Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chrysler Goes Bankrupt

Chrysler once made trend-setting cars. Pictured above, in the foreground, is a 1934 Chrysler Airflow. In the background is the 2009 Chrysler Behemoth, the company's top-selling SUV.

This one was found on a farm in England (!)

At 9:30 This Morning....

...there was a knock upon my chamber door and when I opened it I saw the Brown Truck of Happiness. Just up from Florida, he was, and he had me sign for an "adult signature required" package. No, he didn't card me. Bastard. Young whipper-snapper!

In the box was:
the EAA Witness 10mm, back from a one-month (to the day!) vacation in The Sunshine State. The cracked slide has been replaced with one of the "Target" model slides with a Bomar-type adjustable rear sight:
And look at the thickness of the steel at the forward edge of the ejection port. Not bad!

Here's another view:

Compared to the original slide:
Same angle, same frame and barrel, but the thickness of the new slide appears to be at least double that of the old one.

This is a bowling pin gun so an adjustable sight is a real benefit! At first I was a bit put-off by the dark finish of the new slide; all of the other slides I own are Wonderfinish - that shimmery gray color. But it looks pretty good in two-tone, donchathink?

And there was no charge: an "in-warranty" repair. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meet Mr. Wippinger

M-16's and Muffins

Off-duty Israeli soldier at the Bacha AFB during a 2005 "Birthright Israel" trip.

h/t Say Uncle.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh, Hellfire and Damnation!

It's the Birthday of Samuel F. B. Morse!
This statue is in Central Park. Hey, what's that under his left hand?
It doesn't look like a Morse key.
This is a drawing of the original Morse Telegraph.

h/t Clue Meter.

Worth It Just For The Skin

Friday, April 24, 2009


I've been working only two days a week for the last month due to my job situation. Not to worry, I had been working seven days a week for the last two and a half years, so I'm enjoying the rest! I have to cut my spending way back, but I have lots of time on my hands. And one of the things I've been doing is taking 5-mile hikes, sort of armed walkabout, every day.

Today I walked to the bank and deposited two checks for guns that I sold last week. I sold a micro Uzi 9mm pistol and a Springfield XD-9 subcompact. I wasn't shooting them and they were in danger of becoming "Vault Queens", so I auctioned them off. So I had some certified checks that needed to go into the bank.

Then I walked on to the cheese shop. They usually have a little basket of cheeses in snack sizes, an ounce or two, and I got a couple of those for my walk. I got a Danish Smoked Gouda and a 3-year-old white cheddar.

My walk takes me by three schools and under the law I have to go around them. The only exception is dropping kids off or picking them up, and then only if you have a CHL and stay in your car. Well that clearly didn't apply to me but no worries, the detours just added more interest to my walk.

Virginia is beautiful this time of year, with azaleas, dogwoods, tulips, ornamental cherries and pears, etc., etc. The tulip is in my front yard.

I was in Fredericksburg last week, taking my mom to lunch, and I walked around the old neighborhood. There was this beautifully-detailed Victorian duplex. Look at the extravagant detail: those window treatments look like the jaws of a shark! This house would be right at home in Key West.

Next door but set back from the street was this little gem. It appears to have been a carriage house at one time but is now a separate residence. It is in the back yard of a much larger house.

And finally, I have, at last, found a hat worthy of the patch which identifies the members of our little cabal.

Second Amendment Makes Gun Control Unconstitutional, Period

That's the title of an editorial in U.S. News and World Report. It begins like this:

My editors would like me to take a nuanced, clever stance on the Second Amendment.

I cannot.

No means no. Not means not.

Just like the First Amendment.

No infringement on Free Speech.

No mixing Church and State.

No Gun Control.

Read the whole thing.

h/t Snowflakes In Hell.

Desktop Sterling Engine

Damn! I wish I had another $350 lying around!

$350 Coffee Mug

But what a mug:

Copyright Oleg Volk

h/t Sharp As A Marble

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Con-Con Anyone?

Constitutional Convention, that is.

Randy Barnett makes a strong case in the WSJ.

I like it!

h/t GeekWithA.45.

Who Does This Remind You Of?

  • Bangs
  • Glasses
  • Book

Joke De Jour

"I was only in there for five minutes, and when I came out there was this traffic cop writing a parking ticket..."

I'll let Rusty tell it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Very Funny!

This is my son doing stand-up in Chicago. He's pretty funny!

In A Nutshell

Absolutely outstanding comment from The Volokh Conspiracy:

I'm not a gun owner currently. Used to have a .22 as a kid - quite some time ago.

It's pretty clear to an honest observer that the real end goal of anti-gun folks is to remove all guns from private hands (although of course criminals will still have them).

This has already happened in Great Britain(and only the criminals have guns). They are working on "dangerous" knives now.

All of the skirmishing - "assault weapons", handgun bans, ammunition marking, registration, DC rules that you have to keep your gun in non-operating order - are just incremental means to an end.

If the "anti-gun" folks were really serious about reducing gun-related violence, they would support mandatory life sentencing (or the death penalty) for violent felonies. The fact that one never hears them advocate this clarifies at least for me that this is not really their point of concern.

Its hard to conclude - based on the evidence - that the anti-gun lobby is motivated by anything other than a desire to render citizens defenseless and dependent.

This seems like a bad thing to me.

I was also in the didn't care much camp for years. I'm now seriously thinking about getting a CHL now just to exercise the right to do so.

Couldn't have put it better myself!

Headlines That Say It All, Part XXVIII

"Man Parachutes Into Active Volcano; Opens Chute Below Rim"

No need to click on it; you already know all you need to know.

Reuters News, via Yahoo.

I'd Like To Order A Stamp, Please!

Joe Huffman visits Office Depot and hilarity ensues.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Armed Self-Defense by Civilians

Clayton Cramer's Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog has hit a milestone: the 4000th documented incident in five years. Some of Clayton's thoughts and observations:

For all the talk by gun control advocates that "a criminal will just take away your gun and use it against you" there were only six incidents in which the defender's gun was taken away and used against the defender. By comparison, there were 183 incidents in which the criminal's gun was taken away and used against the criminal! More startling is that many of these involved victims that were unarmed at the start of the crime.

There were 67 female defenders, and 15 defenders under the age of 18.

Sobering numbers: there were 90 criminals identified as being under 18, and 1009 of these incidents were home invasions--where the criminals intentionally broke into a dwelling that they knew was occupied.

For all the talk of inadequately trained civilians, we have one incident involving mistaken identity.

That's one mistaken identity incident out of 4,000. And that was when a police officer answering the 911 call opened fire on the armed citizen. Nobody was hurt in that incident.

The Mexican Gun Canard (cont.)

The Mexican drug cartels gross an estimated $40 billion annually. They don't need to scour roadside American gun shows for their weapons. Neither do American politicians or the media need to fudge the numbers — unless this is preparing the way to stricter gun control.

After all, as someone once said, never waste a good crisis.

Monday, April 20, 2009

2nd Amendment Incorporated!

Surprise decision from the Nordyke case by a panel of the Ninth Circuit court. In a delicious Catch-22 decision, Nordyke loses the case, but the Court incorporates the Second Amendment; that way, the winners can't appeal!

Here's a particularly juicy morsel from the decision:

Moreover, whereas the Supreme Court has previously incorporated rights the colonists fought for, we have here both a right they fought for and the right that allowed them to fight.

Right on! You crazy liberal justices, you!

UPDATE: Excellent discussion on The Volokh Conspiracy, including this:

What an pyrrhic victory for the gun grabbing county executive. She got the gun shows banned from county property, but accidently got the 2nd amendment incorporated in the process...
This calls for a glass of wine and a cigar!

2nd UPDATE: More discussion from TVC:

Am I the only one to notice EV was cited in the decision?
No doubt the Panel was just whoring for a blog post.

Time and Guns

Overview of Americans' attitude toward guns from Time magazine.

The author only quotes one person, a UT grad student who opposes on-campus concealed carry. But otherwise it's an interesting and balanced overview of what CNN and Gallup polls have found recently.

Guns In America

I blogged about this about two weeks ago, but due to the proximity of the anniversaries of the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings, it's worth another look.

This is a BBC essay, "America's Safety Catch", by correspondent Justin Webb. Here is a sample:

Brits arriving in New York, hoping to avoid being slaughtered on day one of their shopping mission to Manhattan are, by day two, beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. By day three they have had the scales lifted from their eyes.

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.

"It seems so nice here," they quaver.

Well, it is!


It is a paradox. Along with the guns there is a tranquility and civility about American life of which most British people can only dream.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today In History

Big day in American history. On this day in:

1995 – the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City
1993 – burning of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco
1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (OK, granted, not American geographically, but still...)
1775 – battles of Lexington and Concord

Today's birthdays:
Elliot Ness (1903)
Glenn Seaborg, discoverer of plutonium (1912)
Jayne Mansfield (1933)
Tim Curry, actor (1946)

Now that is an interesting guest list!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review

Sounds interesting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Anniversary

My first post, April 13, 2008, was about the EAA Witness that I bought the day before.

Since then there have been nearly 600 posts, over 20,000 hits and nearly 10,000 visitors.

Still, Turonistan is just a sleepy little backwater on the information waterway, or whatever. And that's about all it can be, and that's ..... OK.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yoga With Dogs

Last Night I Dreamed I Returned To Area 51

Cool L.A. Times article on the mysterious desert test site.

The photo shows a pair of large crates being hauled over the road to Area 51, under heavy guard.

Move along, now. Nothing to see here.

No Time To Get Complacent

Despite having the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the most anti-gun President in history, AND the most anti-gun Attorney General in history, the anti-Second Amendment forces are weaker than they have been in the last fifty years.

Good work, everybody!

As recently as last December, the New York Times was trumpeting "The Gun Lobby's Loss".

In spite of the tragic recent shootings, Pelosi, Holder, and even Feinstein (Feinstein!) are publicly and explicitly backing away from federal gun control. The White House is mute on the subject; "no plans to offer new legislation," says Press Secretary Gibbs. Holder says he looks forward to working with the NRA! Sec. of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about gun smuggling, but has been silent on the subject for the last three weeks; no doubt she has been firmly reminded by the White House that the State Dept. does not set domestic policy. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer has been reluctant to champion gun control legislation; for the last four years he was in charge of getting Democrats elected to the Senate, and he was probably shocked to discover the animosity to gun control out there in "fly-over country." And the new junior Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, despite enormous pressure from the Usual Suspects (NYT, Manhattan intelligentsia, etc.), is not a reliable vote for gun control. Although her current position is a little amorphous.

Since 1960, the Gallup Poll has been asking Americans if they favor a ban on civilian ownership of handguns. At last count only 29% of Americans favored such a ban, "... the smallest percentage favoring a handgun ban since Gallup first polled on this nearly 50 years ago."

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that public support for gun control has plunged from 54% to 39%.

But the worst thing we can do is to get complacent. Our current situation is analogous to the position of The Brady Center in 1994, immediately after the passage of the AWB. Here we are, fifteen years later, and some of them are talking about "the death of the gun control movement." Back then, in 1994, they probably thought it was inconceivable that they could fall so far, so fast. But the same thing could happen to us.

h/t Sailor Curt.

[Edited to correct the sources of the polling data.]

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oral Sex Linked To Throat Cancer

It's the BBC. Check it out!

Coca-Cola Made With Pure Sucrose Available Again

Just another one of Moses' miracles.

Look for the yellow cap. But you better hurry!

"Flying and oral sex don't mix, a judge ruled Tuesday..."

sez YOU!

Actually a pretty astonishing example of irresponsibility. The guy was at the controls, fer chrissake. Of a helicopter! And another guy was filming it! What could possibly go wrong?

from SFGate.

"I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed!"

I love this movie!

How Hard Is It To Fire A Rocket?


Unintended Consequences

Several health studies, in the U.S. and Europe have concluded that cigarette smoking is a net financial benefit to society:

Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

"It looks unpleasant or ghoulish to look at the cost savings as well as the cost increases and it's not a good thing that smoking kills people," Viscusi said in an interview. "But if you're going to follow this health-cost train all the way, you have to take into account all the effects, not just the ones you like in terms of getting your bill passed."

Viscusi worked as a litigation expert for the tobacco industry in lawsuits by states but said that his research, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals, has never been funded by industry.

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions.

A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.

The reason: The thin, healthy people lived much longer.

Of course, our own CDC responds, "OK, fine! I suppose you approve of euthanasia, too!"

"The natural train of logic that follows from that is that then anybody that's admitted around age 65 or older that's showing any signs of sickness should be denied treatment," [CDC spokesman] Pechacek said. "That's the cheapest thing to do."
h/t Alphecca.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The British Guide To Self-Defence

1. State forcefully, “Here now, none of that”.
2. Grasp your umbrella firmly and shake it at them.
3. Remark what you would have done “in your day” but don’t finish the sentence.
4. Tell them, “If you don’t stop, I shall taunt you again.”
5. If all else fails, call them a “Skallywag” as you hand over your valuables and “Harumph” loudly.

I would add, "What's all this, then?"

There's a dust-up going on at Rachel Lucas's blog about guns, violence, America, Britain, safety, and self-defense. (See, I can spell it right, in context.)

One of my favorite essays by a Brit on the issue of Guns and Violence in America is by the BBC's Justin Webb. He called it "America's Safety Catch", and you can find it here.

Some excerpts:

Despite the fact there are more than 200 million guns in circulation, there is a certain tranquility and civility about American life.


To many foreigners - and to some Americans - the tolerance of guns in everyday American life is simply inexplicable.


Why is it then that so many Americans - and foreigners who come here - feel that the place is so, well, safe?

A British man I met in Colorado recently told me he used to live in Kent but he moved to the American state of New Jersey and will not go home because it is, as he put it, "a gentler environment for bringing the kids up."

This is New Jersey. Home of the Sopranos.

Brits arriving in New York, hoping to avoid being slaughtered on day one of their shopping mission to Manhattan are, by day two, beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. By day three they have had had the scales lifted from their eyes.

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.

"It seems so nice here," they quaver.

Well, it is!


It is a paradox. Along with the guns there is a tranquillity and civility about American life of which most British people can only dream.

Worth a read.

h/t Roberta X.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"It's an ear from a pig ...

"... it's your morning coffee
In a cup this big."

h/t La Bredaluccion.

Queen to King's Bishop 2

Elsewhere, Roberta X has blogged about the tiny country of Kalmykia. The Head of The Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is also the President of the World Chess Federation, and chess is compulsory in all primary schools. But there is a dark side to "Chess Tourism":

In the late 1990s, there were allegations that the Ilyumzhinov government was spending much government money on projects to do with chess. These were published in Sovietskaya Kalmykia, the opposition newspaper in Elista. Larisa Yudina, the journalist who investigated these accusations, was kidnapped and murdered in 1998. Two men, Sergei Vaskin and Tyurbi Boskomdzhiv, who worked in the local civil service, were charged with her murder. After prolonged investigations by the Russian authorities, both men were found guilty and jailed, but there was no evidence that Ilyumzhinov was in any way responsible.

Another chess-related death!

Does Being Smart Makes It Harder to Date?

F*** if I know.

In adolescence, intelligent folks spent more time trying to tick off college application-worth achievements than developing real relationships; they feel entitled to an easy dating life because of all they've achieved; for years they've valued smarts over sexuality; they discount potential candidates for not being up to their brainiac standards; and most damning of all, they over-think everything.

Washington Post.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Myth of "90 Percent"

Fox News effectively and convincingly destroys the "Mexican Gun Canard". With facts and figures and direct quotations.

Fox News.

h/t Arms And The Law.

Hollywood could soon be going Objectivist

After decades in development hell, Ayn Rand’s capitalism-minded “Atlas Shrugged” is taking new steps toward the big screen — with one of the film world’s most prominent money men potentially at its center.

The Hollywood Reporter.

20,000 Hits

Sometime today or tomorrow this blog will reach 20,000 hits.

I think most of 'em are mine, checking for comments!

Introducing "Fed-Lube"!

Government car repair! It's like the DMV AND the Post Office, rolled into one!

From the Volokh Conspiracy.