This category contains 18 posts

Losing My Religion

I enjoy a good political discussion.  Or even a debate.  Unfortunately, in today’s climate, they often regress into name-calling, accusations and loud pronouncement as akin to grade school’s “Oh YEAH?  Yeah!”

Why does this happen?  Back as early as the 80’s, political enemies would do the “Oh Yeah” thing across the aisle, then adjourn to the neighborhood bar to share a beverage or two, and tell each other how great and principled each one was.

It’s become a sharper exchange, now.  One where one might be reviewing the dark bar parking lot for the presence of ‘friends’ as well as enemies!

The reason?  People no longer seem to subscribe to agreeing to disagree, because whatever the political cause, it’s become their RELIGION.

Want to annoy a Roman Catholic?  Tell him he’s a papist, and that the Pope IS indeed fallible.  A Republican?  That he’s a shill for corporate lobbyists, and therefore has no soul.  A Democrat?  That most any policy foisted upon this nation by the current  President is extra-Constitutional and illegal, and he deserves to be impeached, convicted and imprisoned.

Their response will undoubtedly be you don’t like him because he’s Black, and you are therefore racist.  And that makes any argument you present invalid.

And that will p*** you off!

No more are there rational, reasoned exchanges back and forth regarding policies.  Now it’s all name-calling and telling people what they believe is B.S.

It indeed may be, but that is not a way to discuss and argue.

facts“Just the facts, Ma’am.” –  Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb)

THAT should be everyone’s mantra.

The Trouble With Tribbles

(As the election is FINALLY over, and it’s been a while since we shared a Guffaw!)

As told in LOLtrek GIF style!


Click to play whole episode, if it doesn’t work right!

When it comes to television entertainment, many times I’ve been behind the 8-ball!  For example, I liked science fiction as a child (must have read Bradbury’s Marooned on Mars 20 times in the 4th Grade, and watched Forbidden Planet and The Outer Limits whenever they were on).

But most 60’s TV, sci-fi wise was lacking.  Lost in Space?  Puleez!

I kept hearing about this show Star Trek from my geek friends.  “Gotta watch it!”  So one night when my parents were out for the evening, I turned it on.  The episode, unfortunately, was ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.

I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen – right up there with the Adam West Batman show.  Of course, I didn’t understand ‘camp’.

Fast forward a few years and Star Trek went into syndication.  And I started picking it up by default.  Except for Tribbles, I never watched it in prime time.  Later, I learned to appreciate it.  Great stuff!

It was as if I determined I didn’t like all grapes because the one I picked was sour!

Of course, since that time, I became a minor trekker (not trekkie) and have seen most of the later TV permutations and movies.

(I even dated a beautiful sci-fi nerd who had Star Trek porn – but, that’s another post! :-) )

My career as an (unsuccessful) television critic continued when it was announced M.A.S.H. would become a TV show.  I’d seen the film, and read the book, and decreed there was no way they could do those things on television!  Of course, they softened and rebranded it, and it lasted (I think) eleven years!

This from the kid who was profoundly annoyed when they replaced The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In!

The times (and me, apparently) were a’changin’!

Gun Control Messaging

(from Alphecca)

At NRO, Frank Miniter examines what the billionaires contributing to gun control groups hope to accomplish, and the playbook they’re using:

In a section labeled “Overall Messaging Guidance,” the guide gives its number-one “Key Messaging Principle”: “Always focus on emotional and value-driven arguments about gun violence, not the political food fight in Washington or wonky statistics.” It further explains this strategy by saying, “It’s critical that you ground your messaging around gun violence in prevention by making that emotional connection.” Its second key principle is: “Tell stories with images and feelings.” The guide says, “Our first task is to draw a vivid portrait and make an emotional connection. We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence.” They realize they’ve lost the rational and empirical debates about what really stops gun violence and instead want the debate enflamed by emotion.

That’s ever the way, of course; you can’t win the argument with rational facts, so legislate by emotions.

Isn’t this the tack they take with virtually EVERYTHING?  After all, it’s for the children!

What’s This WORLD Coming To?

Or correctly, To What Is This World Coming?

I was waiting out back (the parking lot) behind our townhome for J. to arrive from work and collect me.  We had scheduled a dinner out.

Then, I heard a sharp, crunching noise.  Then I heard it again.  I looked to my 4:00, and there were two misguided youths undisciplined criminal vandals next to the North block wall of the complex.  Taking turns kicking it with side kicks (!), and pointing to the ever-increasing weak spots in the wall’s construction!


I immediately yelled at them to stop.Their response was to look at their shoes, mumble “Sorry”, and then hurriedly climb over the section of the now destabilized wall.  If I’d been smarter, I’d have gotten closer and taken cell phone photos of them to show the homeowner’s association and the police.

Shortly thereafter, J arrived, and I asked her to drive North to the next turn in, to see if I could spot them.  I wasn’t able to get a good face photo.

misguided yutes

misguided yutes

I’ve been told that section of wall is vandalized and has been repaired regularly, for years.  (It’s a short-cut from various schools.)

The question is, should I bother notifying the authorities (the local police and homeowner’s association) or, since no one else seems to care and they just keep repairing the wall, should I just forget about it?

It’s one of those ‘he said – yutes said’ situations…

PS – (now, to sound like an old man):  When I was a kid, it never even occurred to me to damage anyone else’s property, let alone trespass!  I got in serious trouble for walking across the corner of a neighbor’s lawn – by about two feet – when my Dad saw me.

These clowns obviously never heard the phrase‘ life, liberty and property’ in history class!

I’m Shocked – continuing an ongoing series…

(from Facebook)

Gun Owners of Arizona via Gene Hahn
Thanks Gene.
mark kelly

Mark Kelly

Man Campaigning to Ban Assault Rifles Caught Buying Assault Rifle

Mark Kelly may not yet be a household name, but he’s the better or worse half of Gabby Giffords, and together with her is the public face of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a PAC funded by a Texas lawyer to ban assault rifles.  He reportedly purchased a 1911-style pistol and an AR-15 style rifle!
Go read the whole article, if you can stomach such hypocrisy.  Of course, he immediately offers excuses, yatta, yatta.
                                                                              cap renault
                                                                         “I’m SHOCKED – SHOCKED!”

Most Martial Arts training, armed or unarmed, has one failing…

uspsaThey don’t practice outside the box.

I wrote earlier this month regarding my two years of formal training in martial arts.  Not much, I know.  About 15 years later, I actively shot in I.P.S.C. – style competition for about a year.  There is a similarity in these disciplines.

Most martial arts training (I’m speaking of Asian-based) begins with a set position.  A formal stance from which one begins – either ‘sparring’ (usually play-acting as through striking one’s opponent), or kata (aka forms), going-through-the-motions as if encountering an opponent.  Shadow boxing.  Responding to an imaginary adversary.

And I.P.S.C. (and it’s later permutations) of active ‘combat’ shooting competition usual does the same thing.  One starts in a particular place, with particular equipment, in a particular position.  Then the whistle blows. (At least U.S.P.S.A. and I.D.P.A. have done some evolution!)

The problem in both these situations is muscle memory.  We revert to that which we were trained to do.  One responds to a fist to the face by an outward-extended block, trapping the arm and stepping in with a counter strike.  One sees one’s adversary present a pistol in one’s direction, and the response is immediate – Grip, Clear, Click, Smack, Sight – or some variant, as one moves into Isosceles or Weaver – feet into the ‘correct’ position to respond.

WRONG.  At least wrong in the real world.

Training is good.  Dry practice, repetitive presentations, trigger control, sight alignment, the compressed-surprise break.  Even practiced stances and grips.  All good.  Competition is good, especially active competition as opposed to just punching holes in paper, dueling-style.  But, those are not enough, and can set in some dangerous muscle-memory habits!

Remember they used to say in malfunction clearance drills Tap, Rack, Bang?  They changed it to Tap, Rack, Assess, because some folks had malfs, cleared their firearm and came out shooting.  Reflexively.

The same thing applies in our training.  If we train to respond with B follows A – bad things are happening, we must attain our proper stance and grip, and use both hands, and have our feet correct – we won’t have the time to find cover and respond appropriately.  We will be dead.

The venerable Bruce Lee called kata vertical death – because it set a pattern of muscle memory and took unneeded time.  Don’t just practice B follows A – try presenting and shooting weak handed, from prone and supine, and in a chair; and holding a heavy sack in your strong hand.  If someone send a fist to your face, don’t automatically do a ‘standard’ response.  Dodge the fist simultaneously doing a stop kick.

Think outside the box!  Armed or unarmed.

On the street, no one will announce, “Shooter ready?!”


Fill Yer Hands recently blogged regarding a minor phenomena I’ve seen more and more of.  And, frankly, have heard about for years.

You’re a gun owner – why don’t you join the NRA or the SAF or some other pro-rights organization and put your money-where-your-mouth is?

Because I don’t want to be on a list.


You think that mouthing off in your local watering hole about the President or his policies, or buying firearms and ammunition, or prepping, or posting comments on the Internet haven’t already gotten someone’s attention?

It’s been widely reported that the ‘temporary’ NICS background check files have been (illegally) saved by the FBI, and every time a licensed gun shop goes under, they are required to ship all their filed Federal Forms 4473 to the BATFE.  We suspect there’s a huge database, although we’ve no positive proof.

How about the DHS Watch Lists when flying, or taking a train, or traveling abroad?  Or the NSA monitoring all the email traffic electronically, looking for key words like ‘guns’ in messages?

Personally, I suspect there has always been a list, and I involuntarily was added to it upon my first ‘papered’ firearm purchase.  And my ranting in this blog (and as a commenter on other blogs) about libertarianism, the Constitution, Gun Rights, Civil Liberties and various government abuses probably has made my file thicker.

But, I don’t care.  Why?  If indeed there are concerted efforts to monitor the actions and locations of possible threats (e.g. gun owners and free-thinking people) I’m probably at the head of the line.  Not only am I a gun owner and speak out about it, I’ve spoken publicly about the JFK assassination.

If there indeed IS a list, and we as a nation cross the Rubicon, I’ll never make to the camps…

(quietly removes tin-foil hat and skulks away…)

On NOT Preaching to the Choir…

Many bloggers have been posting of late regarding the ongoing elimination of rights by the government.  I’ve been one of the folks posting.  And, with the exception of the occasional ‘troll’, I’m pretty much preaching to the choir.

And sometimes that’s appropriate.  We need to support and reaffirm one another.

BUT, what does one do with the community outside the ‘church’?  Friends, co-workers, family who are not gun owners, who don’t participate in the gun culture, who either are neutral about firearms or just a little uneasy with them?

We need them, as well.

Those people who don’t see that when some folks rights are taken away, all rights are on the table for removal.

I’ve one friend, a libertarian, who understands The Constitution and The Bill of Rights and all that.  I’ve even taken him shooting.  Just doesn’t interest him.  He’s not anti, just not a supporter.  A close relative who knows I’d be happy to bring her into the world of guns; to train her and help her to be more self-protective.  But she fears her own temper, so she won’t consider it.

We need these folks, if not in our gun corner, in our political corner.

How do we do that?

Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?


Americans For Responsible Solutions

Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly have walked a long path together.  With the Nation watching.

She was shot and seriously wounded (and six others killed) in a Tucson assassination attempt.  Her recovery has been brave, to say the least.

Now she and her husband are launching a group to “launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby.”

“In response to a horrific series of shootings that has sown terror in our communities, victimized tens of thousands of Americans, and left one of its own bleeding and near death in a Tucson parking lot, Congress has done something quite extraordinary – nothing at all,” the pair wrote in an editorial published Tuesday on their site and in USA Today.  (emphasis Guffaw)

Americans For Responsible Solutions

If they were indeed looking for responsible solutions, a national dialogue,  wouldn’t including the NRA and other like-minded organizations in the discussion be appropriate?  Isn’t that what the Left is always touting, discussion before taking action?  Inclusion?

To me, responsible sounds an awful lot like reasonable when it comes to Gun Control.  As in “we need reasonable gun control”.  As if the previously-enacted thousands of laws and regulations aren’t enough.  If we can pass just one more law…

And, of course, criminals don’t obey laws!

They’ve certainly a right to their opinion.  They’ve been on a public tour; went to Newtown, Connecticut; met with NYC Mayor Bloomberg – an anti-rights freak if there ever was one.  Had a Big-Gulp, greasy fries or a smoke in NY,  lately?  Nanny Bloomberg is watching you!

And we’ve a right to our opinion.  No thank you, Ms. Gifford and Mr. Kelly.  “Include me out” as film mogul Samuel Goldwyn is to have said.

h/t NBC News

Costas and the Widow

Much hullabaloo has been made since Bob Costas made an ill-advised political statement during Sunday Night Football.  I’d not seen it; I’m not a football fan.

As I understand it he said both the NFL football player who killed his girlfriend, and she would still be with us, if it weren’t for the tool used – a gun.

Tell that to Nicole Brown Simpson.

A good friend of mine passed suddenly, almost a year ago.  While his wife and I were never close, I check in with her from time-to-time, to make certain she’s ‘okay’.  At least, doing as best as she can.  Holidays are always tough for such folks.  I know.

Mark loved guns, and loved shooting.  I was proud to have him for a student and a friend.  But his wife just never understood the appeal of firearms.  They frightened her, and she had no desire to educate herself to work through her fear.  After his passing, she gave Mark’s guns and gun stuff to her gunnie son-in-law.  A good choice, except, of course, now she has none.

Both Mr. Costas and Mark’s wife have the right to their opinions, as we do to ours.  The ability to have differing opinions is one of the things which makes our Nation great.  It’s too bad neither person took the opportunity to educate themselves past their fears.

I fear for Mark’s wife, living alone in a large house, with no protection at all.  Their ridgeback died a couple years ago.  I’ve no such fears for Mr. Costas – the network probably provides him with armed security, so he’ll be alright.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw



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"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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