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Which Is The Correct Direction?

For some reason, my elders saw fit to pass trinkets from their lives onto me.  Some, I understand, like my Dad passing his Dad’s NY, NH & H railroad police badge to me. 🙂

And my Dad, his railroad pocket watch (complete with fob and Grand Central Station locker key)!

But others aren’t so straight forward.

My maternal grandfather (Gramp), took me aside one day and gave me a compass.  He didn’t explain where he acquired it, or who it was from.  Gramp passed in 1977 with this information.

I still have the police badge.  I gifted the pocket watch to my long-time friend Jim, as he has always been obsessed with trains, on his 50th birthday.  (He and my Father talked about trains for hours, when I wasn’t all that interested.)

I still have the compass.  Compasses of the same manufacture can be found on Ebay for $55.00.  Of course, they don’t have the personalization on the inside of the cover!

20160421_10521620160421_105153

 

 

 

 

 

The inscriptions read as though they might be of military origin, including a 1917 date.  The Great War?  I’ve no way of knowing.  Internet searches of the initials and dates haven’t provided any further information.

As it is with so many things originating with my family, like what happened to my twin brother, I guess the answers are lost forever.

 

Don’t Be There! (NSFW)

from Bayou Renaissance Man

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

Yesterday I wrote about the impossible conundrum facing police.  They’re literally in a no-win situation.  If they enforce and uphold the laws, they’re accused of racism, abuse of authority, and everything else one can imagine.  If they don’t, the law-abiding citizens they’re sworn to protect and serve will pay the price in the anything-goes free-for-all that will result.

A graphic example of how this plays out every day on the streets of some of our rougher neighborhoods was given in Chicago a few days ago.  The video below is profane, graphic and very disturbing.  I can only commend the police involved for not giving in to what must, at times, have been the overwhelming temptation to deal with the interlopers as their conduct deserved.

LANGUAGE ALERT:  Profanity is frequent and very graphic.  If you’d like to read what happened, and watch the video with the sound turned off, you’ll find the details here.

Now ask yourself, dear readers:  if you find yourself on the streets of a city or suburb like that (say, after a traffic accident, while you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive), and you get heckled like that . . . what are you going to do about it?  You probably won’t have sufficient legal justification to open fire on the mob.  If you produce a gun and try to threaten them, their reactions will be just as they are above.  They’ll dare you to use it, knowing that if you do, the law will basically side with them, no matter how provocative and threatening their conduct might have been.  What’s more, some of them will probably have guns too.  If you use yours, they’ll likely shoot back – and your family and anyone else with you will be in the line of fire.  You might be well advised to leave the area as quickly as possible, by any means necessary (including hitching a ride with passing motorists), and abandon your vehicle.  If it gets stripped or stolen, that’s still a lot less trouble than what might happen if you stay with it.

John Farnam’s advice (which we’ve repeated on several occasions in these pages) still holds good.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

Words to live by more than ever, in these troubled times.  Kudos to those cops for keeping their cool under very trying circumstances.  I doubt I’d have done as well.

Peter

Obviously, it’s a matter of degree and circumstance.  A couple of kids talking smack to sound tough, or a violent street gang just looking for an excuse – any excuse.  Sometimes, as proposed in the essay, we find ourselves in a bad geographical area.  Wrong turn off the freeway, followed by car trouble…
Massad Ayoob famously stated if you feel the need to carry into a bar, perhaps you need to consider a different watering hole.  Perhaps.  Watering hole choice is usually voluntary.  (I see this as ‘not using the seat belt; not getting into an accident’ thinking.  Just because it’s not a dive bar doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. – Guffaw)
This all goes back to basics – situational awareness and mindset.  We don’t always have control, and may have to wait for others to act for us to respond – morally and legally.
And THAT’S the hell of it…

T.M.I.

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

YIKES!

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

*a Seinfeld reference

Say What Now?, Part Dos

Alabama ACLU sues government, claiming pro-Muslim discrimination

Via Billy

Plaintiff Yvonne Allen is a devout Christian woman who covers her hair with a headscarf as part of her religious practice. In December 2015, Ms. Allen sought to renew her driver license at the Lee County driver license office, where officials demanded that she remove her head covering to be photographed. When Ms. Allen explained her religious beliefs, the County officials responded with a remarkable claim: They admitted that there was a religious accommodation available for head coverings, but contended that it applied only to Muslims.

The ACLU press release adds:

Lee County’s refusal to grant Allen a religious accommodation contradicts state rules and violates her rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama Constitution, according to the lawsuit.

“The county’s interpretation of state rules blatantly violates the First Amendment,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “The government cannot discriminate between faiths in granting religious accommodations.”

Heather L. Weaver, senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, agreed. “The county’s policy is puzzling. There is absolutely no reason to restrict accommodations for religious headgear to certain religions. The Constitution protects both Christians and Muslims and, indeed, people of all faiths.

The World has indeed turned upside down.  Or, become The Bizarro World – depending on one’s point of reference.

Guffaw actually agreeing with the ACLU?!

Historically, an organization who has stood up for folks rights, even if they were ‘misunderstood’ folks – like Illinois Nazis.  But only stood up for the Second Amendment rights of folks if doing so suited another purpose.  Generally, the ACLU picks and chooses which rights and amendments to support.  And when.

I remember my father calling them THE AMERICAN COMMUNIST LAWYERS UNION!

Will wonders never cease?

world turned

Food For Thought (from Facebook)

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Hmmm…
While I’m philosophically libertarian (small L), I’m not certain the current national Libertarian Party embodies my personal views.  Or that of the party I first registered for in 1976…
But, I get Laura’s point.
Sort-of.
I’d an email exchange with a democratic socialist (who is a dear friend and reads this blog) following Gov. Johnson’s faux pas, who said she had been considering voting for him, but, now was forced to consider Secretary Clinton.
Jokingly, I responded it was too bad she was choosing the lesser of three weevils.
Her response was Vote for Cthulhu!  Why pick the lesser evil?
😁
I fear she is doing precisely that!
(In a World where many elected officials take an oath, but have no idea what The Constitution even means (or are committing perjury), and won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem (their right, of course…) )
(Of course, there is always the Chicago Cubs’ manager – on my sidebar (bumper sticker sales for charity!)

Cash Issues

Not the usual not enough (although I suspect that applies to most of us…)

Wisdom from Peter

So much for the “cashless society”

There’s been lots of talk lately about doing away with bigger banknotes and moving towards a so-called “cashless society”.  To name just a few recent articles:

However, when banks start charging you for the privilege of keeping your money in their vaults, that changes the picture.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

For years, Germans kept socking money away in savings accounts despite plunging interest rates. Savers deemed the accounts secure, and they still offered easy cash access. But recently, many have lost faith.

“It doesn’t pay to keep money in the bank, and on top of that you’re being taxed on it,” said Uwe Wiese, an 82-year-old pensioner who recently bought a home safe to stash roughly €53,000 ($59,344), including part of his company pension that he took as a payout.

Interest rates’ plunge into negative territory is now accelerating demand for impregnable metal boxes.

Burg-Waechter KG, Germany’s biggest safe manufacturer, posted a 25% jump in sales of home safes in the first half of this year compared with the year earlier, said sales chief Dietmar Schake, citing “significantly higher demand for safes by private individuals, mainly in Germany.”

. . .

Germany’s love of cash is driven largely by its anonymity. One legacy of the Nazis and East Germany’s Stasi secret police is a fear of government snooping, and many Germans are spooked by proposals of banning cash transactions that exceed €5,000. Many Germans think the ECB’s plan to phase out the €500 bill is only the beginning of getting rid of cash altogether.

There’s more at the link.

We’ve already seen calls to eliminate the $100 bill in the USA, and high-denomination bills elsewhere.  They’re never made out of concern for our interests – always to benefit Big Brother or the banks.  Every time I hear such calls, I check, double-check and re-check my cash reserves (and expand them, if possible).

The anonymity factor is certainly important to many people, including yours truly.  In an era when certain purchases (e.g. firearms, ammunition, etc.) are ‘politically incorrect’, I much prefer making private purchases whenever possible, paying cash instead of using credit cards or checks.  (For that matter, some vendors such as PayPal and Square specifically forbid using their systems to buy such items, limiting one’s options.)  Also, if electronic payment and/or processing systems should go down for any reason (such as the infamous EBT ‘outage’ a couple of years ago), cash will instantly be king once more – so it pays (literally) to have some on hand.

I repeat my earlier recommendation.  Try to keep at least one months’ expenditure on hand, in cash – preferably in smaller bills such as twenties.  If you can stretch that to two or three months’ worth, it’s not a bad idea to do so.  You never know when that cash might come in very handy indeed.

Peter

While I respect Peter for his wisdom and sage advice, not unlike the ‘preppers’ , there’s only so much a ‘person of limited means’ can do.
There are months I run out of funds before they are magically replenished (being on a meager disability income), many times a week or 10 days before they appear.  Things haven’t gotten better, since my roomie has had additional health problems and must work less, putting more of the burden on my shoulders.
We cannot save a month’s worth of expenditures; forget two or three!  And, months of prepper goods?  Fuggedaboutit!
I suspect we shall be relying on our wits and few firearms for survival, when TEOTWAWKI limps ashore our community.
SIGH…

I’m A Libertarian (Small L), But…

from Wirecutter:

The Heroin Task Force formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine has endorsed the creation of safe-consumption sites for addicts, which would be a first in the U.S.

A majority of the task-force members support a place or places for addicts to use heroin and other drugs besides public restrooms, alleys or homeless encampments such as The Jungle, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, task force co-chair. The idea is that users could visit a supervised facility where they could get clean needles and anti-overdose medications as well as medical attention as needed and treatment opportunities.
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Amsterdam tried this 3 decades ago and it was a disaster. Petty crime exploded and overdoses became epidemic. It didn’t work – given the choice between drugs and treatment, dope fiends will take the drugs every time.

My understanding of Amsterdam was not only petty crime skyrocketed, but organized crime did, as well.

My concerns are always about governmental costs (the current situation vis-a-vis the ‘program’, above), WHO pays for it, and WHO benefits? (cui bono).

As well as the ongoing ‘I’m a libertarian and have a right to put in my body whatever’ thing.

I have an addictive personality.  Thank God it’s not involving drugs or alcohol.  But, my personal health and families/friends have paid a price for my dysfunctional behaviors.

Obviously, locking up everyone in possession of a single rolling paper isn’t working.  (The U.S. having the largest prison population per capita – mostly for drug offenses)  I suspect the government plan above to fail.  Colorado has legality, and reportedly crime and DUIs have dropped.  Medical mj is expensive (both the card and the product), at least here in AZ.

Promoting personal character?  Sure.  Why not.

But, I don’t see an easy, simplistic solution…

Clowns To The Left Of Me – Jokers To The Right

Maybe it’s Dopers to the left of me, Gunnies to the right…?

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week decided it was ‘ok’ to deny the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, who happened to possess State-issued medical marijuana cards!

I’m guessing, because BATFE Rules stipulate if one is ‘addicted’ to the maryjane, one is a prohibited possessor.  Because while many States have medical mj in place, and some have legalized or decriminalized it’s possession, it’s still against Federal law.

Confused?

I’ve met some folks who might have medical mj cards.  And might own firearms.  Who are generally responsible citizens.

As a side note, the same day the Administration reported they are NOT removing mj from the rolls as a Schedule 1 substance, was the same day the President’s daughter was reported smoking a joint.

Tough Love?

And, of course, the President himself has been pictured in his youth doing mj and admitted using cocaine.  What’s good for the goose is not good for his daughter?  Isn’t he in close proximity of many firearms?

I remain a libertarian (small L).  As such, I condemn drug laws for adults.  As the Left is fond of intoning it’s YOUR body!  If you want to eat, shoot, snort (rub-into-your-belly or whatever – G. Carlin) something, it’s your choice!

And just because someone tokes once-in-a-while, should that prohibit them from possessing a firearm?  Even if they are doing so LEGALLY in their State?

How many gun folks do you know who drink more than the legally-approved quantity of alcohol and carry?  I would guess more than one…

A Right is a Right is a Right.  What you put in your body or what you use to protect it should not be up to government bureaucrats!

Kaepernick

Regular readers of GiA know I’m no sports fan.  It’s only when a sports figure does something of note (as with many of the Olympic athletes) or does something onerous (as with some Olympic athletes) that it gets my attention.

This Kaepernick guy apparently refused to stand for the National Anthem at the last game.  And, in spite of the firestorm of controversy reacting to his remaining seated, said he will continue not to stand.  Until things change regarding the oppression of Blacks in the United States.

He’s Black.  His parents are White.  He makes NINETEEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND LIVES IN A MANSION.

What could have happened?  What oppression?

A quick search (on Duck Duck Go) regarding the National Anthem situation made it appear his protest was all about injustice done to Blacks.  BLM stuff.  A subsequent search adding the term ISLAM brought forth stories that Kaepernick converted to Islam during the off season – probably because his girlfriend is a radical Islam radio show personality…

Funny how the more narrow Internet search failed to mention this conversion.  And the ‘news’ outlets in the broader version consisted of bloggers and sketchier news outlets (IOW, NOT CNN, NBC and such.  WND for example).

Which brings me to my point.  Many of the folks leaving comments on the National Anthem story demand that Kaepernick be forced to stand.  As repulsive as his behavior my be, forcing someone to stand in ‘free’ Republic doesn’t sound like an appropriate response to me.

I’m a big believer in free markets.  And voting with one’s feet, TV remotes and wallets.  And via Email and post if necessary.

If you don’t want to support this clown, don’t watch his game, buy his team’s foam fingers or products advertised.  Hit ’em where it hurts.

I LOVE this Republic and her Anthem.  Singing along with my hand over my heart sometimes brings me to tears.

But forcing someone to stand – that smacks of fascism, and certainly doesn’t paint a portrait of the Land Of The Free.

I don’t care what religion he is.  But, it IS interesting that the mainstream media has been soft-pedaling that information.

Hmmm.

The Party’s Over

party's

Sigh.

I became a libertarian (small L) back in 1976.  While I registered and voted many times for the party’s candidates, I never actually joined the national party.

Initially, it was because of lack of funds.

Now, it’s for other reasons.

(from Wirecutter, a fellow-traveler)

On Friday, Brian Doherty of the Libertarian flagship publication Reason scolded me, and by extension anyone else who has been turned off by some of the Johnson-Weld ticket’s public statements, that we were placing more importance on “the attitude stuff related to culture war issues about discrimination and guns” than on the really crucial issues of “spending or budgets or the growth of government.”

Then on Monday, Gary Johnson came out in favor of—drumroll, please—a carbon tax to fight global warming.
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The Libertarian party lost my vote the moment Johnson picked Bill Weld as his running mate. Weld has a proven record of suppressing the People’s Rights when he was governor of Massachusetts. Disarming Americans or placing any type of restrictions on any of our God given Rights is not what I thought the Libertarians were about.

Between Bill Weld, who has waffled almost more than Donald Trump, and a belief in the global warming scam (coupled with a TAX!), I believe the national libertarian party to be a shadow of it’s former self.

The Libertarians of the 1970’s wouldn’t even consider voting for such tripe!

Now comes the big question – do I vote Libertarian Statist, or for one of the other two major party Fascists?

Perhaps it’s time to consider that Cub’s manager again?  Couldn’t do much worse…

Sigh.

PS – Is it the nature of political parties (as it seems to be with governments) to begin all pie-eyed and wondrous in their principles, only to become perverted by corruption and reality?  I had such hope for the Libertarians…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…