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Today’s Lesson: Read The Fine Print

scottWhen I moved in with J. (a good friend and ex-gf ) over three years ago! (Where does the time go?  “Cleveland!” – G. Carlin), she noticed we prefer different brands of TP.

She likes the girly, soft stuff, promoted by cartoon bears.  I prefer coarser grit stuff, like Scott Tissue.  And, when I can afford to, I purchase it in 12-packs (above). (I know, TMI)

And there is a small coupon for points toward something free on the package.  School Supplies, I think.  One of J’s customers is a schoolteacher, and has need for such things.

So J. asked me to collect the coupons for her friend.

And I did, as much of a PITA doing so was (no pun intended)…

After I had collected YEARS of these things, I presented J. with the bundle.  Turns out about HALF had expired!  I hadn’t noticed there was an EXPIRATION DATE on them!  :-(

I failed to read the fine print!

So, here it is Tax Time.  Regular readers know I am loathe to giving the government money, especially taxes! As oft happens, I just file under-the-wire.  I call myself Last Minute Louie.

And for the past couple of years, I’ve been using Tax Act software.  I used to use Turbo Tax, but when my income dropped, I couldn’t afford it!

Tax Act starts sending out reminder emails even before Jan 1, mentioning the sooner you purchase it, the cheaper it is.

Being of modest income (and not wanting to file, anyway) I put off the purchase.  Until I began preparation on Sunday.

And the total was much more than I anticipated!  And I didn’t have the money.  :-(

But, I able to finagle the fee to efile my tax returns MONDAY (two weeks ago).  Last Minute Louie it is!

Lesson learned – from now on I shall read the fine print!

(FTC – in no way is this an endorsement of either or any tax software product)

Pioneers, Geniuses And Leeches

Oh, my!

I was reviewing some old posts for inspiration, and a pioneer’s name leapt from the page.  We all are familiar with John Browning, Jeff Cooper and company, but I also remember others, perhaps less lauded…

Mel Tappan

Mel was an early (1970’s) survivalist, who wrote of prepping and related matters.  He, Jeff Cooper and others wrote of such things, when most folks were remembering their family’s bomb shelters of 10 years earlier, and pooh-poohing such concepts.

…He then wrote a monthly column on survival topics titled “Survival Notes” for Guns & Ammo magazine. Shortly before his death, he also wrote a few monthly columns as the Survival Editor for Soldier of Fortune magazine. Through these publications and his 1977 book Survival Gunswhich as of 2010 is still in print after more than 32 years – he became an influential spokesman of the “armed-defense” wing of the Survivalist movement. The back cover of Survival Guns quotes Laura Cunningham of The New York Times as describing Tappan as “The Survivalist voice of reason.” (Wikipedia)

He passed way-too-young at age 47 of heart failure.

Other pioneers and geniuses came to mind.

Jim Cirillo

Jim Cirillo was a noted firearms trainer and former member of the NYPD’s elite Stakeout Unit (often called the “Stakeout Squad”). He died on July 12, 2007 as a result of an automobile accident versus a semi tractor-trailer.

In his five years on the Stakeout Unit, from 1968-1973, he was involved in seventeen gunfights.

In more recent years, he was involved in firearms training for police and civilians, publishing books and videos on the subject through Paladin Press, and teaching classes at a number of private schools.

Cirillo also worked on bullet design, creating bullet noses designed to “dig into” a target rather than deflecting from them.  (Wikibin)

I’m fond of quoting him when the subject of handgun bullet stopping power is raised.  Jim said, “Stopping power begins at 12 gauge.”  With is real-life experience, I’m inclined to believe him.

Bruce Nelson

Bruce was a retired law enforcement officer, one of the top holster makers and leather craftsmen in the country. A renowned firearms and police officer survival instructor, Bruce was one of the founders of the International Practical Shooting Confederation and a well-know author, gun rights activist and community leader. (Tucsoncitizen.com)

Bruce had been a California narcotic’s officer who tired of the cheap leather crap being foisted upon him to use to carry his .45 automatic.  He solved the problem by designing (and later selling) a holster of his own design christened the Summer Special.  Later, he sold the design to Milt Sparks, who has been sellingsummer-special variants of the original design ever since.  Many holster manufacturers have copied it.

Bruce was married to firearms-activist (and later NRA president) Sandra (Sandy) Froman, a pioneer in her own right.

Bruce, too, passed at age 47.

When I originally was forming the idea for this post, I was going to also include people of the leech variety – the names of Karl Marx (who never worked a job a day in his life, and sponged off co-author Friedrich Engels) and Bernie Sanders (whose first paying job was at age 40 – helping folks apply for public assistance) came to mind.

Then, I decided against it.

Doing so would sully the name of such individual rights pioneers

Hell, it’s MY blog…

(FTC – Mel, Jim and Bruce imparted wisdom to me.  No money exchanged hands – except from me for holsters and magazines.  Karl and Bernie?  Not so much…)

How Tough ARE You?

I’m more tough than I used to be – but hardly a marathon-running spec ops guy.  I’ve beaten cancer (2x) and a serious car wreck.

Frankly, most days just walking is a challenge. 😦

But, I read about these bubble-wrapped snowflakes in colleges, demanding safe spaces to share their feelings, because they say a chalk writing on the pavement in support of a presidential candidate with whom they disagree distresses them!

And that makes me sick!

THEN, I read about THIS guy (courtesy of my friend Borepatch)

Badass of the year

Russian Special Forces officer surrounded by ISIS calls in airstrike on himself.

Hat tip: Chris Lynch.

Why is it I keep reading about Russians and Ghurkas and other furrin’ folk who are TOUGH – but no ‘Mericans?  Enquiring minds want to know…?

Do It Yourself!

(Within your State and federal guidelines, and laws, of course! – Guffaw)

Shuty 3D Printed Semi-auto is Ready

Via WRSA

WT3EnHil

View post on imgur.com

PLA plastic printed semi Inspired by the Luty designs, is now here.
Too many pics to post here so here are the imgur gallery links.
Final files done yesterday.
Download the files today.
 
 
Of course, the folks who wish to restrict your rights and ban everything are VERY upset by the ever-increasing easiness of this emerging technology.  Those criminals who simply steal other’s firearms will undoubtedly find this method simpler…
MAROONS!

Stupid America

(as seen in SHTFplan.com)

Depressing Survey Results Show How Extremely Stupid America Has Become

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.

Ten years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the course of the next decade.  In the movie, an “average American” wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that he suddenly finds himself in.  Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us.  We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach.  Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television. 75 percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East, but they sure know how to find smut on the Internet.  It may be hard to believe, but there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet today, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

What in the world has happened to us?  How is it possible that we have become so stupid?  According to a brand new report that was recently released, almost 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court…

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know.

Nearly 10 percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV’s “Judge Judy,” is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal.

It can be tempting to laugh at numbers like these until you realize that survey after survey has come up with similar results.

Just consider what Newsweek found a few years ago…

When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.

Even worse were the extremely depressing results of a study conducted a few years ago by Common Core…

*Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between 1850 and 1900.

*More than a quarter of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.

*Approximately a third of all U.S. high school students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

*Only 60 percent of all U.S. students knew that World War I was fought some time between 1900 and 1950.

Of course survey results can be skewed, and much hinges on how the questions are asked.

However, even studies that are scientifically conducted confirm how stupid America has become.  In fact, a report from the Educational Testing Service found that Americans are falling way behind much of the rest of the industrialized world.  The following comes from CBS News

Americans born after 1980 are lagging their peers in countries ranging from Australia to Estonia, according to a new report from researchers at the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The study looked at scores for literacy and numeracy from a test called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which tested the abilities of people in 22 countries.

The results are sobering, with dire implications for America. It hints that students may be falling behind not only in their early educational years but at the college level. Even though more Americans between the ages of 20 to 34 are achieving higher levels of education, they’re still falling behind their cohorts in other countries. In Japan, Finland and the Netherlands, young adults with only a high school degree scored on par with American Millennials holding four-year college degrees, the report said.

Out of 22 countries that were part of the study, the Educational Testing Service found that Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency

Half of American Millennials score below the minimum standard of literacy proficiency. Only two countries scored worse by that measure: Italy (60 percent) and Spain (59 percent). The results were even worse for numeracy, with almost two-thirds of American Millennials failing to meet the minimum standard for understanding and working with numbers. That placed U.S. Millennials dead last for numeracy among the study’s 22 developed countries.

So why has this happened?

Why have we become such an extremely stupid nation?

Well, at least a portion of the blame must be directed at our system of education.  The following is an excerpt from an article written by reporter Mark Morford.  In this article, he shared how one of his friends which had served for a very long time as a high school teacher in Oakland, California was considering moving out of the country when he retired due to the relentless “dumb-ification of the American brain”

It’s gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking — and nearly hopeless — dumb-ification of the American brain. It is just that bad.

Now, you may think he’s merely a curmudgeon, a tired old teacher who stopped caring long ago. Not true. Teaching is his life. He says he loves his students, loves education and learning and watching young minds awaken. Problem is, he is seeing much less of it.

And of course things don’t get much better when it comes to our college students.  In a previous article, I shared some statistics from USA Today about the rapidly declining state of college education in the United States…

-“After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

-“Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago”

-“35% of students report spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone.”

-“50% said they never took a class in a typical semester where they wrote more than 20 pages”

-“32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.”

I spent eight years studying at some of the finest public universities in the country, and I can tell you from personal experience that even our most challenging college courses have been pathetically dumbed down.

And at our “less than finest” public universities, the level of education can be something of a bad joke.  In another previous article, I shared some examples of actual courses that have been taught at U.S. universities in recent years…

-“What If Harry Potter Is Real?

-“Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame

-“Philosophy And Star Trek

-“Learning From YouTube

-“How To Watch Television

Could you imagine getting actual college credit for a course entitled “What If Harry Potter Is Real?”

This is why many of our college graduates can barely put two sentences together.  They aren’t being challenged, and the quality of the education most of them are receiving is incredibly poor.

But even though they aren’t being challenged, students are taking longer to get through college than ever.  Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of all full-time students receive a bachelor’s degree within four years, and only 77 percent of all full-time students have earned a bachelor’s degree by the end of six years.

Of course our system of education is not entirely to blame.  The truth is that young Americans spend far more time consuming media than they do hitting the books, and what passes for “entertainment” these days is rapidly turning their brains to mush.

According to a report put out by Nielsen, this is how much time the average American spends consuming media on various devices each day…

Watching live television: 4 hours, 32 minutes

Watching time-shifted television: 30 minutes

Listening to the radio: 2 hours, 44 minutes

Using a smartphone: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Using Internet on a computer: 1 hour, 6 minutes

When you add it all up, the average American spends more than 10 hours a day plugged into some form of media.

And if you allow anyone to pump “programming” into your mind for 10 hours a day, it is going to have a dramatic impact.

In the end, I truly believe that we all greatly underestimate the influence that the mainstream media has on all of us.  We willingly plug into “the Matrix” for endless hours, but then somehow we still expect “to think for ourselves”.

There are very few of us that can say that we have not been exposed to thousands upon thousands of hours of conditioning.  And all of that garbage can make it very, very difficult to think clearly.

It is not because of a lack of input that we have become so stupid as a society.  The big problem is what we are putting into our minds.

If we continue to put garbage in, we are going to continue to get garbage out, and that is the cold, hard reality of the matter.

We have an election coming up.  And many of these folks vote.

I weep for our Nation.

 

h/t Doc in Yuma

A Must-Read From The Patrick Henry Society

(via Wirecutter – in part)

In the book Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, John Nagl includes the following quote:

“When there are no economic and political foundations for the guerrilla movement, there will be no guerrilla movement. The bulk of any guerrilla movement joins out of belief in what it is doing; the hard core of leaders keeps going because of political beliefs…If the great mass of the population knows that they will be protected by a strong, just government, it has no reason to cooperate with the guerrillas, and the system of intelligence and supply that sustains all guerrilla movements breaks down. Without popular support the mopping up of the hard core die-hards is fairly easy.”

Before you scream “but the government IS NOT JUST,” you need to read that again. People like to pick out the one thing they don’t like and camp out on it but miss the rest of the idea. The government doesn’t have to be just. The unwashed masses just have to think it is. They just have to believe that the government will keep them safe–even if it’s keeping them safe from you. In a guerrilla war (even a cold one) every step, every action, every word becomes propaganda that can be leveraged by one side or the other. Ask yourself what will be remembered about the Malheur takeover—not what YOU will remember about the coverage, but what the public will remember. You may remember the sight of LaVoy Finicum lying in the snow, but the public will remember David Frye complaining that he couldn’t have his marijuana and ranting about UFOs while holding a gun to his head. They’ll remember Blaine Cooper’s viral YouTube video, waving a sex toy sent to him by trolls. At some point between “Amazing Grace” on the Hammonds’ front lawn and David Frye being coaxed out, it stopped being about the message. It became a joke, and the public was laughing.
EXCERPTED FROM HERE

(…)

The government already holds most of the aces with the education/indoctrination system and media under their control, as well as military might. Once they start restricting transportation and controlling food distribution, they’ve got 90% or more of the population under control because the people will be grateful for tidbits instead of realizing the government is corralling them in tighter and tighter.

A side note for those who think a ‘revolution’ will be popularly supported.  Those folks also forget that roughly 51% of the gen pop support Hillary and/or Bernie.

A nasty, messy, bloody slog comes to mind.  With much of the population clueless as to the issues or in league with the totalitarian teat off which they feed.

Do we want history to mention a IIIper Day as Guy Fawkes Day is mentioned in Britain?

Think long and hard before you take any action which might be deemed inappropriate by those in power.

Democrats AND Republicans

Having ‘The Talk’

No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.

(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)

Kevin_ITF_Email_VideoPlayer_3-14-16

Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…

Read More

SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.

It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.

There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either.  It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.

But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.

“Characteristics of the Armed Individual” Secret Service Training

usssThis is probably brule’ for those of us who are ‘gunnies’ and carry with regularity, but is still interesting with regard to how those in the federal law enforcement circle views such things.

It IS nice edged weapons are included!

(from The Firearms Blog)

The guide itself is rather basic, mostly written word of generally common-sense spotting techniques that most law enforcement would look for during any encounter.

The first and basic step is to “determine (the) strong side” which can be determined by looking for cues such as watches, writing, smoking, and other daily tasks.

Then, according to the Secret Service “An individual who carries a gun on their person will periodically touch that gun both consciously and unconsciously.” (I disagree with this, carrying on a regular basis and with training, many concealed carriers will not touch their firearm, but can see how for MOST encounters, this is true).

Perhaps the most interesting nugget (At least to me) is that the “the majority of right-handed people that carry handguns illegally carry them in the right front waist band, loose.” The document then explains that its because doing so is “cool”, seen in the movies” and “where it is most secure and accessible.”

You can see the whole document here, courtesy of Public Intelligence. (6 pages PDF)

I was reminded of walking through downtown Scottsdale (many years ago) after the Az CCW law initially passed.  In a couple of hours, I spotted at least nine persons carrying concealed weapons.  I’m certain part of the observation was this was a relatively new legal behavior and folks weren’t used to doing so yet.  But people tugging up on there waist bands on the right side under their overshirts, and wearing overshirts were a good beginning!

Most cops or plainclothes agents aren’t that concerned with concealment, and get accustomed to carrying many hour a day, and have done so for years.

Having done so, myself, for many years, I’ve the same comfort and familiarity.

And hope you have it, as well!

bianchi

Badass!

(copied stolen from Bayou Renaissance Man)

One can only salute the courage and determination of this victim of terrorism.

An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.

The attacker, a Palestinian, died a few minutes later, police said.

The victim, later named as Yonatan Azarihab, an ultra-Orthodox man of about 40 who suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was hospitalized in moderate condition.

The store owner was not injured.

There’s more at the link.

There will doubtless be those of a bleeding-heart persuasion who try to convince us that the Palestinian was merely ‘resisting Jewish oppression’.  Bull.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper once said:

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.

He was a terrorist – a criminal by any other name.  Thanks to a courageous, determined – and, yes, probably very angry – victim of his terrorism, he ended up paying the price for his crime right then and there.  Congratulations to Mr. Azarihab.  I hope and pray he makes a speedy and full recovery from his wounds.  I don’t know whether Orthodox Judaism condones the drinking of beer, but if it does, I’ll gladly buy him one (or any suitable beverage of his choice) anytime I get the chance.

Peter

Reminiscent of the tales of late regarding Ghurka warriors, in another part of the Old World, dispatching bad guys with aplomb!  Not one-on-one, but one-on-many!

But here we get told engagement is a no-no, it might make the attacker (more) angry.

Obviously, one needs to know oneself and one’s abilities (and limitations), but we need to stand up to any bastards who confront us with potential immediate harm and stop them!

And yes, I know I’m stating the obvious and preaching to the choir.

I’m Here With The SKINNY

Bayou Renaissance Man reports (in part):

Doofus Of The Day #888

Today’s award goes to all the politically correct students and staff at Bowdoin College in Maine.

Some students wore sombreros to a tequila-themed birthday party at Bowdoin College — and others were so offended that the school had to provide them with safe spaces and counseling to deal with it.

According to the school’s newspaper, the Bowdoin Orient, the e-mail invitation to the event called it “a ‘tequila’ party” and then added, “we’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that:) (we’re not saying that).”

This phrasing was, presumably, aiming to poke fun at the way the PC police often lose their minds over pretty much any party where tequila is present — which wound up being exactly what happened with this one.

Yep. According to the Orient, one student (1) reported that some of the attendees had been wearing sombreros at the same time as they were drinking tequila at the party, and all hell broke loose.

In an e-mail to National Review Online, sophomore Richard Arms states that there have been “3 school-wide emails from deans and our president, and there have been several ‘safe-space’ opportunities on campus for students to discuss how they were hurt and offended” by the party.
. . .

Yes — safe spaces for people who have been hurt by the very existence of tequila parties and punishment for the people responsible for them.

There’s more at the link.

I’m not for outright hatred of either the participants, nor those offended, but SERIOUSLY?
Should we revert to the days of minstrel shows with White folk in Black face eating watermelon, or Speedy Gonzales cartoons with mice in sombreros with stereotypical accents (all performed by a Jewish guy) winning against the cat? (Even though they always WON?)
Probably not.
HOWEVER, should we be so offended by drunken college hi-jinks more about tequila than being stereotypically Mexican?
Was anyone maimed or killed?
Were those in sombreros summarily sent back across a symbolic border without due process?
SKIN – White, Brown, Black, Yellow, or some variant or combination NEEDS TO BE THICKER!
I’ve been seriously rail thin – skinny – in my lifetime (140 pounds), and also obese.  Just over six foot and 350 pounds!  And have been physically disabled since age 12.
You think I’ve not been called skinny, fatty, crippled, Forrest Gump, a ‘fat f**k’ and a number of other unkind things.  Sure, it hurt at the time, but I know myself and my character have atoned for my mistakes and moved on.
And I never needed a ‘safe space’ to discuss how these epithets affected my life!
What’s going to happen when these bubble-wrapped snowflakes enter the real world?  (I’m thinking a melt down.)
I’ve a dear friend who is less than average height.  I’m disabled.  On occasion, we’ve been known to address one another as shorty and gimpy.  No harm or disrespect meant.
SKIN.  THICKER.
I’m tellin’ ya.
PS – Who PAYS for these ‘safe spaces’?

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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