-time job is required to provide benefits which meet certain governmental mandates .. including health-care.

Part-time jobs, however, are not addressed under these same mandates.

What is easier to make it possible for a small business to hire new workers, but to define the job as a part-time job?

The employer is then not responsible for providing full benefits ... such as Health Care.  Which is VERY expensive.

No, not as expensive as it was a few years ago, but MUCH more expensive!

The whole theory of governmental mandated health care is that the employer must provide health care benefits which are much more demanding than they were a few years ago.  Failure to meet those demands  results in penalties .. very expensive penalties .. imposed upon the employer.

But if the job is only part-time, the penalties are fewer, less expensive, or not applicable.

Think about it.  If you were a small business employer, would you hire a person full-time, or hire two people part-time?  I think we're seeing a trend, here.

For entry-level, or non-technical jobs, it's much more economically feasible for an employer to give new employees the choice of a part-time job with no health benefits than to hire a new employee with no or fewer benefits. And the most expensive benefit (now more than ever before) is health care.

And apparently, there is no reason why the employer cannot hire a single employee in two positions ... which just happen to overlap.  On a part-time basis.

Admittedly, I don't know the details here.  I don't know the law .. but who does, in a law for which the printed copy is taller than you are?

The point is that Our President, in his drive to revision re-engineer American society, has presented us with a set of laws which are not only difficult to understand, but also REQUIRE us to do the old things in new ways.

And as always, the American people  are looking for ways to get around the arbitrary laws without going out of business.

Who loses?  Well, my daughter loses.  And her family loses.  They have to find their own health care .. if they decide to accept the new job under the new rules.

This does not sound to me as if the new rules are performing in her favor.  Wasn't that the goal?

Are the new rules designed to encourage workers to improve themselves?  Or are they designed only for people with the lowest level of competence and experience?

What happened to Middle Americans?

Have they been thrown under the bus .. again?

No Joy in Muddville ...

Announcement from the Columbia-cascade Section (Area 1) and the IPSC Director of Albany (Oregon) Rifle and Pistol Club:

Sent: Thursday, February 6, 2014 11:48:23 AM
Subject: ARPC USPSA match cancelled

From ARPC Discipline Director Jan ****:

Please send out to the section

Points match saturday Feb 8 at ARPC is canceled due to weather.  Currently there is 8 inches of snow on the ground I-5 is closed and chains are required in Albany and south.  Snow is going to continue thru the weekend.


Here's why:

As you can see, the snow in my driveway is up to the hubcaps on my GeekMobile.  And it's still snowing.   Weather forecast for the next couple of days is "Freezing Rain".

This is the third time in my memory that a CCS match has been cancelled, and it has always been because the prevailing weather conditions has made it unsafe for people to travel.

As for me?   I need groceries, the store is five blocks away, and I think I'll just make do with what I have in the pantry.  Oh, and we've already had two short power outages in my neighborhood ... 20 minutes away from the range.

Chatted with my daughter in San Diego today.  She and her son are in bed with colds ... even though the weather is in the 80's.  She says my grandson envies me the Oregon Snow.

As well he should!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Black conservative leaders & the NRA

[SHORT VERSION] Black conservative leaders discuss how the NRA was created to protect freed slaves - YouTube:
Published on Feb 23, 2013  - SHORT VERSION 
Black conservative leaders discuss the reason the NRA was founded and how gun control is an effort to control people. 
The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) hosted a group of prominent figures from the African American community at 9:45A.M. on Friday, February 22nd at the National Press Club to speak out against gun control legislation currently being considered on Capitol Hill. CURE is the largest black conservative think tank in the nation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. CURE organized the news conference in response to concerns shared by black conservatives that the Senate proposed laws will restrict their ability to defend themselves, their property and their families. They are also concerned that the proposed gun control legislation puts too much power in the hands of politicians.

(Hat tip to "The G-Man")

Thank the Dred Scott slavery trial for putting the spotlight on the questions of whether slaves could be citizens.   The "worst decision the Supreme Court ever made"  (in 1857) went against the then growing acceptance of abolition, and its opponents made it clear that in the minds of most Americans,  all Americans were citizens ... and were "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights".

Did that single legal decision cause the Civil war?  No, but it certainly was an influencing factor.  Abolition undermined the agrarian ecomomy of the Southern Democrat states, who could not compete in a free market without the advantage of cheap labor.  (Note the current administration's determination to provide "cheap labor" by refusing to prosecute illegal aliens ... for much the same reasons.)

Even through World War II, black Americans were still being repressed by white Americans, through such machinations as literary tests to prove that blacks were capable of understanding the "issues" before they were allowed to vote.  (White citizens were not so closely scrutinized).  And Jim Crow laws, which enforced segregation under a "separate but equal" theory proved in fact to be more separate and less equal than the popular fiction would admit.

After WWII, black American veterans realized that their white neighbors ... including and especially the 'militant arm of Segregation' (the Klu Klux Klan) ... would never allow segregation to end if black Americans were unable to defend themselves.  And so, some took up arms* to defend themselves, their families, and their homes.  As the Founding Fathers said they should. 

(See below for the rest of the story)