being human

This category contains 83 posts

Decency And Character

Yep.  I’m speaking of the recent dustup of things long-time ago said by candidates.

Mr. Trump has been recorded using language that might have originated in a high school locker room.  As has Secretary Clinton (at least in print).  And her husband.  And Jack Kennedy.

And, The President.

Use (or non-use) of such language, of course, is not a qualification for The Presidency.

My question is, what ever happened to the character of individuals?  Used to be persons with character aspired to be The President.  Washington, Jefferson and John Adams come to mind.  All persons of character.  Each very different.  (Yes, I know Washington and Jefferson owned slaves…)

They were human.  I suspect they might have uttered socially-inappropriate language in private moments.

But they rose to the challenge to move this Constitutional Republic forward.

I don’t see that in any of the current of recent candidates.

Now, it’s reported by the Clinton’s that they have victims of rape by Mr. Trump coming forward!  Seriously?  Not only is the timing questionable, but the whole pot-kettle thing!

I know politics by it’s very nature is dirty.  Regardless:

I weep for The Republic.

Victorian Glock?

The brilliant and beautiful Tamara (one of my ubiquitous Blogmothers ™) has regaled us almost daily with her ‘torture’ tests of various models of Glock pistol and kinds of ammunition.  As well as her opinion regarding gunsmithing modification and after-market parts.

Complete with specific counts regarding misfeeds, faulty ignition, ejection and the like.

And for this (and many other tidbits) we are forever grateful!  🙂

But, it got me to thinking (I know, a dangerous concept…)

Back-in-the-day, when I purchased MY Glocks (models 19,30,26, which sadly, I no longer have.), my intent was to acquire a machine that was sufficient for the task at hand out of the box.  The ONLY modifications I made were installation of tritium night sights (if they didn’t come pre-installed), because that seemed appropriate for a handgun chosen primarily for self-defense.

And the school of thought at the time was something akin to ‘well, you can’t replace the stocks, the sights are okay (now that they glow-in-the-dark)’.  What could I do further?  Perhaps have a NY trigger installed?’  There was not a lot of tweaking even available.

This definitely NOT your great grandfather’s service pistol, the venerable 1911, designed 80 years earlier with 51 (or 53) parts (versus the Glock’s 32).  A precision Victorian pocket watch versus a digital.

But, my friends, it does appear we have turned the corner.  There are now numerous after-market parts for the Glock, and even modification including grinding-upon and remolding the frame!

Seems we just cannot leave well enough alone!

glock mods

Perhaps tinkering is just part of being human?


Much of the Internet Vanguard (Borepatch, The Silicon Graybeard et al) have chided us for years regarding not just the intrusion of government and business into lives, but our voluntarily providing too much information to them – like posting when you are leaving for vacation on Facebook.

Well, my friends, Internet intrusion has indeed jumped the shark! (or perhaps a more adult euphemism!)

(from Wirecutter, in part)

A woman is suing her (appliance name excised for taste) manufacturer for knowing too much about when and how she uses it.

A few weeks ago, two researchers told the Defcon hacking convention audience that We Vibe “smart” sex toys send a lot of data about their users back to the company that makes them. According to Courthouse News, one We Viber took this news hard. A woman known only as “N.P.” filed a class action civil suit in a federal court in Illinois against Standard Innovation, which makes the We Vibe line of sex toys and corresponding app.

The smartphone app lets users “customize” their We Vibe experience, unlock app-only “bonus” vibration modes such as the “cha-cha-cha” and the “crest,” and “create unlimited custom playlists,” according to the product’s website. In the suit, N.P. says she bought a We Vibe in May and used it “several times” until she realized that it was sending data about her usage practices back to Standard Innovation’s servers, including when she used it, which vibration settings she used, and her email address.

And here I was concerned about license plate readers, facial identity programs and grocery store purchase trackers!


She obviously thought she was the master of her domain*, anonymously…

*a Seinfeld reference

Barbarians At The Gate

are nothing new!

(courtesy of Bobbi, in part, from her musings on 9/11…)

     Barbarians of one stripe or another had been after blowing up highly-visible stuff in the States for a good long while — a Federal building in Oklahoma City, a van-bomb at the World Trade center, and so on back to the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago.  There’s no shortage of fools who think blowing up innocent people is a suitable method to effect change.

It’s not.  It’s been shown to produce nothing but death, injury and anger.  And we’ve now got the TSA bringing miniature, audience-participation versions of the Stanford Prison Experiment to every passenger airport in the country.

Here’s what I can tell you: when violent people initiate force against the innocent, more people step up to stop them (Flight 93), to help the victims (police and firefighters at the World Trade Center and Pentagon), and they do not count the personal cost; they step up.  Civilization is stronger than barbarism.  It is not destroyed from the outside.

So remember the heroes, probably none of whom felt especially heroic in the moment.  Remember the people who do what needs doing.  And don’t kid yourself that it won’t happen again.

Considering we remain at ‘war’ (in one degree or another) against these forces (both foreign and domestic) after 15 years, it’s good to hear that while said barbarians keep testing (and sometimes breaching) the fences, there are folks out there who continue to step up to do the task at hand.  Thank you, Roberta, for reminding us.

Three quotes come to mind:

While it may be apocryphal, Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said (supposedly paraphrasing Orwell) “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13)

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



♫ Feelings ♫, Part Dos

I, generally, want the government to leave people alone.  If you think you are really a six-legged otter, and not a human, go ahead.

Be happy in your delusion.

Just don’t bother ME with it, or petition the government to mandate some kind of accommodation for all six-legged otter thinking people!

Just because you feel you are a woman inside a man’s body – or vice versa – doesn’t mean you are.  I’m a big believer in scientific evidence.  If you can show your chromosomal makeup is somehow skewed, then please, get help!  Have surgery and counseling.  Be who nature intended you to be.

BUT, if your opinion is just based on HOW YOU FEEL – also, seek help.  Don’t force others to join you in your fantasy, however.

Although popular culture and many of the leading media organizations have bought wholeheartedly into the idea that gender identity is something distinct from one’s biological sex — that a man could be born in a woman’s body or vice versa — such beliefs have no grounding in any credible scientific evidence, according to a report published Monday in the journal The New Atlantis.

Arizona State University professor of statistics and biostatistics Lawrence S. Mayer and John Hopkins University Medical School professor of psychiatrics Paul McHugh co-authored the report, which examined top peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences.

“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” they noted.

Sounds as if many of these folks have ‘issues’.  Please seek help.
h/t Free North Carolina

Who Am I?

I’m having a bit of an identity crisis.

I was born white, which makes me a racist.

I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which makes me a fascist.

I am heterosexual, which makes me a homophobe.

I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.

I am older than 55 and semi retired which makes me a useless old man.

I think and I reason; therefore I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which makes me a reactionary.

I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe.

I value my safety and that of my family; therefore I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right wing extremist.

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual’s merits, which makes me anti-social.

I, and my friends, acquired a good education without student loans and no debt at graduation, which makes me some kind of odd underachiever.

I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland by all citizens, which makes me a militarist.

Please help me come to terms with this, because I’m not sure who I am anymore!

And now I don’t know which bathroom to use anymore….

H/T Doverthere, Theo Spark

Training Classes Do Not Make For A Better Shooter

(from TFB)


According to Tim Herron of Team Sig Sauer there is a lot of misinformation from Armchair Experts. He breaks down five things he advises to be a better shooter.

  1. Dryfire. It’s real. And it works. It also costs NOTHING but an investment of your time and the benefits are endless.
  2. Training Classes do not make a better shooter. Practicing what you learn from those classes is what makes you a better shooter. Training classes merely gives you new ideas to practice on.
  3. Gear is never the answer. You can improve with what you have.
  4. Focus your practice on purposeful things. Things that really apply. Literal tons of repetitions both in dryfire and live fire and immense amount of PURPOSEFUL rounds down range.
  5. Finally, stop with the delusions of self grandeur. Want to start truly improving? Quit BS’ing each other on the Internet and get your rear end to work. You don’t learn this stuff by osmosis. And you certainly don’t get better at any of this by repeating the baseless BS you read or heard some supposed “hardcore operator or competitor” say out of context to someone else 3rd person.

Tim has some good points and some of them seem obvious. However I do argue against the “gear is never the answer”. If gear is not the answer then why do people not compete with Hipoints? To a certain degree gear matters. There is a reason people don’t use Uncle Mike’s holsters for serious shooting.  Also gear can help with some shortcomings one may have. For example, red dots on handguns is easier and quicker for people with poor eyesight.

What are you thoughts on Tim’s analysis and advice? To read his entire article check it out here at MASF.

Being an ‘armchair expert’, I resemble that remark!  :-)  Seriously, I no longer have the means to get to the range (or the desert) on a regular basis.  And my ‘edge’ (if I ever had one) has significantly rounded. 😦

Having said that, dreaming of more or better gear (if only I had another, different, newer gun…) or (if I had the opportunity) tossing lead downrange at paper villains willy-nilly doesn’t solve the problem!  It doesn’t even address it.

Because there’s no focus.  No purpose (see above).

Yeah, plinking is loads of fun, but doesn’t sharpen one’s skill set.  Muscle memory is degradable.

HOWEVER, dry practice (the aforementioned dry firing), coupled with presentation, trigger control, sight picture and compressed-surprise brake can make for a fun and valuable learning experience!  And an inexpensive means of keeping up one’s skill set.



I don’t pretend to even understand it.

Historical examples include Socrates, who took poison voluntarily; Numerous Samurai, who committed seppuku because they violated The Bushido Code.

It’s not always about suicide, though.

And sadly, the antithetical, so-called ‘honor’ killings…


There are select folks in service to the United States, who have it.  Like this example given us by my friend Old NFO.

As compared to a certain Presidential candidate.

By The Book

Phillip Jennings is an investment banker and entrepreneur, former Marine Corps Captain who flew missions  in Vietnam and, after leaving the Marine Corps, flew for Air America in Laos. He won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society short fiction award in 1998. He has a degree in business administration and is the CEO of Mayfair Capital Partners.  He is the author of two novels and one non-fiction book.

He authored the following article which appeared in the May 26, 2016 edition of USA Today.  It is short and should be required reading for everyone.

Secretary without honor

When I hear people say Clinton emails don’t matter, I remember a young Marine captain who owned up to his career-ruining mistake.

Apologists for Hillary Clinton’s alleged criminal mishandling of classified documents say that it doesn’t matter, that she really did nothing wrong, or nothing significant. But the real question is not so much what she did as how she has responded to being found out.

Once during the mid-1960s when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps, I was the air liaison officer for a battalion of Marines aboard 11 ships in the Mediterranean. As the air officer and a senior captain, I had a rotating responsibility for the nuclear code book, kept in the safe in the operations room of the lead amphibious squadron command ship. I shared that duty with another captain, a squared away young man, liked by all he commanded and the son of a very high-ranking Marine.

On the day our ships were leaving the Mediterranean, we met the new amphibious squadron near Gibraltar and made preparations to transfer security codes and other sensitive material to the incoming Marine battalion. The young captain was on duty and went to the operations office to pick up the code book. He was alone in the office. He removed the code book and placed it on the desk while closing the safe. In a rushed moment, he stepped across the passageway to retrieve something he needed from his quarters. Seconds later, he stepped back into the operations office and found the operations sergeant having just entered, looking down at the code book.

Against all regulations, the code book had been out of the safe and unattended. It mattered not that it was unattended for only seconds, that the ship was 5 miles at sea, or that it was certain no one unauthorized had seen the code. The captain could have explained this to the operations sergeant. He could have told the sergeant that he “would take care of it.” He could have hinted that his high-ranking dad could smooth it over.

But the Marine Corps’ values are honor, courage and commitment. Honor is the bedrock of our character. The young captain could not ask the sergeant to betray his duty to report the infraction, no matter how small. Instead, the captain simply said, “Let’s go see the colonel.”

That captain had wanted to be a Marine officer all of his life. It was the only career he ever wanted. When he reported the incident to the colonel, he knew he was jeopardizing his life’s dream. But he did it.

The results went by the book. The amphibious squadron stood down. Military couriers flew in from NATO. The codes were changed all over Europe. The battalion was a day late in leaving the Mediterranean. The captain, Leonard F. Chapman III, received a letter of reprimand, damaging his career. He stayed in the corps and died in a tragic accident aboard another ship.

I saw some heroic acts in combat in Vietnam, things that made me proud to be an American and a Marine. But that young captain stood for what makes our corps and our country great.

Clinton is the antithesis of that young captain, someone with no honor, little courage and commitment only to her endless ambition. This has nothing to do with gender, party affiliation, ideology or policy. It is a question of character — not just hers, but ours. Electing Clinton would mean abandoning holding people accountable for grievous errors of integrity and responsibility. What we already know about her security infractions should disqualify her for any government position that deals in information critical to mission success, domestic or foreign. But beyond that, her responses to being found out — dismissing its importance, claiming ignorance, blaming others — indict her beyond anything the investigation can reveal. Those elements reveal her character. And the saddest thing is that so many in America seem not to care.

And I cannot understand why people are letting this slide… NONE of the veterans I know are, that’s for sure…

h/t JP

I hold out that someone, somewhere will eventually grok honor…

It does seem as though it is missing from the national character, though…



This seems to be something inherent in humanity.

When a crisis occurs, we want need to do SOMETHING!  ANYTHING!

Even though so much of our lives is out of our control…

“There must be something we can do?”  (After someone had passed, to comfort the survivors) “If there’s anything I can do?”

And, of course, after tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, or riots, or a mass shooting (or stabbing, as recently in Sacramento)…

We must do SOMETHING!

It makes we, as humans, feel better about our powerlessness.

“I KNOW!  Let’s pass another LAW!”

When did we become so disconnected from how things work that we think ‘the government’ passing yet another law (which are selectively enforced, if at all, anyway) will solve any problems?

Bank robbery is already illegal.  Let’s make it even more illegal by passing laws restricting the kinds of firearms the robbers might steal to use!

“Double-secret probation!” – Dean Wormer (Animal House)

I have an idea.

First, lets undo the glut of useless, poorly-written laws clogging up the books since the first gun control (prohibiting freed slaves from owning firearms) was passed in 1809.


Let’s let people protect themselves and others from those who would threaten harm.

As we used to allow do:

Protecting our families with hope while evil has guns is not protecting our families. We are in a gun fight and some do not want to give us a fighting chance.

John Croom's photo.

John Croom

1973, a student and teacher guarding a Delaware high school after someone called in a shooting threat during a morning class. Juniors, seniors, and teachers went to their cars and trucks to grab their guns, and guard the doors between classes. No shooter ever arrived.  (from FB)

And how about school districts hiring  honorably-discharged veterans (with security skills) as school security?  Jobs for vets, and schools more secure.


Like I’d Wear THEIR Clothes!

Borepatch posted:

The latest idea from the Left

Don’t let old people vote:

GQ Magazine went all out, producing: “WE SHOULD BAN OLD PEOPLE FROM VOTING”. Writing about “them” as if the older generations are some foreign species, the reasons given by the author included:
“The EU referendum result will have less effect on older people”; “Over 65s read the Daily Mail”; “There was no ‘golden age’ of Britain”; and “We take pensioners’ driving licences away… why not their right to vote?”

It’s time for the Government to dissolve the People and elect a new one …


When  did a men’s ‘fashion’ magazine begin taking it upon itself to dictate public policy ideas?  And, why should I care?
walterGol’ darn young whippersnappers!
Obviously, useful idiots of Lenin will suffer more, if they cannot get more freebies from government.  And, as they will live longer (in their nice, fashionable clothes) it only stands to ‘reason’ that they want the old folks disenfranchised…
Didn’t they ever see Logan’s Run?  Don’t they realize one day they will get old?
old man

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…