Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's, 2008

From Iraq, 2007

It is bitterly cold and clear tonight in the High Country, snow blowing and swirling as the temperature drops below zero.

The high tomorrow in Baghdad, Iraq, is 62 degrees.

Happy New Year, 2008.

May we find a way to peace.



I can't do this, Sam

I know, its all rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered, full of darkness and danger they were and sometimes you wouldn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy, how could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr.Frodo I do understand, I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, but they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something...

What are we holding on to, Sam?

That there some good in this world Mr.Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.

Michael's New Year's Resoution

I'm never very good at the end of the year...I'm one of those people who stagger under the weight of what we didn't accomlish as opposed to looking back and celebrating what we did. I know...I know...still...

Marshal and I have been sketching out goals for DOWN RANGE Television in 2008. Marshal has already finished an update of the look, aimed at mking the site even more convenient. Our goal is for DRTV viewers to be able to quickly and intuitively find all the great features of the site. I've mentioned already the live Internet radio broadcast, the first of which will be in mid-January. Once we "master the form," our plan is for one a month. We're also actively shopping around for a national radio outlet, and I believe that will be forthcoming by the end of 2008.

Of course, we'll be at the SHOT Show big time...I'll be hosting SHOT SHOW TV for the Outdoor Channel, so if you're at SHOT you'll be stuck with me in your hotel room...sorry.

Once we get past SHOT, we'll be focusing more on the DRTV video of the things we'll be launching early on is a "Conversations" series, talks with some of the experts and persoanlities of our culture. We plan to offer free clips on DRTV, then give you the opportunity to purchase the whole conversation on DVD or as a download. This idea comes directly from you guys...I've received literally hundreds and hundreds of requests for "full-length" interviews of some of our SHOOTING GALLERY shows, especially the ones with Col. Jeff Cooper, Walt Rauch and Michael Janich. I was not able to wrangle the rights to those interviews, but at least in the case of Walt and Michael, you'll be seeing them in the DRTV "Conversations."

Gosh, there's so much!

• I'm working on an anthology of some of my gunwriting, along with some original essays, titled INNER MONKEY — Reflections on Guns, Shooting & a Haphazard Life. My plan is to release it as an e-book, with a print-on-demand option. It'll be my first e-book, and the ETA should be late Quarter 2.

• I will finish the rewrite of TRAIL SAFE, which I'll have as a print book in Q3.

• God help me, but I will finish the sequel to ALL NIGHT RADIO — FIVE TO GO — for release January 2009. I plan to release an e-version to members of the DRTV Forums well before that, so sign up!

So, that's my year!

While you;'re celebrating tonight, raise a glass to the men and women in far-flung places, our soldiers of freedom. To all who serve, thank you, thank you, thank are the best of us!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Candidates' Positions on Guns

You all know them already, but here they are in one place, courtesy of CNN. My favorie, of course, is Obama, who
"Supports national law against carrying concealed weapons, with exceptions for retired police and military personnel."
We all know the stakes...

And Speaking of Gibbons...

This from Mark Steyn on NRO:
The long game

In my book (coming soon to a Canadian courthouse near you!), I cite a famous passage of Gibbon's:

Poitiers was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in western Europe. It was an opportunistic raid by the Moors, but, if they’d won, they’d have found it hard to resist pushing on to Paris, to the Rhine and beyond. “Perhaps,” wrote Edward Gibbon in The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, “the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.” There would be no Christian Europe. The Anglo-Celts who settled North America would have been Muslim. Poitiers, said Gibbon, was “an encounter which would change the history of the whole world.”

Peter Hitchens in today's Daily Mail:

The deeply English, deeply Christian city of Oxford, one of the homes of free thought, is now being asked to accept the Islamic call to prayer wafting from mosque loudspeakers over its spires and domes.

If that is not a threat to our "way of life", then I don't know what is. Allowing the regular electronic proclamation of Allah's supremacy in a British city is not tolerance, but a surrender of the sky to a wholly different culture. Just you wait and see what opponents of this scheme are accused of.

It may be a "wholly different culture", but unlike the spires of those empty Anglican churches it represents the demographic energy of today's England.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Okay, Thoughts for the New Year

This may be the most intelligent, thoughtful and scary analysis of our current situation I've ever read. Newt Gingrich...yes yes, that Newt Gingrich!...delivered this speech to the Jewish National Fund meeting in mid-November. I suggest you read every word of it:
Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare
Speech by Newt Gingrich

[Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered the following remarks to a Jewish National Fund meeting Nov. 15 at the Selig Center.]

I just want to talk to you from the heart for a few minutes and share with you where I think we are.

I think it is very stark. I don't think it is yet desperate, but it is very stark. And if I had a title for today's talk, it would be sleepwalking into a nightmare. 'Cause that's what I think we're doing.
I happened the other night to be watching an old movie, “To Live and Die in L.A.,” which is about counterfeiting. But the movie starts with a Secret Service agent who is defending Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the person he is defending Ronald Reagan from is a suicide bomber who is actually, overtly a Muslim fanatic. Now, six years after 9/11, you could not get that scene made in Hollywood today.

Just look at the movies. Why is it that the bad person is either a Right-wing crazed billionaire, or the CIA as a government agency? Go look at “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Or a movie like the one that George Clooney made, which was an absolute lie, in which it implied that if you were a reformist Arab prince, that probably the CIA would kill you. It's a total lie. We actually have SEALs protecting people all over the world. We actually risk American lives protecting reformers all over the world, and yet Hollywood can't bring itself to tell the truth, (a) because it's ideologically so opposed to the American government and the American military, and (b), because it's terrified that if it said something really openly, honestly true about Muslim terrorists, they might show up in Hollywood. And you might have somebody killed as the Dutch producer was killed.

And so we're living a life of cowardice, and in that life of cowardice we're sleepwalking into a nightmare.
We have created our own nightmare because we refuse to tell the truth. We refuse to tell the truth to our politicians. Our State Department refuses to tell the truth to the country. If the president of the United States, and again, we're now so bitterly partisan, we're so committed to red vs. blue hostility, that George W. Bush doesn't have the capacity to give an address from the Oval Office that has any meaning for half the country. And the anti-war Left is so strong in the Democratic primary that I think it's almost impossible for any Democratic presidential candidate to tell the truth about the situation.

And so the Republicans are isolated and trying to defend incompetence. The Democrats are isolated and trying to find a way to say, "I'm really for strength as long as I can have peace, but I'd really like to have peace, except I don't want to recognize these people who aren't very peaceful."

I just want to share with you, as a grandfather, as a citizen, as a historian, as somebody who was once speaker of the House, this is a serious national crisis. This is 1935 or 1936, and it's getting worse every year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Reason to Hang On Until SHOT!

I'm hoping S&W's stock price creeps out of the cellar, since they're telling their dealers that the Model of the Month for March 2008 is a really slick re-imagining of the 296/396 lightweight .44 Special revolver line:

396, L-frame, 44 Special, 5 shot, 2.5" bbl, XS front sight/Cylinder-Slide fixed rear, steel cylinder (black finish of some sort), scandium frame.
I'd jump on that gun like a yard dog!

Meanwhile, Here at the North Pole...

...a darn nippy December. Right at zero this AM, with a 300 mph wind. I'm beginning to fear that some of these "snow" drifts are actually made up of blown boulders and trees.

THANKS for the fashion discussion (and the one on the DOWN RANGE Forums as well). As usual, you guys are well ahead of me...based on your comments, I think it's definitely time to declare "tactic-kool" dead. I like the idea od "dress how you dress" (cinsidering I have a closet full of jeans, Hawaiian shirts and cowboy — shooting and otherwise — stuff.

An interesting comment on carrying while I'm on the road...I do carry anyplace that has reciprocity with Colorado, and I've got an out-of-state Florida application here to fill out (yet another thing on the endless to-do list!). LOVE Arizona and their open carry law! HATE California and their byzantine, stupid, irrational gun laws. Obviously, if I have guns with me, I have ammo with me for the hotel room even if I can't carry. A Wilderness Tactical SafePacker is an absolute necessity for traveling gun writers!

I think I've mentioned before that the gun I carry on the road is not necessarily the gun I prefer to carry at home...a few years back Walt Rauch noted that airport/TSA security tended to go faster when he was carrying a Glock as opposed to something more exotic. The Glock is recognizable (rightly or wrongly) as an LEO gun, which may be why it slides through so easily. Also guns on the road get bounced around a lot, at least in my line of work. Not something I'd care to put my Wilson Master Grade 1911 through. Finally, I default to 9mm...sometimes I ship the guns to myself at the hotel and just carry-on luggage...I can always find 9mm easily and cheaply. Hence, a plain old boring Glock 19 and a cheap Glock plastic holster.

FWIW, I'm a huge fan of the Wilderness Tactical belt, and I'll probably keep that as part of the wardrobe. Of course, here in Colorado "rigging belts" are as common as dirt...get 'em at any number of outdoor it's not a "flash" issue.

Marshal and I are excited about adding a live Internet call-in show to DRTV. We've signed up for the service and are going to do a test run in the next couple of weeks. We're aiming at at least one live call-in Internet radio broadcast from the SHOT Show, so you can ask questions.

BTW, as one of my commenters noted, the firearms industry is small...our largest companies don't really qualify as "large" companies by the standards of Wall Street. I'm not sure whether huge levels of consolidation is a good thing or a bad thing. The strange and Balkanized nature of the firearms industry actually works well for we consumers...lots of relatively small companies producing an incredibly wide variety of hardware, essentially aiming at every niche. I'm not sure consolidation plays to that. I definitely wish I knew Cerberus' end-game!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Foreplay Rewarded!

In what has to be the longest foreplay in firearms history, Remington has finally bought Marlin!

This from the PR Newswire:
Tommy Millner Remington's CEO, said, "I am pleased to announce that Marlin's well known brands with a long heritage of providing quality rifles and shotguns to hunters and shooters around the world will join the Remington family. The opportunity to combine two historic U.S. based companies with such storied and proud histories, is both challenging and exhilarating."

"We look forward to working with Bob Behn, a well respected member of our industry. He will remain as president of Marlin, charting a course of further growth and operational improvement," Mr. Millner continued.
Good lord...if it had taken any longer, we'd all have collapsed in exhaustion! I mean, this thing has been percolating seemingly forever.

What does it mean?

Not the slightest idea...I'm going to have to think about it a little cherubs and seraphim have been telling me that Marlin has been doing excellently in big-bore lever actions, but has been making noises about getting out of the cowboy lever gun business. I know they've got people standing in line for their 39A lever .22!

I'll try to reach Tommy Milner tonorrow and see if I can get him on the podcast next week...

Critical (and Stupid) Fashion Question

Okay, I need some critical fashion advice here. First quarter 2008 I'll start filming new episodes of SG and DOWN RANGE videos for the next year.

For the last 7 seasons, I've been a Tactical Slut, wearing gear from Sig-Tac. When I started wearing the stuff, I was the only guy who didn't dress in Safari Slut-wear, as in, "I say, James, could you please have the wog hand me the Purdy?"

Now everybody on three networks is in Tactical Slut-wear, and I'm thinking I need a change. I did get one of the Wilderness Tactical Sonoran shirts, which is like post-modern tactical slut-wear, for Christmas and I got to thinking that might rock with the SG and DR logos embroidered on.

I may have some embroidered up for SHOT and wear them to parties. I suppose I could always go to one of the Cabela's canvas shirts or something from Duluth Trading...I don't know.

What do you think?

Brutal Sugar Hangover!

Even though my Sweetie and I had a wonderful low-key Christmas Day, I'm reeling from a brutal sugar hangover as a result of five (count 'em) Christmas parties...we've met quota for a couple of years. I have a cold dose of reality in that we picked up another six-plus inches of snow here in the high country, and there's another storm coming, so I've got to address the issue of the driveway...there's a limit to what the plows can do, and if I let the little snowfalls build up, I'm looking at some serious shovel time down the line.

Okay, I knows you gots to know...what did Santa bring Michael? The entire season one box set of JERICHO! I suggested watching it Christmas evening...what could be more festive than a mushroom cloud? I'll be totally ready when the abbreviated second season starts February 12. As you may know, CBS was blackmailed into renewing the show after it cancellation earlier this year after fans sent tons of nuts (read the article).

I also received the first season of HOUSE, which will allow me to steal more viciously sarcastic quips for future interviews, and a wonderful 2-sided Planisphere and night vision flashlight [thank you, Sweetie!], to help me navigate the night sky. You thought I was going to tell you I got a gun or something, didn't you?


"Alf leaving the scene..."

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I refer you to their wonderful piece in the OpinionJournal, with thoughs on "some assembly required:"

First, insert the lithinode distrillitor pack into the scringe under the panel marked Varnicle Reflexelator Chamber. A flinged graffler at the bottom of the chamber will connect the distrillitor to the varnicle. Next, lower the scringe into the MO-DOR scringe-gripper aperture using the swigel-headed flonge to secure it onto the varnicle nodes, which conduct 20-zilihurtz magnifiers to the varnicles. Use the multipronged grallup to secure the pink wooplers to the orange varnicle nodes and the four triple-pronged green wires to the varnicle inhibitor. WARNING: Even one woopler-varnicle node misconnection will cause xurls to disrupt the scringe-view quorms once the framulator is plugged in.
Luckily, even I can assemble a DVD!

Between now and the first of the year I'm going to be overhauling the recording studio in my office, adding a separate compressor/limiter instead of the software compressor I now use. I am hopeful that the component compressor will allow me to "move" my voice more up front in the podcasts. Given that assembling audio components for a recording studio is mostly weird juju, hit-and-miss and fingers-crossed here's-hoping, I'm hopeful that if I start today I'll be able to get next week's podcast out on time...maybe.

Otherwise, I'm splitting my time between the treadmill, the Spinner bike and the rowing machine...ah. the sublime pain!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas 2007

It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages boxes, or bags!

And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more."

The No-Jitter Christmas Eve


I am indeed done with my Christmas shopping, have successfully weathered three out of four Christmas parties, shoveled most of the Giganto Drift out of the driveway and have lovingly watched all 13-plus hours of the extended version of Lord of the Rings with my Sweetie, which I do every Christmastime. I always choke up on the "There may come a day when the courage of men fail..."

I'm going to do a limited podcast for the day after Christmas...I think I'm going to talk about gun books. I would have liked to have gone out and done some shooting — I've got one of the new Ruger Charger 10/22 pistols and a flawless Nighthawk Custom Richard Heinie special 1911 to run some rounds through — but here in Global Warming World, it has been cold, cold, cold, temperatures dipping down to zero and a simply brutal wind screaming over the Continental Divide. We're all sleeping in earplugs to put a dent in the freight train roar of the wind.

In any case, I wish for all of you the peace of the season.

Take a moment tonight and remember the men and women in far-flung places who serve us isn't snowing in Baghdad, but I pray our soldiers know our hearts are with them this night and all nights.

Merry Christmas...and peace.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Westroads Mall in Omaha Reopens...

Luckily, they were able to get these signs up before opening for business! They'd taken them down after the shootings, lest anyone besides Alynnis Morisette understand the word, "Irony."

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.
— Edward Gibbon

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
— George Bernard Shaw

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
— Karl Marx

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
— George Santayana

History, history! We fools, what do we know or care?
— William Carlos Williams

A Great Article on the NYT!

This is from a week or so ago — I'm still behind the old Christmas curve! — but I wanted to point it out as a really great take on "retasking" hunting as "localism" by Alaskan author Steven Rinella:
EVERY year, 15 million licensed hunters head into America’s forests and fields in search of wild game. In New York State alone, roughly half a million hunters harvest around 190,000 deer in the fall deer hunting season — that’s close to eight million pounds of venison. In the traditional vernacular, we’d call that “game meat.” But, in keeping with the times, it might be better to relabel it as free-range, grass-fed, organic, locally produced, locally harvested, sustainable, native, low-stress, low-impact, humanely slaughtered meat.
You know, he's right on target. Here on the outskirts of the People's Republic of Boulder where I live, most of even the chain supermarkets label food as to where its from. And, yes, here at the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains we do our best to "eat locally," as much as possible choose produce and foodstuffs from local farmers and ranchers. This is made easier by the fact that my Swweetie's brother works with local organic farmers and keeps us in the loop.

At the big organic markets like Whole Foods, the meet practically comes with a pedigree...which ranch, what the animal was fed, a few tidbits about its life and death ("free range;" "humanely harvested;" etc.).

I've always been puzzled about how people who can talk articulately about the importance of "quality of life" for farm animals and against the too-often casual horror of factory farms — as a journalist, I have been to factory farms where my initial response was to torture the owners — then be vehemently against hunting.

It's no secret that I don't eat a lot of meat (although judging by my endless weight problems I must eat everything else!). I got out of the "habit" when I was running traithlons and I discovered that one of the trackable elements in my performance was what I had eaten the previous few days before a big race. A lot of meat — epecially red meat — translated into slower times.

At the same time, I fell victim to a horrific family history of high blood pressure and heart disease...the short story is most of the members of my family who didn't manage to get shot died from complications of high blood pressure/heart disease. I chose to control my blood pressure through diet and exercise. QED...hello Mr. Salmon! Hello Ms. Beans and Rice! For the sake of argument, a few years back I declared "turkey" a vegetable, and there is no better turkey than that havested with a shotgun — no steroids; no antibiotics; no growth hormones; a free-range omniverous diet; and, hell, he had a life! He fought for hens and passed his DNA along down the line before he ended up on my plate. He died quicky and humanely, which is pretty mucy all any of us can ask...
While many people will never give up their opposition to killing Bambi, others may change their minds when they realize that destroying a deer’s reproductive abilities or relying on the automobile for population control is really no less wasteful than tossing fresh produce into a landfill.

Maintaining the ability to cull semi-rural and suburban deer herds is just one of many struggles facing hunters today, along with battling land development on wintering grounds, limiting oil exploration in our last wilderness strongholds of Alaska and combating the introduction of livestock diseases into wild animal herds in the Midwest. But an emphasis on resort-based quail shooting and whack-’em lingo are not going to persuade the critics.

Hunters need to push a new public image based on deeper traditions: we are stewards of the land, hunting on ground that we know and love, collecting indigenous, environmentally sustainable food for ourselves and our families.
Excellent story!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

M4 Gums Up in Dust Tests

This from the Army TIMES:
Newer carbines outperform M4 in dust test

The M4 carbine, the weapon soldiers depend on in combat, finished last in a recent “extreme dust test” to demonstrate the M4’s reliability compared to three newer carbines.

Weapons officials at the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., exposed Colt Defense LLC’s M4, along with the Heckler & Koch XM8, FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and the H&K 416 to sandstorm conditions from late September to late November, firing 6,000 rounds through each test weapon.

When the test was completed, ATEC officials found that the M4 performed “significantly worse” than the other three weapons, sources told Army Times.

Officials tested 10 each of the four carbine models, firing a total of 60,000 rounds per model. Here’s how they ranked, according to the total number of times each model stopped firing:

• XM8: 127 stoppages.

• MK16 SCAR Light: 226 stoppages.

• 416: 233 stoppages.

• M4: 882 stoppages.

Romney Shoots Self In Wee-Wee!

I've been waiting for somebody to JUMP ON THIS...yes, Mitt Romnet supports a new assault weapon ban. This from Bob Owens at Pajamas Media:
Grilled by Tim Russert on Meet the Press this past Sunday over his past support for controversial gun control laws, Mitt Romney reiterated his support for a ban on “assault weapons,” a detail most observers in the media duly forgot.
Romney’s answers to Russert’s questions smacked of either ignorance or pandering (my emphasis below).

… I signed—I would have supported the original assault weapon ban. I signed an assault weapon ban as Massachusetts governor because it provided for a relaxation of licensing requirements for gun owners in Massachusetts, which was a big plus. And so both the pro-gun and the anti-gun lobby came together with a bill, and I signed that. And if there is determined to be, from time to time, a weapon of such lethality that it poses a grave risk to our law enforcement personnel, that’s something I would consider signing. There’s nothing of that nature that’s being proposed today in Washington. But, but I would, I would look at weapons that pose extraordinary lethality…

And moments later:

… We also should keep weapons of unusual lethality from being on the street. And finally, we should go after people who use guns in the commission of crimes or illegally, but we should not interfere with the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns either for their own personal protection or hunting or any other lawful purpose.

In Mitt’s world, what constitutes extraordinary or unusual lethality?
This is a turning point. A vote for Mitt is a vote for a new assualt weapons can't keep the scales over your eyes any longer!

Michael Got Waterboarded By A Reindeer...

...ho ho ho...

Sorry for the light blogging...I've been spread pretty thin over the last couple of weeks. In fact, as I sit here typing on my laptop, I can hear the phone ringing off the hook in my office. If you're one of hte people calling, I'll get back to, just a minute...

I wanted to make a couple of points on my previous post on Richard Feldman. My first point is on the word "compromise." If you remember the old movie (and subsequent television series) The Paper Chase back in the 1970s, you might recall the sonorous voice of law professor Charles W. Kingsfield opening statement: "Contracts are the basis of all civilization..."
Setting aside the fact that I live with a contract attorney, I've come to believe that Professor Kingsfield was right...contracts — legal, social, personal — are part of the bedrock of our culture. Now let's talk about the word "compromise," which Professor Kingsfield said was how we get to "contracts." If I remember correctly, the good professor defined compromise as, "Side A gives something; Side B gives something and there is a meeting of the minds."

Now, let me give you Richard Feldman's and the antigun lobby's definition of "compromise:" "Side A gives something; Side B says that's a really good start, so what are you going to give us next?"

The modern antigun movement has been amazingly consistent since Pete Shield outlined the goals of confiscation back in the 1960s — get what it can get and ask for more. Every so-called "compromise" has resulted in us giving ground while the antigun movement asked for more more more. To the best of my knowledge, there has NEVER been a "compromise" as described by Professor Kingsfield...instead, we give ground and the antigunners ask for, or take, more.

That is because the antigun forces in this country — and there are not and never were enough of them to make up a "movement" despite the complicity of the MSM — have never changed their ultimate goal...the complete disarming of the American people.

Think about it. The reason they don't compromise is that they believe in the end they will triumph.

For all those people who are critical of the NRA, tell me what is the correct response when one side absolutely will not compromise?

I suggest that the only sane path in that situation is for Side A to also refuse to compromise. Unilateral actions, like those suggested by Feldman and the "third way" crowd (which is indeed a very small crowd, consisting apparently of Feldman and his right hand), simply lead to Side B asking for more.

In fact, we are winning. Brady's and the VPC's budget is in the toilet...they can't raise money because their time has past. Politicans are terrified of the words "gun control," lest they end up shoveling chicken feces rather than raiding the public coffers. The Supreme Court is very likely to ratify the standard, individual interpretation of the Second Amendment next year, through gun ban laws in Washigton D.C., New York City and Chicago out with the garbage. The Concealed carry movement continues to grow nationally.

Do I have problems with the NRA? Of course, and I have never been shy in making those problems known to the NRA honchos. I also acknowledge the NRA is our primary weapons system in fighting antigun initiatives. Why would we want to cripple our primary weapon???

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Shape of Disinformation

Back when I used to teach businesses how to deal with the media, there was a point in my seminars when I had everyone stand up, raise their right hands and sewear this blood oath: "We will not spin!"

Spin in media is exactly like spin on a cue ball in pool, a little "english" on a news item to make sure it goes the right direction. I used to tell my seminars that there is another word for spin, and that word is, "Lie." Funny how that works.

Spin is the handmaiden of disinformation. Disinformation is false "information" — a lie — released for a specific purpose, essentially the information equivalent of a bullet. The old Cold War Russians were masters of disinformation...I've read declassified papers that evidenced a profound understanding, better than our own understanding, of how media works in a free society.

So what got me to thinking about spin and disinformation on this beautiful Saturday morning? This Washington Post column by industry turncoat Richard Feldman. Here's the "nut graf:"
What we do have, though, is an organization whose senior leadership is dedicated to keeping the gun debate alive and burning in the American consciousness, for its own self-serving and self-preserving reasons. That organization is the National Rifle Association.
Of course, it's a reprise of the theme from Feldman's recent book Riccochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist, which was quite popular with the East Coast intelligencia and no one else. Feldman casts himself as a centerist, the voice of reason in the middle of the gun debate. he is, of course, neither of those things. I have met the man, and his need to be "important," to be somebody, oozes from the pores of his skin. He is Sarah Brady in a cheap suit.

That said, the WaPo story is a masterful piece of disinformation; I seriously doubt Feldman could have constructed this without substantial input from some of Brady's or VPC's professional spinners. There are several preconditions for disinformation to work:

  1. It has to be very close to the truth.
  2. It has to be targeted precisely toward the preconceived notions of the target audeince.
  3. The author of the disinformation must be perceived by the target audience as having standing.
  4. It It needs to have a simple message.
The simple message of Feldman's piece is that the NRA is evil. This message was no doubt constructed because all the other messages from antigunners have feiled. Quite simply, the antigun message has failed failed failed. I agree with the premise that there hasn't been an antigun lobby in the U.S. for a long time...rather, a few northeastern uber-liberals, with the complicity and active participation of the MSM, have presented their antigun beliefs as if they were part of a movement.

Since that message failed, the antigunners need a new message, and Feldman, weasel that he is, has been happy to provide it — the NRA is evil. It's no secret to you guys that I have at times had my differences with the NRA on some elements of policy. However, you all also know that at the same time I unequivocally support the primary mission of the NRA — the protection of the Second Amendment — with which they do a superb job! Given that this is an election year; given that the Second Amendment is before the SCOTUS; given that we are holding onto a slim victory, an attack on the NRA is a calculated attack on all of us. Believe it!

BTW, here's my favorite part of Feldman's perfectly demonstrates the fundamental concepts of disinformation:
I've been down this road more times than I care to count. But the truth is that much of the public debate over gun rights and gun control is disingenuous. Gun owners of every stripe -- liberal, moderate, conservative -- and non-owners alike can and do agree that violent criminals, juveniles, terrorists and mental incompetents have no right to firearms. Federal and state laws, despite poor enforcement by the courts, underscore that. Further, there's no significant debate -- nor should there be -- over private ownership of guns for lawful purposes such as target shooting, hunting, self-protection and collecting.
"No significant debate????" What planet is he living on? Obama is in favor of banning handguns; Mitt in favor of banning "assault weapons;" attacks on firearms ownership still come from every corner. But by phrasing this paragraph the way he did, Feldman implies that the debate is long over, so why would we need an organization like the NRA?

Ah, weasels will be weasels,won;t they?


Friday, December 14, 2007

An Invaluable Resource!

I haven't mentioned this in a while, but John Farnam's regular Lessons Learned Quips are an invaluable source of information. He makes an intersting point that serious, and pricey, battle rifles are flying out the door of shops here in Colorado:
Consistently strong sales of all the foregoing indicate to me that, at least here in CO, people (many who never thought about owning a serious gun until now) are heavily arming themselves with serious weapons. Apparently, government's dubious "we-have-everything-under-control" message is getting lost in the translation!

I Am Steroid Free and Not On Strike!

Yes, it's true! I'm still writing and, amazingly, am not injecting human growth hormone like vitamin B12 before an Ironman! Wow...hard to imagine how I've gotten this far...

Anyhow, I note that Leonard Cohen has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As many of you know, strange rock lyrics weave through my haphazard life. It was, in fact, a Leonard Cohen song (along with a blast of teenaged hormones and that ole debil sex) that convinced me I wanted to grow up to be a journalist. Hey, so it's not a burning bush, but it beats the hell out of my high school guidance counselor, who said that...Yes!...I could aspire to one day...wait for the angels' chorus — own a Volkswagen dealership!

Sigh...somehow I was never able to dream that point here, and there was a point...I that Leonard Cohen also wrote my favorite depressing song in the world, The Future, from Natural Born Killers:

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant...

Say, there's some Yule cheer for you!

Actually, for all it's nihilism, it's a prophetic song (as is Natural Born Killers).

So what's on my mind beside the future? Very interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle on the nightmare world of Oakland, CA, which echoes Cohen's song:
Many of the convicted killers were quasi-homeless in grade school, moving every 90 days on eviction cycles, or bouncing between friends' and relatives' homes, where they slept on recliners and couches and floors.

Inside the home is pure chaos. Typically, they live with a third-generation relative, an elderly grandmother or aunt, who also opens her home to several other wayward relatives. They all pile into one home, bringing their boyfriends and girlfriends and their children. There's no particular person in charge, no house rules, and people come and go.

Often it's in these houses where young boys first learn how to hold a gun, how to break a rock of cocaine into dime and nickel bags for sale.

Without parents to help them mature, the mental world of these young killers stays stuck in an infantile, egotistic state, said forensic psychologist Shawn Johnston, who has conducted more than 15,000 court evaluations of adult and juvenile criminals in 15 Northern California counties.

"What keeps us from killing each other is empathy, and we learn it from bonding with parents who pick us back up when we get hurt or teased as children," Johnston said. "Without it, you get guys who live in a constant state of protecting the fantasy that they are the most important thing this side of the Milky Way. And because they don't have empathy, they will shoot or stab to protect their illusion."
Clayton Cramer offers an interesting take on this article on his blog:
I'm not quite sure what can be done to fix places like Oakland. There is a tipping point where such a large fraction of the population are engaged in socially destructive behaviors that it is difficult for the government to fix the problem. As the article points out, it is difficult to get witnesses to testify in murder cases in Oakland, because snitches die. The honor violence culture of the Old Southwest, while it had problems (because juries were reluctant to convict), at least did not have this climate of fear preventing the justice system from trying to work.
Guns? You want gun stuff? Hey, it's Friday! What could be going on in Gun World? Oh, all about even as we speak, the Three-Headed Dog is feasting again. My cherubs and seraphim tell me that Cerberus Capital Management, which now owns roughly 28% of what's left of the civilized world, has snagged DPMS to add to their portfolio of Remington, Bushmaster, Cobb and heaven knows what else.

I know what you're can Cerberus spend this much moolah? As my friend Jim Shepherd of The Shooting Wire says, Cerberus has so much money that the entire firearms industry is nothing more than a rounding error in Cerberus' accounting department. In any case, the Three-Headed Dog is now the big player in black rifles.

I imagine that Colt Defense, still clutching to their military contracts for M4s, is sweating the next military contract!

There's also rumblings that the Air Force Future Handgun program is showing zombie-like signs of life after being peed on by Congress last April (and suffering a scathing analysis by the Heritage Foundation in July). Rumor are that the Marines, who have been sulking ever since they lost their 1911 .45s, would jump on board as long as the new pistol is in John Browning's favorite caliber.

So long for now...gotta go make arrangements to get a red fluorescent cloned's the future, doncha know...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Importance of Standing Up

There were always a lot of stories floating around about my grandfather, my father's father — that he'd been rich once and lost it gambling; that he was a life-taker, a moonshiner, a cock-fighter, a hard man in a time of hard men. The one certainty was that his word was good to the ends of the earth. I can't even begin to sort out truth from fiction, and it truly doesn't matter anymore. I bring this up because my grandfather once chastised me harshly, and that verbal slap became one of the cornerstones of my life.

I was in high school or early college, my brain the consistancy of chicken noodle soup, and I was whining about how complicated the world was. Whine was all so does a thoughtful person like moi separate wrong from right...blah blah...

The old man stopped me dead...don't be an asshole, he said (although not so kindly), the world is actually very simple. There are people who stand up, and people who don't. That's all. Spend time with people who stand up; shun people who don't. Simple.

Yeah, I ignored him at the time...of course, he was right and I was an asshole.

Stand or not. Simple.

That's why I'm still supporting Fred Thompson. Of all the people who want to be President, only Fred had stood. read this piece from NRO, who have cast their lot with that miserable whore Mitt Romney:
Something has happened to Thompson in recent weeks. Yes, his schedule is still astonishingly light for a presidential candidate. And yes, he sometimes still underwhelms audiences. But in the last month or so Thompson has acted like a man who has been liberated from something. And that is what voters saw on stage Wednesday: a presidential candidate who has declared himself fully free of the stupid stuff one has to do to become president of the United States.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And May All Your Christmases Be...Weird!

Michael's Last Minute Shopping Guide for the Mentally Deranged

Okay...I know you're going crazy. You've got that one tough spousal unit, uncle, rug rat, stalker, whatever to buy for, and you're stumped. Never fear! Under-Mike is here! Once again, with five quick gift choices I've ferreted out over the last year to solve even the toughest problem giftee!

1) USB Missile Launcher with "Level 3" Laser Targeting!
Use your computer to shell the dweebs in adjacent cubicles with a level of precision you only imagined! Annoy virtually everyone! Get your kids started on a career early.

2) Build Your Own Siege Engine!
In only 45 minutes you can build your own working trebuchet, just the thing if you spent last year building a giant Lego castle. Also excellent for launching cheap Chinese firecrackers at the cat.

3) Slutty Japanese Anime Figurines
The pix above is from Queen's Blade, and she's pretty moderate by Japanese standards. Sure, they're expensive, but they virtually cement your position as the Neighbor Most Likely To End Up On "To Catch A Predator!"

4) Zombie-Wear!
Just the thing for my legions of undead fans! These t-shirts and other zombie wear apparrel will set you apart from the shambling crowd and surely offend most of your in-laws. I'm particularly fond of the Zombie Last Supper...

5) Unusual Human Skulls!
I'll bet Uncle Bob who has everything doesn't have one of these babies! You can get natural deformaties, death by violence (like the hapless dude above with the quite literal hole in his head) and an interesting selection of other bones.

6) Gigantic Jamaican Fruitcakes!
Jah provides, mon! These fruitcakes can be stored for long periods of, say, decades...because of the high alcohol content. And they get better with age! Just like me and you!

7) Action Figures from the movie 300!
Awaken your toddler's Inner Spartan with these wonderful action figures from my favorite movie of the year (or was it last year?) can be King Leonidas, Queen Gorgo, or your own Spartan cape replica! In no time at all, the little tyke will be screaming, "THIS IS SPARTA!" and assaulting your Persian cats.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Notes From Brother Ted...

...Nugent from last April on CNN. Still applies...:
No one was foolish enough to debate Ryder truck regulations or ammonia nitrate restrictions or a "cult of agriculture fertilizer" following the unabashed evil of Timothy McVeigh's heinous crime against America on that fateful day in Oklahoma City. No one faulted kitchen utensils or other hardware of choice after Jeffrey Dahmer was caught drugging, mutilating, raping, murdering and cannibalizing his victims. Nobody wanted "steak knife control" as they autopsied the dead nurses in Chicago, Illinois, as Richard Speck went on trial for mass murder.

Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.

Common Sense Gun Legislation I Can Get Behind!

Gun-Free Zone Liability Act

Originally introduced in Arizona as The Defenseless Victim Act of 2002, this bill recognizes that gun-free zones, recklessly made and typically with no alternative security provided, are known to be extremely dangerous.

We have seen this (when the bill was first introduced) in the Wakefield, Mass., slayings, the Luby's Massacre, and even the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, where pilots and passengers were defenseless, in the false name of security. Congress responded to that with the "Arm The Pilots" law.

The death toll from gun-free zones continues to mount, with the 2007 Virginia Tech slaughter of helpless students and faculty, and at a Christmastime massacre that year in an Omaha shopping mall. The mall had "no guns allowed" signs to keep out FBI-certified citizens with CCW permits. The murderer, as in all such cases, disobeyed the signs. The news media continues to suppress stories where armed individuals stop such mayhem. See for example, The Bias Against Guns, by John Lott, for numerous egregious examples. You can also read this eloquent gun-bias editorial online.

The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act basically says that, in public places, if you create a dangerous gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes. There is no cost or budget item associated with enacting this bill.

The idea that gun-free zones are safe is fraudulent.

It is a mythology perpetrated by anti-rights activists who can often be recognized by their beliefs that:

1 - self defense should be illegal,
2 - guns should be confiscated,
3 - no one but "authorities" should have guns,
4 - government can take care of you better than you can.

The anti-self-defense lobby would tell you to rely upon the police for your safety, but they always omit the inconvenient facts that:

1 - police have no legal duty to protect you;
2 - they routinely respond only after an event to pick up the pieces;
3 - when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.
I wonder if it might be possible to really get this on the table (it has been seriously discussed in Arizona and Georgia legislatures). As theauthors note, even forcing the concept of gun-free zone liability intothe general discourse would have an excellent effect — public property owners would start thinking in terms of civil liability as well as criminal liability.

If I am ever involved in a mass shooting in a place where I am forbidden to have my legal gun, you can bet I will be filing a spectacular lawsuit against the property owner, all the associated businesses on the property, every single corporate entity involved, plus their spouses, pets, kitchen appliances and anything else I can think of.

I think it is appalling that the MSM continue to parade their antigun David Hardy's Arms & the Law reporting. The newspapers and electronic media should be trumpeting that an armed civilian stopped a madman's slaughter...but that would go against their deeply held religious belief that we are all incapable of protecting ourselves and need Big Brother 24/7.

UPDATE...from the Denver Post this AM, two other male church members with CCWs drew theirguns but apparently froze:
Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said. [Larry Bourbonnais is a Vietnam vet who, like Jeanne Assam, ran toward the sound of gunfire]

Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.

"Give me your handgun. I've been in combat, and I'm going to take this guy out," Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. "He kept yelling, 'Get behind me! Get behind me!' He wouldn't hand me his weapon, but he wouldn't do anything."

There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn't fire, Bourbonnais said.
Compare this to Assam, who walked toward the shooter, firing as she walked and shouting repeatedly, "Surrender! Surrender!"

As I have said repeatedly, it is truly impossible to look in the rearview mirror at a chaos event. It's easy to say what we might have done, because we weren't there. I do think it is worth a broadbrush after-action report:
1) Jeanne Assam went to cover at the sound of the first shot (as she said in her CNN-reported press conference).
2) She quickly realized she was in an "active shooter" situation, which totally changed her mindset and her tactics. Instead of "go to cover and defend" — the most basic self-defense tactic — she shifted to "engage and attack" — the only response to an active shooter surrounded by targets.
3) She broke cover and engaged the active shooter.
4) She also verbally engaged the shooter, which served two purposes — it gave the shooter the chance to live, and it distracted him from his deadly rampage. We should also note that the unarmed Larry Bourbonnaise also verbally engaged the shooter, which got Bourbonnaise wounded but bought time for Assam.
5) Assam shot on the move.
6) She apparently kept firing until the threat was neutralized. I have seen it reported that she fired 10-12 shots in the encounter.
I can't speculate on the two armed men who didn't engage...we simply don't have enough information. I will say that violent encounters in reality are never what a person imagines them to be beforehand. That is what we train. And train and train. Assam is a former LEO,so I am making the assumption that she had at least academy training.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Stand

"There was chaos," [Jeanne] Assam said, as parishioners ran away, "I will never forget the gunshots. They were so loud."

"I saw him coming through the doors" and took cover, Assam said. "I came out of cover and identified myself and engaged him and took him down."

"God was with me," Assam said. "I didn't think for a minute to run away."

Assam said she believes God gave her the strength to confront Murray, keeping her calm and focused even though he appeared to be twice her size and was more heavily armed.

Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, said Sgt. Jeff Johnson of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
"It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," she said.
What can one say in the presence of true heroism? The news reports here say Ms. Assam kept moving toward the madman, firing shot after shot. And she hit again and again and again.

I read an article last week that asked what kind of gun control could have stopped the shootings in Omaha. Now we have an answer to that question...the kind of gun control exhibited by Jeanne Assam.

A gun, said Allan Ladd in Shane, is a tool like any other, as good or as bad as the man — or woman — who uses it.

Tomorrow I'll post about the MSM response; tonight we mourn the fallen and rejoice in a brave woman's stand.

Congrats to the MSM!

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
Its interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Don Henley
Dirty Laundry

This morning congratulations are in order for the Mainstream Media (MSM)! Yes, once again their mindless, soulless panderings to a dead madmen have helped empower another unbalanced person to go on a spree. The difference in Colorado Springs, of course, was that the shooter ran into a woman with a gun, an armed security guard at the New Life Church.

Our friends over at Say Uncle have a complete rundown of mass shootings abruptly stopped by armed citizens, sometimes at the cost of their own lives.

Maybe it's time we considered "reasonable restrictions" on the First Amendment...

BTW, sorry for the light blogging...was bouncing around the country like a deranged ping pong ball...

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm Mad As Hell...

...about the Omaha mall shootings. Once agin, we've got a mentally deranged whack job who announces to everybody in his whole miserable environment that he's "going to be famous," steals a gun and, in fact, becomes famous.

Note to morning television...congratulations! You've given a psychopath exactly what he wanted and fueled the sick passions of thousands more. YES! You can become famous in America by killing people! Your friends will get interviewed on national television; your mom can sob on camera; Famous People will visit all your haunts. You're dead, but hey, for a few sick minutes, everybody knows your name!

This should never have happened. The sign above is from an Omaha mall across town from the shooting by owned by the same management company. Click on the pix to read Point 14, which creates the gun-free zone. There was a lot of publicity when Nebraska finally passed their "shall issue" legislation that property owners would have the force of law behind them if they chose to post their property. How'd that work out for you mall owners? If guns were allowed in the mall, the sick mope would have probably stayed home and hung himself quietly.

BTW, regular commenter Joe Merchant, who lives in Omaha, is one this one!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gun Free Zones

On the Nebraska mall shooting, I'm getting unsubstantiated reports that the mall has removed the "No Guns" signs from their little gun-free zone paradise, lest someone take a picture of them. Here's background from Fox:
But despite the massive news coverage, none of the media coverage, at least by 10 a.m. Thursday, mentioned this central fact: Yet another attack occurred in a gun-free zone.

Surely, with all the reporters who appear at these crime scenes and seemingly interview virtually everyone there, why didn’t one simply mention the signs that ban guns from the premises?

Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.
Also read John Lott's paper on Multiple Victim Public Shootings for background:
Our results are surprising and dramatic. While arrest or conviction rates and the death penalty reduce normal murder rates, our results find that the only policy factor to influence multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws. We explain why public shootings are more sensitive than other violent crimes to concealed handguns, why the laws reduce both the number of shootings as well as their severity, and why other penalties like executions have differential deterrent effects depending upon the type of murder.
I'm with law professor and InstaPundit guru Glenn Reynolds on this one...these smug bastards post their "No Guns" a business posts such a sign, then the business (or university or whatever) should be legally obligated to provide the protection they're denying individuals...if they fail to do so — as has been the case in all the gun-free zone shootings — then all the victims and their families should sue the facilites into well-deserved bankruptcy. Make the smug bastards pay!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Here's a really interesting video from The Smoking Gun, sort of a modern version of the Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train." You gotta go there to watch itm but come back here and let's do a little discussing.

In short, the video is of a subway mugging on the A Train in NYC...a girlpack works up its nerve to clobber a fellow subway rider. The other subway riders of course do nothing except record it on a cell phone and post it to YouTube.

Assuming you've watched the video, what are the Lessons Learned?

Let me start things out here:

• Predators come in both sexes! Shocking, isn't it?
• A bunch of teenaged girls can do the macarena on your head every bit as good as one drunken streetfighter.
• Avoid public transportation...I lived in NYC a long time and took trains because I was dirt poor. When I visit now...I walk or take a cab.
• Know when to engage verbally...and when not to.
• Fight back? There's a concept!


Wilderness Tactical Sale!

My pals at Wilderness Tactical are having a Christmas sale, as well as introducing a slew (a Southernism meaning "many") new products.

The Wilderness makes the great SafePacker firearms carrying bag, the greatest gunbelts in the world and the uber-useful Zip Slide belt holster.

The SafePacker is now finally available in coyote, Mossy Oak cammie and digital cam.

They're also doing "tactical Hawaiian shirts..."

You so gotta love these guys! Go buy something!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Find out what it means to me...

BTW, does the teddy bear pix offend you? Tough've come to the wrong place. To the best of my knowledge, I don't respect any religion, except maybe the Force and that's only because of Yoda. Which brings me to my point, relatively quickly for me...I respect people.

And that respect is invariably earned. I have met some holy men and women in my travels who have my utmost respect. Interestingly enough, they're from a pretty wide sweep of religions. As for the Prophet, when I spoke the eulogy at my father's funeral, I chose words from the Qur'an, a book that — unlike most of those other morons waving signs to kill this person or that person — I have actually read.

Cute bear, huh? A tip of the ole AK-47 to Seeker-Two for the link!

Monday, December 03, 2007

In Case You Can't Get That Mohammed Teddy Bear...

Billed — quite rightly — as "probably the most annoying device in the world," check out the Sonic Grenade.

Pull the pin and it makes a screeching, ear-splitting noise! You can see it in action here.

Just the thing for the budding jihadist in your home!

Successful Christmas Decoration Implementation

Yes, my Sweetie and I successfully installed the Official Christmas Tree...I'll get you all a picture as soon as I finish the next couple of pots of coffee. We have no ornaments of mayhem like the Urban Outfitters in Sacramento, but I did ask Santa for a teddy bear named Muhammed and a boxed set of RPGs.

I got my new set of cowboy leather from Knights Leather Products (dba Tombstone Leather Products)in San! I was blown away! Super quality and a spectacular mohagany color. And price yourself...the most reasonable prices in the business. Buy 'em quick, boys and girls...these prices can't last...especially since I'm going to be talking about the leather on this week's podcast...

I'm looking forward to shooting cowboy with my Sweetie in the spring. I'm going to campaign a couple of 4 5/8-inch custom Blackhawks in .357. One is my original 1956-vintage Flat-Top redone by Dave Clements; the other one of my 50th Anniversary Blackhawks overhauled by Bill Laughridge at Cylinder & Slide. Rifle will be my usual 1892 Winchester clone overhauled by Steve's Gunz and a Coyote Cap '97 12-gauge. No amount of custom work, however, makes me a better cowboy action shooter...just plain ole boring practice...

No more stalling....gotta go face the day...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

No More Pickles Before Bedtime!

I had zombie nightmares last night...I can't understand why. Usually my nightmares involved running to airports, missed flights, suitcases that won't stay packed, the usual travel stuff. But last night was Full Bore Zombie.

I have to say some of the cinematography was absolutely excellent. One scene in particular was striking...the zoms were swarming out of south Manhattan and had fallen upon some big NYC parade. The parade continued moving north, but becoming less Thanksgiving Day floats and more flesh-eating demons from hell as the zoms worked their way forward. By the time the parade hit midtown, it was being led by a herky-jerky little girl with a cheerleader's baton and blood dripping from her jaws. The cool part was that I could hear millions of cell phones ringing as the remaining people in south Manhattan called their friends at the parade and told them to run, followed by a sweeping Jerry Bruckheimer helicopter shot of the crowd breaking like a wave, which ended focus on the herky-jerky kid and the wall of zombies behind her. Cool!

When I woke up, I was holed up in some top-floor loft looking out the window over scenes of incredible George Romero carnage.

I wish I could remember exactly what I ate...I'd like to know how it ends. BTW, my college squeeze Glenda had a cameo — she got an in-the-crowd close-up and a scream before she was fallen upon and consumed.