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REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors

(from The Firearm Blog, in part)

REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors

Washington Post

Robert J. Spitzer, author of Guns Across America, penned an opinion piece about silencers in the Washington Post this week. Like much of what we are accustomed to reading about firearms in today’s media, Spitzer is disingenuous in his arguments against the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) – a bill that proposes suppressors be removed from the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. He begins:

Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners.

I am sure Spitzer is not the first gun control advocate to suggest that the report of a firearm is actually an “important safety feature”, however it is the first time I’ve heard it used in this context. A common misconception about silencers that has been repeated numerous times, is that a suppressed weapon can be used as a “silent killer”. Just two weeks prior, the author’s same publication addressed the Hollywood perception of silencers, confirming they are anything but silent.

Proponents of the deregulation of silencers, such as myself, will repeat this one fact over and over: legally referred to as silencers, these devices do not silence a firearm. In the majority of cases, additional hearing protection, such as ear plugs, must be worn even when a suppressor is used while shooting. So the author’s argument that silencers remove a “safety feature” (loud noises) from a discharged firearm is already crumbling. Honestly, for a professor, I’d expect at least some research followed by fact-based arguments.

But don’t take my word for it, Knox Williams, President of the American Suppressor Association (ASA) introduced me to Dr. Micheal Stewart, Director of Audiology at the Department of Communication Disorders at Central Michigan University. I asked Dr. Stewart “Is it possible to damage a persons hearing when using muffs or plugs alone?” He writes:

Yes, it is possible, especially if individuals are shooting numerous rounds of large caliber firearms with hearing protection devices (HPDs) that are not properly applied. For instance, the famous yellow plug has a high noise reduction rating (NRR), but it must be inserted properly. Also, it is not well suited for small, curvy ear canals so there is not a good acoustic seal and thus individual do not achieve the tabled attenuation values. In fact, NIOSH has de-rated formable plugs 50%, muffs 25%, and most other plugs 70%. The real world attenuation values may be significantly lower than the attenuation values obtained in the laboratory. Additionally, our research at CMU has consistently found that most hunters do not wear HPDs during hunting activities and many target shooters do not wear HPDs on a consistent basis.

He continues:

As hearing conservationist, we are interested in the science regarding suppressors, not the politics. There is no doubt that suppressors (often incorrectly referred to as silencers) are effective in reducing auditory risk, however, HPDs should be used in conjunction with suppressors to further reduce risk. Depending on the type of firearm, caliber of firearm, and the acoustic environment, recreational firearm users may be able to wear HPDs with lower NRR values that still allow them to hear while protecting their hearing when shooting firearms equipped with suppressors.

Hearing Conservation, Not Politics’. Sounds familiar…

But there is a deeper concern with Spitzer’s Washington Post editorial, Spitzer makes claims regarding the HPA that need to be addressed. He writes:

The NRA is renewing with gusto its misbegotten push, begun in the last Congress, to make gun silencers easier to acquire by swiping a page from the public health community’s long-standing efforts to warn of the dangers of firearms. The Hearing Protection Act, which would remove federal registration and identification requirements for those seeking gun silencers…

First off, suppressors will only be “easier to acquire” because of the disappearance of abnormally long wait times to possess silencers which are fueled by bureaucracy and not due to a lack of background checks. The HPA proposes that the purchase of silencers be treated the same as long arms, which means that prospective buyers will still need to undergo a background check and follow all state and federal firearms laws. Let’s not forget that sound suppressors are nothing more than hollow tubes – they can’t fire any ammunition on their own.

Which leads me to another point: basic firearm silencers can be constructed from materials found in two isles of a hardware store for less than $20. If would-be criminals were so inclined, in a few hours time they could fashion a firearm suppressor that performs on par with commercially manufactured suppressors. Of course, in the process they would be violating several federal laws, punishable with a minimum of ten years in prison. But everyone knows that criminals check to see which laws not to break, on their way to break several other laws.

Since silencers don’t actually silence firearms and add up to a foot of length to any weapon, an overwhelming majority of criminals give no thought to attaching a muffler to their instruments of criminality. We are talking about statistically insignificant percentages of suppressors being used to commit crimes.

Go on, Professor, you were saying:

Absent some kind of cataclysmic hearing-loss crisis by America’s tens of millions of gun owners, this political push should be recognized for what it is: an effort to provide an extremely small benefit to gun owners that willfully ignores what can happen to others once a bullet leaves a gun barrel. The lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate. Just ask anyone caught in the vicinity of a shooting.

Since when do shooters “willfully ignore” what happens when a bullet leaves a barrel? And yes, most suffer from some form of hearing loss; no it’s not an “extremely small benefit”. In a recent post by the ASA, they reference a 2011 report completed by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) after a noise and lead analysis at a range in California. On page five the authors conclude:

The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel. However, some states do not permit civilians to use suppressors on firearms.

It’s journalism like this column in the Post, masked as news analysis, that makes much of America wary of what they read in papers today. The Washington Post touted your opinion piece as being written by an expert, and yet you willfully ignore facts, data and evidence to push an agenda.

For shame, Professor. A man with your educational background should understand that fact-based arguments outweigh emotional rhetoric. Almost every aspect of your opinion piece is invalid and rooted in common misconceptions.

The HPA removes unnecessary barriers to lawful suppressor ownership through deregulation. Sure, they will no longer be listed on the NFA registry (a glorified national list of tubes), but each buyer must still pass the same background check used for every other gun purchased in the United States. And remember, silencers cannot fire a single bullet on their own.

This is the part of the article where I am supposed to offer you the chance to come over and shoot a few suppressed firearms in an attempt to “win you over”. No thanks; after reading your borderline slanderous opinion piece, I’m certain there is no empirical evidence that will help you come to an informed decision.

Ironic that we are talking about silencers since it is pretty clear that you are stuck in your own echo chamber.

 

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In Search Of…

Old stuff!  (NO – not the 70’s TV series!)  😛

I’ve recently been blessed with the acquisition (or re-acquisition) of two firearms, as recounted in these pages – a first-year, original old frame style Ruger Security Six, and a Sig Sauer P245.

Both long out-of production and both ‘classics’ in their own right.

And both are fine to carry and shoot just as they are, but…

Like most gun folks, I cannot leave well enough alone!

Regarding the Ruger Security Six, she has the standard stocks.  When I was previously gun poor and carried her as a loaner (thanks again Dave the genius mechanic!) she was resplendent with a pair of Herrett Shooting Star checkered stocks.  Reportedly, these cracked beyond repair and have been discarded.

And Herrett no longer makes them for the original old frame.

Does anyone know where an old set might be acquired, or failing that, a similar style manufactured by some other manufacturer?

(Being an old-school gun guy just doesn’t get any easier?)

Now to the Sig Sauer P245.  Again no longer in production.  And the long-used night sites have faded to the brightness of the spark generated by breaking a Wint-O-Green Life Saver or white Necco Wafer in a dark closet.  Fortunately, when I can afford it, replacements ARE available.  (Although she does shoot quite well without any tritium, regardless!)

The ‘problem’ here is a decent IWB concealment holster.  Just like the Ruger, as they are no longer in production, finding accountrement for her is difficult.

AND, of course, I’m left-handed!

I like the idea of something straight-drop in Kydex, but at this point anything above a Fruit-Of-The-Loom, metal clip-on chamois pouch would suffice.

Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?ferris-bueller

Attention ARIZONANS, Part Dos

(from the Arizona Citizens Defense League, in part)


Committee Hearings Scheduled

The following pro-rights firearms bills are scheduled for committee hearings in the coming week.  Details about these and other bills can be found at AzCDL’s Bill Tracking page.

HB 2318, which would require a conviction of a crime before a concealed weapons permit can be revoked, is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary and Public Safety committee on Wednesday, February 1.

SB 1243, the AzCDL-requested bill that would exempt CCW permit holders from disarming in public (state and local government controlled) buildings or events that do not screen everyone entering for weapons, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Government committee on Wednesday, February 1.

To voice your support for these bills:

  • Visit the AZ Legislature Applications page.
  • Click on the “Request to Speak” icon to log in to the system.
  • Once you have signed on, click on the “New Request” icon on the left side of the page.
  • A new window will open up.In the “Search Phrase” line, enter the bill number (e.g., 2318) and click on the blue “Search” button.It is not necessary to add HB or SB before the bill number.
  • Your search results will appear below the “Search” button.
  • Click on the blue “Add Request” button on the right side of your search results to bring up your voting page.
  • Click on the “For” (thumbs up) button.
  • Unless you will be testifying at the hearing, always answer “No” to the “Do you wish to speak?” question.
  • After voting, click on the blue “Submit” button.
  • You’ll need to click on the “New Request” icon to start the process for the next bill.

If you are a current AzCDL member and do not have an RTS account, please contact Fred (treasurer@azcdl.org) for assistance in setting up an account.

Good Bills Progressing

This past week, thanks to your activism, the following bills passed out of their respective committees.

HB 2117, which would strengthen the rights of state militia members, passed out of the House Federalism, Property Rights and Public Policy (FPRPP) committee hearing on Tuesday, January 24.

HB 2216, which would make it illegal to track firearms or their owners via electronic systems, databases, etc., passed out of the House Judiciary and Public Safety committee hearing on Wednesday, January 25.

HB 2287, which would change the language regarding the culpable mental state required to prove a person unlawfully discharged a firearm, also passed out of the House Judiciary and Public Safety committee hearing on Wednesday, January 25.

These bills will need a House Rules committee hearing before they can be debated in the House Committee of the Whole (COW).  When bills are scheduled for COW hearings we will prepare emails for you to send to your legislators via our Legislative Action Center.

Committee hearings continue to be a priority in the coming weeks.  The deadline for bills to be heard in committees in the originating chamber (House or Senate) is Friday, February 17, just a few weeks away.

As important bills are scheduled for committee hearings and floor votes we will notify you via these alerts.  It only takes a few mouse clicks to make a big difference.

Stay tuned!


These alerts are a project of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL), an all-volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization.

 

Attention ARIZONANS!

And anyone else who legally shoots here…

remote-axd

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released for public comment a plan that will determine what lands within the Sonoran Desert National Monument (SDNM) will be closed to target shooting. Currently, the nearly 500,000-acre SDNM is open to target shooting, with the exception of 10,599 acres temporarily closed by a court order in a lawsuit filed against an earlier BLM plan that would have kept the entire SDNM open to shooting.  The lands closed are on the north side of the SDNM along the El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline right-of-way that parallels BLM Road 8000. It also extends along both sides of BLM Road 8001, adjacent to the wilderness boundary, before terminating at BLM Road 8006.  The court order also requires the BLM to complete the management plan by September 2017.

The draft plan presents five alternatives as follows:

Alternative A – the “no action” alternative continues the 1988 Lower Gila South Resource Management Plan without change, which means that target shooting would be allowed anywhere within the SDNM.

Alternative B – the court order closure would become permanent, affecting 10,599 acres or 2.1 % of the SDNM.

Alternative C – the BLM’s preferred alternative would allow target shooting in the Desert Back Country Recreation Management Zone only and partially lift the court order closure as addressed in Alternative B.  The effect is that 54,817 acres or 11% of the SDNM would be closed to target shooting.

Alternative D – target shooting would not be allowed in designated wilderness, lands managed to protect wilderness characteristics, and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Recreation Management Zone, which would close 320,317 acres or 66% of the SDNM to target shooting.

Alternative E – the SDNM would be entirely closed to target shooting.

The plan with its five alternatives can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1ZPyFSA.  The public has 90 days or until March 15th to submit comments and comments may be emailed to blm_az_sdnmtargetshooting@blm.gov or faxed to 623-580-5580.

The BLM has already held three public meetings and due to the high level of interest two more hearings have been scheduled as follows:

February 11 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Cooper Sky Recreation Center located at 44342 W Martin Luther King Blvd., Maricopa.

February 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Burton Barr Central Library located at 1221 N Central Ave., Phoenix.

During the first 30 minutes of each meeting, the BLM will provide opening remarks describing the ground rules and will proceed to present the alternatives. The remaining time will be conducted in an open house format, during which staff will answer additional questions and receive input to be considered.Everyone who enjoys recreational target shooting on the SDNM is strongly encouraged to review the alternatives and submit comments to the BLM.   You can be assured that those groups and individuals who are anti-gun will be flooding the BLM with comments supporting Alternative E, which would close the entire SDNM to shooting.  The focus of your comments should be on where recreational shooting has by popularity, as well as historically, taken place and where it should continue in those areas that offer a safe shooting environment.

It was BLM’s intent through an earlier management plan to close the SDNM to target shooting.  If it had not been for the intervention of the NRA, the SDNM would already be closed to shooters.  The BLM was encouraged to revise the management plan and in an about-face, it proposed that the entire SDNM be open to shooting.  But, the proposal lacked the required documentation to support that recommendation and the BLM was promptly sued.   This is the third and likely final round over the future of target shooting in the SDNM.  It is imperative that all sportsmen and women who find it important to keep our Federal lands open to hunting and shooting take this draft plan seriously by reading it and submitting individual comments.

(from the NRA/ILA)

Mike Connors R.I.P.

 Death, obviously knows no change in calendars…
mike-connors

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Connors, who starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix,” has died. He was 91.

The actor died surrounded by family Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon.

“Mannix” ran for eight years on CBS beginning in 1967. Viewers were intrigued by the tall, smartly dressed, well-spoken detective who could mix it up with the burliest of thugs and leap on the hood of a racing car to prevent an escape. Episodes normally climaxed with a brawl that left the culprits bruised and beaten.

“Up until Mannix, most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions,” Connors theorized in 1997. “Mannix got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of.”

In the first season, Joe Mannix was a self-employed Los Angeles private investigator hired by a firm that used computers and high-tech equipment to uncover crime. The ratings were lukewarm. Connors feared the series would be canceled but it was produced by Lucille Ball’s Desilu studio, and CBS was reluctant to antagonize its biggest star.

In the second season, Mannix opened his own office and combatted low-lifes by himself. The ratings zoomed.

When “Mannix” was revised the office acquired a secretary, played by African-American actress Gail Fisher.

The network was concerned that affiliates in the South might object to her character but “there wasn’t any kind of backlash,” Connors recalled.

Another highlight was the theme music by legendary screen composer Lalo Schifrin.

Connors also starred in the TV series “Tightrope!” and “Today’s FBI.” Each lasted one season.

His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest role on “Two and a Half Men.”

Connors made his film debut in 1952’s “Sudden Fear,” which starred Joan Crawford. Other films included “Island in the Sky,” ”The Ten Commandments,” and a remake of “Stagecoach.”

Connors, born Krekor Ohanian in 1925, was from an Armenian community in Fresno. He served in the Air Force during World War II and played basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles.

After graduation he studied law for two years but his good looks and imposing presence attracted him to acting. In an era when film actors were given names like Tab and Rock, he appeared as Touch Connors — “Touch” being his basketball nickname. He later changed it to Michael and finally, Mike.

Connors and his wife, Mary Lou, were married in 1949 and had two children: a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Dana. Their son, beset by hallucinations starting in his teens, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and before his death lived in a small residential care facility. Connors and his wife championed efforts to erase the stigma of mental illness.

In addition to his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Connors is survived by a granddaughter, Cooper Wills.

___

The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report.

We humans always seem to make the passing of time with a New Year, with the hope that Death will do the same.

But, he never stops.

There have been others, Mary Tyler Moore being the most notable.

But my high school TV years were filled with shows like Mission Impossible.

And Mannix.

For me, Mannix filled the generational gap between 77 Sunset Strip and Magnum.

This was Mike Connors image, even though he did other things.

He even did a show where he was named Ohanian – his real Armenian name – but it didn’t take.

He once quipped as Mannix he was hit on the head something like 57 times, but always came back.  Maybe PIs should be issued safety helmets?

Godspeed, Mike.  R.I.P.

Another January 26, But Different

You know me and anniversaries.

This is the day my Mom passed, in the 50’s.  I was just a little kid.

This is the day, 1n 2009, lymphoma reared it’s head.  I am now in remission (cancer free!)  🙂

So January 26 doesn’t hold many positive memories for me.

Except one. 

wp-image-2037229698jpg.jpg

In 1967 (correct from the previously reported 1966), my beloved Sister Ellie gave birth to a son. Who ultimately married, fathered four wonderful children (one of whom is autistic – and is doing spectacularly in his own right!). And in spite of divorce has remained a terrific, supportive, loving father to all.

He is my nephew Brian (aka Skeets). And I couldn’t be more proud as he turns 50 today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN!50th-birthday-cake-7

OPINION: The DOD Should Have Picked GLOCK

(from TFB)

Forget about modularity and the other Army requirements for the newly announced M17 sidearm for a moment.  Do you mean to tell me that the DOD just spent $580M on a pistol that has barely been on the market for three years? A gun that will be carried by US soldiers for at least a decade, more likely two or three, that has only been issued to a handful of law enforcement agencies in the United States? (Love ya Hooksett, NH Police!)

The iconic GLOCK pistols have served with distinction for 35 years, in LEO agencies, Militaries, contractors and civilian hands around the globe. The new M17 should have had Gaston’s name on the slide and everyone knows it.

Fanboy? Sure, call me names, throw rotten food at your devices, raise your torches and pitchforks. Listen to some Nickleback for crying out loud. But even if you pray to a different god, be it Sig, S&W, FN or some pot metal creation you got at a show a few years back – Deep down, you know the US Army should be carrying GLOCKs as their new handgun.

Save me your ‘hand grenade’ and grip angle jabs – that’s a smoke screen and you know it. The G17 and/or G19 has served with distinction and has proven itself worthy time and time again. And unlike previous side arm choices, GLOCK pistols aren’t nearing an ‘end of life’ situation or being surpassed by new technologies. Gaston has focused on steady, calculated weapon evolution rather than spurts of revolution interspersed with setbacks. Frustrating for individual gun owners? You bet. But he knows that any misstep in reliability would leave a black mark on the Austrian handgun’s legacy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Sig P320 is a fantastic pistol – reliable, accurate and well made. However, I will argue that it does nothing that the GLOCK already does with a lot more long-term supporting data from a variety of hostile environments.

Yes. I get it. Modularity.

I carried a Sig every day for eight years. I’ve carried a GLOCK every day for eight more. And now, as I ready myself to be issued a new P320, I do so with reluctance but also with acceptance. Knowing (and hoping) that somewhere far above my head, someone knows better than I do. At least I don’t have to deal with that $&@?ing manual safety.

The M9 is dead. Long live the M17.

Note the flavor of slight sarcasm, ladies and gentlemen. Life is good.

O  K

Their previous post regarding the SIG was pretty positive.

What do YOU GUYS think?

(Let the games begin!)

The Maxims of General George S. Patton

(from the Art of Manliness, in part)

With the confirmation of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense, the “Mad Dog’s” no-holds-barred quotes have been making their way around, and he’s been compared to another eminently quotable officer: General George S. Patton. But with all due respect to Mattis, there’s no one truly like the original. Below you’ll find a collection of “Old Blood and Guts’” unapologetic musings on duty, action, and the brutal art of war.

“There is nothing more pathetic and futile than a general who lives long enough to explain a defeat.”

“You are not beaten until you admit it.”

“War is the only place where a man lives.”

“Do your duty as you see it, and damn the consequences.”

“Success in war depends on the golden rules of war: speed, simplicity, and boldness.”

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”

“It’s the unconquerable soul of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses which insures victory.”

“Anything done vigorously is better than nothing done tardily.”

“Officers must assert themselves by example and by voice.”

“We can conquer only by attacking.”

“There is no approved solution to any tactical situation.”

“There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is, ‘To use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time.’”

“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base.”

“It is easy to die for nothing; one should die for something.”

“As long as you attack them, they cannot find the time to attack you.”

“One continues to learn about war by practicing war.”

“The world has no use for a defeated soldier and nothing too good for a victor.”

“Never stop being ambitious. You have but one life, live it to the fullest of glory and be willing to pay any price.”

“Always do more than is required of you.”

“Punishment is not for the benefit of the sinner; it is for the salvation of his comrades.”

“Everything is a final heat.”

“War is simple, direct, and ruthless. It takes a simple, direct, and ruthless man to wage it.”

“By perseverance, and study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.”

“The unleavened bread of knowledge will sustain life, but it is dull fare unless it is leavened with the yeast of personality.”

“Do not regard what you do only as preparation for doing the same thing more fully or better at some later time. Nothing is ever done twice. There is no next time.”

“There is but one international law: the best Army!”

“It is better to live in the limelight for a year than in the wings forever.”

“If a man thinks war long enough, it is bound to have a good effect on him.”

“Haste and speed are not synonymous.”

“The pacifist actually refuses to defend what defends him; his country. In the final analysis this is the most basic immoral position.”

“Many soldiers are led to faulty ideas of war by knowing too much about too little.”

“Cowardice is a disease and it must be checked before it becomes epidemic.”

“War is an art and as such it is not susceptible of explanation by fixed formula.”

“In peace, the scholar flourishes. In war, the soldier dies. So it comes about that we view our soldiers through the eyes of scholars and attribute to them scholarly virtues.”

“The greatest privilege of citizenship is to be able to freely bear arms under one’s country’s flag.”

“Throughout history wars have been lost because of armies not crossing rivers.”

“War is a killing business. You must spill the enemy’s blood or they will spill yours.”

“To be a successful soldier, you must know history.”

“The hardest thing a general has to do is to wait for the battle to start after all of the orders have been given.”

“Never make excuses whether or not it is your fault.”

“If brevity is the soul of wit, then repetition is the heart of instruction.”

“As long as man exists, there will be war. The only way to avoid trouble is to have the best Army, Navy, and Air Force.”

“The important thing in any organization is the creation of a soul, which is based on pride, in the unit.”

“Americans do not surrender.”

The post The Maxims of General George S. Patton appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

Now, I am not in favor of war.  I don’t think any sane person is.  I like the libertarian non-aggression idea.

This does not mean I’m a pacifist. I carry a sidearm for personal protection.  I believe in defending American ideals, interests and citizenry as needed.  But generally, this means the ‘bad guy’ needs to strike first.

Then we need to respond professionally, as committed warriors.  With clear rules of engagement and end game goals.

Obviously, General Mattis is not General Patton.  He is more intellectual.  But he still understands the objective is to end the war.

Si vis pacem, para bellum – Plato (and others)

 

The Twelve Labors Of Hercules 

Hardly. 

But trying, nevertheless.

With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.

And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be  (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!

That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.

I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.

The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores.  Because, they, too, want attention.

Or just to be in the way!

The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs.  I know, not livestock.  But just going down them can be painful.  And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game.  (Does this count as a second hurdle?)

Belle

Belle

Hurdle Two – the Cage.  (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!)  We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs.  We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel.  And that worked for many years.  But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished.  And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking.  One yelp every eight seconds or so.  ALL NIGHT.  Or until he finally falls asleep.  The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300!  Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.

D.J.

D.J.

Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard.  No plan is perfect.

(Back to the cage)  We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs.  They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing.  And we don’t like that.

Lola

Lola

SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved.  She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight.  HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat!  Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again.  No, she’s not gone away.  If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute!  Which means flopping over and belly rubs!  (the cat, not me)  I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant.  😛

tribute

tribute

She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box.  She always lets me know.  But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay!  🙂

Okay, okay!  I know.  Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)

And four is not twelve.  Perhaps I need to rethink this.  But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  😛

So, There Was A Protest

Or rather a series of protests across the country (and the World), following the Presidential inauguration.  Reportedly in significant numbers.

What exactly was being protested, and by whom?

It appeared to be largely women.  Protesting Donald Trump’s history of misogyny.  Because of a locker-room style comment he made eleven years ago.  Some protesters showed class, by dressing like this:

vagina

To be fair, not everyone was dressed this way.

I did notice most of the ‘notables’ involved in the protests were ‘left of center’, demanding continued funding for Planned Parenthood (as an example), and more government funding for all their concerns (like free health care for all), and consisted of folks like (from this AP report):

(…) Pop diva Madonna made an unannounced appearance Saturday in Washington, joining hundreds of thousands of protesters who rallied for women’s rights in defiance of Trump.

Other celebrities at the massive demonstration included actresses Scarlett Johansson, Ashley Judd and America Ferrera, filmmaker Michael Moore and the feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

I did notice conservative women were absent – perhaps discouraged from appearing?

A friend’s protest sign:

sign

Part of the protest was regarding protection of the environment.  Here is one photo following a protest:

protest

I’m certain more government money/labor will be needed to clean up after the protesters.

But, going to the government teat seems to be their fallback.  Wait!  Can I say that?  Great – I’ll probably have women dressed as boobies outside my door, now…

Naw, I’m not as important at The President.  🙂

(You all know I support legal protest – it’s a fine American tradition.  I didn’t see any reports of violence or criminal damage.  Good for you, ladies – and Michael Moore.)

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…