Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Glock: 1.2 Million gun back-order

I took the dogs to the dog park, and it was cold - almost Yankeeland cold.  There were just a few of us watching the dogs play.  Then a guy showed up.  A guy wearing a Glock jacket.

I struck up a conversation, and it turns out that he's in Glock's marketing department.  We had a long and very interesting conversation.  Glock's Smyrna, GA plant builds 30,000 guns a month, and is running flat out.  Their two Austrian plants are jointly building roughly 100,000 guns/month for the American market.*  That's about 130,000 guns a month.

They have orders in hand for 1,200,000 guns - that's nearly a year's production.  A year, running all their factories at 100% capacity.

He also mentioned that they have a very interesting set of new models that they will be introducing in June.  I actually promised not to let the cat out of the bag here (yeah, I'm being a jerk) but it has a model that I might actually consider buying.  Even though (as Kim du Toit used to say) they're ugly, plastic, and made by furreners.

* They actually import them as parts - big bags of recoil springs, etc - and assemble them here.  That saves something like $150/gun in import duty.

What happened to DirtCrashr?

It looks like his blog got taken over.  Anyone know the story?

If only comrade Stalin knew

Et tu, Bob Woodward, et tu?
WOODWARD: It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this.

BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?

WOODWARD: Well, I'm not going to say.

BLITZER: Was it a senior person at the White House?

WOODWARD: A very senior person. And just as a matter -- I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, 'you're going to regret doing something that you believe in, and even though we don't look at it that way, you do look at it that way.' I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication's strategy, let's hope it's not a strategy, that it's a tactic that somebody's employed, and said, 'Look, we don't go around trying to say to reporters, if you, in an honest way, present something we don't like, that, you know, you're going to regret this.'
We mock you because of your pretence to be an intellectual, a man of letters - and yet not only do you not know history, you don't know current events.

Oh well, at least he knows how to write using correct English language, funny cases and everything.
ME, pro. The objectionable case of I. The personal pronoun in English has three cases, the dominative, the objectionable and the oppressive. Each is all three.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Twenty Years after Waco


Twenty years ago, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (accompanied by the media) tried to serve a warrant on the Branch Davidian sect at their compound in Waco, TX.  Hilarity ensued, and by "hilarity" I mean 67 men, women, and children perished at the end of a siege.  And some ATF ninjas, too, but it's hard to weep many tears for them.

Twenty years.  I wonder who those children would be today?



Already a couple of the faithful have sent in checks for a foundation memorial to the innocents who perished at the hands of the ninja at Waco ... I have been criticized by referring to our federal masked men as 'ninja' ... Let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.
- Col. Jeff Cooper
Tagged under the label fascists because, well, you know.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You want to hear God Laugh

Tell Him your plans.


We do not remember days; we remember moments.

Global Warming Kitteh is disappointed


Hey, remember that Global Warming causes blizzards!  How's that, you say?  Simples: Global Warming causes everything!


The deadliest events cause by Man

There are disasters - earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, plagues.  Then there are the man-made horsemen of the apocalypse.  Here are the top 20 of those:


Jon Udell ties this to homicide rates and gun ownership rates in a very thought provoking post that is more or less impossible to excerpt.  RTWT.  Things are a lot better than they've been, and maybe better than you think.

Quote of the Day - Trust in Science edition

William Newman left a comment pointing to this marvelous article:
I think the “right to know” [labeling on Genetically Modified food] is a lot like the “show me your data and your code” wing of the climate skeptic community, and that people on the side of good science on both GMO’s and climate change should listen to it.
Releasing computer codes and data on climate does a lot to allay the fears that we’re all trying to hide something or are making things up. If our code and data is open to the public, anyone who wants to can look at it and examine it for errors. Similarly, if GMOs are safe (as I believe they are) we shouldn’t be afraid to label them.
With the climate data and code, the vast majority of people have no interest in examining it, but knowing it’s there for anyone to examine makes them trust it more and defuses a whole line of attack. Similarly, if GM food is labeled as such, I really believe that most consumers will buy it anyway and it will defuse the “what are they trying to hide” line of attack.
I think that this is bang on.  The more transparency we have, the more trust we have.  We've seen a closing down of transparency with most of the public institutions: government, the media, the scientific establishment.  We've also seen a drop in trust in these institutions.

This has actually made me think about the whole GM food issue.  There are obvious benefits to a lot of what's being proposed: plants that don't need fertilizer (or as much fertilizer), plants that are pest-resistant, etc.  On net, this will reduce the cost of food which is A Good Thing.  However, the question is who will benefit from this cost reduction.  If the savings go to the patent holder (e.g. Monsanto), then I might not really be too interested in buying these myself.  After all, while I don't think there's much risk, there may be some.  If a GM apple costs the same as a non-GM apple, then what's the point?

Which is to say that the market itself will see to the success or failure of this technology.  If there are cost benefits to consumers, then the technology will prosper.  If not, it will wither.  Feedback FTW!

Yup

Seen at Firehand's joint:


Nice 1911, Ma'am.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gun Control's Great White Fleet

Image via Wikipedia
1907 saw the soon-to-be ex-President Theodore Roosevelt order the Navy into action.  16 battleships with associated support and escort craft were to sail around the world.  For a still Continental power, this was a huge undertaking that stretched logistics to the limit.  Obtaining coal to feed the ravenous boilers of the fleet was not a trivial task, but was one that led to capabilities that the Republic soon would need.

The purpose was to "show the flag", as a "good will" courtesy gesture.  The real motive, of course, was a raw display of power:
... the Great White Fleet showed that, without having to fire a shot, the US Navy could take control of the seas with an overwhelming display of naval might, and it demonstrated the practical import of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan's theories on the use of sea power to project global power.[7] Since Japan had arisen as a major sea power with the 1905 annihilation of the Russian fleet at Tsushima, the deployment of the Great White Fleet was therefore intended, at least in part, to send a message to Tokyo that the American fleet could be deployed anywhere, even from its Atlantic ports, and would be able to defend American interests in the Philippines and the Pacific.
The message was unmistakeable: the Japanese (and assorted others) should pay heed, and not get uppity.  The message worked for a few years, but the passing of a generation dissipated the coal smoke and pageantry, as the battleships at Ford's Island were to discover.

I've been wondering about the new push for Gun Control.  The panic buying of both guns and ammunition suggest that the populist path is the other path - no new laws.  What we see is no different from what the Politicians in both parties see.  It looks to us like they're playing with fire, conjuring a repeat of the 1994 elections.  It also looks to me that they see it differently.  Strange, that.  So what gives?

Via Arnold Kling, we find an interesting essay by Angelo Codevilla that I think partly explains things:
Thus by the turn of the twenty first century America had a bona fide ruling class that transcends government and sees itself at once as distinct from the rest of society – and as the only element thereof that may act on its behalf. It rules – to use New York Times columnist David Brooks’ characterization of Barack Obama – “as a visitor from a morally superior civilization.” The civilization of the ruling class does not concede that those who resist it have any moral or intellectual right, and only reluctantly any civil right, to do so. Resistance is illegitimate because it can come only from low motives.
Kling pairs this with Megan McArdle's much discussed essay on the New Mandarins:
And like all elites, they believe that they not only rule because they can, but because they should. Even many quite left-wing folks do not fundamentally question the idea that the world should be run by highly verbal people who test well and turn their work in on time. They may think that machine operators should have more power and money in the workplace, and salesmen and accountants should have less. But if they think there’s anything wrong with the balance of power in the system we all live under, it is that clever mandarins do not have enough power to bend that system to their will. For the good of everyone else, of course. Not that they spend much time with everyone else, but they have excellent imaginations.
I think that both capture the Class Warfare aspects of the situation.  Which explains why the progressives have let the Great White Gun Control Fleet sail: their ideological opponents, like Japan of Teddy Roosevelt's day - need a demonstration of Power, to remind them to keep their place.

We shall soon see if they've done the groundwork that the Navy Department did a century ago.  It was a lot easier to set up coaling stations in the days before Global Warming hysteria.

Long time readers know the depth of my contempt* for those who consider themselves to be our Intellectual Betters.  In particular, I find that they're astonishingly ignorant of history, and unable to plan further than two election cycles.

To the history: the Great White Fleet was an utter failure.  Japan took the side of Great Britain in the Great War - entering the conflict in 1914, fully three years before the United States did.  The Royal Navy was then the strongest in the world, and Japan chose sides well - rather than dealing with His Majesty's Dreadnoughts off of Singapore, they gobbled up German possessions in China, the Marianas, Carolines, and Marshalls.  Quick Loot of Empire, no fuss and no muss.

Teddy's squadron had nothing to do with this.  After the War To End All Wars, the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 tried to fix power relations in amber (an ever perennial dream of the Progressive Elites), with Japan relegated to second class status.  Again, the Great White Fleet had nothing to do with this, but was the result of war exhaustion.  And fifteen years later saw the march of Japanese arms across Southeast Asia. As the Bard said, the fleet's voyage was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound a fury, signifying nothing.  But it made Progressives feel good about themselves.

The panic buying of firearms is all it should take for Progressives to see the futility in their Great White Fleet's voyage.  We're seeing defiance not just from individual citizens, but from law enforcement agencies and even entire States.  They might ponder on whether that, too, is a display of power.  If they are as smart as they claim, they will not need to ponder that for long.


And so to the inability of this "elite" to plan more than a couple of election cycles.    The raw exercise of power that their proposed laws envision (including home inspections without a warrant and the likely implementation of universal registration via subterfuge) has made their intent plain for all to see.  Thankfully, we won't have to hear tripe like "nobody is going to confiscate your guns" anymore, now that the Governor of New York, a Senator from California, and the Legislatures of Colorado and Minnesota have mooted precisely that.

And that moment of clarity is reflected in panic buying.  That panic buying is as bad (perhaps worse) in Blue States, so this can't be painted as Republican-Democrat.  How do the "Elite" think that this will play out?

They think that they can enmesh gun owners (not members of the "Elite") in a web of laws that will trip them up, criminalize them, strip them of their rights (as felons offending against obscure and impossible to anticipate new laws).  They see this as intimidating these members of the "not Elite".

I think that it will enrage the members of the "not Elite".  I think that it already has, and that this rage will take a generation to pass.  That's some "smart" analysis from the new Mandarin class, right there.

In Japan, Katō Kanji led the opposition to the Washington Naval Treaty, with a whole faction that became increasingly energized against the West.  In his view, what had started as a demonstration of force by Roosevelt's Great White Fleet had become an insufferable burden imposed by his successors.  But even more so, he saw that the treaty was not a statement of strength, but rather one of weakness.  He saw that the West was unwilling to enforce the terms of the treaty with cordite and steel.

And so fifteen years later the Imperial Japanese Army annexed Manchuria.

How many of today's Progressives think on how many law enforcement officers - and departments, and States - will simply refuse to implement their new laws?  To ask the question is to answer it.  Indeed, it is to conjure Orwell:
The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while asking the military and law enforcement to risk their lives to implement your ridiculous philosophy, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.
The grand futile gesture is one beloved of Progressives.  I expect that the best case that they can expect from their Gun Control push is what happened in Tokugawa Japan, when the Shogun banned firearms: the Daimyo pretended to comply, and the Shogun pretended to believe them.  Worst case, we will see a later day Katō Kanji, likely as Governor of a State.

* using McArdle's terminology, I am [cough] highly verbal who always took tests well and was able to get my work in on time.  I also chafe under rules imposed by people who I think are a lot dumber than I, which is why I left government work after a couple of years and have spent my career at startups.  I've been surrounded by exceptionally smart, highly motivated people who Made It All Up as they went along, and so we were able to create the future (of sorts).  I don't intend to start tugging my forelock to someone whose Daddy pulled strings to get them into Princeton.

Environmentalists objectively hate the poor

It runs over the poor.  Consider:
British energy supplies are on a “roller-coaster” heading “downhill fast”, the boss of the regulator Ofgem has said, in a stark warning to consumers and the Government to brace for higher prices.
European Carbon emission agreements combined with an unsustainable "sustainable" power initiative have led to energy prices increasing 150% in the last decade.  Now the Brit.Gov is shutting generating plants, reducing excess capacity (read: "emergency capacity") from 15% to under 5%.

Next up, winter:
Spiralling energy bills contributed to 24,000 deaths last winter, as many elderly people cut back on their heating.

The shocking toll will increase fears that the number will be even higher this year because of further increases in energy bills and warnings of a particularly cold winter.

The figures for ‘excess winter deaths’, published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics, reveal the majority of victims were over 75.
It seems that the UK.Gov has finally found something that can kill faster than the NHS.  If only some people had warned about the recklessness of these environmental plans.  Oh, wait:
I have been trying to explain this here for so long that my readers may be weary of it. It was back in 2006 that I first reported on why, within a decade or so, we might see Britain’s lights going out. In fact, as I set out in my book, The Real Global Warming Disaster, in 2009, the writing was already on the wall in the government’s energy White Paper of 2003. Tony Blair signed us up to an energy policy centred on building thousands of windmills, already fully aware that we would be losing many of our coal-fired power stations due to an EU anti-pollution directive, and that we were unlikely to build any new nuclear power stations to replace those that by now would be nearing the end of their life.

...

Around lunchtime last Monday, for instance, National Grid was showing that all our 4,300 wind turbines put together were providing barely a thousandth of the power we were using, 0.1 per cent, or a paltry 31MW (as compared with the 2,200MW we can get from a single gas-fired plant).

The harsh fact is that successive governments in the past 10 years have staked our national future on two utterly suicidal gambles. First, they have fallen for the delusion that we can depend for nearly a third of our future power on those useless and unreliable windmills – which will require a dozen or more new gas-fired power stations just to provide back-up for when the wind is not blowing.

Yet, at the same time, by devices such as the increasingly punitive “carbon tax” due to come into force on April 1, they plan to double the cost of the electricity we get from grown-up power stations, which can only have the effect in the coming years of doubling our electricity bills, driving millions more households into fuel poverty.
Same argument as last time: objectively, environmentalists hate the poor.  They hate the elderly.  They are pleased to see their fat cat business friends make tons of money on subsidized pie-in-the-sky wind power projects that quadruples the energy bill of senior citizens.  They are please to see their ridiculous and evil philosophy close down cheap generation plants, further increasing senior's heating bills.  They are please to watch the elderly poor die without so much as a whimper of protest.

Of course, some may object that it's possible to prevent these deaths.  Well, so where is the environmental movement and their fat cat business friends, offering solutions?

[crickets]

Really, it's just evil.  There's no other way to look at it.

The pervasive terrorist threat to America

Donovan email to point out this datum on the domestic War On Terror:
American government agencies – state, local, and federal -- made a record 13,753 requests to read emails or gather other information sent through Google’s Gmail and other services in 2012, more than half without warrants, according to statistics released by Google. 

The total number of users about whom government agencies wanted information also set a record at 31,072, up from 23,300 in 2011, the first year Google began reporting the data. The discrepancy comes because government agencies request information on multiple users or accounts at the same time.
This is War On Terror activity, of course.  After all, this is all the fruit of the PATRIOT Act, enacted in haste in the days following 9/11.  Got to keep Harry and Harriet Homeowner safe, don't ya know.

I had not realized that there were 31,072 domestic terrorists in this fair land.  That's quite a shocking indictment of my fellow citizens.  Fortunately for me and mine, the Fed.Gov doesn't need to bother with that whole "warrant" and "probably cause" nonsense for half of these.  A waste of resources better spent protecting the population, really.

And those of you who suspect that almost none of these are actual, you know, terrorists - and that the investigations are for drug dealing, unpaid parking tickets, and attendance at a NRA meeting - well, you're just as nasty and suspicious as I am.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Low grade fever

Ugh.  I started running a low grade fever and it's been going on all afternoon.  I guess I need a prescription.



Tomorrow's posts will either be late or very weird ...

Tonight's forecast: Avian Swine

I've been saying for a long time - pretty much the entire existence of this blog, in fact - that the left is just as corrupt in their use and misuse of science as the right.  It seems that I'm not the only one that thinks this way; I'm joined by those Wingnut H8trs at Scientific American who write of The Liberal's War On Science:
Whereas conservatives obsess over the purity and sanctity of sex, the left's sacred values seem fixated on the environment, leading to an almost religious fervor over the purity and sanctity of air, water and especially food. Try having a conversation with a liberal progressive about GMOs—genetically modified organisms—in which the words “Monsanto” and “profit” are not dropped like syllogistic bombs. Comedian Bill Maher, for example, on his HBO Real Time show on October 19, 2012, asked Stonyfield Farm CEO Gary Hirshberg if he would rate Monsanto as a 10 (“evil”) or an 11 (“f—ing evil”)? The fact is that we've been genetically modifying organisms for 10,000 years through breeding and selection. It's the only way to feed billions of people.
Gee, I wonder if they read Borepatch over at Scientific American?  Perhaps they should read more - the author is far too confident in the soundness of the climate temperature records, not to mention the manipulations gridding, homogenizations, and all the transforms inflicted on the data sets - and there's quite a lot of opinion passed off as "settled science" (the line "[m]any conservatives seem to grant early-stage embryos a moral standing that is higher than that of adults suffering from debilitating diseases potentially curable through stem cells" is particularly offensive*).  But but this is not a bad start, particularly for a mag like SciAm.

* The idea that science can inform moral decisions is as complete a failure of understanding of the Scientific Method as I can think of.

Security facepalm

Android handset maker HTC has just signed a settlement agreement with the FTC, an agreement designed to improve the security of their handsets.  It's pretty eye opening:
Under the terms of the deal HTC admits no guilt, but the list of things that it has agreed to do suggests that there wasn't much security work being done by the Taiwanese manufacturer. The full settlement gives the company seven core tasks which you would have thought it would have done already.

These include actually assigning someone in the company to be responsible for security, doing a risk assessment on its current coding practices and handsets, designing safeguards against flawed code, and training in-house staff on good security practices, such as where to get updates and patches.
[blink] [blink]

You wonder just what they were doing about security.  Actually, you don't (well, I don't).


It goes without saying that any of all y'all with HTC cell phones should upgrade to Android 4.0, stat.

NOTE: This agreement concerns software created by HTC for their handsets, not Android in general.  However, I have to say that Apple has a much cleaner update mechanism for iOS - you get new security updates via iTunes, directly from Apple.  With Android, the flow is Google fixes Android, then (maybe) the handset vendor updates the software for the phone, then (maybe) the carrier makes the fix available.  It's a clunky process with a lot of failure points.

Hacking: your pad or mine?

Remember, only use your Powers for good:
The folks at security tools company Pwnie Express have built a tablet that can bash the heck out of corporate networks. Called the Pwn Pad, it’s a full-fledged hacking toolkit built atop Google’s Android operating system.

Pwnie Express will be selling the cool-looking hack machines — based on Google’s Nexus 7 tablets — for $795. They’ll be introduced at the RSA security conference in San Francisco next week, but Pwnie Express is also releasing the Pwn Pad source code, meaning that hackers can download the software and get it up and running on other types of Android phones and tablets.

Some important hacking tools have already been ported to Android, but Pwnie Express says that they’ve added some new ones. Most importantly, this is the first time that they’ve been able to get popular wireless hacking tools like Aircrack-ng and Kismet to work on an Android device.

“Every pen tester we know has a phone and a tablet and a laptop, but none of them has been able to do pen-testing from the tablet,” says Dave Porcello, Pwnie Express’s CEO.
Looks pretty cool, actually:


At that price point, there's really no excuse for companies not to be using it to test the security of their own systems.  It might be really interesting if you scripted things, so that the security guard could just carry one around on his patrols.  If the pad found any internal problems, it could email the security team.

Good spyware

Srlsy.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm told that I want to watch the Oscars

I'm told that I like them.  Okay, then.  I'm also told to keep my mouth shut when the talk is about the fashions.

Okay, then.

Careful, now


When the kids were small, Pokemon played a bit part around our house.  The reference to the falling asleep refers to Jigglypuff's special poke-power as you can see in this video of the Pokemon Snap Nintendo 64 game:



The game looks goofy, but we played this for hours as a family.  I have very fond memories of this.  Hillary Duff, not so much.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier - Marche de Triomphe et air de trompette

Fame is fleeting.  It certainly was for Marc-Antoine Charpentier, perhaps the most renown of all French baroque composers.  He wrote a huge number of works and was seen by his contemporaries as unrivaled in sacred vocal composition.  His fame and reputation were such that after he died (on this date in 1704), his heirs sold his scores - collected into two massive folios - to the Royal Library, now the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Nowadays he's almost never heard.  Too bad.  As Napoleon said, fame is fleeting.  Obscurity is forever.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Your moments of Zen

Zen questions (koans) are challenges intended to challenge you to break through to a higher plane of understanding.  Postsecret sometimes delivers this in spades.


And this:


And this:


And this:


I look on these and think on the saying from Frederick Buechner:
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
That's Zen dialed up to 11.  If we listen, and if we dare.

Quote of the Day

Thomas Jefferson (as well all know) was not just a patriot and a politician, but a man of science as well.  He corresponded with scientists all over Europe and North America, and was precocious in introducing the latest agricultural techniques to his estate at Monticello.

One of the people with whom he corresponded was the Florentine Giovanni Fabbroni, one of the most eminent scientists of his day.  As with most such intellects, Fabbroni was a polymath, doing important work in chemestry, electricity, economics, and agriculture science.  He was later important in the dissemination of the metric system which while it is admittedly the tool of Dirty Commies everywhere, is a much superior system for scientific research.

Fabbroni is of a sufficient stature to have a crater on the Moon named after him.

Jefferson corresponded with Fabbroni, and a particularly interesting portion of a letter dated June 8, 1778 is today's quote of the day:
I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence ... I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy.
This appears to be true of the entire conflict itself (through 1783), with around 27,000 American and French dead to not quite 50,000 British and Hessian dead.

This makes me wonder on how many rounds a year I spend in training (not enough, admittedly, but maybe a thousand) vs. how many the Police spend on training a year (don't know, but wouldn't be surprised if I beat a number of Police Department averages).

A lesson on the Gospels from a lawyer?

Boy, it's a good one.  I did not know that.

Tricia Yearwood - Georgia Rain

It seems like it's been raining for weeks.  Up in Yankeeland it's been snowing, and snowing, and snowing.  But late February in Georgia is the cusp of spring.  In Georgia, it's rain.

Of course, there's a Country song about that, and it's one of the greats.

Country Music is best known for storytelling songs.  The danger is a sentimentality that lurches into the maudlin ("Christmas Shoes" is perhaps the best example of over-the-top sentimentality).  But when that impulse is restrained, and mixed with a strong tablespoon of bitter-sweet, the results can be marvelous.

Trisha Yearwood recorded this in 2005 on her spectacular album "Jasper County".  The bitter-sweet is the dominant theme throughout; it's said that you can't go home again, but what happens when you do?  This is one of my favorite Country songs: not quite the platonic ideal of Country Music perfection, but you can see it from there.



Georgia Rain (Songwriters: Ed Hill, Karyn Rochelle)
Barefoot in the bed 'a your truck
On a blanket lookin' up
Half a moon peekin' down at us
From underneath the clouds
Teenage kids sneakin' out again
Heard the thunder rollin' in
We were fallin' the moment when
It all came pourin' down

The Georgia rain
On the Jasper County clay
Couldn't wash away
What I felt for you that day
Just you and me down an old dirt road
Nothin' in our way
Except for the Georgia rain

Cotton fields remember when
Flash 'a lightnin' drove us in
We were soaked down to the skin
By the time we climbed inside
And I don't remember what was poundin' more
Heart in my chest or the hood of that Ford
As the sky fell in, the storm clouds poured
Worlds away outside

The Georgia rain
On the Jasper County clay
Couldn't wash away
All the love we made
Just you and me down that old dirt road
No one saw a thing
Except for the Georgia rain

Screen door flappin' in the wind
Same ol' house I grew up in
Can't believe I'm back again
After all these years away
You fixed your Daddy's house up nice
I saw it yesterday when I drove by
Looks like you've made youself a real good life
What else can I say

The Georgia rain
On the Jasper County clay
Couldn't wash away
The way I loved you to this day
The ol' dirt road's paved over now
Nothin' here's the same
Except for the Georgia rain

Friday, February 22, 2013

Let it flow through you


Actively Disengaged is my mostest favoritest web comic in the whole world.

New security risk in Google Streetview

Your fiancee might catch you hanging out with some other chick:

She told Russia's Life News that she recognised the man in the picture: "At first I just saw a familiar male silhouette. Looking closer, I realized it was my fiancé Sasha with another woman. There was no doubt when I saw his arm cast; just that summer he'd broken his hand."

...

Voinova continued: "When Sasha came home, I immediately called him and asked him to find the address on the map. When the unfortunate image loaded, Sasha went pale."
Like Larry Ellison famously said 20 years ago: You got no privacy.  Get over it.

Tab clearing

Pielke on Faith Based Science Policy.  Scientists tell us that funding for basic research (vs. applied research) is required.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of empirical evidence for this, although the policy dovetails quite nicely with scientist's financial interest.

Stares at the World on Dostoyevsky on modern Progressives.  It's astonishing how long ago people were on to the fallacies of progressivism, and how progressives simply ignore this.  Maybe they don't know.  Or they know and this is why they don't want to have the classics taught anymore.

Lawrence Person on Texas vs. California.  I hadn't realized that part of the superior Texas business climate is lawsuit reform.

Robert Langham is doing his annual Alamoblogging.

MSgt B finds what looks like the world's best bacon.

Sean is keeping the list of who to buy your guns from.  And who not to.


How we win the Gun Control debate

Robb likes to say that when arguing gun control we argue facts and figures and they use penis jokes.  I think that I just figured out why this is.  Actually, Aretae figured it out two and a half years ago, and I'm only now catching up.

(Actually, that's batting above my average for catching up to a guy as smart as Aretae.)

Along the way, it also explains the mystery as to why seemingly humane environmentalists would let third world babies starve to death.  Actually, that's where I started my search - figuring that Aretae would have something that would make me think.  Boy, howdy, he sure did.

Monkeybrains:
I claim that there's a simple, easy grand synthesis that explains human behavior in 3 words:

Status Matters Most.
For 80%+ of human behaviors, when asking why did they do that...trace the status effects.  Trace the status effects in-family, in-group, on the opposite gender, in the neighborhood/community/polis.
[blink] [blink]  I hate being slow on the uptake.

We argue facts, statistics, likely outcomes based on the history of past gun control laws, historical murder rate per 100,000 population inversely correlated with historical rate of legal gun ownership, disproportionate impact of gun control on women and minorities, the racist history of gun control laws - we argue the whole works.

They argue status.

Susan Sarandon says: Guns are bad, mkay?  Barack Obama says: Guns are bad, mkay?  Donald Trump says: Guns are bad, mkay?  Perez Hilton says: Guns are bad, mkay?

None of these people know the facts, none have logic on their side.  Their celebrity appeal is to Monkeybrains.  To status.

Not everyone on our side is as slow on the uptake as me.  Buckeye Firearms Association brings some Righteous Monkeybrains to our side:
Clint Eastwood: "I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.")

James Earl Jones: "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

Christian Slater: "It's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it."
If the NRA wanted to run an effective ad campaign, the Grand Unified Theory of Monkeybrains would suggest a series of ads targeting celebrity, cool, and status.  Ads like this:


Get celebrities to line up to support gun rights.  Get the presenters from Attack Of The Show to go to the range with some of the celebrities, and talk about how cool it is.  Fight status with status.  We'll still have logic, and statistics and the rest.  But you want to really move the meter, you need the suburban hausfraus.  Angelina Jolie's ad sort of writes itself.  Run an ad like this in the women's magazines:


Game.  Over.  Monkeybrains FTW!

And before someone accuses me of shameless manipulation of emotion, let me just point out all the facts, statistics, and logic that we've been using are still there.  The other side doesn't have that, and so does shameless manipulation of emotion as their only strategy.  Okay, then, let's play the game both ways.  Nothing says that the ads can's point to a web page with facts, figures, and arguments.

But if Aretae is right here (and that's a dang good bet) then the facts and figures will be a post hoc rationalization of a decision that most people make based on status signalling.

I bet Oleg could put some righteous ads together.  Oh, wait - he already has.  These just need to start showing up prominently in Redbook and Ladies Home Journal and Cosmo. And Game Informer.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Forgetting You

From the late, great James Carr who struggled all his life with Bipolar Disorder.


Damn

This will put me out of a job.


Security Smorgasbord, vol 5 no 1

Microsoft asks Is everything we know about passwords wrong? Interesting:
Federal Reserve Regulation E guarantees that US con-
sumers are made whole when their bank passwords are
stolen. The implications lead us to several interest-
ing conclusions. First, emptying accounts is extremely
hard: transferring money in a way that is irreversible
can generally only be done in a way that cannot later
be repudiated. Since password-enabled transfers can
always be repudiated this explains the importance of
mules, who accept bad transfers and initiate good ones.
This suggests that it is the mule accounts rather than
those of victims that are pillaged. We argue that pass-
words are not the bottle-neck, and are but one, and by
no means the most important, ingredient in the cyber-
crime value chain. We show that, in spite of appear-
ances, password-stealing is a bad business proposition.
When is it time to patch Adobe Reader and Java?  Any day that ends in "-day":
Adobe and Oracle each released updates to fix critical security holes in their software. Adobe’s patch plugs two zero-day holes that hackers have been using to break into computers via Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Separately, Oracle issued updates to correct at least five security issues with Java.

The Java update comes amid revelations by Apple, Facebook and Twitter that employees at these organizations were hacked using exploits that attacked Java vulnerabilities on Mac and Windows machines.
Related:
Removing Java from your browser

Apple finally patches Java for OS X

Adobe Reader: security is now 3% less sucky
Security infrastructure vendors under attack

We've seen attacks against security technology vendors over the last few years: RSA, McAfee, a number of certificate granting firms.  Add a new one to the list:
Bit9, a company that provides software and network security services to the U.S. government and at least 30 Fortune 100 firms, has suffered an electronic compromise that cuts to the core of its business: helping clients distinguish known “safe” files from computer viruses and other malicious software.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Bit9 is a leading provider of “application whitelisting” services, a security technology that turns the traditional approach to fighting malware on its head. Antivirus software, for example, seeks to identify and quarantine files that are known bad or strongly suspected of being malicious. In contrast, Bit9 specializes in helping companies develop custom lists of software that they want to allow employees to run, and to treat all other applications as potentially unknown and dangerous.
It's an interesting technology, because antivirus techniques are always closing the barn door after the horse gets out.  Bit9's whitelisting technology reverses this: anything new is unusual and suspicious.  They have some clever ways to make sure that new updates from iTunes are added to the "good" list, so they've done decently well with forward thinking customers and have (so far) avoided the big problems with implementation and day to day operations that a lot of other technologies have encountered (*cough* IDS *cough*).

But their white list is only as good as the security of their list.  Bad Guys seem to have penetrated their network and added malware to the "good" list.  Several Bit9 customers seem to have been compromised this way.

I expect the trend of attacking security infrastructure to continue.  As Willie Sutton is said to have replied when asked why he robbed banks, "that's where the money is."  Penetrating technology infrastructure lets you get into the targets you really want much more easily.

Objectively racist environmentalists

George Orwell famously wrote during World War II that British pacifists were "objectively pro-fascist":
Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.
That first sentence is famous, and widely quoted.  The last sentence is neither.  That's a shame, because it cuts to the heart of his argument in a long and eloquent essay.  The problem with reading no further than quotes is that you often get the pithy at the cost of the profound.  Like later in Orwell's j'accuse:
I pass over the money-sheltered ignorance capable of believing that literary life is still going on in, for instance, Poland, and remark merely that statements like this justify me in saying that our English pacifists are tending towards active pro-Fascism. But I don’t particularly object to that. What I object to is the intellectual cowardice of people who are objectively and to some extent emotionally pro-Fascist, but who don’t care to say so and take refuge behind the formula ‘I am just as anti-fascist as anyone, but—’. The result of this is that so-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. Like war propaganda, it concentrates on putting forward a ‘case’, obscuring the opponent’s point of view and avoiding awkward questions.
There's currently a debate going on in "intellectual" circles that Orwell didn't really mean what he said in his first quote.  That position quite frankly is only taken by those who have never read his essay, and the second quote given here.

There's a modern version of this intellectual cowardice, seen every day in Progressive circles.  Phrasing is essentially identical to what Orwell pointed out in the second quote above, but today it's done to put a gloss on environmentalism:
Finally, after a 12-year delay caused by opponents of genetically modified foods, so-called “golden rice” with vitamin A will be grown in the Philippines. Over those 12 years, about 8 million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency. Are anti-GM advocates not partly responsible?
Partly responsible?

Partly responsible?
No, they are not "partly responsible".
They are wholly responsible for each and every one of those 8 million dead children, because they actively blocked access to the food that would allow them to live.
The rest of Sam Robb's rant is even better, but it echoes of Orwell (in the good sense, not in the 1984 newspeak sense).  Let me update Orwell:
What I object to is the intellectual cowardice of people who are objectively and to some extent emotionally pro-infant mortality, but who don’t care to say so and take refuge behind the formula ‘I am just as anti-infant mortality as anyone, but—’.
Objectively, they don't mind supporting actions that lead to the deaths of (it must be said) millions of black babies.  That sounds inflammatory, I know, but that's what they do.  But back to the first quote above, and that final clause of the final sentence: a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.

There's your environmentalism for you.  Today we'd call that SWPL.  The names change, but the instinct remains immutable.  Orwell again, updated for today's cowardly SWPL environmentalists:
I am not interested in
pacifism  environmentalism as a ‘moral phenomenon’. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’
the German armythird world infant mortality by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen.
I know myself all too well that intellectual conceit that progressivism dangles before you: just mouth these platitudes, support this dogma, vote for these select people and you too can be one of the Elect.  Smarter and (dare I say it) nicer than those benighted fools who refuse to genuflect.

You know, looking at it put that way makes me wonder why I was once so mesmerized by that particular Siren Song.  Young and foolish, I guess.  But no more.  I now refuse to be objectively racist, supporting (if even only passively) higher third world infant mortality because it's advocated by the Right Sort® of people.  Now if I must choose between the lives of millions of children or their ridiculous, evil dogma, the choice is clear.

There's a comfort to be found in intellectual honesty, a comfort more substantial than the empty, pretty nothings of the Siren's progressive Song.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rantio, ergo sum

It's been a long couple weeks and a long day thrown on top of it.  My mood was most charitably described as "subdued".  Then I wrote a rant that will appear here tomorrow.

I actually feel pretty good now.  Huh - didn't expect that.

Please don't let me forget you


It's not what you read in the newspaper that proves the bias

It's what you don't see in the newspaper.  Stories that are too double-plus ungood to be allowed to see print - lest those whose faith in the Gospel of Progress is weak might begin to doubt - those are the tells.  Tacitus sees a tell on the funny pages, where the classic comic Peanuts finds some airbrushing:
Somebody appears to be messing with Snoopy.

Of course the picture should look like this:



In a stunning display of Political Correctness the bullet holes have just been photoshopped away.  Evidently the Red Baron shot him down with harsh words.

This is dishonesty on so many levels.  It trivializes an important debate, that which seeks a balance between public safety and Constitutional rights.  It totally ignores the fact that Snoopy's flights of fancy were just that, imaginary expeditions where he could be heroic. This from a society where the default activity of many young people is video shooting zombies and storm troopers.  And finally, I will just say it, Peanuts in its prime was art.  When you start messing with art who knows where it will stop.  All those Renaissance crucifixion paintings.....will we start airbrushing the wounds in His hands and side?
This is a tell, that shows what the priests in the Cathedral think.  The number of shibboleths that aligned in the mind of the Latter Day Censor is telling indeed: firearms, the military, the heroic stories of Western Civilization.  All to be hidden, lest the weak of mind and faith begin to doubt.  Lest they begin to think Unapproved thoughts.

Tacitus delves into this with the care that you would expect of an amateur archaeologist, uncovering layers of meaning from the scattered detritus of the modern Progressive Empire.  What I find most ironic is that the priests who did this have no awareness of history, of what happened to other Priests in other times, Priests who tried the same silent airbrushing technique.
"I'm not afraid of A-Bombs",
says Khrushchev, and he knows it.
"I'm not afraid of anything
except, perhaps, a poet".
This is not the work of an editor confident in the persuasiveness of his philosophy.  That's the tell.

I want one of these


It's not a 1:20 scale model of the pocket battleship Graf Spee, but it doesn't need a trailer and an outboard motor.

Cream rises to the top

So does scum.  Aretae points us to the fact that Lord Acton's famous quote is much more interesting than I'd thought:
I'm sure that most of you know the famous saying, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I'm also pretty sure that a large percent of you who know the saying also know that it was the famous 19th century liberal (we would nowadays call him a classical liberal or a libertarian), Lord Acton, who said it.

What I found striking, when I went and looked for the quote, is the line that comes directly after. In fact, it's so striking that, when it's relevant, I use it in speeches and in interviews. The immediate next line is this: "Great men are almost always bad men."
It's smart enough to be pointed out by Aretae, so get reading.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sigh






Of course, there's always good advice from this meme:


Posting has been off

It's not just that I've been traveling (although that put a crimp in posting) or that Mom was visiting and things were on an emotional roller coaster (although that was true).  Things have been somewhat off for a year or more.

On the drives between Atlanta and Austin, I had serious down time to think through some posts.  When I was in Atlanta I didn't have all the day to day family distractions that I love so much today.  And Wolfgang needs his daily visits to the Dog Park, or he'll chew the house to splinters.  All of these changes have seriously cut into my "serious blogging".

Apologies to you, dear reader.  I do have some topics in mind that are good blog fodder - mostly from reader comments, in fact.  Treat this as a plea for help, and leave a comment with a potential topic for a post or three.

Help me, Obi-Wan Reader; you're my only hope.

When will the Democrats end their War On Women?

Colorado, the "Rape State".  And to answer Whoopie Goldberg, that's "Rape Rape", not "Roman Polanski raping an underage girl Rape".

Also, we need "Common Sense" ball point pen control.  Srlsy.  Those suckers can stop crimes and everything.

Dangerous.  How can you let just anyone - including kids - have unregulated access to them?

The GOP is fixin' to sell out gun owners

They will vote en masse for "universal background checks".* **

Of course, I called this a year ago:
And so, it is our civic duty to take a hit for our Country.  Put Obama back in office, unfettered.  The orgy of Progressive overreach by Regulation will be sporadically (and mostly ineffectively) resisted by a corrupt Big Government GOP.  The Agencies will rule the land, and the economy will remain seized up.

And rather than a million Tea Partiers taking to the streets, it will be two million, or three.  Rather than five or ten corrupt GOP Establishment crooks turned out of office, it will be thirty, or fifty.

And that will be the time when the calculators like Mitt Romney will get the idea that they will most likely advance their career by striking down the Progressive beast, again and again.

Remember the primaries, folks - those are the elections that count, and the ones you can win.  Remember that the local GOP Establishment has to get elected.  Organize fellow gun owners to throw them out and seize the Party.



Kill all their political careers.  As Voltaire's immortal words from Candide counsel us:
Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres
"In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."

It's the Dread Pirate Roberts school of politics: Good night Wesley. Good work.  Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.  As I wrote last year, the GOP is not our friend:
We screwed up, and believed all this, and the government never got smaller under the GOP.  It got bigger, and more intrusive, and more remote from the people, yea even under St. Ron.  Maybe it's too late for us, but if it's not then the only way forward is to burn the GOP to the waterline.  The most expedient way is to keep the Tea Party energized, and a President Romney will cause many to fall away from that movement under the eleventh commandment (another Reagan philosophy).

Well screw that noise.  We f***ed up once, trusting him and the rest of the GOP team.  How's that working out?  Rebuilding a party that Reagan might actually recognize is what this country needs - and right now, damn it - and Mitt Romney isn't the man to do it.

Barack Obama is.
And right now, the GOP is taking its marching orders from him.  The game is afoot, the battle joined anew.  The foeman is not the Democrats - we'll get to them presently.  No, the foeman is the GOP, who thinks they can get ahead by screwing gun owners.  OK, then - let's see how that works in the next primary.

Call your CongressCritters and tell them that we'll see them, and raise them one opponent come next primary.  And then do it.  They're not our friends.  Any of them.

* Which will not be universal, duh.  You don't need to show ID to buy Meth, but you do to buy Sudafed.

** I wonder if I will comply.  Hard to see how this would be enforced effectively.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Eagleheart

Stratovarius is a long-running metal band that the kids liked a couple years back.  I find the classical music themes and techniques make it pretty interesting listening.


Why I don't like computers in cars

French driver trapped for an hour in speeding 125mph car with no brakes:
The 36 year old was on a dual carriageway on his way to a hypermarket when the car's speed first jammed at 60mph. Each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there.
He used his call phone to call the police, who cleared the route ahead of him.  He kept going until his car ran out of gas.  He's suing the manufacturer, Renault.

As more an more of the car's major systems become computer controlled, we can expect to see more and more of this.  The computer software had some sort of glitch, but that's the nature of computer software.  There will be some rate of bugs per thousand lines of code.  The number will vary based on how much money the developer is willing to devote to quality; NASA was famous for a very low rate of software defects (you can't easily upgrade an OS that's orbiting Jupiter), but it didn't come cheap.  Most companies don't devote anywhere near this much money to reducing bug counts.

So how much did Renault devote?  Given that this is a pretty new field, and that manufacturers are rushing to add "cool" features like in-car WiFi and remote diagnostics and self-driving capability (ugh), confidence is not high that QA testing is high on their priority list.

Worse, it's likely that the engine shutoff is computer controlled, and so you might not even be able to turn the car off when it goes all Christine on you.

No thank you.  I think that my next car will be one of these.


It wasn't designed by incompetents.  Can't say that about today's "drive by wire" Detroit Coffins.

Best and worst presidents



Last year's list of best and worst is here.  I'm afraid I don't much care for Mr. Lincoln.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I do not like it, Sam-I-Am!

1995.  A world age ago.


It's always best to read with two:
So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said to me: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together," says Pooh, says he.
"That's how it is," says Pooh.
And this seems very bitter-sweet after the last five years (from the same source):
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
Now he is twenty,
no longer a baby.
Brainy and quirky;
staunchly a mystery.
Memories I see
always fondly.

Yeah, #2 Son was just as cute.


I'm told I do good work.

Adapt and improvise


Giacomo Puccini - Un bel di vedremo from Madame Butterfly

Puccini = Opera

That's not right, but it's a starting point.  An astonishing number of operas that are performed today are by Puccini.  This is perhaps his greatest work, which premièred on this day in 1904.  It's his Best Work.  Perhaps.



Of course, Puccini is not the sum total of opera, and Madame Butterfly is not the sum total of Puccini.  But it's not a bad start at all, which is why you hear this all the time.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Does AT&T uVerse suck canal water?

I have a screenshot from speedtest.net showing a 0.35 Mbps (!) download rate for Camp Borepatch.  With almost nobody watching TV and almost everybody doing downloads.

Hmmmm ... 350 kbps divided by  4 people [pauses to lick pencil, scratch on paper [DAMN IT TRY LONG DIVISION] means that each of us has cutting Internet technology from 1988 (64 kbps).  That was 25 years ago.

Just let me put that in perspective: 25 years before 1988 was 1963.  You know, when JFK was shot and computer dial up was rockin' at 300 baud.*

Anyone else having incredibly crummy AT&T uVerse service, or is it me (and their "fake DSL service called Broadband TV" that's the culprit)?

Hurry On Sundown

Hawkwind.  From the year after we landed on the moon.



Mouth organ for the win.  From the time before it was uncool.

Busy

I'm taking Mom to the airport this morning.  It's been good to see her, and we've had some fun times this week.  It's also been a little emotionally exhausting.  Kind of wrung out, actually.

Next steps: convince brothers that assisted living is less expensive (i.e. actually affordable) here rather than in San Francisco or Washington DC.  I expect that will be a fun conversation. Then convince Mom that she has to move.  That will be even more fun. 

Oh well, mustn't grumble.  Keep Calm and Git 'er Done.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Onions are tasty. So is Pie.

I wonder how an onion pie would taste.


Hat tip: The Embedded Theologian.  Her has more.

Epic rant is epic

Go read it:
Then they came for the gun owners, and you liberal shitbags threw me under the bus, even though I'd done nothing wrong.  So when they come to put you on the train, you can fucking choke and die.
 ~~~
Or you can commit seppuku with a chainsaw.  I really don't care anymore.  This is the end of my support for any liberal cause, because liberals have become anything but.

AMFs.
Me, I'm happy to compromise on gun control.  We just have to repeal stupid and useless gun laws, and imagine all the progress we could make!  I mean, who supports stupid and useless laws?

Fundraising at Walls Of The City

Linoge is holding a fundraiser for Honored Veterans Afield:
Starting today and running through 31MAR13, I am running a fundraiser for Honored American Veterans Afield ( http://www.honoredveterans.org/ ).  Full specifics are available here http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2013/02/honored-american-veterans-afield-fundraiser-and-giveaway.html , but the basic story is that, as we are wont to do, I am running a giveaway in conjunction with the fundraiser, with prizes ranging from a Dragon Leatherworks holster to Otis Elite cleaning kits to copies of Munchkin to Ranger Up t-shirts. 
I have to say that there are a lot of these sort of things in our corner of the Internet.  Cool.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Crossfire

Stevie Ray Vaughan.


Educating Mom

She'd never seen the Big Chicken in Marietta before. Or the courthouse square which manages to be insanely cute without being twee.

It's been nice to show her the area. There's quite a lot to like here. It's not a done deal getting her to move here, but this is making progress.

I'm hoping that the Botanical Gardens tomorrow will close the deal. Sunny and 60°. We shall see.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

What the gun control "debate" is really about

Power.

Advocates of the Second Amendment keep offering reasoned arguments, facts and statistics, and logic in this debate.  The other side ignores all of this and keeps pushing, keeps nibbling away.  They are engaged in a raw exercise of power in this battle of the Cold Civil War.  OK, then.  Both sides can play that game - and quite frankly, our side needs to start playing.

Before we apply raw political power, we need to understand where that power is applied to have effect.  Since all gun control legislation requires a vote from the  national or state Legislatures, power should be applied there.  This happened in a big way in 1994 and that gave nearly two decades before the gun banners screwed their courage to the sticking point to try again.  So how do we apply power to the legislatures in a way that needs no explanation for the point to get across?

Consider the past year.  Nearly 20 million background checks were performed as part of firearms purchases in 2012.  Suppose each one of these people - clearly unhappy with the direction we're headed and caught up in panic buying before guns are banned - suppose each of them donated $10 to a "Second Amendment Political Action Committee".  That would be $200M right there.  That's a lot of power.  You could target 200 districts with a million dollar campaign against a politician who votes for gun control measures.

But we want to maximize that power, to effect the greatest action for our side.  For many elections, primaries are a cake walk - incumbents don't have to spend anything.  Finding themselves against a well-funded opponent (and make no mistake, it will be easy to find opponents if you spot a million bucks) will sap the vitality of the incumbent's campaign and may even see challenger victories in some of the primaries.  Some incumbents who win will be weakened enough that they lose the general.

The parties will hate this and will put pressure on potential challengers not to enter the primaries.  It won't matter - for any incumbent who was unopposed in the primary, donate to his opponent in the general election.

Even a 20% success rate means 40 gun banners are evicted from office will send a huge message to the rest.  And remember, the election cycles are two years - if 20 million guns are bought next year, and everyone who buys one donates $10, that means the 2 year campaign budget would be $400 Million.  That's 400 districts that could be targeted at $1 each, or 200 districts at $2M each.  The success rate goes up.

But here's where it gets interesting.  After one or two cycles of throwing the bums out, the other bums will get the message and gun control will stop dead in the water.  After all, politicians love nothing so much as their seat, and so nailing some careers to the barn door will have a salutatory effect on the others.  So what do you do with all this raw power, itching to help out the cause of the Second Amendment?

Simple: target state legislatures.  Imagine $200 M targeting Massachusetts legislative elections, to repeal the "May Issue" concealed carry law and replace it with "Shall Issue".  Imagine how many election cycles it would take to burn the political infrastructure of gun control to the ground, and then plow that ground with salt.

Remember, we don't have to win them all, or even half.  We too can chip away, year by year, election by election, destroying the political careers of those who push gun control.  Or who refuse to roll back the worst of the existing laws.  This isn't subtle or complicated, it's a simple exercise of power. Also, this is not partisan, Democrat vs. Republican.  It's about getting rid of people who vote for particular bills.  Don't vote for those bills and you won't get primaried.

Of course, we still have logic and facts and figures on our side.  That won't win, but they're very nice indeed.  But it's time to get real about how the game is played.  If people are willing to pay $250 for an old beater Mossin, then toss a sawbuck in the coffee can.

Anyone know how to start a Political Action Committee?