Tuesday, November 29, 2011
What is causing the decline of the Euro? The same thing that is calling the US dollar into question as the "reserve currency" for International trade. Incompetent leadership, elected primarily by people who want a "nanny state" to support their laziness!
What will save the Euro? Greater employment and the internal production of consumer goods. Outsourcing only benefits major corporations, it does nothing for the workers of the country except place them on the unemployment lines instead of the production lines.
The USA should adopt an total isolationist policy for five years, and severely tax any corporation that outsources jobs - to the tune of paying FULL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS for one American for every job they outsource overseas. We should also eliminate all foreign aid until we are free of debt... or at least have reduced our debt to a reasonable level. We provide foreign aid to approximately 90% of the world... of which 99% are ungrateful! We must also secure our borders, keeping those who have not been properly authorized out of our country. To make matters worse, almost all of our foreign aid goes into the pockets of those officials charged with the proper distribution of those monies!
We shoulder the cost of freeing those peoples subjected to tyrannical dictatorships, without just compensation or repayment. Instead, after freeing them (or even after not freeing them), we then pay to rebuild their country!
The working and retired taxpayers support the indolent through "welfare assistance", which should only be made available to those unfortunates who are physically and/or mentally incapable of getting or maintaining gainful employment. For the employable, welfare should NOT be "the family business", passed on from generation to generation. Welfare for the healthy should be of a specified and limited duration... say 18 months, during which time the recipients receive job-skills training and placement support.
Welfare must NO LONGER be a reward for creating more welfare recipients via the delivery rooms of the local hospitals. Let's say the first one is "on" the system... okay, but, each succeeding child reduces the welfare benefits by half. By the time the third child is born, the welfare benefit is reduced to 25% of what it was initially. Can't live on that? Then GET A JOB! The only person that is responsible for you is you! You are not entitled to live from the work efforts of others (unless you are a politician).
We should also follow the example of Italy's Premier Monti, who recently dissolved the existing government and installed a new one... with NO POLITICIANS in it! They're all cut from the same cloth - greedy, self-serving bastards, who couldn't care less about the people they supposedly represent, or the country they have taken an oath to protect.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
We've established that you have a "right to keep and bear arms", and that you may have determined you need to exercise that right by legally purchasing a firearm for home defense. Again, there are significant variations in state laws regarding such purchases, and the storage and use of a firearm, so be familiar with the laws of your state prior to buying a gun.
Let's begin by exploring the question "How much gun do I really need?" There are so many to choose from - long guns, handguns, shotguns, rifles, revolvers, auto-loaders, single-shot, high capacity - sometimes just the thought of selecting can be mind-boggling. As far as caliber goes, currently there's everything from a .22 caliber to a .50 caliber, and pricing runs the gamut from dirt cheap to ridiculously expensive (the main thing to keep in mind is to always buy the best you can afford). As with most things you buy, you pretty much "get what you pay for". Dirt cheap. more often than not, is unreliable and frequently may be downright dangerous. Quality can be had - inexpensively - if you know how to shop.
For a home defense long gun, I would recommend the Mossberg 500 in 12 gauge in any of its variations. They are reasonably priced at $250-$350 - if you shop around, and are as reliable as a Remington 870 costing $330-$1,100. You may feel that the recoil generated by a 12ga is too much to handle though, so don't be afraid to consider a 20gauge. One of the most intimidating sounds in a darkened house, is the unnerving sound of a pump action shotgun having the slide "racked", and an intruder can't tell the difference between the sound of a 12ga or a 20gauge slide being activated. Personally, I have a Mossberg "riot gun" that's 35 years old, and still works like the day it was new. Quality does not have to bankrupt you, and a short-barreled shotgun is excellent in a confined space, such as the hallways and rooms of a "normal" household structure. The main advantage of a shotgun over a firearm using a metallic cartridge and a solid projectile, is the dispersal of the pellet payload, and a minimal chance of over-penetration. One doesn't have to be an expert marksman to hit a target within 30 feet. A carbine length rifle also handles fairly well indoors, but the condition of over-penetration still exists. The "Glaser Safety Slug" offers a solution to over-penetration. This excellent round uses a copper jacket and it is filled with a compressed load of either #12 or # 6 lead shot. It is then capped with a round polymer ball that enhances feeding and reloading. It is now available in four rifle calibers from .223 to 30-06. The Glaser Safety Slug is recommended for the urban dweller and anyone who is concerned with over penetration.
The handgun for home defense has the advantage of being the easiest to handle in a confined space, but requires more practice and skill to use effectively than does a shotgun. A handgun also shares the rifle's potential for over-penetration. However, Glaser has handgun calibers available from .25 auto to 45 Colt. Handguns are available in calibers from .22 to .50, and the recoil increases with each upward step. Personally, I feel that any handgun of less than .38 Special caliber is "iffy", and I do not recommend the .25 auto or the .32 caliber handguns simply because they are generally considered ineffective. Although I own a few 1911's in .45acp and a couple of .357 magnums, my personal preference is for what I refer to as the "mid-class" handguns - chambered for the .38 Special and the extremely popular 9mm. The lighter recoil of the mid-class rounds facilitates quicker recovery on-target, and placement of a slightly quicker, more accurate second shot if needed.
Felt recoil is a combination of several factors - the caliber and weight of the handgun, the weight of the projectile, the amount of powder in the case, etc. Since most people buy their ammunition "off the shelf", as opposed to loading their own, they have no control over the amount or type of powder in their ammo. They do, however, have control over three factors: the caliber and weight of the handgun they choose, and the weight of the bullet in the ammo they choose. Generally speaking, the larger the caliber the greater the felt recoil; the lighter the gun weight the greater the felt recoil; the heavier the bullet, the greater the felt recoil. And, in the case of a firearm, the word "magnum" means even bigger felt recoil. The best handgun for home defense is one with which you can consistently hit a target within 30 feet. Some people find the recoil of even a mid-class round to be intimidating, while others can easily deal with the recoil of a .44 magnum. If you believe you would be bothered by the perceived recoil of a .40 caliber (or larger) handgun, then buy in the .38 Special/9mm class, and get something with a 3"-4" barrel length (a bit more weight, a bit less recoil than those cute little snub-nose revolvers).
Who makes the best guns? Ask that question in a room full of gun enthusiasts and you will start a never-ending discussion. We all have our personal likes and dislikes for rifles, shotguns and handguns. In sporting rifles and shotguns, the most popular names are Mossberg, Remington, Winchester, Ruger, Savage and Marlin in no particular order. In tactical rifles and shotguns, you have the same popular names (and throw in Kel-Tec, who is coming on strong) - plus 100 or so others, most of whom are "custom builders").
The list of leaders in handgun manufacturing is a bit longer and introduces some other names. Glock, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Beretta, SIG, CZ, Heckler & Koch, Taurus, Kahr and on and on. A handgun must fit your hand properly! If it doesn't feel comfortable in your hand, or if it doesn't point naturally, you may as well be holding a brick. A relatively recent innovation in handgun design is the interchangeable grip/back-strap, which can resolve fitment problems for almost anybody, no matter what size your hand.
I own 15 handguns from 8 different manufacturers, and enjoy them all, but... I have a personal preference for the Glock pistols. They fit my hand, they point very well, they consistently hit where they are pointed, and Glock pistols are virtually indestructible: dropped from an airplane at 500ft into a field recovered and fired; run over by a truck picked up and fired; buried "naked" in soil for 2 years, dug up, hosed off and fired; and 1,000 rounds put through one in 14 minutes and it never failed to fire. G L O C K - that's how I spell dependability.
But, the bottom line is - get what works for you. Fit, function, and affordability... those are the key considerations.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Most Americans with any interest in their Constitutional rights, are at least familiar with the wording of Amendment II. It's pretty straight-forward: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Today there are those who would argue the semantics of the Second Amendment, while ignoring its intent. How does one define a "well regulated militia"? That depends upon where one looks for their definition of the word "militia" (the "well regulated" part could easily be construed as a reference to the inclusion of prunes in their diet)...
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary Definition of MILITIA
a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service
However, current federal law defines "militia" thusly:
§ 311. Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
The government therefore basically defines the "militia" (after cutting through and eliminating all the political smoke) as being composed of: "all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States..." and blah, blah, blah. Paragraph 311(b)(2) essentially says the "unorganized militia" are those able-bodied males, ages 17-45 whose only other qualification is that they are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia. Ageism aside, today that's roughly 61 million males that qualify as "militia"!
The Japanese had no real desire to invade the United States during WWII. Why? Because, as Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, said, "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." His statement was an acknowledgment that because of the Second Amendment the American people are well-armed, and we have significant experience in the use of firearms. The Second Amendment is also the only one that insures we retain all the other freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights! But, enough about the Constitution. Just believe, as I do... that, if the Second is modified or repealed, all the others will be in constant jeopardy. Here's what the U.N. thinks about our "right to keep and bear arms":
"As you enter the Plaza you will see one of the UN's signature pieces of art, a gun with a knot in the barrel."
The Second Amendment fits hand-in-glove with the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Now you have not only "the right to keep and bear arms", but also "the right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects", but the Fourth is primarily a prohibition of government searches and seizures. Logically extending that prohibition, if the government can't do it then neither can some crack-head burglar! So, what do you do to protect yourself and your family? To insure a level playing field, and perhaps gain a lifesaving advantage, you may buy a gun. But, before you do that, there are a few questions you need to answer:
1. Do I have the mindset necessary to actually use a gun, in an action that - quite possibly - could result in my taking the life of another human being? (If you cannot truthfully answer Yes to this question, do not buy a gun. Go to your local Big 5 sporting goods store and buy a Louisville Slugger baseball bat.)
2. If I must use a gun in the protection of myself and/or my family or others, am I willing to face the consequences of my actions? (Once again, Yes is the only acceptable answer to this question. There probably will be some consequences. How many, and exactly what those consequences may be will vary from state to state. Expect, as a minimum, some intensive questioning from one of your local law enforcement agencies. At the other end of the "scales of justice", expect long-term housing to be provided for you by the state, and possibly an early death by execution.) The laws vary from state to state as to what constitutes "appropriate and necessary use of deadly force". Be very familiar with the laws of your state of residence!
If you answered No to either of the above questions, you may stop reading now and go hug Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton. The rest of you may now move on to a few practical questions.
What type of gun do I need? There are several types of guns from which to select the one that's right for your intended purpose. The fall into two general categories: "long guns" - which are rifles and shotguns, and "handguns" - pistols and revolvers. What you need is entirely up to you, but it must be a gun with which you are comfortable, and one with which you can repeatedly hit your intended target. Here are what I consider to be the main characteristics of firearms...
For use as in-home defense, either a long gun or a handgun will do the job. There are also advantages and disadvantages to all of them. Rifles and shotguns weigh considerably more than most handguns, and may prove to be unwieldy in confined spaces such as hallways. Generally speaking, rifles are also more powerful than most handguns, and over-penetration may result. That means that, even if you hit your intended target, the projectile may pass through and strike someone not involved in the burglary/robbery/home-invasion. If you miss your target, the projectile will, in all probability, penetrate one or more walls, increasing the possibility of striking an innocent bystander. For home defense maneuverability, a carbine-length barrel (generally accepted as a rifle barrel under 20" in length) will improve maneuverability. However, caliber-for-caliber the potential for over-penetration remains the same. Long-barreled shotguns present the same problem for maneuverability in tight areas, but less possibility for over penetration. A short-barreled shotgun (also known as a "riot gun"), loaded with almost any upland bird shot would be a good choice for in-home defensive use. The unnerving sound of a shotgun chambering a round is almost universally recognized, and may make an intruder decide upon an immediate departure from your premises. Using pellet-filled shells, the need for precise accuracy is eliminated, and due to their dispersion pattern the potential for "collateral damage" is minimal. Most shotguns produce significant recoil, which some people find disconcerting, if not injurious.
Handguns for in-home defense have the advantage of high maneuverability, and work very well in confined spaces. They do, however, present an entirely different set of problems. There are two divisions of handguns; the auto-loading pistol (popularly, but incorrectly called "automatic pistols"), and the revolver. Auto-loaders have the advantage of increased ammunition capacity per load. Generally, an auto holds from 7-19 rounds of ammunition per magazine, whereas most revolvers hold 5-6 rounds of ammunition per cylinder load. Handguns take significantly more practice in order to gain marksman-like proficiency, than do a rifle or shotgun. Auto-loaders may be almost impossible for people with weaker hands to actuate the slide, which is necessary to make the pistol ready to fire. Many women, and men with arthritis (or even relatively minor hand injuries), find this to be true - after they have purchased an auto-loading pistol. Auto-loaders also have somewhat of a reputation for being less reliable than revolvers, although if properly maintained today's quality auto-loaders are extremely reliable. On the other hand, revolvers, if properly maintained, have fewer moving parts to fail, and are at least theoretically more reliable.
Think about these things while I work on Part Two - How Much Gun Do I Really Need?
Thursday, November 17, 2011
UN asks: How can we extract payment of $100 Billion a year from westerners to redistribute to other countries?
The Manchester (England) Guardian newspaper reports that Larry Summers, President Obama's chief economics adviser, George Soros, the hedge fund trader, Lord Stern, the economist, and others have met in London at the request of Ban Ki-moon to discuss ways in which $100 billion dollars a year could be raised from the citizens of western countries and redistributed to Africa, South and Central America and other poorer areas
"the world's top financiers have been told to work out how to raise at least $100bn a year for the rest of this decade, cash that will be used to help the world's poorest countries adapt to climate change.
"The prices we pay for our goods do not reflect one key cost: the damage that their production does to the planet's climate system," said Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the LSE. "We need to find ways to extract payment from those who cause that damage and then use that money to fund developing nations so that they can protect themselves from the worst effects of global warming."
"The Trillion Dollar Question" The Guardian. Available online at:
To use their terminology for a moment, as we "Western nations" are "the ones causing the damage", how do you think the UN could best "extract payment" from us in the west to give to other countries?
Please keep in mind that it's only $100 Billion dollars PER YEAR, for at least a decade... so where will the money come from? Numerically speaking, we're talking about $100,000,000,000. That's a number that very few people can relate to, and I'm one of the majority who cannot. It boggles the mind! How does one quantify and visualize a number containing 12 digits? It has been estimated that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy - the Milky Way - but we can't see them all simultaneously. Besides, how many lifetimes would it take to count them?
Consider first of all, that the United Nations consists of 192 nations, most of which are communist, socialist, and/or dictatorships... which goes a long way toward explaining their failure to thrive. "Western Nations" - also known as "First World Nations" - are comprised, at the most, of only 25 countries (I say "at the most" because there is yet some discussion over exactly what qualifications a "Western Nation" must exhibit). The majority of those 25 nations are made up of Western European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Assuming this "global warming debt" is apportioned equally, the cost per nation, per year, is $4,000,000,000 - that's 4 Billion USD per Western Nation. If, however, only the top ten industrialized nations are expected to foot the bill for the UN, that expense increases to $10,000,000,000 (10 Billion USD) per Western Nation.
The first question that comes to my mind is; Who objectively says there is such a thing as man-made global warming? Larry Summers, George Soros, and Lord Stern are all notorious left-wingers! Who were the "others"? Where is the balance in this meeting?
My second question is; Where does the U.N. get its authority to determine who must pay for this man-made non-problem?
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Customer Feedback received 11/16/2011:
Whoever thought it would be a great idea to put your Black Friday Sneak Peek online as a PDF file is an idiot! The ad presents so small that we can't see what the sale products are and when we zoom in (assuming everybody knows how to do that) to see the products, the description becomes so distorted that we can't read it! Somebody at ShopKo needs to pull their head out and take a look at what they've done to the BF sale.
I thought this was a surprisingly weak explanation, and replied:
The key word here is SEE. That's the whole idea in visual advertising, and the PDF approach failed to achieve its intended goal.
What was meant as an attempt to not "confuse people", I'm certain actually became an irritant to many besides me. The difference is that thousands of annoyed people will keep their annoyance to themselves, whereas I chose to share mine with you in the hope that you would seriously consider not using PDF files for advertising again. It was like offering to "show" photographs to Stevie Wonder! "Hey, Stevie... look at this!"
Many people aren't familiar enough with their PDF reader to even know they have a "zoom" feature in it, and probably thought "WTF?", (I speak from 20+ years experience with computers - many of those years being spent performing customer relations in my own computer business) and then they simply closed their reader since they couldn't identify anything in the ad after the first large graphic.
Just a little "food for thought"...
Giving credit where credit is due, Shopko DID reply to my concerns, even though their response didn't actually address the issue.