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From the ‘Well, DUH!’ department…

The Arizona Rifleman quotes the EU, stating the obvious:

EU committee on piracy at sea finds that putting armed guards on ships reduces piracy

The committee admits it has “changed” its view on the use of armed guards since its last report on the issue, in 2010, finding that “no ship with an armed guard has been pirated and the use of guards has not escalated violence”.

via BBC News – EU anti-piracy fight with warships ‘must go on’.

That’s really no surprise: pirates are in it for quick money. If guards on a ship fire a couple warning shots at their tiny little boat it indicates that they’re on guard for pirates and it seems likely that the pirates would say “screw this” and hightail it out of there.

It’s also good to see the Europeans recommending that they continue to help police that area of the world: stopping piracy is everyone’s business.

Well, DUH!

Kicking and Screaming

My roomie and I spend much of our free time watching television together.  We enjoy many of the same shows (Criminal Minds, Pawn Stars, Suits, Covert Affairs et al).  But, sometimes we opt to watch TV separately, because the other party doesn’t really like what’s on.  And, sometimes, we note the other person is joining us and change the channel.

I went downstairs this morning and she was watching Real Time with Bill Maher.  When he first started, I kinda liked him.  He was quick, clever, funny, and identified himself as a libertarian (small L).

But, in recent years, he’s taken to following the Progressive mantra.  If little government is good, more must be better.  And he no longer sounds like a libertarian:

[Obama] just needs to drag them to it. Like I just said [the American people] are stupid. (emphasis Guffaw) Just drag them to this, get healthcare done, you know, with or without them. Make the gang of six an offer they can’t refuse. This Max Baucus guy, he needs to wake up tomorrow with an intern’s head in his bed… I’m serious.

Not exactly a libertarian, live-and-let-live, small, non-intrusive government kind of guy.  A totalitarian dictator, perhaps.  Or the Godfather.

So this morning Maher was doing an interview with Arianna Huffington.  I don’t know if I would have preferred that traitorous bitch from Newsroom.  Regardless, I went back upstairs.  I had my laundry to fold.

Just to be fair, I no longer watch Bill O’Reilly, either.  His sanctimony regarding ‘gun control’ after the Aurora shootings was over the top.  I didn’t always agree with him, but at least he doesn’t just populate his show with sycophants or easy targets to blast.  Perhaps a poor metaphor.

I’ve been told he sometimes now has Republicans on his show have their differing views.  Too late – I’ve only seen him bring on RINOs to eviscerate them with his views.  And, I’m not a Republican, anyway.

Well, it FINALLY broke!

Self-destructed, actually.

My 20+ year old Bianchi Speed Strip.  The one I’ve religiously carried in my right front pocket whenever I was carrying a .38 or .357 revolver.  I used to carry two, but either lost one or gave it to a needy friend.  (Editor’s note – she no longer carries a wheel gun, so she graciously loaned it back to me!)

About two months ago, the 6th round holder broke loose (The little extension tab was long gone by then).  The round was still contained in the Neoprene, but separate from the unit.  Which was okay, because I only have the electroless nickel S&W 442, which holds 5 rounds.  A modification from Heaven!

BUT, the other day, the 5th round holder lost it’s integrity, and the round fell out of the unit.  I know four rounds for reload is better than none (or 5 or 6 loose in the pocket with my cell, keys, and Blur folder!).  And now it’s deteriorated down to three!

I’m both gun poor and money poor, but I guess I have to spring for a replacement pair.


They served me well.

Civil and Military Leadership

American Mercenary presents an essay regarding the pending, inevitable change collapse of the World’s economy and when and how the power vacuum might be met.  And by whom.

He writes:

Financial collapse in and of itself is not a threat to freedom, it is when the economic collapse is used as a Reichstag Fire to consolidate political power and move away from freedom to tyranny that is the big worry.  In Greece we see the collapse of the socialist state without any further power grabs, as the Greeks already gave up their freedoms to the socialist government in the first place.  In Chile the Socialist Revolution was causing economic collapse with the nationalization of industry, and it took Pinochet to undo the damage and turn Chile around (leftists hate Pinochet because he didn’t let the Glorious Communist Revolution succeed).

In the United States the biggest expansion of FedGov power in peacetime was under FDR and the “new deal” which saw the politicization of the Supreme Court and the end of Congressional non-delegation of power doctrine.  Up until that point it was accepted that Congress could not delegate its authority to a non-elected bureaucrat, and now we have the ATF writing its own rules and changing them frequently to discourage gun ownership, the EPA writing its own rules to discourage development, and the IRS writing its own rules to confiscate more property.  (emphasis Guffaw)

What we need are effective civil leaders.  Who will be this generations Benjamin Franklin?  Thomas Jefferson?  Thomas Keane?  John Adams?  George Washington served the Republic, he did not create it.  His leadership transitioned well from military to civilian, but there are many who cannot make the transition.  How different would our world be if the men of the Continental Congress couldn’t sell George Washington on the idea of a better government than the one he knew all his life?  ~

~Now the coming collapse may not fundamentally alter us as a nation.  But there are those who would use the collapse as an excuse to impose their vision of the future on all of us.  I think it only prudent to have an alternate outcome planned and resourced, even if it is simply holding what we’ve got and not fundamentally transforming America.

You should go to the link and absorb the whole thing.  The phrase “only prudent to have an alternate outcome planned and resourced…” sounded reasonable to me.

Sadly, I’ve few plans and no resources.  Hopefully someone will.

h/t AM

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

or rather, “Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.” – in an essay by D. Everett in The Columbian Orator, 1797.

Remember ACORN?  That ubiquitous band of political rabble-rousers linked to protests, vote stealing, promoting felonies and theft of public monies a couple years back?

They’re BA-ACK!

From Bayou Renaissance Man:

~Be that as it may, the organization as such was effectively shut down in 2010.  However, like the manifold heads of the mythical Hydra, it seems that its members have simply continued their operations under different names.  The poison they represent in the American body politic is still doing its damage.  Cause of Action has uncovered the names of no less than 174 organizations that are offshoots of ACORN or are otherwise continuing its work.

174, that’s all?

It’s worth your while to click over there and go through the list for yourself.  If you find one or more of these organizations at work in your area during the current election campaign, expect problems.

I’ve not taken the time to look into the cesspool, but let me guess.  NONE of these organizations are named The Center for Election Stealing (or some such) and I’ll just bet many are paid for through our tax dollars.  AGAIN!

Go to the link and look for yourself.

Okay, I had to look; a smattering of the names:

Pennsylvania Neighborhoods for Social Justice (PNSJ), Public Services for the Public Good, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, MHANY 1999 Housing Development Fund Corporation, Arizona Center for Empowerment…

Do any buzzwords jump out at you?  I’m going to go get ill, now.  It’s like discovering the cancer has returned.

h/t Peter

Guilty Pleasures

I’ve a number of guilty pleasures.  Most of the ones I can mention in this blog involve watching movies and television.

Those of you who know me know I was raised in the 50s and 60s by TV.  It’s one reason I became a PI.  Before I recently moved, I’d had basic cable for 10 years.  Basic.  No frills.
My roomie, being more of a television addict than I, had a satellite system.  During my addition to the household, we upgraded it.  We can now watch Underwater Argentinian Curling (while wearing bear suits) at 0300 broadcast in Swahili!  Not really, but our choices are quite varied.

We’ve been watching much dysfunctional TV.  Not as dysfunctional as the Kardashians or Jersey Shore, but there is some amusement and education.

We’ve been watching (among other things) Pawn Stars, Cajun Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn.

Pawn Stars is about the customers and staff in a prosperous Las Vegas pawn shop.  Cajun is headquartered in Alexandria, Louisiana, and Hardcore hails from Detroit.  All shops are family-owned and somewhat dysfunctional, but the real entertainment here is the customer base.  The Louisiana folks seem to be the the most genteel and polite, with Las Vegas following and Detroit brings up the rear.  It’s real culture shock to go from a customer in Alexandria exclaiming, “Thanks Mr. Jimmie, sorry we couldn’t do business!” to Detroit’s “Give me my m*****f***** money!”, followed by threats of violence.

Las Vegas and Alexandria occasionally brings in experts to value or grade such items as antique firearms or coins, before attempting a deal.  Detroit seems to thrive more on showing both the family and customer dysfunction.  I find that show in particular to be the most disturbing.

I come from a dysfunctional background.  Perhaps not as bad as these folks, but enough to make me grimace.  Perhaps I need to stick to Leave It To Beaver re-runs…

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time…

There was once an idealistic, motivated young lad, happily attending college.  He was working full-time graveyard shift and having taken some core courses at another college previously, he was concentrating on courses in his major:  Police Science.

Many of the instructors were cops, or ex-cops and this only added to the realism of the subject matter being presented.  Guys that were ‘in it’ right then.  ‘On the street’.  Better than any TV cop show.

He opted for a course in Traffic Accident Investigation.  Having run across (no pun intended) this sort of activity in his PI work, he thought this could only add to his knowledge and skill in this area.  The instructor was an expert, being a veteran police officer and investigator in this subject for (excise governmental police agency name here).  He was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic in his presentation of the course material.

However, about two-thirds of the way into the semester, some difficulty arose.  The agency who employed the instructor transferred him to a city 90 miles away!  He was trying to continue teaching the course, but the commute was a bitch.  Both the instructor and the students suffered.

Ultimately, it became apparent that he would be unable to continue teaching the course, and that while perhaps 90% of the subject matter had been presented, it was obvious to both the instructor and the students that they weren’t getting the quality demanded by both.

The instructor knew he wasn’t going to be able to attend the last course session, the final examination.  It didn’t seem fair that all the students should have to retake the course.

So, the instructor posed a solution:  We were all to meet ‘for a field trip’ to a local pizza parlor chain across the street for the final class session, one week in advance of the final exam.  Attendance was mandatory.  Those who attended would pass; those who did not would fail.

We They all passed.  We They were admonished not to drink and drive (beer was present); toasted the instructor, and after pizza went our their merry way.

The idealistic, motivated young lad was fortunate enough to graduate with high distinction.  I’m certain he would have aced the exam, had it been presented.

Home Invasion

Brigid poses a very common-sense post regarding how to protect oneself and family from home invasion.  They are becoming more common Nationwide.  While most violent crime is dropping.

Between gangs thinking you have something of value, and law enforcement making address mistakes, it’s wise to be prepared.  Just as with a mugging, a cell phone just won’t cut it.

I used to work with a TV field cameraman for Channel * here locally, and he responded to a home invasion in the Valley wherein the criminals obviously were looking for drugs and money.  They had a wrong address.  The miscreants were fully outfitted as Mexican Army Nationals.  The police pulled his camera tape of the crime scene and the post-invasion interviews, because they didn’t want the public to think the United States was being invaded by a foreign power.

We were.

These events are not just a couple of teens kicking in a door, looking for thrills and spare change.  These are serious people.

Be Prepared.

h/t Home On The Range

The Commonality of Statism

A Geek With Guns takes us to a place not usually discussed in polite political circles (as if those exist):

We shouldn’t be arguing how to use government to manage our lives, we should be arguing why government is used to manage our lives.

~The majority of Americans have become ensnared in the state’s trap. They have been given state sanctioned confines in which to debate and never attempt to venture into territory outside of that. Political choices are illusionary. Whether you ask the state to legalize or prohibit something isn’t a choice, you’re asking the state to control individuals either way. If you ask the state to legalize something you are saying that the state has a rightful authority over that thing, which necessarily implies that the state may later make that thing illegal. If you ask the state to prohibit something you are again saying the state has a rightful authority over that thing, which necessarily implies you approve of the state’s use of violence against those who partake in that prohibited thing.

It is time we stop debating about how the government should use authority and argue against the government having authority.  (emphasis Guffaw)

The election posted this November will be more about Tweedledee versus Tweedledum than any previous election in history.  Voting on principle (for a third-party candidate) will probably only dilute the votes cast for the major parties, not win, and further disenfranchise the electorate.  But, it is Tweedledee versus Tweedledum after all.

Jack Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you…”  Today’s electorate seems consumed with what can that government do for me?

We need to step back and decide are we going to ask for more from a morally and financially bankrupt institution, or demand they do less.

How we enact this reversal of political direction is up to you.

h/t Christopher Burg

Let There Be Light!

not me

Or a reasonably facsimile, thereof.  Eventually.

Having recently moved a house-full of stuff into one room, I’m still unpacking.  And trying to find places to put stuff.  Where I can find it when needed.

Ay, there’s the rub.  Finding stuff.  You see, my new efficiency studio flat bedroom does not have a central overhead light.  I’ve three lamps, two of the standing variety, one of which needs rewiring.  And the one lamp is only accessible in a far corner, behind numerous boxes and plastic totes.  I have to remind myself to leave the bathroom light on and the door ajar to find my way to the bedside table lamp.  Or use flashlights, after dark.

Last night I was getting ready to retire, and thought I’d shave first, as I feel better swimming in the AM having done so.  But alas, no new razors (which I’d just purchased last week) could be found, due to the multitude of boxes, coupled with the lack of proper lighting!

So, I guess I’ll take my stubble for a quick swim this morning.  Sigh.

(I know this is just a minor annoyance, and that the issue will eventually be resolved, but last night I was ticked.  I hate not being able to find what I need when I need it.  Guess I’d better get cracking on unpacking.)

NOW, where to put stuff…?

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…