Thursday, May 31, 2007

Out of Pocket

Hi, this is Marshal H., Michael's clone on the Word Wide Web. Yeah, I know, it is an impossible mission to clone him.

I am here just to inform you that Michael is out of pocket until he gets his Internet connection up and running. Lightning struck on Tuesday and his house took a direct hit. The house is ok, but electric wires and equipment need to be replaced. He is now busy dealing with contractors and computer nerds, but he will "return" asap.

Besides the fact that his hair is standing straight up, he and his sweetie are doing just fine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday Pole Dancing

Okay, I was going to talk about the rising trend of pole dancing as an exercise alternative for women...get your own pole dancing kit, complete with spring-loaded pole, mat, garter and 100 "dancing dollars," which can be conveniently stuffed into said garter...but I decided instead to focus on more important issues, like this one from the BBC:
A Dutch TV station says it will go ahead with a programme in which a terminally ill woman selects one of three patients to receive her kidneys.
Political parties have called for The Big Donor Show to be scrapped, but broadcaster BNN says it will highlight the country's shortage of organ donors.

"It's a crazy idea," said Joop Atsma, of the ruling Christian Democrat Party.

"It can't be possible that, in the Netherlands, people vote about who's getting a kidney," he told the BBC.
Ah, we tend toward a Philip K. Dick universe! Or maybe a Stephen King universe...naw, I gotta go with PKD, because he had a better grip of the whole package as society slides off the end of the world with the gravity of the entire polar icecap sloughing into the ocean. Go read The Man in the High Castle or settled down with the remastered director's cut of Blade Runner, still the best PKD on film.

Today's going to be a hectic day, getting ready for tomorrow on DOWN RANGE. I want to roll out some PARA USA guns and maybe another shooting tip, depending on how editing goes today. On the Wednesday podcast, I'm talking about a package I received from ace gunsmith Wayne Novak!

BTW, I purchased a rowing machine this weekend — a Waterrower Natural, which uses water as the resistance for the rower. This action was precipitated (right word?) by a bicycle ride my Sweetie and I did this weekend, from a little Colorado town right off the Interstate, Frisco, up to the top of Vail Pass. Any ride up to a Colorado mountain pass is not chopped liver, but the ride up Vail is truly beautiful. I realized the lower half of my body is in great shape...the upper part, however, is lagging. I lift weights sporatically, but it's a lot harder to be a gym rat when the gym is 20 miles away down a steep mountain road...I know...whine whine...I do spend time on the Spinner bike and the industrial strength treadmill in the basement during the 11 1/2 months of winter, so I figured a rowing machine in my office might do the trick. I pick it up today, so I'll let you know.

Of course my real problem is FOOD...I eat it...last weekend, for example, I cooked a birthday dinner for my Sweetie's brother. Menu included grilled Copper River salmon, New Mexico-style spicy baked beans and potato salad made with a cumin/red pepper/olive oil/vinegar/garlic sauce mixed with with chopped anaheim peppers, scallons, capers and Yukon Gold potatoes, served with an Oregon pinot noir from Rex Hill.

Don't worry! No recipes!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

I hear the sound of distant drums
Far away, far away
And if they call for me to come
Then I must go and you must stay

So Mary marry me, let's not wait
Let's share all the time we can before it's too late
Love me now for now is all the time there may be
If you love me Mary, Mary marry me

I hear the sound of bugles blow
Far away, far away
And if they call, then I must go
Across the sea, so wild and grey.

So Mary marry me, let's not wait
For the distant drums might change our wedding date
And love me now, for now is all the time there may be
If you love me Mary, Mary marry me

Jim Reeves
"Distant Drums"

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Totally Self-Serving SHOOTING GALLERY Commerical Message!

I’m getting tired of this crap.

I was just notified that SHOOTING GALLERY, COWBOYS, PDTV, G&A TV — the entire Outdoor Channel, in fact — is going to be "up-tiered" in the Chicago and central Illinois area. Up-tier is a nice cable industry euphemism for charging people more money to watch the programming they really want…you paid extra to get the Outdoor Channel on the digital basic package, so time for the ole bait-and-switcharoonie!

Don’t worry…you can still get the 24-hour home putt-putt golf, the all-insects all-the-time and the party lingerie sales channels, but owweeeee, guns are scary and we want to make it harder for you to see them on television! Is it any surprise that this "initiative" is happening in Illinois, which as become the front line gun-rights battleground in the last year or so? Hey, Illinois is also one of the biggest shooting and hunting states in the country…the Barry shooting sports complex, one of the top practical pistol venues in the world; the Sparta World Shooting Complex, home of the Grand; companies like Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms and on and on.

Yet another example of Big Brother sticking it the consumer, who in this case happens to be my viewers! Interesting information: Comcast owns both Versus and Golf Channel. Guess which networks are conveniently missing from the list of ones Comcast is putting on the more expensive “sports tier” in Chicago? You guessed it…the Comcast-owned cable homes of hockey and golf somehow missed their ticket to the sports tier. Last time I checked, hockey and golf were sports. Well, hockey, anyway. Well, sort of.

Outdoor Channel is one of the last independent cable networks left — why I work for them, BTW — and Comcast thinks they can push the little guy around. Sucks. We've fought long and hard to make sure real shooting, real hunting stuff is out there...even in Mayor Daley's Gun-Free Paradise of Chicago.

So we've decided to not roll over.

Let’s all send good ole Comcast a rousing "thank you" for screwing shooters! Log onto and sound off. If you want to really tick them off, call 866-654-SAVE (7283), too. Even if you don’t live in the Chicago area, log onto the website just to irritate 'em. Like anti anti-gun "initiatives," this is a slippery slope. Comcast gets away with it in Chicago, guess what? tomorrow it’s your cable system. If they do it once, they’ll do it again. Yeah, the Outdoor Channel pays me, but show me where else you get real shooting me another channel that'll put John Farnam, Michael Janich, Bill Murphy, Clint Smith or Mas Ayoob on the air...ain't happening.

Oh, and be sure to tell Mayor Daley Michael Bane says, "Hi!"


As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, it is so important to remember and honor our Fallen. I strongly urge you to read this entire article from Jeff Emanuel at NRO on just a few of our heroes in the War on Terror, whose names we should know, but we don't — Michael Monsoor, U.S. Navy; Jason Dunham, U.S. Marines; Ross McGinnis, U.S. Army; Jason Cunningham, U.S. Air Force:
These four men exemplify a mindset that is both incomprehensible and unimaginable to all who have not been in such a situation. When faced with a life or death situation, with an escape route both simple and available, every one of them chose death, against every instinct of self-preservation. And, in doing so, they allowed the men with them, marked for death, to keep their lives.

There truly can be no greater love, no more heroic acts, than such as these. The men whose lives were saved by the direct intervention of Mike Monsoor, Jason Dunham, Ross McGinnis, Jason Cunningham, and others will carry the burden of gratitude with them to the grave, and beyond.

The mindset that compels a man to put himself into harm’s way for the purpose of saving another is impossible to express; however, it is a defining characteristic of the true warrior who has faced combat and who has experienced the reality of having his life entirely in the hands of the men next to him and having each of theirs in his.

As put by Dr. Joseph Blake, a sociologist who has researched the act of soldiers throwing themselves on grenades and other acts of sacrifice in the line of fire, “A combat situation has not a whole lot to do with patriotism or the folks back home....They are fighting for their buddies. They don’t want to let their buddies down.”

Yet these heroes, and all of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have died in combat, have done so also, if indirectly, for the sake of all Americans. To these men and women, every American owes eternal gratitude and a commitment never to take for granted those things that we, due to their sacrifices, can continue to enjoy — things that they, due to those same sacrifices, will never again be able to.

As Memorial Day nears, take a moment to thank a friend, family member, or even a total stranger who has served — or is serving — this country. For although they will never seek the praise and thanks of their fellow man, all will appreciate the expression of gratitude. It is our solemn duty to honor those who have kept us safe and free for the past 230-plus years. America has stood strong all this time largely because of men like these. And it is because of men like them that it shall remain so.

The sacrifices of these true warriors, like those of the countless others whose stories have not yet been told to a public, did not make them heroes. It simply demonstrated what heroes they were all along.
To borrow a phrase from the movie Gladiator, about another great nation whose freedom rested on its soldiers in far flung wars:

They were soldiers of freedom; honor them.

All who fight for us are soldiers of freedom; honor them all.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Winter Wonderland Bah! Warning! Rant Alert!

Check out the view from my front porch this's almost June, for god's sake! We supposed to be grilling weenies this weekend! Well, excuse me while I chip the ice off the ole Weber! I feel like I'm in that Twilight Zone episode, "The Midnight Sun."

I'm afraid I'm going to have to go four-square in favor of global warming!

No more penguins; no more polar bears; forget Greenland, the East Coast, the West Coast, Florida (maybe send in Delta to rescue secret Cuban food recipes from Miami and nekked celebrities from St. Barts) and Samoa! I'll buy beachfront property in Durango. Round up Al Gore's private plane, Sheryl Crow's lousy back-up band, Leonardo Dicaprio's smarmy attitude, and all the word processors from the editorial staff of TIME Magazine, use energy-wasteful methods to cook all of it down into charcoal and have a marshmellow roast on the lawn of the White House, glorious unfettered hydrocarbons pouring into the atmosphere. I'll drive up in my new Hummer...the big one...with a tailgate cooker powered by diesel fuel and coal...

...I'm going to use my grill on red air days...encourage cows and sheep to Al Gore's house — he'll be on the run; he won't need it anymore; maybe I could sell Tipper on eBay — and keep it cold the summer and hot in the winter, which should last about 3 hours...make soup in the pool...line the driveway with burning tires instead of solar-powered only on non-sanctioned Third World airplanes that leak oil and spew residue into he atmosphere...

...our new immigration policy will be simple. Anyone who meets three of the following criteria — wears flip-flops, surfer shorts or bikini top; carries any drink with a small paper umbrella in it or that utilizes tequila; can name at least three on-going characters from Lost or at least one American Idol winner, or purchases a winning National Lottery ticket, available for various currencies at every national border — gets in. Refugees from the flooded state of California will be allowed in, then deported to Whackee-tabakistan or Umgawastan or any other country that ends in "stan."

Fleece will be banned by federal law.

It'll be!

Okay, now I feel better. I'm gonna go start a nice warm fire and make some hot chocolate...

I wonder what the property values are like on Venus?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Global Warming & Crab AuGratin

First, a bulletin from the global warming front lines here in the Colorado high country...snow for Memorial Day! Oh boy, it hasn't snowed in...three weeks! The last of the Driveway Drift, which at its peak was seven feet tall and completely blocked our driveway, finished melting THREE DAYS AGO!

I'd be happy to swap some of those cute damn penguins for a summer that lasts longer than a week!

I watched the Tom Selleck/Pobert Parker vehicle JESSE STONE: SEA CHANGE. I occasionally read the Jesse Stone novels, and I don't particularly like them. The idea of the protagonist, Jesse, carrying this lunatic torch for his ex, who was bopping most of the LA media community while they were married and who has the apparent IQ of a hamster with A.D.D., just grates on me. I had a relationship just like that...when I was 14. Hawk needs to show up from the Spencer novels and bitch-slap poor Jesse.

Anyhow, the movie is much better than the book. Selleck eliminates most, but not all, of the egregiously pathetic aspects of the Jesse Stone character. Watching the restaurant scenes, I recalled a waterfront restaurant when I lived out on the tip of Long Island, writing books through the long winters. I could barely afford to go there, but once a month I'd scrape up the pennies from the couch cushions and have crab augratin and a glass of the local Long Island white wine.

While I was pondering the restaurant menu, my Sweetie was pondering Tom Selleck..."Isn't there some kind of surgery you get?" she suggested to me. No, I said, but I have a gun just like Tom's — an S&W 1911 GUNSITE .45!!! Great, she said, not taking her eyes off the screen. So I cooked marinated wild-caught salmon, grilled asparagus and a salad of heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, red onions and fresh spiced mozzarella...and I still don't look like Tom Selleck. There is no God.

And yes, Don Worsham and friends...when/if we do a SHOOTING GALLERY training weekend here in Colorado, I'll cook for all of you! I'll even make deviled eggs, which will cause you all to weep with joy and renounce your evil ways. Either that or Mike Janich will create a masterful mixed grill of your body parts!

I would like to acknowledge the lastest Pew survey on Muslim attitudes in he U.S. (as well as globally). As quoted by the redoubtable and nonetheless cute Michelle Malkin:
The poll found that while 80 percent of U.S. Muslims believe suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam cannot be justified, fully 13 percent said they can be justified, at least rarely. One in four younger American Muslims find suicide bombings in defense of Islam “acceptable at least in some circumstances.”

About 29 percent of those surveyed had either favorable views about al Qaeda or did not express an opinion. Yes, they either gave al Qaeda thumbs-up or had no opinion about the terrorist group responsible for slaughtering nearly 3,000 of their fellow Americans on 9/11 and responsible for a global bloodbath from Bali to Britain, the Middle East, and beyond.
Well, I certainly feel better! Not all American Muslims want to kill me...only 13%! And hey. almost a third either publically or privately have favorable views about al Qaeda, which also wants to kill me. Even though Jericho has been cancelled, I remain happy that I love upwind of Denver! Am Ms. Malkin notes:
A few fringe jihadists here, a few fringe jihadists there, and soon you’re talking about bloody real numbers.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Post 62 Mile Bike Ride...


Fever Tree
San Francisco Girls

First off, I note the History Channel ran a special documentary on "Hippies," which was sponsored by the AARP...if you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some Metamucil in your hair...yet another sign of that the End Days are upon us...better get that Triumph Thruxton soon!

Oh, and...don't touch my back, my achy breaky back...or something like that. Ground off a 62-mile group bicycle ride out of Loveland with my Sweetie yesterday, at 4-5 hours. No bad, considering we're wildly undertrained...this was our third road bike ride of the season. I also have the Permanent Head Cold, which I figure cost me about 20-30 minutes overall — if I pushed too hard I had your basic coughing fit. Nice ride, too. There are two big climbs, which come at 20 and 40 miles, more of less. I changed out tires to Panaracer Sports, not my favorite tire but what was available in the tiny bike shop in the mountain town I live natty Vottorias were badly worn from last season and I didn't want to drive to Boulder. The Panaracers worked fine, and I'll leave them on my everyday wheels as trainers.

DOWN RANGE NOTE!!! Marshal and I have moved the NEW VIDEO and NEW MB PODCAST day from MONDAY to WEDNESDAY. Why? You can probably figure this out on your own...we were working all week, then using Saturday and Sunday to "finish up the details." The net result of that little piece of stupidity was that both of us were woring routine 7-day weeks. Sucked....tune in Wednesday for another Ruger Rimfire Challenge video, a training tip from the SIG Academy and, hopefully, the Jeff Cooper Memorial. My weekly podcast will address two critical issues — carrying BIG guns and, of course, zombies.

I saw a Triumph Thruxton barreling out of the mountains yesterday...totally stood out against the streetbikes and parade of Harleys and metric cruisers and hammered home that the Thruxton is going to be my next bike. First thing I did with my Nortons (two Commandos and an Atlas) was toss the Prince of Darkness Lucas Electrics and replaced them with as much Japanese stuff as I could.

I rebult the Atlas from the ground up — I bought it for $200 in a box. It was a great great bike...I rode the hell out of it for years and sold it for a nice chunk of change...but, of course, it wasn't a Commando. I really liked the 750 Combats better than the more "refined" — if you can use that word about any Brit bike! — 850s, but the Combats ran hot hot hot an 11.5-1 compression ratio, and if you didn't watch the oil sooner or later a piston launched into the stratosphere. Nort engines blew up very colorfully and emphatically.

And yeah, I rode a Bridgestone 90 in had a weird gearbox that just kept cranking around, reslting in some fascinating surprises. It also had relatively cheesey front forks...back in high school days, I was trail riding with my friend Shelby, who had not a lick of sense (you can read a little about him in WHITE BOY SINGING THE BLUES, an earlier book of mine), when Shelby jumped a ditch on this Bultaco. I launched late and managed to hook those cheesey forks into a dead tree limb sticking up out of the ditch. The forks bent and I exited the bike in an high curving arc, landed well and was congratulating myself on my good luck when the Bridgestone, expansion chamber first, landed nearby, bounced once and fell across my legs. Yeowuuch! Miracle we survived our youth without government intervention.

BTW, we're going to do a NEW GUN LAUNCH from Ruger in June on DOWN RANGE...totally cool, and a first! You'll see it when we see it.

I do have to confess that I've been slack gunwise...cargo shorts and a J-frame. I've left the Taurus Ultra-Lite for my Sweetie and have been carrying an S&W Airweight 642 hammerless .38 (the cheap one), which actually seems like like Federal +P Hydrashocks better than the usual Hornadys. Well, to each its own. Right now, I've got a set of old-style Crimson Trace Lasergrips on it, but I'm going to change them out for the stubbier new ones...a little better for cut-away cargo pockets. I'd also like to note that CT has done a Good Thing, creating a low-cost Defender 105 Series for pocket I have to say again that EVERY pocket pistol needs a set of Lasergrips? Remember, you can get the 642 with a Lasergrip staright from S&W.

And, yes, I suppose that one sunny morning when my ship comes in I'll get one of the uber-natty 340 M&Ps, which I still will NOT shoot .357s out of!

I loved shooting the Hans Vang 12-gauge last week. I'm headed to the range on Wednesday to film a full report. I've also got a Knoxx recoil reducing stock for it, so I'll do some before and after stuff (although I may have to juggle Hans' dome safety.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

An Inappropriate Love Affair!

I did something unusual Friday...fell hopelessly in love with a motorcycle. I mean, I've had motorcycles pretty much forever, starting with a Bridgestone motorcross bike back in the 1960s, graduating to a whole parade of quirky British Nortons — I mean, they were good enough for Che Guevera and Keanu Reeves, right? They were weird when they rolled out of the factory'; they're weird when you rebuild them...I became convinced that my last Nort, a 750-cc Combat Commando I'd bought from some idiot who'd built his own "chopper," wanted to kill was those spooky shudders from the tuned frame when the bike went from from 70 to 80 mph. Every Nort I ever owned seemed to pass through some time/space barrier at about that speed.

So I sold the Combat Commando for a tidy sum five years or so ago, and the guy who bought it did a miraculous 100% factory show-class restoration on it. He sent me pictures; I swear the freakin' bike was leering at me! I've been very happy with my blood-red '94 Honda Magna, which as I've written before, is one of Honda's huge mistakes...a "power" cruiser...all the right looks with a for-real 4-cylinder street bike engine, especially since I had it overhauled last year. It's quick, and will the recent work and a change of tires handles like it's on rails.

Still, cruisers are cruisers, and once a Brit bike guy, always a Brit bike guy. I've pondered the new Nortons, bur so far they're pretty much vaporware. And as much as I love the Ducati Monsters (definitely NOT a Brit bike!), I figure that or a Buell or one of the other streetfighters will probably kill me.

I've found myself aimlessly flipping through eBay, seeing if there's a fastback Norton, or the pieces of a fastback Norton, for sale

So I'm at a production house in Denver yesterday, which happened to be next door to the Denver Triumph dealership...of course I had to take a tour. I'd seen the retro Bonnevilles, which didn't float my boat; somehow I'd missed the Triumph Thruxtons, amazingly a Norton-styled cafe racer, a la the breathtaking Tritons, Triumph engines in Norton frames.

In Norton yellow, no less.

Shades of the Ace Cafe, Eddie Cochran and all things Rockers. Be still my heart. In an act of will, I didn't buy the thing on the spot. There's a racing series, so you can jack it from 69 bhp up to 100...maybe midsummer...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Tinge of Returning Normalcy

From JustHillary:

Jenna Jameson: "I love Hillary. I think that in some ways she's pretty conservative for a Democrat, but I would love to have a woman in office. I think that it would be a step in the right direction for our country, and there would be less focus on war and more focus on bettering society." "Do you find that the climate of the adult industry changes when there is a Republican administration versus Democratic?"

Jenna Jameson: "Absolutely. The Clinton administration was the best years for the adult industry and I wish that Clinton would run again. I would love to have him back in office. I would love to have Al Gore in office.
Ah, Jenna! We love you anyway! I would say somethihg really snide about Al Gore, but it's nearly impossible to parody a parody of a parody...or something like that...

Things here at Fortress Colorado are slowly returning to normal ...all the lightning-zapped crap has been disposed of, the new hard drives are humming happily (kinda reminds me of Jenna, now that I think about it), and I'm once again back to editing video.

Had a great day out at the range yesterday with a friend of mine, and we ran through everything from my Hans Vang 12-gauge 870, to an S&W M&P-15, to the vampire-red Ruger/Tac-Sol pistol, the obligatory 1911 (this time the C&S Kimber .45) and for the ubiquitous big fanale, an S&W .500 Maggie with 400-grain DOOMSDAY hunting loads. Yippie-kay-aye, pardner! I should shoot more, doncha think?

In the editing hopper are more videos from the Ruger Rimfire Challenge, videos of the new guns from ParaUSA — I liked the heck out of the little Carry Nine LDA — training tips from the SIG Academy and the Jeff Cooper Memorial Services at Whittington last week. Next week I'm going back to work filming the CCW Demystified series for DOWN RANGE.

Couple of hints on SHOOTING GALLERY 2008...inside the Army's Sniper Challenge; Survive a Weekend with Michael Bane!; the IDPA Nationals; Suppressors for Civilians, et cetera, et cetera...

BTW, we're negotiating a Ruger Rimfire Challenge two-gun match for the East Coasters in this fall...more as we firm up the deal! So get ready...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Zombie Redux

Here's a great NRO piece examining the zombie world of 28 Days Later and it's new sequel, 28 Weeks Later:
To understand why 28 Weeks Later is, relatively speaking, such a disappointment, it’s necessary to take another look at its predecessor. That’s just as well, because 28 Days Later is a much more interesting movie — and much more fun to write about. Easily the most gripping horror film of the last decade, the most shocking thing about its 113 minutes is quite how good they are. Sure, 28 Days Later is relentless, fast-paced, and savage, but it also displays a depth, intelligence, and lyricism that would be surprising in almost any horror movie: To find these qualities in a zombie flick is little less than miraculous.
If you recalled, 28 Days Later scared the living crap out of me. I'd gotten into the a hotel late, with a 6AM flight the next morning; I was dead tired from driving and figured to watch a few minutes of a zombie flick and go to sleep. With seconds of the opening credits, my eyes were wide wide open and sleep was a long time coming...a profoundly scary movie. Sequels being what they are — the sainted Godfather trilogy exempted, of course — I don't expect much from 28 Weeks Later, but I could be surprised. I do love the subtitle of the website: 15 Gigs of Fear!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Not Dead...Just Dreadfully Busy!

Sorry for the few posts!

The equipment took a lightning-generated voltage spike (and, yes, I have surge protectors and the storm came in from my blind side and popped me before I could get everything turned off and disconected) Saturday AM and I've been sorting out damage.

Not too bad...lost a progam, two video clips and an outboard hard drive...redundancy is a good thing.

I'm more or less back up and running...will post tomorrow!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Thoughts on the Supremes

I'm not the only one who's feeling a bit queasy as Parker makes it was to the Supreme Court. This from my friend and former NRA President Sandy Froman, writing in World Net Daily:
If, on the other hand, the Supreme Court finds that the Second Amendment only grants states a collective right to arm National Guard units, then the consequences for the gun-rights movement could be disastrous. From that moment forward, Second Amendment rights for private citizens would be in serious jeopardy. Gun ownership could become a privilege, not a right (unless you live in a state where the state constitution contains a right to bear arms provision.)

Many millions of Americans, especially those in the middle of the political spectrum, tend to defer to the Supreme Court on constitutional questions. When the Supreme Court speaks on a matter, they tend to trust in its judgment and authority.
Right now, over 70 percent of Americans accept that the Second Amendment gives individual citizens the right to own private firearms. But if the Supreme Court were to say otherwise, you could expect that number to plummet. The next generation of lawyers, scholars, academics and even judges would all be taught as they were growing up that there is no constitutional right to own a gun. These people would shape public opinion and educate those coming after them, until eventually the percentage of Americans believing in the individual rights view might only be 20-30 percent of the population.
Frankly, I think I would rather see Congress strike down the D.C. law, which would automatically negate Parker...either that or have one more card-carrying conservative Justice on the high court.

Maybe I'm worrying needlessly about teh Court, probably the consequences of living with a lawyer for a long time.

BTW, I've about half-way convinced myself to make a run for the NRA Board of Directors in the next election. You guys have any thoughts on that?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Notes from the On-Going Culture War

The good news today is that the scumbags at the Nashville Tennessean have caved and taken down their datebase. Guess the MSM reads the blogs, too.

The Smallest Minority really kicked butt yesterday with this piece disassembling the VPC's numbers, which newspapers like the Christian Science Monitor, the Denver Post and CBS have been spouting like gospel lately:
So go ahead, VPC, Brady Center and all the other Joyce Foundation sponsored gun ban control safety organizations; convince yourselves that the number of gun owners in the U.S. is dropping precipitously. Pat yourselves on the back for the outstanding (*cough*) job you're doing.

I really enjoy watching you splutter like Sylvester the Cat every time a new piece of gun-control legislation goes down in flames, or gun-rights legislation passes with a veto-proof margin, or, as also happened today, a gun-rights court decision stands.
Instapundit has been covering this issue pretty well. Take special note of Dave Kopel's thoughtful (as usual) commentary:
In a recent article in America's 1st Freedom, Paul Gallant, Joanne Eisen and I addressed the controversy of newspapers publishing lists of people with handgun permits. We discuss various ways in which the publication can assist criminals. One newspaper which was considering publishing a list was The News Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana:


Victims who are hiding from violent stalkers are one group of people with handgun licenses who have a special need for confidentiality; another group is retired police officers, who are at risk of being targeted by revenge-minded criminals.
There are numerous instances of people losing their jobs when their employers found out they had a CCW. I personally know many newspaper reporters who carry and who have told me unequivocally that they would be summarily fired if their bosses found out. As I have said before, we are the only group that the media feels comfortable bashing, misrepresenting, insulting and slurring.

This needs to STOP! I have been approached by half a dozen executives from the top firearms companies urging me to to spearhead a new media program similar to the hugely successful NSSF Media Education program we ran a few years back. I believe it's time the industry once again stepped up to the plate...there's a storm coming, and we need to address the problems we're once again having with media bias.

Finally, here's the link to the funny Slate, which generally runs around squawking that the sky is falling, piece from Emily Yoffe a couple of years back, who has seen the light:
So anathema are guns among my friends that when one learned I was doing this piece, he opened his wallet, silently pulled out an NRA membership card, then (after I recovered from the sight) asked me not to spread it around lest his son be kicked out of nursery school.
I'm off to the Jeff Cooper Memorial tomorrow...I will, of course, have video and a podcast onthe event. The first Ruger Rimfire Challenge video is up, with more next week, as is the podcast. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

D. C. Circuit refuses to Rehear Parker Decision

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will NOT be re-hearing Parker, setting the stage for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time specifically on the meaning of the Second Amendment. Read Eugene Volokh's analysis here.

Frankly, going to the Supremes scares the crap out of me. Yeah, I think we have a solid case and a wall of precedent behind us, but the Court will go where the Court will go.

MSM Scumbag of the Month Award...

...goes to the Nashville Tennessean, who thoughtfully published a searchable database of all the CCW holders in Tennessee. This handily allows thieves, people under restraint for domestic violence, etc., to check whether their intended victims are armed!

Why do newspapers publish CCW lists? Well, it's not because they believe in the public's right to know. I spent years in a newsroom, typing away, and I can tell you from person experience that there is no more elitist environment on the planet than a newsroom. Members of the MSM see themselves as a pure cultural elite — smarter, more worldly, more articulate, more politically savvy than the proles outside the gates. The "public's right to know" is strictly limited to the information the media elite think the peasants "needs to know."

And that information must fit a narrow political agenda.

Let me give you an example, one that helped me end my career in the MSM. I've told this story before, but I think it's instructive n this context. I was working for a daily newspaper in Florida. I'd already done a lap of newspapers in the South, moving up each time I moved. I had what was pretty much a primo newspaper job, the top feature writer. I set my own assignments, kept my own hours, won awards, lived on the beach and in general tried (poorly) to emulate reporter Hildy Johnson in The Front Page.

So, a new desk editor started; we were told he'd been in prison, done his time, and we were instructed not to ask him for detail, because good little liberal believed that all prisoners were victims. Well, the reason I was an excellent reporter was that I had (and sadly still have) a monkey's curiosity; like the guy lying on the sidewalk staring up at the muzzle of Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum, "I gots to know."

So I took the new editor to dinner and kept chipping until he gave it up — he'd had "one of those days" when he just "lost it." I nodded...I've had those days. He said he could have just thrown something...or "strangle his cat"...strangle his cat? But his beloved fiance was there when he "lost it," so he beat her to death with claw hammer.

When the new editor began hitting on the women in the newsroom — lot of years playing "find the soap" in the prison shower! — I took each one aside and told her what the editor had been in the slam for. Predictably, the proverbial feces hit the proverbial F-5 tornado. I was called into the boss' office, threatened with immediate firing and black-balling from the industry and in general yelled and screamed at for an hour or so.

I pointed out that the editor's crime was public record...I'd looked it up. I knew all about public records. It's what I did. So what, yelled the boss? So what? Just because it was on the public record didn't mean I had the right to spread it all around the newsroom, causing a man who had "paid his debt to society" pain and suffering.

I said that until the editor's girlfriend crawled out of her grave, walked into the newsroom and told me it was all her fault, I would continue to make sure that my women friends didn't end up with a claw hammer for a fashion accoutremont after a bad date.

I walked out of that office still with my job and a much better understanding of what "right to know" really meant.

Newspapers publish CCW lists in the hopes of embarrassing/scaring people away from getting permits that can save their lives. At some level, the editors — catering to the same base instinct that causes some sick people to hope for high-speed wrecks at NASCAR races — hope that a crime will be committed, hopefully where a CCW holder is not able to defend him or herself from an attacker. Then the newspaper can do a story that says, see, guns don't work! If the CCW holders succeeds, well, then there isn't a story, is there?

Keep up the good work, guys! By the way, the asteroid's already hit and you're probably wondering about all that dust in the air...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sorry! Slightly Overextended!

Just got home this afternoon and finished editing the podcast, which should be up momentarily! I'll be editing video tomorrow, so the first Ruger Rimfire Challenge videos should be up Wednesday, with more following on Monday.

Apparently, there are fewer hours in the day than I anticipated! My apologies...

I'm also going to give up the ghost and buy a Verizon Internet card for the laptop, so I don't end up in this "small pipe" bind again.

BTW, Eric Katzenberg, a veteran IDPA shooter and fellow television producer, grabbed his first High Overall to become the inaugural Ruger Rimfire Challenge champion. There's an interview with eric on the podcast.

Until tomorrow, here's an NYT article on the individual interpretation of the Second Amendment:
There used to be an almost complete scholarly and judicial consensus that the Second Amendment protects only a collective right of the states to maintain militias. That consensus no longer exists — thanks largely to the work over the last 20 years of several leading liberal law professors, who have come to embrace the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns.
Of course, there's more to the story than the Times noticed. You can read it here from Randy Barnett at the Volokh Conspiracy:
What the story leaves out, of course, are the prodigious efforts of those "libertarian" and "conservative" constitutional scholars who did much of the heavy lifting when it comes to the original meaning of the Second Amendment AND the original meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. And this scholarly effort was pioneered by nonacademics.
I'm also beta-testing the Hoffner Minimalist IWB holster for my Sig Sauer 225 carry gun, and I'm prety much blown away. I'll try to do pictures and the review in the next day or so...I'm working on a clone...really!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ruger Rimfire Challenge ROCKED!

It rocked...the kind of match that sends you scurrying to the nearest gun store with your credit card in your hot little hands! Must have rimfires! Maybe next year we can get it in the new magazine, Gardens & Guns.

Full report next week on DOWN RANGE and the podcast!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Motel Hell!

Dial up! Dial up! Dial up!

What is that, for heaven's sake? Am in Morro Bay for the Ruger Rimfire Challenge. It's also the weekend of the Morro Bay custom car show...maybe there should be a join street rod/shooting event...maybe not.

It's probably going to be Monday before I can get video up, unless I can ferret out an internet cafe here or in San Luis Obispo.You'll like it, though, because the stages ROCK. Ruger 10/22 is actually relatively sighted in (blind luck) and works perfect after Randy Lee dumped some oil in it. Oil? What's that?

More as I get a grip...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Yikes! One Quick Day @ Home

Threw the now-working Pro Point II on the 10/22 Target; packed guns, includindg Vampire .22 pistol and S&W M-41 so it wouldn't be lonely; packed video gear; packed Internet gear; packed underwear and away we go tomorrow AM to the Ruger Rimfire Challenge at the Hogue Range in lovely Morrow Bay, CA.

You guys are going to be kicking yourselves in your sorry butts for NOT signing up for this match...there are, like, 30 count 'em — guns on the prize table, plus a whole crate of other cool stuff! NOOOOOOOOO, I can't win anything, except the ever-lasting love of match direction Lisa "Boom-Boom" Farrell, plus a complete collection of Lisa Farrell trading cards...I don't even get a freakin' t-shirt, otherwise! Still...

And I NEVER found the darn Fowler/Pride I gotta call up and explain to Mickey and John that aliens stole my scope, probably attempted an anal probe on it, and I need a new one. They'll buy that, right? Right?

Here's a nice summation piece on gun control from NRO:
In Washington, few politicians have rushed forth with rash demands to “do something.” Congress may even be headed toward passing reasonable legislation that unites gun owners with some of their traditional foes, in the name of preventing people with dangerous mental illnesses from buying firearms.

To some degree, this reflects a new bipartisan consensus in favor of Second Amendment rights. Six years ago, after the defeat of Al Gore, an antigun crusader, many Democrats concluded that they could not afford to continue alienating union members and rural voters. One of the reasons so many new Democrats were elected to the House and Senate last year is that they embraced gun ownership, neutralizing what had previously been a strong advantage for Republicans.
And yes, I think people who have been ajudicated "mentally defective" or who have been involuntarily committed should NOT be able to purchase gun. Sorry. It is hard to involuntarily commit someone. People who hear the dog telling them to start stalking people or who spend a lot of time fanticizing about Nazi Germany need to be in the system. And, yes, of course, there should be some kind of judicial review procedure to get those rights back should your brain return from Narnia.

Maybe that makes me less than absolute, but I do think there are things we as a culture need to get a grip on. I'm also profoundly sick of that empty suit Paul Helmke from Brady...good lord, is he really as stupid as he sounds? If he is, he might actually have trouble feeding himself...and FORGET potty breaks! This guy probably has Velcro on his pants, since I suspect a zipper is beyond his meager horsepower...I've heard smarter paper shredders. Here's the latest, from a Chicago Tribune piece fretting over guns in Texas, where the BBQ is in fact better than Chicago:
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, said Perry's idea is a recipe for more mayhem, especially because ordinary citizens, unlike police, are not trained to use weapons in the midst of a crisis.

"In a shoot 'em up situation, it's tough for the person to get their gun quickly, to use it properly, to not become the first person the gunman kills, to not be the person the police think is the bad guy when they do respond," Helmke said. "Life is not like the movies."
Ouuuuuuweeeeeee...normal people are just such...such...ouuuuuweee...klutzes! Well, I guess if you can't work a zipper, a gun's pretty scary. OTOH, once you've been the mayor of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, I guess it's all downhill from there. How about this, Paul...I 100% agree YOU should never own a gun, a knife, a sharp pencil or, heaven forbid, a computer with Internet access. You'll only hurt yourself, you being so freaking normal and all. And Sarah, why don't why don't you go to one of those old circus chimp rescue places and see if you can find a smarter spokesperson?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Escape from New York — The Sequel

Well heck, I'm trying! Am presently camped out at LaGuardia watching delay times increase. There doesn't seem to be any beer. I could die.

Anyhow, Bitter Bitch has chipped a few pennies to the Bill Richardson campaign:
I don’t know if I support him enough to vote for him in a general election, that would depend on the GOP nominee. However, I would consider voting for him, something I would not do for Hillary, Obama or Edwards.
I agree with her...there's a lot not to like, but at least he's not Rudy or that piece of worm food McCain. Please President Thompson...and Vice President Rice...hurry up!

Since I've been short of Gun Things lately, I'm posting this picture from Chris Lynch at AlumaGrips on his easily added-on 1911 mag well. According to Chris, the mag well interfaces with the grips to lock in place when the grip screws are tightened, as opposed to the Bill Wilson method of having the add-on mag well hook over the grip screws. No word on price yet...the big ultility is hanging the big honking mag well on the bottom of your piece when you're cometing in USPSA, then take it off when you're carrying the gun. BTW, I contacted Chris to see if I can get him to do me a set of AlumaGrips for my Kimber Ultra Carry in fetching Vampire Red, or, if not, purple. I do what I can for fashion.

I have to admit I'm suffering relatively degraded performance specs from the absence of sleep. I'm also trying to figure out how I'm going to mount a scope and sight in that .22 rifle tomorrow...and the answer is, I'm not! I'll sight it in in California, I guess. I'll be at the Jeff Cooper Memorial Service at the Whittington Center 10 May, if any of you are going.

Better go see what's up with the airplane...

Wee Hours

Well, it's 2:ooAM in the morning, the hotel television doesn't get American Chopper and I'm beginning to suspect I'm going to see sunrise, which is, as every vampire knows, drastically overrated. If I wasn't in the Wilds of Queens, I'd probably go run, but as I don't want to be killed and eaten I'll probably take a pass on that.

I did try and go to sleep, but it didn't work, so I cranked up the computer and paged through the Usual Suspects to no avail. I did read that our pathetic forebearers Across the Pond are thinking of adding a lip-reading function to the zillions of spy cameras already scattered around Great Britain — something like one spy camera for every 14 people. That'll be handy! It goes well with the shouting cameras, in which your personal monitor can berate you for antisocial behavior through any one of the sound-equipped cameras.

I also discovered that miniature horses are very sensitive and can be trained as guide animals, the ancient Minoan civilization got whacked by a big tsunami that was probably the birth of the Atlantean mythology, a dry cleaner in Washington D.C. is being sued for $67 million for a lost pair of pants, that Rage Against the Machine has reformed and called for Bush to be "tried and hung and shot," showing that their creative juices are still smokin' hot, and that forks are really really sophisticated pieces of machinery, according to Physics Today.

I have at least avoided sinking to the lowest level of hell...cruising YouTube looking for exploding gun videos...I expect to get there somewhere around 4AM, which I am creeping toward at a glacial pace.

Well, tomorrow as Scarlett O'Hara noted succinctly is another day.

I wonder what's up with Paris Hilton?