Saturday, August 20, 2016

Congratulations to Kim Rhodes

This is a story that I meant to pick up some time ago, but other things intruded. I can become simply flabbergasted at the seemingly incredible abilities of some people. For me, most things are moderately difficult, though I do seem to have reasonably good reflexes and such. But then a truly talented person comes along and shows me what "reasonably good reflexes" means. Such is the story of six times Olympic shooter Kim Rhode.

Congratulations Kim.

It is too bad that so many of our fellow countrymen did not see fit to at least root for Kim, even if they do not agree with her.  I suspect that to watch Annie Oakley shoot was similar to watching Kim.  One has to stand in awe of such a talent.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Its a matter of Trust

If you want to know why I am voting for Trump, even though he was not my choice, and I think he will not be the kind of President to restore our Constitutional Republic, here is one (and only one) of the reasons: Here's How a President Hillary Will Destroy Gun Rights Without Repealing the Second Amendment. Remember that I don't feel that the Second Amendment is necessary to have our gun rights. Those rights were granted by God to all people. At the same time, those and your other rights only practically exist if a) the Government respects them or b) you can defend them. By putting into the Constitution the Bill or Rights, of which the Second Amendment was one, the new United States was demonstrating that the Government trusted the People. It was a strange new thing then. Governments did not before trust the people. The people were always regarded as ready to revolt at any time, and the Government's job was to keep them under its thumb, by divine right, or whatever justification the rulers could plausibly come up with.

Indeed, trust is the basic operating principle of our form of government.  The representatives are to be drawn from the People, to represent the interests of the People, and to return to their former lives as one of the People.  We have lost some of that.  But the principle remains.  Whenever the representatives vote against the will of their constituents, as they did with the imposition of Obamacare, we can rightly say that the representatives have separated themselves from the people, and are no longer representing Us.  They have become at that point an old world ruling class, and it becomes incumbent on us, the People, to vote them out of office.

Obama is currently finding ways around Congress to impose regulations to keep Americans from getting their hands on guns, or if not to disarm them, to subarm them.  Or, his latest, to put your local gunsmith out of business, thereby ensuring your weapons will eventually be worthless.  He, obviously doesn't trust us, so why should we trust him?  But Hillary will do the same, and worse.  she has already shown a great interest in following the Australian model.  Being a criminal herself, she naturally believes that everyone else is just as criminal as she is.  Despite reports like the recent on from the Crime Prevention Research Center, she nonetheless projects onto you and me her own larcenous heart. She literally runs around with her hands clapped over her ears yelling "La la la la, I can't hear you."  But the bottom line is that Hillary doesn't trust you, or me, and indeed looks upon us as the enemy.  That is not only sad, but extremely dangerous.  Like Obama, Hillary will not be the President of all Americans, but only those Americans who agree with her.  Those Americans would be the so called "progressive left."

The so called "progressive left," which as variously also been named Communist, Fascists,  Liberals,  ad nauseaum, do not trust people like you and me.  Indeed they look upon us, their fellow Americans, as the enemy.  Hillary represents these people.  Under these circumstances, I feel I must do everything legally in my power to see that she does not achieve the highest office in the land,   Your mileage, as they say, may very.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Second Amendment is a Warning, Not a Challenge

Personally, I feel no need to compromise on any gun control proposal, no matter how benign it may be.  As the linked report indicates, we already have 20,000 gun laws in these United States, most of which are never used by prosecutors, except as a bargaining chip in getting potential criminals to admit to something and to get their conviction.  Well, with so many to choose from, prosecutors certainly don't need another one.

But, in fact, they do need another one.  They need to rile up their base to get them out on voting day, or any day in the month or so leading up to the election that they can take time out of their busy schedules of watching Dancing With the Stars and American Idol, or chasing after the latest from the Kardashians.

I spoke with such an uninformed person last night who honestly believes that you can buy a gun as easily as you can by a candy bar.  I have news for him.  Unless he is known in criminal circles, and they trust him, he can not buy a gun illegally.  Anyone selling guns illegally will either know the person he sells to, or will require the person to be vouched for by someone he does know.  The only way to buy one legally is to go through the process of obtaining a pistol permit, which involves a background check.  Then he has to go to a gun dealer, who will want him to surrender his pistol permit, but will still require that he fill out a form 4473, which will involve another background check, all before he can trade dollars for gun, and take home his chosen gun.  Even so, he now can keep it at his house, but he can not carry it legally anywhere else without going through a State approved course ($150 at last count) and paying a fee of $90 to have yet another background check, not to mention having your fingerprints taken, all so you can carry said gun anywhere the State has not designated as a gun free victim disarmament zone.  Sound as easy as buying a candy bar?

A number of such thoughts went through my head as I read today, at BearingArms.com Dems Want Compromise on Gun Control Legislation? Here it is: For instance I still remember the old Jesse Helms quote:
Compromise, hell! That’s what has happened to us all down the line—and that’s the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at the time?
I will even go so far as to say to those who would interpret our Second Amendment out of existence: You have no right to do so, any more than you have a right to eliminate our First Amendment rights. Those rights were an acknowledgement of rights given by God to all people. They were not put in our Constitution as a challenge to Government to figure out how to take them, but a warning not to try.  You persist at your own peril.  Whether we have a Second Amendment or not, we still have our rights.

Molon Labe.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

People stampeding like cattle over a little noise

I had always thought people in North Carolina were a more sensible lot.  And then stuff like this happens and you begin to wonder. I would point out that we have gotten a lot of people coming from New York and points North. One has to wonder, what with them bringing their politics with them, whether they are not also bringing their intolerances as well.

Some years ago, I had some of the neighbors over for July 4th. Now, our property, butts up against a working farm, complete with horse and cattle pastures, and the occasional fox, wolves, and poisonous snakes, mostly copperheads. The guy who lives there shoots at these critters with a 410 gauge shotgun. Evening was approaching, and suddenly we heard a few shots from the shotgun. Well, it is the country after all. One of the "ladies" immediately became upset, and wondered how her children could survive with such goings on so close to where they lived. I told her that if she didn't want to see or hear the activities that happen on farms, perhaps she should go back to living in the city. She left shortly thereafter, and the rest of us had a good time watching the fireworks over the trees.

I remember one gun writer years ago who opined that concealed carry was better because one didn't want to scare the white women.  As I recall, though, he included a lot of pantywaists and other such fools of all colors and both sexes in that term "white women."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Logic and reason have left the building

Trump made a statement giving the elites and the media the vapors:
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick — if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Trump's loose language can have many interpretations, and I would take him at his word that what he meant was that the political power of the gun rights movement might make a difference in the vote in November. On the other hand, the other interpretation, as Robert Ibrahim has noted over at the American Thinker in a post entitled The Real Reason Trump's Second Amendment Comment Provoked Outrage is also possible. Trump could be reminding not only the Hillary supporters and progressives, but the media too, that when a fee people are prevented from exercising their free choices, they can, indeed their duty when everything else is exhausted is to revolt.  It is the reason the Second Amendment was put into the Constitution.  When using reason, words, and peaceful protest do not effect change, indeed, when reason and peaceful protest is scoffed at, there remains only to revolt and resist.  (Before you become cynical over recent "peaceful protests" as at Ferguson, MO or Baltimore, MD, please remember the Tea Party protests in Washington, DC, where not only was there no violence whatsoever, but the place was cleaner than when the protesters arrived.)
This is an historical, proven fact, and why liberal media and elite are, if only subconsciously, going crazy against Trump: he dared mention -- and thus legitimize -- the one thing that must never be mentioned, not even as a remote consideration, because it is the one thing guaranteed to overthrow them: rebellion. Hence the media circus of shock, awe, and outrage: it’s all meant to quickly rebury this briefly exhumed and dangerous idea from the public’s eye.
And before someone sics the Secret Service or the FBI on me, let me be clear I am not threatening anyone. I am merely reporting what is known; that if the "progressives" do not back off, they will, at some point, draw a reaction from a people that have held back too long. Even God has his limits. Which brings me to another piece from the American Thinkers by Joanna Rosamond entitled Media Driven Insanity. A quote:
The fact that several months before elections we are constantly told that a candidate has already won, definitely rings an alarm bell. Orwellian “newspeak” morphed today into NewsSpeak, with the mainstream media acting as thought police. While we are being nonchalantly reminded about a long list of observable crimes that go unpunished, the media cheer their authors and try to contaminate us with the “enthusiasm.” One can´t help but notice how visionary Orwell´s writing was: “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don´t even know that fire is hot.”
Where did ol´ good logic go? The processes used in thinking and reasoning should be natural to homo sapiens, and it´s impossible not to have a brain-ache when you clearly see that it´s not the case.
The emphasis is mine.  Does the emphasized part cause anyone else to think of another document that has a similar phrase: "But when a long train of abuses...pursuing invariably the same object...to reduce them under absolute despotism...?" Perhaps it is just me, and I am becoming to paranoid, but it seems one has to suspect that some hanky panky is going on.  How can the everyday Democrats support a woman who has committed so much crime and mischief?  Indeed, how are everyday Democrats able to stomach Obama, Holder, Lynch, or any of the other un-indicted felons they have put in power?  More and more it boggles the mind.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Like Everything Else It Destroys, the Left Murdered Art

Bruce Walker brought up a topic I had not thought much about in years.  If you have been around for a while, as I have, you may have noticed that the movie industry isn't producing new movies any more.  Instead, they are recycling old movie scripts with new actors and much better, more thrilling computer generated special effects.  I haven's seen a good, "original" movie in years.  But it goes much deeper than that.  And that is the story the Bruce Walker is trying to tell in his piece at American Thinker today entitled The Left has Murdered Art.

 As a young man, I enjoyed poetry. I especially enjoyed Robert Frost, T.S. Elliot, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens and of course the 19th century poets. But I studied all sorts of poetry and literature at the time. You may think that being an engineer, a carrier of guns, and a poet was just to much for one person, but Williams was a physician in his day job, and Stevens sold insurance. In fact, few poets made their money on poetry. It is a labor of love. It turns out I came by my poetic leanings naturally, as my paternal grandfather published a small volume of poems.  But my grandfather was a brick layer by trade.  And of course, as you might expect, I love pens and writing because it is these things that make poetry possible.

I published several poems in college.  After graduation, I tried publishing in the literary journals and magazines of the day, only to be constantly rejected.  My material was not "fresh" or "original."  And I have to admit that some of it was indeed crap.  Eventually, I just sort of gave up, perusing other things.  Later, though, I learned that my problem was not lack of originality, but rather that I had not attended the "right" poetry symposia, the "correct" writing conferences where the resident poet or writer would properly impress upon the struggling young skulls filled with mush the leftist dogma,  As a struggling artist yourself, you should empathize with the struggle of the masses against the great oppressor class, don't you know.  What poppycock.

If originality and freshness were truly the criteria, no one would publish anything new.  The fact is that every thought a man can have has already been thought. There are no new poems, only an endless rehashing of the previous generations poems.  Neither Emily Dickenson, nor Elizabeth Browning wrote anything new.  As noted in Ecclesiates, there is nothing new under the sun.  I sing in the choir at church, and here again, the choir director often picks hymns nobody recognizes because they are used to the older hymns.  Our choir director points out that the new writers deserve to be heard.  But of course, the new writers do not bring anything new to table.  How could they?  Do they really deserve to be heard?  Not if original and fresh are the criteria.

My mother had a set of three volumes of a book called Master Plots, that showed all the plots ever devised.  Every story you read, every movie you see, every television show, has a plot that can be found among the master plots.  I have seen Romeo and Juliet countless times, and will probably see it several more before I pass on.  Oh, the story line varies, the characters have different names, and there are different twists to the basic plot, but all of these shows are basically Romeo and Juliet, the star crossed lovers, whose love can never be.

Good art speaks directly to our subconscious mind.  A good poem or a good song will settle in to our subconscious, and we may not realize what it is saying to us until years later when a thought, a memory, a smell, or something else will trigger it, and all of sudden we will be struck by the poem or song.  Good paintings and sculpture can have a similarly haunting effect.  But the Left has truly murdered art, giving us  Piss Christ while denigrating Maddona and Child. The fact is that good art is being produced only in isolated corners of the world today, gets no funding or respect, and if those in control have anything to say about it, it will remain hidden for all eternity.

Update:  On a different note, I see that Mike Vanderboegh has passed away.  The world will not see his kind again for at least a generation.  I knew him but little, but admired what I saw.  May the Creator of the Universe keep him safely in his arms.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Writing With a Pen...On Paper...Makes You Smarter

The piece on the Fountain Pen wasn't complete because, because the purpose of pens, inks, and papers is to write. One writes ones thoughts, which if the paper itself survives, may tell future generations your thoughts.  Reading what the great thinkers of yesterday had to say informs me that man has not changed since man first recorded his thought on clay tablets.  Writing a letter telling someone else about what goes on in your life, and getting a response keeps people in touch in ways e-mail does not.  I found a bunch of letters home to my Mom, on her death, that I had written and she had kept.  Oh, the sophomoric confidence of youth!. Or you could write a novel, or....just a list of things you need at the grocery store. Writing can be as prosaic as a business letter, of as complicated as a T. S Elliott poem. Nancy Olsen's piece Three Ways Writing with a Pen Affects Your Brain at Forbes Magazine notes that writing with a pen on paper positively affects your brain. Writing increases neural activity in the brain and sharpens your thought processes. But it also slows the brain down, giving time to think more thoroughly.

So, while I am an old curmudgeon who wants to see future generations still know how to add and subtract in their heads, use a slide rule, use logarithms, and other archaic techniques, this article points out that hand writing does indeed make us better thinkers.  And isn't thinking better the essence of being smarter?  Knowing facts is important, to be sure, but to then go beyond the facts to synthesizing a philosophy from these is what truly makes us human.  A pen (preferably a fountain pen) ink, and paper make that possible.

Update: The author of this blog apparently went through the same process I did late in life, when he realized his handwriting technique, never good, hand become crappy. The blog is Write Analog While a lot of the information presented here is interesting and worthwhile, the most interesting is the youtube piece embedded entitled "Why Write: Penmanship for the 21st Century.  The speaker is a Master Penman and an artist, and uses his penmanship in his art.  But you and I, the lowly penmen who just want to write a letter don't have to achieve Master Penmanship levels to get the benefits of writing.  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of people to write to anymore, but I do keep a journal that keeps me practicing writing each and ever day.

It is possible to get too much into fountain pens in the search for the "perfect pen," which of course doesn't exist, and spend way to much money on pens.  So here's a few I have found to be worthy pens at a cheap price.  For carrying in the field, the Lamy Safari. You can change nibs on Lamy pens, which makes them very versatile.  Lamy pens do not have the most buttery smooth nibs on the planet, but can be tamed down with a little writing on a piece of leather.  Not too much.  It is basically like a strop.  For a more flexible nib, may I suggest the Noodler's Ahab. I just got one of these to replace a beloved Sensa Meridian that had broken. The pen is fantastic, smooth, durable, and fits my hand perfectly.