Monday, April 27, 2015

Watching as Baltimore starts to burn in the distance

Another day, another city under attack by the same Usual Suspects, including a few professional rioters from Ferguson, MO who flew in on someone's dime to start agitating.

And I would like to know who paid for their airfare, since to the best of my knowledge, they don't have jobs back in Ferguson or anyplace else.

We have a mayor in Baltimore--Stephanie Rawlings-Blake--who now admits that she deliberately gave the rioters who wanted to destroy people's property "space to do that".

Now police officers have been injured, citizens have been assaulted, private property has been stolen and destroyed, and still the animals continue to scream for more chaos and flock in to join in the orgy of destruction while the police department is holding back.

Fuck this. Seriously. The only thing that is going to stop these riots, in Baltimore and anywhere else, is to give the savages the only thing that they understand: an overwhelming response of force, directed squarely at them, with no quarter given to anyone caught rioting or even found in the proximity of rioting once a dispersal order has been given. The police need to be sent in there to kick ass, break heads and arrest every damned rock-thrower and window-breaker in sight, and when they get to court--after they get out of the hospital--they need to get serious jail time, each and every one. THAT would send a message to the hoodlums and punks who see any perceived injustice against any criminal of a certain color as an excuse to loot and burn and deprive other people of their rights.

Unfortunately, Baltimore, like most other cities where this sort of thing is now happening more frequently, is run by the same sort of people who are doing the rioting. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake won't unleash retributive justice on the ne'er-do-wells of Baltimore no matter how many taxpayers, property owners or cops are hurt. You see, people like Rawlings-Blake--an urban Democrat--are paid by the people who work for a living but elected and re-elected by the people who vote for a living, and that sort of "public servant" is always going to be reluctant to upset the apple cart even when it's the right thing to do.

So now I'm sitting here wondering at what point it falls upon the rest of us to to the work that our elected representatives won't do. Obviously, in the face of blatant abrogation by these representatives of their duty to maintain the public order, sooner or later the obligation will default to the rest of us; to ever law-abiding, responsible man or woman who can respond with a firearm or even a baseball bat. Someone has to protect the innocent and the good from the rampaging criminals, and I'm wondering exactly when it is that we'll reach that point and what sort of act will take pace to make it all abundantly clear that the time is here.
I also wonder how many innocents will be hurt or killed before that moment when the decent majority wakes up and marches toward the sound of trouble enmasse.

Time to lock and load?

Or perhaps this is why our founding fathers wanted the citizens to possess state-of-the-art militia-quality arms.

We're not in Musketville anymore, Toto.

You folks out there around Baltimore had best have your magazines loaded and ready and some defensive strategies worked out with your neighbors. And those of you around other urban Democrat enclaves had best be keeping your powder dry, because none of us can know who will be next. All that we can predict based on current events is that there will be a next time somewhere and probably not far off.

Shoulda got a hamster, x2

So this morning, I'm sitting in my chair watching Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney in Smart Money. I got coffee, I got Hollywood's greats on the screen...what could mess up this morning.

Cue Murphy and Belle.

Murphy comes up to me with a tennis ball in his mouth, wanting me to grab it and throw it. But I'm trying to watch the movie so I tell him to buzz off. By way of restating his desire, he drops his tennis ball into my lap, and it rolls across my legs and drops off on the other side...right into my coffee cup. Direct hit.


Movie paused, coffee spill cleaned up, mug refilled. Effing dog.

A few minutes later, Belle comes up ad wants some petting. Well I don't want to pet--I want to watch this movie. My coffee has just cooled enough that I can have a sip, but when I lift it to my mouth for a drink. Belle puts her muzzle under my arm and nudges it upward, dumping about half of the cup into my lap.

Dammit, dammit, dammit!!

Movie paused again, coffee spill cleaned up again, clothes changed, and I'm taking these two to the dog park to run off some energy before I even try to see how the movie ends.
"You can play with us, or we'll just play with you."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Across America, Muslim activists imposing censorship on American students

Here we go again.

Another protest of a campus showing of the movie "American Sniper" by muslim students. This time in Maryland.

The University of Maryland announced it will postpone indefinitely an upcoming screening of “American Sniper” after Muslim students protested – calling the film Islamophobic, racist and nationalistic.

“American Sniper only perpetuates the spread of Islamophobia and is offensive to many Muslims around the world for good reason,” read a petition launched by the university’s Muslim Students Association. “This movie dehumanizes Muslim individuals, promotes the idea of senseless mass murder, and portrays negative and inaccurate stereotypes.”

The critically-acclaimed film about the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was supposed to be screened May 6 and 7. It was “postponed” on April 22 by the university’s Student Entertainment Events (SEE).

This is not the first time that Muslims and their supporters have tried to silence the film.

In early April the University of Michigan canceled a campus screening only to later reverse that decision after a national uproar.

Similarly, when the film was shown at Eastern Michigan University, the Usual Suspects disrupted the showing.
Ahmed Abbas, earning his Ph.D. in psychology, Layali Alsadah, junior majoring in psychology, Jenna Hamed, senior majoring in apparel and textiles merchandise, and Sabreen Dari, junior majoring in psychology, worked with 35 other students to shut down the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. showings of the Academy Award-winning film.

The protesters filed onto the stage under the screen and held up two signs. One read, “Is this your idea of dialogue?” and the other one had the definition of propaganda.

Hamed began speaking to the crowd about why the protesters where there.

“Do you want me to play a movie painting your people this way?” Hamed asked the crowd.

Department of Public Safety officers were called to escort the students out. According to Sergeant Shana Thompson, four students were arrested for disturbing the peace. They were released 40 minutes later and no charges were filed.

In March, they pulled this stunt at the University of Missouri and they're planning another protest on a campus in Texas.

Frankly, this is typical of the Left. No one is forcing anyone to watch this movie anywhere that it's being shown, but the Liberal Left--the ones who always claim to support "choice", are now demanding that NO ONE even have the choice to see this movie.
The Muslims Student Association said “American Sniper” creates a “dangerous climate for Muslim students and severely devalues the community atmosphere.”

The MSA said the only way to make the University of Maryland more inclusive and diverse is to prevent “American Sniper” from being shown on campus.
So there you go. You can't be trusted to make up your own mind. In the name of making mostly foreign students here feel safe and/or included, Americans have to accept restrictions on their right to choose (unless they are choosing to have an abortion) and we all have to accept censorship, with the foreign kids and their peers making the call.

Frankly, this is about as outrageous as a bunch of Japanese students coming to America in 1946 and demanding that no one be allowed to see a movie about Pearl Harbor.

well here's my suggestion to every muslim on an American campus who doesn't feel loved or welcomed: Either start working on your assimilation skills or just go back to whereever it is that you voluntarily came here from. I means, the last I checked, we no longer send our military abroad to kidnap muslim teens and force them to attend American universities.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Caught her!

Yesterday, I spent more time out in the dog pen blocking up another Belle tunnel, one that she's been using frequently this past week until I finally found it. But Miss Belle, clearly no quitter, went to work this afternoon on a new one, and this time she made the mistake of working on it in view of the back door, so that when I went to check on the dogs, there she was, on her belly in the dirt, scraping a new hole under a section of the fencing right in front of me.

As I actually caught her in the act, a correction was applied this time. She obviously felt the chastisement because she went right after Murphy to tune him up for something real or imagined. I guess nothing makes you feel good after getting punished like punishing someone else.

Darn dogs. We'll see if this scolding sticks. I doubt it though.

Project guns range test

OK, so I finally got back out to the range recently, and I brought out two projects that I've allegedly repaired.

First up was this Turkish Mauser, which had been languishing in a corner of the gun room for lack of an ejector for a couple of years.

With the new ejector block assembly installed, it throws brass into the next shooter's area quite nicely. And when it comes to shooting...Wow!

Shooting at an 8" Dirty-Bird target, the first two shots were low at 100 yards, but when the rear sight was elevated to "2", it hit point-of-aim nicely and put 17 of the next 18 rounds solidly into that circle. (and the one miss was me not doing my part.) Not bad for a pre-WW1 rifle that was refurbed last prior to the Second World War. The action is smooth like only a well-worked action can be, and the trigger breaks nice and clean. Considering that I paid less than a hundred bucks for this one (not including the ejector tom-foolery), I'm thinking that this old veteran is a damned good shooter and a keeper. Still, I hate it when I find out that a rifle that I've ignored/neglected for months or years turns out to be a tack-driver while I'm wasting my time and ammo trying to get other "lost cause" rifles to shoot even remotely straight.

Then I did a brief test-fire with my Reising M50, on semi-auto only because on this day I was at the range where people stroke out if they hear full-auto fire.
50 rounds fired, using both the original GI 12-round magazine and it's new 30rd. Christie mag that I had to "tweak" the feed lips on, the rifle fired flawlessly. Yeah, I'm pretty confident that it's teething problems are worked out...almost.

After the third mag was fired, the bolt locked forward and no amount of finger pressure on the action bar could get it to release. I've seen this gun get petulant before when the hammer is forward, but this time I could not get it to release at all until I got tired of swearing at it and rapped the buttplate on the concrete bench lightly but firmly a couple of times, at which point it functioned normally again.

Never boring, this Reising. Always a new puzzle to ponder. But if/when I can get it shooting a hundred percent, it'll be worth it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kids today...I don't get it.

Last week-end, I was up in Michigan for a few hours and my nephew, The Spud, who was once such a cute little kid, is now sixteen years old, and he has dyed his hair red and grown it out to the point that, from the back, he looks like that chick from the Wendy's commercials.
Can anyone with a kid explain kids to me?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Man Movie

Haven't done one of these for a while, since it's getting harder and harder to find clips, but this trailer for Winchester '73 just couldn't be ignored. It's the story of real western man Lin McAdam who wins--the loses--a special 1 in 1000 Model 1873 Winchester rifle. The rifle changes hands several times afterwards, each time bringing death to the man who acquires it.

Made in 1950, this one had a big-budget cast. James Stewart. Rock Hudson. Shelley Winters. Dan Duryea. Charles Drake. Stephen McNally. Will Geer. Jay Flippen. Tony Curtis. James Best...Worth watching just to see all of these folks.

A note I found on Wikipedia lists James Best as the last surviving cast member.

He was the last one. And now he's gone, too.

The entire cast of this movie is dead of old age. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Friday, April 17, 2015

In a field in Pennsylvania

On the trip home this past Monday, I had a special passenger with me who wanted to see the Flight 93 Memorial in Storystown, Pennsylvania.

It's really just a short drive off of the turnpike from either Somerset or Bedford, and worth the trip lest we forget what happened on September 11, 2001.

This is the place where United Flight 93, hijacked by terrorists who planned to fly it into the US Capitol, struck the ground as the passengers and crew fought to retake the aircraft. The monument here still under construction, is expected to be completely finished by September of this year. But most of it's complete now, including a small visitor center with a ranger who gives talks.
And there are signs with photos of the forty Americans murdered here that morning.
One name has always stood out to me.
Richard Guadagno was a Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Supervisor. He was authorized to carry a firearm and he had it with him on that day. But due to the laws and policies in effect on that day, he was not allowed to have it with him on board the aircraft, so it was in his checked baggage in the cargo compartment. One has to wonder if things would have turned out differently for forty people had he been allowed to carry it with him that day.

Today, there's a walkway out into the field where the plane hit the ground in a dive at 563mph. It left a crater 8-10 feet deep, but plane fragments were recovered from as deep as 40 feet below ground level. The hole has been filled in now, and a boulder marks the exact spot.
The walkway has niches where people can and still do leave mementos.
At the end of the walkway is a white wall with the names of those killed.
Without his gun on September 11, 2001.
You should have had this then, but I'll loan you mine now.
The walk back, surrounded by tranquil farmland, give you plenty of time to think.
The boulder marking the exact spot. It's covered with mementos, too.
And farther up the hill is the actual museum and visitor center, still under construction.
A close-up. When finished, this walled walkway will take visitors down towards the impact area. The walls are intended to put you in the place of those on board, as you'll be able to see nothing outside save the impact site getting closer and you walk along.
There will be a large museum with plenty of photos and artifacts when it's finally completed.

Now I'd been here before, but only way back when it was just a fence section in a field.

2007 Visit to Flight 93 Memorial

To me, that one was much more moving and real. But opinions vary.

I've also flown over and seen it from above on a couple of flights:

No matter how you see it though, you've got to see it. If only to remind us what America is up against. Remember this the next time that Barry Obama tells us that we don't have a problem with islam.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Ring, ring" goes the phone.

The call from my neighbor down the block and across the street is short and to the point.

"I think one of your German Shepherds is over at the cat guy's house."


Both dogs were out in the pen but I don't even bother going to look. Instead, I just open the kitchen door and yell for Belle. Sure enough, she comes trotting happily through the hedge about thirty seconds later.

I'd just been to the hardware store to get more fence posts to shore up the dog pen fencing again, and after bringing her back in the house, I fixed the one escape spot and found another that I hadn't even known about. Good thing that I bought extra fence posts. We'll see how long the pen holds her in THIS time

Germany's Atlantic Wall had nothing on this dog fence...but still she casually waltzes out whenever she pleases. The way that she busts that border fence, you'd think that she was part Chihuahua.

"Your sad, pathetic fence looks a little more formidable from the outside...but not much."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shipping for home

So on Monday, I headed for home after parting company with Aaron of The Shekel. Passing through Toledo, I spied the museum ship Col. John M. Schoonmaker tied up along the Maumee River and decided to stop to see it and the attached National Museum of the Great Lakes.

Alas, on arrival, I discovered that it was closed on Mondays. Sigh.

But I was in a mood to see a ship, dammit. And where there's a will...

I'd seen an old self-unloading bulk carrier wharfside a bit farther down Front Street, so I figured that I'd head over that way and see what I could see. Sure enough, there on the river's edge sat a classic lake freighter just begging for my attention.
Naturally there was a fence between the ship and I, but if the powers-that-be really didn't want me in there, they wouldn't have left it ajar, right?

So I accepted the invite. Camera in hand, I went closer.
Only real difference between a museum ship and a regular ship pierside is that museum ships have signs all over them for the tourists, right?
It's the SS Algorail, and I'm good without the signs. I've got my phone to look up her history so it doesn't take long to figure out that she was launched April 1, 1968, and that she's 640 feet long, 72 feet wide, and draws 40 feet when loaded with her full cargo capacity of 23,750 tons of whatever bulk cargo that they choose to load her with.
She's currently operated by Seaway Marine Transport and runs a varied schedule all over the Great Lakes. Her smaller size means that she can get into and out of places where today's larger freighters cannot fit.
Hmmm. Anchor's on the dock. Looks like she's not going anywhere anytime soon. That's one big anchor, too.
Gotta admit--the hull looks like dogshit. There used to be a time when no decent Great Lakes vessel would ever look this neglected, especially before the shipping season even gets started. But these are tough times for the Great akes fleets, and old Algorail here is lucky to still be in service and not beaing towed off to some foreign ship-breakers' yard like many other lake freighters already have been.
Men at work. And no one yelled at me to get the hell out, so I guess I can be here.
I approached another worker on the dock moments later and asked him what they were doing to the Algorail. He gave me a pretty good rundown of the repair work that they were doing on a few different tanks and her forward cargo hold. Sounds like Algorail is going to be seeing a few more seasons if they're spending that kind of cash on her. This is good, because these old lakers are classics and they don't make 'em like this any more.
Looking back along the worn, weathered hull. Being a freshwater ship, she could last forever if they'll take care of her.
My visit to Algorail was cut short by the sight of a man in a yelow vest who came rapidly out of the construction trailer down near the ship's stern. He seemed to be looking square at me and was walking with a purpose towards one of the company vehicles parked down there so I took that as my cue to find somewhere else to be. Pity that I didn't get a chance to actually get aboard for an hour or so, but I got my ship fix in nonetheless. And if they really didn't want me back there, all they had to do was lock the gate. Sheesh.

Bet it's locked today though.

More great Algorail shots on this site.

New guns, old guns, feel all right.

It wasn't all just new guns and gear in Nashville. There was plenty of classic iron, too.

The Ruger Collectors were there, with plenty of single-actions.
Shades of Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan--they got .41 Magnums!
A Radom collector had dozens of old Polish military pistols made before and during the war.
And did someone say Luger? Here's a case full.
The Rock Island Auction company had some incredible weapons that they'll be selling soon. And yes, that's a 1903 with an extended "trench" magazine.
And there were companies making modern replicas of old west guns, like Dixie Gun Works here.
And a favorite of mine, Taylor's and Company, of Winchester, VA.
They'll be hosting an open house at their Winchester store, May 15th and 16th. See you there?
It was like Mecca for gun folks.