Sunday, October 6, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
She was born in France in 1912. When World War 2 began she was married to an Englishman and living in Somerset, England with her husband and three young daughters.
She volunteered for war duty, put her three daughters into a convent school, and was infiltrated into France as part of the "Spindle" network on October 31, 1942.
On April 16, 1943 she was arrested by the Gestapo. Classified records released in 2003 indicate that her toenails were pulled out and she was branded with hot irons.
She refused to talk.
The Gestapo sometimes took pictures of their victims before execution. This unfortunate soul, whose name is lost to history, is probably a Resistance agent.
Odette was sent to Ravensbruck, the women's concentration camp, for execution. She somehow survived the war and was awarded the George Cross.
She is not the only woman to have received the George Cross, but she is the only woman not to have received it posthumously.
She is on the right. The George Cross is the blue medal.
After her liberation by the American Fifth Army, she later said, "The first night of my release was unforgettable. It was a glorious night, full of stars and very cold.
"The Americans wanted to find me a bed for the night, but I preferred to sit in the car.
"It was so long since I had seen the night sky."
Odette Hallowes died in 1995.
There is more in William Stevenson's book "A Man Called Intrepid".
Release of classified records, in The Telegraph.
Her obituary, in The Independent.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Finally got this scope centered properly. I had to bring the torque wrench to the range and make several adjustments, but finally it's centered properly at 100 yds. without touching the scope adjustment knobs. At 100 yds., the reticle posts appear to be nearly an inch wide, so even aiming from a bench, like I did here, is a bit of a challenge.
On a slightly sadder note, this sign was on the door Saturday afternoon.
Friday, March 29, 2013
No clue. No clue at all.
They have a cursory look at my driving licence, then ask me to select my weapon. I've no idea. "A small one. For an idiot," I offer.What I get is a 45 that shoots nine-millimetre bullets (mostly in the wrong direction, it turns out, but that's me not the gun). It's alarmingly heavy and complicated. Even loading the weapon requires thumb strength and dexterity I seem to lack. After the fourth time of showing me how it is done, my guide loses patience. "You left-handed?" he asks. "Or just retarded?"
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
That's Rabbi Schacter on the left.
He died last week at the age of 95. Obit in the NYT:
The smoke was still rising as Rabbi Herschel Schacter rode through the gates of Buchenwald.It was April 11, 1945, and Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army had liberated the concentration camp scarcely an hour before. Rabbi Schacter, who was attached to the Third Army’s VIII Corps, was the first Jewish chaplain to enter in its wake.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Second Amendment scholar Joyce Lee Malcolm appears on PBS:
I've read her books but never seen her on TV. It's great that she was on PBS, too, instead of preaching to the choir. She very calmly and very effectively makes the points that need to be made about the AWB and magazine limits and the Heller case.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Trying to burn up the Capitol Hill phone lines. Called Sen. Kaine, Sen. Warner, Rep. Wolf and Rep. Cantor (Majority Leader) and spoke with their people. Told 'em I'm opposed to:
- New gun control laws
- An assault weapons ban
- Limits on magazine capacity
- Universal background checks
- Gun registration
Had only the option of leaving a voicemail on Speaker Boehner's line.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's line was busy; tried it twice and couldn't get through.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Wayne LaPierre to David Gregory:
“We're in the District of Columbia right now, and possession of that magazine is illegal, even if it's not loaded. Even if it's not connected to a gun. It's still illegal. But you won't be charged, and do you know why? It's because you're white. If Ice-T was holding that magazine, he would be in jail before this program was off the air.”
- I made that up, but wouldn't it be great if life were really like that?
ETA: I just realized that Matt G had a similar thought before I did. Hell, I'm gettin' old.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
According to some news reports, "universal" background checks are the "low-hanging fruit" in Congress right now. There is unlikely to be a new Assault Weapons Ban; magazine limits are also unlikely to pass. But there is a chance, they say, that a law may be passed to require federal background checks on private sales, except between family members.
But what is the point in requiring universal background checks against a database that is missing millions of names, as the Wall Street Journal points out:
Thursday, February 7, 2013
There was a huge turnout to protest Gov. O'Malley's gun control bill yesterday. Maryland already has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.
Even the WaPo said it was a big demonstration:
Gun rights advocates marshaled one of the biggest crowds to descend on Annapolis for a bill hearing in years Wednesday, packing the halls of the Maryland State House complex to oppose Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to institute some of the nation’s strictest gun-control laws.
Women were prominent:
Outside the State House, opponents of O’Malley’s plan made it clear that he would be in for a battle. Many adorned their clothing with “Guns Save Lives” stickers and lined up to sign petitions against the bill. Placards bounced to the rhythm of speeches. One woman held up a cardboard sign that said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny.”Kelly Cook, 23, a college student from Arnold, held up a sign that said: “Why do you want to fingerprint me? I am not a criminal.”“That’s what I want to ask Governor O’Malley,” she said.
More than four hours into the hearing, a Connecticut-based lobbyist for the gun industry drew the most heated reaction from the Democratic-controlled panel.“The restrictions in this bill are arbitrary. Nothing in it will prevent another Newtown or Columbine,” said Jake McGuigan of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, based in Newtown.“You’re coming from Newtown, Connecticut, to tell us an assault-weapons ban would not save lives?” asked Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery).Like others from the gun industry, McGuigan did not back down. He stressed that Connecticut has an assault-weapons ban and that the guns used in the shooting that killed 20 students there were legally owned by the killer’s mother.With regard to Maryland, McGuigan cited homicide statistics from 2011 that showed just two of nearly 400 killings statewide were committed with rifles that could be banned under O’Malley’s legislation. Outside the hearing, the crowd in an overflow room applauded at the response.Jeffrey Reh, general counsel for firearm manufacturer Beretta, which has a plant in Accokeek, warned lawmakers that O’Malley’s bill, which outlaws 45 types of weapons and their knockoffs, could have a severe impact on the company’s business. He also said that because gun manufacturers in Maryland are required to register as firearm dealers, it’s unclear whether the company would still be allowed to export guns for sale in other states.“We’re confronted with a state government that wants to ban the products we make,” Reh said. “Not surprisingly, we are concerned.”
And more women (and girls, too):
Hope Ingraham of Gaithersburg said she doesn’t own a gun but brought her 9-year-old daughter, Zahira, to the spectacle because she thinks that constitutional rights should not be infringed upon.“I used to be really anti-gun until [Hurricane] Katrina and I watched all of that Superdome stuff,” she said, “and that’s when I realized — the government lacks the ability to protect us when we need it most.”After six hours waiting to testify, Athena Andrzejewski of Ellicott City was told that she would not be called before the hearing would be adjourned at 9 p.m.“I expected a big crowd but not this big,” Andrzejewski said. “I’m glad it’s this big. It means we’re not just going to take whatever comes. It means we are going to fight.”
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
...as if a million gun-control advocates suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
The Washington Post published this opinion piece Tuesday night:
I don’t particularly like the AR-15, although it is one of the most popular rifles in the country. Three million have been sold, according to an NRA researcher. But to define it as an assault rifle because of how it looks — with a pistol grip, adjustable stock, flash suppressor and “high capacity” magazine — is silly.
You want to see a dangerous-looking gun, look at the one President Obama was photographed skeet shooting with at Camp David last summer. That shotgun of his was big enough to take down a woolly mammoth. When I pulled the trigger on the AR-15, one high-powered round came out. Maybe I hit something; maybe I didn’t. Obama can’t miss. He could clear a room with one double-barreled blast.
Why ban one and not the other? And once you start banning semiautomatics, where do you stop?
If gun control advocates were truly serious and not just well meaning, they’d be focusing a lot more on education and mental health. For instance, everybody knows that our children are being adversely affected by violent video games. So why aren’t schools deconstructing video games as part of the curriculum, explaining to students how the military uses these same war games to condition troops to kill without remorse?
It just goes on and on like that. This piece is by one of WaPo's local opinion writers, Courtland Milloy.
Absolutely shocking that WaPo would publish something like this.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Even the techie online mag cnet.com is debunking the map of pistol-permit holders published by the Journal News:
The Journal News, a local New York paper, decides to post a map of all those who own handguns in the area. Like so much that's online, it contains errors -- massive errors.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that some of these permits dated from the 1930s.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Great essay in Newsweek/Beast by David Mamet:
The Left loves a phantom statistic that a firearm in the hands of a citizen is X times more likely to cause accidental damage than to be used in the prevention of crime, but what is there about criminals that ensures that their gun use is accident-free? If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves?
Thursday, January 24, 2013
From the Washington Post "Fact Checker" blog:
Last week we looked at a National Rifle Association ad that made misleading claims about security at Sidwell Friends School, which President Obama’s children attend. Now let’s look at a tough anti-NRA ad sponsored by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an umbrella organization of 48 religious and other organizations.The target of this ad is Rep. John Barrow of Georgia — the last white Democratic member of Congress from the Deep South. The CSGV video intercuts scenes from a campaign ad that Barrow ran in 2012 with television footage of the massacre of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It certainly packs an emotional punch — but is it fair and accurate?
"...the last white Democratic member of Congress from the Deep South."?
Is that really true?
And they accuse the Republicans of being polarized!
"I know you are but what am I? I know you are but..."
The hell with it. A pox on both their houses.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Getting ready for The Big Day.
Blocking off the sidewalks to pedestrian traffic.
All the metal trashcans on Pennsylvania Avenue were picked up last night and replaced with these clear plastic bags.
The National Archives building gleamed in the morning sun.
A lovely old building, the Fireman's Insurance Building. Nowadays, of course, it is a Starbucks.
Huge loudspeaker arrays have been hoisted onto poles along the route. These are in front of the Newseum.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Yesterday's Washington Post:
“What they do well is they really get people out,” said Illinois state Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D), who heads the House committee that was to consider the assault-weapons ban until gun owners, spurred by the local NRA affiliate, overwhelmed legislators with calls and e-mails. “That’s democracy. I can’t fault them for it. I have to applaud them for it.”
“They can produce a small army for Election Day, and every elected official knows it,” said Rep. Mark Pocan, a newly elected Democratic congressman, who was a state legislator when the tide turned in Wisconsin.