Thursday, October 30, 2008


The Munchkin Wrangler has started a new meme.

You have the opportunity to make a visit to the past. You get to pick one calendar year in the history of the United States, starting with its first full year of existence after declaring independence, 1777, and ending with the last full calendar year, 2007.

Your visit will start a minute after midnight on the 1st of January of that year, and end a minute before midnight on December 31st.

The ground rules are as follows:

  • This is a trip for education and/or entertainment. You may not interfere with history in any way. No assassinations, no “prescient” warning letters with details about the future mailed to world leaders, no procreation. You will be temporarily sterile for the duration of the trip, so you won’t be able to do silly stuff like being your own grandparent. Assume that any intentional attempt to influence history will cause the instant termination of your stay in the past. (No refunds.)
  • You may not set your future self up for financial gain in any way. No mass purchase of IBM or GE stock during Black Friday of 1929, no Microsoft or Apple stock in the 1980s. No setting up of savings accounts or any other interest-bearing mechanism.
  • You may not bring anything in, nor take anything out. You will enter the year with a set of period-appropriate clothing on your body, and another in a suitcase. You will also carry enough period currency with you to live comfortably and travel around at will for a year.
  • You may not leave the continental United States for the duration of your visit, nor contact any of your ancestors. No trips to meet the great-grandparents before their kids emigrated to the New World, and no warnings or advice. Tough rule, I know…but we can’t have you telling your great-grandpa about the coming Depression or WWII, even if it wouldn’t influence history overall.
With these rules in mind, which year do you pick for your visit, and why?
Interesting. This will take some thought.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

Anytime someone talks about the government taking wealth from one group and redistributing said takings among another group who didn’t work for it, that person is a socialist.

-Kim duToit

Ten Cannots

by William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962)
  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

via Bayou Renaissance Man

Gran Torino

I'll be watching this movie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Citizens' Police Academy, Part 2

This week, the focus was on the patrol units, a department tour and Emergency Response Units, aka SWAT.

That patrol section was interesting, but only in the details. Nothing was surprising there.

The surprising part was finding out that St Louis Park only uses their SWAT team 4-5 times per year. It is generally only used for high risk warrants. The really surprising part is that they have a concrete scoring system to define "high risk". If the warrant doesn't score high enough, they don't use SWAT.

Listening to the whispers and questions during the range tour and SWAT section was interesting. There were definitely a few people who hadn't thought through the concept of "police" when it comes to the delegation of force.

I was disappointed at the end. The presenter was one of the instructors and range officers. He brought in a few of the SWAT weapons. He did check to see they were clear, and had the other officer in the room double check. He proceeded to sweep the room a few time after that. The 4 rules exist for redundant safety, not for convenience. I didn't call him on it at the time, but I should have.

I left when show and tell started. If the range officer can't control his own muzzle, I wasn't about to sit around while he watched a dozen other people not control theirs. I know I passed up a teaching moment, but it was too chaotic to be comfortable.
  1. All guns are always loaded!
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy!
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target!
  4. Always be sure of your target!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another year...

...another blood sacrifice.

For those who are interested, if you are building a cemetery fence using $2 Target skulls as finials, and you need to drill a hole in the bottom of the skull....use a vise. Don't hold the top of the skull while drilling the bottom. If you DO hold the skull, make sure your off hand isn't in line with the drill bit, in case the drill bit pops through the bottom of the skull with enough force to ALSO pop through the top of the skull.

Overheard at my house:
"Wow, honey, there's a chunk of skin missing here, and a chunk of skin missing here."
"It's not missing, it's dangling over here."

The Obama-Slide, a Foregone Conclusion

So many conservatives and Republicans have completely given up on this election.

Barack Obama is NOT a foregone conclusion and he is certainly not going to win by a landslide.

The Battleground States
Pelosi and Reid pretend the election is settled. The mainstream media pretends the election is settled. The pessimistic right actually believes it is settled. It's not. The best evidence of this is the battleground states. The media is making a big deal about McCain being forced to work for the traditional red states, but they are ignoring the fact that Obama is fighting just as hard in the traditional blue states. Minnesota has been solidly blue in every Presidential campaign in decades. We went for Mondale. According to CNN, we are now leaning towards Obama. Every minor jump in the polls for Obama is front page news. In a settled state. We aren't the only settled state, from either settlement, that has turned into a battleground. Obama currently has 192 "settled" electoral votes, and he can probably count on 150 of those after the Bradley Effect.

The Bradley Effect
Details here. The short version: Some people being polled are so worried about the perceptions of others that they lie about their choice of candidate to avoid the appearance of racism. This skews the polling numbers. Barack Obama is openly planning on implementing unconstitutional socialist* policies. That is enough reason to vote against him, regardless of his skin tone.

Media Bias
The mainstream media is so thoroughly in the bag for Mr. Obama. They are trying to demoralize the politically right. It's working. The left-wing commie propagandists are good at their jobs. Unfortunately(for them), they rest of the country isn't nearly as extreme. Most people float around the center, politically.

Have you looked at the poll results? An 8 point lead with a 3 percent margin for error is nothing. The margin for error means that the 50-to-42 point lead could just as easily be 47-to-45. That's without knowing the polling sample, methodology or confidence level. Factor in the Bradley Effect, and Media Bias, and McCain could conceivably have a 10 to 15 point lead.

I am not saying McCain is going to win, though I hope he does. I am saying that this race is too close to call, and anybody who says otherwise is either A) a propagandist, b) too hopeful, or C) completely taken by the media hype.

* "Redistribution of wealth" is a prime tenet of socialism, for those who were offended by that sentence.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SLP Citizens' Police Academy, Part 1

I'm participating in the Saint Louis Park Citizens' Police Academy. Last night was the first night.

The first half of the night was introductions and a history of the city as it applies to the Police Department. It was interesting, and I wish it would have covered more, but links were provided to flesh out the details.

Interesting fact: As little as 15 years ago, the SLPPD union was represented by the Teamsters.

The second half of the night was a review of the philosophy of SLPPD policing. They really strive to maintain a culture of cooperation with the community, not "Us vs. Them". It's impressive how much they want to be a service-oriented department. It's a pervasive part of the SLPPD culture. I know the academy is partly a propaganda mission, but the mission statements were on every wall in every hallway. They want this to be their department culture, and they are proud of it. It shows in their real-world dealings with the general public, too. I've had several opportunities to interact with the police here, and I've never had cause for complaint.

Interesting fact #2: SLPPD requires quarterly shoots, instead of the "standard" annual shooting qualification.

We also got into a discussion on the recent history of the "problem" areas in town.

Shiny stuff comes and goes....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I saw a "9/11 was in inside job" bumpersticker this morning. Is anybody so stupid as to actually believe that crap, now?

I understand that the gullible conspiracy nutjobs fell for it, to begin with, but it has been thoroughly debunked, in every conceivable fashion, but experts in every related field. There is not a single reliable source for the insane placement of guilt on American shoulders.

To make matters more confusing, I saw the sticker on a car that was, presumably, driven by someone on his way to work. How do you maintain a job if you can't maintain an objective grip on reality?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thing that sounded like a good idea at the time, number 654655

If you're making bacon cheeseburgers, don't mix the grease from a pound of bacon into the hamburger before you throw it on the grill.

It makes the burgers taste good, but the 4-foot flames creeping onto the drip pan toward the propane tank is scary. The flames started the second the burgers hit the grill.

I turned the gas off halfway through the cook and the flames didn't die until well after the burgers were done.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Toys for Tots

Just in time for the holidays, there is a charity round-up!

A group of Minnesota gun owners are putting together a Toys For Tots drive. Details here. Donations can be made directly using this Paypal link.

A woman was robbed and beaten in St. Paul. She has cancer and a host of other problems. Local gun enthusiasts and instructors are putting together training, holsters, and a firearm to help her avoid this in the future. Details here. Donations can be made via Paypal.

Last, but not least, a national forum is organizing a care package drive for its deployed members. Details here.

Quote of the Day

"Congress’s response to being told that 70% of the electorate were opposed to [the bailout] was to stick a couple of pieces of toilet paper on where the ears and nose should have been, and to tack on another 138 billion. Presidential contest aside, this should be a landslide year for None Of The Above."



I've got some hot neighbors.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

There is evil in the world.

I hope I am never confronted by certain forms of inhumanity, for I will lose control in the face of some evil.

Naiveté and Poor Tactics

If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness - and hopelessness!

Plenty of Americans would rather stay in their dream state than to recognize the poverty sweeping across the country, right here, right now.

Obama understands that people are suffering. Every week, prices go up at the supermarket, and people are unable to feed their families. It already is dark and stormy for millions, who can't even afford pencils, book bags and lunch money for their children.

But when Obama wins the White House, we may just see a revolution that can turn the tide and improve this nation for everyone, not just a select few.

And I expect him to keep his word.*

Sweetheart, your race/class war is already lost. It's the right that has the guns and the training.

And NO politician will keep his word unless there is an immediate and obvious benefit to do so. If your holy one wins next month, expect to get thrown under a bus for whatever political aim satisfies his needs at the moment.

Another conversion to the Nation of Rifle(wo)men

It begins like many....
I have been anti-gun all my life. When my sons were little, I wouldn't allow them to ever own a toy gun. But events in the past few years have radically changed my views. It starts with September 11, 2001.

Followed by several years of horrible acts committed by horrible people.

This part about the Beltway sniper got to me:
One day I said to her, “I’m glad you feel safe on the bus and in the school, but what about when you’re walking between the bus and the school?” I will never forget her answer, and neither will you. She replied, “The teachers line up between the bus and the school, and we walk between them.” I just started crying as I typed that. Those defenseless teachers had no way to protect the children other than to put their own bodies between the students and any potential bullets.


The tragedy at Virginia Tech was the final straw. I was not going to be a victim anymore. My children were not going to be victims anymore.

I took my first gun safety class, and I got my first concealed carry permit. Some people may be surprized that I have changed. I am surprized that some of them haven't.

Read the rest. It's worth it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


How many cannibals could your body feed?
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