December 12, 2017

Good Snark

This initial post-election propaganda was understandably somewhat awkward, as the plan had been to be able to celebrate the “Triumph of Love over the Forces of Hate,” and the demise of the latest Hitlerian bogeyman. But this was the risk the ruling classes took when they chose to go ahead and Hitlerize Trump, which they wouldn’t have done if they’d thought for a moment that he had a chance of actually winning the election. That’s the tricky thing about Hitlerizing people. You need to be able to kill them, eventually. If you don’t, when they turn out not to be Hitler, your narrative kind of falls apart, and the people you’ve fear-mongered into a frenzy of frothing, self-righteous fake-Hitler-hatred end up feeling like a bunch of dupes who’ll believe anything the government tells them.

Read the whole thing.

December 8, 2017

Witch.... Er, Warlock Hunt

Over at The American Interest, I read this article, which is really quite well done.

Some excerpts:

Among us, it seems, lives a class of men who call to mind Caligula and Elagabalus not only in their depravity, but in their grotesque sense of impunity. Our debauched emperors, whether enthroned in Hollywood, media front offices, or the halls of Congress, truly imagined their victims had no choice but to shut up, take it, and stay silent forever.
But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.

I think this is accurate.  We've reached a point where the mere accusation of impropriety, whether real or imagined, is satis faciam to eviscerate a man's job, societal value, and ruin his life.  We see this in many different facets of society, from Hollywood actors to politicians, and we've found them guilty based on mere accusations.


In recent weeks, one after another prominent voice, many of them political voices, have been silenced by sexual harassment charges. Not one of these cases has yet been adjudicated in a court of law. Leon Wiesenthal, David Corn, Mark Halperin, Michael Oreskes, Al Franken, Ken Baker, Rick Najera, Andy Signore, Jeff Hoover, Matt Lauer, even Garrison Keillor—all have received the professional death sentence. Some of the charges sound deadly serious. But others—as reported anyway—make no sense. I can’t say whether the charges against these men are true; I wasn’t under the bed. But even if true, some have been accused of offenses that aren’t offensive, or offenses that are only mildly so—and do not warrant total professional and personal destruction.

Emphasis mine.

Make no mistake, I'll gladly stand beside any woman who was sexually assaulted or harassed and call out the vile scum that did it, be that scum a man or another woman (and yes, that does happen).  But I, for one, am getting a bit frustrated with the degree to which we're now defining "sexual assault".  Complimenting a woman on her appearance should not be considered sexual assault.  Holding the door for a woman is not insulting her ability to open a door on her own.  Not everything a man does should be considered inappropriate just because the woman feels it is.

I could destroy them all—just by naming names and truthfully describing a flirtation or moment of impropriety. All of the interchanges I’m replaying in my mind would meet the highly elastic contemporary definition of “harassment,” a category vague enough to compass all the typical flirtation that brings joy and amusement to so many of our lives, all the vulgar humor that says, “We’re among friends, we may speak frankly.” It becomes harassment only by virtue of three words: “I felt demeaned.”
(Again, emphasis mine.)

That's a pretty significant point.  Doesn't matter if the woman involved participated in the bawdy humor or acts, doesn't matter if she didn't say "Please stop talking to me in this manner", doesn't matter if she didn't say anything then.  As long as she FELT demeaned, that's sufficient to destroy the man in question.  And I don't think that's the sort of place we want to go.  It leads to a society where men will simply avoid any and all interaction with women, for fear of anything they say or do being interpreted wrongly, thus ruining their career.

Further, it makes me wonder: Given the loose definition that we've now come up with for harassment, what business owner would want to take the risk of hiring women, knowing that in 10 years, that woman could point back to an event that happened in her 6th month of employment, and claim harassment?  Certainly, not hiring women would be a detriment to your business -- women bring different and worthy input to any company's culture, of course -- but which would be worse: Losing that female input, or dealing with the fallout of a harassment or sexual misconduct charge (real or imagined)?

Final excerpt:
We now have, in effect, a crime that comes with a swift and draconian penalty, but no proper definition. It seems to be “sexual behavior” or “behavior that might be sexual,” committed through word, deed, or even facial expression; followed by a negative description of the woman’s emotions. Obviously this is inadequate. Human beings, male and female, are subject to human failings, including the tendency to lie, to be vengeful, to abuse power, or simply to misunderstand one another. It is hard to define sexual harassment precisely, because all of these human frailties are often involved. But we must nonetheless reason out together a definition that makes sense. Mass hysteria and making demons of men will get us nowhere we should want to go.

I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.  MUCH more at the link.

Good food for thought.

December 7, 2017

Let Me Cross the Street

I've seen a smattering of folks claiming that the passing of the Conceal Carry Reciprocity bill is going to cause the streets to run red with the blood of the innocents.

I'm not going to dive into the pros and cons of the bill, since I seriously doubt it's going to get 60 votes in the Senate to pass, but I do want to address something.

Take a look at this photo:

This photo is from Google Maps, and shows a North/South street just left of that building with the orange roof.

The town is Union City, and that North/South street is the state line between Indiana and Ohio.

Now, when I lived in Indiana, Union City was about 40 minutes drive from my home, and due to Indiana's refusal to allow carry out beer on Sundays, it wasn't unheard of for me to make a beer run on a Sunday to Union City, since you CAN get carry out beer in Ohio on Sunday.

But there's a problem: Ohio does not recognize Indiana's LTCH (License to Carry Handgun) permit.  So, having gone through a background check with the Indiana State Police, and having been issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon, all of that was null and void on the east side of that North/South road.

If I'm left of that center line, I'm good.  Cross the street and I'm committing a felony.

That's what this bill does.  It lets me cross the street without instantly becoming a criminal.

November 27, 2017

Turkey Day Weekend

Gotta admit, it was really nice having the four day weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Turkey day itself, I grabbed my 12G, some #4 steel shells, my blaze orange vest, and went out to the eastern plains of Colorado.  There are some walk-in hunting areas on private land -- the state pays land owners a certain sum of money to NOT grow crops on a portion of land, and in return the landowners let hunters walk in and hunt game, no special permissions necessary.  I was solo, the fields otherwise empty, and I just walked, hoping to scare up a pheasant or two.  Not an easy task without a well trained dog and adequate prior scouting trips, but what the hell, I was enjoying just being afield.  Got skunked, which I sorta expected, but again, a bad day hunting beats a good day working.

On my way back, I stopped in the Pawnee Grasslands at the shooting area and dug out the Sig P250.  I've taken the advice of a few folks and have been doing dry fire practice daily, working on getting the trigger pull committed to muscle memory (yes, I know there's really no such thing, but this is my blog and I can type that if I want to) and controlling the muzzle at trigger break.  I ran 100 rounds down range at 5 yards, and ended up with this:

As you can see, quite a few fliers here and there, which means I'm not being consistent with grip and trigger press.  Later that evening, I went back to dry firing with the MantisX training system attached, and really focused on repeating the same shot over and over and over.  More on that in a minute.

Friday was a blue banner day, the kind we typically don't tell anyone about, lest they learn about the amazing weather here and more folks move in.  At any rate, I stayed as far from retail stores as I could, save for an 8am run to the grocery store to get a pound of bacon and some more coffee.  I went walking with the dogs for a bit, then took the Sig BACK to the gun range for yet another session.

Remembering to focus on consistency, I ran another hundred rounds of CCI Mini-Mag .22LR at 5 yards, and had improved results:

That's much better, yet there's still a long way to go.  Those upper right 9-ring shots don't bother me TOO much, but I honestly have no idea what happened to cause that lower-left shot.  At any rate, maybe there's something to this "practice" thing.

After returning home, swapping in the FCU to the .45ACP frame, I went to my cousin Mel's for dinner.  She'd made up a nice pork tenderloin, and it was enjoyable to have dinner with her and her family.  I should do that more often.

Saturday, after a long walk with the dogs again, I decided to head to the brewery for a pint and some food truck chow.  Giving credit when credit is due, I have to admit that the food truck made a _damn_ fine bowl of chili (with beans, of course, because otherwise it's just sloppy joe mix), and might be the second best chili I've ever had (behind mine, of course).

Sunday was an adulting day, doing laundry and other chores I'd ignore the previous three days.  Still managed to sneak in some reading, a bit of Zombie-slaying on the Playstation, and took a respectable nap.

Hope your holiday weekend was as enjoyable as mine.

November 21, 2017

The Five Year AR-15 Build

Back in 2012, I won an AR-15 lower and matching flat top upper from Dreadnaught Industries as a prize package for Kilted to Kick Cancer.

Since I already had one AR-15, I wasn't in any big hurry to build this one out, and the budget being what it was for many years, parts were hard to afford and came piecemeal: One year, I managed to scrape together some coin and I bought a .300 BLK barrel for it at the NRAAM in Nashville.  A year later, I bought a lower parts kit after stashing away a couple bucks from each paycheck.  This past year, I picked up a bolt carrier group with firing pin and a telescoping stock, buffer tube and spring, and a few other parts for the upper.

I'm finally down to the last few items: Gas tube and block, compensator, and a free float handguard are all that remain.

So this past weekend, Friday being payday and all, I went to my LGS and picked up a gas tube and block.  I was reasonably sure it was a 9 inch tube that I needed.

I was wrong.

So back to the LGS I go, and I picked up a 7 inch gas tube.  Spent an hour trying to get the rolling pin into the block and tube, finally gave up.  I'll probably take the upper to the gunsmith and ask him to install it for me, along with the dust cover.  In the interest of safety, I'll probably have him give the entire thing a once-over to ensure it's built correctly before I fire it.

And yes, I have different magazines for the .300BLK rounds and my 5.56 NATO rounds.  My 5.56 AR-15 is all black (because of course, right?) while I purposely built my .300BLK in Flat Dark Earth accessories (stock, grip, and will get a FDE fore end), so I figure FDE magazines would be a good way to determine which mag has which round.

At any rate, I think I can have this done by the end of the year, thus bringing to a close a 5 year long AR-15 build project.

November 15, 2017

Oh My Aching Legs

We've got a new "client" of sorts at work.

The business is an assisted living facility type place, and the corporation that owns it uses an IT company out of Oregon.  They, in turn, have sub-contracted with us to build the infrastructure and do the work that cannot be done remotely... Build and configure the server rack, install switches in the rack, patch cables between server and switches and firewalls and so forth, deploy and set up PCs, and that sort of thing.

I started on the project on Monday, and that was the easy day: Build the server rack, get the APC and server and switches into the rack, and connect to the internet.  Easy peasy, mac and cheesy.

Tuesday and today, however, involved a lot of walking.  Down the hall, up a ladder, find the data drop in the ceiling tiles, pull the tile, down the ladder, walk back to my work area, mount an access point, walk back down the hall, back up the ladder, put the tile with AP in place, back down the ladder, down the hall to the next location.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

For 14 different wireless AP locations.

Today was PC deployment.  Grab a computer, walk to the proper location, install the PC and monitor and so forth, back to the supply room, another computer, walk to the next location... You get the idea.

Fitness app on my phone says I walked 10,984 steps yesterday and 13,390 steps today.  Given my normal step is about 3 feet, that works out to just shy of 14 miles walked.

In two days.

Which kinda explains why my legs are sore.

November 14, 2017

That Was... Odd

Had a dream last night that was... odd.

My buddy Micah and I were out hunting elk in the north central mountains of Colorado.  It was a lovely day, bright sun, just enough chill in the air to make elk want to get up and move to generate heat, and you could see your breath as you walked.

We'd left a grove of aspens, rich in color (which is odd, because all the leaves have dropped by now) and were looking over a small pond about 200 yards away.  A small group of elk had come in for a drink, and we were just waiting for a bull, because out OTC tags only allow us to take a bull elk.

Micah saw a nice bull, took a good shot with his 300 WSM, and dropped the elk on the spot.  I told him I'd go get the ATV from camp (also odd, since neither of us owns an ATV) and meet him at the elk, while he goes forward and starts gutting the thing and getting ready for transport.

Shouldering my rifle, I ran back to camp (odd, since I don't run) and got the ATV, then headed back to where Micah dropped the elk.  When I approached, I saw what looked like a black bear running towards him.  But the bear was running on two feet, instead of all four (odd, because... well, bears don't run on two feet, duh).

I grabbed my 30.06, made sure I had a round in the chamber, and lined up the scope, just to get a better picture of what was going on (odd, since I had binoculars, and I never use my scope to glass).  The "bear" lept at Micah, and I saw the bottom of the bear's feet... "Is that?... Are those?... Is that bear wearing Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers?  Da fuq?"

I ran up to the "bear" and butt stroked it once on the back, which caused it to cease beating up my buddy and turn towards me.  Somehow, in the tussle, Micah had grabbed the bear's ears, and when the bear rolled away and faced me, the mask came off and I saw a human face under the bear costume.

Then I woke up.

November 11, 2017

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

Today is Veteran's Day, when we honor those who wore the uniform of our country's armed forces.

"Thank you" is inadequate to express our ever lasting gratitude, but their sacrifice calls for us to show appreciation in some fashion.

For all who served, I'm going to find a politician or two deserving of it and I'm gonna kick 'em right in the junk.

For you, soldier. 

November 9, 2017

Texas, Facts, and Keeping Your Pie Hole Shut

I've been trying lately to be a bit more patient and deliberate when I hear any news story pop up that perks my interest.  It's what LawDog and Old NFO call the 72 hour rule -- Everything you hear or see or read in the first 72 hours is likely to be wrong.  Keep your trap shut, wait for the facts to come out, and don't repeat stuff you hear during the first 72 hours.

I've seen liberals doing the blood dance, calling for more gun control even before 24 hours had passed.  I've seen conservatives sharing claims that the shooter* in Texas had converted to Islam and joined ISIS (this was shared by several people I know by NOON on Sunday).  

This is what is wrong with us today.  We have our beliefs, we often steadfastly refuse to listen to other ideas or accept facts that don't fit, and we're quick to share things that affirm our pre-conceived notions before we've verified their authenticity.  We use biased sources to support our statements.  We live and breathe in an echo chamber, and that's a recipe for disaster.  

I don't know if the shooter converted to Islam or not.  I don't particularly care.  Doesn't make a damn bit of difference.  It's that we don't know if it is true yet.  

But that doesn't stop us from parroting that which we simply want to believe.  

Remember the "Antifa day of uprising" that was supposed to happen last weekend?  Yeah, about that...

I would encourage all of my readers to consider this the next time you hear some story.  Don't believe everything you hear or read, and for the first 72 hours, keep an open mind and a closed mouth.

* This author does not publish the names of criminals, terrorists, or scumbags.  The church shooter in Texas meets all three of those criteria.  

November 3, 2017

This is CNN?

Notice the ad on the side of the van and the SUV with the open tailgate.

CNN is trying to pass this off as two reporters in different locations, but in reality they're probably no more than 5 feet apart.

And then they wonder why we have such a low level of trust in the media.