Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homeward Bound

The first leg of the journey is complete. We're in Quebec City, in our hotel rooms. It's 7:45 and pizza is on the way. At both ends of the flight we didn't bother to put our jackets on (it's about 18ºF).

I think I've acclimated somewhat.

Tomorrow we fly out of Quebec for Chicago, then to Phoenix, and then the two hour drive home.

Oh, wait - it's Phoenix. The three hour drive home.

Regular blogging will resume shortly. Please pardon the free ice cream interruption.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coooooold!

Arrived last night at 10:30PM local time on a twin-turboprop puddle-jumper. Had to walk across the tarmac ice to get to the terminal. The air temperature was -17C, and the wind was whipping.

One of the other passengers was wearing an Hawaiian shirt and shorts.

I've never been so cold so fast in my life.

This morning it was -22C, but at least the wind had died in the night. It probably froze to death.

Tomorrow it's supposed to snow!

Oh frabjous joy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Blog for You!

I leave for Upper Cryogenica at Oh-My-God:30 tomorrow morning, and I'll be traveling all day (we arrive at 10:30PM local time). I have no idea what internet access will be like at the hotel. I may be unable to post for the next few days. The free ice cream* may be in short supply for a bit. Sorry.








*But it'll be damned hard ice cream.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I AM TJIC


What They Said.

UPDATE: There's a BUNCH of us. And I'm late to the party (as usual),

When Animals Attack!

Remember "Deer Roping"?  I've got another one for you:  Neighborhood Hazard (Or: Why the Cops Won't Patrol Brice Street).

How can you not laugh out loud at "Scottish attack squirrel of death"? Seriously. Go read.

Oh, and "beverage warning!"

Found via Ratlands.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Want a Copy of Dead Zero?

A bit back I wrote about author Stephen Hunter in my post The Narrative, which took an excerpt from his last novel, I, Sniper. Well, Simon & Schuster, his publisher, saw fit to offer me some free copies of his just-released Dead Zero. They arrived today.




Apparently they did the same for Linoge of Walls of the City, and he has a GREAT idea. (The picture is his, too, but my copies look the same.)

If you donate to Ramon Castillo's recovery fund (Ramon was the Houston jewelry store owner wounded in a shootout with three robbers (score, Ramon 3, robbers 0) and send me a screenshot of your donation or other acceptable proof (forward me a receipt email, for example), at the end of the month I will do a random drawing from all the donation emails I receive and I'll send two lucky winners a copy of Dead Zero.

Send your emails to thesmallestminority(at)gmail(dot)com.

Quote of the Day - Been There, Done That Edition

In a comment to yesterday's What We're Up Against, reader Thorspapa left this gem:
...as an immigrant from a communist country, I remember similar discussions aired at social gatherings (this is WAY before anybody even conceived of a personal computer or internet) in the beginning of the Communist dictatorship takeover.

Though most of those involved have now passed away (it was a long time ago), I had the satisfaction of seeing some of these deluded souls come to the realization that theory, well wishes, and reality are often not close to each other.

Their realization that the world works different than they thought was sad to watch. The common denominator (at first) was denial: they often stated over and over that things were going badly because some outside force (Imperialists) were working against the brave and well meaning "Government of the People".

Later on, they would insist that fairness and plenty were just around the corner, and all it would take was a few more years of sacrifice, a search for those that "had too much and were hoarding their wealth", and more trust in that benevolent group of people known as "the Government"

Eventually, when everybody was equally miserable, hungry and destitute (except for those "Benevolent Government" officials), reality did set in.

I'm an old man now, and can't help but bristle when I see the same denial of reality grow in my beloved adopted country. I though living through this stupidity once in a lifetime was too much, now I must live it twice. From previous experience, its an uphill battle against these people, when they own the sources of propaganda and "Higher Learning". The battle can be won, but it requires involvement. Those sitting on the sidelines ignoring current events because they're busy, will eventually see the error of their ways.......too late.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quote of the Day - Constitution Edition

From ViolentIndifference:
Congress: None of you, even the few that I like, are half as smart as the writers of our bill of rights. You cannot change our rights. Don't change or amend the document that exists to let you know what our rights are.

Please take note that the Constitution is not yours. You are not babysitters that make up rules for us. The Constitution belongs to us. It is a set of rules that you need to follow.
Read the whole post.  It even has a quote from Serenity.

Monday, January 17, 2011

If it's Weather, It Must Be Global Warming

OK, so the latest apocalypse-in-the-making is the possibility of a "superstorm" devastating California, a storm described as:
a storm (that) could last for more than 40 days and dump 10 feet of water on the state. The storm would be goaded on by an "atmospheric river" that would move water "at the same rate as 50 Mississippis discharging water into the Gulf of Mexico," according to the AP. Winds could reach 125 miles per hour, and landslides could compound the damage
And why are they predicting such a disaster?
Such a superstorm is hypothetical but not improbable, climate researchers warn. "We think this event happens once every 100 or 200 years or so, which puts it in the same category as our big San Andreas earthquakes," Geological Survey scientist Lucy Jones said in a press release.
So these storms occur cyclically:
Geological Survey director Marcia K. McNutt told the New York Times that a 300-mile stretch of the Central Valley was inundated from 1861-62. The floods were so bad that the state capital had to be moved to San Francisco, and Governor Leland Stanford had to take a rowboat to his own inauguration, the report notes. Even larger storms happened in past centuries, over the dates 212, 440, 603, 1029, 1418, and 1605, according to geological evidence.
But?
The risk is gathering momentum now, scientists say, due to rising temperatures in the atmosphere, which has generally made weather patterns more volatile.
Uh, right. Even though climate scientist admit that "global warming" stalled in, what was it? 1998? But GLOBAL WARMING is going to cause California to wash away!

Just like it has at least seven times in the past 1900 years.

When Just Plain Lying Isn't Enough

Snowflakes in Hell illustrates how one branch of the Media pushes its agenda by deliberate mendacity:
Earlier in the day, Carl from Chicago alerted me to an NPR interview that was going on with Paul Helmke, Robert Levy, and some unknown person being touted as a gun rights blogger. Noting that it looks like her blog was just getting started, that immediately raised suspicion that something wasn’t going to pass the smell test. How did they pick out some unknown blogger who is just getting started while ignoring the whole of us? The answer, would obviously be this person is not an unknown blogger, but a false flag; someone flying under the banner of being pro-Second Amendment while in truth being no such thing. Google shows the truth:
Go.  Read.  And be as pissed-off as I am.

What We're Up Against

I haven't been posting much here because I've been busy at this other forum I frequent.  I won't link to it, but I want to show you an exchange I've been having there with "annaelizabeth," a female "lover of nature" who lives in the U.S., and according to her profile is a Myers-Briggs personality type INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging).  For your edification, I'm an INTJ (introversion, intuition, thinking, judging) type.

The discussion in question was raised by the initial post by a third party, to wit:
I am curious about the nature of opposition to any form of national health insurance.
There was, of course, more, but that was the root of the question. I was reading through the responses when I came across annaelizabeth's first post on the topic:
It really makes me sad that people don't see healthcare as a basic human right. I know that the way things have been going, with rising premiums and deductibles, there are hard working people who are not having necessary tests done because they can't afford them. Thus, leading to possibly more problems later. Why have a routine mammogram and pay for it when she can put it off until later? It's a mess. I was for the public option. It just seems to me to be all about profit. I have to pay $50/month for a prescription because I had a bad reaction to the generic. They refuse to lower it for me, saying I should take the generic. No shit. I can't. Fortunately I can afford the $50 but what if I couldn't? How many people would say screw it and not take the necessary meds? It's a joke. I honestly can't even understand how it could get any worse. I know when we were without employer sponsored insurance and had to pay for it on our own basically all of my income went to the insurance premium, as I was a young mother working part time. All of it. And they refused to offer prescription coverage because it wasn't an employer backed plan. So I paid more out of pocket and got less coverage.
I couldn't help myself. I had to respond:
Originally Posted by annaelizabeth:
It really makes me sad that people don't see healthcare as a basic human right.
It makes me sad that so many people DO.

If "healthcare" is a basic human right, what about housing? You can't be healthy if you don't have shelter, right? So why shouldn't housing be a "basic human right"? Or food? You can't be healthy if you're starving, so shouldn't food be a "basic human right"?

It's your logic.

"Healthcare" is not a "basic human right" because it demands that someone else provide it. And when you demand that person A give something to person B, what happened to Person A's rights? Further, how do you enforce that demand? Why through the benefit of GOVERNMENT, no? And what is government?

Legitimized force. Do it, or we'll point our guns at you until you do. Or put you in prison if you continue to resist. Or take by force what you have and give it to those others who have a "right" to it - by your logic.

"Healthcare" is not a right. Until we stop talking about it as if it was, the conversation can't go further.
She was, of course, aghast:
Healthcare is a basic human right.
Food is a basic human right
Shelter is a basic human right.

I couldn't disagree more with your argument. I guess that the concept of providing for the poor is not in your realm of thinking.

I don't think the right to healthcare is something that the government has made up to expand itself. That's the main problem I keep hearing. It's a reason to expand the power of the government, etc....paranoia speaking. The government isn't out to take over anything. The government should work for the people, not just for insurance companies and lobbyists. And you can't "make" something a human right. It either is or it isn't. In my mind health care and the above mentioned items are human rights. You can choose to disagree with that. Whether or not it's in the Constitution has no relevance on a topic which affects all of humanity. It's not a political decision whether or not something is a basic human right. And I have to disagree zen that helping others is something which society can agree to. I don't see that really happening, although I wish that were true. I see people acting out of fear, ignorance, and hatred. I see self preservation at it's finest with little regard for anyone else.
My turn:
Let's look at your assertions. Housing, food and health care are all rights, in your view, and it's the job of government to provide these things - for the poor.

It's the government's job to do this because "people (act) out of fear, ignorance and hatred" (you forgot "greed") and government "should work for the people, not just for insurance companies and lobbyists." OK, I'm glad we have that out in the open.

You're right on one case, though - it's not a political decision whether or not something is a basic human right. It's a philosophical one. Oh, and one other - people are fearful, ignorant and hateful; many of them, anyway.

So, in your view it should be the job of government to provide to the poor shelter, food and health care, because people can't be trusted to do it. People are fearful, ignorant and hateful.

Tell me, please, to whom are you willing to hand this power? To quote a fictional character, "A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." To quote Milton Friedman, "Where in the world are you going to find these angels who are going to organize society for us?"

Because that's what you're asking for. That is what your philosophy requires.

Your philosophy says that "the poor" have more rights than the rest of us, that "government" should be empowered to A) determine who is "poor" and who is not, then B) have the power to confiscate from the not poor fearful,ignorant and hateful to redistribute to "the poor." Again, I ask, to whom would you give such power? How do you select these angels, and separate them from the fearful, ignorant and hateful? Is not "the government" made up of "people"? Is not one of your arguments that government presently represents not "the people" but "insurance companies and lobbyists"? And this will change . . . why, exactly? If you give this power to regular people, will it not be abused?

I submit that your philosophy is internally inconsistent.

And housing, food, and health care are NOT rights if they demand something from others and infringe their rights. One more quote for you:
Reality is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of ugly facts.

Theory and reality are only theoretically related.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.

In practice there is.
Annaelizabeth wasn't through!  Not by half!
What exactly is the point of government if they don't represent us and look out for our welfare? What do you think we have a democracy for? We elect the people whom we believe to be the most competent, people who are supposed to have our best interests in mind (ideally), and we elect them so that they may govern the masses. It's an organized way to make sure there isn't anarchy, and to make sure the people in charge aren't corrupt (ideally) or only looking out for themselves. Do a lousy job and you aren't re-elected. That is the basis of what America is founded upon. Are you saying no one in the world is competent enough for such a task to even be in government?

My philosophy requires the government to look out for everyone and respect the citizens of the country.

"Your philosophy says that "the poor" have more rights than the rest of us"

Not true - I'm saying that we all have equal rights. No one is saying the poor have more rights than the rich. Where did you come up with that? Because the rich may have to give some of their $$$$$ to help someone else less fortunate than themselves, for the benefit of the society in which they themselves live. God forbid someone gives over something to help someone else, even if in the end they also benefit from it. I think we all understand the it's mine don't touch philosophy since it plays out loud and clear too often. It's that philosophy which leads me to the assumption of people acting out of fear (afraid someone will touch their money), hatred (hating anyone who touches their money), and ignorance (thinking everyone wants to touch their money). Greed.

I really don't understand exactly how life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be considered basic human rights but food, shelter and medicine are not. Good luck being happy or even staying alive without any place to live, starving, and ravaged with infection from lack of a simple antibiotic.
And here, I fisk:
What exactly is the point of government if they don't represent us and look out for our welfare?
Ah! An astute question! (Though I doubt that you intended it that way, no offense.) What is the point of government? Well, for centuries if not millennia, it was to keep those who had the power in power. Period. The welfare of the people was a distant concern, and directly proportional to how much trouble those people could cause those in power if they weren't kept happy. Surely you've heard the term "bread and circuses" (panem et circenses in the original Latin)?

The Declaration of Independence, the founding philosophical document of the United States stated that the purpose of government was to secure the rights of men. The preamble to the Constitution, the founding legal document of the United States declared that the purpose of that Constitution was to "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." As a friend of mine recently put it, though, "You know, for the last hundred years there has been entirely too much Promoting of the General Welfare and Creating a More Perfect Union and way too damned little Securing of the Blessings of Liberty." (Thanks, Tam!)
What do you think we have a democracy for?
Not to be pedantic, but strictly speaking, we don't live in a democracy, or at least, we're not supposed to be. Go back and read the writings of the Founders. A democracy is the last thing they wanted, because they knew that democracies self-destruct - always. We're supposed to be living in a representative Republic, but over two centuries of entropy (and to be honest, some deliberate sledge-hammering) we've left that ideal long behind.
We elect the people whom we believe to be the most competent, people who are supposed to have our best interests in mind (ideally), and we elect them so that they may govern the masses.
My, you ARE an idealist, aren't you? We elect the people who RUN. In the main, competent people avoid government service and earn good livings doing so. As the anarchists often remark, if voting actually accomplished anything, it would be illegal. That's a bit too extreme for my outlook, but it's more generally accurate than I like to admit.
It's an organized way to make sure there isn't anarchy, and to make sure the people in charge aren't corrupt (ideally) or only looking out for themselves. Do a lousy job and you aren't re-elected. That is the basis of what America is founded upon.
How has that worked out, honestly? How many men (and women) have entered Congress (where the pay is $174,000 per year) with middling wealth, and left as millionaires? The job of the politician isn't to "represent us and look out for our welfare," it's to keep getting re-elected. And how do they do that? By bribing the voters. Henry Louis Mencken, a columnist from the 1930's observed - quite accurately:
The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.
The Founders understood this. The purpose of the Constitution was to limit the damage that such people could wreak when they were in power.
Are you saying no one in the world is competent enough for such a task to even be in government?
No, I'm saying that people who end up in government are often (not always) the least likely to bother to even try. Government is power. Power corrupts, and attracts the corrupt. The purpose of the Constitution was to provide sufficient power to allow government to perform its legitimate functions, while at the same time limiting the amount of damage that could be done when the corrupt got their hands on the levers of power. Federalist Paper #45 put it plainly: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined." Have you seen a copy of the Code of Federal Regulations lately? It runs to 50 (fifty!) volumes and over 13,000 pages. The federal tax code, volume 26 of the CFR, is by itself over 3,000 pages. Does this sound to you to be "few and defined" powers?
My philosophy requires the government to look out for everyone and respect the citizens of the country.
Mine requires the government to protect the rights of those citizens against their infringement by other citizens, and against their infringement by that same government.
"Your philosophy says that "the poor" have more rights than the rest of us"

Not true - I'm saying that we all have equal rights. No one is saying the poor have more rights than the rich. Where did you come up with that?
Because you believe that the poor have a right to the property of people better off than themselves, and that it is the government's job to A) identify the two groups, and B) carry out the redistribution.
Because the rich may have to give some of their $$$$$ to help someone else less fortunate than themselves, for the benefit of the society in which they themselves live.
If it's taken from them at the threat of imprisonment, it isn't "giving," is it?
God forbid someone gives over something to help someone else, even if in the end they also benefit from it.
I've had this conversation before with someone who referred to what you call "giving" as "obligatory charity." How Orwellian. If it's "obligatory" it sure as hell isn't "charity."
I think we all understand the it's mine don't touch philosophy since it plays out loud and clear too often. It's that philosophy which leads me to the assumption of people acting out of fear (afraid someone will touch their money), hatred (hating anyone who touches their money), and ignorance (thinking everyone wants to touch their money). Greed.
Ah, there. I knew you'd get around to the "G"-word eventually. So you want to take their money, but it's ignorant of them to think you want to take their money, it's wrong of them to fear you taking their money, and it's wrong of them to hate you for taking their money, because somehow it's better for them if you have this power, and you know better than they do what should be done with their money.

If you know better, why don't you use your own money?
I really don't understand exactly how life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be considered basic human rights but food, shelter and medicine are not.
That's obvious. I've tried to explain it to you, but please, look up the difference between negative and positive rights. Your philosophy is one of positive rights. Mine rejects them as illogical and philosophically inconsistent.
Good luck being happy or even staying alive without any place to live, starving, and ravaged with infection from lack of a simple antibiotic.
And again, you illustrate your misunderstanding. You insist that government must provide these things. I insist that government must not prohibit my acquisition of these things, so long as I do not infringe on other's rights while doing so. Government must not take these things from me after I acquire them, and must act to prevent others from doing the same.

THAT is the function of government. And THAT is why I oppose "national health insurance." It is not the business of government, at least no what ours is supposed to be.
She hasn't responded since Saturday. I'm really curious to see if she will, and what she'll have to say.  But this is what we're up against, and there are a lot more of them than there are of us - and they vote.

What HE Said

Read Don Surber.  Twice.

What HE said.

Quote of the Day - UK Edition

Reader Bob Beagle pointed to an article in the UK Telegraph about how the Giffords shooting is just more evidence that the US needs to adopt strict gun laws.  I found this comment to that piece worthy of being QotD in its entirety:
If I may suggest, the repeated acts of treason by sitting prime ministers of the UK, the forced participation in the anti-democratic EU, the end of habeas corpus, the loss of protest rights, the loss of free expression rights ..... all serve to make many in the UK acutely aware that a weak populace will be treated with contempt.


In the UK we were disarmed by the state, and now that state thinks nothing of signing our national sovereignty away against a manifesto pledge.


Gordon Brown shoulld(sic) be executed for his treason against the british people. The treason is continuing under cameron(sic).


If these traitors, protected by a corrupt judicial system at least feared getting a righteous bullet between the eyes, perhaps they would think twice before betraying the people.


We have already witnessed the end of democracy in the UK. That would not have happened if the people had the right to carry firearms.


So, if we sound like NRA stooges, it is simply because we now understand what we have lost and why.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Form 4473

Rob Doar points out what the MSM has ignored:
Jared Loughner DID NOT legally obtain a gun.

In news story after news story, I see the claim over and over again that Jared Loughner legally obtained his Glock 19 9mm handgun from Sportsman’s Warehouse on November 30th, 2010.

This is false. Jared Loughner obtained his gun by means of a felony.

Allow me to explain.
RTWT, because he's exactly right.

(h/t to Papa Todd)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quote of the Day - Economics Edition

From Thomas Sowell:
I think that if the average citizen understood economics as well as it was understood by economists 200 years ago, most of the nonsense that's done in Washington would be impossible politically.
From a very recent Uncommon Knowledge interview you can watch (and I strongly recommend you do) below, courtesy of Power Line:





If you don't have 33 minutes to devote to watching this video at the moment, here's a short (2:39) excerpt to whet your appetite:





Sowell's Basic Economics (Third Edition) is still sitting on my headboard waiting to be read.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Your Moment of Zen - I Needed This Edition


Somewhere in Utah, at dawn.
(Click for full size.)

The Ithaca Auto & Burglar

I've mentioned this little jewel once before in a post, but I got an interesting link in an email from the moderator of the Gun Values Board to a piece about the gun itself.  Yes, I'd imagine that a double-barreled 20 gauge pistol would be a quite intimidating - and effective - personal defense weapon.  Still, if I ever go the NFA route, I think I want the AOW (Any Other Weapon) Serbu Super-Shorty.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quote of the Day - Heartwrenching Edition

This shouldn't happen in this country, or anywhere else, but in a free society we're going to be subject to people like this. I prefer this to the alternative. - John Green, father of 9 year old Christina Green
Christina was slain Saturday by the nutjob who tried to assassinate Congresswoman Giffords here in Tucson.  Quoted on Sunday's Today Show in a clip at Reason online.  Watch the whole piece.

Found via SayUncle.

UPDATE:  The video is currently available on YouTube:




Thanks to Linoge for the pointer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The North Coast of Quebec in Late January - What Could Go Wrong?

I'll be spending the last week of January on the lower North coast of Quebec, about 400 miles North of Quebec City.

I've lived in Tucson since 1981.  I'm not sure my system will be able to deal with daytime high temperatures of, oh, 21°F.

I just ordered quilt-lined bib-overalls from Carhartt off of Amazon.  Now I need to get some long underwear, heavy socks, and some heavy long-sleeve shirts.  I get the feeling I'm going to be spending some quality time tramping around the jobsite taking pictures and notes.

Engineering.  It's not just a job, it's an adventure!  Can't keep me in a fabric-covered box! ;-)

Quote of the Day - George Bernard Shaw Edition

George Bernard Shaw was a socialist. There is no doubt about that. He was also a promoter of eugenics.

The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. They are, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out in his Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, commonly associated.

They are commonly associated because socialism requires a "New Man" in order to succeed. For the Russian Communists, it was the "New Soviet Man." For the Nazis it was their "master race" of Übermenschen, but either way, it requires those "others" to cease to exist so that they'll stop gumming up the works of their scientifically- and socially-engineered utopia.

Yes, the socialists were all in favor of "the workers," as long as they were the right type:


Source: The Soviet Story

It is suggested that Shaw was using satire here, to poke holes in (as Wikipedia puts it) "the eugenicists' wilder dreams," but the fact of the matter is, joking or not, his call for chemists to "discover a lethal gas" for carrying out mass killings was eventually taken seriously.  And it wasn't satire that killed millions of Ukrainian kulaks, it was deliberate starvation, starvation that the New York Times' Walter Duranty covered up, saying "Must all of them and their families be physically abolished? Of course not - they must be 'liquidated' or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass."  Nor was that the first - or the last - mass murder carried out in the name of socialist utopianism.

Mass murder isn't a bug with socialism, it's a feature.

Monday, January 10, 2011

This Blog Does Have an RSS Feed

The address is:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/ThXv

Just thought you might want to know.

Commentary on Saturday's Rampage Shooting

So I suppose I should write some analysis of Saturday's assassination attempt and mass shooting.

Sorry.

Larry Correia beat me to it.

What he said.

Maj. Richard Winters, RIP

Damn:
'Band of Brothers' inspiration dies at age 92

Richard "Dick" Winters, the Easy Company commander whose World War II exploits were made famous by the book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers," died last week in central Pennsylvania. He was 92.

Winters died following a several-year battle with Parkinson's disease, longtime family friend William Jackson said Monday.

An intensely private and humble man, Winters had asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral, Jackson said.

Quote of the Day - "What's Wrong With a Little Socialism?" Edition

From American Thinker, The Stealthy Spread of Socialism in the U.S.
The biggest challenge facing Republicans in the 112th Congress is not Barack Obama. It is not Harry Reid and the Democrat-controlled Senate. It isn't high unemployment, repealing ObamaCare, the threat of Islamism and sharia in America, the deficit, or the looming insolvency of several (mostly blue) states. These, broadly speaking, are symptoms. The disease is socialism -- or at the very least, a pervasive socialistic mindset.

According to a February 2010 Gallup poll, "61% of liberals say their image of socialism is positive" and "53% of Democrats have a positive image of socialism." Overall, 36% of Americans view socialism favorably.

Winston Churchill aptly described socialism as "a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue [being] the equal sharing of misery." As economist Thomas Sowell put it, "[s]ocialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
"It'll work if the right people are in charge!!"

Found at Dr. Sanity.  Read the whole post, and her links.  

Sunday, January 09, 2011

This is One of the Most Difficult Things I Have Ever Watched

And it's a prelude to tomorrow's Quote of the Day. It's about ninety minutes long. I knew bits and pieces of the information, but there was a lot I was completely unaware of, and I've never before seen all of it laid out in one continuous, historical timeline from Stalin to the present day.

The Soviet Story, 2008, found at Dr. Sanity

UPDATE: Blip.TV pulled the video. It's available at Veoh.com for the time being, but you have to install their software to see the whole thing. Veoh allows you to watch just the first five minutes without doing that.

Quote of the Day - Inflammatory Rhetoric Edition

From Dr. Sanity:
One of the more interesting emails I received yesterday after the unfolding of the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of others, including a Federal judge in Arizona, was the following:
"This is what comes of spewing hate, you fascist pig!"
There's nothing I can add to that.

Match Report - Almost There!

Turnout for this month's Bowling Pin match was a bit lower - thirteen people in addition to myself, 25 guns.  I brought with me today four tables, but somehow only enough legs for three of them, so we shot (mostly) three-at-a-time.  And you know what?  I may stick to that format.  It worked pretty well!  I also brought an air horn as the match "start" signal.  EVERYBODY can hear it!

We went back to the best two out of three, double-elimination format, eschewing the "timed" runs for handicapping - we just went head-to-head.  I need to work on keeping a little better track of the competition using this format, but I think it's the way to go, especially if turnout comes back up.

We started shooting at 9AM, and were done by 11:30.  Once again, thanks to everybody who helped reset targets, and especially to those who helped tear down afterwards.

Today's winner for centerfire was John Higgins, who shot nine matches in four sets with his EAA Witness 9mm, losing only once.  Second place went to Jim Burnett, shooting a Beretta 92, also in 9mm, who gave John his single loss.  I won the .22 class, also shooting against John, who was having a great day.  John had gone undefeated in .22 (he'd already beaten me 2-0 in one match), but I managed to beat him in four straight runs, taking him out in double-elimination.  I love my Ruger MkII!

Larry Boykin won the $25 entry pot drawing.  

Next month's match is February 13, the day before Valentine's.  First rounds down range at 9:00AM.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Congresswoman Giffords Shot

I just heard about this:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at point-blank range today outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store where she was holding a campaign event, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Giffords was among as many as 12 people reportedly wounded in the shooting, and according to Congressional sources, several people on the Deomcrat's staff were among the wounded.

She was taken to University Medical Center, where a hospital spokesman confirmed she was alive. But the extent and seriousness of her injuries were not being released.
The shooter is reportedly in custody.
As I wrote this, it has been reported that Rep. Giffords has died.  Several others were shot in the incident.  CNN is reporting "at least 12" including Giffords, and at least three others have died.

Damn.

UPDATE 1:00 PM:  The news is now reporting that Giffords is NOT dead, but seriously wounded.  Thirteen shot, six are dead.


2:00 PM update:  UMC Press conference announcement - UMC received ten gunshot patients, one died - a "young child about nine years old." A girl.  Damn.  Giffords is out of surgery for "a through-and-through injury" to the head, but the surgeon giving the report stated that he believed she would survive.  Five others are stable, five are in surgery - which doesn't work out mathematically, but it seemed a bit rushed.  Bottom line, one child dead, Giffords should survive.  I expect her recovery will take some time.

4:00 Update:  Had to take the dog to the vet.  She got into something she shouldn't have.  They have released the name of the shooter:  Jared Lee Loughner.  He's not, apparently, an agent of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  I still haven't heard a hard certain number of victims, but it appears that at least five have died, including a federal district judge and the young girl mentioned previously.

8:15 Update:  OK, according to the Pima County Sheriff, nineteen (19) people were shot. Six are dead, five are critical (including Giffords) and five are in serious condition.  Perp used a "semi-automatic weapon."  Rumors are it was a Glock. There were no other shooters.  Two people tackled the shooter after he ran out of ammo.  Apparently he didn't save one for himself.  The shooter, based on his YouTube, MySpace and Facebook pages is well past a half-bubble off plumb.  People he went to high school with remember him as "lefty" in his politics, but who knows, that can change with time.  There is little doubt that this was an assassination attempt.  The reasoning behind it could be political or it could be that the Giant Twinkie told him to.  Or the command was hidden in a secret code in Mein Kampf that only he was able to decipher.  It apparently went down pretty rapidly, and Giffords was one of, if not the first of the victims, then he apparently opened up on the crowd until he ran out of ammo.  The Sheriff's department is seeking another person, male, who is believed to have transported the shooter to the site.  That person's identity is not known, or if it is, they aren't saying.

The Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik (among others) is blaming the attack on the "inflammatory rhetoric" in politics today.  Expect to see this as the emergent Media Narrative over the next days and weeks. 

You don't really think that JournoList went away, do you?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Ravenwood's Law

Ravenwood's Law is expressed:
As a discussion about guns grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Dodge City or the Wild West approaches one.
It doesn't have to be a "discussion," apparently.  This was in Wednesday's local paper "letters to the editor" section:
Harper's plan for education: guns Re: the Dec. 23 article "Legislator wants end to campus gun bans."
Bravo state Sen. Jack Harper, the Old West's true son! Got a big issue? Just grab a big gun!

Armed guys on campus? Jack finds it prudent to arm the professor as well as the student.

But one little problem: This plan no doubt shall turn every classroom into the O.K. Corral.

Ernest von Nardroff
Retired, Tucson
And immediately below that gem came another example of "The Philosophy Cannot Be Wrong! Do It Again Only HARDER!"
Economic theory not fully tested

Re: the Dec. 24 letter to the editor "Keynesian theory proved to be a failure."

A letter writer claims Keynesian economics is dead and cites the failure of the stimulus package to end the recession as proof.

The death proclamation is both premature and wrong.

The Bush recession (began in 2007) has resulted in historically high consumer debt levels and $12 trillion in lost home and investment values.

Consequently, because of demand/supply inelasticity, consumers are not positioned to spend (demand) the economy out of the recession.

Clearly, what is needed is stimulated demand.

U.S. economic expansion is currently so slow that in order to grow demand, a multi-billion or even a multi-trillion dollar stimulus is needed.

The only lesson from the failure of the first stimulus package is that it was far too small.

Stuart A. Ulanoff
Tucson
I'm very glad I don't waste my money on a subscription.

I'm Beginning to Resemble This, Myself

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN GUILTY OF LOOKING AT OTHERS YOUR OWN AGE AND THINKING, SURELY I CAN'T LOOK THAT OLD.

WELL . . .

MY NAME IS ALICE, AND I WAS SITTING IN THE WAITING ROOM FOR MY FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH A NEW DENTIST.

I NOTICED HIS DDS DIPLOMA ON THE WALL, WHICH BORE HIS FULL NAME. SUDDENLY, I REMEMBERED A TALL, HANDSOME, DARK-HAIRED BOY WITH THE SAME NAME HAD BEEN IN MY HIGH SCHOOL CLASS SOME 30-ODD YEARS AGO.

COULD HE BE THE SAME GUY THAT I HAD A SECRET CRUSH ON, WAY BACK THEN?

UPON SEEING HIM, HOWEVER, I QUICKLY DISCARDED ANY SUCH THOUGHT.

THIS BALDING, GRAY-HAIRED MAN WITH THE DEEPLY LINED FACE WAS WAY TOO OLD TO HAVE BEEN MY CLASSMATE.

AFTER HE EXAMINED MY TEETH, I ASKED HIM IF HE HAD ATTENDED MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL..

'YES. YES, I DID. I'M A MUSTANG,' HE GLEAMED WITH PRIDE.

WHEN DID YOU GRADUATE?' I ASKED.

HE ANSWERED, 'IN 1982. WHY DO YOU ASK?'

YOU WERE IN MY CLASS!', I EXCLAIMED.

HE LOOKED AT ME CLOSELY.

THEN, THAT UGLY,

OLD,

BALD,

WRINKLED FACED,

GRAY-HAIRED,

DECREPIT

SON-OF-A-%&*#@

ASKED,

'WHAT DID YOU TEACH??
In an email today at work.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Quote of the Day - Media and Education Edition

It's not just crappy education [although that certainly contributes], it's that most 'reporters' study 'journalism' in college, where they're taught not to 'report' facts and such but to 'describe' and 'explain' 'narratives' and 'messages' to the ignorant public. They are to become 'journalists', which apparently means they don't really need to know anything except how to string together words to make a sentence. And they don't need to understand anything at all.

The journalism majors I get in my class are second worst, only better than the education majors.


Posted by: JorgXMcKie at January 6, 2011 10:21 AM
Found at Arms and the Law, Media ignores ATF internal scandals

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

To Quote the Eminently Quotable Tamara K,

This would make me want to get my wookie on. This would make me want to saddle up and bust caps. If the .gov was wondering what it would take to turn me into a wild-eyed militia kook, well, they've found it.
She said this about the EPA looking at banning traditional lead ammunition, and I agreed with her then.  I was reminded of that quotation when I read that European governments have started seizing private pension funds. Argentina did it a while ago.

There have been noises here about Congress looking longingly and lovingly at all of the money tied up in 401(k) retirement accounts. You see, the crash of the stock market proves that allowing people to control their own retirement accounts is just, well, foolish. We'd be much better off if we gave that money to the government for them to dole out to us in our old age like we do with Social Security.

Oh, wait...

So you want to seize my 401(k) funds? My wookie suit is fresh back from the cleaners, and I just cleaned the bowcaster.

Boomershoot!

I watched the Outdoor Channel's Shooting Gallery episode last night on Joe Huffman's Boomershoot.  Except for host Michael Bane using the dreaded word "Tannerite," the show was excellent.  (No footage of Joe's daughter Kim, though.)  And we got to see David Whitewolf of Random Nuclear Strikes with his long-range specialty pistols.  I've shot some of Dave's guns, and that inspired me to get The Power Tool™ that I took, along with my Remington 700 5R, to Boomershoot 2009.  I got a Boomer with it, too!  (And scared the hell out of several more.)

Legal Not-So-Minutiae

I've seen in the last few days a couple of news pieces that give me heartburn. As I've stated before, in studying the legal history of gun control in depth, I've read a lot of legal decisions and analysis of those decisions, and I've read a lot of law. I am convinced that Rick Cook was on to something when he said:
The key to understanding the American system is to imagine that you have the power to make nearly any law you want. But your worst enemy will be the one to enforce it.
It's worse when our congresscritters pass laws without knowing what's in them in the first place. Add to that a Court system that, in the words of 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski:
The needs of law enforcement, to which my colleagues seem inclined to refuse nothing, are quickly making personal privacy a distant memory. 1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last.
The first story comes from California's Supreme Court in the case of People v. Diaz where:
We granted review in this case to decide whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution permits law enforcement officers, approximately 90 minutes after lawfully arresting a suspect and transporting him to a detention facility, to conduct a warrantless search of the text message folder of a cell phone they take from his person after the arrest. We hold that, under the United States Supreme Court's binding precedent, such a search is valid as being incident to a lawful custodial arrest. We affirm the Court of Appeal's judgment.
The Court's reasoning is given:
One of the specifically established exceptions to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement is "a search incident to lawful arrest." (United States v. Robinson (1973) 414 U.S. 218, 224 (Robinson).) This exception "has traditionally been justified by the reasonableness of searching for weapons, instruments of escape, and evidence of crime when a person is taken into official custody and lawfully detained." (United States v. Edwards (1974) 415 U.S. 800, 802-803 (Edwards).) As the high court has explained: "When a custodial arrest is made, there is always some danger that the person arrested may seek to use a weapon, or that evidence may be concealed or destroyed. To safeguard himself and others, and to prevent the loss of evidence, it has been held reasonable for the arresting officer to conduct a prompt, warrantless search of the arrestee's person and the area 'within his immediate control' . . . ." Such searches may be conducted without a warrant, and they may also be made whether or not there is probable cause to believe that the person arrested may have a weapon or is about to destroy evidence. The potential dangers lurking in all custodial arrests make warrantless searches of items within the "immediate control" area reasonable without requiring the arresting officer to calculate the probability that weapons or destructible evidence may be involved.
However, here's what the dissent to that decision said:
The majority concludes police may search the data stored on an arrestee's mobile phone without a warrant, as they may search clothing or small physical containers such as a crumpled cigarette package taken from the person of an arrestee. In my view, electronic communication and data storage devices carried on the person — cellular phones, smartphones and handheld computers — are not sufficiently analogous to the clothing considered in Edwards or the crumpled cigarette package in Robinson to justify a blanket exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. A particular context-dependent balancing of constitutionally protected privacy interests against the police interests in safety and preservation of evidence led the United States Supreme Court, over 30 years ago, to hold searches of the arrestee's person reasonable despite the lack of probable cause or a warrant and despite substantial delay between the arrest and the search. Today, in the very different context of mobile phones and related devices, that balance must be newly evaluated.

The potential intrusion on informational privacy involved in a police search of a person's mobile phone, smartphone or handheld computer is unique among searches of an arrestee's person and effects. A contemporary smartphone can hold hundreds or thousands of messages, photographs, videos, maps, contacts, financial records, memoranda and other documents, as well as records of the user's telephone calls and Web browsing. Never before has it been possible to carry so much personal or business information in one's pocket or purse. The potential impairment to privacy if arrestees' mobile phones and handheld computers are treated like clothing or cigarette packages, fully searchable without probable cause or a warrant, is correspondingly great.
The case from which I took Chief Judge Kozinski's "1984" quote was one in which law enforcement officers, without a warrant, attached a GPS tracking device to a suspect's vehicle to record his every movement. The 9th Circuit said that was just fine. Now the California Supreme Court says that if the police want to dig through the hard drive on your laptop, all they need is to "lawfully arrest" you for any viable infraction of the law. If your laptop is with you, it's fair game, even though had you left it at home, they'd need a warrant.

In an earlier case, Judge Kozinski wrote:
Judges know very well how to read the Constitution broadly when they are sympathetic to the right being asserted. We have held, without much ado, that “speech, or...the press” also means the Internet...and that "persons, houses, papers, and effects" also means public telephone booths....When a particular right comports especially well with our notions of good social policy, we build magnificent legal edifices on elliptical constitutional phrases - or even the white spaces between lines of constitutional text. But, as the panel amply demonstrates, when we're none too keen on a particular constitutional guarantee, we can be equally ingenious in burying language that is incontrovertibly there.

It is wrong to use some constitutional provisions as springboards for major social change while treating others like senile relatives to be cooped up in a nursing home until they quit annoying us. As guardians of the Constitution, we must be consistent in interpreting its provisions. If we adopt a jurisprudence sympathetic to individual rights, we must give broad compass to all constitutional provisions that protect individuals from tyranny. If we take a more statist approach, we must give all such provisions narrow scope. Expanding some to gargantuan proportions while discarding others like a crumpled gum wrapper is not faithfully applying the Constitution; it's using our power as federal judges to constitutionalize our personal preferences.
I'd say they've made their decision, and that decision is statist.

Some members of the Left have been taking exception to the incoming Congressional Republican decision to read the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow, and to pass a rule to require bills to cite their basis in the Constitution. What the Left objects to is the fact that the Right understands that the purpose of the Constitution was not only to establish the federal government, but to limit it, and protect the rights of The People. A Liberal Supreme Court "discovered" a right to privacy in the "penubras formed by emanations" from the guarantees in the Bill of Rights in Griswold v. Connecticut back in 1965.  

But not, apparently, if you're "lawfully arrested." Or just driving around in your own car. I guess they've seen the error of their ways.

The second story is, on the surface, much less weighty. Actor and former TV host Gary Collins was arrested for walking out of a restaurant without paying. (I wonder if they searched his cell phone?) But here's the part that grabbed my attention:
Cops quickly caught up with Collins and took him into custody on charges of defrauding an innkeeper, which happens to be a felony since the amount of the check was over $25.
A felony.

A FELONY.

According to Dictionary.com, a felony is defined as:
an offense, as murder or burglary, of graver character than those called misdemeanors, esp. those commonly punished in the U.S. by imprisonment for more than a year.
The man walked out on a restaurant tab. And why am I so bent about this? Because of one of those laws that was passed that apparently nobody read, but that will be enforced by your worst enemy: USC Title 18, Section 922(g)(1):
It shall be unlawful for any person ... who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year ... to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
Walk out on a restaurant bill, lose your right to arms forever.

Does this make any sense to you?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Bowling Pin Match, Sunday January 9

Tucson Rifle Club action range. Registration begins at 8:30 AM (we're starting a little later). Sign in at the range office, but if all you're going to do is shoot the match, you don't need to pay the daily use range fee - it's part of the match entry fee for non-members. $10 for the first gun, $5 each for additional guns. First round downrange (hopefully) by about 9:00.

We're going to shoot Major (.40 and above), Minor (9mm and below), and .22 rimfire as separate classes, in a double-double-elimination (best two-out-of-three against a competitor, lose against two competitors and you're done - at least in that division - for the day.)

Smallest centerfire allowed: .38 Special. Hollowpoint and flat-point bullets work better at carrying pins off the tables than round-nose or FMJ bullets do, regardless of caliber.

You'll be paired off against other shooters in your division for head-to-head competition, again, best 2 out of 3 wins the match. Bring enough ammo! Most tables take way over five shots. Even if you lose the match, you can keep shooting until you've cleared your table if you want to. Consider it practice for the next round.

Whoever is left with after elimination will be declared victor of the division. The last match of the day will be a best two-out-of-three competition between the top Major and Minor shooters. Your only prize: the accolades of your peers.

Everyone who hangs around until the end of the shoot will be put in for a drawing. $1 of each entry goes into a pot. A drawing from the names of those present will be taken, and the winner gets the whole pot. Last month it was over $40, so you get your entry fee back, and a little gas money.

See you Sunday, January 9!

Monday, January 03, 2011

More Balkanization

I've written here at TSM previously on the Tucson Unified School District's "Ethnic Studies" program, or "Raza Studies" as it's known hereabouts. It's been a crusade by the current and outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction to eliminate this program from Tucson's schools. Said Superintendent is outgoing because he was recently elected to the position of Attorney General. And he's serious:
In his final hours as Arizona schools chief, Tom Horne is planning to make a declaration this morning that TUSD's ethnic studies program is in violation of state law.

For Horne, who has held the post for the last eight years and will be sworn in as the state's attorney general at noon, the only way the district can come into compliance will be complete elimination of the Mexican American Studies program.

"In view of the long history regarding that program, the violations are deeply rooted in the program itself, and partial adjustments will not constitute compliance," Horne wrote in a 10-page document of findings.

Failure to comply could result in the loss of up to 10 percent of the district's budget. The Tucson Unified School District's annual state-aid budget is more than $149 million. If a 10 percent reduction is imposed, that amounts to an annual loss of nearly $15 million, according to the Arizona Department of Education.
Note that, for the benefit of TUSD graduates and dropouts, the paper kindly did the "10% of X = Y" math for them.

At least the ones who can read.

RTWT.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

THIS is How You Do It

Via Robb Allen, read the story of how Popgun took an Anti and his wife to the range.  You don't reach them by insulting them.  (Something I need to work on occasionally myself.)

The TSM 2010 Retrospective

This has become an annual tradition. I started doing it in 2007, so this will be my fourth look back over the previous year.

In January the Quote of the Month came the very first day:
I made it to 2010 and all I got from the SF books of my youth is the lousy dystopian government. - perlhaqr
You can still get it on a T-shirt.  I got mine last year.

Being still unemployed (laid off December 7 of 2009), I did manage to pen an Überpost that month:  What We Got Here Is . . . Failure to Communicate, a multi-thousand word book report on Thomas Sowell's magnum opus A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, using examples from the comments at TSM to illustrate Sowell's sagacity.

Then I got a new job.

February's Quote of the Month came in response to Audi's "Green Police" Superbowl TV ad. You'll just have to click on the link for that one. No Überpost that month, though. I was getting up to speed at my new place of employment.

March brought us the oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, and an interesting transcript of them. Alan Gura once again proves why he's the man when it comes to arguing before the Supremes when he lays down the smackage on the Wise Latina:
Justice Sotomayor, States may have grown accustomed to violating the rights of American citizens, but that does not bootstrap those violations into something that is constitutional.
If there were any real justice in this world, that would have left a scar. That later became Quote of the Day, and is the Quote of the Month for March. My new job sent me to Chicago that month for a service call, and I had a pleasant dinner with a reader at Ditka's while I was there. Also in March we learned that the federal Department of Education apparently has a bunch of Remington 870 short-barreled shotguns with ghost-ring sights, and Knoxx stocks, as they went out to purchase an additional 27 units. I guess you need that kind of firepower to deal with the teachers unions unruly students parents.

The HVAC unit on my roof died early in the month. Well, the heat exchanger in the gas heater did. I finally got THAT paid off a couple of months ago. Word of advice: pass on Goodman products. I replaced it with a Trane.

Also in March I commented on Al Gore's Feb. op-ed We Can't Wish Away Climate Change wherein he stated that "From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption."

Redemption.

REDEMPTION.

When someone sees government as a means to human redemption I want them kept as far from the levers of power as is possible. I had a bit more to say on the subject a couple of days later.

March was also the month that Congress overcame all protest and passed the 2,000+ page "Health Care Reform" bill.  Lots of posts about that, but boiled down to a soundbite by Representative Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan's 11th District in this pithy observation:
The Democratic Party believes that you can take an imperfect health-care system and fix it by putting it under the most dysfunctional and broken entity in the United States today: It's called the Federal Government.

That proposition is insane.
And if a picture is worth a thousand words, this one sums it all up:








No Überpost this month either, just a lot of linky and not a lot of thinky. I left that to others.

April started off no better. However, April brought a surprise - Arizona became the third state in the nation with "Constitutional Carry." Permitless legal concealed-carry legislation passed and the governor signed the bill.

I started running a monthly bowling-pin match at my local range in April. All those people carrying really ought to be able to hit a bowling pin at 25 feet, don't you think?

Supreme Court Justice Stevens announced his retirement in April, prompting me to quote Justice Scalia at some length concerning the "Living Constitution" question. Not an Überpost, but an important topic, I think.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed another bill in April, SB1070, which drew a little attention from the media all the way to the White House. Not being a fan of government in general, I was a bit skeptical of the law to begin with, but it pissed so many of the right people off, I warmed to it later.

I did manage a baby-Überpost on the topic of the education system: Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools - Twofer Edition, discussing how ill prepared high-school graduates are for college, and a story about how a "model school" run by Stanford education professors performed about how you'd expect a school run by "education experts" to perform. It failed. While just down the street, another school teaching kids from the same demographic is succeeding. Why? Read the piece, if you haven't.

Finally, in November of 2009 the HaloScan commenting system I had been using since 2003 switched to Echo. By the end of April it was quite apparent that Echo was NOT popular with my readers, but I had almost seven years worth of comments, and I didn't want to lose them in switching to another system, as Echo's export function didn't seem to import to any other service. More on this later in the year.

May began with Victims of Communism Day, something I think I'll repeat annually. Short and to the point.

I ran my second bowling pin match on Mother's Day of all days. Turnout was, as you'd expect, light.

On the 10th, SayUncle and Xlrq pointed to a website, Momlogic, spreading more made-up scaaary numbers about. In short, they lied about the number of accidental deaths of children, and when called on it, neither apologized nor retracted.

The blog turned seven years old in May, so I indulged in a review of some of the ego-inflating things that have been said about it and me. Thanks, y'all!

I spent some time down in central Mexico in May, which cut into my internet access terribly. The hotel had Wifi, but it was at dial-up speeds. There was access on the job site, but it was heavily firewalled, and I had actual, you know, work to do. Posting was light, to say the least.

There was one significant post for the month, though. They say the internet never forgets anything, and video of Milton Friedman is one thing I'm very glad will remain available to all. I put up a short clip I saw at Bill Whittle's, with some commentary in Intentions and Results.

June? June was gooood. The rifle I'd waited almost eighteen months for finally arrived. My Ted Brown-built LRB M25 arrived at my doorstep June 1 at 10AM. It has both a bayonet lug and the shoulder-thing that goes up. I think it made Sarah Brady cry. And Paul Helmke wet himself.

On June 2 over in (formerly) Great Britain, a taxi driver who was licensed to possess two shotguns and a .22 rifle used one shotgun and the rifle to go on a three and a half hour shooting spree in Cumbria, killing twelve people and wounding 25, according to early reports. I had something to say about that.

It was also shortly after this that I promised an Überpost to James Kelly of Scotland. Promises, promises . . .

Also in June, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP proved that they need to study astrophysics a little bit more.

I did manage a real Überpost in June, though. Sort of. I recycled an older post with some updates reflecting the Supreme Court decisions in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago with Cut-'n-Paste. And the Quote of the Month came out of the reaction to the McDonald decision.

By July it was fairly obvious that I wasn't holding up my end of the blogging bargain too well in 2010. Lots of linky, not as much thinky. So I linked to the best blog post and comment thread evar, in For Your Reading Entertainment. Still, TSM received its two-millionth recorded site visit shortly thereafter.

And in July, the fourth monthly bowling pin shoot started to show signs of promise.

July brought us a brilliant essay from Angelo Codevilla that he turned into a book. I made several excerpts Quotes of the Day, and now I make this one Quote of the Month. The JournoList scandal broke in July, and I managed to work it into a short piece in relation to Professor Codevilla's essay.

By early August it was apparent that something was happening in American politics that was not business-as-usual. I wrote But What if Your Loyalty is to the Constitution? - Part III about that.

I discovered in August that one of my technical dissertations is now linked by a University as a reference. Pretty cool.

Then I fisked a high school valedictorian's graduation speech. I think she is a victim of "critical pedagogy." She certainly used all the right buzzwords. And a couple of days later, I got a further example of just how far our "education" system has fallen, and another. And then an illustration of part of the problem. GIGO.

In good news, I finally understand the gublogosphere's universal praise of author Terry Pratchett. Another series I have to go buy the whole of.

August's Quote of the Month came from a different book, however: Colin Ferguson's American On Purpose.

And now we get back to that comment saga. By August, Echo's intermittent troubles seemed to have smoothed out somewhat. I put up a little throwaway post, My New Favorite Flag, and it drew the most comments of any post in the history of TSM. Don't bother looking. I'll get back to that.

On Sept. 1 my doctor called me at work and said "Mr. Baker, you're diabetic." Oh. Joy. After changing my diet and checking my blood glucose level religiously for the last four months, I conclude that I'm more "glucose intolerant" than full-blown diabetic. I can control my blood sugar without medication, and I'm (slowly) losing weight. No porphyria attacks, either.

Remember that Überpost I promised James Kelly I'd write back in June? Well, I promised again that I'd have it up in early September. I lied.

September also brought the fifth annual Gun Blogger's Rendezvous in Reno, Nevada. I've been to 'em all. The 2010 edition brought more people and more sponsors than ever, and I wrote a post to thank all the sponsors for the great swag they gave us. I finally got a few pictures posted after I got home.

That comment thread from back in August? By mid-September it had gone over 500 comments. Mostly really good. One of those comments linked to a piece that gave us the Quote of the Month for September. In a bit of prescience, I saved one entire comment from that thread by reader Moshe Ben-David and made it a post of its own. Interestingly, Markadelphia hasn't left a comment at TSM since that überthread. And no, I didn't ban him.

In serious news, the Voting Section Chief of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division defied his bosses and testified before Congress on the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. The media barely mentioned it. But Stephen Colbert testifying about illegal immigration? THAT got coverage!

And in late September I discovered that I dislike Cass Sunstein very much.

And finally, more evidence (as if you needed it) of the dumbing-down of our education system.

In October, the "Green Movement" unmasked itself fully and completely with a single television ad: "No Pressure." They thought it would be funny. I had a bit more to say on it later. And from the comments to that latter piece, October's Quote of the Month.

Sandwiched between those, though, I wrote a short piece on Reality Capitalism TV. I have to wonder how much of that praise of capitalism is intentional and how much accidental.

In October a Tennessee fire department declined to respond to a structure fire for a resident who had not paid his service fee. They did, however, respond to his neighbor, to prevent the fire from spreading to his home. The result, one home burned to the ground, and some dead pets.

The outrage was immediate and vociferous, and the denunciation of "Libertarianism" was immediate. I had, of course, something to say about that, too.

Also in October we got to see what the .gov really thinks of us (again) when it comes to warrantless surveillance. As Judge Kozinski said, "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last."

Bill Whittle started his own film production company, and began cranking out short videos, the first of which are his "What We Believe" series. Part I came out very early in October.

In the ongoing Global Warming Cooling Climate Change debate, a respected scientist wrote a resignation letter to the American Physical Society over the topic, stating "This is not science; other forces are at work." Worth a read, or a re-read.

The bowling pin matches continued in October. Fourteen people showed up! We had a good time, and I had a short video clip.

A local anti-gun bigot posted a couple of rants about open carry in Arizona that made the rounds of the gunblogosphere. I, of course, put my 2¢ in. No reply, though.

The pernicious idea that government should parent us was brought up again in a USAToday letter to the editor. I objected. Again. Of course they're not our parents. They're Our Neocortical Overlords. And at best, they're not adults, but grown-ups. (I may not be writing überposts, but string two or three of these together, and you get the same word-count.)

I shot my first GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation match in October. Single most expensive match I've ever shot, and I did it with a borrowed gun. My feelings on Glocks remain the same: Meh.

As October drew to a close and we prepared for the November elections, I wrote a post on the mindset of The Other Side™, ably represented by one Joan Peterson. AKA "japete." Ms. Peterson is a board member of the Brady Campaign and blogger who had, by that time, become the darling of the gunblogging set for her complete disconnect from reality to the point she got her condition named for her: Peterson Syndrome. And I applied that diagnosis to another worthy member of The Other Side™.

And finally, the media once again acted in its role as clergy in the Church of State to keep the lay-people in line when it declared that Jon Stewart's October rally on the D.C. mall was bigger, much bigger, than the "Restoring Honor" rally held by Glenn Beck the month previous. But it wasn't, of course.

The election came and went, and a promise made after the passage of Obamacare was kept. Not that anybody in the political class took much notice.

Together with ExurbanKevin, we held the second annual Southern/Central Arizona Blogshoot at the Elsy Pearson Public Shooting Range in Casa Grande.  There was much shooty goodness and a good time was had by all.

If you read nothing else from the month of November, read the speech George F. Will gave at the Cato Institute's biennial Milton Friedman Prize dinner in 2010 that I laboriously fixed the speech-to-text transcription of. Or listen to the linked podcast. It's that good. And a couple of days later, a companion piece supporting Mr. Will's came along.

And remember that überpost I promised to write back in June? That I promised I'd get to in September? Still hadn't written it. But Bill Whittle distilled a good chunk of it into an eight-minute video clip in November.

November's Quote of the Month comes from Pultzer-Prize winning (for movie reviews) author Stephen Hunter from his novel I, Sniper in an excerpt which I title The Narrative.

And it would appear, even in the ultra-leftwing land that is San Francisco, that the economic reality of what's going on there and everywhere in the nation is beginning to become impossible to ignore any longer. Even by the the alt-media.

Then, on November 15 I was notified that the Echo blog commenting service (that replaced HaloScan twelve months previously) would no longer be $10/year. No, now they wanted $10 a month, a 1200% increase, and if I didn't pay up my comments - some 40,000 of them - would disappear. Thus began a mad scramble to figure out how to transition to a new commenting service and take my old comments with me. First, it required me to change the template of this blog, implementing a number of improvements, but screwing up some other stuff - like most of the older posts now show the title twice, something that delayed the writing of this post as I edited every single pre-November post in the year 2010 to correct that little irritant.

Also in November I did a little experiment at the request of Luckygunner.com, testing out some of their Fiocchi primers. The results were interesting.

I spent the rest of November screwing with the blog template and the comments, trying (unsuccessfully) to import the 16.5Mb of comments from Echo into Disqus. They imported, all right. They just aren't attached to any particular posts. Echo's export service seems to have severed that linkage, so Disqus has no clue where to put them.

And finally for November we discovered why John Conyers was so blasé about not reading the Obamacare bill. It didn't have any pictures.

December brought us the (unsurprising) news that the People's Republic of New Jerseystan still considers otherwise legal gun owners to be uncaught criminals, as Brian Aitken received a seven-year sentence for not breaking the law.

Quote of the Month goes to Daphne of Jaded Haven, who's had just about enough from the Political Class.

Markadelphia might have taken his ball and gone home, but I got a new lefty commenter in December, one "jeff c." who is apparently a Markadelphia syncophant. He left some droppings in the comments to a post in early December. He received the same response we're used to.

On a lighter note, our VP was caught in a Kodak moment that I just had to share.

December also brought the eighth monthly Bowling Pin match (September's was canceled because I was in Reno at GBRV). Twenty-two people showed up to shoot that one. I have to play with the format for 2011 because it takes too long the way we're doing it now.

The Other Side™ is still using scaaaary numbers to frighten the public. And, once again, it's inflated numbers for child deaths. Still, things are improving. In 2000 it was 4,000 accidental deaths a year. In May 2010 it was 500 accidental deaths a year, and now in December of 2010 it's 300 a year by accident and suicide. At this rate of decline we'll be into negative numbers some time around Tax Day.

And you remember that überpost? The one I promised in June? Then September? Then Bill Whittle did a great video on the topic in November? I finally finished it. Echo may be kaput, but Disqus racked up 160 comments on that one.

Daphne may have won December's Quote of the Month, but reader and fellow blogger Moshe Ben-David won Quote of the Year with one of those comments.

In keeping with what I wrote in This I Believe a Houston jewelry store owner defended himself and his wife from a gang of armed robbers, killing the three who came into his store, but suffering wounds himself. His family has put up a page where you can donate to his medical fund, as he has no medical insurance.

And, finally, Daphne's Quote of the Month gets a powerful affirmation by a surprising source, 60 Minutes, in "...the single-most important issue in the United States."

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to settle for a "safe and secure New Year." Somehow I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of Happy going around for a bit.