Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Little False Hope - Or Maybe A Life Saver - The Gas Mask

Several years back, I obtained a gas mask. It came with 3 filters. The filters have long since expired and so too has the gas mask, though I would think the mask probably good for years to come since it was never used and stored under moderate conditions. With it came a complete chemical resistant suit, the thing about the suit was that it did not fit me, it was way too small. Don't ask - that is just the way it was and I will not give details.

I have often wondered if the gas mask, without the suit (or even with it) was something that could save my life in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack (or in the even of an industrial catastrophe). I have also wondered if having one was just so much false hope. Then I would think to myself, 'Well the Israelis give them out not only to their armed forces personnel and to their government workers and also to the general public. If they do that, there must be something to them and anyway - folks wear them all the time in dangerous industrial situations'. The thought about not having them if needed also crossed my mind, pretty often, ever since 9/11 and it was accompanied by another thought. That other thought was of all the people who would survive whatever it was that those without gas masks would not survive. I was dead serious about all those thoughts at one time or another, also just amused by them at times. They came sort of intermittently depending on what was going on in the world and most were also intermittently forgotten then resurrected again only to be forgotten again seemingly ad infinitum.

I always sort of fantasized figured I would get myself and each person in my immediate family a gas mask. I just never did it. Yet, the thought of having a need for them kept popping up now and again. I have sort of a survival mentality, I would rather win the gunfight than lose it sort of a thing, even if I get shot, so I can get to see another day. I guess that is why the idea of buying some gas masks has persisted ever since 9/11. of course, I don't know if I want to still really be alive in a post apocalyptic world the likes of that seen in Road Warrior or Book of Eli, but I don't want to suffer the alternative either - as in getting killed off because I was not prepared to survive. It does not have to be something apocalyptic either, I would not want to suffer the consequences of something much more commonplace than the end of the world as we know it - such as an industrial explosion at a chemical plant or a nuclear reactor spewing forth radioactive material into the atmosphere or maybe just a run of the mill local area terrorist attack.

There was another reason though that I did not run right out and buy 4 gas masks. Gas masks are expensive, for good ones of current or even recent manufacture, the filters that go with them are also expensive. Yes my family is worth the expense but to tell you the truth I would need the money at hand to be able to buy them and not take other things away from the wife and kids. Of course I tend to be a procrastinator when it comes to buying stuff like that, especially more expensive stuff. Not that I won't spend the money, just that I hem and haw and check this and that and it takes me forever. I do buy what I have decided upon but only after I have definitely decided upon something and once I have saved up the money (it took me a couple to a few years to decide on my first computer and then spent between a couple to a few thousand on it). Back to gas masks. Recently, I saw an advertisement for some clearance items, one of which was a very well made gas mask without filters at $20 apiece! Thing is they were sold out when I checked at the store - it is a local store - I had waited too long and checked this and that too much and lost an opportunity. Well, I was about to leave the store when the clerk asked me if I wanted to buy another brand, also well made by a reputable company or so they said. I declined though at the time since knew little about the particular model (there I went procrastinating again and I was already there with money in hand ready to buy the brand that had sold out). I went home, did some checking, then got realized I had better act fast or lose another great deal. Sometimes I can overcome the procrastination bug. So I got right onto the store's website and ordered 4 of them. I also ordered another manufacturer's mask in size small since the 4 of the other brand I ordered were only available in large. My daughter probably will need to use the smaller sized one. The 4 large sized ones were just under $25 apiece and the small one was $20. I made the order.


I guess they arrived yesterday, I found them in my vestibule today. It is a rare day when someone in my house tells me a package has arrived for me! What a surprise when, I found out that the 4 I had ordered, North model 54401, also came with CBN (chemical, biological and nuclear) filters. I found that out when I opened the box tonight but I had been thinking I would need to order filters somewhere else. That was a big money saver right there. Normally those filters go for about $40 each. I checked them to see if they had expired, it would be my luck and I was again happily surprised. The filters are marked with what I believe to be an expiration date of 06/2015 ; I plan to confirm that with the manufacturer. If that is correct, they are good for over 4 years! Such a deal, I should buy more of them.

I was also a bit surprised, this time not so happily, to see the order had gotten somewhat screwed up. They sent me 4 North gas masks alright, but only 3 large, the other was a small. I would never have ordered the other brand, a small Forsheda, had I known they had an available North mask in small; their site only showed them in large when I ordered. Had I known, I would have gotten 4 large and 1 small - all North. I am hopeful they will make an exchange, the small Forsheda for a large North (I will pay the difference). Although they did say all sales are final on clearance items - they screwed up the order so I am hopeful an exchange will be amenable to them. If they want my continued business they will do the right thing and I am a decent if not good customer of theirs. Anyway, if they will not make an exchange it will be no great loss for me and I will try to sell the Forsheda. All I needed was 4 masks anyhow, I bought 5 because I wanted an extra North size large but can do without the extra one if they ran out. If they did not run out, I may buy a few more.

Next, I'll have to work on chemical resistant suits, gloves and boots. With the way things are going in Egypt, with China building up its military and getting testy with us, with North Korea attacking the South over and over again, with Iran being oh so much closer to nukes than we had thought, with the frequency of industrial accidents, with the way the Mexican cartels are going berserk, with the unchecked frequency at which terrorism just keeps rearing its ugly head, I figure that maybe a gas mask just might come in handy someday and if not, then so what.


Now, if any of this survivalist thinking sounds crazy or paranoid to you then stop to think for a moment about the motto of the Boy Scouts of America - "Be Prepared". Then give some few minutes thought to the Bhopal Disaster in India, to the Chernobyl meltdown in Russia, or to Three Mile Island here in the USA or just read the papers everyday about terrorism everywhere. Then think solemnly about those people who died or who were terribly injured but who may have fared better had they been better prepared while living in the shadow of the dragon. I have no fantasies of being a dragon slayer, just some hope of maybe surviving the dragon's rampage to see another sunrise and to see its rays shining down on my wife and kids standing beside me, them with hope in their eyes that we will make it to yet another day. Of course, I don't really know if making it, through whatever might happen, will be worth it but the only way to find out is by being alive to find out first hand.

All the best,
Glenn B

President Obama Announces a New Form of Government in the United States of America?

I listened to about half of President Obama's state of the union address earlier this week. It mostly seemed just to be political fluff as usual. A lot of hollow but puffed up rhetoric full of sweet sounding promises with little substance, a lot like cotton candy. Looks good, tastes good, does not fill you up or supply nutrients and in the end rots your teeth.

There was one thing though, that the president said, that I just cannot get out of my head. I just keep thinking of him saying it and I think of it over and over again. The reason I keep thinking of it is because he seemingly announced that the United States of America has a new form of government now (because of the elections last November) that the new year has begun. I have listened to the news reviews of his speech, I have looked to the blogs and read about the address on several of them, and have seen little mention of him announcing our new form of government.


WHAT IS THE PROBLEM PEOPLE, ARE YOU ASLEEP? DON'T YOU REALIZE HE JUST SAID WE HAVE A NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT HERE! AREN'T YOU CONCERNED?

Oh, wait a minute, what am I yelling about - of course you know that we have always had this type of government. I just again thought of the quote in question. What he was actually talking about was probably only a new form of government that was worthy of note in his own mind. I mean, after all, our form of government has been a republic for over 200 years and in all that time, at least for the majority of it, we have in essence had a 2 party political system governing us. So, I suppose when the president said: "...governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties..." he was only admitting his own ignorance and or his arrogance in that he had apparently believed it had not been that way during the first 2 years of his term (heck maybe he thought it was always run in some way other way - more like a an oligarchy or more like a dictatorship).

Did everyone miss that quote or just ignore it? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? I don't think that said statement was inconsequential nor that it was not extremely telling on the part of the president. He was (and probably remains), in my opinion, the most smug president in my lifetime. One of the reasons for his continued arrogance must certainly have been the fact that not only was he elected to the office under a seeming shroud of secrecy about his past but that he had a Congress, in both houses, made up of mostly democrats, ultra liberal ones at that. It is not so any longer - is it! So is it that he now needs to make it appear as if he is bowing down a bit to the legislature of our own nation, or at least to the opposing political party. Was it not so much to say sorry for America as he did when he bowed to leaders of other nations, but to say sorry for his own bad behavior in his first 2 years in office? No of course not, but probably trying to make everyone believe he is now willing to work with the opposing political party certainly helps him when he is trying to hoodwink the American people into believing that he is a swell sort of a guy who is worthy of reelection in 2012. The thing is though, he was, as is apparent by this statement, not willing to work with the other party while his party was in control. I mean, why did he never say before now that governing was a shared responsibility? Of course it was not due to ignorance, he could not be that stupid being a natural born U.S. Citizen and a community organizer and all - so it must have been due to arrogance or so I would think. Despite any talk to the opposite, he obviously never wanted to work with Republicans during the first two years of his administration, as far as I can tell. That is evident to me by this statement and by almost every piece of legislation he tried to get through Congress and by the smug attitude he had while doing so. The only thing surprising about any of this is that he would, in essence, admit as much by making this statement. Can you actually believe he said it, that he thinks our government's responsibility will NOW be a shared one between parties! Amazing however you look at it.


What next - will he realize that the American people have rights under the Constitution or that he should try to keep our nation's foreign policy strong or maybe that he should actually cut back on government spending or stop borrowing from China? Anything he says seems to me to be all so much lip service from a man who seemingly believed that before his state of the Union address, and the November elections, government was not a shared responsibility between parties!

If you have not realized it, allow me to clarify, the above is my personal opinion.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Snow Keeps Falling and Falling and Falling...

...all the while that the global climate keeps warming and warming changing and warming changing. All I know is that it has been snowing a lot here lately. I guess that is because it is winter here and it is cold outside and there must have been some moisture in the air. I just don't know what it has to do with global warming or climate change because as long as I can remember it gets cold in the winter and snows. Yes it normally gets cold and even snows in winter here on Long island and in nearby NYC, maybe not usually as much as it has these last few years, not in the recent years before them, but I remember lots of snow when I was in my teens. So what! If the polar bears in the Arctic are missing out on this they should move south.
So far, as of about 10 minutes ago, when I went outside to shovel a relief station for our 4 dogs, I figure we got at least 10 to 12 inches since about 8PM last night. (I measured and I figure that is about average on my small postage stamp of a lot.) The weathermen were saying we were only going to get another 6 - 8 inches at most and more likely only 6 icnhes. Yeah they hedged their bets saying 6 to 12 but everyone of them said most likely not more than 6. (What do they know?) That is all on top of the few inches we got yesterday morning into the early afternoon; well not really on top of that since most of that melted due to some rain we also got.


This stuff now is pretty heavy snow, I know because I just spent about 20 minutes shoveling what normally takes me about 5-10 minutes with the lighter stuff. It is still coming down too, I cannot wait to have to shovel the side walkway, the front walkway, the sidewalk and then trudge to my government vehicle and have to dig that out. My guess is that my office will, at least, open late tomorrow, though I am thinking they may well stay closed for the day. One can only hope.

Maybe I should try to catch some Z's about now so I will be all recuperated for shoveling later this morning when the sun is up.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Tip Jar

No, no no - I am not about to tell you that I have put up a tip jar icon on my blog. I would rather work at 7-Eleven, Home Depot or McDonald's before lining my pockets with money I begged for or put out a virtual tip jar to receive funds. Don't get me wrong, I accept donations for good causes and also donate to good causes. I see nothing questionable about that type of donation if on the up and up. That money is not for me, or for the others collecting it; it goes to the good cause - like the donations that were collected and used for the Soldiers' Care Packages. I do have a bit of difficulty understanding the whole concept of virtual tip jars through which bloggers expect to get money to put in their own pockets and then to spend on themselves as if someone tipped them for doing a good job. It is about those, the virtual tip jars you see on the sites of many bloggers that I have questions.

Someone please tell me - what is it that compels so many bloggers to place a 'tip jar' donation icon on their blogs? Do they expect that some multimillionaire will take a fancy to their writing and throw them a bone - a really big bone like on the old TV show -
The Millionaire? Or is it that they think they are writers of great worth and their readers will take it upon themselves to channel money to the bloggers as if they were preachers at Sunday meeting who just gave a bang-up sermon? Maybe it is that they are poor and need the cash but refuse to come right out and ask for it - point blank. Of course, I guess it could be a joke too, maybe the icons don't even work or maybe they do not really expect anyone to donate. Then again, maybe some take any donations they receive and send them to charity. I suppose they could have other reasons too but I just don't get it.

I guess I don't get it mostly because I cannot believe any blogger really has the nerve to expect anyone to donate to them (but apparently they really do have the audacity). I also find it hard to believe that people fill the tip jars, so to speak, but my guess is that at least some must throw something into them now and again - otherwise why are the tip jars so popular! I mean do these bloggers with tip jars really need the money or is it just greed or something else? Heck, most of the bloggers I have seen, with a tip jar icon, blog about their jobs, their spouses' jobs, their kids, their houses, their cars and trucks, their numerous firearms, their pets, their toys, their hobbies, their travels and vacations and so on. There is only one blogger whose site I visit regularly who is probably really in financial duress and that person and that person's family are working hard to make ends meet; I figure it is pretty humbling for that blogger to have put a tip jar link on the blog. All the others though, well, they just seem to be shameless beyond my comprehension in that they would ask for donations and they already have and live the good life and blog about it often. So why is it they put a tip jar donation icon on their sites?

Maybe it is just my upbringing that makes me feel the way I do about this whole tip jar thing. When was young, we were fairly poor to lower middle class at various times (and I mean food stamps and stand in line for the cheese poor to lower middle class at times) but we made due because my mom worked at us making it. She also taught us that we had to work for what we would get. Now, I am not saying she would turn away good fortune. She got a nice inheritance later in her life but she would never be so unabashed as to go out begging and put out her hand for a handout all the while as she enjoyed luxuries. She would only seek help if the bad times were overwhelming and she needed help badly for the family's sake. What I mean is, even when we took food stamps or the free cheese or the free butter they doled out, we only took the minimum to make it and only took it when we needed it during bad times. The thing is though, we worked our way out of it and got back to the point where we did not have need to ask ever again (thank the heavens for that so far).


That does not seem to be the case with these bloggers who are seeking tips in the virtual tip jars that are always open. To me it seems these bloggers are, for the most part, akin to street beggars whom I sometimes see wearing nicer clothing than me while they brazenly beg from me while so dressed. Of course, I am open to all explanations that may convince me otherwise because it is certainly a phenomenon that I apparently do not understand. You tell me, convince me that it is something other than just shamelessly seeking handouts, something I am just not seeing amid all the glitz and luxury they blog about on their personal computers, laptops, or i-Phones. Man, I really don't get it - how can someone have all that and ask for more, for nothing?

Mind you, I really am not judging anyone else on this issue. I am not saying it is good or bad, I am neutral on it when it comes to whether or not others want to do it. It definitely is not right for me and that is as far as I will go to make a statement as to it being right or wrong. Others have to decide for themselves it it is right or wrong for them. It baffles me though as to why folks do it and I am curious about it and I am hopeful someone can explain it to me.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ballseye's Gun Shots 111 - My Favorite Range Gun

Someone in a firearms forum, that I visit, posted a thread under the header of: "Favorite Range Firearm?" Then, he asked the question: "When you go to the firing range, what's your weapon of choice and why?" (See: http://armslocker.com/gun-talk/47615-favorite-range-firearm.html). I figured I would give it my best shot and be a straight shooter at that by giving him my most well thought out and honest answer. When I began this task, about 4 hours ago, little did I realize it would take me hours of: looking though my guns, scanning my memories, trying to choose one firearm over the other, and then writing out my thoughts, as I went along, before I would wind up deciding which is my favorite. I began my deliberations with the gun I carry most often, I guessed that was the logical place to start.

Whenever I go to the range, for work or for fun, I virtually always carry my issued handgun - a SIG 229. I shoot it a lot too, not only because practice is good and my life may depend on this pistol and my skill with it but also because I get free ammo for it. None of that makes it my favorite though, its just not anywhere near as fun as some of my other guns. I also tend to bring my Glock 26 to the range a lot, I guess because it is my duty back-up. It is a great little pistol, I have no complaints about it, I shoot great with it, and I have gotten lots of free ammo for it too. Guns that you get free ammo for sure have to ride high on the list of favorites. Still though., it is not my absolute favorite that baby Glock. Well, I don’t think so anyhow!

It’s not that I really don’t like the Glock 26, it is just that I have enough other guns that I also love to shoot, even if the ammo for them is not free, that it makes it difficult for me to make up my mind. I mean, what about the Yugo SKS, I’ve got lots of ammo for that one too and love to shoot up a storm with it since the ammo is so cheap and the recoil is minimal or almost so. Nice rifle, from a far away place, that I got for a song, a cheap one at that, and I love it. Still though, I don‘t think it is my favorite. I mean, how could a commie made rifle be my favorite, me being a patriotic American conservative/libertarian sort of a guy more or less. I also like my other eastern bloc rifles, the Mosin Nagant M44 and the Mosin Nagant 91/30. More kick than the SKS, but really nice flames shooting out of he barrels, and the 91/30 is a darned good shooter. So what is not to like. I don't know - they are just, neither one of them, my absolute favorite above all the others. I guess either could be a favorite of someone but not me even though they are loads of fun.

Speaking of recoil, I am getting on in my middle age, near the end of it, and me and my arthritis and bursitis and flab do not like recoil. So, you can often see me shooting a .22 rimfire at the range, at least between shooting those of larger caliber. I have always loved them, the 22s. I learned to shoot with .22 Winchesters and Remingtons a long time ago. The thing about my rimfires though is it is pretty much of a challenge to pick a favorite one out of all of them. I just like em all so much. I’ve got the Ruger MKII and it well could be my favorite since it is so much fun to shoot; then I remember I have to break it down to clean it and then reassemble it and I just sort of shy away from it a bit. Nope, no gun that makes me beat it with a hammer and pry it with a paperclip is my favorite. Of course, there is the Remington 513T Matchmaster rifle. It is a real looker and a darned good shooter, another one I picked up cheap. Really a beauty but just not my favorite since it gets a lot of competition from the Mossberg M44 that I got from the CMP. That one is a tack driver, I mean it. What a gun, shoots better than I can with it. I don’t know though - accuracy alone does not make for my favorite among all others. I also have the Remington 241, nice gun and if it didn’t eject down and have shell casings hitting my wrist of forearm, I might like it more. It’s the only true take-down I have except of course for the Henry Survival Rifle. That could be my favorite if I shot better with it or, then again, if ever put it back together again. I took it down to its last little pieces and never reassembled it. Lord knows when I will get to that and have some fun with it again. A good project for a weekend day.

Another big-time favorite for me to take to the range is the Marlin 25MN in 22WMR. It is scoped and a tack driver too. Nice rifle, probably my favorite squirrel gun but favorite range gun - almost but not quite. It might be my son's favorite at the range, at least as of this past fall - he fell in love with it after he hammered his shoulder with a 12 gauge and some larger bore rifles. But it's just not my all time favorite range gun. Man oh man, this picking a favorite range gun thing is getting difficult. What else is there? Well, there is the S&W Model 17 revolver in .22LR. That is one nice revolver. Got it at a good price, often comes to the range with me too. The thing is though, it only holds 10 rounds the has to be reloaded manually - no magazine and the chambers are tight. Makes it a bit of a pain in the neck. Of course, if I want to shoot faster, I can shoot the Ruger 10/22 rifle, only 10 round mags but I have lots of em. The Ruger 10/22 was probably (is definitely) the first rifle I bought as an adult. Heck, it was my first rifle ever, now that I think of it. That ought to count for something shouldn’t it? Yeah, it does too, but I have not brought it to the range all that recently - or have I? I just can’t remember. With my muddled middle aged mind it is even harder to pick a favorite. I mean, not remembering which one I like the most or shoot most sure makes it really difficult to figure which one I would chose over the others!

Then there is my son’s All Weather 10/22 but that is his rifle so how could it be my favorite. Let me stick with my own and just tell you right out that the Armscor 14Y, a neat little bolt action in .22LR used to be my favorite. It was because every time I took it to the range it meant my son was coming along for me to teach him to shoot and that was the best thing ever, at least back then. It was his learner rifle! I have not shot it in probably over half a year and even then it had been a long time before that since the prior shoot with it. Heck, my son is a grown young man now. He has his own rifles - but again they are not my rifles - so neither one is my favorite range gun.

What else is there? Got to be getting there soon, that is to the bottom of the list if not to my favorite gun to take to the range. Let’s see. There is the Ortgies in .32 auto. Fun pistol indeed and it goes to the range a good number of times, and is my only personally owned German made gun and I love that about it but a .32 auto as my favorite! Nah - I am not sissy enough to have a .32 as my favorite! Speaking of foreigners, I also have the Yugoslavian M24/47 in 8mm Mauser. Another fun gun and a really nice shooter. I got it only several months ago and it has seen a good deal of shooting because strangely enough, even though an 8mm, it is easy on the shoulder. I like that a lot, what with my bursitis and arthritis, and can hit the broad side of a barn with it so it is okay with my aging eyes too. We are getting closer to the favorite among my guns for the range - I promise.

Speaking of the larger caliber rifles I have, I also have a nice Marlin 336 in .35 Remington. I love that rifle. Got a great deal on it, it works like a charm, shoots like a pro and is a lot of fun. Again though, it is a bit hard on the shoulder. Speaking of hard on the shoulder, there is the Remington 870, my only shotgun. It is my number one choice for home defense, was my number one choice for an entry weapon when on operations at work (I carried my own for awhile until they made it issued only), is a fun gun for trap, is a great hunting gun for deer and birds and squirrels, has probably put more holes in paper than any other long-arm I own except maybe the 10/22, definitely has put more holes in game animals than any other gun I own, and has been with me since the early to mid-eighties. It sure was my favorite for many years and have a hankering to say it is still my favorite except for the thing about my aching shoulder, and neck and back - you understand - don't you!

Of course, I also have some other pistols. I am partial to Berettas. I own two Beretta 92FS 9mm pistols and one Beretta 92SB 9mm pistol. Used to own 4 or 5 (not all at once) Beretta Jetfires in .25 Auto and also a Beretta model 21 in .22LR. All excellent pistols and all lots of fun. The oldest, among all those, is the model 92SB and I am partial to that one if only because it saved my life and got me my nickname of Ballseye (another long story, but not now).

I also have the Beretta 70S in .22LR; probably my oldest pistol or should I say the one I have owned the longest (the Ortgies is the oldest by age). The Beretta 70S is an excellent little pistol. I used to shoot it a lot, still do when do bring it to the range. Luckily I have 5 Beretta factory magazines for it. So, I can shoot it up a bit before I have to reload the mags. That always makes a gun more fun. I really do love that pistol but to call it the favorite among all the guns I bring to the range, it would almost be like I was being disloyal to one of the other ones - wouldn’t it! I don’t want to upset any of them, even though I think maybe, just maybe, the Beretta 70S is my.... I mean after all, they are guns and you don’t want one going off on you because you were a dope and treated one better than the other by way of taking it out shooting with more enthusiasm than another - do you? Not me. I guess that’s it, I guess I can’t have a favorite gun to bring to the range. So, I'll just keep bringing them and shooting them all. Some I’ll shoot a lot now, then I won’t shoot one or two of em for a year or more while something else comes out of the arm’s locker to take their places and the rotation just keeps going.

I guess though, if I had to choose, I would pick whatever gun I had in my hand while at the range as my favorite - for at least those moments I am shooting it. Since I shoot all of my guns, at least now and then, and enjoy each one just as much as another, well you see where this is going don’t you! Yeah that’s it! Each one of them is my favorite gun, my firearm of choice, to bring to the range depending on the moment. It just doesn’t get any better than that, that is unless I get another gun and thus a new one to choose and to shoot to be my favorite of the moment.

I wonder if I missed any? Nah, I doubt it, at least not any I currently own. I think not anyhow. Still though, somewhere there in the back of my head something keeps making me wonder because I just don't want to make any of them feel neglected. Oh well, it must be time to do an inventory and see if I come up with any long lost others that need all the attention I can give them.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, January 24, 2011

TASER

I usually don't bother writing a blog post on something like this, but for some reason it has been bugging me ever since I read a forum post about TASERs. In the post, there were at least 2, and maybe 3, incorrect representations of what is in essence the name of (or acronym for) a modern day lightning bolt of the gods.

It is not a tazer, nor taser, nor Taser. The correct way to write it is TASER. It is always written in all caps to be correct. The name of this very shocking self defense tool is derived from a fictional weapon: Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle from the book by the name of Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle. I apologize for being a nitpicker and posting about it here but it was just getting me piqued for some reason.

All the best,
GB

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chinese Pianist Makes Fools of, and Insults, U.S.A. at White House

If the story in the accompanying link is true, then our nation, under president Barack Hussein Obama, must be the laughing stock of the world, maybe even the universe.

See:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/49822/

One has to wonder just how wildly the president and the first lady applauded.

Amazingly despairing!

All the best,
GB

I Was On The Fence On This One But Not Anymore - I Am TJIC


To be quite honest, I think that Mr. Corcoran was a tasteless stupid asshole person for saying what he said. Oh, please don't tell me you don't know about him. He is the man who allegedly wrote in his blog, shortly after the shootings in Tucson earlier this month, the now infamous quotes:

"1 down 534 to go"

and:

"It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot “indiscriminately”.

Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone."

I think most would agree, it was pretty tasteless and anyone putting that out for the public to see had to have been a stupid asshole person to have done so - and I think a pretty nasty asshole person being he did so right after so many were wounded and killed. Well anyway, that's my personal opinion of him and his writings - I think him a tasteless and nasty asshole person relative to this issue.

Whether tasteless, stupid, nasty or not, no matter what I may think of what this man said or of him personally, I also am of the opinion that his words do not constitute a crime or intent to commit a crime or intent to have others commit a crime.

Since he wrote that, his firearms have been confiscated by the police in his state of Massachusetts. I almost do not blame the police for having confiscated his firearms. Note I said almost. I understand why they did it but I am of the personal opinion that they went to far to fast. They have not accused him of a crime, have not charged him with a crime, yet the have seized his firearms and stripped him of his liberty to keep and bear firearms in MA. Had Mr. Corcoran written or uttered fighting words that were actually meant to incite others to violence against Congressmen, then I would have understood the actions of the police and probably condoned them. The thing is though, he probably did not truly attempt to incite anyone and note I said probably. Probably is the key word here because it goes toward Probable Cause. The police had, as I see it, no Probable Cause to believe he was inciting violence and therefore no Probable Cause to seize his firearms. The police though are saying that Mr. Corcoran made a credible threat and that they will consider it such until they have proven otherwise. I refer to this quotation:

“We certainly take this as a credible threat, and credible until we prove otherwise,” said Arlington police Captain Robert Bongiorno.

Well, isn't that a bit off from what the police usually need to do. Aren't they supposed to determine if an allegation is credible by way of developing Probable Cause and then provide evidence to help prove an allegation beyond a reasonable doubt? In this case, based on the quote, it certainly seems to me, they have assumed it credible and have gone from there, instead of investigating, to determine it indeed was credible and remains credible until they say otherwise. That quote can be found in this online news report. The news report goes on to say that the police are not planning on charging Mr. Corcoran with anything. If that is the case then what was his crime that gave police probable cause to seize his firearms in the first place?

Mr. Corcoran having said something, that was in my opinion tasteless, and nasty, is no reason to seize his firearms or curtail his liberties. If that was the case then the great majority of Americans, most probably myself included (heaven knows some others consider me and my writing much as I consider Mr. Corcoran), would either be in jail or have their liberties somehow else denied them.

I will not go into it in much more but if you want to read more on this subject then go to the below links to the blog posts, on this issue, by the person who apparently started a support group for the 1st & 2nd Amendments by his creation of the 'I Am TJIC' movement, and that is what is seems to be becoming - a movement among bloggers who support the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

http://borepatch.blogspot.com/2011/01/just-words.html

http://borepatch.blogspot.com/2011/01/we-are-tjic.html

http://borepatch.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-am-tjic.html

BorePatch says it pretty well, better than I could say it.

All the best,
Glenn B

reference: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/01/18/arlington-man-loses-gun-license-due-to-blog-about-tucson-shooting/

Ballseye's Gun Shots 110 - The Russians Are Coming - Well, Maybe The AK-47s Are Coming

As per this FoxNews.com article, it has been reported that there are calls within the Russian government to replace its standard military rifle, the Avtomat Kalashnikova-47, more commonly known as the AK-47. What would be the replacement? No one knows, in fact no one knows if the push for a replacement will even be taken seriously. The thing is though, if the Russians do replace the AK-47 with something else, one can only hope there will be an influx of them into the U.S. markets - at least a good number reworked to 'semi-auto only' for those of us who cannot legally purchase full auto.

When reading the linked article, please remember that FoxNews, just like most other of the MS, often gets things wrong (or at least reports on incorrect info) when it comes to firearms. In the article, it is reported that the AK-47 is often credited as the first modern assault rifle. Sorry to those of you who would believe that but there was a modern assault rifle, or two that came out before that. Leave it to Germany to be the first to develop the technology for the first modern and successful automatic assault rifle, the
Sturmgewehr 44 (Stg44, or MP 43 or MP 44). This rifle, developed in 1942 and deployed in 1944, it beat the AK-47 by at least a couple of years. It was a true assault rifle because it fired a true intermediate rifle round, the 7.92x33mm Kurz which was developed specifically with an eye toward a lightweight assault rifle. There also was another modern automatic assault rifle, firing a true intermediate range cartridge, developed many years before and you might be surprised the hear by what country. That would be Italy! Yes indeed, the developed in 1890 (wow, get that in the 1800s) Cei-Rigotti was supposedly a gas operated, selective fire, assault rifle. Although deployed, the Cei-Rigotti though was not considered a success. The first successful one, to see deployment to troops and use in a major war was the Stg44. But I digress so back to the AK.

Besides being the standard rifle of the Russian military, the A-47 is utilized by many other armies throughout the world. It was the mainstay weapon of the European Communist Bloc, was copied and used by the Chinese, is issued to the armies of many African nations, is issued to some armies of Asian nations, is issued to other armies across the globe and is the rifle of choice of drug traffickers and terrorists throughout the world. Its widespread popularity goes to say a lot about the effectiveness of its design, especially toward its simplicity, reliability and durability.

The Russians, in my opinion will not likely toss out an old workhorse like the AK-47 any time soon. It is simple in its mechanics, inexpensive to produce, durable and reliable beyond compare, easy to maintain, easy to operate and uses an effective cartridge - the
7.62x39mm. It was and remains a well designed rifle and credit is due to its designer Mikhail Kalashnikov. It does have one problem, it is not as inherently accurate as it could or should be. So, I think, they may redesign it, if possible to get it to shoot more accurately but I would think that would be about it for a redesign. That is, of course, unless they come up with a new Russian designed assault rifle. I just cannot see them going foreign for a new rifle, they have too much to lose by depending on an outside source of supply for something like that. Stranger things have happened though and if they decide on a new rifle we may see an invasion of AK-47s hitting our shores. That could be a good thing as long as they are in the hands of dealers and not invaders.


All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside...

...and I find myself longing for the days of Global Warming to bring up the temps to a somewhat more sub-tropical levels. (Me thinks though, I'll have to wait until June and late spring or summer for that!) Funny thing about all this cold weather over the past few winters, at least here in NY, is that whenever it gets really cold lately, the weathermen say that the icy blasts of winter's wonderfulness comes to us from Canada. Then in almost the next breath that same weatherman may be talking about Global Warming and how it is running amok in the Arctic and killing polar bears. Don't they even have a clue that if these abnormally cold temperatures are being thrust upon us from Canada, that Canada must be getting the big chill from somewhere. Do they really believe that the polar ice cap in the Arctic is melting because it is above freezing up that way but yet it is colder in Canada - cold enough to send sub-freezing temperatures down at least as far south as Virginia Beach, VA (a reported 27 Fahrenheit degrees as I type).

Should they be telling us this is not really global warming but only polar ice cap warming? Or should they be telling us the truth - that as usual - the weathermen, the scientists, and especially the politicians and moonbat greenies have absolutely no idea as to what the climate is doing, certainly no more so than anyone else such as we ignorant who believe global warming possibly to be a crock of shit balderdash. As a graduate school professor of mine used to say: TICSMYD (talk is cheap, show me you data). The data I can show right now is available to you all, it is currently (as I write) 21 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington, DC, 19 degrees F in New York, NY, 20 degrees F in Baltimore, MD, -18 degrees Celsius in Quebec, QC (yes that would be in Canada and that is a minus sign in front of the 18), -29 degrees C in Yellowknife, NT (yes again in Canada) and -38 degrees C in Resolute, NU Canada (that is about -36 Fahrenheit). By the way, Resolute, NU is within the Arctic Circle. Although, cold in those Canadian locales, I must admit, it is only -15 degrees C (about 5 degrees F) in balmy Montreal, QC.

Let's face it, this is cold weather hitting us right now - very friggin cold weather and it is supposed to get even colder on Monday. I hope the polar bears are wearing their mukluks. Me, I am staying inside and enjoying the fact that I have enough fossil fuel to keep the heat on and help warm up the globe.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye's Gun Shots 109 - The Kel-Tec KSG, Dual Tube, Bull-Pup, Pump Action Shotgun

Take a look at the shotgun in these videos of the Kel-Tec Shotgun (KSG). Need I say it - I want one of them. The MSRP is $800, quite the amount for a pump action shotgun but then again, who else has a dual tube, 15 shot, bull pup design, shotgun! I recently got enough stashed away to purchase the bolt action rifle I have been wanting in either 308 or 30/06 but now am none too sure that the money will be going toward a rifle purchase. Of course, if I go for the Kel-Tec KSG, it would have to be NY legal and it appears to be such. No threaded barrel for flash suppressor, no folding or collapsible stock, no bayonet lug - only a pistol, grip. That magazine capacity could be questionable but I am pretty sure they excluded tube magazines from the restrictive assault weapons ban in NY.



For the KSG in action, watch this one:



Yes, indeedy do, I want one. Maybe though I ought to wait for at least the first reviews because as I seem to remember Kel-Tec firearms come with less than a good reputation for high quality. Oh decisions - decisions. Of course even if I was ready to buy right now, it has to hit the market first and be NY legal. A little online checking shows it should be legal in NY State because the NY Assault Weapons ban apparently did not aply to pump action firearms, it applied to automatic and semi-auto firearms.

What a design - I can only pray it will be quality made.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Razor Clam...

...is a strange little beastie, even among the world of bivalve mollusks. Being a clam, it has a shell but its shell is of the softer or more brittle variety - in other words pretty darned thin and vulnerable- certainly not like most clams with which I am familiar. The shape of this clam is basically that of a straight edged razor (yeah usually only old timers know about straight edged razors). The type I am speaking about, of clams not straight edged razors, are of the genus Ensis not Siliqua. I bought a bunch of them this evening. They are all about 5 to 6 inches long and look like the ones in this article though they could be the ones in this other article. I saw Andrew Zimmern, of Bizarre Foods, eat them raw on a show recently and picked up the bunch with fine but weird eats in mind. The one he ate was huge compared to the ones i got but they will have to do. I am guessing I got about a pound of them. In that, I am estimating that about 2/3 to 3/4 of the weight is eatable because the shell weighs so little due to how thin it is.

Right after I got home with em, I cracked open my cook book and took a gander at the section on clams. It said to clean razor clams, you snip off the end of the neck (I hope they meant the foot), cut em out of the shell, cut and scoop out the black muck and mire (I am guessing that is the equivalent of clam poop) and cut away other dark parts and then what you are left with is what you eat. The good thing is you don't need to pry or shuck open the shells, they come apart or break apart easily enough by hand. Well, I did all that and what was left was alike to the regular meaty part of a regular clam - just narrower and longer in proportion.

Now once I had done that, what else could I have done but eat it. So there it went through the lips over the gums and after a bit of chewing - look out stomach here it comes. It was absolutely delicious - I mean that - really I do. I love my seafood, and love raw clams and oysters, and now have to say I love these weird looking clams, that remind me of my great-grandfather's straight razor, as well. After one, I had another. Not that one wasn't enough to satisfy my curiosity, well really it wasn't because you can never really tell from just one taste of delicate flavor if it was good or not. Get that - it has a delicate flavor. The flavor is also definitely a clam like taste but something else too, something that I could not figure after just one clam. When I had the second one, I had it figured, it tasted something like a clam and something like an oyster! Mmmmmm that was gooooood, very gooooooooooood!

Despite how good they tasted, I decided to place them into a holding pattern until tomorrow. I have the in-laws coming over tomorrow for Christmas dinner. Yeah, I know, it is a bit late for Christmas. They were supposed to be here the day after Christmas but we got about 14 inches of snow that day and the snow just killed our plans. (Oh my goodness - have I offended a liberal -should I have said the snow just made us change our plans instead of being so violent prone as to have said killed our plans?) Well - whatever - tomorrow I am going to kill some clams and I am guessing my son and my two brothers-in-law are going to help me annihilate them and I don't care whom that offends - I am going to enjoy the little slimy critter as they slide down my throat.

All the best,
GB

Apple iPhones and Why I Will Never Buy One

I will probably never buy myself an Apple iPhone, nor any other product that is sold by Apple. Why is that? First and foremost because I cannot stand the Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. It's a personal preference or should I say lack of preference when it comes to him for me. The guy creeps me out just looking at him. Each time I see him on the news, I almost actually expect to see an aura of glowing words floating around him - those words: ultra leftist liberal exploitive leech. Just have always gotten the creeps when I saw him. Take that along with the crowd that first bought Apple computers big time, way back when, and I am really creeped out. They were all pretty much just like him except not as rich. Nowadays he has gotten more of a main stream crowd if only because mainstream, sadly, has gone much further left than it used to be. Of course you also could consider his politics - they are, I imagine much likethat aura I mentioned. His politics seem to play over onto his business dealings and into how he treats his customers too - like he is the Pied Piper and they are the morons rats which must blindly follow him. Of course that is all just how I feel about him, but it is enough to make me not want to buy his products.

Need an example of what I am talking about. Go
here and read the article about where it is reported that the latest Apple gimic is removing then changing the screws in the back of iPhones, when they are brought in for repair to Apple service techs, to screws that the user (as in the OWNER of the phone) cannot later remove or would find very difficult to remove. Thus, the owner cannot even do something as simple as easily changing the battery of the phone. And guess what, it seems they were keeping it a secret from their customers! If that is the Free Market at work, give me the CCCP anyday.

He may be a genius, may be a savvy businessman, may be the penultimate computer geek, and may be filthy rich and his iPhones and iPads may be snazzy with all the virtual bells & whistles but none of those are any reason for me to admire him or for me to even consider buying his products - he and his business practices just scuzz me out that much.

Mind you, I do not wish him any ill, I realize he is out on medical leave or something like that, it is just that the latest report about them allegedly screwing their customers by changing the screws was over the top for me, enough so that I needed to vent.

Later 4 U,
GB

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tax Time Is Upon Us & I Am Just Sitting Here Feeling Miserable

Yep, that pretty much sums up my day at home today - feeling crappy. It's not because tax time is upon us, I can feel lousy without any help from the tax man. This past Friday, I went to see the doc over a sore throat I had for about a week and was told to take some antibiotics. On Saturday, I got pretty sick and I was pretty ill from Saturday through Tuesday. I was too sick on Saturday to get back to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription and only asked my son to go to get it about 5 minutes after the pharmacy had closed. (I thought it was open til 9 but they now close at 6PM on a Saturday - new hours - they have got to be kidding). So, my wife got it for me on Sunday. Then stayed home in bed through Tuesday. Yesterday, I went to work (for some unknown reason) because I thought maybe I was better enough to go and get something done. Then, by yesterday afternoon, I felt crappy again while still at work. Last night it hit me again like a half ton of hippo feathers and I am again feeling like shit today. I guess the antibiotics are not knocking it out and I may have to head back to see the doc again tomorrow. I hope not but, the way I feel right now, I am pretty sure that will be the case.

I did do a little something today, besides sleeping and watching TV when awake, to prevent boring myself to death - though that was not much. I worked on my son's taxes for 2010. If I got them right so far, he should get a decent refund (maybe he will treat me to a cheeseburger & a beer). I have not begun my own tax returns yet. I semi-dread doing my own taxes but that is not why I have not started them, I just don't have almost any of my, or my wife's, tax papers for this year yet. I hate waiting for that stuff because, by the time it all arrives, I usually lose the impetus to get the returns done quickly. Hopefully though, I'll have em done within a week of getting the W-2's and 1099's and such.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

26 States Join Together In Florida's Lawsuit Against Obamacare

Here is the list:

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Colorado

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Louisiana

Maine

Michigan

Mississippi

Nebraska

Nevada

North Dakota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

South Dakota

Texas

Utah

Washington

Wisconsin

Wyoming

For more info, go to:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/18/states-join-obama-health-care-lawsuit-fla/

It just warms my heart to know that, it really does. When I retire, I may try to talk my wife into moving to one of them.

All the best,
Glenn

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Walking Dead on AMC

Tonight, I watched the first few episodes of The Walking Dead on AMC. They are running again right now from the first episode. They are showing all of season 1 in two nights and since there were only 3 episodes tonight, I guess there were about 6 episodes in all (what a short first season). I have already seen the next 3 episodes but missed the ones I saw tonight the first time they aired so I am a happy camper. I am eagerly awaiting the second season although I have no idea when it will commence. Eagerly awaiting it because I am a fan of zombie movies and such, and this series is pretty good regardless of the screw-up they continue to make. The most incongruous things I have seen so far is that the zombies are definitely attracted to humans by sound - yet in some scenes the sound would be enough to - well - to wake the dead - yet the scene stays zombie free. Another major foul up was when they left the sociopath handcuffed up on the roof. he was able to get a saw to saw himself free. So what does he do - he saws off his hand. Hell - it was a hack saw and hack saws are used to saw through metal like handcuff chains or the much weaker metal to which the handcuffs were attached in that scene. besides that, the guy was an ex-con - any guy who has done time in jail and has learned anything, has learned how to jimmy open a pair of regular handcuffs. he had more stuff around him than he needed to do so. They were striving to be dramatic and gory and thrilling but there was a more believable way to go about it than was that. That was just a rank amateur mistake. Then again so too was the scene at the very beginning when the sheriff tells the deputy to make sure he has the safety off. There is no external user controllable safety on a Glock and while I was momentarily distracted at that scene, I am fairly certain it was a Glock. There is also another scene where a survivor, a blond woman, is holding a gun on the sheriff and wanting to shot him. I have to wonder, in her state of excitement, anger, helplessness, confusion, why is her finger straight along the side of the frame of the pistol and not on the trigger. Someone in the movie making industry listened too literally to a gun guy about not placing your finger on the trigger until ready to shoot. It just ruined the scene for me - she was ready to shoot - she was bitching mad at the sheriff and at the end of her wits. She should have had the trigger pulled about halfway back already. The finger where it was just did not go with the outrage, anger and other emotions of the scene.

Still, its okay. My wife always says I am unobservant but she hates it if we watch a movie together because I always notice things like that and let her know it. Now I watch TV down in the basement and she up in the living room. Oh well...she does not like zombie movies anyhow, so I will enjoy this series by myself. I really am eagerly awaiting season 2, other than my minor nit-pics it is pretty good zombie gore.


Of course, if it winds up that the sheriff wakes up out of a coma in the final episode, the same coma he was in at the beginning, and it was all a dream, I may never again watch another zombie series.

One last thing - all those scenes of good organ meat and ribs have gotten me hungry, I think I'll go grab a bite.

Later 4 U,
GB

Respecting The Flag of the United States of America

Today, I added a link list, over on the right side of my blog in the red zone, dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America. The flag is more than just a symbol of our great nation, it is a living entity as per U.S. law and it should be treated with all due respect. I was brought up to Pledge Allegiance To he Flag. Yes, it was with the words 'under God' included and even though I don't believe in God the way I used to believe, not in the conventional way of organized religions, I still say the Pledge with those words - and mean them too. I show great respect for the flag though will admit I do not usually fly it at my home, though I think that needs to be remedied. I am not perfect and certainly can improve in that regard (among many others).

Yet, despite not being one who normally displays our flag I try not to show it anything but respect, I was raised to do so. So, it sometimes simply amazes me how disrespectful some United States Citizens and others within our borders can be when it comes to our flag. sometimes the disrespect is due to wanton vileness on the part of the person who is being disrespectful such as when someone carries the flag upside down at a rally or in a parade, or when someone drags it on the ground in protest, or when someone burns it while cursing our nation. Other times, the disrespect just may be overlooked because the person committing it has an honestly well intentioned purpose to bend the rules just a bit. Examples of this would be someone wearing a flag T-shirt to express patriotism (I am guilty of this one), or when a politician autographs a flag for a person at a patriotic event. While there are other reasons people may show disrespect to our flag, I suppose the number one reason is probably due to ignorance. Many people apparently do not realize that there is a certain set of rules or protocol to be used, by all of us, when displaying or even sometimes observing the Flag of the United States of America.

I guess that a lot of the ignorance about our flag and the respect tat should be shown for it, is due to the society that we have become. Vandals, malcontents, illegal immigrants, racists of any race, ultra leftists with an agenda, extremist on the right with an agenda, often show disrespect for the flag as a way of showing disrespect for their political opponents or for those who have an agenda that differs from their own. What they fail to realize is that the American flag is not the symbol of those on the right, those in the middle or those on the left or those with other ideals - it is the symbol of our great nation the banner of our citizenry across all political, racial, ethnic, ideological lines for we the People of the United States of America. It is our flag, your flag, my flag, if you are a citizen or legal resident of the United States of America and is also often soon to become the flag of those masses who strive to legally immigrate to the USA and become U.S. Citizens.

I learned that early in life, that it is our flag. I also learned to respect the flag and to pledge allegiance to it. I learned that in grammar school, those nuns sank it in man did they ever, and I learned it at cub scouts, and I learned it at summer camp. One respected our flag. It was awhile later on, probably just before I turned into a teen or maybe in my early teen years, that I truly learned to exactly what I was pledging allegiance. It was not only to our flag but to our nation, to each and every state united under that flag, to the U.S. possessions, and to the people of this great land - all united despite our differences and all living united under our Constitution. Whether or not you liked me, or whether or not liked you, did not give me or you cause to disrespect our flag because in doing so you disrespect not only the other guy but all of the people of the United States of America who ever were, are or will be and everything for which this country stands. Those whom you disrespect when you disrespect the flag include: the Founding Fathers, the pioneers, native Americans, they who carried the flag into battle unarmed, those who dropped their arms to pick it up and continue the charge armed only with it (this was common among Union soldiers during the war between the states), they who sacrificed their lives in wartime and peacetime to keep our nation safe, they who work hard to make America a good place to live (such as farmers, factory workers, teachers, policemen, firemen, nurses, doctors, judges, nuns, ministers, butchers, clerks, auto mechanics, philosophers, professors, dentists, laborers, scientists, blacksmiths, explorers, bankers, even lawyers and politicians). It also includes non-citizens such as they who clamor to come here from abroad and are willing to do so legally because they believe this the greatest nation on the earth and is worth getting to under its laws. Then too, it includes: they who respectfully disagree with your point of view, they who do so disrespectfully or illegally, those who are our political allies or are our opponents. Disrespect for the flag also shows disrespect for our children, our grandparents and other family members, our ancestors, our descendants, and most of all - ourselves.

We have become a nation of folks who show disrespect to one another on a daily basis. It happens while flipping the bird to someone driving on the highway who may have just cut you off, it happens when we don't hold the door for the person behind us, it happens when we try to enter a room or an elevator or a bus or a subway car before letting others exit first, it happens when we fail to say please or thank you or excuse me when appropriate, it happens when we walk down a hallway staying to the left instead of to the right, it happens during political rallies or when we talk politics, it happens every moment of every day and almost every American is guilty of it to one extent or another. The thing is though, it has been happening so much and with such force that we have forgotten the most important thing about being citizens or legal residents of the United States of America - that is that:

UNITED WE STAND - DIVIDED WE FALL

Our flag is a symbol of the unity that we need to survive and to thrive as a nation. Disrespect for our flag is not only a symbol of division, it is actual divisiveness - a destruction of our unity and therefore a destruction of our nation when it is performed purposefully as described above. It is also a plaque on our nation when done for commercial purposes such as selling underwear or other clothing items that represent or look like the flag and additionally is a pox on our system of government when politicians exploit it and that for which it stands or otherwise disrespect it to gain political favor from one side or another. Finally, even inadvertent disrespect for our flag is akin to a social disease from which most of us suffer to one degree or another. So what can be done to remedy it all.

First of all, we can begin again to make sure that respect for the flag is taught in elementary school. It would be a lot better to teach our children that, in the 1st grade on up through graduation from high school, than it would be to teach them about how to use a condom to prevent getting HIV/AIDS in elementary school. That could wait at least until 7th or 8th grade. Anyone who says otherwise has a screw loose if they truly think sexual behavior should be taught to kids younger than that in school, after all they do have parents. On the other hand, teaching them about the flag, and respect for the flag and their country, will teach them about respecting other Americans. Having them all learn that respect for the flag as a unifying symbol of Americans will help create a tolerance that so many seem to demand today but that they not really try to foster. It will show them, that even though they think differently, look different, act different, speak with different accents, come from different places - they are all united under the flag if they are citizens or legal residents (they who immigrated here legally). Let's face it - I am not including illegal aliens here because for the most part they disrespect our flag by there first act on our soil being a criminal act - they just don't care about the sovereignty of our nation at all as I see it.

If we could get back to doing such a simple thing once again, it would do more to create a spirit of unity in this country than any president, any movie star, any catastrophe, any court order or interpretation of the Constitution, or any other thing of which you could think. Each and every parent and each and every school in this country should be obligated to teach our children about our flag and about how we should all respect it if for no other reason because respecting it means respecting one another as one Nation under God (take those two words or not), indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

If you think you may not be upon flag protocol as much as you should be, then maybe you want to click on the links in the red zone over to the right of my blog page under the header 'U.S. Flag". Then again, even if you think you know it all about Old Glory, you might find out a few things that you would be surprised to learn. Once you know the basics, you can start teaching your kids. I am certainly going to use them to educate myself.

All the best,
Glenn B

Have President Obama & The Democrats Stopped Blaming Bush...

...or are they about to stop? Seems to me with rhetoric like that spewing forth from the mouth of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) this may be the case but they are still seemingly not ready to accept responsibility and still want to blame the other guys. President Obama has been president for 2 years now and as you are aware, if you read or watch or listen to the news, President George W. Bush was the favorite whipping boy of the Obama administration. The democrats blamed him for everything while he was in office and then the Obama administration took the lead and kept blaming him for everything even as it was all obviously being made worse and worse by the current administration. The thing is, after about a year and a half, the people, including many democrats (and even many ultra leftists) began to realize that the Obama administration was nothing like what it promised it would be and was causing many new problems for us (especially regarding our economy and our foreign policies) and that it was exacerbating old problems. All the time the Obama administration was doing so, President Obama and his mouthpieces in Congress had been telling us it was someone else to blame and they themselves were blameless for the most part.

Things have just kept getting worse and new problems keep arising, and our deficit has soared beyond the scope of sanity, and all they could do was blame George W. Bush. Then in November the makeup of the Congress shifted markedly due to the elections. The Republicans took control of the House. Now suddenly it is January and the Republicans are poised to start taking some actions in Congress with the hopes of correcting the foul-ups created or made worse by President Obama and the democrats. So what do the democrats do? Do they say okay we will work with you? No, that would be to much to hope. What they do instead is to start to blame someone else for our economic problems. They are now blaming China and becoming very outspoken about it. Remember how critical of Greece was this administration when the Greeks tried to blame the US for its economic failure! Yet the dems blame another country now for our failure because they can no longer get away with blaming Bush. Senator Charles Schumer (D - NY) has said the following, in essence challenging China with a serious threat, though one has to wonder with what he would back it up. (see: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/01/17/ahead-hu-visit-senators-push-china-trade-legislation)

"China's currency manipulation is like a boot on the throat of our economic recovery," Schumer said in a statement. "We are sending a clear message to the Chinese government: if you refuse to play by the same rules as everyone else, we will force you to."

Hmm, what happened to blaming George W. Bush? I guess, it is no longer his fault, it is now the fault of the Chinese that our economy is failing. Makes one wonder, if they are ruining our economy, why is it that we keep borrowing money from them? Wouldn't it be counterproductive to borrow from someone who is trying to destroy your economic status. The Chinese have admitted as much. Their president, Hu Jintao, recently said that the Chinese yuan should become the prominent currency in the world - replacing the U.S. dollar. Soon, I think, we will owe them so much money we may have to use their currency here in the U.S.A.; it would not be much of a surprise to me!

The thing of greatest concern about all this is not even that we owe the Chinese over 1 trillion dollars (get that - we owe them just about 1/14th of our national debt) but that we are now challenging them about their own prosperity. Do mouthpieces like Schumer not even consider that China is set to become the leading world power, that the balance of power has been and continues to shift markedly in their favor, that they have been building up their navy and air force for several years now, that they are allied with other countries who are our avowed enemies such as North Korea and Iran. Does Schumer forget that our President is seen as weak because of his incessant apologies for everything American after he took office and for his blame the other guy tactics. Does he forget that we are indeed weak when it comes to our economy? (If so, one would have to wonder how he could forget considering just how much he blamed on GWB!) Does he not realize that we borrow more money from China than any other nation? Does he forget that 'Made In The USA' is a lost concept and that many if not most of our manufactured imports are made in China? Does he forget we are currently involved in 2 wars on foreign soil? Does he want to involve us in a war with China - even just a trade war? If I believed that the Democrats under the leadershipmanagement of President Obama could lead us through this crisis while facing off against China - I would applaud him. The thing is, in the long run, we are doomed if we keep borrowing from, then blame our failing economy, on a nation that is set to become the dominant world power of this decade. We really don't need any help from China to destroy our economy; the current administration seemingly has been doing a great job of that - the same administration that just cannot seem to stop blaming the other guys.


I just wish that guys like Schumer would shut up or at least give a good amount of thought to what they say before they say it - and I wish that guys like him would start to accept the blame themselves for things they screwed up - like our economy. Something tells me I will just keep on wishing for at least another 2 years.

The opinions expressed above were my personal opinions.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ballseye's Gun Shots 108 - A Firerarms' Expert On The News

Not all too long ago, just a few days really, I posted and criticized here about the media's use of expert consultants on almost everything that they report with one big exception - that being news reports on firearms. Well, thanks to the blog over at Armed & Safe, I was treated to a video of the media making an attempt to seemingly utilize the expertise of someone who would at least appear to be a firearms' expert. Now, mind you, he sure sounds as if he might have the credentials to be an expert or at least a limited expert, on some things to do with firearms - he was a government agent for about 25 years, he worked for an agency that dealt a lot with firearms that agency being the BATFE, he carried a weapon for his job, he said magazine instead of clip, after leaving BATFE he supposedly became a N.Y. City Sheriff, and he reportedly investigated a school shooting. Sounds pretty 'expert like' BUT then he opens his mouth and what he spews forth simply makes me think him just another anti-gun media shill. If you have not heard this spiel before, listen to the edited version here (mind you even though edited from its full length you will hear how poor a choice of firearms' expert he was, in my opinion, if you pay attention to him). It simply amazes me the media would use a guy like this who may have kept his issued sidearm in his desk drawer for most of his career from what he seems to know about it based on what he said in this video:



Did you catch it - his blunder? I am not going to be as nice as were the folks over at Armed & Safe and tell you where it was that he screwed up; so if you did not catch it - watch and listen again. Really, even though it is a mistake even most non-firearms people would never make, he makes it. While it should not have been an easy mistake to make, it is easy to miss because he apparently missed it himself and in his so called expertise he seemingly never realized how ridiculously foolish a thing he said thus never correcting himself. Of course, neither did the reporter but that is why they got an expert right - so as not to make stupid mistakes - wasn't that the reason or was it just to ram anti-gun sentiment down our throats.


So tell me, is this guy a real firearms' expert or what? My vote goes for or what! Whew, there I was, just for moment, thinking the media had made a liar out of me and used a real firearms' expert as a consultant! Of course, all of that is just my personal opinion.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ballseye's Gun Shots 106 - Finally Got A Chance To Go To The Range Today...

...and I can tell you, it was way too long between range days for me. I qualified at work last month or maybe in November but have not been to the range shooting for fun for way too long, it seems like many, many, months already though it's only been since October. I have got to get myself back into the groove and start going at least once a month on average. Not that I shot bad today or anything like that, I did okay, but shooting is something that requires regular practice and besides that - it is fun.

I brought only two pistols with me this evening, my issued Sig 229 and my personal (authorized as secondary for my job) Glock 26. I guess I shot about 400 rounds in all, 150 .40 S&W from the Sig and 250 9mm from the Glock. It was certainly focusing for me and relaxing too.

All the best,
GB

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Health Care Repeal Vote Is Either Doomed To Fail Or To Be Vetoed By The President Unless...

...that is the Republicans start using their brains. Of course, simply may be to late for even that. According to a report at FoxNews.com, the Republicans are preparing for the Health Care Repeal Vote (see: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/13/house-republicans-tee-health-care-debate-pausing-tucson-victims/). As I said though it is probably due to fail one way or the other but does not have to fail and there is still time to assure such with a rather simple bill being introduced to Congress.

If the Republicans in Congress had a half a brain between them all, then they would not be rushing to vote to repeal the Health Care Reform Law. What they would be doing instead is a media blitz of how they first intend to force a vote on a bill, call it the No Exceptions Bill, mandating that everyone within the United States of America be obligated to obtain health care under the provisions of the health care law - no exceptions. In other words they would first have a vote to make sure that all Representatives and all Senators, and all members of the Executive Branch, such as the President and Vice president would not be excepted from the Health Care Reform Law (or any arts of it), as they now are excepted, and they should be shouting that from the rooftops. In their media blitz, while presenting this bill to the public, their whole push should be to show all Americans that if the health care bill is good enough for those not in government, like the regular Joe and Jane Citizen, then it is good enough for our elected officials too. They should also point out, that if the No Exceptions Bill is passed into law and the Health Care Repeal Vote subsequently either falls short of enough votes for a real or is vetoed - those who wrote it and passed it in the first place will have to abide by the Health Care law without exception and it will serve them right if they do not repeal it!


Guess what the result would be. The No Exceptions Bill would most certainly be passed because the outrage of the public over the current exceptions would light the fire and the politicians would be too darned afraid not to vote for it. That is if the Republicans presented it right - and that would be none to difficult to accomplish. Once the No Exceptions Bill passed the House and the Senate, you can bet it would be signed into law by the president. After that was done, tell me - do you really think there would not be enough votes to repeal the Health Care Reform Law? You can bet that all those who made sure to except themselves from the provisions of that law in the first place would be none to happy to actually have to abide by its provisions. They would undoubtedly vote to repeal it. My bet is the president would sign it because if he vetoed it then I am guessing there would be enough votes to override his veto - that is of course if they first pass the No Exceptions Bill.

Remember, you heard about this idea here first.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

As The Snow Falls...

...and the sheep to be counted seem to elude me, I am sitting here at my computer. I have been blogging for a good while now, even though the previous post says it was posted at about 0930 on Tuesday morning, I only finished it about 10 minutes ago. The time stamp goes onto the post as soon as you begin it - not when you finish it. Just as I finished up that post, the side door of my house opened and in came what looked like the abominable snowman although it was only my snow covered son. I asked how deep it was and he told me about 5 or 6 inches. I walked upstairs and took a look outside and said - no way, it's only about a half inch. He then told me a shocker - he just got done shoveling. What a good son is he! Funny, I never even heard the shovel scraping the concrete, I guess I was involved in the previous post a lot, enough to zone out on everything else I suppose. Well anyway, his shoveling will make my job later this morning all that much easier, that is if the wind does not start blowing and just pile it all back on the sidewalk. There is a bit of a wind now but not much and if it stays that way maybe there will only be another 5 or 6 inches when I get my butt out there to shovel around 8 or 9AM. For now, I had better find that flock of sheep and start counting until I fall asleep.

All the best,
GB

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ballseye's Gun Shots 105 - Why Didn't Anyone Else Have A Weapon...

...and use it against Jared Loughner? Think about that as a legitimate question to ask yourselves. While thinking about it, note that I did not ask why anyone didn't have and use a firearm, I specifically said a weapon. While a firearm would certainly be included under the header of 'A Weapon', so to would be a knife, mace, pepper spray, an expandable baton, a sap, and a stun gun. They are so common that they should immediately come to mind when the word weapon is brought up in such a context, and should pop into one's mind even quicker when the discussion turns to self defense. You would think that someone in that crowd of people would have had one of these fairly to very conventional self defense weapons when this apparent madman went berserk and started shooting. Yet, it has not been reported that anyone used a weapon against him to help bring him down. Why didn't they? Think about that long and hard because it is a very important question and your answer to it may just tell yourself an awful lot about yourself and about the society in which we live.

Then, after thinking about the answer to that question, pose another one for yourself. If you had been there, would you have been armed and would you have had the mindset to take out the madman. I can tell you this, had I been there, I likely would have been armed. I also am fairly certain enough of myself to say I would have at least tried to take some sort of action to stop him had I not already been incapacitated. Note I did not say had I not already been shot. If I was able to move, I like to fancy that my training and current mind set would have taken over and that I would have taken action to end the threat. also I would like to think that any action I would have taken would have come long before the action taken by those brave few who tried to and actually did stop him. In other words, I would hope that I would have acted by the time he had only got off no more than a few or several shots and not all 30 that it is quite possible that he fired. (I base this on reports that he was using a 30 round clip magazine.)

By now you may have realized that I have not said I would have shot him but that I would have tried to negate the threat; of course, the implication is I would do that with a weapon. You can bet that I would certainly try with a weapon if the situation presented itself. That is because I would want to inflict the maximum amount of damage to him that I could, in the shortest amount of time, to stop him as quickly as possible. You will also note I am not saying I would kill him. I have been trained to stop the threat, if that means I yell at him and he drops his weapon and surrenders then so be it. Yelling may be my only option in some circumstances but if I was close to him I would choose another more surefire method. So, on the other hand, if I put two in his chest and one in his head, and he winds up dead - well tough shit for him. I would not be trying to kill him though - just trying to stop him.

Now back to why I said I did not mention shooting him right off. In a situation like the one that presented itself that sad day, the chances could well have been that getting a clear shot might have been all but impossible. If I had a clear shot, I would have taken it and a followup or two. What if it was not a clear shot, what if others seemed to be in the way. Would you chance it? Would I? Maybe I would, depending on how much damage he was doing. Then again, maybe I would charge him and stab him with a knife or shoot him if a shot opened up. I always carry one or two knives on me - well almost always, just like I usually have a gun. Maybe I would be lucky and have both with me and have some great options.

Of course, it is quite possible that those options may not have been at all available if it was one of those rare days when I left both gun and knives at home. That is, that would be a rare day for me. Others quite likely would not be as well armed as am I on a regular day for me. Okay - what else to do if you don't have a gun or a blade. Go for the pepper spray, start squirting when double the distance from him you think is effective if you have too, maybe he will dick and someone else will get him down. maybe not - it would be a chance you could take that could make you the hero or the dead guy who tried. Mind you, even when trying to stop a crazed gunman, like him, with your own gun or a blade - you could still wind up injured or dead. Then again, standing there or cowering down and pooping in your pants might accomplish the same thing - you being injured or dead. This was a life or death situation and in such a situation I tend to think that I should try to gain control especially once the bullets are already flying. So what would you decide.

No pepper spray either - heh! ope most people do not carry Guns, knives or pepper spray. most don't have the other weapons I mentioned above like stun guns or expandable batons either. If I had one of them though, chances are I would act and try to bring the bad guy down. Even without such weapons at hand, I think I might try something. First I would try to make my ass stop puckering to hold in the crap that would be about to load down my drawers. I would do that by moving since a moving target is harder to hit. I would seek cover if possible. Once behind cover i would try to arrive at what to do having already assessed what was going on as I was moving for cover and crapping in my pants. Are you chuckling or thinking I am trying to be funny. I am not. I would fully expect to be so scared, if I was weaponless, or just if someone was shooting at me and others were falling shot all around me, that I figure I would either piss myself or shit myself or maybe both. It happens; the thing is I would not let that stop me from taking action.

Hopefully, whatever action I decided upon would be good enough to stop him or to get others to help me to stop him and we would do it. Maybe sticking my pen in his eye, or repeatedly stabbing him in the face with it would work. Maybe grabbing his gun if i could get close enough - and if I am close enough to stab him then a gun grab is definitely within the realm of possibilities. Maybe i could grab a shopping cart (this was at a supermarket) and ram him with it. Maybe I could pick up a rock and throw it at him - no rock - what about my cell phone; and as I did that I could yell get him - or go for him now - just as I throw because by the time it hits him others will have heard it just before he is momentarily stunned or distracted. No cell phone, no rocks, what about my shoe or shoes. Close enough to hit him with something but not close enough to grapple yet. Wow - how did my belt wind up in my hand, buckle end ready to swing at his face. There are weapons - weapons everywhere but not a soul to wield them. Well except for me if I am in the crowd - what about you!

Truth be told - I would much rater have a gun in a gun fight than have a knife or have a show or a rock or a pen or a belt or a gun take away move. The thing is though, when people are being shot all around you and you can get to the shooter within a couple or a few steps, then maybe you had best think of going for him even while he is still shooting. Why - because if you don't try - you may be the next one to take a bullet. Yes, hes, yes - I know - if you do try you may be the next one to take a bullet. You have to decide which is better - to die trying or to die like a cowardly lion or a timid mouse. You could live either way too. So you also need to decide which would be better - to live the rest of your life realizing you did nothing while others were injured and died or to live the rest of your life knowing you tried your best to stop the threat and maybe even to live realizing that had it not been for you stopping the bad guy more innocent people would have been injured or died.

I am not suggesting even for a moment that you try to go at someone like John Wayne if you are not that type of person. I am saying you want figure out ahead of time what you are willing to do to save your own life and whether or not you are willing to save others. Here is where that thing I mentioned above about learning something about the society in which we live comes to play. Most people - and this is a fact of life - do nothing - they expect someone else will do it. Even as people are falling bloodied all around them - they do nothing. They expect John Wayne and the U.S. cavalry to arrive in the form of law enforcement officers or in the form of someone else who will do something. The thing is, it is often too late for too many before that someone else arrives or comes to life inside of someone already at the scene. It happened this time, that some few at the scene had that cavalry come to life inside of themselves. The first one seems to have been the woman who grabbed the gun and magazine (or maybe it was just the magazine). That was all it took folks. Grabbing the gun, or the mag. It did not take The Terminator, not Wyatt Earp, not the cops, not a well armed citizen (though how I wish one or two had been there), not anything like that. It took someone who was driven to her limit to be a target, and to her limit to go with the flow of our society, who decided to turn things around. In that moment she became a shepherd, a sheepdog (if you will) and she protected not only herself but the flock of sheep all around her. So too did at least two others become shepherd at that moment and they went in fighting right along with her - but she was the alpha and the omega because had it not been for her and her actions it is quite possible no one else would have done anything. In that regard, our society is sorely wanting, we lack people like her and the others who brought the madman down. It was not always that way, once upon a time we looked out for one another. Sure most would watch but there were a higher percentage who would have gone in fighting than there is now. We need to turn around as a society to realize we need to take one anothers' backs in such a situation. It would save a lot of lives if we did so. Years ago, this guy would have been beaten to a pulp, lawyers have taken away our resolve to do something like that today but that is no reason to just stand there and get killed or injured. We have a right to fight to protect ourselves and others.

The sad thing is though, with regard to the lady (the hero) who grabbed the magazine (and maybe the gun too) she waited until he was reloading to do so. Now, I am not finding fault with her, not at all. What she did was courageous, maybe even foolish in your eyes but not in my view because it was what saved the day and nothing else was going to do that than someone taking action. Sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind and just do it and take the chance that what you do will win out. As I said though, it is sad she and the others, who then jumped on the guy and got control him, waited that long. Believe me - 30 shots is a long time to wait even though they may have been fired in only seconds. I tend to think this guy was aiming and took a bit longer but that is just guesswork on my part right now. Time, and the greater amount of information that will be released as time goes by, will tell.

So what is the point of all this. There are a couple or a few. You should, in my opinion, always be armed when at all possible. You should, in my opinion, always arm yourself with the most effective weapon that is practical. You should be, in my opinion, well trained and practiced in the use of whatever weapon you are carrying within reason. I say within reason because while I am trained with firearms, chemical sprays, batons and some other weapons, I have no knife training or very little of it. I carry a knife mostly as a tool, I know how to use it that way. Yet, I would not hesitate to use a knife as a weapon if need be. I truly believe in 'any weapon to stop the threat in an emergency' so long as it is not causing more of a threat to me and other innocents. You also need to have a plan as to what you will do in the event you ever find yourself in a situation where your life, or the lives of other innocents, are jeopardized and deadly force is being threatened or actually being used.


Besides having a plan, you need a mindset that will allow you to implement your plan and to take action when the action needs to be taken to save lives. If you do ever wind up in such a situation and then do take action and wind up winning the battle and surviving, you may realize something. That is that, the actions of one person often spur on other people to act. Not always, but often. It seems to have happened this time - one person took the initiative, the first step, and others followed in a heartbeat. Maybe they had all decided to act independently of each other but I think that when one saw the first moving, and then a third saw the second moving - that was what had been needed. It just went on from there and they won. I could be proven wrong on this if the heroes in this one are ever asked what made them move - was it seeing someone else going for the bad guy or not - but it really does not matter if I am right or not. What mattered was that people did act and they took control of the situation away from the madman - they stopped him cold and saved the day because he had another one of those 30 round magazines - didn't he! They just didn't give him the chance to use it, they put him down and saved more lives, maybe even their own. Think about that, think hard and long - then tell yourself what you would do in a similar situation. Yes - YOU!

I am not telling you to do anything like that, not even suggesting you ever do it, I am telling you though to make up your mind now as to what you would do if you ever find yourself in such a mess. If you decide that you would take action, then I am strongly recommending that you start planning, training and practicing now for whatever you would do. You though are the one who has to decide what you would do (and mind you choosing to play dead is even doing something). Read the news about this shooting, watch the news about it, pay attention to how many victims there were and how many of the victims had weapons (or not) and who tried to stop the threat. Think about them as opposed to those who did do something, those who stopped the threat and did it without weapons. Then think about whether it would have been more or less likely that the bad guy would have been stopped sooner if someone had a defensive weapon and knew how to use it and then chose to use it. Think about it all, think about it again and maybe again and only then - tell yourself, what it is you would do if faced with much the same. Think hard though, before you answer, because your life and the lives of others may someday depend on what you decided today.

All the best,
Glenn B


(I'll proofread this again later, just figured the message was worth posting as soon as I could.)