A Quick Ride Around the Blogroll
Since lots of other folks out there right stuff that is better and more interesting than mine, let's go look at some of it:
Kevin at Smallest Minority disects a particularly egregious bit of anti-gun media bias on the part of MSNBC.
I'll expect Jeff at Alphecca to a have more on the MSNBC hit piece in his Weekly Check, but for today he's got two good links, one to a Dave Kopel piece on Armed Jews Week and another, from my hometown paper on the debate over employers' right to ban guns on their property.
Jed at Freedom Sight offers links to Ashcroft v. Raich coverage by Randy Barnett at Feds v. Meds.
And the Trainer has two posts worth mentioning. One, a picture of his very sexy SKS project. (Trainer needs to get permalinks; you'll have to scroll down.)
He also posts this question, from a thread on the SKS forum:
"So lets say you are in the backside of your house and you realize (before he does) that you have a armed thief in your house.
You going to shoot? ...in this case lets just say you have what seems to be a violent armed robber in your house. Say a house in the country you don't need to worry about blasting through your wall into the house next door.
You know he is there, he don't know you are there, and you have access to all your guns and ammo. What one you going to point at him? And or pull the trigger?"
My answer: double tap with my home defense gun-the primary which for me is a Remington 870 loaded with 00 buck. He's in my house, and he's got a weapon, so he's obviously a threat. He doesn't get a warning shot, unless lighting him up with the Surefire counts.
A Somewhat Silly Goal
I have decided, for no particualr reason, to set for myself the goal, before I die (or get too old and infirm to accomplish it) of bagging myself a deer with a rifle of every caliber in my milsurp arsenal. At least, every caliber present in bolt-action form.
Currently, this stands at the following:
7.5x55mm Swiss-I own multiple K-31s. I've also got a bolt-on mount with scope.
8x57mm Mauser-Yugo M48A and M24/47. One of these will get a Darrell's mount and scout scope.
7.62x54R- In addition to the Finn M91 mentioned below, I also have a Finn M39. Scout scope here as well.
If I can get my trunk-gun Yugo SKS to shoot well enough, I might add it to the list as well, especially if the local deer are small.
Of course, first I have to learn to hunt and get myself a hunting license, but that's all part of the fun.
Because you gotta have goals, even if that are somewhat silly.
New (Old) Toy
Having just posted by Curio & Relic wish list, I of course went out and bought something entirely different. Isn't that how it usually works? You find the coolest stuff when you're not even looking?
The New Old Rifle is a 1942 Finnish M91 Mosin-Nagant made by VKT. I found it, believe it or not, at a pawn shop for $100. Bluing on the barrel and receiver look about 75-80% to my untrained eye, but nearly non-existant on the trigger group and magazine. Bolt is non-matching. What's really unusual about it, at least to me, is that the wood appears to be completely unstained. Most Finnish Mosins that I've seen have a dark walnut (I think) stain on the woodwork. This has nothing-the wood is sanded beautifully smooth, though, so I'm not sure if the lack of stain is original or the previous owner refinished it.
Overall, it looks quite nice and definitely unique. I'll try to get some pictures up (of this rifle among others) in a week or so.
Annoying Dearth of Ideas
Sadly, the outside world is supplying me with little in the way of things to blog about at them moment. I do have a couple more "HL for Pres" position statements rattling around in my head, on education and taxes, among other things, but they're not quite ready for prime time.
So, for lack of anything better, I'll post a (very) abbreviated, Curio & Relic wish list. Unfortunately, I can't access most of the sites with good descriptions of these weapons from work, so I'll have to leave them unlinked. And Sir John, no gloating. I already know you own most of these.
Rifles I'd Buy on Sight, if the Price is even Semi-Reasonable
Fabrique Nationale FN-49, in either the 8mm or .30-06 versions. From what I've heard, I'm very wary of the Argentine navy .308 detachable mag version.
Swedish Ljungman (sp?) semi-auto rifle
Czech VZ-52 rifle
Another SVT-40, especially a Tula made one, and even more especially a Finn capture
Any G.I. bringback Mauser 98K
C&Rs I Intend to Buy, but am Not Actively Seeking for Budget Reasons
Swedish Mausers, M96 and M38
Soviet M91/59 Mosin-Nagant Rifle
Finn M39 M-N, B-Barrel and Sako
M1903 and M1903A3
Enfield Rifles, mostly the No4 Mk1s
Yugo M48 Mauser
Czech VZ-24 Mauser
Russian Capture 98k Mauser(s)
Last bu no Least, currently #1 on my "To Buy" list:
Yugoslav M59 SKS.
This is by no means an all inclusive list-the various (currently abundant and cheap) flavors of Soviet M-N rifles are left off, though I intend to get several at some point in the future-just what I'm thinking of at the moment.
Doug Giles on Real Men
Y’know, just the other day while I was on a hunting trip without my wife during our anniversary, after not bathing for 5 days, while eating cold refried beans out of a can, chasing the beans with a hot Budweiser and belching so loudly that a Bull Elk came to our cabin looking for a fight...
Read the whole thing.
Fighting Terrorism "Constructively"
This piece appeared in the Seattle P-I on Saturday. It still annoys me enough to write about it on Monday. For those of those who are not familiar with the author, Mr. Steve's is a travel writer and host of a travel show which airs I think on PBS (that should have been an indicator right there-if he was smart/talented enough to get people other that
suckers taxpayers to pay for his work, he'd be on the Travel Channel). So you'd think this jackoff would be a little better informed about how the real world works. The article is another one of the "Evertyhing would be fine if we could just find out what they want and then just talk about it" inanities that continually seem to dribble from the mouths of people who just don't seem to get that you don't "just talk about it" with evil. OK, on to the dissection of his moronity.
Can we fight terrorism constructively?
By RICK STEVES
On Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Center towers collapsed and angry clouds of dust chased U.S. citizens through the streets of New York City. The world was outraged. And the United States was outraged. So much so that -- three long years later -- many Americans still refuse to even dignify the attack by asking, "Why did they do it?"
We know why they did it. Hell, they even told us. Because they want us to either a) become like them or b) die and burn in hell. And they don't much care which.
But we must understand the enemy to combat them. Let me play the role of one of the thousands of Muslim parents who've named their babies Osama in the past year and look at the situation from the point of view of these devout Muslims offended and threatened by the reach of U.S. power.
Are you trying to get into the heads of the Islamofascist fuckheads who attacks us, or the poor, uneducated sods in Karachi, Jiddah, Cairo, etc who roots for him? There's a big difference there.
Who was actually being attacked on that terrible day? The targets chosen were not symbolic of average Americans (say, a shopping mall or sports stadium). They weren't symbols of the freedoms that this country stands for (Statue of Liberty). Rather, the 9/11 hijackers went straight for the institutions of U.S. might in the world: international corporations (the Trade Towers), the U.S. military (the Pentagon) and -- had the fourth plane reached its likely goal -- our commander in chief (the White House).
In case you didn't notice, the President IS the United States to most of the rest of the world, at least publicly.
So, why did they do it? Because "they hate freedom?" Come on -- that's ridiculous.
Spoken truly like someone who has lived with freedom all his life and still doesn't understand it. True they might not hate our freedom per se, but they do hate the fact that our freedom has made us successful and powerful, especialy that it has made us much more poweful and successful than Islam has made them.
A billion Muslims throughout the world have three serious concerns: Palestine needs security and self-respect;
The "Palestine Issue" has got to be the king of all red herrings. The
displaced Arabs Palestinians were offered peace, security, and land-pretty much everything they wanted-at Oslo. And the late unlamented terrorist Yasser Arafat turned them down, because the Israelis refused to give him the one thing that he really wanted, which was for them to go to hell and die. As far as the Palestinian terror groups are concerned, there will be no peace as long as Israel exists. Israel is not going to just go away, So you have an impasse.
The real reason Israel gets Arabs/Muslims so worked up is two fold. First, Israel's continued existence is a tremendous insult to Arab pride. Four times in the last half-century plus, that tiny little country laid a tremendous ass-whooping on the combined might of its Arab neighbors. Even in 1973, when the Arabs had surprise on their side, Israel won, with only the restraining hand of Uncle Sam saving the vaunted Egyptian army from complete anihiliation. Second is because Arab/Muslim leaders use Israel as a red flag to keep their populations distracted from the fact that they live in totalitarian shitholes. This keeps the people's anger at their shitty lives safely directed at Israel rather than at their own governments.
they want the American military out of Islam;
Then how come they didn't suddenly love us when we moved our stuff out of Saudi Arabia last year? The governments of Kuwait and Qatar have asked us to be where we are.
and they want control of their natural resources (to charge whatever they like for their oil). Mr. Steves has obviously not been to his local gas station recently. And anyway, most Muslim countries have nothing to do with the global oil trade. The world's most populous Muslim-majority country in Malaysia, which is a long way from the Persian Gulf oil fields. Some of the nastiest Islamists come from Egypt, which has nothing to do with oil. There is an awful lot of oil in the Muslim states in central Asia, but we don't seem to be having problems with them. Actually, most of them like America because we destroyed the Soviet Union.
These are three basic foreign policy questions that any U.S. president could address without compromising the security and interests of America or Israel.
The basic problem with the Muslim world, especially the Arab portion of it, which is where most of the problem originates with the fact that that part of the world is basically a giant shithole, and it hasn't really improved since the Middle Ages. Europe had the Renaissance and Reformation, shook off the Dark Ages, and never looked back. The hollowed-out, left behind pieces of the once mighty and prosperous Muslim Caliphate never did. In an even shorter time, America went from an undiscovered, vast wilderness inhabited solely by scattered tribes of primitive tribes barely advanced beyond the Stone Age (at least technologically) to being the most powerful nation on the planet.
But the fact that America is so great and life in the Muslim world so not-great wasn't always such a source fo dissatisfaction. Despite the fact that they lived in Third World shitholes, Muslim leaders conintually tell their flocks that Islam the the One True Way, and that it will lead to all that is Good And Happy. Then across the sea, is this America country, which does pretty much the opposite of what the mullahs and imams say is a good Muslim way to live. And America is enormously successful and powerful-in fact, America the Unholy is the most powerful and richest country on the planet. And then comes satellite TV and broadcasts to the whole world how rich and powerful America is. And all these Muslims can see for themselves exactly how shitty their lives are and life in America. This does not agree with what they've been told by the (state controlled) media their entire lives.
This is where the truly violent ones verge off. Now they have to choose: adjust their worldview to fit reality, or try to destroy that part of reality that doesn't fit their world view. They chosse to try to destroy America, because it doesn't jive with their world view.
The United States' overwhelming global dominance is unprecedented in human history. Many Muslims fear the Americanization of their culture.
So does France, but they just pass laws saying that you must do everything in French. They don't try to kill us.
In addition, the United States declares natural resources (such as oil) in Muslim countries "vital to its national security."
Access to oil is vital to our economic security-nice parsing of words, Mr. Steves. If oil were truly that vital to our national security, we'd shove ball gags in the greenie-weenies mouths, and start drilling the heck out of the Gulf of Mexico, the California coast, and ANWR. There's huge amounts of oil there that we're not going after, because we choose not to. If it were even more vital, we'd invade Mexico and take their oil. It's a heck of a lot closer, and they're practically invading our country anyway.
And our immense military -- as big as the rest of the world's combined and unfightable by means other than terrorism --defends U.S. access to markets and natural resources throughout the globe.
Um, Mr. Steves-perhaps you've heard of China? Their military is a tad bigger than ours. Just a bit. I'll give you a minute to dig out a Jane's and check that for yourself. Ours is just better.
And as for using our military to enforce access to markets around the world-if that was the case, why haven't we atacked China and Japan, for starters? There's a lot more money to be made selling things to them than in Afghanistan.
It's clear that maintaining our dominance by force is costly in civil liberties, our moral standing in the world, tax dollars and human lives. So my Burning Question is:
Could we more effectively fight terrorism by understanding what motivates it and then taking away the source of the anger? Wouldn't it be cheaper and wiser to just face our enemy, ask "Why?" and respond constructively?
Because everytime we ask "Why?" we keep running into fundamental problems with Islam, and the Muslim world's inability to deal with the fundamentalist jihadis in their midst. The most "constructive" solution would ijnvolve constructing a massive parking lot from Morocco to Mindanao. As it is, we're trying to construct something resembling liberal (that's classical, Thomas Jefferson, Jmes Madison, Rights-of-Man liberal, with a small 'l') democracies in the Muslim world. But as with any new construction where something already exists, you have to destroy the old to build the new.