Archive for December, 2007

Anybody else have any experience…

December 31, 2007

…with Monarch ammunition?
I picked up a couple of boxes at Academy on Saturday to drive through my Ruger P89; I was looking for some cheap plinking fodder and was initially out for CCI Blazers but the local Academy didn’t have any and they suggested the Monarch. No idea what the specs on it are, it was just 115-grain 9mm fmj, but it worked pretty well for what I was out for. But something kinda weird happened. My shooting partner for the day was behind the sights and she pulled the trigger on a round and…nothing. I thought it might have been a hangfire so I got the gun and waited, dropped the mag, racked the slide and out popped a spent case. My next thought was that it was a squib round, but the barrel was free of any obstruction. My guess is that there was just enough charge in the case to get the bullet out, because I know that I did not load an empty case into the gun…that would have been almost impossible to miss. But then I didn’t even hear a muffled pop, and the slide did not cycle. Cue the Twilight Zone music…But in any event, the pistol ate the rest of it without a hitch. That was the first time I’d ever tried that ammo in any caliber. I’m guessing that dud round was just a fluke — in the thousands of rounds of factory ammo I’ve driven downrange in all my calibers that was the first dud I’ve ever had — but we’ll see.

Would They Really Care?

December 31, 2007

So the other day, Robb over at Sharp As A Marble made a case that teh esteemed Perfesser *hawk* *spit* Alexander Tristan Riley was the person behind one “Guns Makes Us Free” blog, whose postings seemed to be a parody of what antis think gun owners are really like. Illiterate, vile racist rhetoric, I guess you could call it. David had a few words to say as well, as did 45superman , Thirdpower and Yuri Orlov. So, in short it would seem that, yet again, another anti has been revealed to be exactly what he accuses pro-liberty people of being; 45superman wrote a letter to CeasefirePA, of which teh esteemed Perfesser recently became a board member:

…This correspondence is instead intended to bring some civility and honor to a debate that would seem to be in danger of losing both.

It has come to my attention that Professor Alexander Tristan Riley has recently joined your board of directors

While no one would deny that Professor Riley is an outspoken, dedicated advocate of restrictive gun laws, I cannot help but question the wisdom of appointing such a divisive, hyper-partisan individual to such a position. As pointed out here, his “debating” technique would seem to consist largely of screaming insults at whomever has the temerity to disagree with him. He, in fact, recently had a blog, titled, charmingly enough, “Mike S. Adams is Vermin” (from which all the previous text has recently been removed, but the cached version of which can–for now, anyway–still be seen here) devoted almost exclusively to calling Dr. Mike Adams, and anyone who dares support him, stupid (and in rather over-the-top fashion), and referring to them as “vermin.”

Still, perhaps you believe his combative style is what you need, and that, of course, is your decision to make.

I would now like to bring your attention to a particularly disgusting individual, who calls himself “NRAFOUREVER.” As cataloged here, the comments he posted on YouTube are truly reprehensible. Similarly, particularly vile comments posted by someone calling himself “NRAFOUREVER” have been left on certain gun rights advocacy blogs (here, here, and here, for example). The IP address from which those comments were posted was also the source of other vile comments left anonymously on various other gun rights advocacy blogs–the “Anonymous” commenter here, for example.

Finally, “NRAFOUREVER” briefly administered what was apparently intended to be a parody of gun rights blogs, called “Guns Makes Us Free.” That blog, after being up for only a brief time in early to mid-December, is now gone, although a screen capture of one page from it can be seen here.

The reason I mention “NRAFOUREVER” is that the IP address from which he posted traces back to Lewisburg, PA, home of Bucknell University, where Professor Riley teaches–in fact, my fellow bloggers and I received several visits from Bucknell University, following the same visitor pathways favored by “NRAFOUREVER.”

Finally, both the “Guns Makes Us Free” blog and the “Mike S. Adams is Vermin” blog were taken down on the same day (which happened to be around the time it was becoming clear that there was a great deal of suspicion of a link between the two).

I realize that any claim that “NRAFOUREVER” is actually a pseudonym for Professor Riley would be based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Still, it seems apparent that if Professor Riley is not responsible for the disgusting vitriol posted by “NRAFOUREVER,” then someone has gone to some trouble to make it appear that he is.

Either way, someone is engaging in egregious, loathsome conduct, that serves only to make truly toxic the already rancorous debate about gun legislation. Such behavior is harmful not only to Ceasefire PA, which I admit would not particularly bother me, but to everyone earnestly engaged in the debate.

Kurt, I’m sure you’re reading and I find the restraint in your letter admirable, but I must ask — would they really care that much when it’s all said and done? It’s long been established that these people have no shame and no honor, that they will resort to damned near anything to advance their agenda, from statistics twisting to out-and-out lies. Really, I can’t help but think Alex Riley’s personal opinions are of that much concern to them, considering the American gun owner is at the top of both of their respective lists of, shall we say, ‘undesirables.’ Hell, the entire gun control movement finds its roots in the very type of bigotry Alex Riley spews; only back then they wanted to keep a certain demographic down. Now it’s the weaker of the entire species no matter what color they are. I guess that’s the modern leftist’s definition of egalitarianism.
(You know what’s just ironic as hell?! As I type this, Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” is playing here. “…his fist is big, but my gun’s bigger…he’ll find out when I pull the trigger…” And yes, they’d disarm the song’s protagonist too, I’m sure…for teh childrenses, you know…)
But I digress. All of the above, of course, is assuming that Riley’s bigotry is exposed in the media, and considering what I’ve seen the anti-liberty slant of the major Pennsylvania media, I’m betting they’re not going to do a damned thing with any of these revelations, because ultimately the media and groups share the same goal. I guess we’ll see what happens, but I won’t be holding my breath.

good stuff, Maynard….

December 30, 2007

Now playing here: “…and I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time…and the Wichita lineman, is still on the line…”

Ooooohhhhh, YEAH! 9:55 pm: “Some fools never learn…play with the fire and you’re gonna get burned…it’s only love when you’re loved in return…”

Sometimes you just gotta ask, what the hell’s wrong with people?…

December 27, 2007

…and this is one such time…

A grand jury will decide whether the accidental Christmas Eve shooting death of a 14-year-old boy should lead to charges against his older brother or other relatives.

Angel Garcia died Monday night after being shot in the head by a pistol held by his 18-year-old brother, Harris County sheriff’s officers said.

The incident occurred about 9 p.m. as the brothers were visiting relatives in the 6100 block of Laramie, in northeast Harris County, said sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Field.

Investigators said the older teen told them he had found his father’s pistol on top of a TV. The brother, who told officers he was not familiar with guns, said he pulled the trigger and the gun did not fire.

He then pulled back the pistol’s slide, which loaded a live round into the chamber, and pulled the trigger again, wounding his brother, officers said.

Maybe it’s just me, but I just can’t fathom pointing a gun at anyone, especially if I didn’t know it was loaded. I’ll admit it’s been a few years since I was a teenager, but even at 18 years old I just can’t see myself actually screwing around with a gun like that. I didn’t have that much to do with guns back then, but a semi-automatic pistol isn’t that hard to figure out. Surely that man had to know that gun was loaded when he pointed it and pulled the trigger. I can see a toddler or a younger kid doing this, but 18 years old? What the hell? Try as I may, I just can’t get my head wrapped around the possibility that someone could be so stupefyingly ignorant at that age. Both the adult who left the gun out and the one who killed his brother should be charged, and I for one would love to see one of the prosecution’s attorneys ask him what the hell he was thinking when he was pointing that gun at his brother and had his finger on the trigger. Wonder how long it’ll take Lisa Falkenberg to gin up a column saying we should all have sympathy for that poor, pooooor kid and push for ever tighter gun laws to prevent such traaaaagedies. For teh childrenses, you see…

Some Christmas Eve Snark

December 24, 2007

I always thought of guns and shooting as a much cheaper version of tinkering with cars, with some pretty obvious analogues…
bullet weight size of car
muzzle velocity car velocity
powder fuel
muzzle energy horsepower
With that in mind, I got a hoot out of this thread at The High Road, where someone was asking about Team Glock racing…

…the other drivers made fun of their “tupperware” car and ignore the fact that it’s never failed to finish a race except for the occasional Kb (broken crankshaft) that’s due to the mechanics upping the compression way past spec on reman parts…
…And because the cylinders aren’t supported.

Merry Christmas, y’all. 😉

The Last Five Songs Played

December 24, 2007

Tonight’s meme, courtesy of Shooter, with the tunes courtesy of KILT’s Texas Roadhouse…

— Pat Green, “Don’t Break My Heart Again.”
— Ooooh! Radney Foster, “Ease Up On the Rain.” LOVE this song! “…ease up on the rain, she could use some sunshine in her life…help her past the pain, she needs a little bit of comfort, after all the hell that I have put her through….if it’s all the same to you, could you ease up on the rain…” Just Radney and his guitar. “It’s a little past midnight, but a long way past settin’ things straight, and there’s nothin’ like a heartache, for keepin’ you awake…Lord, I don’t think she’s expectin’ the emptiness, that’s comin’ up with the dawn, when she figures out that I’m gone…”
–Honeybrowne, “Take Me Home (Country Roads),” a cover of the old John Denver song…
— Lauren Alexander, “Christmas Doesn’t Mean A Thing.”
— Kevin Fowler,” I Ain’t Drinkin’ Anymore.”

If you’re readin’ this, and you have a blog…TAG, you’re it!

All They Have To Offer

December 23, 2007

Looks like I got a visit earlier this morning, either from teh esteemed Alexander T. Riley *hawk* *spit* or one of his sycophants, as evidenced by more verbal droppings in the comments to this post:

No one’s reading your blog and no one gives a fuck what mindless dribble you have to offer to society or the shit that you like to pull out of your ass on a regular basis you goddamn hillbilly

In order now…
1. A click on the Sitemeter icon at the bottom of the blog would seem to indicate this isn’t the case. 20,459 visitors so far since I started the blog in March 2006, and right now I am running between 45-55 visits and 65-75 page views a day. I am not Glenn Reynolds by any means, but still, I’m pretty proud of that and I really don’t give a damn who isn’t.
2. Judging from the feedback I’ve gotten at my day job — a field, I might add, that has more than a few whose political views run directly counter to mine, albeit not at my level — there are indeed at least some who think that I do have something valuable to offer to society. And I am pretty sure the girl I had wrapped in my arms earlier this morning values what I have to offer. Which matters to me a hell of a lot more than what some anonymous troll thinks of me, my culture or my lineage. So yeah, pardon my french, but Mr. Anonymous Internet Troll, you can go fuck yourself up the ass. Sideways and unlubricated.
This is all these people have to offer, folks. Insults and ad hominem attacks. The facts, and to a lesser extent public opinion, are on our side and have been since time immemorial. As the GeekWithA.45 said some time ago,

“We’re on solid ground folks. It’s time to stand tall, and people who pretend otherwise should be treated with the same bemused sympathy we reserve for someone who insisted that the earth is flat.
“The simple matter is this:

“MMM & The Brady Bunch don’t have open forums because they can’t tolerate, or survive in the face of informed dissent from their dogma, which doesn’t hold water in the light of day.

“If you shine a light on a gun banner, they will either grow and join us, or close their eyes and ears tighter shouting na na na na na while they scuttle towards the darkness.

“We, on the other hand, hold each other to high standards of intellectual integrity, and are generally prepared to stand corrected.

“There is a whole world full of difference between those two positions, and it’s time to stop treating the gun banners arguments as if they were imbued with any sort of validity whatsoever.

“Crap is Crap, and it’s time to treat it for what it is: Self Evident Crap.”

Saturday Morning Musical Musings: Alan Jackson & Story Songs

December 22, 2007

Driving home from work the other night, I heard Alan Jackson’s rendition of the 1973 Merle Haggard classic “If We Make It Through December,” from his Honky Tonk Christmas cd. It was more or less a faithful rendition of the original, but I don’t really see anything wrong with that. I think it’s cool to hear artists put their own stamp on the songs from the artists that influenced them, but one could say they do that even with the almost note-for-note renditions because they’re doing it with their own voice. Alan’s done this before with his Under the Influence cd — one I’d highly recommend, and something I’d love to see George Strait do before he rides off into the sunset — but I’d love to see Alan do something like “Alan Jackson Sings Merle Haggard’s Biggest Hits: ‘Mama Tried,’ ‘Ramblin’ Fever,’ ‘I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink’ And More.” Maybe one day we’ll be so lucky.
Speaking of the Hag and that Honky Tonk Christmas cd, the title track has one of the best lines from a song I’ve ever heard…
“Hey Joe, pour me some Christmas spirit…if I make it through December, I’ll be fine…”

I’ve always loved the songs that told stories, and there have been some good ones through the years…a few that come to mind are Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billy Joe,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” and even Cal Smith’s “Country Bumpkin.” Maybe I am biased on that last one because of the great memories it evokes for me, but I still love it anyway. But doing the blog-run this morning, I clicked a link that took me to another one of those story songs, one that’s always made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. There were a lot of Chris LeDoux’s songs I didn’t really care for too much, but there’s no denying he was the real deal. And I am not sure his version of the song featured in the video below was the original, but even if it wasn’t I could certainly see him writing it. I remember hearing another recording somewhere but for the life of me can’t find mention of it anywhere, but it was Chris LeDoux who took the song and made it immortal.

“…you’ll ride a black tornado, across the Western sky, take an old blue norther, and milk it till it’s dry…bulldog the Mississippi, and pin its ears down flat, long before you take this cowboy’s hat…”

A Few Words On Alexander T. Riley

December 21, 2007

I really hate to think that frothing-at-the-mouth extremists like Alexander T. Riley, aka the Culturologist, actually make it so far in life that they get to be professors at ANY university. To think such high-minded, arrogant and self-righteous people like Alexander T. Riley get into positions to mold the minds of the future is truly a frightening thought indeed. For those of you looking for information on Alexander T. Riley and wondering what he thinks of you if you own any guns, you might want to click this link to see some of Alexander T. Riley’s word vomit. Many of Alexander T. Riley’s hateful screeds seem to have disappeared down the memory hole, but he’s left other verbal droppings in various and sundry corners of Algore’s Intarwebz, most recently right here. You’ll have to scroll through the comments to find them, but the discussion at that link is pretty illuminating as a whole, anyway. More here. More of Mike Vanderboegh’s words come to mind, though…
“Just do me one favor, sport. If you want my gun, you come get it. Don’t send someone else’s son or daughter in federal service. YOU come get it….And, hey, I might even give it to you after I unload it.”

…somebody find the matches, we got us a straw man to burn…

December 20, 2007


The premise of citizen journalism is that regular people can now collect information and pictures with video cameras and cellphones, and distribute words and images over the Internet. Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people “journalists.” This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel is a “citizen surgeon” or someone who can read a law book is a “citizen lawyer.” Tools are merely that. Education, skill and standards are really what make people into trusted professionals. Information without journalistic standards is called gossip.

I don’t think anyone’s ever really argued that education, skill and standards are what make people into trusted professionals. But even if they did, such a triad lacks one critical element that’s quite obviously absent from modern journalism: Integrity. The evidence of such a lack is there in spades for anyone who doesn’t consciously have his or her ears and eyes plugged, but let’s just take a look at one particular area of that motherlode: The gun issue. Seems like every time so-called assault weapons come into the arena of discussion you have some ignorant journalist (hey, there goes the education leg of that table!) conflating semi-auto and full-auto weaponry, often making it sound like one could get a fully-automatic AK-47 at your friendly local gun store after September 13, 2004. (Why we should stop pointing out the difference and take a different tack on the issue I’ll ponder more in the not-too-distant future.) You’ll also not find it mentioned that many of the cartridges these so-called “assault rifles” are chambered for are quite often less powerful than many cartridges used for hunting — or that, just for a couple of examples, two of the most noteworthy killings of the 1960s, the JFK assassination and the University of Texas clock tower shooting, were carried out with weapons not that much different from many traditional hunting rifles. Find me someone who was in Dealey Plaza that day so I can ask them if it was worth a fart in a windstorm that Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t have more than six rounds at one whack to work with.
But before I get too far off the point, the fact is that “educated journalists” ain’t all this guy cracks them up to be. Not even in the specialty arenas like, once again, guns. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count that one can find a more honest assessment on Internet gun boards like The High Road than one finds in most if not all traditional gun magazines. And I’d believe it too, because if I spent good coin on a firearm, only to find out…
…it was less than what I expected…
…if it malfunctioned…
…if the company’s customer service did not treat me with respect…
…if the gun still malfunctioned after it was supposedly serviced…
…if the folks at the gun manufacturer told me that was the ammunition’s fault, or worse, MY fault…

you better believe I’d be honest and up-front about it. On the forum AND on my blog.
And as for this…

…we have already seen the line between news and entertainment blur enough to destroy significant credibility. Continuing to do nothing as information flow changes will further erode it. Journalism organizations who choose to do nothing may soon find the line between professional and citizen journalism gone as well as the trust of their audiences.

Call me crazy, but I’d say in many instances that trust IS already gone. In any event, David Hazinski, you can take your standards by which you don’t even abide and blow them out your hypocritical, self-righteous ass.
…never mind, of course, things like this…