Down Range Pick Ups
One of the minor bennies to my current assignment is that I get to spend time on the machinegun range. I don't get to fire the machineguns (or grenade machineguns), but I get to watch them get fired.
On the most recent trip to the range, I learned something new. .50 BMG ball bullets are not copper jacketed lead, but actually copper jacketed steel. The firing line used for the MK-19 GMG (grenade machinegun) is one of the targets used during the M2 course of fire. The target (a pickup truck with a couple of terrorists in the back) is about 800m from the M2 firing line. The target lifter is protected by a mound of loose dirt in front of concrete blocks.
These were recovered from the dirt mound.
A 5.56 bullet is included at the front for scale.
The copper jackets seem to peel off from the steel core quite easily, as there were lots more chunks of copper jacketing scattered around. The jacket on the far left peeled off and turned completely inside out.
The steel cores, note surprisingly, held their shape quite well. There weren't too many of them to be found, as they burrowed deep into the dirt.
Bottom line? Not that you need me to tell you this, but I wouldn't want to be shot at by a .50. Not only is that steel core going to make nice big holes in just about anything, but there's going to be chunks of copper flying around. Oh, did I mention that the rounds had no problem going through 1/2" plywood sideways after ricocheting off the ground? That's one big hole.
That About Sums It Up
1LT Bruce Bishop, Utah Army National Guard, on why he doesn't get out:
..."because as I look around at the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-asses that are whining about this or protesting that, I'd be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them."
Every Re-Up NCO in the Army should have those words on his bulletin board.
From Mudville Gazette.
Another Quote from Someone Else
This time, from the Analog Kid's RNS QOTD:
There is no such thing as “A Right to a Job” – there is only the right of free trade, that is: a man’s right to take a job if another man chooses to hire him.
There is no “Right to a Home”, only the right of free trade: the right to build a home or to buy it. There are no “Rights to a ‘Fair’ Wage or a ‘Fair’ Price” if no one chooses to pay it, to hire a man or to buy his product. There are not “Rights of Consumers” to milk, shoes, movies or champagne if no producers choose to manufacture such items (there is only the right to manufacture them oneself). There are no “Rights” of special groups, there are no “Rights of Farmers, of Workers, of Businessmen, of Employees, of Employers, of The Old, of The Young, of the Unborn”. There are only the Rights of Man – rights possessed by every individual and by all men as individuals.
Property rights and the right to free trade are man’s only “Economic Rights” (they are, in fact, political rights) – and there can be no such thing as “an economic bill of rights”. But observe that the advocates of the latter have all but destroyed the former.
Note that while this is a smack to the face of both of our nation's political parties, it's pretty much a repudiation of the Democratic party's entire existence.
I Could Get Behind This One
From one of Volokh's Conspirators via Instapundit
The Miers fiasco presents an opportunity for conservatives to put a stop to the Bushes' preference for cronyism and loyalty over principles, a particularly bad preference when it comes to the Supreme Court. The obvious successor to Ms. Miers, when her nomination is ulimately withdrawn or defeated, is Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the D.C. Circuit. He's clearly one of the leading judges in the country, with vast experience in antitrust law, admintrative law, constitutional law, and more. His marijuana incident is now more than twenty years in the past, and no longer seems disqualifying in any event, given subsequent revelations ("I didn't inhale" and whatnot).
Most important, Ginsburg (who is still only sixty) is not a Bush crony or loyalist, and can be counted on as a strong and independent voice on the Court. And conservatives would rally around: if he was good enough for Ronald Reagan, surely he's good enough for the Bush Adminstration.
UPDATE: If not Ginsburg, I'll settle for other brilliant, not-age-disqualified Reaganites, including Danny Boggs, Frank Easterbrook, and Alex Kozinski.
60, BTW, is the same age as Miers. I was wondering what happened to D. Ginsburg the other day, and figured he was too old. I didn't realize he was in his late 40s when Reagan nominated him (how much different might history have been with him on the Court instead of Kennedy?) While Kozinski would still be my first choice, I think Douglas Ginsburg would be an excellent choice.
I Oppose the Miers Nomination
I am putting it on the record because NZ Bear is taking a poll. And polling companies never poll me.
I do not oppose her nomination because she is unqualified-the Constitution is pretty much mute on this area, and she meets the basics, being that she is an Americancitizen and she's breathing. But there are many, many more qualified individuals available.
I think the President nominated Miers mostly because he's certain she would vote to overturn Roe v Wade. His assertion that she would vote 'the right way' because she's an evangelical Christian tipped his hand here. It revealed that to Bush, as much as to the Democrats, it's all about Roe, and it's all about results. How you get there isn't important, but it damn well should be. I expect a Supreme Court Justice to be able to produce rulings that are solidly grounded in Constitutional theory and well written. Miers questionairre answers to the Senate convinced me that she wouldn't be able to do that.
The one thing that Miers history does indicate to me, both her short stint on the Dallas City Council and her time as head of the Dallas and Texas state Bar Associations, is that she would be, if confirmed, exactly the same of so many of the jurists that we have been disappointed with in the past-Justices such as Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, and O'Connor being the examples sitting on the Court at the moment. We were told all would be reliable 'conservative' votes, but once on the bench they, lacking a solidly grounded Constiutional judicial philosophy, proved all to vulnerable to the massive leftward pressure to produce rulings that were 'right for society'.
For these reason, I urge President Bush to withdraw her nomination, or, failing that, for the Senate to vote to reject her.