And opens a can of gusanos*.
In an effort to further ‘normalize’ relations between our two countries, the President (and his family) landed in Cuba, yesterday.
(I think the last Chief Executive to visit was Warren Harding…?)
Of course, it was President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, who stopped trade and most legal interaction with the communist country, in an effort to starve the influence of the Soviet Union from her shores.
Apparently, his efforts have finally failed.
As a libertarian (small L) I see the value in free trade with all nations. As a person who detests communism, and the millions of lives it has taken and imprisoned, I’m ‘reluctant’ to further engage the Castro regime, to say the least.
In the last century we fought both Germany and Japan – now they are both (relatively) free nations with which we engage travel and trade. We fought North Korea – still divided from the South, and still a real danger. U.S. citizens may travel in the South. Vietnam, which used to be North and South, is now another tourist destination and trading partner. And while we never officially fought the Soviet Union and China, one is now an oligarchy, and the other a remains a communist oligarchy.
And our largest trade partner and wholesale banker. Yes, The People’s Republic of China (aka Red China or the PRC) totes our note!
And ALL of these nations, whether fascist or communist, took political prisoners, executed millions, and stole private wealth and property, all in the name of the State. (And many continue to…)
And many welcomed to their shores terrorists, spies and criminals as well, and sponsored terrorism, espionage and crime abroad. In the ‘free’ world including most pointedly The United States.
Which brings me to my point.
Is it reasonable to continue to treat Cuba as a redheaded stepchild, sequestered in the Caribbean closet away from other nations, because of their bad behavior, when we welcome nations like the PRC to bring their substandard goods and poisonous pet food to our shores?
And make them our bankers?
When the PRC has killed and imprisoned millions?
Should we view the normalization of relations with Cuba as evolutionary – this is how things go? Or as Fabian evolution – well, we’re friends with other totalitarian regimes, we might as well add Cuba to the list. It might take generations.
Until we ourselves are swallowed-up in the Fabian-socialist-communist-progressive Leviathan that is the State knows better than the individual?
Or is it already too late for this debate?
*Spanish for worm – what Fidel called those who escaped his revolution
…or there could be…
(Via the NRA from Old NFO)
SCOTUS Nomination: Merrick Garland
“With Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, there is no longer a majority of support among the justices for the fundamental, individual right to own a firearm for self-defense. Four justices believe law-abiding Americans have that right – and four justices do not. President Obama has nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners. Obama has already nominated two Supreme Court justices who oppose the right to own firearms and there is absolutely no reason to think he has changed his approach this time. In fact, a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.” Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA-
Merrick Garland’s record on the Second Amendment is unacceptable to anyone who respects the U.S. Constitution and an individual’s fundamental right to self-protection.
He is the most anti-gun nominee in recent history. This should come as no surprise, given President Obama’s disdain for the Second Amendment. He has consistently shown a complete disregard of the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Garland’s history of anti-Second Amendment rulings support the conclusion that were he to be confirmed he would vote to overturn Heller. In 2007, he voted to give D.C. a second chance to have its handgun ban upheld after a three-judge panel struck it down. At the time, this was the most significant Second Amendment case in America.
In 2004, Garland voted against rehearing another Second Amendment case (Seegars v. Gonzales), effectively casting a vote against the individual right to keep and bear arms.
Justice Scalia was the author of Heller v McDonald. Heller affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Heller decision stands in the way of gun-control supporters’ ultimate goal of banning and confiscating guns.
If Heller is overturned, the Second Amendment for all intents and purposes would cease to exist.
In 2000, Garland voted in favor of the federal government’s plan to retain Americans’ personal information from gun purchase background checks despite federal laws prohibiting national firearm registration and requiring the destruction of these records.
Judge Garland weighed in on several significant firearms-related cases, including Parker, Seegars, NRA v. Reno,. He voted against the rights of firearm owners on each occasion.
The examples of Garland’s disdain for the right to keep and bear arms go on and on, including in a major case upholding the then-existing Clinton “assault weapons” ban against a constitutional challenge
It’s almost certain that Garland agrees with Hillary Clinton when she said “the Supreme Court is wrong” that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
In his nomination, President Obama has again placed partisanship and antagonism towards gun owners above the higher callings of his office.
If Garland is confirmed, Obama would be taking America back in time to an era where Supreme Court justices uphold the anti-gun policies of the president. Obama is hoping Garland will overturn the Supreme Court precedent that stands in the way of confiscatory gun control, like the gun ban and confiscation programs implemented in Australia.
Sigh… There is ALWAYS more to the story than what is making it into the MSM… I haven’t seen ANY coverage of Garland’s 2A stance, has anyone else???
Hopefully the Pubs grow a set and do what the Dems have done to Bush and Reagan. Stop the process until a new President is sworn in. Nothing can happen until next year anyway, since the court is still in session…
Sigh… DAMN these interesting times…
I always seem to be sighing in unison with Jim! I have seen snippets of negative coverage, but as he suggests, not in the MSM – only on the Internet. I do believe there IS a process in place (God Bless the Founding Fathers!) and even FDR in his four terms was unable to change the Constitution or pack the Court.
Time will tell.
(Write and call your Senators!)
(From Amerika via Free North Carolina)
Unless you were fortunate enough to be hiding under a rock for the last twenty-four hours, you know that a planned Donald Trump rally in Chicago turned into a violent riot instigated by MoveOn, George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders supporters.
What common factor do these groups share? They are all Leftist. As liberal democracy has spent itself into oblivion, debilitating its economies, and simultaneously made a series of horrible leadership decisions under leaders like Barack Obama and former Communist Angela Merkel, people have become desperate. And now their divisions are showing.
More @ Amerika
This is just like the violent riots by the Tea Partisans, Conservatives and The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy folks against the candidacy of Barack Obama isn’t it?
Oh, wait a minute? No violence or destruction by those folks.
What about the Occupy Wall Street morons? Oh, that’s right, leftists, faux-anarchists and Lenin’s Useful Idiots. Millions of dollars in damages, and violence.
And now, the idiots blocking traffic because of Trump’s appearance here in The Valley of the Sun.
ALL FROM THE LEFT AND IT’S TRAVELERS.
Don’t get me wrong – I support the right to protest, it’s a fine American Tradition. But there is a difference between expressing one’s opinion and fomenting violence.
And if you don’t care for a candidate – VOTE against them!
(of course, this assumes one is a registered voter…)
Today is the 21st anniversary of the passing of our daughter Molly.
We had been in an automobile accident the previous day, and I spent weeks in intensive care, the hospital and rehabilitation.
Molly spent one day. She was twelve.
I’m doing pretty well, considering. On disability – due to lymphoma. I’ve a roof over my head and a beater car and a supportive family and friends, some of whom I’ve met through these pages in the last five years.
Which brings me to the point I often make.
GO AND HUG THOSE YOU LOVE AND TELL THEM SO! Because you may not get another chance!
She was a terrific kid, and was going to be a terrific adult. But never got the chance.
She was becoming a shooter (who knew? :-)) and was definitely a Daddy’s girl.
She will always be Daddy’s Girl.
I Love You and Miss You!
…and (well, you know the end of this crude statement!)
The Firearms Blog posted a rather in depth wish, with regard to the following:
(from Into The Fray – USCCA Blog – Kevin Michalowski)
I know this is the second week in a row I have talked about comments to Into the Fray videos, but I feel it is very important to point out that when it comes to defensive training, there is no ONE single way that people must do anything.
Every situation is dynamic. Every person is different. We are trying to present broad-based information from a variety of sources. What we present here is not THE way, it is A way. If you disagree, please do so politely and logically. We can all learn from each other, share knowledge, and exchange ideas. Nobody knows it all, but the more we share, the safer we will all be.
Yeah, it is a cliché, but every cliché starts with the truth somewhere along the line. If your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Broaden your firearms knowledge by listening, thinking critically, and exchanging your views. We are all in this together.
I’m a big believer in the Bruce Lee modality. Essentially, kata, like standing still and punching paper, is not a survival skill unto itself. Sifu Lee called kata ‘vertical death’. So is doing the same thing, the same way. If you are under attack, you could lose more than your lunch if you are trying to get into a specific fighting stance. I’m a big believer in The Weaver Stance. This doesn’t mean I don’t know how to shoot Isosceles or one-handed or weak handed.
Or while laying on the ground, on my side or my back! Sights will line up, even if you are upside down!
Being disabled, and having a fused hip, kicking someone in the head is not good for me tactically. Knees are better, as are sticky and trapping hands – close quarter work. Rapidly ‘going prone’ is also probably not an option for me. Neither is sprinting 50 yards to find cover. Ambling sometimes presents a challenge.
Use the tools and skills available to you, specifically! Change it up, as necessary.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit announced this afternoon (last week) that it has agreed to an en banc re-hearing in Kolbe v. Hogan. As we previously reported, the Fourth Circuit’s earlier decision in Kolbe has the potential to invalidate Maryland’s ban on common semi-automatic firearms and detachable magazines. The Kolbe decision is extremely important, as it is the first instance where a United States court of appeals required “strict scrutiny,” the most stringent form of judicial review, for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and detachable magazines. The outcome is the re-hearing is too close to call at this point. We will keep you apprised of further developments of this NRA-supported case as they occur.
‘Assault weapons’ Another bugaboo; a humbug.
Those which ‘the powers that be’ don’t like – magazine capacity, pistol grip and color are primary factors.
‘The shoulder thing that goes up.’ Seriously?
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
PERIOD. Simple English.
There were a couple, or three.
The first I owned because of my Father’s disconnect.
He was raised on the East Coast, in a more poor part of town, by a railroad policeman/former Marine. An Irish neighborhood.
In my mind, his youth resembled a Dead-End Kids movie, except not in NYC.
And, laws aside, there were knives and guns around. And his Dad’s rules about them – were something akin to ‘touch anything without permission and you get a beating’!
Fast-forward to 1960s Arizona. A desert, agricultural college town. Lots of farm and ranch kids. About 3/4 or whom carried some kind of folder with them. Girls included.
We had a couple guns at home, which I was not allowed to touch (see above).
One day, while I was in grade school, my Dad came into the back yard where I was playing. And he handed me a folding knife. I was going to be leaving for camp in the Summer, and he thought I should have one of his (!)
AND, not unlike The Dead End Kids, he gave me a quick lesson in Mumbley-Peg with it! Not understanding knives didn’t stick well in the dry, desert dirt. See, disconnect.
None of my friends had ever seen such a game. And, anyway, they didn’t bring their knives out at school.
And, I took the knife to camp, a fellow camper borrowed it, cut himself, got taken to the ER(!), and I never saw it again! He was okay, though.
Fast forward to a year or so later. I’d made friends with a couple of kids a block over, including a little red headed girl (!) (Puberty had yet to hit, and, anyway, she was younger than me and a friend’s sister…I wonder where she is now? STOP THAT!)
My birthday came around, and surprise-surprise, the little red haired girl stopped by with a present! (Hell, most of my friends hadn’t given me anything!)
And what do you think it was…?
NO, not a folding knife.
A sheathed belt knife! How cool was THAT? Of course, my Dad immediately glommed onto it for his camping and fishing trips.
And it resided in the truck’s over-the-cab camper for years. Until my Dad passed and everything was given away or sold. 😦
Now, my maternal grandfather (aka ‘Gramp’) always carried a knife! When I was a kid, I thought this was a disconnect, as he was an East Coast banker-type. The only time we ever say it was when there were presents.
Used to open the boxes! A Christy gentleman’s knife!
And it, too, is lost to history. 😦
Although, if I really wanted one, Christy still makes them!
This is probably brule’ for those of us who are ‘gunnies’ and carry with regularity, but is still interesting with regard to how those in the federal law enforcement circle views such things.
It IS nice edged weapons are included!
(from The Firearms Blog)
The guide itself is rather basic, mostly written word of generally common-sense spotting techniques that most law enforcement would look for during any encounter.
The first and basic step is to “determine (the) strong side” which can be determined by looking for cues such as watches, writing, smoking, and other daily tasks.
Then, according to the Secret Service “An individual who carries a gun on their person will periodically touch that gun both consciously and unconsciously.” (I disagree with this, carrying on a regular basis and with training, many concealed carriers will not touch their firearm, but can see how for MOST encounters, this is true).
Perhaps the most interesting nugget (At least to me) is that the “the majority of right-handed people that carry handguns illegally carry them in the right front waist band, loose.” The document then explains that its because doing so is “cool”, seen in the movies” and “where it is most secure and accessible.”
I was reminded of walking through downtown Scottsdale (many years ago) after the Az CCW law initially passed. In a couple of hours, I spotted at least nine persons carrying concealed weapons. I’m certain part of the observation was this was a relatively new legal behavior and folks weren’t used to doing so yet. But people tugging up on there waist bands on the right side under their overshirts, and wearing overshirts were a good beginning!
Most cops or plainclothes agents aren’t that concerned with concealment, and get accustomed to carrying many hour a day, and have done so for years.
Having done so, myself, for many years, I’ve the same comfort and familiarity.
And hope you have it, as well!
(From The Firearms Blog)
The US Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has developed an integral surface treatment for infantry small arms that could augment or supplant the existing applicated Cleaning, Lubricating, Preserving (CLP) lubricant on small arms components. The new lubricant is applied during the manufacturing of small arms and promises a permanent solution for weapons lubrication and environmental resistance. From Army.mil:
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Although weapon maintenance may seem tedious to the unencumbered civilian, Picatinny Arsenal engineers know a clean weapon could save the warfighter’s life.
That’s why they are developing an advanced surface treatment for armament components that not only mitigates weapon maintenance but also provides increased reliability and durability.
Currently, when cleaning a weapon, warfighters use a conventional wet lubricant known as CLP (cleaner, lubricant, and preservative) that is continuously reapplied.
As early as 2003, the Army was experiencing problems with weapon stoppages in sand and dust environments if proper lubrication procedures and cleaning methods were not followed.
Army engineers recognized the importance of weapon maintenance in these extreme environments.
Thus, they set out to identify a materiel solution, which resulted in a Durable Solid Lubricant.
“The new technology eliminates CLP and uses a dry surface treatment known as durable solid lubricant, or DSL, that is applied during armament component manufacturing,” said Adam Foltz, an experimental engineer at the U.S. Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC.
“So far the DSL has been applied to small and medium caliber weapons, such as rifles, like the M4A1 Carbine, and machine guns like the M240 to demonstrate the technology capability,” Foltz continued.
As a result of using the durable solid lubricant, weapons function properly, require less maintenance, and the war-fighter has more peace of mind regarding possible weapon malfunctions.
The DSL solution achieves three ideal outputs: a lower friction coefficient, better wear resistance, and improved corrosion protection. “Friction coefficient” describes how a weapon slides; a low coefficient means the weapon slides easily, a high coefficient suggests sliding resistance.
“With typical wet lubricants, Soldiers need to reapply in order for the weapon system to function properly. Soldiers also have to regularly clean off carbon residue that builds up from firing and it can be tough to clean,” explained Foltz.
“Our DSL has a high wear resistance and a low friction coefficient, so it’s easy to clean off anything that builds up. You can use a steel brush to knock off any residue, and you don’t even have to worry about reapplying anything.”
Additionally, the current industry standards for preventing corrosion on armament components involves treating steel parts with phosphate and oil while aluminum parts are anodized (coated with an oxide layer.)
DSL uses a benign material that eliminates the need for a phosphate/oil coating process, making it an environmentally friendly solution.
In the ambient environment, the project team shot 15,000 rounds per weapon. The baseline weapons with the CLP showed wear and complete loss of the phosphate on approximately 75 percent of the bolt carrier sliding surfaces and 90 percent of the bolt.
Meanwhile, the DSL material showed less than 5 percent wear on both the bolt carrier and bolt.
In every instance, the DSL material showed either an improved or an equivalent performance to the CLP baseline. Results demonstrated increased wear resistance, increased reliability, and improved maintainability.
While a lubricating surface treatment would be a major advance for small arms technology, cutting down on time-consuming routine maintenance, history shows that a cautious approach is best. DSL, if it proves successful, should be applied to firearms that then still receive routine CLP applications, further improving a rifle’s functionality and ensuring no reduction in function. During Vietnam, the new M16 rifle with its aluminum receiver and direct impingement gas system was advertised as “self-cleaning by Colt, and the US Army failed to issue the weapons with requisite cleaning kits. As a result, the weapons – to a degree “self-cleaning”, but by no means impervious to the humidity of Southeast Asia – failed in combat, which resulted in the deaths of many riflemen. Colt’s claims about the M16 were not false, but the treatment of the M16’s advancements in corrosion resistance and environmental resilience were taken as a panacea to all maintenance worries, with fatal results.
With that warning out of the way, DSL appears to be a very promising innovation that could not only save time, but lives… But I wouldn’t sound the deathknell of CLP just yet.
Yet ANOTHER concoction in the ubiquitous battle of the lubes!
Any takers? Believers? Users?
As for me, I no longer own any rifles. 😦 When I did, I was a loyal CLP user.
But you know I tend to be old-school!