I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shame on Me...

...for not picking up on this sooner.

One of the things that I find fascinating and wonderful about this whole "gunblogger community" thing is the way we truly look out for each other. One of us needs a bit of help. Bonnie of Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease is looking at some fairly hefty medical bills for Lyme disease, and is unable to work because of the aforesaid sickness. She is currently taking donations.

I'm putting a bit forward for her. The talk of modern internet tribes is meaningless if we don't take care of our people. She needs help, so go give it!

If pure generosity alone is not incentive enough, the eponymous Jennifer of In Jennifer's Head is running a bit of a raffle, with some neat prizes on offer. She's closing it down at midnight on July 31st though (read: Tomorrow) so get your entries in quick!

We talk about the difference between taxation and charity not infrequently. This is our chance to prove it.

Bleg over. How are you all?

8/1/13 ETA Due to technical difficulties, entries now end TONIGHT. You can't use the "awww, i missed it, oh well" excuse anymore. Go! Donate!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Creating Royalty

It's interesting. Last I checked, this country fought a couple fairly nasty wars to be free of the British crown. Yet here today, 237 years later, everyone is going gaga over the progeny of the royal family.

Beyond snarking at this stuff, it is rather a neat example of the human predilection for royalty. Even should there be no power behind the throne, people are taken with the notion that there are the special few who hold the reins of everything. Little girls wanting to be princesses notwithstanding, few people actually want to be royal, but there is a fascination nevertheless.

I am torn between not getting it, and getting it all too well. Idol worship, be it a royal family, celebrity, or charismatic politician, has quite the siren song. In all cases, there are people who have their positions based on birth alone. The royals are obvious. The Kardashians and Hiltons are celebrities because.... Well, they're celebrities. The Kennedys and Bushs have a similar case in politics.

I am inclined to think that this behavior comes from our natural human predilection to laziness. We don't want to fix things ourselves, but if you've got God Emperor Zeushiltonbama who can do it for you, you feel ok about watching America's Funniest Home Video reruns* and eat potato chips, because we've got our 'best people' on it.

Looking at Obama these days, it seems clear that a great many people, consciously or subconsciously, want him to be king. The fascinating thing about it is that we love a king, so long as he does what we want. We love super soldiers, so long as they obey the timid grumpy bureaucrats. We love a rebel, so long as she fights against the stuff that annoys us. 

The fact that I understand this stuff doesn't make it any less frustrating. The royal sprog means nada to me. Get back to the things that matter.

And while I'm at it, I oughta get those dang teenagers off my lawn.

*Is that a thing? I don't watch TV

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stop the Planet and LET ME OFF

Taken from a recent facebook conversation (Yay NSA, you get to read it twice!):
More depressed at [the current situation]. This whole Zimmerman mess, the media COMPLETELY ignoring the waves of violence, larceny, and vandalism sweeping the nation since the verdict ("it's not 'rioting' so shut up you stupid racist racists"), the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to not be actually racist, the fact that our government in the past year murdered four US citizens with drones… the fact that emotion and tides of public opinion matter far more than truth, integrity or rationality… the fact that 1984 reads like a bloody mirror… need I continue?
 And of course I barely scratched the surface of what's been going on.

I don't know what to do. I run a mostly ignored little blog where I vent and write about this stuff, but while my readers are greatly appreciated, I doubt I'm reaching anyone who might learn from it. I love the ideals of this country far too much to be comfortable taking up arms against it. There's nowhere left to run to that's any better.

I hate this feeling of impotence in the face of these situations. For every little victory we gain, we lose a dozen, some of which we aren't even aware are being fought.

Rereading 1984 is interesting. While last time I took a slightly more optimistic view, this time through I see it much more as the inevitable result of our current progression. The framework for most everything seen in the book is already in place, and expanding daily. While I wish I could hope for the ability of the American people to say no, scandal after scandal has passed by in recent months to the great fanfare of... nothing. A few diligent folks scream into an echo chamber about the atrocious behavior of our government, and the rest just sorta... ignore it.

In an ideal sense, I would finish a post like this with a call to action. 'The world is crap, so go and fix'. The problem is that I don't know that it CAN be fixed, much less how I would go about it. Instead, I will just say this. If you have ideas on how to get this mess fixed, don't be silent. "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Media Bias ARGHHH

I tend to avoid listening to radio news. It's highly frustrating trying to get my news on someone else's schedule, with interesting stories scattered throughout drivel and ads. None of the interesting stuff gets enough attention. I have little interest in hearing someone else read off the headlines.

The other huge problem I have is that, while news agencies tend to be very careful about what bias shows up in print, tv and radio news not so much.

Listening to WBBM on the way to work, the talking head said "four jurors who failed to convict Trayvon Martin's killer..." At which point I almost shut the radio off.

Can you say bias? I am sick and tired of this crap.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Race Card

While reading Robb Allen today, I came across this old post.

It sorta got me curious. What, dear readers, do you consider as "playing the race card"? To me, it is a simple case of bringing up race of any kind as a leverage point in anything other than a demographics discussion. This definition clearly could use some refinement. Any thoughts? Is it the race card to aggrandize your own argument based on race?* To belittle the opponents argument?**

Similarly, and perhaps more importantly, are there any reasonable, appropriate uses of the race card? Is it inherently fallacious?

I'm legitimately curious to see what you all have to say, so please, do comment (respectfully, please.)

*I am (insert here) so I understand what it's like!
**You couldn't understand, being an (insert here)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tam's Claim to Fame

I always enjoy reading Tam. Her writing never fails to entertain and educate. Every once in a while though, she posts something that completely knocks the ball out of the park and quite possibly into the next city.

This seems like one of them to me.

Many people like the notion of "You are your brother's keeper". The trouble with this parable is that people so often forget that the brother did not wish to be his brother's keeper. It was a hard job, a frustrating job, an unrewarding job, and a job that often seemed impossible.

That doesn't mean it wasn't the right thing to do.

Our country has so thoroughly disincentivized that which is right that people are even hesitant to carry a gun because they know the legal ramifications should they ever need to defend themselves. Think about that. People are more frightened of our legal system than they are of major bodily harm or death.

It's odd to find myself in total agreement with the antis, liberals, and half-brains (though I repeat myself) but I agree fully that our justice system is broken. The Zimmerman case should never have gone to trial in the first place. The court of media and public opinion decided this months ago, and nevermind that the justice system gave it as much consideration as possible and arrived at the verdict they did. I'm sickened again to the point of wanting to move, and depressed to realize there's nowhere left to run to.

Maybe New Zealand is accepting immigrants. I've heard decent things about kiwis.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trayvon Martin

It's rare these days that the government does something I don't understand. My cynicism is practiced enough and my eye is sharp enough to see how the assorted bull-honky fits the agenda.

That being said, I can't quite figure out this Trayvon Martin mess.

I have not been following this case terribly closely, but I have been aware of it enough so to see what little case there was against Zimmerman. In the days immediately after the shooting, Trayvon Martin's 8th grade picture was everywhere, and the case caught the public (and more importantly, the media's) attention. People were crying in the streets for Zimmerman's blood.

My initial assumption was that the government took a losing case to trial simply to say to the crazed mobs in the streets "Ok, look! we tried to issue justice, and the courts have ruled it was self defense! We did what we could."

THIS though, turns that on its head. For those who don't click through, reportedly the DOJ has been sending "Community Relations Service" members have been fomenting unrest and spending thousands of tax dollars on training protesters. Suddenly, the .gov seems to have a much bigger stake in this mess.

I don't get it. Are they TRYING to spark massive riots in this country? I can unfortunately see that as an option, as a justification for declaration of emergency powers. I am highly disturbed by what I see coming out these days. It's to the point that I have to wonder if I'm gonna need to button up for riot defense.

And Then There Were None

Illinois has concealed carry. Not the best carry in the world, but hardly the worst.

I laugh in the face of Governor Quinn.

One quick blog administrative note. Scribbler's Dad is now an official contributor to this blog. Now that his name is on it, perhaps I can get him to finally post some of that guest content he promised me....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Updated Roll Call

I apologize for the fact that this post is quite so egregiously late. I have finally gotten around to updating my blogroll after NRA. As long time readers may note, it has... grown some.

As a bit of a bleg, if I met you at NRA (or anywhere else I suppose) and you don't see your blog linked, please let me know! I met so many great people, and I hold it a point of shame that my memory isn't good enough to hold them all. I know I'm forgetting good folks, and if you are among them, please don't take it as a slight. My tiny brain can and will forget my own name, much less those of the myriad people I met.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

237 years

237 years to the day since a group of brave men threw off their shackles and decided to be free. In a classic lesson, they quickly learned the blood, sweat and tears necessary to gain and maintain liberty.

Despite it being something of a cliched trope, remember that freedom isn't free. We are not in the position now of needing to take up arms. That does not mean that we have any less responsibility in the maintenance of the country I still love.

Take today as you see fit. Remember your liberty. I'm gonna go light off some fireworks, go fishing, and eat hunks of cow.

Here's to 237 years, and here's to many more.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ebay frustration

I've been trying to get myself kitted out more completely for fly fishing this past week. One of the items typical to any sort of freshwater fishing where the intent is to eat said fish is a cudgel, commonly known as a priest.*

Despite Ebay's normally comprehensive assortment of most anything you could care to buy and a great deal you probably wouldn't, I was having a devil of a time finding them.

Apparently this is because most 'hand weapons' are banned under Ebay policy.

I have personally bought quite a number of knives off Ebay, including some that would be more effective as blunt trauma weapons than a priest. A quarter inch thick steel blade on top of a dense olive wood handle can ruin someone's day regardless of there being an edge anywhere.

Not only that, but I have purchased swords. I guarantee I could do more damage with any sword than with a club.

Lemme get this straight. By Ebay policy, I can purchase a 36" length of razor sharp steel, but I can't buy an 8"... stick. Someone explain how that makes any sense, 'cause I just plain don't get it.

*Fishermen make puns too.