Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gun for Sale

For those of you into postal matches, small game, and keeping the neighbors in line, there's this:

Which appears to be at least a replica of a 37mm anti-tank cannon. This item came with a '46 Willys jeep, but the owner has no use for it. All the details here, plus the asking price is $350.

That's right, for the price of a modest revolver, you can be the proud owner.

Good luck.

Montanas Gun Laws

Montana has passed a law declaring that firearms manufactured in Montana, for use in Montana, and never leaving Montana, are exempt from the myriad federal regulations governing such things since no interstate commerce is involved.

Per Wickard v Filburn, if you grow corn on your own property, to feed to your own livestock, you are affecting interstate commerce, since the corn would otherwise have been purchased from someone who might possibly be from out of your state, therefore, under the commerce clause of the constitution, the federal government has the right to regulate your growing of the corn.

That was the logic of the ruling, back in the 30s to enforce farm production limits at the federal level. Obviously the same logic would apply to the manufacture of anything at all, or so I expect the feds would argue.

When marijuana was legalized for medicinal purposes in, I believe Washington or Oregon, the Feds came in a busted the sellers, although the practice was legal at the state level. I don't know if that case was completely settled or not, but Pres Obama has announced that the justice department will, in the future, not pursue such cases.

Manufacture your own firearm in Montana, and dare the feds to come and get it. Assuming you survive the experience, you will then have standing to spend the next 10-20 years working your case up to the supreme court. By that time, the court will have changed substantially, but who knows in what direction. We may be in Carrie Prejeans first term, or Obamas 5th.

Whatever happens, bring lots of money, and lots of patience.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Glock-Nokia Collaboration

Now when the thug waves a knife and demands your watch, wallet, and cell phone, you hand him your watch, drop your wallet, and while he's diving for your wallet, pull out your cell phone and give it to him. Repeatedly, if necessary.

Make! Denver Presentation

Club Workshop, at 999 Vallejo, which is a membership workshop facilities outfit, will be hosting a presentation of the Make! Denver folks (Make! Magazine) Thursday June 18th.

This presentation will be done by members of the Denver Mad Scientists Club who invented robot fighting back in the late 80s, and built the biggest pumpkin launching gun in the state, having tossed an 8-lb pumpkin about 3300 ft.

Presentations will include building fighting robots, and building blackpowder guns.

Attendees are advised to remember the motto of the DMSC:

Summas Scientes, Noli Hic Domi Temptare

(We are experts, do not attempt this at home)

When I recover the URL for their discussion board, I'll put the link here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gun Fun

Shamelessly stolen from the Independence Institutes own website:

Join Us For The 7th Annual Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Party

With Guest Speaker

Sam Wurzelbacher

AKA "Joe the Plumber"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kiowa Creek Sporting Club

Bennett, CO

8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. Advanced Shooters Begin Course

Novice ShootersBegin at 5 Stand

1:00 p.m. Lunch & presentation

Click Here for a Map of the Area

Tickets: $150 Shooter Ticket

$50 Lunch Only Ticket

$15 for the T-Shirt

If I'm employed in time for this, I believe I'll try to go. A local outfit wants to talk to me about a manufacturing engineering position. Everybody think positive thoughts.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How Much Does The President Make?

Find out here.

I thought it was funny.

Career Advice

I have some for a couple of potential career paths, for those of you contemplating trying to have one. First is a QOTD, shamelessly stolen from Samizdata, who quotes Thomas Sawell:

FDR was elected four straight times, and more than once without ever having brought unemployment down to single digits. An economic disaster does not necessarily mean a political disaster. If we could raise the average level of understanding of economics to what Alfred Marshall had in 1890, the vast majority of politicians would be voted out of office."

Thomas Sowell, interviewed in Reason magazine.

Suggesting that if you're considering a career in politics, while majoring in Poly-Sci, you would do well to see about a minor in economics. Money, like leaves on trees, grows on taxpayers, but if you pluck too many leaves, the trees die, or at least move to a lower tax environment.

Secondly, relating to engineering, I have long considered a career as a traffic engineer to be one of the more attractive. It combines the mathematical elegance of fluid dynamics with the social contribution of moving the greatest number of people from their myriad points, A, to equally varied points B in the quickest, smoothest manner possible. You get to serve humanity, reduce pollution, and reduce road accidents, all at one go.

There is only one drawback. Look around you, and ask yourself: Is there any evidence out there that one has ever been hired?

Of course, this may be due to the same problem I encounter designing consumer products. You can make them idiot-resistant, but never idiot-proof, and roads are a perfect example of this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Squirrel Trap

I don't care what Tom Lehr says, what's more fun than Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, is drowning squirrels in your back yard. This year, an untimely cold snap seems to have dashed all my hopes of fruit on the trees, but Sis-in-law is an avid gardener, which is another way of saying the squirrels and rabbits think highly of her.

She installed one of the Billlls Shiva-Like Squirrel Traps in her back yard 3 days ago. Today, she tells me she believes she has caught at least one, and maybe two of the little rodents in it, but is afraid to look, or lift the pipe to extract the bodies.

This is caused by the fact that she's a wimp, but also the tale I told her of once catching two squirrels in my trap, and not realizing that the second one was standing on the body of the first, wet, frightened, and angry. When I lifted the pipe to remove the body, the second bedraggled rodent jumped out of the bucket, and escaped to the nearest tree before I could react.

Let this be a warning, Use a flashlight to check, and let the dog watch while you clear the trap. Any properly doglike* dog will insure that a live squirrel won't make it to that tree.

*As opposed to some of the stupider breeds who wouldn't know what to do with a squirrel if it served itself cooked, with acorn gravy.


That benchmark staple of the pilgrims in 1620 lasted up into the early 1800s in one form or another, Records of inventories of firearms owned by the populace in the early 1770s noted some percentage of blunderbuss, evidently used as fowling pieces, or shotguns. The spread of shot, with a shot cup, as in a modern shotgun, is about 1" in diameter increase per yard of flight. In a blunderbuss, with a real barrel of limited length, the funnel mouth probably acted as a choke to limit the spread to an amount that would leave some to hit the bird at 30 yards or so.
This one
is a barrel I'm helping a friend with. The bore, at the back, is .75" dia x 6.5" length, then expands over the next 9 inches to 1-3/4".
The breech plug
Is made from a 3/4-16 UNF high strength bolt, drilled thru at 1/8", then tapped 1/4-28 for the nipple, and center drilled on the inside. This causes the powder to fall into a recess that will hold it right under the percussion cap, and improve the reliability of firing.
Here's the business end:
Wood will be added at some point, and some kind of lock, but since that's not my department on this one, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for pictures or a report of what 16 dimes did to the backstop.

Fighting Terrorism

Obie made a speech yesterday, in which he called Guantanamo a recruiting beacon for Al-Quaida, which needs to be shut down.
"Rather than keep us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security," Obama said. "It is a rallying cry for our enemies. It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries. By any measure, the costs of keeping it open far exceed the complications involved in closing it. That is why I argued that it should be closed throughout my campaign. And that is why I ordered it closed within one year."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Future of Transportation

Oboe is proposing some rather draconian changes to the CAFE standards for fleet fuel economy. In keeping with the administration of floundering sarcastically instead of doing anything useful, it appears that while it is true that it will accomplish next to nothing, it is also true that it will cost more American lives than the war in Iraq.

The first link is to Keith Hennesy, who presents the sort of discussion that perhaps only an engineer could love. It's for sure the greenies won't like it much.

CO2 concentration (ppm)
Global mean surface temperature increase (deg C)

2030 2060 2100
2030 2060 2100

Bush -0.1 -0.5 -1
-0 -0.002 -0.004

Obama -0.1 -0.7 -1.6
-0 -0.003 -0.007

Sea-level rise (cm)

The comparison is between the Bush proposal, from near the end of his term, to the Obama proposal for higher mileage, and more dangerous cars.

For my part, I don't see either on of these plans doing anything to really justify the cost.

NOTE: This thing is a Corbin Sparrow electric vehicle made near San Jose CA. It never did sell very well, and eventually was sold to Meyers Motors, and then faded out. One was available at the battery plant where I worked, but before my time there. My co-workers who got a chance to drive it described it as "scary" notably if the speed limit was over 40 mph. I liked the platform and thought it would be fun with enough power, and sure enough, the thing has been produced with the batteries removed, and replaced with a 1000cc Harley Davidson engine, which reputedly gives this little go-kart a top speed of 130 mph. Probably gets 50 mpg, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

International News

Maybe the right word here in braggadocio, but the head general if the Iranian army is boasting that he could completely destroy Israel in 11 days, slightly quicker than it took the US to deal with the Iraqi army.

I notice, however, that he hasn't begun marching troops across Syria yet. Perhaps he has some conflicting intelligence that suggests that there are, not one, but TWO Jewish soldiers in Israel, and he doesn't want to lead his army into a potentially fatal ambush.

Bike to Work Day

It's that time again, when the powers that be try to discourage the peasantry from cluttering up the roadways with their junkers, and impeding the flow of city, state, county, and federal vehicles in the execution of their appointed duties. This includes fixing the occasional pothole, and ferrying elected and unelected bureaucrats to important lunches with contractors and campaign donors.

Last year, I had a great job, close to home, to which I rode my bike. I got great encouragement in this from folks as far away as England, who assured me that I would soon be sporting spandex, and exulting in the use of paved roads paid for by the fools in the cars. I don't know how they finance the pavement in England, but on this side of the pond, I get to pay for them weather I use them personally or not. Since my groceries arrive on them, I find this a fine investment.

I was able to bike to work using only about 40% roadway and 60% bike trail. Sweet. Except that on the bike trail, I met up with some kid on a mountain bike, training for some BMX competition or something, who popped out of a blind spot on the trail, and t-boned me hard enough to get me a 4-day stay in the hospital with a fairly impressive and expensive concussion, paid for by yours truly.

This was, hands down, the absolute worst injury I have ever suffered, from any source at all.

At this point, I am concluding that bicycles are the devils own invention, best restricted to 3rd world countries, and very low speed limits. One gear only, suitable for climbing Mt. Everest, or delivering 400 lbs of bananas to the village market.

In support of this, I encourage everybody, on Jun 24th, Bike to Work Day, to either use a motorbike (500cc minimum) or an SUV with the "dumbo ears" mirror set. Use the mirrors to encourage the spandex wearing snobs to ride on the sidewalk, on the trails, or in a 3rd world country. It's for their own good, you know.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Automotive Humor

Got these from my daughter:

Oh my...that e-mail with the car was too funny! Here is one of my own stories.... One evening I was managing the Express facility when a lady came in and asked for her tires to be checked and filled. I told her she had N2 in her tires and we did not have N2 there but we could check and put air in her tires if she liked.
She responded by starting to freak out about having N2 in her tires, so as per her request we let all the N2 out of her tires and then filled them with air. I wanted to find out why the N2 in her tires made her so upset, so I started talking with her about the tires. Her concern was so funny! She was telling me she could not believe a company would put N2 in tires, because if her air bags had gone off, that could have caused major issues! Not understanding what the hell this lady was talking about, I asked what her air bags had to do with her tires and N2?

She tells me "Well when your airbags deploy it takes all the air from your tires to do that, and if the tires had N2 in them, you would die because you would not be able to breath after your car accident?" After having her repeat that and biting my lip so I would no laugh I explained how those systems worked and that no way that would ever happen. She had also told me a story about her changing her tire once and all I could think was " Well...lady did you ever disconnect the air bag line before removing that tire?"

Oh, another good one is that a lot of people don't seem to know is the steering wheel locking. They tend to call in when they are late for everything, and you have to tell them OK put your keys in the ignition, and then jiggle the steering wheel right and left....then you hear the person on the other end say "Oh my god that worked....thanks!" and then they quickly hang up! I don't know, I was taught about that at drivers ed!

When I worked for Grease Monkey I was about to go to lunch when this white Ford van came flying in the parking lot. My manager asked if I could get the guys information then I could leave. I grabbed the clip board and started to walk out. I stopped and saw this guy was haulin some ass! I started to yell for him to slow down and when the others I worked with saw this they started to yell STOP, STOP! The guy that worked in the pit ran toward the wall. The white van came crashing in the bay and fell in the pit! After a quick head count of us monkeys, we could hear a female screaming. We checked the people in the van and found the passenger, a female, was beating the hell out of the driver (her bf?!). While beating him she was yelling " you stupid son of a bitch, you lied to me!! You told me you fixed the van!! I hate you!!"

My manager towed them out of the pit, and the guy then old us he would fix it after he comes back from CA. My manager explained to him that he should listen to his gf and made him fill out paperwork saying that the vehicle was a hazard. It seems the van had a bad brake master cylinder, and he had been using the emergency brake to stop. Good lick to him getting to California. If the car doesn't kill him his girlfriend will.

Governor Vetos Gun Bill

In this case, it's Colorados' own Bill Ritter, vetoing a bill that would have excused CCW permit holders from an additional background check when purchasing a firearm.

Gov. Ritter used to be the Denver DA and has probably never seen an anti-gun bill he didn't like.

As an exercise for the press, the next time he holds a presser, everyone bring a small paper bag. Inflate the bag while setting up, and when the governor assumes the podium, pop it. The betting pool should include such options as "dives behind podium", "orders state police to search all present until the assault weapon is found", and "widdles pants".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Squirrel Trap

I've put these pictures up before, but the title under which it was posted would be misleading, so here they are again.
This is a 4 foot length of 4" dia ABS pipe from Lowes, who sell the stuff conveniently pre-cut to length. The bucket is a household cleaning bucket, filled with water. The pipe is secured to the fence with a small bungee cord so it won't tip over.

You bait this thing by smearing some peanut butter, first a bit on the top of the pipe, and a bit more elbow deep down the pipe from the top. Squirrels can smell peanut butter from blocks away. They sample the stuff on top, then try to get the stuff down the pipe, which is a bit out of reach for a squirrel hanging by its hind legs from the rim of the pipe.
Splish splash, they'll be takin' a bath, and drown in fairly short order. Disposal is up to you, but in my neighborhood, there is a family of foxes who will carry away any freshly dead small animals overnight.

For you Terry Pratchett fans, this is a lot like being a devotee of Offler, the crocodile god. You have a small statue of Offler in your house, in front of which you leave a small offering of meat at night. In the morning the meat is gone, and your life is relieved of minor inconveniences.

If you're the kindly type, I suppose you could modify a wire frame cage to accept the pipe, and add a barrier to close when you withdraw the pipe. The little varmints can then be relocated to a new home, which I suggest should be at least 5 miles away. Select and modify your cage carefully, because the first time an insanely angry, panic-stricken squirrel breaks jail in your car, the novelty of being the cheauffer is going to wear off mighty quickly.

More Air Guns

This one is sort of an exercise in how small you can make a pneumatic spud gun, or how studly you can make a Nerf gun.

I like the incorporation of the bicycle pump into the assembly, as the thing becomes quite portable that way. I suppose the projectiles from my pedal gun would work in it The valve is a lightweight version of the one we used in a D-cell gun with a 1.25" barrel 8'long and a 4" concentric plenum. The length was great enough that a wood base was required to keep the barrel from sagging.
Air is added through a schrader valve located near the rear, on the bottom of the plenum fitting
Opening the valve at the rear allows the internal piston to retract, dumping the plenum through the barrel. There is a spring behind the piston to return it to the forward position. The piston has a rubber sheet glued to it to seal against the back of the barrel.
If you attempt to build one of these, the piston should also have a rubber pad at the rear to prevent it from damaging the back of the gun.

Of course this also means that my next gun post will have to involve gunpowder. OK.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bill of Federalism

Professor Randy Barnett, who writes at Volokh, has put together a proposal for a bill of Federalism, along the lines of the Bill of Rights, in that it contains, as it happens, 10 amendments to the U.S. constitution. It is now in final form, and you can read the text of it here, or, if you're like me and need some explanation of what's going on, you can see the same text here, but with a paragraph or two of explanation attached.

I don't entirely agree with a couple of the amendments, but what I see appears to be something I can live with. The parts about congressional term limits and budget balancing are strong selling points. For the rest, I would suggest reading the thing, and thinking like an incumbent nanny-stater, and see how you could get around any of it,because where there's a will, there will certainly be a way.

The next step is to begin bothering your state congress-critters about demanding a constitutional convention. This isn't as dangerous as it sounds, since the reaction of the Federal congress, when the vote gets to the mark, is to pass the initiative, and forget the convention.

One other thing that professor Barnett brought up is that even if a convention is held, and a ton of outlandish amendments are proposed, none of them go into effect until 3/4 of the states ratify them.

Give this a read, and consider writing your state reps.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Figured It Out

First, a little background. Geoff over at Innocent Bystanders has put together a chart, showing white house predictions of future unemployment assuming the Porkulous bill passed or not.
Note that without the pork, unemployment was projected to max out at about 9%, whereas if all that pork was funded, the rate would top out at a mere 8%. Look what spending $3T can buy you.

Well, here we are, and the unemployment rate has already reached 8.9% over a year early.

Remember that promise about how 95% of us would get a tax break? Here's how that works. When you lose your job, you fall into a no-tax bracket for federal income taxes. To save the world, though, there will be a stiff cap-and-tax on your expenditures for gasoline, heating fuel, and electricity. This will amount to some percentage of the income tax you no longer have to pay, but not all of it. The difference is your tax reduction.

What you are expected to pay this with is left as an exercise for the taxpayer.

What I sort of wonder is what rate unemployment must rise to to make the premise of tax reductions for 95% of the population come true.

Award Winner

I appear to have won the prestigious SayUncle Creativity in Guns Award. I am humbled. Thank you very much. I promise at least one of the next two guns posted here will at least be powered by gunpowder.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

A little bit of hope:

President Obama’s chief economics forecaster said on Sunday that the country was not likely to see positive employment growth until 2010, even if the economy began to grow later this year.

Speaking on C-SPAN, Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said that she expected the G.D.P. to begin growing in the fourth quarter of this year. Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, made a similar prediction last week.

A few weeks ago, the prediction for an upturn was set for mid 09, or end of second / beginning of 3rd quarter. Now they're moving it out.

Obama succeeds daily in doing the impossible.

He makes Jimmy Carter look good.

Quote of the Week

This has got to be the best example of damning by faint praise I've seen in a while. On Knox News, a Knoxville TN blog, in the comments, Mikee says:
Even though CNBC is reviled by actual traders for peddling barely usable info after its usefulness is over, the lack of information on other stations will really stand out in comparison.
What can I say?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pedal Gun Fun

Normally when I shoot a postal match, I shoot carefully, use multiple guns, and try to do well. This usually pays off.
Last month didn't work out well for me including rain, snow or both every weekend, and the loss of about 1/2" off the end of my usual trigger finger, so I decided I needed some humor.
I went to the back porch, and dusted off this

which is a pedal-powered air gun. This entry is Class 5, "other". Very much other.

As you can see, the device is made from an exercise bicycle a neighbor up the street was throwing away, the compressor head from a small garage air compressor, and enough PVC to make something almost like a spud gun.

The bottom half of the gun is 4 feet of 2” PVC, capped on the front, and elbowed at the rear. The rear is connected to a 1 in electric lawn sprinkler valve. 24 volt lawn sprinkler valves will work fine on 12 volts DC, and the drill body I used to hold the battery and trigger was $10 at Harbor Freight. The valve is then connected to whatever barrel I’m using on any given day. I have used barrels up to 4 in in diameter, but given the limitations of the valve and the reservoir size, the practical limit is probably 3 inches. Pictured, is 4 feet of 1 in PVC for the barrel.

The projectiles are made from 12 ga shot shell hulls, with the primer knocked out, and the hole threaded for a 1-1/4” ¼-20 screw. Drive the screw in from the front and add a nut on the outside, grind the bolt to a point, and you’re there. I found that heating the open end and pushing it over a conical form expands the hull to more closely fit the barrel.

For you nit-pickey reloading pros, expanding the hull gave me the same result at 20 psi as an unexpanded hull at 25 psi, so 25% improvement, and more stable flight. 20 psi sounds awfully low, and it is, but this thing is efficient enough that if I go much over that, the projectiles go completely through the plywood backstop, and bury the protruding bolt to the brass into my fence.

Pedaling the gun to build air pressure takes less than 2 minutes of easy pedaling to get 65 psi, so 20 psi takes only about 30 seconds or so. 65 psi will punch a really neat 1 inch hole through a sheet of ½ inch chipboard.

In my back yard, I call this a kids toy. In your back yard, I hope your kids are more than 1/4 mile away. :-)

Anyway, I shot the postal match with this. The gun groups about 5 inches at 10 yards, so accuracy is problematic, but I did say I was doing this for fun, right?

Scoring was fairly quirky too. You start with a score of -12 Trillion dollars, as a deficit, and the target modifies this as you shoot. Positive numbers are added to your deficit, and the -1s are subtracted, with the idea being to reduce your deficit. Notice that the positive numbers count as negatives, and vice versa. Also the last 9 zeros have been removed to imbue a false sense of security, much like real life. The above target netted me a score of -68 trillion.

The second target was better, netting me 67 trillion, so I’m reducing the deficit as I go.

The barrel may be changed by unscrewing the one in place, and screwing in something else.
½” tube fits an AA battery, which I haven’t tried.
¾” tube fits ordinary marbles, the supply of which seems to have dried up.
1” tube fits the shotgun shells, and C-cell batteries, which, at 65 psi will go through a cinder block. Also crab apples, especially in groups.
1-1/4” tube will fit a D-cell battery. See above regarding cinder blocks. This has been chroneyed at 600 fps. Also black walnuts.
1-1/2” is a standard spud gun. Break out the spuds, or fallen fruit from trees.
2” fits an empty caulk tube with a 3/8” bolt about 2” long in the front for weight. These babies will fly about 200 yards in a high looping trajectory that kids love, and are stable like lawn darts. Easy to find and recover when embedded in someone’s skull. Also fits rats.
3” fits the small gourds sold around Halloween.
4” fits squirrels. More on that later, maybe. This is also about the practical limit for this device.

Pictured here is a version of the plenum and barrel I set up to try to deal with a surplus of squirrels. It is derived from a similar arrangement a friend used to deal with rats in his factory.

He connected a 2” barrel to a sprinkler valve, and from there to the shop air supply. The barrel was smeared on the inside with bacon, and the assembly balanced so that the open end of the barrel sat tilted slightly down. When the rat ran up the barrel seeking the bacon, the whole thing tilted back, closing the switch for the sprinkler valve, and launching the rat some 15 feet into a brick wall. One weekend resulted in 3 bloody spots on the wall, and the surviving rats cleaned up the rest of the mess. The device was deemed to be so evil that building another was pretty much a moral imperative, so here it is.

The Future of Transportation

Found at WizbangBlue, here's the future of the US auto industry, or at least part of it. This early prototype, designed by the Germans, and based on an Italian moped, will be produced by the American Mafia (UAW).
Running on 100% US produced corn based ethanol, and with an improved top speed of 35 mph, the 2010 Chrysler "Le Paisan" will replace the bourgeois Le Baron, and become required for purchase by all Americans not in possession of a valid membership card in a state-approved labor union.

Options including a top, and a heater / defroster will become available as soon as a method of extracting a usable amount of heat from the 49cc motor is developed. In the interim, owners are advised to dress appropriately for the local climate, which is expected to change.

The export version, to be sold in England, will be called the "Brown" after the one-eyed Scotsman who is currently impoverishing the country. Operators there will be required to operate the steering controls with the left hand.

Friday, May 8, 2009

High Geek Factor

I have at least a passing interest in coil guns and rail guns, so when someone comes up with a really well done version of one of these, I have to give credit:
The cool factor is significant on this one, and it's enough to convince me to at least consider starting work on an AC voltage rail gun which could become a fully automatic rail gun, done properly.

Found on Firearms Blog, with refrence to the builder, David Eindhoven.

Details on that later, and film at 11 as they say.

When You Can Write Like This..

Women swoon, men stand in awe:

When charming leftists stick their nose into things they don't understand they become ratchet-jawed purveyors of monkey-doodle and baked wind. They are piddlers upon merit, beggars at the door of accomplishment, thieves of livelihood, envy coddling tax lice applauding themselves for giving away other people's money. They are the lap dogs of the poly sci-class, returning to the vomit of collectivism. They are pig herders tending that sow-who-eats-her-young, the welfare state. They are muck-dwelling bottom-feeders growing fat on the worries and disappointments of the electorate. They are the ditch carp of democracy.
RTWT. P.J. is one of my favorite writers. Everybody should run out and buy one or two of his books. Do not drink expensive booze while reading them, as the spray will wast the booze, and make the pages hard to read.

Headline Alert!

Obama seeks to double tax law enforcement budget.

If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax it. I suppose this will help the crooks now filling the administration.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Capitalism Alert

Found at Theo Spark, who probably found it at Townhall Funnies.

DHS may not be amused, but I see a real marketing opportunity here for some fast-moving capitalist.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gun Fun

I missed the last postal match, partially due to being short a bit of my trigger finger, and partially due to several weekends in a row of cold and rain.
Anyway, here's the next one, in the old west tradition of shooting playing cards, we will be shooting an Ace of Clubs, and a 5 of hearts.

Our sponsor this time is Armes Et Tir Passion, which means you can also practice your French, if you like. As usual, it's for bragging rights only, but this time it's for the world championship.

Maybe I'll try shooting this one both left and right handed.

Politics As Usual

Legislation has been proposed, at the Federal level:
Proposed congressional legislation would demand up to two years in prison for those whose electronic speech is meant to “coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”
This thing has attracted 14 co-sponsors already. Admittedly its chances of seeing the light of day out of committee are essentially zero, but still, it's stuff like this that makes a fellow wonder if there shouldn't be some kind of competency test for elective office.

Absent that, perhaps another addition to the proposed federalism amendment mentioned below:

Amendment X: Any person holding office in the House or the Senate who proposes legislation that is ruled to be unconstitutional by a committee of judges selected randomly from the federal appellate courts, shall forfeit his or her seat, and further be debarred from holding federal elective office of any sort forever.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Il Du(n)ce

Kim Priestap of Wizbang is asking if Oboe is, in fact, a fascist, in the classical form of the word. At the same time Obie is announcing that American corporations who do business overseas, are making money overseas, and are not passing his piece of the action back to the capo, him.

I visited Puerto Rico once on business, and noted to my host there that the island had people and a favorable location, so why did it seem less prosperous than I had expected. He told me, apologetically, that the island had no natural resources, and I responded that Hong Kong not only had no natural resources, but had to import its drinking water from mainland China, but nevertheless, featured more millionaires per square foot than any other place in the world.

P.R., as well as Haiti and the Dominican Republic, lies on trade routes between south America and the US as well as between the middle east and south-east Aisa. With a bit of clever writing of the local tax laws, this could become the richest square miles on earth in fairly short order. If I was head of a large and profitable high-tech US company, I think I would be talking quietly with the heads of other, similar companies about providing "economic services and advise" to the heads of some otherwise impoverished Caribbean islands about what would be required to become the New Hong Kong of the 21st century.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Proposing a Constitutional Amendment

Randy Barnett over at Volokh Conspiracy is proposing an amendment that comes in at about the size of the original Bill of Rights. It5 contains some much needed items, including congressional term limits, and limits to the commerce clause.
Article [of Amendment 1] — [Limits of Federal Power]
Congress shall make no law nor delegate any authority, pursuant to its powers in the eighth section of article I, respecting any activity confined within a single state, regardless of its effects outside the state or whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom; but Congress has power to reasonably regulate pollution between one state and another, and to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.
He proposes replacing the income tax with a federal sales tax which would hit everybody. I lean more toward the flat tax, but no matter what, this will also become known as the "full employment for lawyers" clause.

Another interesting item:
Article [of Amendment 4] — [Recision Power of States]
Upon application of the legislatures of two thirds of the states, any law, regulation or order of the United States shall be rescinded.
essentially gives the states a final veto over whatever the Feds do. In practice this was the reason that Senators were originally appointed by the legislatures of the states and not directly elected. A popularly elected Senator is functionally no different from a representative, except that since he controls a larger chunk of the federal pie, his price is higher.

An interesting proposition, give it a read.

Retiring in style

It seems that retirement will be much better than I had anticipated. Fine dining on a budget is now possible with a bottle of California's finest Chardonnay. First dinner. Arriving at Chez Fred, located under the bridge at Sante Fe and Mississippi, with a view of the Platte river slowly rolling by, we leave our shopping carts in the able hands of the valet parking attendants, former stockbrokers and bankers, and are seated at a wire spool. There we order the organic dog food in duck liver mousse,
"Although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are also not able to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are intended for human consumption."

The lesson? Presentation matters. Expectations matter. And, perhaps, that organic dog food is better than you think.
and a bottle of Shaw's California Chardonnay, also known as "two-buck Chuck".
The Chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, with accolades of Best of California and Best of Class.
All this for no more than what you can make by 1/2 hour of panhandling on a moderately busy street corner. So watch old Bowser carefully as you serve up his kibble. what he eats with enthusiasm today will be your gourmet entree in a few years.
Bon appitit!

Vote Fraud

Right Wing News has a post up talking about fraud in recent North Carolina elections. NC is not one of the places you might think of when vote fraud gets mentioned, but then neither is Washington state, where the governor was put into office through a well-organized vote fraud effort.

First of all, a consultant told the audience that some of his opponents would bus into a polling location, hand them a sheet with a name and address on it, have them vote, then take them to location after location where they do the same thing. So, if you're wondering what harm those phony voter registration groups like ACORN collect -- well, now you know.

Another person, who had volunteered to be a poll watcher, told everyone a story about how he saw someone walk into a polling station, go up to the registrar and ask to vote. She asked for his name and address and he said, "Come on, I thought you were going to hook me up!" The poll watcher then stepped in and told the guy to get lost.

A third person, who was just a regular voter, told us this story about the person ahead of him in line to vote. He said the person walked up, told the registrar the street he lived on, and said my name's "Smith." The registrar said, "There's no Smith on that street." He then said, "How about Jones?" Again, the registrar said, "No, there's no Jones on that street." Next, he said, "How about Washington?" -- Long story short, the guy went through five different last names and on the 5th one, the registrar said, "Yes, I found you, sir, you can go vote."

Now, could all of these people be making these stories up? Sure, it's possible, but it doesn't seem very likely.

The article goes on to suggest that proper ID be required when voting, and I think the author isn't being emphatic enough. We should be demanding, in loud and unambiguous terms that such safeguards be put into place.
Expect to be ignored a lot. If honesty is put into place, the Democratic party would face extinction. It wouldn't do the Republicans much good either, but them's the breaks.

If the Tea Party ever adopts a logo, maybe it should include a crossed pitchfork and torch.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Global Warming Strategy

The warmists have noticed that the old "sky is falling" routine of global warming isn't impressing (fooling) nearly as many people as it used to. No less a source than the N.Y.Times reports that ecoAmerica, a study group, is suggesting a change in tactics, or at least in vocabulary to draw attention away from the fact that the climate is cooling instead of getting hotter. Take "global warming" for example:

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

So just try and imagine that cap and trade works to your benefit instead of being a giant tax on your use of energy in any form, inflicted on you by shaggy-haired liberals. Clap your hands while you try to believe, and if you believe hard enough you will also bring Tinkerbell back to life.

BATFE Reform Bill

Even Democrats get behind this one as it lets them claim to be not anti-gun without actually doing much in that direction. Still. S-941 provides some much-needed improvements to the BATFE while removing some of the opportunities for the group the abuse their authority.

The high points of the bill are here for a quick review. Don't forget, when writing your congress animals, to include Rep Dingells observation regarding the agency, posted earlier, and suggest that the real reform of the BATFE would be dissolution of the band of jack-booted thugs.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Got Flu?

This handy chart has been floating around the net for a couple of days now, so as a public service, I reproduce it here.

The problem with it is that some groups/religions/nationalities have been objecting to the use of the word "swine", or "Mexican" to describe the affliction. It has been suggested, and I support, that we call this the "Chupacabra flu". After all, nobody likes the Chupacabra.

You Know Things Aer Tough...

My boss shows up for work this morning telling me that a few blocks up the road, he passed police cars, lights flashing, parked in front of a house, with the little number markers used to designate spent casings all over the street. Passing the alley, there's another car, and more little number pylons.

My first thought was to wander up there and ask the cops if I can have the brass for reloading if they're done with them.

Hey, brass is where you find it.