Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Making predictions is hard. Especially about the future.
                                                 Yogi Berra

Gun Fun - New Shooters

SIL made it to the gun show Sunday and came away with a Ruger SR-22. Eventually she plans to add an SR-9 to the collection on the premise that practice with the .22 will pretty much transfer to the 9mm. The 9 is physically a bit larger and heavier, but all the controls are in the same place so this should work well enough.

I told her to not practice dry-firing the .22 without either a plastic snap cap or a spent piece of brass in the gun to protect the firing pin. Figuring I had one rolling around in the center console of my truck, I tried to find one outside the show. I had 5 pieces ranging from 9mm to 8 ga but no .22. I asked if her gun came with a threaded barrel and she wrote back:

Yes it does. It comes with a little wrench and a black piece to thread in. We'll have to go over it together. Not sure what it's all about. Haven't had time to read the manual yet. It says not to use a cheater bar, can cause damage to the gun. Of course I know what a cheater bar is cause my brother in law taught me that years ago. haha Also enclosed was a small brown sealed envelope with a label and a signature across it. It contained a spent 22 casing. I assume for you to practice with before you try live ammo. They think of everything.
So there is a use for those things. I wrote back explaining that the NYPD or the state of Mass would want it for their collection, but otherwise she's got it right. Normally I don't encourage firearms discussions at work as the person in the next cube might get the vapors or something. I suspect the issue is overrated. SIL works for the government.
I took the manual in to show a few peeps at the office. The older grey haired lady that sits beside me nodded her approval and smiled. The red head on my other side won't like it. The deputy sheriff liked it. The most smiles came from ( her boss). He was all excited about it. He has a 45 with a kit to change caliber. Oh & I have already pinched the skin on my hand with the slide. Duh. Happy New Year & happy anniversary!*
It's her first gun and it still hasn't been fired. She's liking it.

* Five after midnight will be my 34th wedding anniversary. I used to throw some great new years parties.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Colorado Gun Law - Downstream

The Denver Pest is editorializing that Gov Chickenpooper should not only not countenance repeal of any of the gun laws passed this year, he should stand forthrightly against any modification to any of them. Period.
No, governor, there's no need to do it. There's no need to "tweak" the gun laws passed this year. Not without compelling evidence that one or more provisions are simply unworkable — and no such evidence has been produced, as far as we're concerned.
"As far as the Post is concerned", no evidence has ever been produced to contradict any of their positions.  Be that as it may, I'm in perfect agreement with their position, but for different reasons.

The laws in question have resulted in no attributable change in any crime rate, but have resulted in the recall of two Senators and the resignation of a third. Pols like to believe that the public has a short memory and nothing they do will be remembered the day after it is announced in the papers. What we have seen this year is that some of us have rather longer memories than that, and keeping those onerous laws on the books will be a constant reminder to us all the way through the '14 elections.

Sure, supporting repeal or amendment to some of them might boost the governors or some legislators chops as a "moderate" but what for? In the end the legislators will vote the way the Mayor tells them and the Governor will sign anything that lands on his desk and with his party still holding both houses he's unlikely to actually see anything the least bit moderate.

Hang in there Gov!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Gun Fun

IDPA match tomorrow, Tanner Gun Show Sunday. I'll be at the CSSA table.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

Unfortunately about 20% less merry than last year. Should make for some interesting statistics in about a week.

Also those very long term unemployment benefits are about to start running out for the early adopters. Should make for some more interesting statistics over the next few months. Of course there are two possibilities here. Either we're having an economic recovery and all those folks will find jobs and unemployment will go down, or all those folks will simply give up and drop out of the labor force in which case the unemployment rate will go down.

Either way the administration looks good.

Getting Out The Vote

Effective Jan 2, 16 year olds will be able to register to vote. The authors of this new law assure us that with the states new all-mail-in system, no ballots will be sent to underage voters.

I'm sure that anyone 16 years of age on Jan 2 who has turned 18 by Nov 2 will get their ballot in the mail as reliably as getting health insurance from the government.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Peasants Are Revolting!

Following the Chicago town hall meeting in which Al Sharpton found the peasants to be getting restless, the Reverend Jackson attempts to address the problem by changing the subject.
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” he said in the release. “Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”
New definition for White Privilege: Saying something that Rev. Jackson disagrees with while not black.

Making statements "without cover of the law"? We need permission from the government to speak in public now?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Alcohol Can Boost Your Immune System

It's true! It's settled science! We took a vote and all decided to have another drink.

In moderation of course. They define moderation thusly:
They define moderate as no more than four drinks on a single day and no more than 14 in a week for men. For women, it is defined as no more than three drinks on a single day and no more than seven in a week.
I must be more of a moderate than I thought  The methodology may be flawed though. Animals absorbed a vaccine more quickly when the shot of vaccine was followed by  a shot of something more palatable. I would imagine that the alcohol caused a dilation of the blood vessels which sped up the spread of the vaccine and really had no effect on the immune system.

Still, like the t-shirt says: Drink rum: It prevents scurvy and improves morale.

QOTD - Guns

“Comrade Kalashnikov will be buried in a pit of mud with full military honors,” said General-Major Saiga Molot, a spokesman for the Russian army. “After a week, we will exhume his body, clean it off, and put him back to work. We expect that there shall be no issue with his functions.”
              This. from duffelblog

 Not quite as accurate as Eugine Stoner, but all in all, more reliable. Which would you rather have buried in your back yard.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Regional Accent?

No, I don't have one at all:
That dark red area formed around Springfield MO and Topeka KS is supposedly where I'd fit right in with the natives.

Test is here on the NY Times.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Transportation - Some Things Never Change

I have been thinking of replacing the pickup with something a bit sportier for some time now, and was torn between an older Jag XK-8 and waiting for the 2014 release of the Elio. It now seems the Elio release has been pushed out to 2015 and a Jag came up on Craigs List, so here's my new ride:
Very spiff. A gazillion buttons and it didn't come with the correct manual to explain them. Jag supplies a quick cheat sheet for the most commonly used items including the A/C but it doesn't include the heater ops. Being 14 years old, it has its share of quirks. The windows go down about an inch whenever the door handles are pulled, inside or out. Makes the door easier to close, but they don't go back up again by themselves.

Brit cars used to have a lot of trouble with their electrics but Ford fired Lucas and this one was built under Ford management. The drive train doesn't leak oil either which is welcome. It does have a small oil leak however; The dome light.

Yeah I know, why is the dome light leaking oil? Well, it's a Brit thing, unless you're a fan you wouldn't understand. The joke goes that in England, a big mug of beer leaks a small amount of oil onto the bar top.

Gets good mileage though, about 22 around town and 27 on the road. Very quiet, very smooth.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Global Warming

I like global warming, it allows farmers to grow crops further north and allows me to ride my motorcycle more months of the year. Here's a chart from the Royal Observatory of Belgium:
Low times are colder, high times are warmer. NOTE: The graph has to be noticeably above 50 to qualify as high, otherwise it remains cold. The last few years for example. I'd say the next 10-15 years are going to be dismally chilly.

Note the fairly regular 11 year cycle. Note also a longer cycle somewhere in the 90 year range. I seem to remember that there are 3 cycles to this of differing lengths which sometimes add together and sometimes cancel each other out. Figure that out and you could become the next Pope Al and become fantastically rich selling snake oil.

Christmas Shopping

Strange and wonderful stuff you never knew you couldn't live without here. Make sure there isn't anything else you were going to do today before you visit.

Hickenlooper's Obamacare

Faced with unruly peasants demanding that some or all of the ill-advised gun laws passed this spring be either amended or repealed, Hick says it certainly won't happen on his watch.

The identical response the president gave when asked about any repeal efforts on his health care bill that might possibly happen in 2015 if the Republicans get lucky at the polls in '14. In Obummer's case it makes me think that either he's the most tone-deaf president we've ever had or he knows something about an NSA plan to find 10 million "lost" ballots in the trunks of abandoned cars on election night.

Hick may not be so tone deaf. Now he's making noises about being bipartisan. Letting bygones be bygones, eh? We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Transportation Law - 3 Wheelers

Elio is working to get its 3-wheel commuter classified as an auto-cycle by the feds. This would allow it to retain the advantages of being a motorcycle such as lower insurance rates, lighter weight, use of HOV lanes, etc, while dropping the requirements for the operators to wear eye protection and a helmet while driving it.

AFAIK the Elio is legally a motorcycle in all states. The problem is trying to market a car-like vehicle in which the operator would be required to wear eye protection in all states, and a helmet in most of them. Looking for an out by calling it a cycle-car or autocycle would make for better sales at the risk of having the rule-making nannies in Washington decide that  the vehicle must meet ALL the requirements, including emissions and safety that a car must. This will add about 1200 lb to the weight of the vehicle and make the engine notably more expensive.

The attempt is a risky move on Elio's part. An adverse ruling would effectively kill the company and the government is not really concerned about either safety or fuel economy but rather self preservation.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ars gratia artis

Art for arts sake. And if this isn't art, I don't know what is.

Well, O.K. I don't, but let's not get into that shall we? Anyway here's a video of how to turn a Fire Ant mound into a piece of art worthy of any gallery, living room, or garage workbench:

And before any PETA types start banding together with the arts nobblers, spend some time getting to know Fire Ants. Up close and personal. Sit down on the ground next to one of their mounds and watch the little buggers at close quarters for at least five minutes.

Found this at the Blaze, another good informational site.

When Life hands You Lemons...

Make lemonade.

Dead tree commemorative plates:

Collect the whole set. Found here at Moonbattery, always a good read.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Solving The IRS Problem

Another day, another scandal. It's as though the white house solves all it's problems by creating a new one to draw attention from the last one. Here's something original. The IRS is proposing to eliminate the scandal of being used to target the presidents enemies by issuing new internal rules on the topic.

They propose to make it legal.

Even better, as these are internal rules, no outside approval is required. Stroke of the directors pen, end of the problem.

A benevolent dictatorship is the best form of government. Take a problem to a partisan legislature and all you get is partisan bickering. Take your problem to the dictator, and it gets solved on the spot to the greatest benefit of the greatest number.
                 Reportedly from a campaign speech by Benito Mussolini

Fun With Headlines - Drone Strikes

President Peace Prize marches onward:

Air strike kills 15 civilians in Yemen by mistake: officials

The gist of this is that the attendees were mistaken for an Al-Quaida convoy.

In that part of the world, wedding attendees all bring automatic weapons to provide the obligatory celebratory gunfire for the lucky couple. O.K. they don't normally use RPGs for that and maybe Mohammed shouldn't have brought his along, but still...

Ethanol - Timid Steps In The Right Direction

A bill has been introduced in the Senate to reduce the amount of ethanol being put into our gas tanks in the face of evidence that with gas consumption going down and the required ethanol amount going up, the available fuel will soon become toxic to the vehicles that use it.

At the same time the president, oblivious to reality, is ordering the fed.gov to increase its usage of renewable energy in all forms to 20% by 2020. No word as to where all these unicorn farts are expected to come from as for some reason the unicorn isn't on the endangered species list.

Meantime perhaps someone could copy on of those impassioned letters from PETA to the Interior department demanding that Yersinia pestis be added to the endangered species list, substituting Porcus Avionis and Eqquis Unicornus Flatulinus. I'm sure both would be worthy additions.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Future Of Transportation - Small, Fast, Commuter

Well there might be some drawbacks to using this as a commuter, but who would care?  A Mazda Miata would look like an SUV, and an SUV would kook like a semi. Briefly. As they blurred by:

Watch it in full screen, or go to hybridcars to see it in larger format and read the article.

I mentioned this earlier in a post about the Elio as both of these cars feature 3-cyl, 1 liter engines. The Elio shows the economy you can get with a reasonable level of civilization attached. The Ford shows how fast you can go if you aren't bogged down with a lot of civilization.

Spend some time at the gym first. Driving this at full tilt requires a good deal of physical exertion. Of course if you make a practice of driving this at full tilt on the public roads, you'll soon be able to get your workouts at the gym at the jail. But what better way to let everyone know what you really think of Al Gore. Oh yes, if you drive carefully, this is reportedly good for 118 mpg.

No word on the price. I'm sure the warranty is at least as good as it was on the old Ford Thunderbolt.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

National Politics - Playin' The Game

Bernie Sanders, Socialist of Vermont is making noises about an independent run for the presidency if the Donks don't nominate someone sufficiently progressive. He also hints that Elizabeth Warren AKA Fauxcahontis might fill that bill. If anyone hasn't figured it out yet, he's offering to be her V.P.

Assuming that no one will oppose a Hildabeest run, if I was Rinse Prius (Did I get that name right?) I'd be laundering money to funnel to Bernie's cause. You know the Dems will be supporting Libertarians.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gun Law - Miller's Tale

Here is a scholarly paper on the rather colorful history and the maneuverings behind the Miller decision regarding the NFA. The machinations behind the decision make for interesting reading. Ex from the footnotes:
(“In the State of Arkansas, it is a violation of the law for a man to sell a pistol within that State. . . . This law has been, by the Supreme Court of the State of Arkansas, held constitutional, and you can not lawfully sell a pistol in the State of Arkansas.”)
Don't think this one is still on the books though.

Equal Opportunity

A judge has ruled that a Christian owned bakery is required to make a wedding cake for a gay couple or else pay a big fine. Great. I had thought that a business has the option to accept or reject any RFQ that floats its way, but there we are.

BTW: Does this mean that Muslim cabbies must either accept fares from the disabled with service dogs or else forfeit their cabbies license?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Future Of Transportation - Can-Am On A Budget

We've all seen Can-Ams with 2 in front arrangements. Saw one a couple weeks ago the owner said would make 145 with the tach at 6000. Out of 9000. Quite the rig.

How about a switch? How about a Can Am on a budget:
The scooter is attached in the middle. The passenger presumably clutches the drivers throat.

I suppose that if the scooter still had its plate, this could be construed as legal. In the case the scooter was one of those under 50cc, no plate required jobs this might be legal if the scooter still had its sticker attached although I suspect you'd spend a long time discussing this with the cop and probably with the judge later.

Let me know if you get it out of the impound yard.

H/T to Jed.
Image found at Cheezburger.com.

Unintended Consequences

Amid all the teeth-gnashing over the failure of the Obamacare website, information is coming out from those (un)lucky enough to have succeeded there, namely big premium increases. Really big premium increases. And just in case you decided to avoid the whole thing, think about this coming April when the IRS will want to know if your insurance is up to the presidential standards. If your answer is What Insurance, the IRS will hit you with a fat penalty.

So everyone is now required to spend large sums of money that they hadn't budgeted. What's this going to do to the rest of the economy? Instead of having the promised $2500 to spend, the average family is going to have to find an extra $7500 with which to buy insurance. On top of that, if you do need medical help, the deductibles are noticeably higher as well.

Cancel the vacation, put off buying the new car, plan on buying a used on instead, and try to make everything else last as long as possible. The Millennials will grow up with a depression-era outlook on life for sure. Obamacare looks like it will be the equivalent of giving everyone a 10% pay cut.


Here are two views of the employment situation in the U.S. Number one is from the government which is reporting that for the first time in quite some time, over 200,000 new non-farm jobs were created in one month, and coincidentally, the official unemployment rate is now down to 7%.

Number two is the Gallup poll, done daily:

% Payroll to population% Underemployed% Unemployed
Gallup tracks daily the percentage of U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, who are underemployed, unemployed, and employed full-time for an employer, without seasonal adjustment. "Underemployed" respondents are employed part time, but want to work full time, or they are unemployed. "Unemployed" respondents are those within the underemployed group who are not employed, even for one hour a week, but are available and looking for work.
 The Gallup link is updated daily so if you click it tomorrow, it will include tomorrows results. Note that Gallup does not include those unemployed who have given up looking for work but would like to work. That would drive the unemployment numbers even higher.
Found this chart here. That 3% drop represents 9.45 million people who have given up looking for work. Add them to the governments 7% number which gives 14M unemployed, and you get 11.1% unemployment. Tack that on to Gallups number and the number goes to 12.6%.                   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Making Bankruptcy Pay

Sen.Rand Paul has floated a suggestion as to how one might deal with the problem of Detroit. The Bankruptcy judge has ruled that the city's plan, such as it is, can go forward without the unions getting fully paid first and everyone else dividing up the leftovers. Highlights of Sen Paul's plan are:
Key to Paul's plan:
— Providing eligible areas with a reduction in individual and corporate income tax to a single, flat 5 percent rate.
— Reducing the payroll tax.
— Providing child education tax credits to parents.
— Suspending EPA non-attainment designations in Economic Freedom Zone areas.
— Suspend Davis-Bacon wage requirements on federal projects.
Great as far as it goes, but note that this plan requires a great deal of cooperation from the State and Federal government to be put into effect.

Working strictly at a local level, yes, a lower tax rate always helps, but the wailing immediately begins about how on earth will we fully fund 3 sports stadiums, a fine arts center, an opera house, a motor speedway, a municipal bus system and maybe high-speed trolleys to run across town?

To which I say: We don't. Sell all that stuff off to some enterprising souls, and let them run them to suit themselves and pay the 5% on whatever they make. The city's job is to enforce the laws, maintain the water, sewer, and streets, and keep the required schools open. Not a lot else.

Sell off the municipal enterprises, whatever they are. Trash disposal, bus drivers, support people, whatever, they go with the enterprise.The municipal monopoly does NOT go with the sale. Competition is encouraged.

Let every student be fitted with a virtual pull tab on his or her collar worth say 75% of what the city is currently spending on education per student. Then let them attend whatever school they can get in to. The school, public or private, gets the tab. If they can justify it, they can ask the parents for a bit more. If they're trying to drum up business, they might even offer a bit of a refund.

Suspending the EPA with a short rope from a tall tree sounds like a fine idea, but that's a Federal deal. Repealing Davis-Bacon has always been a good idea along with several other overreaching federal statutes, but that's the job of the Senate and House.

Running a city as though it were Hong Kong would work every time. The problem is keeping the do-gooders in check to allow the model to continue to work.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gun Sales

NICS checks for November of this year ran 9.6% below November of last year and the curve is not showing signs of another drastic jump.
Whenever someone buys a gun, they also need a couple of boxes of ammo to go with. The trend suggests we should be well on our way back to normal

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's A Plot! The Closure Of A Lead Smelter

It may well be as the EPA's objective seems to be to eliminate all the jobs it can before the angry mob shows up to burn down their building.

As regards the conspiracy to impose gun control by making lead unavailable for ammo, I suspect this is somewhat over stated. I did some digging and discovered that some 84% of the lead used in this country goes into lead-acid batteries. Only about 6% is used for ammo.

While the Doe Run smelter may be closed due to the EPA cutting the allowable emissions to 10% of what it used to be, the company recycling center continues to churn out lead for all purposes pretty much unabated.

Reducing emissions to 10% of previous levels sounds like something you'd do if there were stacks of dead bodies lying about somewhere. I don't remember reading about such a catastrophe. Maybe one of you did? This sort of trick goes back a bit. At the end of the Clinton administration the EPA cut the allowable level of Arsenic in drinking water that drastically, rendering large areas of the southwest without federally approved water. The old level was not dangerous, but Bush's action to put the levels back where they were produced headlines about "Bush Raises Arsenic in water 10-fold". Making sure Bush knew where he stood with the press I guess, it's the regulatory equivalent of short-sheeting the bed.

Colorado Gun Law - Doubling Down

If at first you don't succeed, find another fool and try again.

From Colorado Peak Politics:
A new issue committee, ironically named Safe Campus Colorado, filed late last month would seek to put on the ballot an initiative to “amend the current concealed carry law to exclude college campuses from the concealed carry law.”
In case you need some background, this is exactly the proposed bill that cost Evie Hudak her seat in the Senate and contributed to the defenestration of Sens Giron and Morse. I suppose it's unlikely that Mr Toltz will find another legislator dumb enough to carry this as a bill, so he's betting that the Colorado electorate is dumb enough to pass it anyway.

What this proposal really needs is a catchy name like Megans Law or Amber Alert. I suggest calling it Hudaks Law in honor of its last sponsor. Or maybe Amandas Law in honor of the young woman who was raped on account of a similar statute already being in effect at UNLV.

Warms the cockles of your heart knowing there are people out there working to make the world a safer environment for the thugs doesn't it?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December!

1 or maybe 2 days I get to ride the motorcycle in to work, then the Fimbulwinter arrives in all it's glory. Well about half it's glory. Bitter cold, but no snow to speak of.

Nice prediction. I put up the mower and got out the snow blower and made sure it would start. This virtually guarantees that there will be no snow all winter long.

Had the victory celebration for the Hudak recall campaign today. All the cool kids were there and like a bunch of victorious Klingons, it was generally agreed that Great Deeds Were Done. Many thanks are due to the Goons, motorcycle riding friends of KNUS radio personality Peter Boyles whose presence at our sites greatly calmed down Hudak's Brownies who seemed to find them intimidating.

The group is NOT dissolving. The left is not giving up their agenda so we're not giving up ours.