One of the good things about my current TDY is that I'm able to bring (some) of my guns. And since the Mrs isn't here, I can't go to the range without a permission slip.
Except, apparently, God doesn't want me to go shooting. Last week, when I had free time, it rained (the range is an outdoor one). The last two days, when I normally would have had free time in the afternoon, unexpected stuff at work kept me there until it was too late to go to the range.
Today and tomorrow, where again I'd normally have most of the afternoon free, it's raining, and expected to continue to do so until tomorrow night.
This sucks. I thought Yakima was in the dry part of the state.
Mexico, Mexicans, and the US Southwest
In many of the pro-illegal immigration protests, signs claiming that large parts of the United States rightfully belongs to Mexico have been prominently displayed. Let's explore that a bit, shall we? Mexicans regard California and the Southwest as having been stolen by the US in 1848, and thus still rightfully theirs. Personally, I think their government nutures this grudge for much the same reason as Arab governments nuture the grudge against Israel amongst their own people-because it helps to distract attention from the corruption of their own government, and the fact that their country is a shithole. For the Mexicans, it also provides a ready made excuse as too why their country is a shithole-they would have been great and successful, if the Americans hadn't stolen half of the country. The prosperity of the American Southwest is taken as proof of this-that we stole the best part of their country. Nevermind that having a stable government that (mostl y) isn't corrupt-something Mexico hasn't been able to achieve for most of it's history-is the primary cause of that prosperity.
A quick look at the history: in 1836 the Texans captured Santa Ana, CinC of the Mexican Army as well as President of Mexico. This checkmated the Mexican Army, which probably otherwise would have been able to put down the Texas Revolt. The Texans forced Santa Ana to sign a treaty recognizing Texas' independance, but the rest of the Mexican government did not recognize Texas, regarding it as a renegade province, much like Red China now regards Taiwan. So when Texas petitioned to be annexed by the US, and the US accepted, it didn't exactly make Mexico happy.
Honestly, and this is just my opinion, I think both Mexico and the US wanted the war that started in 1846-the Mexicans hoped to regain Texas and the US wanted to acquire the lands that are now California and the US Southwest, land we had tried to buy previously. For both sides, the border issue (whether the southern border of Texas was the Rio Grande (US position) or the Neuces (Mexican position) River) really seems like an excuse to me.
Whatever the Mexicans think, we won the war fair and square. It's not our fault they grossly overestimated their own military capabilities and underestimated ours. And regardless of what contemporary standards may be, in the 19th Century, the winner got to dictate the terms of the peace. And we actually paid for it ($18.25 million), which is fairly generous by the standards of 19th Century occupying armies. So they can take their position that the US "stole Aztlan" and shove it up the same orifice they've got their heads firmly enlodged in.
Now, this is just my opinion, but I'm pretty sure that the Mexican government encourages illegal immigration to the US. (There's circumstantial evidence-like the infamous comic book-to back up this theory.) I can think of a couple of reasons why they're doing this. The first is money-Mexicans in the US send back an enormous amount of money-equal to 3% of Mexico's GDP. If you don't think that's a lot, shrink America's GDP by 3% and ask how well we're doing. That money also supports a lot of Mexicans that the Mexican economy isn't able to provide jobs for.
Secondly, encouraging people to immigrate to the US helps Mexico get rid of surplus population-population that their economy can't support (because of Mexico's history of government instability and corruption). If you think Mexico is a shithole now, imagine how bad it would be with the population increased by up to 20% (since it's estimated that 1/5 of the living people born in Mexico now live in the US) with no jobs for them, and then reduce the GDP by 3%. The country would collapse.
That, I think is the real reason that the Mexican government is so opposed to the Wall, or anything else that would stop the flow of illegal immigrants, or at least 99% of them, from crossing the border. It would close their pressure relief valve-all that surplus population wouldn't be able to leave Mexico, and their economy wouldn't be able to support them, leading to the collapse of the government.
Random Musings: Handicapping the 2008 GOP Prez Candidates
Just some random thoughts on where they stand now.
John McCain: McCain already shot himself in the foot as far as the GOP base is concerned with McCain-Feingold, and now he's pointing the shotgun square at his other foot with his partnership with the much loathed Ted Kennedy on his amnesty for illegals bill. Big money business donors may like the bill, but voters don't, especially the ones who vote in GOP primaries.
Mitt Romney: a lot of people like Romney because he's from Massachusetts, and they think a New England Republican would help get votes in that part of the country. But Romney's failures to stand up to the state Politburo, er, Legislature, on gun control turns off a big chunk of Republican voters,and now it looks like he's about to commit political suicide, at least as far as national politics are concerned, if he signs the HillaryCare type bill that the Legislature just passed (see below).
Rudi Guiliani: Rudi's counting on his post-9/11 celebrity and the fear of President Hillary. (If he really wanted to derail Hillary, he'd beat her in her Senate race this fall.) But his pro-abortion, pro-gun control positions will kill him in the South and in most states between the Mississippi River and the Cascade and Sierra ranges.
That leaves only George Allen of Virginia (former Gov, now Senator) and Sam Brownback of Kansas (Congressman) as announced/assumed candidates who are generally in line with the GOP base on the issues. Of the two, I give the nod to Allen, who's got more name recognition (I'd never heard of Brownback until he was mentioned as a potential candidate) and excecutive experience as a former Governor.
For dark horses, I'd have to pick two Governors: Owens of Colorado, and Sanford of South Carolina. Of the two, I think my heart would go with Sanford after his anti-pork stunt of brining piglets into the state capitol.
Mass. Taps Young Single Males to Subsidize Health Care
That's going to be one of the effects of this dumbass law the Politburo of the Commonpoverty of Taxachusetts just passed, should Gov. Romney sign it (and thus flush his Presidential aspirations down the toilet.)
Why do I say that young, single males will be forced to subsidize health care? Because, in general, until they reach the age of regular butt-probes from Dr. Jellyfingers, they don't consume a whole lot of health care. They can, generally, get away with a cat-care plan that covers things requiring extended hospital stays, surgery, etc, and pay for the rest out of pocket. Medical insurance companies love to have young, single, males with full coverage plans (usually provided by their employer) for the precise reason that more coverage is being paid for than those males generally use, thus earning lots of money for the insurer, and making up for much less profitable policies covering groups such as old folks and families.
The Taxachusetts plan would require young men to purchase such plans-thus forcing them to spend more money than they need to, and defray the costs of insurance for those who consume lots of health care.
Gov. Romney says the bill would make people "take responsibility for their own health care." In the case of single males, it will make them assume some of the financial responsibility for others' health care, as well.
Given that, I would expect a trend of single males to leave the Commonpoverty. Ladies of Taxachusetts, your dating pool is about to shrink.
More Good Stuff from VDH
Victor Davis Hanson, via LGF
Ever since September 11, the subtext of this war could be summed up as something like, “Suburban Jason, with his iPod, godlessness, and earring, loves to live too much to die, while Ali, raised as the 11th son of an impoverished but devout street-sweeper in Damascus, loves death too much to live.” The Iranians, like bin Laden, promulgate this mythical antithesis, which, like all caricatures, has elements of truth in it. But what the Iranians, like the al Qaedists, do not fully fathom, is that Jason, upon concluding that he would lose not only his iPod and earring, but his entire family and suburb as well, is capable of conjuring up things far more frightening than anything in the 8th-century brain of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately, the barbarity of the nightmares at Antietam, Verdun, Dresden, and Hiroshima prove that well enough.
So far the Iranian president has posed as someone 90-percent crazy and 10-percent sane, hoping we would fear his overt madness and delicately appeal to his small reservoirs of reason. But he should understand that if his Western enemies appear 90-percent children of the Enlightenment, they are still effused with vestigial traces of the emotional and unpredictable. And military history shows that the irrational 10 percent of the Western mind is a lot scarier than anything Islamic fanaticism has to offer.
History holds multiple examples of folks who banked on the US backing down, even in the face of warnings of what was to come.
Texas Gov. Sam Houston, on the Texas' Legislature's vote to secede from the Union:
Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.
Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, after the attack on Pearl Harbor
I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.
We all know how both of those wars ended.
Another Reason to Loathe Chicago
We already knew that King Richard II and his cronies care less about gun rights than Bill Clinton cares about seeing his wife naked, so it should come as no surprise that they don't care about property rights, either.
The Daley administration was accused Wednesday of dropping the ball in the drive to block an overhaul of Illinois' eminent domain laws...
...On Wednesday, top mayoral aides held a series of briefings for Chicago aldermen to enlist their help in killing a bill that would sharply limit a local government's ability to seize property and turn it over to a private developer.
You see, King Richard and his court like being able to take your home away and give it to politically connected developers who give lots of money to their re-election campaigns.
The problem is, the train has already left the station. On March 2, the bill breezed through the Illinois Senate by a vote of 44 to 2, with a parade of Chicago senators either voting for the legislation, voting "present" or not voting at all.
"The horse has been let out of the barn. There's no way we're going to win in the House. Every member is up for re-election and this has now become a populist matter."
You see, populism is a good thing when it supports big government statism. But when it supports keeping government power in check, well, we can't have that now, can we?
Now for some sneaky shit:
Ald. Tom Allen (38th) noted that Mayor Daley has used libraries, police and fire stations as neighborhood anchors and eminent domain to fill in development gaps.
That's some underhanded stuff right there. Say the city has designated an area for
property tax revenue enhancement redevelopment, but there's one or two owners who won't sell. Well, simply have the city council vote to put a new police or fire station on that parcel. Can't argue with using ED for something like that, can we?
There is only one solution that is guaranteed to prevent this kind of abuse of power by elected officials: pass laws that bar ANY use of eminent domain from one private owner to another private owner.
Union Leaders Boo McCain on Immigration
Now, I can understand why the union guys-and these were construction types-would boo a Senator who is proposing to make life easier for illegal immigrants. Illegals are competition to these guys. And one thing unions really don't like is competition.
But I have to ask: when Ted Kennedy, the other chief sponsor of the amnesty bill along with McCain, came to speak to them, would these unionists boo him too?
Now, that's something I'd pay to see.
Big 5 has Yugo M24/47 Mausers on special this week.
I've been getting a lot of referrals looking for Yugo 24/47s.
Related? Maybe. I have one at home, a very pretty one, that I need to get the cosmoline out of th bolt so I can fire it. Ah, projects, projects, projects.
Right Thoughts waxes lyrical in this week's edition.
Two Things Happened Today
Near as I can tell, today marks two years since I started this blog. Which makes today my two year blogoversary. Yay me.
Also, at 0001 this morning, I moved up into the 32-37 age group, and scoring 300 on the APFT just got a little easier. Yes, that translates to "Happy birthday to me."
I find it quite convienient that they both fall on the same day. Makes remembering easier.
Violent but Protective
The various Law & Order versions have always been anti-gun, but I watch them anyways...in part because one of the jobs I can see myself in, when I retire from the Army, is a police officer.
In one of the L&O: SVU reruns tonight, on USA network, two of the detectives, one an ex-SEAL, catch a pedophile child rapist, with a teenage girl as a hostage. The partner takes the shot, and the camera emphasizes the gun quaking in the hands of the ex-SEAL...as a soldier, I could feel the battle between morals, and what I know the Law requires, and the rage and disgust a Warrior feels, the desire to destroy such a disgusting creature...because a Warrior knows evil, and wants to destroy it...because evil is evil...it must be destroyedor it will destroy you...
I'm sorry...I can be more eloquent than that. Either you understand, or you don't.