Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Sic Temper Moron-us

Exit Dan Cooper...USA Today has the wrap-up, with a bit of liberal handwringing and a great quote from our pal Jim Shepherd at The Shooting Wire.

Call it a little bit better than 48 hours start to finish...I only pray we're as good in getting out the vote!

Have been at Blackwater filming The Best Defense...everything going best case so far...we'll start posting DRTV clips in early December. Will be doing some 1000 yard shooting next week for SG, plus a special episode focusing on Rob Pincus' Combat Focused Shooting...

Got to run...plane door closing!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Ruger Recall!

Now the LCP...the most successful gun launch in recent history...probably my most favorite new gun and my regular pocket pistol.

Jerez...DRTV has the details, and my contacts at Ruger (who are VERY unhappy) tell me they have the fix and the recall will go "smoothly."

Sigh...more as I can get it.

-- Post From My iPhone

Test run of different phone blog so

Still can't cut and paste!

Can now insert stupid photo...except that I have none...

Missing Links

Sorry for missing on phone, which perversely offers no cut- reduced to email posts...

Plus is no cheesy colors, either

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ride For the Brand

Just before I went on vacation, I talked to a good friend of mine
whose business is black rifles.

He was telling me about the conversation he'd had with his wife about
his "next" career should b-HO win the day and our worst fears come to

Ronnie Barrett is a close personal friend, as is Randy Luth at DPMS
and Skip Patel at Bushmaster. This is "personal" for me as well as the
biggest RKBA fight of our lives.

The statement on the Cooper Firearms site was disingenuous and
equivocal at the least. The USA Today article had extensive quotes
from Cooper, which he has not repudiated.

This is more of a sideshow than a real issue, but at the very least
Cooper let himself be "used" by our enemies...he did damage, because
he allowed the MSM a small way to divide us and/or imply that ANYONE
who gives a damn about gun rights might support Obama.

Bush make me ill and most of the Republican "platform" are the
rantings of drooling idiots...but Barack Hussein Obama is the real
deal, the worst case we've always known would eventually turn up on
the national stage.

I have said repeatedly that "no babies get thrown off the lifeboat."

Not this time.

Let's Try This Again...

Am back in The World after four days in Monterey...feel almost human

Am pondering my response to the Cooper Rifle debacle - he's a big b-HO
supporter and allowed himself to be quoted I USA Today...

I'm thinking Zumbo here...Mr. Cooper has exercised his American right
to vote for whom he chooses and his First Amendment right to talk
about it.

That's cool.

Now I think it's time for us to exercise our uniquely American right
to vote with our wallets.

When you sleep with the enemy, you shouldn't be surprised to wake up
with your head shaved.


Sent from my iPhone

Back in the

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, October 24, 2008

Light Blogging Alert!

I'm going to be pretty much absent the next 4 or 5 days...I'm taking a few days off to catch up with things at home and spend some time with my Sweetie, who puts up with more than I can imagine. I was on the road pretty much all of the last 6 week, and the end of the year is a race to finish 2 of 3 of my series (as well refine the pitch for Series #4 and get Series #5 to the first stages).

Don't worry, my DOWN RANGE Radio podcast will appear as usual on Wednesday! BTW, do you guys like the carefully picked music opening we've been doing the last few weeks?

My sources are confirming BIG TIME that the starting gun has gone off, so to speak, and the AR-15 race is off and running. ARs and 5.56/.223 ammo are blowing out the doors; orders are huge. To put my money where my mouth is, I ordered 10 more Brownell's 30-rounders and placed an order with Spike's Tactical for 2 lowers — 1 rifle and 1 pistol lower. One of them will end up a short-barreled SBR.

BTW, I am hearing on and off the reord that urban law enforcement is gearing up for some ugly nights if The Blessed One manages not to get elected and his stalwart, upright supporters take to the streets. Be aware!

Finally, a gun note from David Petzal...Marlin is rolling out a Guide Gun lever action a la Jim West at Wild West Guns:
What grabbed me, though was the Marlin Model 1895SBL. The company has taken note of all the hot-rodded Guide Guns out there and decided to build one of their own. It’s .45/70, all stainless steel, laminated stock, heavy 18.5-inch barrel, an enlarged loop lever, a 5-shot half-magazine, and instead of the usual horrible factory sights, it’s been fitted with the XS Ghost Ring sight system. This consists of a big white post up front and a huge, adjustable-aperture rear. You look through it and the aperture seems to vanish. It’s very fast to use. There is a long rail mount that let you use long-eye-relief scopes or standard scopes.
I'll be getting one of these myself, and so will you after you see the SHOOTING GALLERY episode on the "Tactical Lever Action." I saw the rough-cut on it yesterday (along with several other SGs for the 2009 season), and I was blown away. We're raising the bar again! And wait until you see THE BEST DEFENSE — nothing like it, ever! The daily rushes are spectacular.

Ph, one more note to Brother's okay to be obsessed with Elisha Cuthbert...I mean, she's no Sarah Michelle Geller, but, then again, she's never married Freddie Prinze Jr.!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AR Sales Spinning Up

I'm starting to get reports of AR sales cranking up in the two weeks before the election, with some shortages being reported...more as it develops...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BAR Goes Black Tie

Well, sort of...FNH has released their 7.62 X 51 FNAR semiauto, based loosely on the venerable Browning BAR line of sporter rifles (photograph below). Note the family resemblance; of course FN owns Browning, which explains a lot.

Here's the press release from FNH:
The new FNAR 7.62x51mm from FNH USA is now available for purchase. This time-proven design has been enhanced by a match grade fluted barrel, ergonomic tactical stock system and a steel detachable box magazine. The end result is a highly accurate, adaptable rifle that is equal to any law enforcement, security or tactical sport shooting application.

Key features:

• Every FNAR rifle ships from the factory with a one MOA, or better, accuracy specification.
• The FNAR receiver is built from 7075-T6 aircraft grade aluminum alloy with a hard coat black anodized finish.
• Its 20” match grade fluted barrel, with Mil Spec manganese phosphate finish, is available in light or heavy contours and features a hard chrome bore and chamber and recessed target crown for accuracy and long life.
• The FNAR’s ergonomic, adjustable tactical stock offers three interchangeable cheekpieces and recoil pads as well as five user replaceable shims to fine tune the fit of the rifle to the individual shooter.
• A MIL-STD 1913 accessory rail tops the receiver, and a trio of additional rails is mounted on the stock forearm.

“We have engineered this gun for maximum out-of-the-box accuracy,” says Barbara Sadowy Bailey, director of marketing for FNH USA. “The FNAR is built to the same exact specifications as our U.S. military and law enforcement products, and it is a great addition to our line of high precision long range rifles. The FNAR’s accuracy is unsurpassed.”

The FNAR is available in either standard or heavy barrel configurations with 10 or 20 round magazines.
I handled and shot the toolroom prototype a couple of years ago and liked the heck out of it then. Here's my reasoning...the recent explosive growth in interest in 7.62/.308 semiauto rifles I believe is based on the undeniable fact that, yes Virginia, there are some things you can't do with an AR platform 5.56/.223 rifle.

Now that ARs are in widespread law enforcement distribution, some of those shortcomings are coming to the fore. The primary one is that most teams utilize a sniper/precision rifleman with a bolt gun in 7.62 (or, in rural jurisdictions where longer shots might be called for, .300 Winchester Magnum). The big players are, of course, Remington with their venerable law enforcement series of 700s and FNH with their Special Police Rifles.

A semiauto that could serve double duty as a longer-range sniper rifle and back-up heavy firepower has a lot of appeal (which helps explain the huge growth of AR-10 style, such as the DPMS offerings and FAL heavy rifles). Secondly, FNH must be accutely aware that arch-rival Remington, now part of the Cerberus family that includes DPMS, Bushmaster and Cobb, will no doubt be rolling out their own version of a tactical heavy rifle in .308 based on their R-25 hunting rifles, below, which would be popular with agencies already using the Rem 700s for long-range duties.

You know, you could probably make an argument that the FNAR has one of the most impressive long gun pedigrees in Gun World...a direct line from the original John Browning-designed BAR — still the coolest assault rifle ever made and Clyde Barrow's personal favorite — to the law enforcement-oriented Colt Monitor, which Texas Ranger hardboy Frank Hamer used to slice, dice and otherwise kill the crap out of Clyde and the lovely Bonnie. Then Browning cribbed the name for their new sporting rifle, also a magazine-fed gas-operated semiauto, which wasn't that much like the real BAR, but I'm making a point here!

My little cherubs and seraphim tell me that commercial BARs in .300 Win Mag with lopped-off barrels and suppressors saw service in Afghanistan as a sort of a mid-way between an AR and a full-blown sniper rifle, engaging Taliban targets in the 500-yard range. At those ranges the .300 would be fiercely more effective than a 5.56.

The drawback to the BAR as a tactical gun was the absence of larger-capacity magazines, which the FNAR 10 and 20 round mags takes care of in spades. The light-barrel version clocks in at 9 pounds, about a quarter-pound heavier than the Remington hunting R-25 and consistent with an FAL.

MSRP is $1734.38.

Tuesday Musings

This from NRO's The Corner blog...a votive candle featuring the Messiah, the One, the Blessed Child of Karl Marx and Mayor Daily who will lead us to a holy redistribution of wealth...well. you get the picture. Two weeks left...

Been following Jim Shepherd's writings on the state of the industry (you can follow them yourself on DRTV)'s not good. As Jim notes, all the leisure industries are bleeding as consumers reel in their spending. In truth, I'm doing it myself...if I don't need to buy it, I'm not. Shooting wise, I find myself putting a lot more .22s down range than I used to.

As I may have mentioned, I decided to do a SHOOTING GALLERY and a COWBOYS episode on cool .22s and using .22s as training for specific shooting sports; we'll be filming the SG episode in a couple of weeks down at Whittington. I know it's probably self-evident, but I've had a lot of people tell me that while they liked .22s, they were of "limited utility." HA! I think the relative low costs of .22 alternatives (like conversion units for various guns or dedicated .22s) can be amortized pretty quickly by the difference in ammo (even reloaded ammo) costs...I recently bought 5,000 .22s from Midway USA for less than $300.

Another gun note...there's a pretty interesting thread on point shooting on THE HIGH ROAD. You might want to check it out...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Week!

We just wrapped first week's shooting on THE BEST DEFENSE, and, in short, I am freaking very happy...everything is just falling into place. Rob Pincus and Michael Janich are dead on target, and I think you're going to see a totally different self-defense show. Not the same old string of lame tips and cheesy production values, but a new animal under the sun. I'd like to fill you guys in on what we've been filming, but hell, my competition also reads the blog. I'd rather let them have a nice January surprise when TBD premiers.

I did have dinner tonight with Mike Janich, and it was one of those conversations I wish you could all have sat in on...mostly in philosophy of training, antecedents, etc. It was a far-ranging and fascinating conversation with one of the most innovative self-defense thinkers out there. I hope to bring a lot of this thinking into TBD.

I've also been reviewing the new season of SHOOTING GALLERY that will launch 1 January as well, and I think you guys are going to eat this stuff up. we're having fun, and it shows...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

.30 Remington AR

Here's the specs on the new Remington .30 for their R-15 line of AR rifles from over at Gun Shots:
The idea behind the product is to give .308 Win. type performance in an AR-15 sized upper. The ballistics charts for the new round show give figures for a 125-gr. round in the 30 Rem. AR—or .30 RAR as I’ll call it here for short—versus a 165-grain bullet in .308 Win. Velocities are about the same for both rounds. The .30 RAR exits at 2,800 fps vs. 2,700 fps for the .308 Win. At 400 yards, the .30 RAR is going 1,816 fps to the .308’s 1,966.
I'm not a huge fan of new cartridges, but one never knows, does one? There's a lot of competition in the arena, if you count the 6.8 Remington and the 6.5 Grendel. I'd still rather have an FAL in plain old boring 7.62/.308.

Chinese Gun Culture?

Pretty cool article from WSJ on the bizarre and unlikely rise of Chinese gun culture:
Shanghai -- China's weapons laws are among the world's toughest. Its blanket ban on private ownership of rifles, pistols and even gun replicas is a core tenet of social policy. Still, a gun culture is taking hold.

China may be freer from gun crime than many nations, and official statistics show overall crime on a continuous down trend. Yet, these days, reports about gun crimes turn up as often as several times a week even in the tightly controlled state-run media. The reports are often brief, without much follow-up as cases progress. Still, the splashy gunfights, murders, gun-factory raids and smuggling busts that get reported contrast with China's zero-tolerance stance on guns, and point to changes in criminals' behavior.

But the trend is about more than crime. Guns are now fashionable in paintings and movies, while Chinese-language Web sites and glossy magazines cater to gun buffs. And legal shooting clubs in cities let customers fire away at targets for a fee. Bored with golfing, some affluent businessmen slip into the countryside for hunts.

Even as China's government seeks to keep guns off the street, and shields its massive gun-manufacturing business behind state-secrets laws, it helps stoke the public imagination about guns. Schoolchildren learn to salute the flag shouldering imitation rifles, while state media celebrate the heroism of military and athletic marksmanship.
Cool...I'm for it! Mo' guns worldwide is better.

John Lott on b-HO

From the Philly Inquirer:
This evidence should be sufficient, but I have yet another reason to be skeptical. I knew Obama during the mid-1990s, when we were both at the University of Chicago Law School. Indeed, when I introduced myself to him, he said, "Oh, you are the gun guy."

I responded, "Yes, I guess so." His response, as I recall it, was, "I don't believe that people should be able to own guns."

When I said it might be fun sometime to talk about the question and his support of Chicago's lawsuit against gunmakers, he simply grimaced and turned away, ending the conversation.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Post-Heller Gun Lawsuits

As they say, bring lawyers, guns & money...from the ABA Journal:
Gun proponents say the Second Amendment’s freshly blessed individual right already enjoys fundamental status. “The Heller decision suggests that if a case arises, the 14th Amendment would apply,” says Stephen J. Halbrook of Fairfax, Va., a veteran litigator for the NRA and one of the lawyers in the Chicago challenge. Schenck says his clients also are exploring incorporation arguments under the Ninth and 10th amendments, which reserve for the people or the states, respectively, all rights that the Con stitution does not expressly grant the federal government.

Beyond incorporation and with an ordinance so similar to the one struck down in Heller, the Chicago ban’s future could be dim. Solomon acknowledges that the city hadn’t fully considered substantive issues in the weeks immediately after the Supreme Court spoke. But she adds that the city has no plans to roll over. “I expect we will have more than one argument,” she says.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sorry for Absence & Very Quiet Thoughts

Been humping it on the new series as well as getting in some SHOOTING GALLERYs and COWBOYS...not much time left for blogging!

My friend Don Worsham, who has been suspiciously quiet of late, sent me an interesting email question yesterday — if suppressors (like the Gemtech Outback pictures) are so simple, why are they so expensive? The follow-up question was that if suppressors were moved from the $200 tax stamp to the $5 AOW stamp, would their prices decrease?

Good questions! I think there's a multiple part answer and it's tied to the present primary source of demand, the military. Modern suppressors are ultra-light masterpieces of exotic metals and computer-modeled chambering, because of the military mission design parameters:

1) Ultra-lightweight, for ease of carrying.
2) Ease of attachment; quick on; quick off.
3) No change of zero on the weapon.
4) Effective with modern military weapons and cartridges up to and including the .50BMG and new generation long-range sniper systems.
5) Minimal, if any, maintenance required.

All those design parameters results in a can that requires much more precision machining, especially on the quick-detach, and the use of metals like titanium — always pissier to deal with than aluminum or steel — and future development in ceramics and other exotics to meet weight goals. Secondly, suppressing cartridges like the .300 Win Mag, the .338 Lapua and the .50 requires more R&D time into baffle/chamber design, including what we uninformed might think of as "trial and error." Several suppressor designers have told me that designing the interior landscape of a suppressor is as much art as science, understanding the flow, delay and routing of gasses through that little tube.

With the military as the primary customer, there was/is simply no demand to create a lower-cost, less sophisticated product for civilians. As I've mentioned before, when I was in New Zealand a few years ago, you could pick up a "gun muffler" in a hardware store for around $25 USD. They were aluminum tubing threaded at both ends and used a replaceable baffle system and a slip-on/clamp down connector for a barrel, low-tech but perfectly serviceable for a .22, especially on a long gun.

Should we succeed in moving suppressors to AOW class, I believe there would be tremendous development in what I think of as "mid-range" suppressors, thread-on units for .22s (both handguns and rifles), less exotic "civilian" versions of military 9mm, .40 and .45 handgun suppressors and, especially, a boom in affordable suppressors for the AR-15 system.

You would, for instance, see readily available 14-inch uppers with permanently attached flashhiders (herefore NOT an SBR) that would do double duty as the attachment device for a suppressor, like the SureFire or some of the other systems (I'm thinking Gemtech Piranha system). The function of the AR system suppressors would not be maximum noise suppression but simply throttling down the noise and blast enough to "civilize" the short-barreled carbines. what's the possiblity of any of this coming to pass? According to RealClearPolitics aggregate poll this AM:

Obama 47/9% McCain 42.4%

So I'd say we have about a 42.4% chance of moving suppressors to the AOW category...hell, I'd say a 42.4% chance in keeping our ARs for that matter! I suspect in the new Socialist Workers Paradise that the Dems and their running dogs in the MSM have planned for us, wider availability of sound suppressors isn't going to be high on the list of acceptable ideas.

In other more cheery gunny stuff, my pals at Paladin Press have rerelased THE EARLY JEFF COOPER COLLECTION, four short books the Colonel wrote in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The titles include Fighting Handguns, Custom Rifles, Guns of the Old West and Handguns Afield. All the books feature new introls by Thell Reed, another legend in pistolcraft.

Man, I totally memorized those books back when I was a kid! Getting a new set of them was like finding a bunch of old friends. If you've never ready these books, you need to jump on them right now!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Food Channel Special!

From the UK Daily Mail:
A gay chef murdered his lover, cut out part of his leg, seasoned it with herbs and fried it, a court has heard.

Anthony Morley, 35, chewed one of the pieces before throwing it into his kitchen bin.
The wine? No doubt a nice Chianti...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"American Carol" Trailer

b-HO Attempts to Destroy the Second Amendment

Really...I saw this yesterday from our friend David Hardy over at Of Arms & the Law. Essentially, it outlines a sophisticated campaign by the Joyce Foundation and it's director, Barack Hussein Obama, to actually destroy the Second Amendment though shoddy legal scholarship:
During Obama’s tenure, the Joyce Foundation board planned and implemented a program targeting the Supreme Court. The work began five years into Obama’s directorship, when the Foundation had experience in turning its millions into anti-gun “grassroots” organizations, but none at converting cash into legal scholarship.

The plan’s objective was bold: the judicial obliteration of the Second Amendment.

Joyce’s directors found a vulnerable point. When judges cannot rely upon past decisions, they sometimes turn to law review articles. Law reviews are impartial, and famed for meticulous cite-checking. They are also produced on a shoestring. Authors of articles receive no compensation; editors are law students who work for a tiny stipend.

In 1999, midway through Obama’s tenure, the Joyce board voted to grant the Chicago-Kent Law Review $84,000, a staggering sum by law review standards. The Review promptly published an issue in which all articles attacked the individual right view of the Second Amendment.

In a breach of law review custom, Chicago-Kent let an “outsider” serve as editor; he was Carl Bogus, a faculty member of a different law school. Bogus had a unique distinction: he had been a director of Handgun Control Inc. (today’s Brady Campaign), and was on the advisory board of the Joyce-funded Violence Policy Center.
The plan worked smoothly. One court, in the course of ruling that there was no individual right to arms, cited the Chicago-Kent articles eight times.
The Joyce directorate’s plan almost succeeded. The individual rights view won out in the Heller Supreme Court appeal, but only by 5-4. The four dissenters were persuaded in part by Joyce-funded writings, down to relying on an article which misled them on critical historical documents.

Having lost that fight, Obama now claims he always held the individual rights view of the Second Amendment, and that he “respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms.” But as a Joyce director, Obama was involved in a wealthy foundation’s attempt to manipulate the Supreme Court, buy legal scholarship, and obliterate the individual right to arms.
Read the whole thing, by all means.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Well, we missed the snow but it's a bit nippy this AM. I spent the weekend tryng to sleep off the Permanent Virus, without as much luck as I'd hoped. I'd go to the doctor, but I hate to get that, "keep warm; drink plenty of liquids, blah blah" for a couple of hundred bucks.

Since I felt too generally crappy to stage an expedition to the bookstores in Boulder, I've been catching up on books I've been meaning to read. Last night I was working through Brownson Malsch's biography of Texas Ranger "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas when I came across a photograph (on Page 48) of Lone Wolf's shotgun, a cut-down Browning Auto 5 (okay, maybe a Remington Model 11, the first autoloading shotgun in America...hard to tell from the picture...J. M. Browning designed the thing for FN, who licensed it to Remington, I think) with a hand-tooled leather cover for the stock and, pause for effect, a "silencer." I looked for the picture on the Internet, but couldn't find it...the can is really small, maybe 6-inches long and only slightly larger in diameter than the barrel.

It brought to mind the whole controversy around Javier Bardem's silenced Beretta 390 (at least, that's what the book says) in No Country for Old Men.

The more I look at the Gonzaullas picture, the more convinced I am that it's not a silencer, but a modified Cutts Compensator, like this WW2 Remington Model 11:

One could hacksaw off the front "nipple" on the Cutts and still get some effect from the Compensator, I suppose. The barrel on Lone Wolf's gun looks to be about 14 inches, maybe a bit longer, with the comp. For close in work, it makes since to lop off the nipple on the Cutts, since you'd be going for spread rather than pattern.

Why this should matter to anyone in the entire world, I have no idea.

BTW, I just ordered a Mesa Tactical saddle rail/shelholder for my Serbu Super Shorty 870, my thinking being, "Oh, why not?" Maybe I can win the Tactical Tommy Overwrought Accessory of the Month contest!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Good Gun Control Analysis Post...

...from Howard Nemerov:
Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he is “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment” and will not try take Americans’ guns away if elected.

“I believe it’s an individual right,” he said in an interview following Tuesday’s speech at [University of Nevada, Reno]. “Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear from an Obama Administration.”

But, Obama said, he is for “some common sense gun safety laws.” He said that means keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and children.

“And we need a system that makes sure we can trace guns back to the original owners and dealers.”[1]

What Obama isn’t saying is that in order to “trace guns to the original owners” we must enact national gun owner licensing and registration for each gun purchased. Such policies have both historical and future significance.

There is documented evidence that registration and licensing leads to confiscation, often with horrible unintended results.
This week I'm buying another 10 AR-15 standard capacity should you!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sarah Barracuda Fails to Implode! More at 11!

My Sweetie had a good take on last night's rapidly disappearing Vice-Presidential debate. Did you notice, she said after the debate, which we watched on NBC that it was one of the most important debates in history until Sarah Palin failed to self-destruct, after which is became a hoo-hum so what?

She also remarked that Biden seemed...oily. Of course, I said...that's why we call him"Greasy Joe." Obviously, we're not alone..this from Roger Simon at Pajamas Media:
Tonight, Sarah Palin drove another stake in the heart of those fuddy-duddy reactionaries that constitute our mainstream media. Going toe-to-toe with a senator with decades of experience, she more than held her own, giving lie to the media constructed narrative that she was an inexperienced hick from nowheresville Alaska. It demonstrates once again why the media is held in such contempt. For economic and ego reasons, they consider themselves to be our gatekeepers, but frankly they are not that smart. They are not rocket scientists – figuratively or literally. They are certainly no smarter than Sarah Palin. I would be willing to bet that in a free debate with Katie Couric, Palin would come out the victor. (Frank Luntz’s focus group saw her winning literally by acclamation over Biden.)
But if McCain-Palin actually pull this one out, it is the MSM that will be the big losers here. They have put heart and soul behind Obama without really knowing him. For shame.
You'll notice I haven't made comment on the bail-out...I just don't know. My libertarian baseline, best articulated by Dr.Ron Paul, tells me that the bail-out is a huge, huge mistake. From Dr. Paul:
I believe that our economy faces a bleak future, particularly if the latest $700 billion bailout plan ends up passing. We risk committing the same errors that prolonged the misery of the Great Depression, namely keeping prices from falling. Instead of allowing overvalued financial assets to take a hit and trade on the market at a more realistic value, the government seeks to purchase overvalued or worthless assets and hold them in the unrealistic hope that at some point in the next few decades, someone might be willing to purchase them.

One of the perverse effects of this bailout proposal is that the worst-performing firms, and those who interjected themselves most deeply into mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps, and special investment vehicles will be those who benefit the most from this bailout. As with the bailout of airlines in the aftermath of 9/11, those businesses who were the least efficient, least productive, and least concerned with serving consumers are those who will be rewarded for their mismanagement with a government handout, rather than the failure of their company that is proper to the market. This creates a dangerous moral hazard, as the precedent of bailing out reckless lending will lead to even more reckless lending and irresponsible behavior on the part of financial firms in the future.

This bailout is a slipshod proposal, slapped together haphazardly and forced on an unwilling Congress with the threat that not passing it will lead to the collapse of the financial system. Some of the proposed alternatives are no better, for instance those which propose a government equity share in bailed-out companies. That we have come to a point where outright purchases of private sector companies is not only proposed but accepted by many who claim to be defenders of free markets bodes ill for the future of American society.
I have spent the last 15 years living within my means. I survived the Internet bubble — where I was an almost-a-millionaire on paper for about three days, but since I had risked no cash, so what? — and the housing bubble — where my Sweetie and I opted for a boring 30-year fixed on a house we knew we could afford, much to the derision of some people and even our mortgage broker. Hell, it just galls me to reward fools.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Usual Cheery Self Back in Control!

As we head into tonight's debate, a thought...I wish Katie Couric — that bastion of kissy journalism, the very woman who embraced Sarah Brady and called her one of the most important people in American history, a woman who's IQ is barely room temperature and has single-handedly wrecked the once-great CBS news franchises, a woman who has distinguished herself solely for her collection of expensive shoes — had asked me what magazines and newspapers I read to keep up on world news.

"Well, Katie...I subscribe to RADIO-CONTROLLED HELICOPTERS and through my membership in the .50 Caliber Shooters Association, VERY HIGH POWER magazine...[pause]"

"Michael, I was thinking more in terms of news magazines..."

"Well, Katie, you don't really think in the sense that mammals would be fairer to say that whatever B-Bs your handlers dump into the empty boxcar of your head eventually roll our your mouth and dribble onto your Manolos..."

"But you must read TIME and NEWSWEEK?"

"Whatever for? The liberal spin of the week? The MSM self-justifying lies network? Anna Quindlen's endlessly whining columns? I'd rather listen to Adam Sandler tell fart jokes. Besides, if I brought them into my house, there's a chance Alf the Wonder Beagle might chew them up and get sick..."

"What about newspapers?"

"Stiffer than Charmin, but better than leaves and twigs..."

"Thank you, Michael! Tomorrow, our in-depth study of Paris Hilton's navel lint..."

Snow This Weekend... at the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains. I would say that impending white stuff has thrown me into a blue funk, but in truth I'm already in a funk. I despair about the state of the country, the election, my apparently permanent virus/head cold, a travel schedule that passed sane a few weeks back, blah blah blah.

Yes, I have the best job in the world...yes, I wouldn't change with anyone...but I worry about what my job will look like in a European-style Socialist America. In 8 years, the end of the second Obama term, will I be railing against "knife and bludgeon control?" Posting blogposts on exciting shooting events for your one allowed .22 rifle? Explaining the "new" rules of self-defense that allocate all violence to the state and prohibit any reaction that might lead to the harming of an individual, even if that individual is mugging you?

Will our hunting shows all focus on the gentry's visits to expensive hunting preserves, far out of the reach of the likes of you and I? Will we have to be careful to remain politically correct in all things, being sure to give animal rights crusaders, now with friends in very high places, their own shows as well? Will we see all public lands posted to shooting and hunting, shooting ranges zoned out of existence, shooting and hunting on private lands regulated until it no longer exists?

Will young people, most of whom will have seen firearms only in increasingly violent first-person shooter games, be thoroughly sick and tired of hearing us "old-timers" talk about practical shooting, about AR-15s, about concealed carry, about being able to walk into a gun store and actually be able to choose from among hundreds of guns?

We we learn to live like today's Europeans live...on our knees? Will we learn just the right way to turn our heads and look at the ground when asked for our papers, please? Will we learn to see the cameras as our friends, the public speakers that shout at us for real or imagined social trangressions as thoughtful helpers, the late-night knock on the door as something that always happens to somebody else, who probably deserved it?

Will we get used to the confiscatory tax rates, the income redistribution that rewards sloth and punishes success, the cradle-to-grave government care that smothers our will and our initiative, the medical triage that defines who lives and who dies? Will we object when our own requests for medical care are turned down because we're too old, too disabled, too something? Will we even know when the state decides to pull the plug for our own good, with the best of intentions and the deepest compassion?'s just the cold medication...after all, what could possibly happen in such a short span of 8 years? It's not like the Reich rose, that doesn't work...or like Beirut went from being the "Paris of the Middle East" to a hellish no man's land...nope, that doesn't work either. Yugoslavia? The USSR? Any country in Africa?

Never mind...I'll go take a nap and be my normal cheery self by the afternoon.