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But Wait! There’s MORE!

(Oft heard tag line on late-night TV infomercials)

And, apparently, my Life!  🙂

Dave the Genius Mechanic was in town last night, and collected me for our all-less-often dinner out together at Red Devil.

We get together a few times a year to trade stories about the progression (regression) in our lives, friends, relatives, etc.  His work, not mine. (as I am on disability).  Sometimes we touch on taboo topics like politics, too.

With his busy interstate work/home schedule, and his many other interests (like boat building), his shooting has taken a back burner.  As far as I know, he’s not shot or purchased a firearm in some time.

Dave was kind enough to loan me a gun when I was ‘gun poor‘ in the distant past.  I’d sold all my handguns, and was in need of one for a security guard job.  I carried her for a number of years, and even shot her competitively.

Eventually, she was returned to him, no worse for wear.  (Well, hardly!)

SO, Dave’s in town, and going through his stuff, and finds this gun.  It occurs to him that he’s shot and carried her much less than yours truly.  And he really doesn’t have a use for her…

PLUS, he read my recent post regarding my roommate’s gift to me of one of her firearms.  And for him, that cinched it!

As he dropped me off after dinner, Dave announced “I have something for you.” (in that understated, low-key Midwest style of his).  And he reached into his trunk and hands me THIS!

ruger_security_six_357

not exactly as pictured

A revolver I carried and shot a lot, but never owned!  But, now I do.  (Dave mentioned something about Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday when he gave her to me.)

She needs improved stocks, and maybe a little gunsmithing.  But, she’s mine.

In 2009, I had over 50 firearms.  Then came the vault burglary.  Until Thanksgiving, I had two firearms.  Now I have FOUR.

Sure, I still rent a room, have a beater car, etc.  But my firearm inventory has doubled!

And, more importantly, I have friends!

Thank you, Dave!

(for the uninitiated, she’s a 1972 Ruger Security Six – old frame)

 

 

The Genius and Necessity of the Electoral College

(from Free North Carolina)

Via Dan

  • Benjamin Rush“A simple democracy . . . is one of the greatest of evils.”  ~Benjamin Rush, Letter to John Adams, July 21, 1789
  • James Madison“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”  ~James Madison, Federalist Paper 10
  • Alexander Hamilton“It has been observed, by an honorable gentleman, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny . . .”  ~Alexander Hamilton, The Debates in the Several State Conventions, 1787, p. 253
  • John AdamsDemocracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”  ~John Adams letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814

Were it not for the Electoral College, small densely populated, mostly urban areas on the east and west coasts would have elected Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. The votes of the inhabitants living in the vast central land mass of the USA would have essentially been of no value, and the needs, opinions, and desires of those citizens would have been ignored by a President who owed them no loyalty. In fact, it would be possible for a candidate to win the election by campaigning only in those highly populated east and west coast areas without setting foot anywhere in between. That egregious lack of equality would lead to a dissolution of the country with unfortunate and disastrous results.

*************************
Many might be surprised to learn that the word “Democracy” does not appear in the Bill or Rights or the US Constitution.  Nor does it appear in the Constitutions of the 50 States.  A Democracy is “mob rule,” a dictatorship of the majority in which 51% of the citizenry rule the other 49%.  Our freedoms and liberties are guaranteed to us because the framers of our Constitution, through past experience and careful consideration, gave us a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy . . .  A governmental system based on the rule of law and not the rule of the majority.
After the War of Independence and the failure of the Articles of Confederation, when our Constitution was being conceived and written, the total population of the thirteen colonies was estimated to be 2,628,400. The thirteen colonies were not equal in terms of number of inhabitants, with Delaware being the smallest at 45,400 residents and Virginia the largest with 538,000 residents.

The Garlic Goldfish Have Returned!

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The Garlic Goldfish (a perennial favorite Christmas snack) have arrived!

Actually, they were assembled by yours truly, in a couple hours standing at the iron skillet, Worcestershire, Blue Bonnet margarine and garlic powder at-the-ready.  Then slow baked until dry and toasty.

(For the uninitiated, this is a snack I’ve made traditionally for years.  Originally, I made standard Chex Mix, with the requisite addition of peanuts, pretzels and the like.  With a tablespoon of this, a dash of that.  I determined two things – people singled out the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers for consumption so the other ingredients were wasted, and screw this tablespoon-dash thing!)

I cover roughly 9/10 of the bottom of the skillet with Worcestershire, add 1/2 a stick of margarine, and sprinkle garlic powder generously.  Then marinate a pan full of crackers until they soak it all up, over medium heat.  Transfer all to a turkey roasting pan and bake @ 300° or so, turning every 10 minutes of so to check for burning, until they are all dry and crispy.  (I use Blue Bonnet because it’s cheap and takes the high heat.)

I used to make these in massive quantities for Christmas when I was employed and bring them into work.  It became such a tradition that folks would start asking me in September if I was bringing in goldfish that year!
🙂

Consumer Warning – they are QUITE addictive and go great with beer!  People consuming these snacks needn’t be concerned they will be molested by vampires, or members of the opposite sex. (Unless they, too, have partaken of the garlicky treats!)

FTC – neither Blue Bonnet, French’s Worcestershire, Pepperidge Farm Crackers or anyone else gave me anything!  I bought and assembled it all myself.  Go make your own – and Merry Christmas!

A Thought From Old NFO

Kitty Hawk – Pearl Harbor – The Moon Landing

1903 – 1941 – 1969

flight

I wonder what the next 66 years will bring? (2035)

Thanks, Jim.

Somali “Community” Given Special Access to Secured Areas of Airports

(from Judicial Watch)

Somali “Community” Given Special Access to Secured Areas of Airports

The Obama administration’s willful failure to recognize the potential threat from radical Islamists here at home continues to place Americans at risk.  The latest example of this will shock you and in is found in just 31 pages of records we pried loose from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  The records reveal the Department of Homeland Security has given Somalis “community engagement tours,” including security briefings, in secured areas in at least three major U.S. airports – Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio.

The briefings provided to the Somali groups were so sensitive that in 14 instances the agency redacted portions of the records under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption (B)(7)(e) the law-enforcement “risk circumvention” exemption, which reads:

Exemption 7(E) of the Freedom of Information Act affords protection to all law enforcement information that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.

In one instance, Customs and Border Protection exempted under (B)(7)(e) a portion of a February 16, 2016, “Minute by Minute Agenda” provided during a tour/briefing of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The material that was withheld from Judicial Watch as too law-enforcement sensitive – but provided in full to the Somali group – included a section entitled: “TSA Overview — Processing [Redacted].”  The invitees were provided briefings of the Global Entry system, APC [Automated Passport Control] system, secondary screening procedures, baggage-screening procedures and given tours of the holding cells/interview rooms.

Notes from the February Minneapolis St. Paul Airport tour indicate: “Current CBP and TSA job vacancies” were discussed. Attendees responded with requests for DHS outreach efforts during Somali community events to further advertise these positions to interested individuals.”

The newly released records also reveal:

  • In addition to the Minneapolis Airport tours/briefings given to Somalis during 2014 and 2015 – and first revealed by Judicial Watch in August 2016 – tours of U.S. airports and security briefings also have been provided to other groups at airports in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio: “Once we agree on the dates we will select the time based on prayer schedules. Another idea could be the roundtable to take place at the airport after the tour. We have done that before in LA and Columbus and it worked well both times”.

  • The timing of the Minneapolis Airport tour given to a group of Somalis in February 2016 was scheduled between 6-8pm because it would “accommodate prayer times well”

  • During the “annual” tour, federal authorities granted excursions of the facility’s “secure areas.” It is also noted that two parties in the previous year “did not pass vetting.”

  • The invitation extended to the Somalis for the Minneapolis Airport tour addressed them as “Dear Colleague,” and promised “walking people through CBP’s process, walking people through TSA’s process” and provide “a step-by-step tour of our operations, designed to offer a greater understanding of airport processes and procedures.”

Eight senior ranking Homeland Security and Customs officials were tasked with accompanying and briefing the Somalis on the February 18, 2016, Minneapolis Airport tour, including the Minneapolis Area Port Director, the Assistant Port Director, the Watch Commander, a Homeland Security Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Senior Policy Advisor (flown in from Washington), the TSA Federal Security Director and TSA Deputy Federal Security Director.

The documents show Customs officials reporting that one of the invited individuals had given “CBP Chicago a hard time” following the last tour and noted three of the invitees had had investigations against them, which had since been closed.  Another invitee had an active investigation pending.

Logically, information that is too sensitive to provide to Judicial Watch and the public should not have been given to a “community engagement tour.” The U.S. government has been aware for years that Minnesota is a hotbed of Somali terrorist-cell activity. The behind-the-scenes tours and security briefings of the Minneapolis airport very well could have created a threat to public safety.

We’ve been on watch for this issue for some time.  In August 2016, the JW Corruption Chronicles blog reported on the Muslim airport tour story: “The Obama administration gave Somali Muslims behind-the-scenes tours at a major U.S. airport after the group complained to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about feeling harassed and profiled, government records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The special security tours not offered to any other group occurred at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after Department of Homeland Security roundtable meetings with local Somali leaders to obtain feedback for ‘modifications to practices that would allow for operations to be more culturally sensitive.’”

I have no problem with law-abiding Muslims who are in the United States legally.  I do, however, take issue with those who intend to do us harm, and with unequal protection of the law!

Would we have given the same access to Mexican immigrants?  Or former IRA member?

SERIOUSLY?!  Political Correctness is killing us, now possibly literally…

Ruger 10-22

I was never much of a .22 guy.  Probably because I wasn’t brought up with them.  Most of my firearms life has been with centerfire pistols. (I did acquire a Ruger semiautomatic and a S&W revolver in .22 to use in training, late in the game.)

But my first .22 was a Ruger 10-22 rifle.  Basic model.  Ordinary walnut, open sights, blue.  (Eventually, I did acquire a couple ‘hi-cap’ magazines for her, when the Clinton’s shoved their so-called ‘assault weapons ban’ on the public.

Of course, when my vault was taken, so were the pistol, revolver and rifle.

And, I frankly forgot about them.

But, The Firearm Blog (bless their hearts!) reminded me.

If you are looking for a reliable, inexpensive Christmas gift for the new shooter in your family (or for yourself!) this one is it!

More Wisdom From The Queen

…of SNARK! (Tamara, of course!)

Lessons from ECQC…(in part)

ECQC changed my life.

For instance, since ECQC I’ve finally started practicing something I’d long preached and began carrying a can of Fox Labs OC around with me. It’s become more important to me to have a solid middle ground option between “harsh language” and “bust a cap in someone’s ass”.

It’s made me think a lot more about deescalation, how persistence does not automatically equal threat, that presenting a weapon (or even revealing its presence) without the space or time to employ it correctly can cause a lot more problems than it solves. Letting a guy who’s within a dozen feet of you know you have a gun doesn’t necessarily deter him; it just lets him know you have a gun. It’s up to him whether that’s a deterrent or not.

Physical fitness has become more important to me, too. All tangled up under someone who’s beating your ass and about to pull your gun out and shoot you with it isn’t the time to find out you’re completely out of breath, too.

That gets me out the door every morning, and I’d about ready to look into adding some simple calisthenics to what’s already become a routine mile walk. Baby steps, but I’m already healthier now than I’ve been in years.

I’m OLD.  Well, older than Tam.  Disabled.  Infirmed.  Overweight.  Have chronic pain issues.

With regard to PT (physical training), well, it just doesn’t happen.  I am truly an armchair adventurer (with apologies to LTC Brown)

But reading of Tam’s adventures and commitment has my motor running. (if nothing else).  I know, based on my age and infirmities that I will not ever have the physique of a Navy Seal.

But I need to do something.

I just signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.  Part of the coverage is I can go to any gym and work out!  (under a program called Silver Sneakers).  It’s about time I do SOMETHING.

We’ll see whether or not I’m motivated to do so…

‘Tis The Season!

And, we’ve not guffawed in a while…christmas-drones

christmas-plus christmas-roof feed-santa

spooning

Just In Time For Christmas!

(from my friend Borepatch)

Dangerous toys NOT to get for Christmas

I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
I often rant about poor security in products and how “security wasn’t an afterthought, it wasn’t thought of at all.”  Mostly it’s about something that is unlikely to effect most of all y’all.  This time is different – here are some toys that can endanger children, and I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT buy these as gifts this holiday season.

My Friend Cayla is a doll with embedded voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri, that can interact with children.  It not only listens to what the child says but can respond appropriately.

While it’s somewhat concerning that the doll “phones home” over the Internet for the voice recognition to work, the issue isn’t that it’s listening in on your kid.  Mind you, I find this more than a little creepy, but I remember when there were only 3 TV channels.

The danger is that the doll is Bluetooth enabled, and the Bluetooth is completely unprotected.  What this means is that anyone within Bluetooth range (which at 100 yards is actually further than many think) can connect to the doll and start talking to your child as she plays.

Let me say that again – Joe Shmoe in the park across from your house can connect to your little Princess’ doll and have a chat.There’s a video of this, although they’re wrong to call it a “hack”.  It’s simply use of the functionality as it was designed.

Also using the exact same technology with exactly the same flaw is the i-Que robot: this isn’t just a threat to little girls.

Unconfirmed reports also include the Barbie Hello Dream House.  I don’t know whether this is vulnerable to remote Bluetooth access, and it’s almost certain that nothing definitive will be published on this before the holidays.  Given that I recommend that you don’t buy this, either.

This seems to me to be bordering on criminal negligence by the companies involved (certainly My Friend Cayla and i-Que; possibly Mattel).  The idea that a child’s toy could be released that would allow someone to remotely talk with your child his his or her own bedroom is mind bogglingly stupid.

To reiterate, I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.

Anyone remember “My name is Talky Tina” from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone?  These toys take that to a whole new level.

Frightening.

Uh. I have NO Words

(from Brock Townsend)

“Transgender 101: Gender Identity in the Workplace” is a workshop that will be offered by the U.S. Naval Academy tomorrow for faculty, staff, and cadets. It will be conducted by two “transgender trainers” who created the Trans 101 session “with the hope that it would create more supportive and inclusive workplaces by helping people better understand the trans experience and what it means to be an ally to the trans community.”

How long before voluntary workshops like this will be mandatory for all members of the military? How long before the Navy’s new slogan will be “Join the navy, travel the world, and change your gender at taxpayer expense”? And how long before Christians realize that the military is an unholy institution? Tragically, probably long after the first two things come to pass.

No.   Words.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…