Thursday, February 28, 2013


Assault Flintlock

A musket is by definition a smoothbore so the only pitch it has is a knuckleball. They were accurate some of the time out to about 50 yards. The inclusion of a scope on the "unreasonably deadly" assault musket makes me laugh out loud.

The so-called Assault Weapon ban is 100 % based on mere cosmetics. Any weapon you use to assault someone would be an actual assault weapon, even your hands and feet.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013



I do have a cell phone. It is not cutting edge but it has a lot of things and apps I have never used. I used to think that having a camera in a phone was stupid. Now, I'm not so sure.




 (h/t Small Dead Animals)


Monday, February 25, 2013


Oscar Results

Rough night at the XDA house for picking Oscar winners. In the meaningful 10, I was 6/10, 12/24 overall. Former prosecutor friend Dave also picked 6/10, so he proposes we go eat Dutch food for the lunch we bet. Dutch food? Here are the real winners next to me half right picks.

Best Picture:           Argo (Correct)
Best Director:         Steven Speilberg (Wrong. So much for going with my gut) Ang Lee won for Life of Pi
Best Actor:             Daniel Day Lewis (Correct)
Best Actress:          Jennifer Lawrence (Correct)
Best Sup Actor:      Tommy Lee Jones (Wrong) Waltz for his second Oscar in two nominations
Best Sup Actress:   Anne Hathaway (Correct)
Best Orig Screenplay: 0 Dark 30 (Wrong) Tarantino, Hollywood's most blatant asshole won for Django
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo (Correct)
Best Foreign Film:   Amour (Correct, but the clips makes it look like a complete bore/downer)

Best Song: Suddenly (Wrong) Skyfall won because its singer has only one name

Best Live Action Short: Curfew (Correct)
Best Animated Short: (Wrong. Apparently everyone doesn't love Maggie) Paperman, which I thought looked very good, won instead
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man (Correct)
Best Animated Movie: Brave  (Correct)
Best Sound Mixing: Les Mis (Correct)
Best Sound Something elseing:  Argo (Wrong) Apparently Skyfall sounded better
Best Costume: Les Mis (Wrong) Anna Karenina won
Best Make-up: Hitchcock (Wrong) Les Mis won
Best Special Effects: Life of Pi (Correct) Everyone loves tigers
Best Cinematography: Anna Karenina (Wrong) Life of Pi won--everyone loves tigers
Best Film Editing: Argo (Correct)
Best Score: Lincoln  (Wrong) Life of Pi won
Best Design: Les Mis (Wrong) Lincoln looked better
Best Short Documentary: Redemption (Wrong) Title misled us as it was about recycling, not what we thought

Seth McFarland did pretty well and didn't seem to be much concerned with offending people. The licensed fool complete. Show had a very slow start and the speeches, now merely meaningless lists of people to thank, were generally intolerable.


Sunday, February 24, 2013


More Misinformation from Senator Fenistein

Survivor of the Moscone-Milk murders, current Democrat senior senator of California, Diane Feinstein, writes this thing apparently trying to counter criticism of her proposed, absurd, unconstitutional infringement on our rights to keep and bear firearms.

She is right to say her bill does not contain registration mandates. She's a Fabian. Not this bill (although other legislatures have not been so subtle); I get it.

But when it comes time for her to support the based-solely-on-cosmetics "assault weapon" ban she proposes, she is as ignorant and self-deluded as anyone could ever be. Let's go the the article itself. She writes:

A third erroneous criticism is that the bill focuses on characteristics that are "cosmetic." The bill bans firearms that have at least one military feature, such as a pistol grip, barrel shroud or folding stock. Calling these military features "cosmetic" misunderstands why these features were developed and what they make possible.
 No, Senator, each of the "miltary" features in the bill, including the few you mentioned here, are merely cosmetic. The real thing that makes these guns more deadly than flintlocks or bolt action is that they are semi-automatic and can take normal sized box magazines. You have NOT tried to ban all semi-automatic weapons, you have not tried to ban all semi-automatic rifles which can take a normal sized box magazine, or indeed, an actual large capacity magazine of 50 to 100 rounds. You confuse the cosmetic with the essential things that focus your attention on the so called "assault weapons." All pistols have a pistol grip by definition. What makes them any different from the dangerous tools capable of mass killing you seek to ban? Let me venture an answer: Noting is essentially different. But let's look at her explanations. She writes:

A pistol grip makes it easier for a shooter to rapidly pull the trigger, facilitates firing from the hip and allows a shooter to quickly move the weapon from side to side to spray a wider range.
Apparently, Senator Feinstein has never fired a rifle with a pistol grip. Not one of the things she says is accurate. Anyone with two minutes training or practice can fire as quickly a semi-auto rifle without a pistol grip as anyone with the same experience can one with such a grip; and everyone who is honest and skilled about such weapons will concede that point. The pistol grip makes it MORE difficult to shoot from the hip, not less, because it requires an awkward twisting of the wrist to lower the gun gripped like a pistol to hip level. Let me add that we would actually want a crazy mass murderer to shoot from the hip because he will miss many more people than if he raised the gun to his shoulder and aimed. You pivot the rifle when "spraying" the bullets and the trigger area is the fixed point. Whether there is a pistol grip at the fixed point, the fulcrum, as it were, is immaterial to the rapidness of the swing. That is accomplished by the hand on the forestock which actually causes the speed of the swing and the width of the arc. I don't believe I'm being nit-picky here. She says these things about pistol grips are facts regarding gun use, and none of them are true. None. Mr. Stoner put pistol grips on the rifle he invented, which the American armed forces adopted and that's the only reason the M-16s and M-4s all have pistol grips. The Springfield '03, the M-1 Garand, the M-14 did not have pistol grips but were just as deadly (in fact, more deadly, but because of the round they used). The latter two were semi-auto and fired a lot of aimed shots quickly. That is, they were essentially dangerous--effective and efficient at killing people in combat situations. They are not banned.

Barrel shrouds and forward grips allow shooters to grip weapons with nontrigger hands even as the barrel gets extremely hot from rapidly firing multiple rounds.
 All weapons since the Henry repeating rifle have a barrel shroud/forward grip for at least the underside of the barrel so that it can be gripped by the nontrigger hand even as the barrel gets extremely hot from rapidly firing multiple rounds. Has Senator Feinstein never seen a rifle fired?

Folding stocks make weapons more portable and concealable, while threaded barrels allow the attachment of grenade launchers, flash suppressors and other devices that reduce noise and recoil.
Folding stocks do make the rifle shorter when they are folded in. But it's a matter of inches. Is that such a difference that the rifle is inherently more dangerous? Grenade launchers and devices that reduce noise (suppressors) are already regulated by the '34 National Firearms Act. Unless you actually attach them, does the mere possibility of attaching them really make the rifle more dangerous? Obviously not. Flash suppressors only protect some of the night vision of the shooter. They do not make the gun's discharge invisible at night. Again, is the marginal protection of the shooter's night vision something that makes a rifle more dangerous? How many mass shootings have taken place in unlit rooms or at night outside and away from street lights. Any? Finally, the device she mentions that reduces recoil on the end of the barrel has to be a compensator, which does reduce muzzle climb by deflecting some of the gas from the burning powder up. Compensators make the large caliber pistols slightly more accurate. They would be ineffective and superfluous on rifles because you're already using a hand to keep the muzzle in line for the next aimed shot. I have never seen a compensator on a rifle, but I guess you could attach one. More deadly rifle with a compensator? Not measurably so.

Then she says:

Finally, critics suggest that other assault weapons bans have failed. Evidence proves otherwise.
The Police Executive Research Forum found that 37 percent of police departments reported "noticeable increases" in the use of assault weapons following the expiration of the 1994-2004 ban.
A Justice Department study found the use of assault weapons traced to crime declined 70 percent nine years after the 1994 ban took effect. Another Justice Department study found the ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders. Considering the annual number of gun murders exceeds 11,000, that means hundreds of lives saved.
Who the freak is the Police Executive Research Forum?

Wait, here's the truth from the FBI. The number of rifles (all rifles, from muskets to AR-15s) used in homicides in America in the years post ban years 2005 through 2011 are:

2005 -- 445
2006 -- 436
2007 -- 453 (3% of all homicides that year)
2008 -- 380
2009 -- 351
2010 -- 367
2011 -- 323 (2.5% of all homicides that year)

For each of these years, hands fists and feet caused about twice as many homicides.

Necessarily, the number of murders each year by the "assault weapons" Feinstein seeks to ban is less as all rifles are not "assault weapons." Does this really sound like a problem for which we should restrict freedom and infringe on our Second Amendment rights? Anyone can see that the trend in use of semi-auto "assault" rifles since the end of the federal ban on them in 2004 has been down. If Feinstein says or implies otherwise, she is lying.

What were the number of murders using rifles during the similar "assault weapon" ban 1994 to 2004?

1994 -- 724
1995 -- 654
1996 -- 561
1997 -- 638
1998 -- 564
1999 -- 387
2000 -- 411
2001 -- 386
2002 -- 488
2003 -- 392
2004 -- 393

Before you think, well, murders using rifles was 724 in 1994 when the "assault weapon" ban went into effect and 393 in 2004 when it ended, looks like an effective law to me, consider the drop in total number of murders, from 23,326 in 1994 to 16,148 in 2004, (14,612 in 2011 so it still dropped after the ban ended). All murders have dropped by nearly 10,000 victims since 1994. The "assault weapon" ban had very little, virtually nothing to do with that. But what does the government say about the effectiveness of the 1994--2004 ban? This government funded Department of Justice study specifically on the efficacy of the bans of "assault weapons" and greater than 10 round magazines found no statistically significant evidence that either the weapons ban or the ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds had reduced gun murders.

Did Sen. Feinstein mention that report? Well, no she didn't.

Why is it that those who want to infringe on our rights to keep and bear the weapons we want to keep and bear can't come clean with us? Why do they have to lie, obfuscate and ignore their past failures?

These questions answer themselves.



Take 'Em to the Bank Oscar Predictions

I'm going to take a second to pat myself on the back. The big 9 here are best picture, director, writers (2), actor, actress, supporting actor, actress, and best foreign picture. In my friendly competition with fellow ex-prosecutor Dave, we add best song as a tie-breaker for a meaningful 10. Last year, I was 9/10 right in the meaningful 10. Dave did the opposite even though he taught me how to pick them. (It's the "best" if the pick puts Hollywood as a whole in a good light, and always pay close attention to the Guild votes). So here we go:

Best Picture:           Argo (Hollywood types actually save people from death in Iran--this is a no-brainer)
Best Director:         Steven Speilberg (difficult to justify my choice here, but I feel it is so)
Best Actor:             Daniel Day Lewis (plus of actually being the best acting)
Best Actress:          Jennifer Lawrence (certainly the most attractive of the lot--extra points for playing                                          crazy woman widow who puts out but finds true love with equally crazy person)
Best Sup Actor:      Tommy Lee Jones (I could be wrong; very difficult field this time--not Waltz or Hoffman)
Best Sup Actress:   Anne Hathaway (lost weight- cut off all her hair- in Hollywood, that's acting!)
Best Orig Screenplay: 0 Dark 30 (I could be wrong, the "torture" is helpful deniers might scotch this)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo (see Best Picture comment)
Best Foreign Film:   Amour (good to see my favorite living Continental European Actor, Jean-Louis                                              Trintignant still working even though he has not aged well at all)

Best Song: Suddenly (could be the instantly forgotten Skyfall because its singer has only one name)

Now the rest for which the true answer is Bill Murray's* 'Who cares?":

Best Live Action Short: Curfew
Best Animated Short: Maggie Simpson... (everyone loves Maggie)
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugarman
Best Animated Movie: Brave
Best Sound Mixing: Les Mis
Best Sound Something elseing:  Argo
Best Costume: Les Mis
Best Make-up: Hitchcock
Best Special Effects: Life of Pi (everyone loves tigers)
Best Cinematography: Anna Karenina
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Score: Lincoln  (you get to a point where having won before is no longer a disadvantage)
Best Design: Les Mis
Best Short Documentary: Redemption (title tells it all)

Oh, another tip. You don't have to have seen the movie to know if it's a winner or not. I only say Lincoln, Silver Lining... and 0 Dark 30 last year.

*Murray actually picked best picture and actress that year--very good, Bill, both were surprises.


Friday, February 22, 2013


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Rover



The Canvas is Full

I watched a movie once about a woman getting a whole back tattoo. It was medium Japanese perverse. This puts that to shame. The work is extraordinary but does it really add to the beauty of this woman's form and flesh. I think not.


Thursday, February 21, 2013


Thought of the Day

David Frum took to the pages of to explain how President Obama needs a "Plan B" on guns. It's important to note, before getting to his comments, that Frum is not a conservative. Frum is not an intellectual. David Frum is Meghan McCain 1.0.

Tony Katz


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Comparisons--Left versus Right

The Left's idea of appropriate rape prevention equipment.

The Right's idea of appropriate rape prevention equipment.

The Left's idea of appropriate rape prevention equipment.

The Right's idea of appropriate rape prevention equipment.

The Left's idea of appropriate rape prevention equipment.

The Right's idea of appropriate rape prevention equipment.

UPDATE: Great minds and all that.


Monday, February 18, 2013


Wonder What Gun Powder Availability Was in 1860?

I'm running low on H322 smokeless powder, so on Sunday I went to the usually reliable reloading supply store (it has lots more than just that) with a list of 5 different types of powder I wanted in 8 lb. containers and a few types of primers.The single salesperson not busy selling out the last of their pistols in stock looked at my list of primers and powder and said that the store had none of the primers and powder I wanted, in fact, hardly any powder at all; but the semi truck delivery was scheduled for Friday. The store opens at 9:00, she said, but I might want to get there early to get a place in line that had a chance for success in getting the reloading supplies I needed.

To quote Keanu Reeves in a number of movies: "Whoa!"

I settled for  some very pricy un-primed new cartridges in 30.06 and .300 Weatherby Magnum, the last they had on the shelves. The latter cost over $1.40 each. Weatherby ammunition has been through the roof for over a decade now, but this is outrageous.

If society collapses completely, God forbid, bullets will be the replacement coin of the realm, I believe. So I was investing in the future on Sunday with a hundred .223 rounds assembled with weighed powder for each round for accuracy.


Sunday, February 17, 2013


Fantasy Dollars

During the dreary State of the Union Speech last week, the President said that he and Congress had reduced the deficit by $2.5 Trillion. What a crock! Here is what the President and Congress have done to the deficit:

I won't call the President a liar for saying this, but this is a metaphor for his thinking here. My wife sees an article of clothing she wants to buy on line and she goes to the store behind the website to try it on and she discovers that the thing is on sale, cutting $40 from the $250 price. She buys it and returns saying, "I saved $40 today buying this. Do you like it?"

She hasn't saved $40, she's spent $210.

 Just so, the President and Congress have spent $5 plus Trillion we don't have. They appear to be preparing to "pay it back" with very inflated dollars. Oh joy!

Inflation is an unvoted on tax that figuratively throws a lot of grannies over the cliff in their wheelchairs.



Fly By

I don't know how long this link will last, but it is a very short film that is very cool. Or perhaps that is the geek in me speaking.



Friday Movie Review -- Good Day to Die Hard

I remember it was late 70s and I was in New York and I went to see what was to be the last movie by the Austrian/American director Otto Preminger; and it was one of the innumerable, and somewhat dreary British spy dramas based on the Cambridge traitors, like Philby and Burgess. It was called The Human Factor and it had Nicol Williamson and Iman (looking stunningly beautiful). Here is one of its movie posters:
This is from the final scene in the film when the Commie/traitor spy, played by Williamson, has defected to Moscow and has been overcome by emotion talking to Iman on the phone and he lets it dangle. One of the guys watching the movie said loudly, "Hang it up, Otto." He was not a fan of the move, nor was I, although I am very rarely that witty.

They should hang up the John McLean die hard thing. It's just time. In fact, Live Free or Die Hard should have been the last of the series.


Saturday, February 16, 2013


'Nuff Said

Yesterday, a 50 meter one went by only 18,000 miles away. That sounds far if you're driving to the supermarket or even cross country, but compared to a journey to the nearest star, for example, it's very, very close indeed.

Oh, and the answer to the question is: Not that well. We haven't even been back to the moon in over 40 years and it's less than 250,000 miles away. Just around the corner, really.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Welcome to the Real World

The left has spent a lot of effort trying to convince us that its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) did not cause the housing bubble to burst five years ago. It's a lie.

The CRA did indeed increase the percentage of bad mortgages and when they reached a critical mass and a slight downturn in the economy occurred, the dominoes began to fall. The bursting of the housing bubble intensified our recent recession (the mess President Obama constantly whines about inheriting), from which recession we have not recovered.

Here is a reliable evaluation of the CRA's direct impact on our economy.

It's not really a surprise to most of us on the right. That banks would voluntarily expose themselves to catastrophic loan loses, without government interference and largely race based bullying by community organizers, never made any sense to us.

Once a higher percentage of mandated bad loans became real, the wizards on Wall Street tried to make lemonade from the toxic assets, but only managed to spread them throughout our and some of the rest of the world's economies; so that when too many of the mortgages could not be repaid, the whole system nearly crashed. Then the Obama administration did nearly everything wrong in response and the result is accelerating debt, an extraordinarily weak recovery and the likelihood of very damaging inflation in the near to mid future. Happy, happy, joy, joy. There are few forces more destructive than bad leadership.

Like Kevin Bacon in Animal House's finale, the Dems and the dominant media (same same) try to assure us all is well, but we know differently, and now there is more information to counter the left's disinformation campaign.

Unfortunately, as in The Matrix to which the title of this posting refers, very few seem to care about the real world, and Democratic political power persists, for now, in the dream world they pretend to believe in fervently.

(h/t Wizbang)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


For Some Reason...

...all I can hear in my head is the theme from the James Bond movies.


Sunday, February 10, 2013


Kinsleyan Gaffe

Governor Perry of Texas is actively courting the business owners in California who cannot see a happy future under the complete Democratic rule there. Perry is even putting ads on California radio which make the point that not only is business more profitable in Texas, life there is better with fewer government entanglements. Genius class Governor Brown sniffs in derision and says:

"Everybody with half a brain is coming to California."

Sounds about right.

(h/t Small Dead Animals)

UPDATE: I'm not the only one to notice that Californian leadership is sounding like losers.


Friday, February 08, 2013


Do As I Say, Don't Do As I Do

Here is an article about the continued stockpiling of ammunition (mainly pistol) by non-military branches of our federal government. I've written about this before.

So, let's review.

The Department of Homeland Security has recently purchased 1.6 billion rounds.

The FBI has recently purchased 100 million rounds.

Fish and Wildlife has recently purchased 320,000 rounds.

The Social Security Administration has recently purchased 174,000 rounds.

The National Weather Service has recently purchased 40,000 rounds.

The total is over 1.75 Billion rounds. Enough to shoot every American citizen 5.5 times.

Anyone want to bet me any of them are in 7 or even 10 round magazines? Any of them?

I am the opposite of doomsday preppers, but the hoarding of so much ammunition while the President and the Democrats seem eager to infringe our Second Amendment rights, particularly in the size of the magazine (where the bulets go, ya' twit) and the type of rifle, shotgun and hand gun we are allowed to have strictly for cosmetics, is causing me to wonder.

To refer again to Dr. Strangelove, I don't like the look of this, Fred.



Not At All PC

But kinda funny.



Climate Alarmism

I went to see Chasing Ice in the local art film house a few weeks ago. The sea termini of some glaciers are receding. Of course, that's what glaciers do during an interglacial, which is part of the reason that sea level continues to rise by about 2mm/year. When the sea level stops rising at its current completely unalarming rate, it will be time to sound the alarm for the coming 100,000 plus years of glaciers growing during the new ice age, which will see sea level dropping a hundred meters or so. There is very good reason to believe that the world's ice volume, not area, is fairly stable (falling in the north and rising in the south), so that there is no alarming net effect on sea level from the retreat of the ice fronts. One of the great tourist destinations at the top of the Alaskan panhandle is Glacier Bay whose sea termini of several glaciers have been retreating since the Little Ice Age began to end in the late 17th Century, when CO2 was at the agreed upon 'safe' pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. Indeed, the fastest period of retreat there was before atmospheric CO2 began to rise in the 20th Century.

But here is an example of how the true believers in catastrophic warming through fossil fuel burning try to trick the general population into believing there is a crisis when there is none--when the change we see is wholly within the normal change parameters. This graph is by Jason Box from his article here. It is based on 40 of the widest sea termini in Greenland.

Oh, a very precipitous decline. Very scary, kids.

Here is a broader picture of what that rate of loss of ice area area will do to the the total ice area of Greenland over the next 100 years.

Oh, not quite so scary. After all, 131.5 square kilometers is 1.5 Manhattan islands, so we're not actually talking about a massive loss of ice area, once we expand our frame of reference appropriately.

Oh, and what is the rate of loss of ice volume on Greenland? Between .005% and .008%/year. At that rate, the ice cap over Greenland should melt somewhere between the year 14010 and 21010, probably in May. Except the Greenland ice cap has tended to be more impervious to melting that we seem to imagine. In this study, published in Nature, the Greenland Ice cap hardly melted at all during the interglacial period before our current one (the previous one has the very weird name the Eemian interglacial). And we know from ice cores that the Eemian period was actually warmer than the current one, about 4 degrees C (for thousands of years) warmer. Still it produced no alarming melting.

Everybody talks about the climate but it's apparently impossible to do anything about it, try as we might.

(h/t WUWT)


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