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Toughness

One of my favorite Internet sites is The Art of Manliness.  I was fortunate to find it in my ‘net travels prior to it’s inclusion in the GBBL (thanks, North!), but that doesn’t matter.  It’s authored by a nice couple who believe that many of the traditions normally passed on generationally have been interrupted by the stuff of modern society – political correctness, lack-of-gentility, the isolation of Internet use, and so on.

They’ve posted articles of an interest to this audience about how to shoot and clean firearms, sharpen knives, and even more traditional skills, like how to use a straight razor – and sharpen it!

Sometimes, they have guest posts, and it’s one of those I’m addressing today.  A recent essay (at the link, above) is about toughness.  In this age of political correctness, toughness is largely viewed as a negative.  But it’s something that needs to be (re)acquired by us if we as a Nation are to survive.

When discussing the Colorado shooting with someone the other day, I was told about a video of an earlier shooting wherein a father abandoned his daughter in a video store to save his own ass.  It took a stranger to place himself between the girl and the shooter to stop her from being killed.  The fact that any adult, especially a father, would value his life over a child’s makes me physically ill.

We need to get tough, again.  And teach this as a value to our children.

Life can be painful.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Obviously we don’t need to abuse our charges, but need to show them by example how we handle the stuff of Life.  How we handle challenges.

As author Marcus Brotherton states:

One harmful mindset that can keep a man from fulfilling his calling and potential is self-coddling. This is when he convinces himself he deserves a break, and runs to something that ultimately harms himself.

And society as a whole.  There have been no news reports of anyone rushing to stop to Aurora shooter.  I think the generation prior to 1950 would have had several.

Bueller?  Bueller?

Ice-T

I’m not a fan of hip-hop.  Prior to his casting on Law & Order SVU, Ice-T was only known to me as a hip-hop artist.  I just assumed he was like so many of the others.  A thug and a drug abuser.  And that didn’t interest me.

I remember him coming out in support of the President, when he ran for the office.  He said he would throw his support to Senator McCain, hoping the backlash would help Senator Obama win the election.  I then operated on the assumption that he would espouse the same views as the Senator.  Largely, reportedly, he did.

And, like the opinions of most Hollywood types, they have a right to their opinions.  I just object that most use their celebrity pulpit to promote things I find reprehensible, like gun control.

Then, after the recent events in Aurora, Colorado, Ice-T was interviewed.  I think the expectation was he would ‘toe-the-Hollywood-liberal-line’ and scream for more gun control.  But, this is what he said:

“It’s legal in the United States,” the rapper said. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”

“And do you see any link between that and this sort of instance?” Guru-Murthy challenged.

“No. Not really,” Ice-T responded. “If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it.”

“Makes it easier though, doesn’t it?” the host pushed back.

“Not really. You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time.”

Wow.  Who knew?  A man who happens to be Black, a rapper, an admitted former bank robber,  who has produced music with offensive lyrics, who supports the President, came out in full-on support of The Second Amendment.

He reportedly eschews drugs and alcohol as well.

Criminal Law Instructor Don Brown’s voice keeps ringing in my head (from 1973):  “Never assume!”

h/t Hot Air w/video

How can you PROVE your property is YOURS?

Old NFO brings the question.  What if it’s a family heirloom, passed generationally?  A private purchase?  What if you simply misplaced the receipt?

And the authorities suddenly want to see proof of ownership.

Of course, I’m speaking of firearms here.

Sadly, I had two thoughts –

1)  The legal authorities jack-booted-thugs knocking politely at your door forcing entry and cuffing your family aren’t going to give a rodents rectum whether or not you have some kind of documentary proof of ownership.  They are here to take custody for safe keeping steal your property contraband, and don’t care about the law  Constitution, what Constitution?  Do we remember Katrina?

2)  One of the roots of this Nation’s laws is due process.  In theory, we shouldn’t have to prove anything.  It should be up to the police to prove that we were not the owners, not the other way around.  That’s the way it’s supposed to work – innocent until proven guilty.  Of course, the IRS has taken the lead in making this precept laughable, attaching wages and bank accounts without notice or due process, as a matter of course, making us prove we have the right to access our own funds.

So this concept may not work.

PS – I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV (or in the blogs).

DeWalt Nail Gun

It’s been a bit since we’ve guffawed around here (at Guffaw’s yet-unnamed new digs).  Still unpacking boxes and getting situated, but things are generally good.  We DO need to guffaw, though.

Good Friend Lonnie sent me an email which tipped over my giggle box.  It’s copied below:

DeWalt Nail Gun
A must have in every home in America!For everyone who would rather not have a gun in the house!In view of the recent Supreme Court ruling, sales of this new product may skyrocket.Washington thinks they are going to take away our guns, so check this out. I like it!NAIL GUNS! AND….you don’t even have to REGISTER them or have LICENSES for them!AND, you don’t have to worry about them being CONCEALED!

Just a LOT of good stuff to do with THIS!

Once in awhile something so totally cool comes out that even a guy who doesn’t normally even know what he’d like for Father’s Day or Christmas would immediately ask for it:

Thank you, DeWalt!!


New Nail Gun, made by DeWaltIt can drive a 16-D nail through a 2×4 at 200 yards.This makes construction a breeze, you can sit in your lawn chair and build a fence.Hundred round magazine.
If someone tries to rob your house,
just nail his ass!
h/t Prowler L. Skinner, Lonnie Cook

There ought to be ANOTHER law – NOT!

As completely expected, after the theater shooting tragedy, there has been a call from some circles (The Brady Bunch, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Gun Ownership and others, for yet more gun control.

This is not surprising, even when the political element is removed from the outcry.  People question why, and want something done to keep this from happening in the future.  It should never happen to anyone.  But, generally I don’t appeal to the government to solve problems.  They’re inefficient and incompetent.  And usually have a different agenda.

I guess I’m disconnected from this kind of thinking.  There ought to be a law is not something in my normal reaction lexicon.  I’m a libertarian, small ‘L’.  I was, even before I knew there was such a word.  I’ve an extreme aversion to the word ‘ban’.  Even if it is regarding something for which I lack fondness.  Drug abuse comes to mind.

Hey, it’s your body (they tell us).

If you want to believe ‘X’, go ahead, feel free.  Go for it.  As long as ‘X’ doesn’t interfere with MY RIGHTS.  Or anyone else’s.

If you don’t like guns, don’t own one.  But telling others they shouldn’t be able to exercise their rights in this matter is repugnant.  And against the American tradition.

Regular readers of this blog know I lost my daughter in an automobile accident in 1995.  She was 12.  We were t-boned at a major intersection by a guy driving a GM car in excess of 70 miles per hour, who ran the light.

After I got out of the hospital, I didn’t immediately call for the banning of drivers, owners of GM cars or even GM cars.  The guy was speeding to get to work, and didn’t do it intentionally, but even if he had been some nutjob trying to hit us on purpose, it would have made no sense to ban GM cars.  Or any cars.

Millions of people in the United States legally own and use firearms, and keep them for self-protection, sport, hunting, and the enjoyment of ownership of a fine tool.  They don’t go shooting up theaters or committing heinous acts with them.

It’s irrational and illogical to demand more control of the law-abiding citizenry.  Let’s try holding criminals responsible for their acts, instead.

Aurora

First, and foremost, my heart goes out to the innocents affected by this tragedy.  This tragedy yet again shows of the existence of evil.

The bodies haven’t yet cooled but people with the agenda of control are already beating their drums for yet more gun control.  My understanding is firearms are not permitted in theaters in Colorado (?)  If so, this prohibition didn’t work.

The ‘paranoid’ part of me wonders why these things seem to happen when there are ‘gun control’ issues being debated in the Congress (Fast & Furious).  Is it just coincidental?  Are there forces at work trying to promote an agenda?  Or are they just dancing in the blood of the dead to promote such an agenda?

There was a mass shooting at a Canadian block party in Toronto a while ago.  Canada is (in)famous for it’s gun control laws.  They didn’t stop it, though.  The Brady Bunch seems to have a meme – ‘if we had just one more law…’, then one gets passed and another horrific event occurs and they say, ‘if we had just one more law…’ chipping away at our civil rights, law-by-law, event-by-event, and not solving the problem.

The truly sad part is more laws, more government, more controls will not solve the problem.  There are firearms crimes in Japan and Britain for chrissakes – where guns are strictly prohibited.  This most recent miscreant purchased his legal guns and ammunition legally.  Then, he broke the law by entering a theater (in violation of posted signage) and killing people.

Do I offer a solution?  Not really.  Unless we could revert to pre-1911 gun control.  No Gun Control Act of 1968, no National Firearms Act of 1934, no Sullivan Act or it’s many illegitimate legislative children.  All of which are designed to control the law-abiding.  Criminals are going to commit crimes whether it’s against the law or there are signs.

Let the Second Amendment be the law of the land, much as the First Amendment is.  One still cannot yell fire in a crowded theater free of consequences, nor should one be able to assault people with a tool.  A firearm or a gas grenade.  There should be consequences.

If these laws were removed from the books – negated – it would positively affect the culture, and more folks would avail themselves of their Second Amendment rights.  How many mass shootings occurred prior to 1911, or 1934 or 1968?  Funny, ‘they’ pass more laws, and there are more shootings.   The increase of open and concealed gun laws is directly attributable to a decrease in crime.  If the laws were changed, perhaps Toronto or Aurora wouldn’t have turned out the way they did.  People could have responded immediately, instead of waiting for the police to do so.

Of course, there’s no Second Amendment in Canada, so this doesn’t apply there.

‘I’m no Superman…’

Lazlo Bane’s song I’m no Superman  was the theme song to the television series Scrubs, a comic farce about doctors’ training in residency.

I wasn’t a big fan, but, those I did catch were pretty funny.  But it’s the theme of the title that caught my attention, today.

Roomie Judy and I were out for blood breakfast then went to Wally World.  (The Walmart I wrote about previously.)  The good part is it’s a smaller one, and, being in a smaller community isn’t as congested as my previous one experienced in Metro-Phoenix.  Of course, this was lunch time and not rush hour, either.

Upon walking across the parking lot to enter, we encountered two ‘security guards’ (presumably for the store) in a heated discussion with an individual whom it appeared was being asked to leave.  He was the the main bringer of the heat.

I immediately noticed two things:  1)  the guards were unarmed, and 2)  the subject appeared to be unarmed.  Of course, he was getting into his vehicle, so I couldn’t see everything.  And the guards appeared fit, one especially.  But there was a belligerent exchange of words.

Fortunately, this didn’t last long, and he had backed out by the time we arrived at the store proper.  None of the participants were around when we left the store 20 minutes later.

‘I’m no Superman’.  There was a time, not that many years ago, that my ego would have taken charge, and the former, experienced security guy –  me (complete with concealed weapon) would have approached the scene, offering my assistance.  (translation:  trying to get in on the action!)

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and we shopped without incident, or inclusion.

Remember, if you are carrying-concealed, you are NOT wearing a mask and cape, and there is no big red S on your chest!  If you are not a sworn peace officer you have no requirement or duty to assist anyone.  The law doesn’t always protect good Samaritans, but it does protect (usually) those who do nothing.

Especially if they are not invited!

Pay attention and watch your own back, Jack!

PS – I awakened to the Aurora, Colorado shooting story.  If only someone had been carrying and took action instead of waiting for the authorities.  We’re not supermen, but we’re not uncaring robots, either. – Guffaw

“In the DARK?”

David Mitchell and I (another friend from high school long ago – yes, another David) were hanging out talking incessantly (as we were want to do) in the breezeway of his apartment complex, as I was leaving, and we had settled in an area in shadow.  The Sun had gone down, and the breezeway was no longer lit, but there was no security lighting there. (this was 1969-70)

SO, we were prattling on regarding stuff only important to high school boys, when another resident, some old neighbor lady (40?) came out of her apartment and inquired, “What are you boys doing?”.  We responded, “Talking.”,  her response,

“In the DARK?”

As if speech were negated by the absence of illumination.  We had many subsequent chuckles and much mockery out of her reaction.

My point is, that much of the interaction between people occurs after the Sun drops.  In the dark.

Are YOU prepared?  In your daily routine, do you not only have your sidearm, a reload (or two), identification AND some kind of illumination?  A flashlight?

Personally, I don’t carry one during the day.  (except the little keychain emergency ‘find-the-keyway’ light).  And honestly, I don’t always take one with me at night.  I’m not some kind of spec-ops guy, just an average Joe.

I will take the 3 D cell Kellite Maglite with me if serious light use is anticipated, like searching my car for lost stuff after dark.

My roomie keeps her’s in her purse, where she wears out many batteries trying to find other stuff therein.  Of course, sometimes an additional flashlight is needed to locate the flashlight in the purse.  😛

This is in addition to her trusty sidearm.

But my Scorpion rests on my nightstand, next to the Maglite.

Nothing fancy or particularly tacticool, just a rubberized barrel and end cap switch.  What else do I need?

“TMCCC Is A Great Place to Work!”

“…and your little dog, too!”

Those of you who follow this blog are familiar with TMCCC.  That Major Credit Card Company was a place I was employed for almost 22 years, mostly as a credit card fraud investigator.

To be fair, it wasn’t all Hell.  I wouldn’t have stayed over twenty years had it been.  I met some terrific people there.  But, it seemed to suffer from the same diseases as do many corporations.

First, the Peter Principle.  In the 1970’s Dr. Laurence J. Peter wrote a book regarding how corporations lose their functionality.  In short, persons get continually promoted until they get promoted above their skill set, then remain forever stuck there, incompetent.

Second, paranoia.  As the new kid on the block in the mid-Eighties, TMCCC fought to grow and keep it’s people happy.  Sadly, it did so by questionable dysfunctional means.  Because the Peter Principle had already kicked-in in management.

There was a woman who ran the H(uman) R(esources) Department.  One rarely saw her unless someone was going to be fired.  Then, she prattled about, to-and-fro, scaring the beejezus out of everyone.  Until the ax fell.  It got to the point where many of us would hum the Theme for The Wicked Witch of the West (from the film Wizard of Oz) when she was scurrying about.  Under our breath, of course.

Another credit card company opened an office maybe five miles away.  They had the same personnel needs as TMCCC.  So, we were concerned about losing good people to them.  A legitimate concern.

The Wicked Witch of the West H.R. Lady took it upon herself to park in the other company’s parking lot, watching for TMCCC folks who might be exploring other options.  So she could find reasons to fire them.

After a few years of this kind of nonsense, many of the longer term employees had lost their espirit de corps.  The company countered our malaise by giving us cheap plastic crap with the company logo on it.  Coffee cups, beer mugs, pencils, pens.

And began putting up banners throughout the building reading:

“TMCCC IS A GREAT PLACE TO WORK!”

I don’t know about you, but, I always figured, if they have to tell you…

What a world, what a world.

‘The Newsroom’

The Newsroom is a new television show on HBO.  It is bright, clever, funny, dark, very well written and extremely politically slanted.

This is of no surprise, as the main force behind the production is Aaron Sorkin, who was responsible for The West Wing.  Jake Tapper of ABC News criticized Sorkin’s partisanship: “they extol the Fourth Estate‘s democratic duty, but they believe that responsibility consists mostly of criticizing Republicans.”[60] (Wiki)

The cast is first rate, mostly liberal or unknown actors (I’m specifically ignoring the head-of-the-network, played by an (in)famous treasonous bitch).  Fortunately, she doesn’t get much air time.

I’ve seen three or four episodes.  My new roomie is enamored with the show (she is more liberal than I).  It does as expected, trashing conservative points of view while playing up ‘the issues’, all amongst the ongoing emotional soup of who’s doing who and who used to do who.  Emotional hijinks ensue.

The episode I viewed Sunday night (from the dvr) was indicative of all of this.  The prominent newsreader (played wonderfully by Jeff Daniels) trashes the NRA and gun owners fears about the current administration’s anti-gun agenda by showing how it has failed The Brady Bunch’s agenda.  No mention was made of how they tried and failed to implement it, though, nor was Fast and Furious mentioned.  To be fair, I think this was historically situated before F&F broke.  Of course, one of the characters has a concealed weapon (a stainless PPK/s).  There seemed to be some confusion whether or not is was a .38 or a .32.  This after two characters ‘unloaded’ it and crossed each other.  And the episode ends with the Gabby Gifford shooting story breaking.

That’s the best part of the show – how the newsroom operates chasing a breaking news story and confirming it before broadcast.  There is less of the propagandistic fa-de-rall one sees during the interaction between the characters when they are verbally sniping at each other, drinking or smoking marijuana.

After all, this IS The Newsroom.

I give it a B+ for the parts I like, C+ overall.  If you can ignore the NY, East Coast, elitist, slanted points-of-view expressed, you might enjoy it, too! – Guffaw

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…