Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The state of the CCW union

Judging to the reaction to my post entitled "Almost First Draw" (here), there seems to be a major disconnect between those who carry weapons and those that do not. Even the ones go weaponless AND support the right to bear arms, seem to not understand the basic tenants Conceal and Carry Wavier (CCW) holders operate under. It is my goal to bridge the gap between the two groups. Concealed carry is tightly intermixed with the subject of "justifiable use of deadly force" and mindset of self defense, which we will cover in due time. For the beginners, and any that might stumble along this post, I would like to give a little primer on the subject, both political and statistical, to explain where the state of CCW is. I would suggest, you take your time and read the links I provide. They will help your understanding of the CCW culture.

In the beginning

Way back in 1987 Florida was the first state in the Union to pass a modern shall issue CCW law. Since then 39 states (2 this year) have passed similar laws "shall issue" laws and many have reciprocity agreements with each other to respect the licenses of other states, much like drivers licenses. In 8 other states you might be able to get a CCW license if your sheriff is gun friendly or you are well connected enough. In 2 states, the right to carry a gun is denied. You cannot drive coast to coast yet, but a recent national conceal and carry bill that was introduced in the U.S. House might change that.

Since the introduction of conceal and carry laws our nation has experienced a continuous drop in crime, to the point of record low level today(1), this year being a notable exception. There are now more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens, than ever before in the history of America (Page 47). (2) Too determine if you have the ability to get a CCW, please visit for more state by state information.

In fact studies have shown that conceal and carry holders are more law abiding on average than the police who protect us, which should put to rest many people's of the fears (Page 9) . There have been no shootouts between conceal and carry holders over fender benders, that I know of (3). In fact, I can think of a couple stories where conceal and carry holders saved lives, in crowded settings. The right to carry has come a long way, though it is now considered a "privilege" instead of a right by many states. Eventually I hope that situation is remedied along with several other major gun rights issues.

Justifiable use of Deadly force and its requirements (4)

I have not done a survey of all the states, but in the right minded ones, the main principle that determines if the use of deadly force is justifiable or is murder, is if the victim feels that great bodily harm or death could result from an attack. For the most part this does not apply to criminals in the commission of a crime. You can also shoot to defend the life of another, but that is a little more complicated because there are more unknowns. The deadly force test is normally applied both in the grand jury and at trial, if the case makes it that far. This fact has pushed some people to go to great lengths to ensure that IF they do appear in front of a grand jury, their actions are just and that their weapons are politically correct. Appearances could matter to an jury that is uninformed about guns. I personally wonder if you can be sued for NOT intervening to save another's life? I am sure a suit could be brought, though I do not know if it could gain traction.

Another point to note, is that in some states if your home is being invaded while you are present you are presumed to be in danger of your life or limb and can use deadly force against the home invader. Again this only applies to states where common sense actually plays apart in making the laws. In several states this year, castle doctrine was strengthened inside of you home and car. Also, in several of those states the duty to retreat was removed while in public.

Personally, I believe you should also be able to shoot in the defense of property, though the law in most states does not agree with me on that. For example, in my one of my CCW classes it showed a video clip of a man robbing a car and the owner stepping outside of the house. In one version the crook ran away, in that case you could not legally apply deadly force. In another version, the crook turned around with a screwdriver and approached the homeowner, at that point in time the homeowner could legally use deadly force IF he feared for either his life or limb. The one exception that I know of is Texas, there you can shoot in the defense of property, and in some situations you could just be watching the property for someone else, for example house sitting. If you state has a CCW program, it most likely has a CCW class. In that class is where the nuisances of your states laws are explained along with examples of situations and what to do in those situations.

Other comments on the law

It should be pointed out that there are typically laws concerning the brandishing weapons, these typically have a wider variety between states. These laws have led to the general accepted philosophy that if you are going to draw your gun, you had better use it. In other words, before drawing a gun there should be a clear and present danger to your limb or life. Drawing a gun for deterrence is seldom recommended, though according to studies it actually happens more than two million times a year.

Also, in most of the right minded states your attacker (or preferably their family) cannot sue if your use of deadly force was found justifiable based on the attacker's actions. This is the case in Oklahoma. This provides a great peace of mind to the gun owner who uses their gun to defend their self or their family.

Another thing to keep in mind that, if you fire you gun you will most likely be responsible for any damages you bullet causes outside of the attacker. Just because the criminal cannot sue does not mean your neighbor next door cannot sue for bullet holes in their house. Even pistol rounds will penetrate walls. One thing to note, and I will expound on the implications of this later, is that as a civilian you are at a tactical disadvantage in many dynamic self defense situations because "Action always beats reaction".

Preparing to carry

As you can see from the proceeding passages, the choice to carry a gun has its own set of problems legally and morally. In spite of the legal risks and the moral implications many choose to carry everyday. Some have decided that the upside, survival, is worth the downside, possibility killing someone and then having to go through the required legal proceedings, which will be extremely expensive and time consuming, not to mention emotionally disturbing. Some feel that rights are lost if not exercised. Regardless of how you feel you must come to terms with the moral, ethical, and legal issues surrounding conceal and carry -- BEFORE you carry your gun. If you let the issues linger, doubts, second guessing, and indecision could haunt you when action is needed most. Most likely, you would have died with or without the gun, but the sad thing is that with proper information beforehand and forethought on your part a productive and useful life (yours) might have been saved. In other words, if you have a flawed understanding of the law, are unwilling to use the gun for your defense, or if you do not have the skill to properly use a gun for your defense (5), you might should rethink your decision to carry and just run at the first sight of trouble. The one thing conceal and carry does bring to the table is options, which are not present if you are gunless.

The state of mind while carrying

Once you have thought critically about carrying an weapon and have decided that it is the right decision for you, you have crossed an important milestone but your journey is not done. A gun is an important part of a personal protection strategy, but it is not a magic ward against the threats you could face. Should you be faced with a threat you will go though the OODA loop. In order for you to get to the response level (act) of the loop you have to elevate the threat past the threat threshold level. Fortunately, this is easy to achieve though situational awareness or more of a hyper-awareness. The tool of a color coded threat system helps out tremendously in explaining the topic of situational awareness. Once a threat is recognized, the level of the threat must be accessed, and then you can choose an appropriate course of action to save yourself or your loved ones. If you are aware, you can complete the OODA loop quicker than your attacker and hopefully survive to pass on your genes. Failing to orient quicker than your attacker seals your fate. Even if you do recognize the threat early your life is far from safe because you may lack the skill to properly deploy the means to protect yourself. I feel that training is the part many CCW holders skip.

Fight as you train, train as you fight.

I believe training is absolutely necessary to if you are going to carry a concealed weapon. Without training, you will not be able to complete the OODA loop quickly or effectively, which will hinder your chances of surviving a life and death encounter. I do not believe it should be mandated by the state (the quality would decline), but I do believe that the CCW community should place social pressure on its members to be as well trained as they can afford to be. It takes time to develop the muscle memory to draw and aim a gun accurately, especially from the varied locations a gun could be (your glove box, your purse, inside your waist band, etc.) Also, when you are placed under stress many of your fine motor skills will disappear due to the adrenaline surge. This is the one part that I have not completed. I currently am saving the money and the class I am eyeing will be two days and cost about 400 dollars not including the nearly 1000 rounds of ammo I will use.

In conclusion

When you are carrying a weapon, I believe you also carry a responsibility. You must prepare yourself mentally, buy knowing the laws of the land and by being aware of your surroundings. I also believe that your must be fully aware of the deep emotional and moral issues surrounding the use of deadly force in the protection of yourself or others. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, your must train so that your reactions will be sure and quick. This will increase the chance of your survival and decrease the chance that you could miss and injure someone else.

(1) This is not to say that conceal and carry has lowered crime, but it has not risen because of it either.
(2) This is not to say that guns have lowered crime, but it has not risen because of it either.
(3) Probably because when one person pulls a gun, the other person then asks if the have a CCW, if the other person does, both then hug and kiss like Italian brothers.
(4) I am not a lawyer, yada yada, please consult one for laws in you area.
(5) Keep in mind, the skill level for using a gun at typical self defense distances is extremely low.

Doing research

I want to move away. Away to a better place. Do not get me wrong. I am completely happy where I am now, but when I ask myself if i am in the best place, the answer is a resounding no.

So while doing research on other places i got this message from the CIA website.



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

6 imams walk on to a plane...

I know you have heard that one before. Well I wanted to share a bit of information with you. Specifically, the recent survey that Pew took of Muslims feeling about terrorists and terrorism.
You can read it yourself, if you want. I didn't, though. I just looked at the numbers on the front page and averaged them out for you. Basically 2.7 out of ten Muslims surveyed support violence against civilians often or sometimes. Three out of ten Muslims have some or a lot of confidence in Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to the "right" thing regardless of world affairs (whatever that means).

Statistically, there was a decent chance one of those imams probably had very strong beliefs you should be blown up. Think about that next time you see him complaining about getting kicked off the plane.


Sunday, November 19, 2006


As I may have mentioned in the past, my cholesterol is high for someone my age. My first test was in April and I recently went and got another one. Since April, I changed my diet, lost 20 pounds, and started exercising again. It took quite a bit of work to lose the weight and get back in shape. Buy the end of the running season (when daylight savings turned off) I was up to three miles again. I am going to try to maintain during the winter by running occasionally and lifting weights. My goal is to lower my body fat percentage by several points to bring it more in line with what is considered normal.

I had some dramatic changes to my blood chemistry, but not the ones I expected. I expected there to be a significant change in my cholesterol, because I heard triglycerides where tough to move with our medication. It turns out that triglycerides are very weight sensitive, and were adjusted the most. I think a picture will explain it.

Triglycerides and VLDL both decreased dramatically. HDL and LDL increased. LDL had the largest increase. Looking at the data, I have come up with my own theory concerning cholesterol and I think it holds a bit of truth (further research revealed my theory to be somewhat true. Read here and here).

First a little background. VLDL, LDL, and HDL all make up your total cholesterol level. VLDL is the smallest, LDL is the next largest, and HDL is the largest of all (update: actually the size information is wrong.). I believe that my VLDL got rolled up into LDL. Additionally, some LDL was rolled up into HDL. The decrease in VLDL shows a general trending of my body creating larger lipids (or cholesterol). How much of this is true, I am not totally sure. Either way, I feel my overall cholesterol improved a bit more than my raw number shows.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Truth in googling…

"At the suggestion of Say Uncle here’s a google bomb effort to counter the anti-gunners google efforts.

Sensible gun laws

Sensible gun laws

Ban all guns

Ban gun ownership

Just doing my part, feel free to join in."

via Moral Flexibility


Don't Forget

Don't forget, it is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Heh, that never gets old.


A few Zim Dollars for your soul.

Recently a friend just happened to be passing through Zimbabwe and picked me up 200,000 Zim dollars. These dollars happened to be right during the currency redenomination, before three zeros got cut off the national currency. These 200,000 Zim dollars would buy you a coke, from what I am told.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Philosophy of self-defense: What is your life worth?

Remeber your life is only worth the price of a bullet, to a criminal with a gun.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Global Warming Debate

Recently, Justus gave his point of view on global warming and I thought that I would chime in with my particular take. I feel my insight into the situation, is fairly unique.

Naturally and without any real thought, I tend toward the environmentalism side of the argument. This tendency is based purely on the fact that I grew up in a very rural area and also enjoy hiking and backpacking, when I get a chance.

Most importantly, I feel that the entire topic of global warming and the environment has become a political football, which each side supporting the science it wants to hear. The few scientists who do not know the answer and are seeking the truth, don't get the airtime they deserve. Their voices are drowned out by the scientists, political activist, and media on both sides who have already made up their mind on the issue. In other words, the information you hear on global warming is devoid of objectivity and useless for making up your mind.

I also feel few key facts poke holes in the environmentalists and anti-global warming arguments For example, the air is cleaner than it was 20 years ago, which might actually cause more heating of the earth because more sunshine reaches the ground. Then on the environmentalists side, there is the correlation of CO2 gas with the estimated temperature of the earth.

So without a clear answer on Global warming, I am forced to decide that I am neither for or against polices that could stop, slow, or even reverse global warming, within reason.

Political maneuvering

On the way to Europe I watched Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth". During this movie, it became apparent to me that the left has done a great job of spreading the faith of global warming to the American people. The right has attempted to fight back using science and other political means. The right, by putting science in the middle has done the debate a disservice. By trying to oppose environmental rules and regulations, they have made themselves easy to demonize. I am not proposing that they right should lay down and give the left what they want, that would be disastrous You would probably be forced by law to wipe your butt with recycled cardboard, spend a minimum of two years getting to know nature in North Dakota, and be forced to save all of your poop in a big plastic bag to avoid harming the environment. So what should the right's response be to the talk of Global warming?

Al Gore's Idea

Recently, Al Gore suggested replacing the income tax on American businesses with a tax on CO2 (it is there, I read until I found it then threw up.). As long as the tax was revenue neutral, the GOP should take the idea and run with it. I am sure other unique combinations could be created that achieved the environmentalists goals while reducing the tax burden, rolling back gun laws, privatizing social security, removing the personal income tax, removing the capital gains tax, removing the death tax, applying term limits on lawmakers, disbanding the ATF (all those goons could be made to work for the EPA), strengthening eminent domain, letting principals and other teachers carry guns, making sure every person has castle doctrine in their own home and the ability to enforce it, etc.

The environment is a loser for the republicans. The GOP could get some serious swing votes
with a few moves that make republicans and environmentalists happy.




The xd is a great gun, but there are certian key drawbacks. I probably would choose a glock or a 1911 if budget allowed, if i could do it over again. Keep in mind, that I have never had a misfire, FTF (failure to fee), or FTE (failure to fire). It has functioned flawlessly, though I don't shoot much. I probably only have a few thousand rounds through the gun.

I purchased the 4 inch .40 caliber version. I like the XD because it is a bit heavier than glocks (by six oz if i remember correctly), it has a grip safety, which I think is a wonderful feature. I don't understand why all guns don't have them. It has a better grip angle than glocks (it has the same grip angle as the 1911). The cocked and loaded chamber indicators are also wonderful additions.

My main complaint is that the finish sucks. I have holster wear marks. If the finish was better, i would not have that problem or rust. I did experience some rust once, it was not serious, just cleaned it off with a little oil. It happened when i was carrying it and sweated a little on the back part of the slide. Sweat is especially corrosive. Springfield has fixed the finish issue on the new XD 45's, but i don't know if they have rolled out those changes to other models yet. I could send the gun off to be finished somewhere (springfield would do it for me) or do it myself, but i have not really messed with it.

Other problems include springfield parts policy, which is due to either liability concerns or supply problems, depending on who you talk to. Basically, if something small goes wrong I cannot replace the part myself, because i can't buy it. I would have to send the gun to springfield and have them replace it. Glocks and 1911's don't have that problem. Springfield will do it for free, though. Also because the xd is a bit newer there are less aftermarket items, though there are a lot more than there were two years ago.

They only modification I have made was changing out the guide rod:

I feel the stock guide rod is the XD's greatest weakness. I choose a 22 pound spring, but I am going to try a weaker spring to see how it shoots (the stock on is 18 lbs.). I think that the slide could be causing my sights to dip when it slams home, though not sure.

Here is an xd forum, if you want to do additional research:

I choose the 4 inch model because it is easier to conceal than the five inch and is more accurate than the 3 inch. Basically, it is a good compromise between lengths. I choose the .40 cal, because it was a compromise between the 9mm and .45 cal.

Presently, my gun feels fairly snappy when shot. Don't know if it is just he .40 caliber round or the strong spring, but my next handgun will probably be a .45 of some kind.

Here is a video for complete assembly and disassembly for you XD.

I would suggest at least breaking down the slide every few years if you don't shoot much and carry it a lot. If you shoot a lot and carry, I would probably clean the slide once a year.

If you buy it, you won't be disappointed. Springfield also has a great warranty and will fix it if anything goes wrong at all.

General questions

How do you plan on using your gun? House gun? Car gun? Conceal and carry? Range gun only?

Have you looked at other pistols? Sig, S&W, and Beretta have entered the polymer market with the last few years. HK and glocks have been around a long time and are time tested. I have fallen in love with the 1911 myself. As to metal framed guns, you can't go wrong with a 1911, though in general they are more expensive, though Tarsus recently came out with one for about 500 dollars.

Are you going to get your CCW?

if you have any more questions please email me.

hope this helps


Sunday, October 15, 2006

You Tube + Google = ????

The thing that has me most confused about the whole You Tube thing is that Google already had a video service. Here is the site. You can find it form their homepage. Why would Google purchase another video service?

The only reason i can think of is that, there must be a video that can bring Google to its knees on You Tube and Google wanted it.

Unlike Les, i don't feel this purchase is odd. It is either genius (because I don't understand it) or Google just made a 1.65 billion mistake.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Greatest treasure

America's greatest treasure is not the lives of it's young men, it is the freedom that those young men protect.


Sunday, September 24, 2006


Leaving for Sandcastle's wedding today. It is not till next Saturday, but the girlfriend and I will be enjoying some time off before that. I have become less and less excited about traveling as I have gotten older. I get settled in my ways and really don't want to change. All I see is the risks associated with traveling and none of the reward. My ways might be boring and unnaturally regular, but I kind of like it that way.

So did you hear about the experimental train accident? It was probably Japanese engineering. Just another thing to add to the list of things to watch out for, while I am over there. So far the list included terrorists, Nazi's, airplane crashes, and lost/stolen luggage. I feel the time of my death is near. The dark horse in the race of things that will kill me, is spinach. I can see myself being the unlucky bastard who eats the only helping of American spinach and dies because I can't get enough fluids while on the plan ride home. Which indirectly, the terrorists caused the fluid scare, so I would have to score another one for the bad guys.

Wish me luck (not like your sentimental thoughts could change the course of my history anyways, but at least you can say you tried.)


Thursday, September 21, 2006

John Titor, CERN, and me

Earlier posts on Titor. I am going to Europe and might visit CERN, so the fox article here caught my eye. Also for the conspirators view point of what is going on at CERN please take a look at this site

On the top towards the left there is a combo box that says posts by date. You can read all of John titor's posts. I will give you one of the FIRST one in November 2000.

"I was just about to give up hope on anyone knowing who Tipler or Kerr was on this worldline. The basics for time travel start at CERN in about a year and end in 2034 with the first "time machine" built by GE. Too bad we can't post pictures or I'd show it to you."

Another one in February 2001

"When I first started posting online a few months ago, I said that major breakthroughs in particle physics were around your corner. Soon, CERN will bring their big machine on line and they will be smashing very fast and high-energy particles together. One of the more odd and potentially dangerous items produced from this increase in energy will be microsingularities a fraction of the size of an electron."

From the fox article, which prompted me to look the above quotes up.

Black holes possible

"The accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider, is under construction in an underground circular tunnel nearly 17 miles long at CERN, the world's largest physics laboratory, near Geneva, Switzerland. At its maximum, each particle beam the collider fires will pack as much energy as a 400-ton train traveling at 120 mph. By smashing particles together and investigating the debris, scientists hope to help solve mysteries such as the origin of mass and why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. If theories about the universe containing extra dimensions other than those of space and time are correct, the accelerator might also generate black holes, Landsberg and his colleague Savas Dimopoulos at Stanford University in California calculated in 2001." (emphasis mine)

Please Play X-Files music.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

On the pope

Link:"In Iraq, the main Sunni party warned the pope's comments could lead to violence between Muslims and Christians. The pope "should not be lured into returning to the Crusades," the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party said in a statement."

The muslim leaders constantly speak in veiled threats. They use our own political correctness against us, while preaching hate and intolerance. Could lead to violence!?!? From whom would the violence come and to whom would it be directed.

From the same article, "Two churches in the West Bank were hit by firebombs Saturday, and a group claiming responsibility said it was protesting Benedict's words."

If you have been following Dilbert's posts on the middle east (here and here), I think you will understand how serious this problem is and also how fruitless it is to engage religious fanatics.

Do you welcome the coming war or are you afraid?


Saturday, September 16, 2006

1 degree of separation

Romans 1:28 - 32
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Each of these events happened with one degree of separation between myself and the victim in the last week or so..

A man moved into an apartment and was robbed at gun the very next day. No link.

Jesus "Jesse" Talavera and his mother were killed by a career criminal. Jesse had cerebral palsy.

A 11-year-old boy who was mowing his own yard was killed when he was struck by an overturned vehicle which had been taken out for a joy ride by some teenagers.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Steve Irwin

You know I actually saw Steve in person at his zoo in Australia with the United States Track and field in 2000. That was awesome and somthing I will always remember. I feel sorry for his family, though I also realize that he knew the risks he was taking.

Though on a more morbid level, I really would like to see the video. Can you imagine the look on his face? Can you read his lips saying, "Oh Crikey"? You know this would have been a lot funnier if he had just lost a leg, eye, and hand.

I would also like to thank Steve, for making me say, read, and write the word crikey more than I had at any other time in my life.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Coworkers theory

My boss is not a supporter of hybrids or technologies that reduce the amount of gas that America uses. He wants a complete end to end solution, such has fuel cells, not patches on the current state of things.

His reasoning is that as oil and gas consumption is lessened the price of gas will actually go up because as the oil companies lose money, they will raise the price of gas to make up for the loses. Is there anyway for this to happen, without illegal activity, assuming supply stays at its current level?

I actually think it is possible, if for some reason that alternatives to gas are only sold in some parts of the country and not others. The areas without options, will see the price of gas rise. If the government stays out of it though, it lessens they chance of that happening.

There is also the fact is that oil companies are heavily invested in new forms of energy and probably will still be making money off of you, though not from gas.

Are there any cases of commodities not following the supply demand curve when the market has been allowed to work?



In sequence to this post I would like to catch you up on the recent adventures and also throw in a teachable moment that I forgot the first time around.

At the range I shoot at, they have a Springfield 9mm 1911 for rent, that looks like this. I know I am probably going to hell because I shot one, but I guess you could say I was curious and just wanted to have a good time. Well, it shot well and handled great. The girlfriend likes the size, weight, and aesthetics of the 1911, but I will not let her get on in 9mm. I guess you cannot have everything. Ours had adjustable sights which seemed to crowd the top of the slide and make it harder to operate for Stewardess.

This gun really marked a milestone in our gun search. We settled on a caliber and Stewardess also decided that she does not like the plastic guns, after shooting my 40 caliber and holding many others. So we are looking at metal framed 9mms. We have finally made enough progress to start hitting the gun stores. So far we have been to one and the only one she found that she liked was the 9mm Sig 226, in stainless. She has expensive tastes.

In out next shooting session before the gun shop, I got Stewardess to shoot a Smith and Wesson model 64. I really did not think there was a chance Stewardess would like this gun and I was right. Though I felt of I was necessary to at least shoot a revolver once, just to make sure. She shot high with it, but she was more accurate with it than she was with other guns. She also shot it better than me. Revolvers are weird.

As to the teachable moment. Have you ever shot 9mm ammo in a .40 caliber gun? I have. It happened to the Sig we shot first. It was my fault, I should have checked the gun before I loaded it up with 9mm. It could also be related to the fact that I was probably less than clear in the gun I wanted and did not actually see the gun range worker get it. If I was watching more closely, we would not have made it to the range. Make sure you gun matches your ammo. In fact I think that should be the real (as opposed to Jack Bauer's) 5th rule of gun safety, if it is not already. Oh well, it was a rental anyways.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Unintended consequences

I would like to mention one possible unintended consequence. I will throw out the idea, without any fanfare, to the blogsphere to see what you think.

The media is partially to blame for the successful adoption of CCW laws in the many of the States.
The news at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 shows all the bad things that have happened in you area today. They show the murders, robberies, and all the ultra-violence they can to get their ratings up. They have increased their coverage of crime, even though crime is lower than it was 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. You could believe that they had other motives, such as making the average person believe they need more police or to have some other unknown effect on the population. If that was the case, I doubt the coverage of crime would be so uniform, because producers would make widely different choices nationwide.

The result of bracketing prime-time with crime, has been the feeling that you must do something to protect yourself. Which most reasonable people come to the conclusion that a gun is a fine protection mechanism. I believe this is evidence of the interrelated nature of the media and the consumers of media. The concentration on crime by the news media is not the only reason for the success of CCW laws, but it is one influence. Of course the fact that CCW laws, at worst do no harm and at best save lives, probably has something to do with it.

In other news, there was a recent study linking sexual songs that teenagers listen to with teenagers that have sex. What if it is the other way around? Teenagers who have sex tend to listen to songs that talk about sex. I have no doubt, that both influence the other. The media you consume has an effect, those effects might be fairly predictable or they might even have some unintended consequences.


Hindsight on information processes

We recently made it to the finial stages of a project at work. It was a major project, started before I arrived. It has been needed by the business for quite awhile and has already provided great benefit by giving the business better metrics on a core (I would say THE) business process.

As we are coming to the end, we are having problems achieving certain goals that were established for a key group. The reason we incorporated this group into the project in the first place is because they are on the front end and if their process was not rewritten, they would screw up the middle and end part of our process, thereby causing the entire project to fail. Essentially, scope creep.

Since their part of the project was an afterthought, we did not do as good of a job as should have been done. So we are going to have to rewrite their part of the process to meet their needs and the business needs. After the meeting with this group, that is when I realized that with strongly coupled information processes you should probably start with the first steps and work to the last steps, instead of starting in the middle. I also pointed that out to my boss.


Monday, August 14, 2006

5th rule of gun safty

aka Jack Bauer's rule 5th rule of gun saftey.

tip of the hat to Texian Tattler

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Red hot poker in the eye

Seen at Say Uncle's where he blazing says he will break the law. Specifically the McCain-Feingold act.

"Any organization* that wants to run a political ad criticizing any politician in that window can do so here. Not only will I run the ad free, I’ll do a post on the ad on the front page."

If you want to join drop him a line. I have no ads, though i probably will link if it really pisses off the goverment.


Thursday, August 10, 2006



I replaced the outside light, that was 60 watts with a 150 or 200 watt bulb, because light is the opposite of darkness and the more the better as far as I am concerned. The light is so hot, that it melted the plastic casing covering it. I am going to have to fix it this weekend.

A poor homeless hard working black man told me that all white people look a like. Then I gave him a led that apparently got him a job, because he came by at midnight to tell me. I slept through the knocking and my roommate got the door. The thing that I feel I really missed, was not congratulating him, but covering the door while my roommate opened it. My roommate said he turned on the light (150 watts or 200 watts, I forget) and the guy put his hands in the air...heh heh.

I paid off my truck, then I created a oil leak by dragging the oil pan off the side of the road when I was trying to make room for someone else to pass on my left. One step closer to being debt free.

I bought tickets to see Sandcastle get married. Stewardess and I will be spending a week in Germany, then we will finish the vacation by going to Sandcastle's wedding. I can honestly say, that will be the biggest event in this blog's history.

I changed the message on my cell phone to just my number, instead of saying. "You have reached so and so's number, please leave a message." I think it is more secure, if people are looking for you, they want know if they have the right number unless you call them back.

Oh, and Samuel L Jackson gave me a call.


Sunday, July 30, 2006


Well I bit the bullet and bought a membership to the local gun range. You can see my earlier post about them here. To bad these guys where not open and renting (I don't know they will do that.) Tulsa Firearms was the only place in town that had what I was looking for – rentals.

My girlfriend and I have been renting around for several reasons. One, she is going to get a gun soon and I want her to shoot several of the major calibers to get a feel for them. Secondly, we are going to get our Oklahoma CCW together, and she needs a little practice before the shooting part of the class. After about 3 weeks on the fourth week, she started to show improvement. After a few more sessions she will be as good as me, which is not saying much. The only good thing about Tulsa Firearms, is that the money spent on rentals can go down on a new gun. Kinda like layaway, but more fun. So far we have shot a Sig 239 in 9 mm, a full-size Springfield 1911, and a Ruger in 9mm.

I was not really impressed with the Sig. It was a little small for my hands. Though all of the controls where reachable and operable (none of the springs where too strong) for my girlfriend. I also did not feel real accurate with it either. Of course, it is a rental and probably has seen better days. Another downside is that the sig is a little more complicated than your you basic Glock, it being DA\SA.

1911 – the handgun used by the US army for nearly 70 years. It probably has killed more bad guys than any other handgun in the world. Needless to say I was looking forward to shooting it, as I have never had the pleasure. It did not disappoint. My girlfriend let out a yelp of glee on the first shot. The felt recoil was felt about the same or less than my Springfield XD in 40 caliber. I also seemed more accurate with it, though I was shooting low. I am going to get a 1911, just a matter of time. What do you know about high capacity 1911's?

The Ruger's controls where hard to get to. The trigger pull was really long and the gun only fired after the trigger was pulled all the way back. Also the slide to frame fit was a little loose. It was easy to operate though. Our example had hogue grips, which te girlfriend liked.

After shooting, the three major calibers my girlfriend settled on 9mm. It was really settled when I told here I was going to get a 45. She then seemed ok with being able to get her 9mm and shoot my 45 every once and awhile. The 9mm is a good choice for now. Low recoil, lots of choices, and lower price, means lots of practice without tiring and at a lower cost.

We probably had three or four more guns to shoot, i hope to update you on our progress and the gun we choose


Landis and testosterone

The other day I was listening to Dr. Dean Edell (sounds like Dena Dell), who was advising a caller about testosterone patches. The doctor said, that testosterone varies widely and in the case of replacement therapy, you must monitor it carefully. It can go up or down for many reasons. When the story about Landis and his high testosterone came out that segment was the first thing that came to mind.

Of course Landis could have just held a gun.


Hot as hell, dry as the dust bowl

Recently, the Tulsa area has seen dust bowl like conditions, literally. It stayed above 100 degrees for several days in a row. The Tulsa area is doing better than the western part of Oklahoma, with is about 6 to 8 inches of rain below average, whereas Tulsa is about 1 to 2 inches below normal.

fortunately, I am not a person who has to go to work in the heat. About the best thing you can do for heat like this, if you are out in it a lot, is to drink plenty of V-8 juice. It is high in potassium and sodium, but of which you are sweating out. Another disadvantage of the heat is that all the talk about it and the dust bowl scares old people, so stop it.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Answer to Peak Oil

I read much more of the book and found the problem answered within its very own pages. The US doesn't have much oil, and the world may some day run out, but we will be fine. Apparently, gasoline and diesel can be synthesized from coal by a process known as coal liquefication. We do have abundant reserves of coal. Oil shale can also be used to produce oil. While it is less effective and more costly than drilling for oil, our reserves are enormous. Most of the world's oil shale is contained in the US and Canada. Between these two sources, we should be able to run our country for decades after the rest of the world loses their oil. This will give us time to rebuild our infrastructure in ways that can be support by alternative energy sources.


There has been a lot of talk about WW3 and the fact that we are in it right now. I disagree. While the world is in a state of constant low grade conflict from several sources, but I do not think we are currently in World War 3. It is possible that the world could enter into another global war, though I doubt the path to that global war lies though the middle east.

In my mind for a war to be called a "World War", it must be truly global in reach and involve all or most of the major power players in the world. The first condition is fairly easy to satisfy in my mind. The second one is a little harder as the major superpowers have to feel that their very existence is at stake to participate in such a huge war. Gone are the days of taking overland and spreading your influence through beating your competitor on the battlefield. For the most part the major powers compete on the economic stage. Though there is a good bit of competition on the world political stage inside of the UN. This is not to say that another world war is not possible, it is just less likely.

So the real question is what possible events could involve Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States in a battle to the death? I think there are several main paths to world war three, some of which are listed below.

Possibility 1
Israel is attacked or attacks Syria, which pulls Iran into the regional conflict. If Iran was somehow able to convince Russia or China to join them, then there is a good chance World War 3 would be on. But what are the chances that Russia or China would actually risk that by supporting Iran, a county that while it does have oil, no one really likes anyways. I suspect that Russia and China would view this as an UN problem, not a problem to actually fight over. Russia has its own oil reserves and China is and has made deals with other middle east countries to buy oil, so it might view the loss of Iran's oil as unfortunate, but nothing to go to war over.

Possibility 2
North Korea is attacked or attacks South Korea or Japan. There is a good chance that China would then get directly involved. Unfortunately, the US is already directly involved and has been involved for the past 50 some odd years in that area. If North Korea is let off of it's short chain by China or just gets out of the fence, they could cause some tense situations (like Cuban missile tense). I view this as the shortest and most likely path to WW3. I think of China as the country that we are most likely to end up in a war with in the next 20 years. I also think that if North Korea acts with out China's help or without their permission nothing will come of it. What I am afraid of is China using, North Korea, to draw the US into a larger conflict.

possibility 4
If Hugo Chavez goes "Saddam Hussein" land hungry in south America, you could see another a world war or more than likely see a worldwide rescue like in 1991, in the Gulf War.

Random possibility 5
It is possible, though not probable, that any of the major powers could stage a random attack on one of the others. We have already seen that the US can take over a couple little countries and no one big is willing to fight about it. It would have to be on the scale of China attacking India, Japan, or Russia, for the big boys to get involved. China could probably take over a few smaller countries and no one would really try too hard, though there would be a lot of talk about getting ready for war.

I don't see a global war in the near future, but the seething low level global conflict sure ain't going away. There is also not an easy or clear way of ending the global conflict, with out giving in to the wants of those causing the problems. If I missed something in my global analysis, please chime in with treaties to back up you claims.


Update: I was going to include the fact that Iran and North Korea could team up as one of the potential outcomes, but the fact that Iran was at the missile test for North Korea had not been confirmed. Well know it has.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What I have learned recently

Whenever salad dressing does not come out easily though the small plastic hole, don't squeeze harder.

High quality knives are really worth it. I recived a M21-02 CRKT bot my birthday this year.

Macanudos and mountain dew go really well together.


Monday, July 17, 2006

The Beginning of...well who the hell knows?

This morning I heard Newt Gingrich announce the start of the Third World War. I used to dismiss Gingrich as a racist redneck and the rightwing nut bearing the name of the sixth most popular amphibian, but even some of his opponents have described him as politically brilliant. And why not the next world war? He has a point. Start a conflict based on culture, religion, and fundamental points of view in an area that contains the holiest of holies for three major religions and also the largest reserve of the planet's most important natural resource (which some claim is becoming increasingly scarce). Add to that scenario that three regional powers possess nuclear stockpiles (Israel, Pakistan, and the US) and nothing good can come about. To further confuse matters, hostilities are being carried out largely by non-state actors that refuse to negotiate. So what to do? Bombs away.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

immigration reform

How did our immigration problem in America start? It started by not enforcing the laws that we have on the books. Adding more laws to those same books will not solve the problem. Our immigration problem was also worsens by our tremendous econmic success compared to our southern neighbor.

Link "Mexico's per-capita real GDP has grown at only 0.7 percent annually since the early 1980s."

The realtive riches that America has to offer are worth the risk. If you are caught, you will be no worse off than you were before. Heck you might have even put on a few pounds in jail, learned a bit of english, and gathered skills that you will need to evade the police next you cross over. Nothing short of shooting people as they cross the border and torturing them when they are caught will stop the tide. I don't support that.

The recent strategy that ICE is taking is one of intrest. It will also provide the most bang for the buck in the short term. They are going after the high value immigrants, the ones with outstanding warrants and who are wanted by the police for some reason or the other. While this is a necessary step to securing America, it will not solve the problem, though it will make america better.

We also cannot support anyone and everyone who wishes to come to american. For us to be healthy and problem free mexico will also need to be healthy and problem free. The only way we are going to do that is by a targeted and agressive exporting of American values to that country. I think that we are rich enough that we could bribe...errr...offer economic incentives in exchange for the lossening of certian restrictions that pervent Mexicans from becoming a great country theirselves. Such as privatizing certian industries, destorying certian unions, and cleaning up the police force.

I think it has about as good of a chance of working as the walls do.


Internal Affairs

Well, i thought i would update you on the south beach diet and how it is going for me. In the past four months I have lost about 20 pounds. Most of that due to diet, not exercise. My biggest fear when i started the diet was that I would have to spend a large amount of time cooking. I don't mind cooking for myself and others, but I view cooking for just myself as a waste of time. Fortunatly I was able to find several meals that were filling and easy to make, for lunch and dinner. I am still cooking for breakfast, which I view as a reasonable tradeoff.

I actully stopped running because I self dignosed myself with medial shin splits. I kept running because I thought that I didn't have shin splints. After a little research i discovered that I needed to take 2 to 4 weeks off from running. I decided to stop running until the tenderness disappeared, well it has been almost two months and the tenderness is still not gone, though it is much better. I am hoping that the weight loss, the shin strengthing exercises i found, and the core exercises I am doing will pervent their return.


New Wars

Israel continues its attacks against targets against Lebanon in retaliation for the kidnapping of Israeli troops and rocket attacks against Israeli cities. This has the potential to really escalate into a major conflict. Israel already has troops in parts of Palestine, and neither the Palestinians or Lebanese seem willing to contain the terrorists attacking Israel.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Better Explanation of Peak Oil

I have only recently started reading about peak oil, but there is a great page about the theory here. The basic argument is clear and sound. As the world population increases and more countries become heavily industrialized, we will need more and more oil. Oil is a finite resource, so this has to catch up to us at some point. The only solution would be to cut energy use or find new ways to create energy. I know we have nuclear power plants, solar panels, flexible fuel vehicles, and wind generators, but nothing is prepared to fill the gap if we were denied the amount of oil we have become accustomed to using.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buffet Gives it Away

Warren Buffet recently decided to give his fortune to charity (story here). This is significant because he is the second richest man in the world, and doubly significant because he is donating to the Gates Foundation. When coupled with the donations of Bill Gates and his wife, this charity will have a bigger budget than the UN, the CDC, the WHO, and many small nations. Let's see what they can do with it.

Peak Oil

I have been looking at some articles discussing the theory of peak oil. It hypothesizes that after we use half of the world's oil, then we will see production decrease and prices increase as we try to squeeze out the last half. It seems logical. The main point of argument is when we are going to reach that point. Some people think we are there now. Other say it is not far out. However, people live like it won't be met within their lifetimes. We have discussed some alternative energy sources before, and the general concensus is that there isn't anything that can replace oil right now. So what would you do if the shit hit the fan next year? Gas is 9 bucks a gallon, home heating oil is absurdly expensive, airlines start to shut down en masse due to prohibitively high fueling costs. I just ordered a book called The Long Disaster that discusses what this new world would look like. I know it is kind of sick and twisted, but I am the kind of person that looks forward to these major world changes. Am I the only one?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Today while reading the Skeptical Optimist, he finally put into words something that I have always felt, but have never been able to express.

Link: "Any given generation will need to pay down the debt only if the economy starts shrinking. In a growing economy, we do not need to pay down the debt; we can continue to add to the debt, without hurting our financial condition. That is not an egregious policy, that is a mathematical fact that has been tested over and over again in private sector business as well as public sector government. The debt burden for a nation is indicated by the ratio of its debt to the size of its economy. To maintain a constant ratio, a nation's debt must grow no faster than its economy grows -- or its debt must shrink at least as fast as its economy shrinks. (I shudder to contemplate the latter scenario; it would probably lead to an overthrow of our government.)"

I fully agree with the that Debt to GDP ratio is the correct measurement, but we do disagree on what the correct level of debt is. Unlike the Skeptical Optimist, I believe that hard times are a coming. They could be in my lifetime, they could be in my children's lifetimes, or my grandchildren's lifetimes. The severity of the disturbance could be as mild as the recession a few years ago, as bad as what is happening in Zimbabwe or even worse, right now. If you believe that hard times are a coming and you also think that they debt could cause problems WHEN the economy tanks, then it makes sense to maintain as small amount of debt as possible. The good times will never last and I feel that the good times are a gift from God to get us through the bad times.


Something unexpected

I can't stand the sound of Anne Coulter's voice. Her voice is exactly the type of accent that I would associate with a New England liberal. Hearing her voice, ruined anything I ever read from her. I now think that she is a undercover democrat. I doubt her voice sells her many books in middle America.

Link: "In an extraordinary show of toughness against one of their own members, Democrats voted 99-58 Thursday evening to strip Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat from New Orleans accused of accepting bribes, of his seat on the Ways and Means Committee. The vote allows Democrats to maintain that they do not tolerate impropriety, yet the sanction already has placed a strain on the caucus."

Go democrats...of course I would like to see the republicans do the same thing if any charges are brought against any of their members that are on committees. I wonder what would have happened if this was not an election year. The democrats played it right politically and morally on this one. I wonder what morons voted against this measure. I hope they loose next time they are up for election.

Link: "Republicans want to avoid a minimum wage floor fight, where Democrats would point out that House members Tuesday, for the eighth straight Congress, raised their own pay. The latest $3,300 increase puts the House's annual salary at $168,500. "

The article does not say if the raise was a vote or whether it is tied to another indicator, like inflation. If it was a bill, the article does not offer any information on who voted for or against. Though, I doubt it could have passed with republican support, so I blame the bastards in charge for this. They could have saved the money and paid off the national debt a little bit, but no, they had to line their own pockets.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fat tax

I really like the idea of the "“new urbanism” style of planned communities" I have heard about. They sound great. Easy access to all the cities pleasures, less people, and a more relaxed environment. My only question is who would the local goverment would kick out to build them? Or maybe they would tear down the ghettos and build a nice middle class place to live. I guess the biggest problem is the people who would live there, like Sallis, below.

Link: "Sallis contends change will come only when the public demands walkable development, more federal money for parks and bike paths and even a tax on industries that promote sedentary lifestyles (he pointed to video game makers, movie theater chains and even electric Segway scooters). "

First, if you want a more walkable community why does the federal government pay for it. Why don't you pay for it yourself.

Secondly, a tax....come one. If you tax sedentary lifestyle products, i probably would not have read anything this guy said. The phone lines would have been taxed (why call someone when you can just walk to talk to them), my chair would have been taxed, my computer would have been taxed, and the newspaper that published the article in the first place should have been taxed because it encouraged me to be still.

His statements are really odd considering the fact that "Doctors are planning to declare war on America's soft drinks industry by calling for a 'fat tax' to combat the nation's obesity epidemic."

Stop providing free buses to poor people and take away their food stamps, I bet that would solve half the obesity problem. For everyone else, make them pay for their own heart surgeries, that would solve most of the other half. The rest you can't really do much about.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Why is Bush's rating so low?

Where the hell is my tax reform?
What about my social security reform?
You are giving who a nuclear power plant, WTF man?
Pedro is knocking at my door, "Hi, I am a illegal immigrants will you go to the polls and vote for my man." A wall won't work and taking them back home won't work either, well hell let them in.

The freaking Chinese are having a huge build up of arms over there and we should be investing more in our army, just in case. There are like 1 billion of those suckers, I hope they fall down easy when out guys shoot them, it is going to be like fighting a zombie invasion, except they probably will run faster.

Man, what they crap is going on out there.


Green healthy poop

Well, my girlfriend and I are on a diet. And not just any diet my, real life web friends, I am on the trendy and heart friendly South Beach Diet. It was her idea (that phrase been around since Adam and Eve). Normally, I would have fought this change tooth and nail, but several things conspired all at once to make me more inclined to give the diet a try.

The first was my move to Tulsa, over the past two years I have gained about 20 pounds. It was a combination of big lunches and a lack of exercise. When I moved to Tulsa, I decided to drop a few pounds. I started eating smaller lunches and I started running again. I lost about 6 to 8 pounds with no major effort on my part. I really have not put on any real distance on running, but I expect once I start hitting three miles on a regular basis, I will probably drop a few more pounds.

Recently I got a routine blood test for free, from a third party that was hired by either my company or the insurance company my company uses. Basically, the insurance company gets generalized statistics on the group that took the test. I think my company could get price breaks based on that information. I get a free blood test and a chance to win a prize. The results of the blood test did not tell me anything I did not already suspect. I am my father's son and I inherited his genetic tendency toward high triglycerides. Mine were hanging around the 300 range, they should be less than 150. My dad's, when he first got tested a few years back and started his heart medication, was around 700. His has since returned to normal My cholesterol was borderline, at 201, but I had low HDL (good cholesterol) and high LDL (bad cholesterol). Otherwise I was normal. The blood pressure fine. As of the test, I could lose a few pounds ( which I had already started on that)

Based on the information from test, I made a few small dietary changes fairly quickly. For breakfast, I changed from skim milk to soy milk, which has heart healthy fats. It also omega-3 fatty acids, which your body does not produce naturally. I cut out cheese from my lunch sandwich, bought a leaner meat and incorporated carrots into my lunch routine. I started eating more fruits - apples and bananas mostly. I also started avoiding some potential sources of cholesterol for dinner. I started eating some frozen salmon with frozen vegetables for some dinners. I switched popcorn to a non-buttered variety. For snacks during the day, I bought some almonds and I try to eat a handful daily. If I don't eat almonds, I try to have some dark chocolate, I eat a few squares of. I also bought some oatmeal breakfast squares. My goal was to lower my total cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Once I made these changes, I continued running and I lost another 5 to 7 pounds.

The third piece of information that pushed me even further closer to the line was anecdotal. Recently, the girlfriends younger sister graduated from college and moved back home. She convinced her parents to give the south beach diet a try. My girlfriend's dad, who is in great shape (He is 65 and ran a 5k run in about 25 minutes a few weeks back) was able to cut his heart medication in half after being on the diet for about a month or a month and a half. Her mom lost some weight, her dad may have also lost some too, though he really didn't need to.

In addition to those reasons, my girlfriend wanted to go on the diet after catching the bug from her parents. She said that I didn't have to, but we all know that means I had better do it. Her reasoning is long term. If we eat healthier now, we will avoid many of the problems out parents have or at least delay them. I personally suspect that I will probably be placed on a statin eventually, no matter how healthy I eat or how far I can run. Also, I am not opposed to anything that makes my girlfriend hotter. If I have to eat a salads and low fat plain yogurt to make that happen, then I consider it a pretty good trade.

The diet's stated goal is heart health, but it also archives weight loss. The diet operates in phases, with phase one being the hardest and most drastic. This lasts for 2 weeks. Phase two is more gentle and lasts until you reach your target weight goal. Phase three, is the maintenance phase where you just maintain the weight lost. The diet operates on a several simple principles. Eat good fats over bad fats, eat good carbohydrates over bad carbohydrates. That is the first basic idea, the second idea is the concept of the glycemic index. You goals is to avoid foods with high glycemic indexes, because these foods cause your blood sugar to spike higher. That causes your blood sugar to crash lower later on, when the insulin does it's job too well. Which you then eat other foods with high gylcemic indexes to feel better, and so the cycle continues and you consume more food than you need in the process. The diet also stresses the importance of fresh foods over canned or heavily processed foods.

For phase one, the foods consist mostly of salads, low fat dairy, fish, eggs, and other lean meats. Fried food, bread, alcohol and fruits are out. For breakfast on day one I had, an omelet, with green and orange bell peppers, fat free plain yogurt, and some V-8 juice. For lunch I had a tuna salad, fat free cottage cheese, and some more V-8 juice. Tonight, salmon is on the menu. Phase two, you can start adding back in foods that you enjoy, but slowly and with an eye on the weight. If a particular food makes you crave more of it in a few hours you should consider not eating it as much.

I would say that I did feel a little different on day one, but not hungry or tired, which is good. What I am missing the normal rush of energy that I normally received from my meals. This isn't saying eating did not make be feel better, it just did not make me feel as good as quickly. So I guess the diet is working. As of day 5 of phase one, I have removed some of the reactive hypoglycemia that I was getting a lot. I can now be hungry with out my blood sugar crashing, which feels different than I am used to. Now I am just waiting for my poop to turn a healthy green color.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Firearms Caching

Recently, there have been several letters or articles at Survival Blog on caching your firearms in case they are needed. Obviously, I have no experience in this area, but several readers have written in about tests they have done. Apparently, there are several keys to long term storage of firearms underground. First you must store them properly, to protect them from the moisture. The key with this trick is a completely waterproof container and a backup plan of moisture absorber. When burying, you do not want to bury the tube vertical, it is harder to get out of ground that way. You can also seed the area with scrap metal to hide the signature of the tube. You can also store ammo and other essential gear, because if you are digging up your guns, you will probably need other gear also.

(I will leave the discussion of what kind of situation would necessite such drastic action to another day, but I am sure you will understand that if such drastic action is needed then what I am about to say would be a sane response to insane times.) I had another idea on the long term storage of guns, that is a little more expensive than the military sonar buoys mentioned. What is large, perfectly normal to have one of, and is guaranteed to keep the contents protected like tupperware in a refrigerator. A burial vault (above ground would be best) of a loved one would make a perfect place for long term storage of weapons, ammo, and gear. If you don't have time to prepare such an elaborate scheme you could possibly break into a graveyard and bury a casket underneath a current one in the dead of night or preferably bribe the caretaker to do it for you. The gravestones would make an excellent long term marker to find your cache later.


Joining the Order of the Jedi

A few weekends ago I performed the sacred rite of passage for a gunnie. I disassembled and reassembled my pistol, a Springfield XD. The only parts that were not removed were the sights and the extractor, so i did almost a complete break down. I followed the steps and procedures lined out in this DVD, which i purchased online at cheaper than dirt, so i was not flying blind in the least.

Primary, I wanted to gain a better understanding of how the internals of my pistol worked. This knowledge can come in handy if something breaks on the gun. I will be able to perform a more detailed analysis of the problem and determine if i need to send it off or if a part can be ordered, this could save me money and time. Which presently Springfield's policy is quite restrictive on what can be ordered, but I figure the knowledge, skills, and tools I gained will help when I standardize my defense pistols in other guns, where parts can be ordered without sending the gun into the manufacture.

As a side note, I probably will standardize in 9mm (Glock) and .45 (1911). Both he Glock and the 1911 have tons of parts that can be bought on the open market, which will is a necessity in preparation for a SHTFS. I have chosen two different calibers to have a choice for potential shooters, to hedge my bets against choosing just one caliber, and because I could not make a final decision between the two. The more choices the better, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to handguns, mainly because of their versatility and ease of carry. I doubt I will use this reasoning with long guns.

Back to the topic at hand, I also wanted to clean and oil every single metal part. Which as I got into the process, I realized that the frame will seldom ever need that level of detail stripping. Though my trigger has always felt gritty and it now feels a lot smoother, which just goes to show that a little cleaning and oil never hurt metal. The slide is a different story entirely, I can honestly see the need to break down the slide regularly if you use it in harsh conditions (heat, sand, mud, etc.). Fortunately, the slide is the easy part to break down, unlike the frame. I can also see the need to break down the slide every X number of rounds, though I have no idea what that number might be. If you have any suggestions on that number or would like to leave your personal philosophy on disassembling and cleaning you gun, please comment below, because I would love to hear your thought on the matter. I will probably break down the slide once or twice every two years, to check for unusual wear and keep my knowledge current.

The only advice that I can over for breaking down your XD is to be inventive when it comes to the magazine release assembly. I was able to do everything, but that part in one afternoon. It took me a couple of tries with different tools, over several days, to get it magazine release assembly back in. Another thing that might help, is a vise to hold the frame while your other hands are free. I used my knees as a vise and that made my inner thighs and back sore the next day. I bought a pick and hook set from Wal-Mart to try to get the last leg of the spring under the magazine catch, but that did not work. The spring leg was too strong and I could not push it far enough over. As a another effort, I bought some cheap guitar string and looped it through the hole in the magazine catch and around the spring leg to pull the spring leg in close and then move it over with a pick. This worked a lot better, but I still had problems getting the spring to move far enough over. At that point I could either give up and take it into a gunsmith or try a risky idea I had. My idea was to cut a small amount of the spring leg off, so that when the leg was moved over, I would not have to move it as far to get it under the magazine catch. I removed about 2 millimeters of the spring leg, and was able to pull the leg in using guitar string easy in ONE TRY. I tested and retested the magaize catch with empty and full mags and it seemed to work fine. I am fairly sure that the gunsmith would have probably ended up doing the same thing, of course I could be wrong on that.

Even though it took quite awhile and caused a lot of hassle, I still felt it was worth it. Better to gain the knowledge now, rather than in other more stressful situations. All in all i felt like a jedi, who built their first lightsaber. Though i did not build anything and I had a DVD guiding the way instead of a wizened old man or short green alien.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Thompson on Nixon

This was originally published in Atlantic Monthly. It is reproduced without their permission.

'He was a crook'

Jun 16, 1994


DATE: MAY 1, 1994




"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is becoming the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of
every unclean and hateful bird."--REVELATION 18:2

Richard Nixon is gone now and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing--a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. Not even Gerald Ford, the unhappy ex-president who pardoned Nixon and kept him out of prison, was immune to the evil fallout. Ford, who believes strongly in Heaven and Hell, has told more than one of his celebrity golf partners that I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."

I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Nixon laughed when I told him this. "Don't worry," he said. "I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you."

It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and now that he's gone, I feel lonely. He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive--and he was, all the way to the end--we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.

That was Nixon's style--and if you forgot, he would kill you as a lesson to the others. Badgers don't fight fair, bubba. That's why God made dachshunds.

Nixon was a navy man, and he should have been buried at sea. Many of his friends were seagoing people: Bebe Rebozo, Robert Vesco, William F. Buckley Jr., and some of them wanted a full naval burial.

These come in at least two styles, however, and Nixon's immediate family strongly opposed both of them. In the traditionalist style, the dead president's body would be wrapped and sewn loosely in canvas sailcloth and dumped off the stern of a frigate at least 100 miles off the coast and at least 1,000 miles south of San Diego, so the corpse could never wash up on American soil in any recognizable form.

The family opted for cremation until they were advised of the potentially onerous implications of a strictly private, unwitnessed burning of the body of the man who was, after all, the President of the United States. Awkward questions might be raised, dark allusions to Hitler and Rasputin. People would be filing lawsuits to get their hands on the dental charts. Long court battles would be inevitable--some with liberal cranks bitching about corpus delicti and habeas corpus and others with giant insurance companies trying not to pay off on his death benefits. Either way, an orgy of greed and duplicity was sure to follow any public hint that Nixon might have somehow faked his own death or been cryogenically transferred to fascist Chinese interests on the Central Asian Mainland.

It would also play into the hands of those millions of self-stigmatized patriots like me who believe these things already.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern--but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.

Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard Nixon was an evil man--evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him--except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship.

It is fitting that Richard Nixon's final gesture to the American people was a clearly illegal series of 21 105-mm howitzer blasts that shattered the peace of a residential neighborhood and permanently disturbed many children. Neighbors also complained about another unsanctioned burial in the yard at the old Nixon place, which was brazenly illegal. "It makes the whole neighborhood like a graveyard," said one. "And it fucks up my children's sense of values."

Many were incensed about the howitzers--but they knew there was nothing they could do about it--not with the current president sitting about 50 yards away and laughing at the roar of the cannons. It was Nixon's last war, and he won.

The funeral was a dreary affair, finely staged for TV and shrewdly dominated by ambitious politicians and revisionist historians. The Rev. Billy Graham, still agile and eloquent at the age of 136, was billed as the main speaker, but he was quickly upstaged by two 1996 GOP presidential candidates: Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas and Gov. Pete Wilson of California, who formally hosted the event and saw his poll numbers crippled when he got blown off the stage by Dole, who somehow seized the No. 3 slot on the roster and uttered such a shameless, self-serving eulogy that even he burst into tears at the end of it.

Dole's stock went up like a rocket and cast him as the early GOP front-runner for '96. Wilson, speaking next, sounded like an Engelbert Humperdinck impersonator and probably won't even be re-elected as governor of California in November.

The historians were strongly represented by the No. 2 speaker, Henry Kissinger, Nixon's secretary of state and himself a zealous revisionist with many axes to grind. He set the tone for the day with a maudlin and spectacularly self-serving portrait of Nixon as even more saintly than his mother and as a president of many godlike accomplishments--most of them put together in secret by Kissinger, who came to California as part of a huge publicity tour for his new book on diplomacy, genius, Stalin, H.P. Lovecraft and other great minds of our time, including himself and Richard Nixon.

Kissinger was only one of the many historians who suddenly came to see Nixon as more than the sum of his many squalid parts. He seemed to be saying that History will not have to absolve Nixon, because he has already done it himself in a massive act of will and crazed arrogance that already ranks him supreme, along with other Nietzschean supermen like Hitler, Jesus, Bismarck and the Emperor Hirohito. These revisionists have catapulted Nixon to the status of an American Caesar, claiming that when the definitive history of the 20th century is written, no other president will come close to Nixon in stature. "He will dwarf FDR and Truman," according to one scholar from Duke University.

It was all gibberish, of course. Nixon was no more a Saint than he was a Great President. He was more like Sammy Glick than Winston Churchill. He was a cheap crook and a merciless war criminal who bombed more people to death in Laos and Cambodia than the U.S. Army lost in all of World War II, and he denied it to the day of his death. When students at Kent State University, in Ohio, protested the bombing, he connived to have them attacked and slain by troops from the National Guard.

Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.

Nixon's meteoric rise from the unemployment line to the vice presidency in six quick years would never have happened if TV had come along 10 years earlier. He got away with his sleazy "my dog Checkers" speech in 1952 because most voters heard it on the radio or read about it in the headlines of their local, Republican newspapers. When Nixon finally had to face the TV cameras for real in the 1960 presidential campaign debates, he got whipped like a red-headed mule. Even die-hard Republican voters were shocked by his cruel and incompetent persona. Interestingly, most people who heard those debates on the radio thought Nixon had won. But the mushrooming TV audience saw him as a truthless used-car salesman, and they voted accordingly. It was the first time in 14 years that Nixon lost an election.

When he arrived in the White House as VP at the age of 40, he was a smart young man on the rise--a hubris-crazed monster from the bowels of the American dream with a heart full of hate and an overweening lust to be President. He had won every office he'd run for and stomped like a Nazi on all of his enemies and even some of his friends.

Nixon had no friends except George Will and J. Edgar Hoover (and they both deserted him.) It was Hoover's shameless death in 1972 that led directly to Nixon's downfall. He felt helpless and alone with Hoover gone. He no longer had access to either the Director or the Director's ghastly bank of Personal Files on almost everybody in Washington.

Hoover was Nixon's right flank, and when he croaked, Nixon knew how Lee felt when Stonewall Jackson got killed at Chancellorsville. It permanently exposed Lee's flank and led to the disaster at Gettysburg.

For Nixon, the loss of Hoover led inevitably to the disaster of Watergate. It meant hiring a New Director--who turned out to be an unfortunate toady named L. Patrick Gray, who squealed like a pig in hot oil the first time Nixon leaned on him. Gray panicked and fingered White House Counsel John Dean, who refused to take the rap and rolled over, instead, on Nixon, who was trapped like a rat by Dean's relentless, vengeful testimony and went all to pieces right in front of our eyes on TV.

That is Watergate, in a nut, for people with seriously diminished attention spans. The real story is a lot longer and reads like a textbook on human treachery. They were all scum, but only Nixon walked free and lived to clear his name. Or at least that's what Bill Clinton says--and he is, after all, the President of the United States.

Nixon liked to remind people of that. He believed it, and that was why he went down. He was not only a crook but a fool. Two years after he quit, he told a TV journalist that "if the president does it, it can't be illegal."

Shit. Not even Spiro Agnew was that dumb. he was a flat-out, knee-crawling thug with the morals of a weasel on speed. But he was Nixon's vice president for five years, and he only resigned when he was caught red-handed taking cash bribes across his desk in the White House.

Unlike Nixon, Agnew didn't argue. He quit his job and fled in the night to Baltimore, where he appeared the next morning in U.S. District Court, which allowed him to stay out of prison for bribery and extortion in exchange for a guilty (no contest) plea on income-tax evasion. After that he became a major celebrity and played golf and tried to get a Coors distributorship. He never spoke to Nixon again and was an unwelcome guest at the funeral. They called him Rude, but he went anyway. It was one of those Biological Imperatives, like salmon swimming up waterfalls to spawn before they die. He knew he was scum, but it didn't bother him.

Agnew was the Joey Buttafuoco of the Nixon administration, and Hoover was its Caligula. They were brutal, brain-damaged degenerates worse than any hit man out of The Godfather, yet they were the men Richard Nixon trusted most. Together they defined his Presidency.

It would be easy to forget and forgive Henry Kissinger of his crimes, just as he forgave Nixon. Yes, we could do that--but it would be wrong. Kissinger is a slippery little devil, a world-class hustler with a thick German accent and a very keen eye for weak spots at the top of the power structure, Nixon was one of these, and Super K exploited him mercilessly, all the way to the end.

Kissinger made the Gang of Four complete: Agnew, Hoover, Kissinger and Nixon. A group photo of these perverts would say all we need to know about the Age of Nixon.

Nixon's spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives--whether you're me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin's daughter or your fiancee's 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don't even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.

He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.


It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise. Our Barbie-doll president, with his Barbie-doll wife and his boxful of Barbie-doll children is also America's answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string warts, on nights when the moon comes too close....

At the stroke of midnight in Washington, a drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and head of a giant hyena crawls out of its bedroom window in the South Wing of the White House and leaps 50 feet down to the lawn ... pauses briefly to strangle the chow watchdog, then races off into the darkness...toward the Watergate, snarling with lust, loping through the alleys behind Pennsylvania Avenue and trying desperately to remember which one of those 400 iron balconies is the one outside Martha Mitchell's apartment.

Ah...nightmares, nightmares. But I was only kidding. The President of the United States would never act that weird. At least not during football season. But how would the voters react if they knew the President of the United States was, according to a New York Times editorial on Oct. 12, presiding over "a complex, far-reaching and sinister operation on the part of White House aides and the Nixon campaign organization ... involving sabotage, forgery, theft of confidential files, surveillance of Democratic candidates and their families and persistent efforts to lay the basis for possible blackmail and intimidation?"

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I am packing this weekend, and then I will be in Greece for two weeks. I will blog more when I get back.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's Lonely At the Top

But mostly just because anyone else up there won't bother to glance twice in your direction. A British man died while climbing Everest. Tragic. The terrible part is that there are reports of up to 40 other climbers passing him by without offering assistance. The climbers say they would have put themselves at risk if they tried to help him. So they let him die. Is it more important to get to the top? Would you rather summit the world's biggest mountain or help someone live? I really can't believe that 40 people passed him by. This isn't a story about one selfish asshole, it is a condemnation of our society.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nature of Justice

The reactions to the recent jury deliberation over the fate of Zacarias Moussaoui had some ideas that I would like to address. Several of these ideas i picked up form the net, others spurred other ideas of mine, i will try to reference the ones i remember. The first one is the simplest and easiest to see the incorrect thought and was addressed here by Bob Kurm (via Say Uncle)

I’m sorry, but those who wring their hands over state executions, while laughing at the idea that prison gang bangs are a convict’s just reward, lose their right to claim human rights as a motivating force for their objection to the death penalty.

While I don't remember reading anyone in particular who felt that way, I am sure there are some out there.

Secondly, there are the ones who seem ecstatic that Moussaoui is not going to die. That idea also strikes me as wrong.. Who's side are they on anyways? I am not saying that you have to support the death penalty, but it seems backwards and wrong to support murders.

Additionally, there are the ones who perform reason backwards from the punishment then explain why life is worse than death. A good example of this is here.


You may be right, and it is sad ’tis so.

I can think of no better punishment for Moussaoui than spending his life in solitary confinement, limited in his contact to only his warders.

Imprisonment was the right decision, no question in my mind about that. That statement has nothing at all to do with my opinion of the death penalty.

Even if he had been captured at the controls of an aircraft on its way to the White House, I would have spoken against the death penalty.

Deprive him of the status in both life and death that he believed was his due as a martyr.

Let him live - let ANY terrorist live - in imprisonment after due process of law. Remind him every day and every night that he FAILED. He failed his beliefs, he failed his Prophet, he failed his God… as long as he is alive he failed.

True justice is independent of a person's situation. For this person's opinion to change, it sounds like all Moussaoui has to do is decide that he wants to live or even that he likes prison and does not want to go home.

Many people have a hard time with justice, i think some people even fear it. Justice in it's purest form is not vengeance. It is the entire goal of America's justice system. Ideally justice is done by an impartial third party, but in our case the best we can do is a group of humans.

Another quality of justice is that you cannot arrive at the correct and just punishment by coming in the back door. It considers the crime and only the crime, it cannot consider political climate, actions of accused after being caught, what others will say, what other countries will say, what they enemy will say. A just punishment stands up under scrutiny. A just punishment is consistent with the crime. A just punishment will apply to all who commit the crime.