Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day vandalism

It appears there were a number o f vandalism incidents over the Memorial Day weekend targeting war memorials.

Memorials to veterans in Los Angeles, Kentucky, and a Civil War cemetery in Virginia were reported damaged prior to Monday's holiday.

Another attack on a veterans memorial was noted in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Meanwhile, a suspect's been arrested in connection with the Kentucky vandalism.

No word on suspects in LA, but  extensive work will reportedly be needed to restore the defaced monument there.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cheap binoculars. Vintage binoculars

Bunches of birds in the backyard this week, so I pulled out some binoculars. First pair, four years old,had an apparent mechanical maladjustment, and I couldn't get a clear image. Second pair, ten to 15 years, just seemed kinda dark.

So, I dug deeper in my closet. Found the pair my dad had from the 60's; the pair we used to watch rocket launches growing up on Merritt Island...

Wow, what an improvement. Like going from standard def to HDTV.

Even budget Japanese optics from the '60s had astounding quality.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

War with China? Seriously?

National Review has a story out asking if war between the U.S. and China is inevitable.


China wouldn't have to go to war. At least not in a traditional sense.

All China has to do is cut us off from its manufactured goods. American store shelves would look like Venezuela's.

Imagine. No new iPhones, no new window air conditioners...  no TVs, no new coffee makers or microwaves...

The American consumer would capitulate in a matter of days.

If not hours.

Fact is, China's been painting us into a corner for decades. The Chinese mindset doesn't limit war to only conventional means. And China has, for the most part, skillfully used trade as a weapon.

First it was toilet paper...

Other stuff followed...

Then it was beer that vanished from shelves in Venezuela.


Coca-Cola's gone. 

Socialism seems just fine at first... until it runs out of other people's money.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Elizabeth Warren was, and still is, a socialist idiot

Elizabeth Warren now attempts to play her clout in the presidential race, and as expected comes off sounding like a deluded socialist.

Warren's latest comments seek to attack  Donald Trump over Trump's roll as a real estate investor around the time of the 2008 housing market meltdown.

“Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown — because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,” Warren said, as reported in the Washington Post. “What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions?”

Did Trump express greed, or was he merely expressing the role of capitalism in holding a financial crisis in check?

And it wasn't just rich guys who saw potential as the real estate market cratered.  (I'm actually not aware Trump invests in middle class single family housing. Would Ms. Warren like to show us where he is?).

Yes, many house buyers in 2008-2010 time frame were investors. These peole saw potential for solid returns. Some were "rich", others borrowed from family, or even used credit card cash advances to acquire properties.  But opportunity came with risk. There was potential to lose money as well as make it. I can recall surveying streets in parts of DeKalb County, Ga. where three out of five houses on a street appeared vacant, most in foreclosure.

Also overlooked is that many who bought houses during the downturn were buying a home for themselves and their families. I know of at least two immigrant families who bought homes that were probably acquired for 30 percent of  pre-crash values. I'm also under the impression at least one of these families paid cash for their home, so their family wasn't locked into the burden of a mortgage. These homes have at least doubled since they were purchased in the crash era. I found it telling that frugal immigrants saw the opportunity and had the means to profit a market crisis, while most debt-laden Americans could not, and could not even see the potential.

Let's not overlook the housing bubble that preceded the housing crash.

How'd we get a housing bubble? Politicians and lenders were obsessed in pumping out more and more mortgages, and lending standards where slashed to keep the volume flowing. Low-doc loans became no-doc loans, unqualified buyers and outright swindlers took full advantage of the easy money. Rhetoric of fairness and housing equality were allowed to supersede sound financial policy to assess whether borrowers would or could actually repay loans.

I wonder if Warren has stopped to consider how much deeper the 2008-2009 market meltdown might have gone had private investors not come in, put capital at risk, and, by so doing, put a floor under collapsing housing prices.

Perhaps Warren also believes the moms and dads who bought homes during the market crash were unfairly exploiting others. 

Elizabeth Warren was wise not to seek this year's Democratic Party presidential nomination. Trump would have easily rolled over her naive, fairy tale socialist economic viewpoint. 

Synthetic injustice

"We reached peak injustice no later than the 1960s. Since our supplies of crude injustice are almost exhausted, the social justice warriors have invented a form of synthetic injustice to help keep the outrage machinery well lubricated." - Bill Whittle

HT: Liberty's Torch

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Highway mystery

Wonder what was going on here.

Saw this around 1 o'clock (or a little after) today driving on Georgia Highway 16  between Griffin and I -75.

Two law enforcement vehicles driving abreast in advance fo two white vans. After a gap of some distance, there's a truck with an odd configuration, with three small cars, in a triangular formation, either being towed or driving close behind the truck. Another gap, and there's two more police or sheriff's cars running a rolling roadblock to keep other traffic back from the odd motorcade that ran at about 40 miles per hour from just outside Griffin to I-75.

Opposing traffic on the divided highway was not restricted.

Some kind of film shoot? Rolling Google real estate shoot? Robotic driver road test?

Never could get close enough to see what kind of configuration was on the truck. Or whether the three cars had people in the driver's seats.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Think and act locally

"However principled, you must still be clearheaded about the realities facing us. We are on the brink of chaos that will make the agonies of the former Yugoslavia look like child's play. Anyone who believes otherwise is whistling past the graveyard of history. There will be no deliverance from the rigged game of national politics. If any of our traditional liberties are to be saved it will be on a local basis of community, county and church, secured by your own efforts, your own organization, with your own friends and neighbors according to the principles enunciated by the Founders." - Mike Vanderboegh, writing at Sipsey Street Irregulars

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Formula reporting

The Washington Post seems to see growing numbers of Americans who are fed up with a government that's increasingly eager to trample over the will of the people.

So, naturally, the Washington Post resorts to formula reporting seemingly intended to undercut the legitimacy of those who assess our present government as leaning ever more to the side of tyranny.

The Post's online headline:

The Post seems eager to closely tie present wariness of government to Bundy Ranch or related events in Oregon, but these are only two incidents where things bubbled to the point of getting media attention. While they may exemplify the wider notion of government distrust or betrayal, not all who are wary of government necessarily embrace these particular causes.

The Post also attempts to play the race card, attempting to link Barack Obama's racial status as somehow being a bigger factor in public dissatisfaction than policies of social engineering Obama and the government have pushed for the past seven and a half years.

But while the Post stoops to formula reporting, its text also conveys the thoughts and concerns of a class of Americans the Post seems eager to use its field of "experts" to disparage.

If accurate, I surmise the attitude of many of those arming up, as portrayed by the Washington Post, probably have much in common with the citizens of Charleston, SC nearing the end of 1860, early 1861.

Or the good people of Boston and the wider Massachusetts colony of 1773-1775. Folk who are strained and weary from government's ever heavier hand reaching deeper into their lives.

I suspect armed Americans will be getting more high profile MSM coverage in the coming months, and not sympathetic coverage.

The Left needs to create perceptions of mass movements of armed paranoids to help fuel its re-surging push for gun control.

It ties well with Hillary Clinton's touted campaign platform of stacking the Supreme Court, and moving forward on an anti-gun agenda.

Seems about right...

Borrowed this from Twitter:

An old cover up is still a cover up

Seems the New York Post hasn't forgotten Fast and Furious:
Fast and Furious was a Justice Department program that allowed assault weapons — including .50-caliber rifles powerful enough to take down a helicopter — to be sold to Mexican drug cartels allegedly as a way to track them. But internal documents later revealed the real goal was to gin up a crisis requiring a crackdown on guns in America. Fast and Furious was merely a pretext for imposing stricter gun laws.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ten words that guide Islamic mindset

Vocabulary pop quiz.

Ten Arabic words offered up by Matt Bracken:

Dawah, dhimmi, hijra, jizya, kafir, shaheed, shariah, takfir, taqiyya, and ummah.

How many do you have definitions for?

How many do our elected leaders or nation security officials understand?

"So, if you are an Army general or Navy admiral who, right here and now, without looking at your smart phone, cannot discuss how a kafir becomes a dhimmi, and what a dhimmi’s rights and options (if any) are under shariah, then you are as ignorant of your job as an European-theater Army general circa 1942 who did not know a panzer from a pancake, or a schutzstaffel from a schnitzel. A person as ignorant as you should be kept away from any responsibility for protecting our nation. You are incompetent, and you are a fool." - Matt Bracken, writing at the Gates of Vienna.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Senate green lights HUD's demographic engineering of US communties

GOPe in the senate gave HUD funding rousing approval yesterday, knowing full well Obama plans to use the money to begin socially engineering demographic changes in suburbia. Georgia's Isakson and Perdue among the majority approving the funding bill, while only a handful of conservatives including Jeff Sessions, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Jeff Flake voted nay.

Ted Cruz was a no-show.


Thursday's Senate Roll Call

Recent story on coming changes to HUD's Section 8 program

GOP tabled an amendment that would have halted some of HUD's social re-engineering efforts

Post on HUD social tinkering from 2013

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gabbing gun control behind closed doors

Reportedly speaking at a closed-door event, Hillary Clinton again vows to bring gun control if sworn to a term in the White House...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


"You may have noticed that more and more we live in a society where anything goes and nothing matters. We got there through the incremental eradication of boundaries, especially in social categories and behaviors. Some people find this exhilarating and others find this disturbing. I happen to believe that the elimination of boundaries is not altogether a good thing. We would probably benefit, I think, from more and firmer boundaries than squishier and fewer of them." - James Howard Kunstler at Kunstler.com

Ammo pricing

I've recently seen Lake City Federal brand 5.56 ammo as low as 33 cents a round.

Plinking ammo in 9mm can commonly be found for around 20 cents a round.

Seems like a good time to buy. Summer's coming up. Make a point to get some range time in.

Only .22 rimfire seems to remain hard to come by and outside the range of traditional price point. Lowest priced I've seen worked out to about eight cents a round (excluding shipping)  on special from an online seller, and it sold out quick.

Understanding Trump's appeal, and why progressive Democrats are scared

"FDR understood radio, he triumphed. JFK understood television, he triumphed. Obama understood the Internet, he triumphed. What you have with Donald Trump is a guy who understands social media and reality television, the media of today. Saying crazy stuff gets you more followers, more viewers, and that's what he's doing. He's not going to gaffe himself out of this election. Not gonna happen." - Van Jones

Not often I quote Van Jones, but he gets it here. Trump knows how to communicate to a dumbed-down America; his lack of sophistication is intentional because that's not who we are as a nation any longer. If you've embraced reality TV and/or the more bizarre or crude side of social (and other) media, you've perhaps played part in blazing the trail Trump's now walking.

Jones presently warns progressives that Trump really can win the presidency. 

Wanna stop the surge that's fundamentally transforming America? Guys like Jones seem to see Trump as a huge threat to the progressive agenda.

Meanwhile, Trump's appeal is broad enough that some Democrats are already starting break ranks as they take in what's happening with the Trump phenomenon.

Range time

Last week I practiced using firearms from sitting, kneeling, laying on the ground, standing unsupported, and standing while using a tree for both rifle and pistol support.

Put some shots from a Ruger LC9s on a 2-foot by 2-foot steel target at 100 yards (I apparently had a couple of misses as well). I also practiced on targets at more typical pistol self-defense distances.

On the downside, the session was my first attempt at prone shooting since getting bifocals a few months back, and I found them to be a little awkward at first when using a scoped rifle from a prone position (Gonna need to work on my form there).

I've recently been putting in my firearms practice at a private range, allowing for more freedom of movement, more options in distance shooting, and more diverse placement of targets. It's taking me almost twice as much time getting to and from said range than I'm spending on range itself, but I think it's worth the effort.

Question for those who tout firearms they own as a means of self or home defense: How often do you train, and how realistically do you train? And yes, there's more to training with a firearm than just putting in range time, especially if you hope to be effective in a a high stress situation.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How Democrats have changed

From the Paul Tsongas presidential campaign, 1992:
America's manufacturing base is under attack and Washington treats it as just another issue.  
It is not just another issue. It is the issue. This problem is our collective kryptonite. An ever less competitive manufacturing base inevitably means cataclysmic erosion of our standard of living. If we are reduced to just flipping hamburgers and exploiting our raw materials, we will have an economy, but it will be a diminished economy of decline and defeat. The American people would never stand for such a prospect. As the recent MIT report on competitiveness put it, "In order to live well, a country must produce well." This is the slogan which should sit on the President's desk.  
It would perhaps be useful to put numbers on this concern. There are three major indices that tell the tale - the number of persons employed in manufacturing, our balance of trade and the federal budget deficit. \ 
Manufacturing employment: The United States today has only 17% of its total workforce in manufacturing, down from 26% in 1970. If defense industries are removed, we have only 15%. The Germans have 33% of their companies in manufacturing and the Japanese have 28%. 
Tsongas, a Democrat, saw a dangerous, negative trend before many others. He articulated it well. Where he got it wrong was that Americans had become sheeple-ized enough to accept becoming a nation of burger flippers. Of course, Democrats rejected, or at least bypassed, Tsongas and his message. Democrats in 1992 wanted a "cool" nominee. Bill Clinton went on TV, played his sax, and Clinton became the Democrat's nominee in '92.

Democrats today try to hide the damage done by catering to burger-flipper America by calling for a higher minimum wage.


And, for those Republicans (and Democrats) who say Donald Trump is a protectionist who doesn't understand trade... I find it odd there was no outcry in 2011 when Mitt Romney pushed the same theme Trump does today.

“China is on almost every dimension cheating. We got to recognize that. They’re manipulating their currency and by doing so they’re holding down the price of Chinese goods and making sure their products are artificially low-priced. It’s predatory pricing. It’s killing jobs in America.” - Mitt Romney, 2011, as quoted in Forbes.

Manipulating the bounds of normal with 'progressive' intent

First two panels from today's Day by Day Cartoon carry a powerful message:

From Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon

Understand, progressive themes of diversity or inclusion may not be what they appear to be, not intended to accomplish what their proponents claim.

Take the president's gender-bending restroom push.

Sure, it's being sold as ensuring "minority" rights.

But, to counter the PC salesmanship, it appears another in a series of attacks intended to break down societal norms and tradition; part of a strategy to engineer a weaker, more confused society, another step to intentionally widen the range of government manipulation that moves America deeper into tyranny.

The family, not government, has always been the bedrock of society. And today's government seems increasingly jealous of that fact, and does its best to undermine the competition.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Here come the excuses

With time winding up on the Obama administration, expect to see some serious attempts at making excuses for its policies that have failed again and again.

In terms of national security or foreign policy failures, it appears white guys will be the chosen scapegoat.

White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice says there's too many white guys in on decision processes... and, goodness knows, those white guys all seem to think alike. 

Women in combat... in the Syrian army...

It's being reported women now serve as snipers in Syria's Republican Guard.

And at least some of those women snipers are using classic Russian rifles and ammo.

On a related note, In the past week, I've been in six gun stores or pawn shops with large gun inventories, and didn't see a single Mosin Nagant rifle for sale.

Three or four years ago, Mosins were plentiful, and on prominent display, often in case quantities, in most these same stores.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Strolled through come gun shops this week...

I'll share some thoughts on my observations on this week's Don and Doug podcast.

Don will chime in over what he's seen on the gun show side of the retail trade.

Show goes live at noon on Friday at TalkSouthRadio on BlogTalkRadio, and is available for replay a short time later.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Section 8 resettlement push coming

New York Post updates on a subject I think I've touched on before: The Obama plan to systematically resettle minority urban dwellers deeper into Republican dominated suburbs.

Some Democrats may cheer this as a play for 'social justice', but consider the impact on minority dominated urban communities when Section 8 subsidies shrink, and folks begin moving out in large numbers.

Rental occupancy will fall, rent prices will take hit, property values will slide, and property tax collectons will decline. Sure, localities can raise raise taxes to cover shortfalls, but that only sets the stage for more folks bailing out and moving on.

Communities that have been most loyal in voting Democrat are about to get bitch-slapped by Obama.

Trump phenomenon boiled down to basics

"Trump stands as the presumptive GOP nominee, after a string of crushing victories from Rhode Island to Indiana. His voters aren't optimists. They've been hurt by unfair trade. They've lost jobs to illegal immigrants. They've seen their faith attacked in the press. They've seen their culture mocked by people who spend more on their kids' high school tuition than many people make in a year. They know how hard it can be to live in this country. And in Trump, they have found a candidate who speaks their language — someone who understands that the world is dangerous, and highly competitive. Someone who recognizes that in life, there are winners and losers — and who repeatedly states his desire for Americans to win." - Laura Ingraham at Lifezette.com

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Facebook pitch


Yeah, Facebook.

I'm a fan of the recently created Sipsy Street page.

Join... follow... or at least visit... if you feel so inclined.

What's with this guy?

It's almost like John Kerry is never content with his betrayals of America. It's almost like he's always trying to out-do the last one.

What kind of America's going to be left when the world goes borderless?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Federal government's buying bunches of more ammo...

But over at Sipsey Street, they point out recent ammo buying moves fit present circumstances, and probably aren't such a big deal.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Another storm related power outage

Had a storm-caused two hour power outage last night.

Internet stayed up because we have an uninterrupted power supply (battery backup intended for computers) dedicated to the modem/wifi. Cost me less than a hundred bucks, and was money well spent. (These units plug into the wall much like a surge suppressor, and they switch over to a battery when the power goes out, thus being an uninterrupted power supply).

Meanwhile, battery powered lanterns gave reasonable light as we watched over-the-air TV on a set powered by a 140 amp hour battery bank that charges each day via solar.

My daughter and I settled into watching a TV channel dedicated to old game shows.  Was fun noting some of the cultural differences of the 1980s when last night's shows were made, and our present day and age.

Tip for those who don't watch over-the-air TV and might have interest in setting up an antenna: Get an antenna amplifier. Using a set of  "rabbit ears" and an amp gets us a consistent signal on most the Atlanta stations, and most Atlanta (and elsewhere) stations now have at least a couple of "back channels" offering additional programming.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Confessions of a Republican"

Is the 2016 presidential race really so different from others in America's political past, or does it just feel that way because we're living it now, and because we tend to remember the past on more idyllic terms?

Here's an old long-form ad the LBJ camp used in its campaign to undermine Barry Goldwater in 1964. Sounds a lot like the GOPe spin we've heard unleashed on Donald Trump this go-round.

Was Goldwater really so scary, or was Lyndon Johnson and his team just good at scaring voters?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Attic art

Original art found in the garage attic of a house we own.

Have a hunch who left it behind, but it's just a guess.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Political assessment

It seems Fred likes Trump, or at least what Trump's brought to the surface.

Fred opines here in is unique Fred-like way. 

Meanwhile, over at the Wall Street Journal, it appears Peggy Noonan's awakening continues. If you're not a subscriber, WSJ's firewall may prevent your viewing of Noonan's April 29th column, but here's a taste:
...Trump comes and in his statements radiate the idea that he’s not at all interested in ideology, only in making America great again — through border security and tough trade policy, etc. He’s saying he’s on America’s side, period. 
And because people are so happy to hear this after 16 years, because it seems right to them, they give him a pass on his lack of experience in elective office and the daily realities of national politics. 
They forgive it all. Not only because they’re tired of bad policy but because they’re tired of ideology.
Labels like liberal or conservative have become so twisted, even lost, in various ideologies. And for years, we've been subjected to big party ideologies that pretend to take us one direction but, in reality, take us in another.

And yeah, the people are finally awakening to the game that's been played.