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Is THIS That To Which We’ve Come?

I truly hope not!

A dear friend (and regular reader of this humble blog) recently attended a talk presented by the President of the Arizona Republic (newspaper).

The president outlined her personal history, then presented what was countenanced as  ‘the toxic culture that is America today’.

Summarized by my friend, as follows:

She was part of the historic decision of the paper to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, the first Democrat ever endorsed for President in the paper’s 126 year history.  She was only part of that decision.  The board, heavily conservative, many of them Goldwater Republicans, considered their decision very carefully.  They discussed the options, giving no endorsement at all, endorsing a third-party candidate, or Clinton (which they eventually did).
For them, it was never a partisan  choice, they had endorsed John Kasich in the primaries. For them, it was on their consideration of fitness for office.  They knew it was weighty decision.  They knew it would cost them business.  They knew that it would be an unpopular choice for many in a Republican dominated state.  But an endorsement of Trump was never in the cards for them.  Something I didn’t know, but was interesting to learn.
What they were unprepared for, was the volcano of ugliness that followed.  Death threats came in by the hundreds.  Targeted personally toward individuals on the board.  Things like:  We know where you live.  We know where your children go to school.  We know the license plate on your car.  We know where you park.  We are going to do to you what was done to Don Bolles.  You will die.  We will kill your family.  Hundreds of these.  Every day.
Threats came by phone, by mail, in person, via email (of course).  People attempting to sell subscriptions were spat upon, had guns brandished in their faces.  It got so bad that the Republic ceased trying to make in-person subscription sales.
One extreme right-wing Catholic group spammed her email 5000 times a day.
Her response, in part:
I was horrified.  This is America?  This is what we do to people who disagree with us politically?  I’ve had my share of political arguments.  I’ve vented anger, but I never imagined anything like this.
Thankfully, nobody was actually killed, although there were several assaults.
All over an ENDORSEMENT.  A simple statement of opinion.
It is ongoing.  She said that she now “only” gets 2-3 death threats a day.  Although, every time Trump calls the press “enemies of the people” or complains about the press, there is another spike.
One man calls every day, just to say, “I hate you and think you should die.”
This is what we’ve come to.
Well, I’m not going to be a part of it any more.  I will state my opinions, exercise my freedom of speech, but I will never again engage in behavior that dehumanizes or could be perceived as threatening to people who disagree with me.
Civil discourse begins with me.  I hope it doesn’t end there.
I’m interested in this blog’s readership response, if any.  Of course, any non-civil discourse or threats will be dealt with as appropriate.
I’ve my own opinions on the matter, which I may present at a later date.
Anyone?

 

Coolness

via Theo Spark

My first thought was of Frank Frazetta, but this isn’t art, and there was no half-nude woman.

Dammit!

POTD: Watch Your Hands When You Unload And Show Clear

(from TFB)

POTD: Watch Your Hands When You Unload And Show Clear

A shooter was unloading his handgun when this happened. From what Scott relayed to me, was that the shooter cups the ejection port to catch the round to save time from picking it up off the floor. Now to clarify, this was not a malfunction. It was not a FTF and the primer was never struck. What happened was that during the unloading process the shooter’s hand covers the ejection port. The round most likely ejected into the hand but since the hand was so close to the ejection port it got caught between the slide and barrel.

Take a look at the picture below. You can see the primer lacks any hammer mark. However there is a clear crease from the edge of the slide cutting into the headstamp of the casing. If you look at the photo at the very top, you can see the bullet has a vertical line cut into it as well.

By cupping the round as it ejected out and it getting caught on the slide as the slide tried to close, the round went off in the shooter’s hand.

Here is what Scott relayed to me:

The following is a story relayed to me. I do not have first hand knowledge of this, but I do trust the source.

The pictures are of a recovered case and projectile after a shooter attempted to eject a live round during an unloading evolution. The shooter covered the ejection port with his hand and attempted to capture the live round rather than letting it eject freely from the ejection port. The round was trapped, under pressure of the recoil spring, in-between the edge of the ejection port along the edge of the breach face and the front of the ejection port on the right side of the slide.

There is a noticeable linear denting on the nose of the projectile and an obvious strike point on the rear of the case and the primer. The projectile could not escape and the resulting effect was for the case to burst. The pressure from the burning propellent was absorbed by the shooter’s hand. He will not be able to make this mistake again.

It is a sobering lesson for many shooters. No one ever really believes that this could happen to them.

I have seen some people use this technique in USPSA. I have seen people eject the round and catch it in the air as well. Be careful and pay attention. The scenario above could be considered a sheer accident. However if the shooter did not use that ejection method then there is less likely of a chance such an event would have occurred.

h/t Scott B.

I have used this technique on occasion.  Usually not (thankfully).  When it comes to safety, I think being safe is preferable to looking cool.

Interestingly, there is no picture of the shooter’s hand…

When Did THIS Become The Norm?

I don’t drive much, anymore.  Between having a beater car (when my roomie’s car isn’t available – thanks J.!), the cost of maintenance (which I can’t afford) and gas, and the whack-jobs on the road…

Speaking of whack-jobs! (See above)

I understand you don’t want to climb into the back seat of the car in front of you, both for safety reasons and just general courtesy.

BUT IT SEEMS 6 OUT OF 10 CARS KEEP A DISTANCE AT A STOP LIGHT OF GREATER THAN ONE CAR LENGTH!  SOMETIMES MORE THAN TWO!!

Have so many been rear-ended they are paranoid?

It’s just an annoyance if there are only two cars stopped at an intersection.  But if there are 12 cars in three lanes, and 60% of them are ‘keeping their distance’ of more than a car length, it causes back-ups!  Sometimes back to the previous stop light!

And I’ve NEVER seen anyone getting a citation for being stopped too far back – if there even is such a thing?

Personally, I keep a safe distance, usually enough to see the license plate in front of me.  A reasonable distance.

This phenomena seems to have developed over the past ten years.

What happened to cause this?

Bueller?  Bueller?

 

They’re NOT Sore Losers?

(from Free North Carolina, in part)

Trump isn’t up against “sore losers.” He’s facing an army of saboteurs bent on destroying the elected government.

Via Billy

As I predicted in my best-selling book about President Trump’s plan to save America, the Democrats and their media accomplices have declared all-out war on the Trump White House. Under the guise of “resistance” – as though the Trump was the head of an occupying army rather than an elected president – they have set out to destroy his administration. They are not “sore losers,” as many had surmised when their hysterical attacks on Trump as an American Hitler began, they are an army of saboteurs bent on destroying the government the voters preferred. Their general, Barack Obama, is an unrepentant radical who abused the office of the presidency when he was in power, and as ex-president is now leading a war to overthrow his successor.

More @ Front Page
Is this hyperbole, or fact?
What do you guys think?
AND – what do we, as citizens of a Constitutional Republic, DO about it?
(I’m convinced their vanguard is roughly 3% of the Democratic Party.  Old hippies who believed in the Weathermen, race-baiters, other radicals searching for a cause (rebels w/o a clue!), unemployed – because employed folks have to work!)
PS – I am not a Trump supporter.  I think the last election was Hobson’s Choice – an unrepentant criminal Marxist versus a Huey Long copycat with lots of money, playing to the Silent Majority.  Trump has some good ideas, but seems less educated regarding how the Constitution works!

What To Do? Put ‘Em In The Corner?

(from Kenny)

The Australian school board condones this?

Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job.

Students as young as those in Year 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, are making the violent threats and pressuring others to read the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney.

Documents given to the newspaper allege that three staff members have taken a leave of absence owing to stress, received counselling and been awarded compensation after bullying from Islamic students.
MORE

Political Correctness is killing Europe, Asia, and has landed here.

Teachers not allowed to control their classrooms?  Of course, we are seeing that here, as well.  Just not to THIS degree (yet).

At least we have a Bill of Rights.  Australia has none – although some of their States have ‘something’.

You know I’m all for property trained personnel with guns in schools.  Australia, not so pro-gun.  If a terrorist presents a viable threat against an administrator, teacher or student, there would be a solution here.

I don’t care is they are another student!  If they are armed and refuse to stand down and be arrested…

Staff members being bullied?

I don’t think so…

We Are FOOLS For The Internet

Remember when we were told that our Internet searches might be watched over surveilled ‘reviewed’ by the Intelligence ‘Community’ (“Jesus, you guys are kind to yourselves!” ‘Joe Turner (Condor)’, in Three Days of the Condor)

Now, my friend Borepatch brings us this:

Amazon Echo, Google Alexa, and the NSA

Amazon Echo and Google’s Alexa are Internet Of Things devices that listen for your voice commands and then do not particularly interesting things for you.  The minor convenience and gee whiz factor are way outweighed by how you are painting a big bulls eye on your house:

As a rule, IoT devices lack security and these are no different. Unlike other IoT devices, these personal assistants compromise your security in even more ways they you may think. In general, most users don’t read the Terms of Service (ToS) associated with IoT devices or software being installed. Users have a basic understanding that Amazon and Google will maintain your profile information, such as what music you listen to, when you turn off your lights, or even the coffee you order, in an effort to provide a better over-all experience. Over time these devices learn your preferences; the more intuitive and responsive the device, the more we tend to use it.

What is more alarming is what you don’t think about when using these voice activated devices including those from Apple and Microsoft. There has been a lot of discussion around the security and privacy of these devices over the past few months. One of the biggest concerns is the question of whether the devices are always listening. Both Amazon and Google say the devices listen for hot words that activate them, such has Hello Google or Echo/Alexa, but because these devices are controlled by and interact with by Amazon and Google, the hot words and or the device itself can be easily manipulated to allow for an always on “listening mode” by the vendor at any time by the way of a crafty term of service

How’s the security of these devices?  You can’t know.  What will the Terms Of Service provide to protect your privacy?  You can’t know:

Amazon:In order to keep the Amazon Software up-to-date, we may offer automatic or manual updates at any time and without notice to you.

Google:When a Service requires or includes downloadable software, this software may update automatically on your device once a new version or feature is available…

So the services can update the software without your knowledge, whenever they want, for any reason they want.  The terms of service state that they may sell or share your data to other organizations.  And this is creepy but entirely to be expected:

In addition to the vendor maintaining access to the device, it isn’t unfathomable that cyber-criminals could gain access as well. These are, after all, IoT devices and are just as vulnerable to being pwnd (geek speak meaning owned/or controlled) as any other IoT device. Both devices have indicators when they are in listening mode, however this can be easily disabled by a hacker. A hacker could be listening to your every word and you would not be aware.

And so would NSA listen in?  The Snowden revelations suggest that they might already be listening in.  How much data do they have?  Who knows?

It will be a cold day in Hell when one of these things shows up at Castle Borepatch.

It’s probably good we at Guffaw de alquiler cannot afford such things.  My roomie is not particularly tech savvy (less than I) , but loves toys!  Between the two of us, we have a PC, a laptop, two tablets, two smartphones, and she has a smart watch!
If indeed, United States intelligence (or Israeli?  They reportedly have a listening post not far from Fort Huachuca) is actually paying attention to what we email, and to whom, and records our cellular calls, and computer searches, adding a voice-actuated room-wide link to the Internet just seems like overkill.
Inviting what is essentially an open wiretap into one’s home, with which to do Internet searches, order products and services, pay bills, etc. seems a little self-defeating.  If privacy is your goal.
If we ever get out of this financial hole we are digging (with her working little, and surgery pending – putting her off for six to twelve weeks), I can see her wanting one, though.
Sigh.

 

Disgraceful!

(from Free North Carolina)

Disgraceful: Likely last hurdle cleared, New Orleans expected to move quickly to remove Confederate monuments

Via Billy

 'Death threats,' 'threatening calls' prompt firm tasked with removing Confederate monuments to quit _lowres

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously cleared the way Monday evening for the monuments to be removed, issuing an opinion that criticized groups seeking to keep the statues in place for arguments that “wholly lack legal viability or support.”

With what is likely the last legal hurdle the city faces removed, the statues are expected to come down quickly. Tyronne Walker, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said the city will start seeking bids Tuesday to remove the statues, and a contract will be awarded 25 days later.

Beware The Ides Of March? 

(March 15 for the Julius Caesar/Shakespeare impaired!)

I subscribe to a smattering of emails from allegedly like-minded individuals.

Sometimes I am in agreement with their themes.

Other times, not so much.

One guy, who operates a small libertarianesque, survivalist business has been promoting a book ‘not yet in bookstores’, purporting to describe the next financial collapse, and confiscation of bank accounts(!) by the government!! 

(Other nations wherein this has begun, or is beginning! – ZeroHedge)

Allegedly, this is to begin MARCH 15!  (The Ides of March, for all you Julius Caesar fans.)

Coincidence? Astrology? A soothsayer’s truth?

I’ve no idea. I cannot afford the book, and probably wouldn’t buy it, anyway.

Most of my income is direct deposit disability.  I suspect if BIGGOV wanted to take it, they would so do.

With impunity!

WHY?  Because they can!

(So, you thought you’d withdraw your cash and hide it in your mattress?  Not so fast there, Bucko!)

The Whole Cloth Of History

(from Free North Carolina)

Save the Robert E. Lee Statue

Via Billy

Image may contain: text

In an article entitled “Historic Preservation Still Unites Us” First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe touts the worthiness of historic preservation: “May we Virginians, and all Americans, continue to enjoy history through preservation and never take for granted that its lessons are the guideposts to a better future.”

We could not agree more with this statement but recognize that in the Commonwealth of Virginia there exists a hypocritical double-standard regarding historic preservation. Confederate monuments and memorials are currently the lowest hanging fruit – ripe and easy targets for those who view history with tunnel vision. It should not be this way – we as Americans should protect our past instead of shunning it. Existing memorials in our public spaces should not be banished from their long-standing locations based on emotion and divisive politics. The poet John Donne famously wrote “no man is an island,” and these monuments are not islands either – they are connected to the communities in which they reside. And they tell a story, not just about the events and people they depict, but about those who commissioned and sculpted them to vivid life. If historic preservation matters, it should matter for all Registered Historic Landmarks, and not just those deemed “acceptable” by the powers that be.

The attorneys retained to fight Charlottesville City Council’s vote to remove the Robert E. Lee Monument from Lee Park are diligently preparing their case. Rest assured that they do not take this charge lightly and will proceed with filing at the precise and practicable moment.

We appreciate your patience, support and contributions as this issue moves forward. If you have donated, Thank You. We have been touched by the messages we have received and the willingness of people across the country and even overseas to contribute to save history. If you haven’t donated and feel this issue is important, please consider a contribution – no amount is too small to help us win this battle:

Online
Checks payable to: The Monument Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 483, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902. All contributions are tax deductible.

The idea such actions to save historical monuments are even necessary is horrific! 
First, I’m a believer in this Nation’s history, warts and all.
Second, didn’t the United States Congress pass legislation almost 100 years ago stating that ALL military participants in the Civil War (or the War Between the States, or the recent unpleasantness, if you prefer!) were VETERANS as such deserving of remembrance and monuments as much as the Union soldiers?
And that desecration or removal of military monuments was against federal law?

Confederate Soldiers are American Veterans by Act of Congress

Sadly, this is not the only location or action taken against Confederate monuments.  Politically correct forces are continuing to try to erase American History (and by extension free speech), lest the young learn about the whole cloth of history!
It’s disgusting!
Please help if you can.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…