With what, you ask? Why, the Kimber 10mm and more real 10mm ammo, what else?
Saturday morning I sat down and took my last batch of once-fired brass and loaded it, a little bit hotter than what I've done before, and Monday morning it was off to the range. Once again, the specs:
Case -- Remington nickel-plated
Bullet -- 155-grain Hornady XTP
Load -- 14.8 gr. Accurate Arms No. 9
Primer -- CCI large pistol
The load was 0.5 grains higher than the minimum in the Accurate Arms data sheet. I think that's about as high as I'd be willing to go with the once-fired; anything higher and I'd rather go with virgin brass just to be safe, at least at this point. And right now it's more about load development than anything else; I usually set up the target at the 7-yard mark and set up the chrony at the 3-yard mark, and this week was no exception. So I started blasting, and the results were quite impressive, as they've been so far with my particular components.
The average velocity was 1371 feet per second, with an extreme spread of 58 fps and a high of 1399 fps and just over half the shots running between 1360 and 1380 fps. So we're running just about on par with the Georgia Arms 155-grain Gold Dot at 1375. And the Kimber ate every one. I must admit, that was a concern of mine initially, that I would be doing something wrong and have problems with jams, especially with the Kimber's tight tolerances. So far my fears have been unfounded, and the load was very comfortable to boot. No doubt it's different with a heavier bullet, but I'd have to say that particular combination would be just about the perfect middle ground between the 9mm Parabellum and the .45acp. And every time I shoot it, I am that much more mystified as to why the .40Short&Weak overtook the 10mm as the accepted middle-bore autopistol cartridge. It works, but still, it's such a shame that the 10mm was relegated to niche status.
Before I go any further, though, the gun will get some stiffer springs and a Shok-Buff -- at least a recoil spring, maybe a mainspring as well, and a flat-bottom firing pin stop. (I've heard those help with cutting down on standard deviation, too.) I'd really rather not be posting here some horrible day about cracks in the frame or that sort of thing...
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
With what, you ask? Why, the Kimber 10mm and more real 10mm ammo, what else?
Only in the fascist state of Illinois would someone who fancies himself a man of God say something like this and have it get little to no attention...
During an address at an anti-gun rally in front of Chuck's, Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina's Church, exhorted the crowd to "drag" shop owner, John Riggio, from his shop "like a rat" and "snuff" him. Rev. Pfleger went on to tell the crowd that legislators that vote against gun control legislation should be "snuffed" as well. As many know, "snuff" is slang for especially violent murder.
Once again, I find myself absolutely speechless. How someone like this could sit there and call for the violent murder of someone they disagree with is just completely beyond me. The only consolation is that this creature will answer one day for his advocacy of such evil.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The response to my recent Letter to the Editor has been overwhelming. It proves that there is a growing sentiment to ban the manufacture of repeating arms of all types - rifles or pistols.
People don't care whether we call them "assault", "automatic", or "semi-automatic". They want to see the manufacture of repeating arms stopped and we ought to get that message to the NRA.
There is no question that some target shooters would like to have the convenience of repeating arms but that convenience is far outweighed by the potential destruction those weapons can cause. After all, our young people see it on TV every day.
NRA has claimed, since it's founding, that we need this personal armament to protect ourselves against our government. I believe the last time that need arose was the rebellion by the army shortly after the Revolution in 1776 when they threatened to march on Washington if they did not receive their back pay.
Isn't it time to tell NRA this claim is an embarrassment to the average gun owner?
Thanks again for your letter.
John P. Hansel - Keene, NH
Dear Mr. John P. Hansel:
I saw this letter, and your previous one, and I thought I'd take the time as a gun owner to respond. Think of it as another letter from one gun owner to another.
To be honest, I really don't know what to make of what you've said in this letter — or, for that matter, the first letter you sent out. First it was the banning of all semi-auto rifles and now the banning of all semi-auto handguns too? It would seem to me from what you say, it's a safe bet you don't even see self-defense as a viable reason to own a gun — unless, of course, you would prefer we carry single-shot rifles instead of, say, Kimber .45s. Surely you're fully aware that at least one gun manufacturer — Smith & Wesson — makes a seven-shot revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum, which as you may be aware is one of the most effective cartridges out there for defensive purposes; arguably its only equal in autoloading pistol cartridges in terms of ballistics is the 10mm Auto. And as for the seven rounds the revolver in question will hold, that is exactly how many rounds that the Government Model 1911 — probably the most famous autoloading pistol ever made — will hold. As far as the lethality of a semiautomatic pistol versus a revolver, that would seem to me to be a moot issue, all things considered. You don't have to be a Jerry Miculek to do some serious damage with a revolver. With all due respect, it seems to me you're willing to sell out the entire gun-owning community to save your own guns, which to me is incredibly short-sighted, not to mention disgustingly selfish. Do you honestly think those who would disarm the people are going to stop with the revolvers, autoloading pistols and autoloading rifles? You really believe they're going to let you keep that long-range sniper rifle you take deer with?
As for taking up arms against the government — it's not a pleasant prospect by any means, but it's one that should always be kept in mind. Governments of men are made up of men. There are those who argue that man's natural state is one of violence, and the actions of governments against the governed prove this — right up to the turn of the 21st century. Few of us gun owners argue that the presence of arms in the hands of citizens is all that is needed to deter tyranny — but on the other hand, how comfortable would YOU feel going into the woods to hunt down a bunch of good ole boys from Texas or Tennessee with bolt-action Remington 700s in .30-06 who have, in addition to an ironclad determination to retain their freedom and control of their destiny, plenty of experience taking their four-legged critter of choice from hundreds of yards away and a much better knowledge of the terrain than you? They might not be able to stop a government bent on tyranny, but the smart money says they would surely be able to make it a fat lot more costly to the agents of said tyranny. You might think such a position is an embarrassment to average gun owners, but I read something not long ago that makes me think otherwise
"I have spent a lot of time since the early days of the Clinton Administration considering the Founders' concepts of the deterrence of tyranny by the armed citizenry from the perspectives of philosophy, history, strategy and tactics. The catalyst for all this reflection was, of course, the twin menaces of the increasing Clintonista proscriptions of firearms rights (Brady and the Assault Weapons Ban) and the massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco. The subsequent failure of the Republican congress and the courts to do anything substantive about either threat-- legislative tyranny or rogue bureaucracy-- led many of us to conclude that we had now entered a time when we could only count on ourselves to maintain our liberties.
"The Law of Unintended Consequences decreed that there would be two unexpected results of this Clintonista constitutional misbehavior. The first was the importation and sale within a few months of several millions of semi-auto rifles (principally SKS and AK-variants) into the U.S. This was in anticipation of, and defiance of, the so-called 'Assault Weapons Ban.' Indeed, this was more rifles of these types than had been sold in the previous TWENTY YEARS. And it was in a political climate where it was fully expected that the next law would call for the confiscation of such weapons. Why, then, did this massive arming take place? Were we buying these rifles merely to turn them over later? When the Clintonistas realized that we were not buying these rifles to turn them in, but to turn ON THEM if they became even more threatening to our liberties, it gave them considerable pause. I am told the analysts in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover building were particularly impressed."
Say what you will, but Mike Vanderboegh, the author of the piece, makes a valid point. I know I would surely not lay down hundreds of dollars for a firearm in anticipation of a confiscation order without preparing some kind of resistance, and there is little doubt that I am not the only one. Whether those who were buying those SKSs and AKs constitute the "average gun owner" of which you speak is really neither here nor there. What really matters is what such actions show, which is that there are still more than a few of us who still believe there are things worth fighting and dying for. And personally, I would think the real embarrassment to the average gun owner is the positions of people such of yourself who naively assume they're not going to take your deer gun. I think the words of gun blogger Geek With A .45 are just about right here:
"If you own a duck gun or a deer rifle, and see nothing wrong with the 'Assault Weapons Ban', I remind you that the Second Amendment is of sober and serious purpose that is not about your trivial right to entertain yourself with sports shooting.
"When they come for your duck gun, my battle rifle and I won't be there to help you, because at that point, I either won't have a battle rifle, or it's shards will have been buried with me.
"And if that came to pass because you were sitting on your ass, you won't deserve any help either."
Something to think about, Mr. Hansel, the next time you so willingly throw fellow gunnies under the bus in a selfish attempt to save your own "trivial right to entertain yourself with sports shooting."
As far as this "growing sentiment" to ban semiautomatic firearms -- with all due respect, have you been hiding under a rock? You're probably an outdoorsman -- does the name Jim Zumbo ring a bell? You remember, the Outdoor Life writer who ended up losing his job for calling AR- and AK- type rifles "terrorist rifles"? Do you know just WHY Zumbo lost his job, Mr. Hansel? Because more than a few people who owned those "terrorist rifles" were made aware of his remarks and told his sponsors -- Remington Arms, Gerber, Hi-Mountain Seasonings, Mossy Oak, and Cabela's -- and Outdoor Life that if they didn't dump Zumbo, they would be facing a boycott. Remington was the first, and two days later, Zumbo resigned from Outdoor Life after some 45 years as a hunting writer. Impressive indeed -- but even more so considering that Zumbo penned the offending blog post on the Friday afternoon of President's Day weekend, when most of the folks in the offices of his sponsors were out and wouldn't be back until probably Tuesday morning. As it turned out, though, Remington ditched Zumbo on Monday morning, President's Day, with the others following suit in the coming days. Honestly, I haven't a clue where this "growing sentiment" of which you speak is coming from, other than the halls of Handgun Control, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center and other like-minded imbecilic organizations. Which is really to be expected, I guess, but in any event, I'd like to think that if you call the NRA and tell them we should push for another Ban on Weapons That Look Scary, they'd collapse in fits of hysterical laughter just before they hung up. Which is just as it should be.
Friday, May 25, 2007
AUSTIN — The names of people licensed to carry concealed handguns in Texas are no longer available to the public.
Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday that he signed into law House Bill 991, which seals state records showing who is allowed to carry a gun in public. Only law enforcement agencies will have access to the information.
The law took effect immediately upon its signing Wednesday.
Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, and Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, put forth the legislation. Rose said it was needed because "the steps that law-abiding Texans take to protect themselves and their families should be issues of private concern."
Similar versions of the bill failed in previous sessions.
The newspaper industry had urged Perry to veto the bill, saying it was an open-government issue, not a gun issue.
Anyone can check on information about other state-issued license holders, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, real estate agents and barbers, the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and Texas Press Association said in urging a veto.
The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains concealed handgun records.
Since the state's concealed gun law was enacted in 1995, the public has been able to find out whether someone has a license to carry a concealed weapon. The requester had to provide the name of the person in question.
Let's see here. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, private citizens licensed to carry sidearms, real estate agents and barbers. "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong..."
We all know how the media likes to spin things; the folks on the Chron editorial board actually tried to spin the fact of open CHL records as a property-rights issue, as you might remember. Well, how's this for spin:
I don't know if the editorial boards at the state's major newspapers ever stopped to think about this, but in opposing House Bill 991, they were effectively saying that stalkers, rapists, abusive spouses/significant others and other ne'er-do-wells had a right to check and see if their potential victims were armed, thereby putting every woman who resides within Texas' borders in a little more danger -- and in some cases a LOT more. Funny how the media likes to think of themselves as "progressive," supporting civil rights for women, minorities and others, yet here they were, actively undermining perhaps the most fundamental civil right -- the right of effective self-defense. I guess supporting civil rights only goes so far for some folks.
On the Walton and Johnson show just now, from a conversation with a female Texas CHL holder, and Army vet:
Billy Edd Hatfield: "What kinda haaandgun are you operatin'?"
Caller: "A Smith and Wesson .45 1911."
My kinda lady, no doubt about it. I wonder if she'd have a problem with my Springfields and Kimbers. ;-)
Monday, May 21, 2007
...or, all-linky-no-thinky, as SayUncle would say...
First up, the man whose page is the first thing I see every time I crank up Firefox, the great Bill Whittle, slams another one out of the park:
Cheating in class (or getting a diploma without passing the required tests), cheating by crossing the border illegally, cheating by committing crimes and not paying for it, cheating by bribery and corruption, cheating in general rewards Screw the Other Guy as a social strategy and makes chumps of the people who need a level of societal trust – they need retaliation against Screw the Other Guy – in order to continue to cooperate. Society needs to retaliate against cheaters because not to do so flips the coin from cooperation to betrayal. And that’s the end of everything we have worked for and cherish.
And – and – you don’t need to be a master of game theory to know this in your bones. Because if you are offended by cheaters, it is because you are being betrayed into – you are in fact forced into – becoming a cheater and betrayer yourself. Aways-cooperating dies quickly: if you never betray and the other guy always does, he goes free and you get 20 years every time. (In other words, he’s out getting high while you work to support him.) Sooner or later, even the most dense moralist gets the message.When a tipping point is reached – when enough people are allowed to cheat – the system swings to a different stabiltiy mode (the default mode) and Screw the Other Guy becomes the only rational choice.
The rational choice. Think about that for a moment. Does that make you angry? It damn well better. And if it does then you are not alone.
You are in a relationship. You are nice, forgiving and non-envious. You may think it is loving and kind not to retaliate when you are treated unfairly, but you’d be wrong. Anybody with any self esteem knows that if you are being wronged, you cannot just continue to take it. You must punish behavior that tries to take advantage of your good nature, in order to maintain the self-respect and reputation you need in order to be treated well. Failure to retaliate will lead to more and more abuse. Failure to retaliate makes Screw the other Guy the optimal position for the other person: they can behave as selfishly and recklessly as they like with no consequences – what’s not to love?
That, friends, is just a taste. You owe it to yourself to go and partake of the entire feast.Next up, more goodness from Mike Vanderboegh at David's place...
Are you concerned about gun confiscation? Its a fact of life in Mexico. Big government intrusion on private free enterprise? Can you say PEMEX? Worried about campaign finance and political corruption? The Mexicans have a word for the endemic bribery that characterizes their government: "mordida"-- the bite, and they expect to be bitten by every official at every level. No matter what issue concerns you, the undeniable tidal wave of a deliberately imported third world culture is about to swamp it.Once again, Read The Whole Thing. And via JR, comes a few signs that our country's no longer free...
Let's face it, the only reason we've been electorally competitive this long is that the liberals have been murdering the children within their wombs for the past 35 years. Well, they're going to be importing those wombs now to finish the job.
These folks, God bless 'em, are used to nationalized industries, gun control, soldiers walking the streets dispensing their own rough "justice" with machineguns, identity-grievance politics and, above all, the undefeatable evil synergy of crooked politicians and drug lords controlling events. They are used to being ruled by a godless oligarchy of the privileged rich who know what's "best" for them. You know, they're Democrats.
You may ask anyone familiar with Mexican history since 1912 what the rule of law means south of the border. Or, for a modern example closer to home, take a look at some of the seamier La Raza-dominated suburbs of LA. These millions of newly minted citizens will toil upon the Democrat latifundistas' political plantations as indentured servants for the next fifty years and gradually, in the end, the American Republic will be as dead as its Greek and Roman predecessors. If, that is, it doesn't catastrophically collapse in the next decade or so in a welter of racial warfare and Balkan "ethnic cleansing" that will make the former Yugoslavia look like a kindergarten at play. The devil will walk abroad in the land and our children's children's children will curse our folly.
You know your country is no longer free when the ATF goes to the homes of people who are trying to legally purchase firearms at a gun show and they ask whomever answers the door and the neighbors "Why would they want to buy a firearm?" as happened in Richmond VA.
Or when Class Valedictorians cannot say what they wish to say during "graduation".
Or when you need a passport to visit friends in Canada, but commercial traffic can go right through the border.
Or when you can no longer just use your middle initial on your drivers "license" full name only please..
When kmart asks for ID before you can buy a pocket knife
And that was just from the first page...finally, tonight, Rachel Lucas, the lady who got Bill Whittle into
more thinky from me soon, I promise...
Sunday, May 20, 2007
A big tip o' the hat goes to David Codrea for this.
Just a sample:
RINO collector cards. Now why didn't I think of that? And the great thing about these is, these quotes don't really seem to be taken out of context -- they all have quotes on them that perfectly sum up the respective candidates' Republican In Name Only bona-fides. Perfect, just absolutely perfect. Collect them all, indeed!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I've heard of Professor Stephen Bainbridge but don't know much about him, really, but he comes off here as being more than a little bit of an elitist...
Haven't We had Enough Good ol' Boys For a While?
Now imagine what a candidate could get done if he achieved fluency in pop culture. Picture a candidate who could effortlessly segue from paying homage to Dale Earnhardt's #3 to saying how much High Noon has always meant to him. Conjure up a contender who could unashamedly admit that if owning every George Strait record makes him a square, so be it, and then quickly pivot to the many times tears welled in his eyes when sports heroes like Curt Schilling or Willis Reed rose above pain to perform in an almost super-human fashion.
That's not pop culture. That's rural Southern culture. Nascar. The opiate of the good ol' boy masses. Gary Cooper. A great movie, but hardly au courant. George Strait, gawd help us.
I suppose I can see his point, but it's been said before -- the appeal of things like NASCAR and George Strait these days goes far beyond the Mason-Dixon Line. Even just a casual look at Strait's sales figures even now and NASCAR's race schedule is proof of that. Beyond that, though, the attitude's just a little bit patronizing. I wouldn't mind so much a president who smoked cigars or didn't fish or hunt (although a president who had a gun collection with at least one 1911 and AR-15 would get serious bonus points), but I have to wonder of the professor ever stopped to ask himself why these "Good Ol' Boys" have such high approval ratings. You think it might be the perceived lack of authenticity from the Northeastern bluebloods? Hell, just look at their opinions on gun control. Who's the more authentic one here -- NY's Rudy Giuliani mouthing support for the RKBA, MA's Romney becoming a life member of the NRA last August, or Tennessean Fred Thompson's full-throated attack on the gun-grabbers' twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment?
Seriously, I think the most important thing is the candidate's willingness to protect the Constitution from all attacks foreign & domestic, but I still find Bainbridge's commentary to show him to be little more than a patronizing jackass.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I was driving home from work Saturday listening to the radio, and Steve Wariner's "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" came on. Probably one of the more sappy songs to come out from any country artist, but I always liked it anyway...
But something hit me as it was playing...it's been almost ten years since that song and cd was released. I remember it like it was yesterday...1997 and early '98 was a bit of a time for renaissance for the Christmas baby from Noblesville, Indiana. Two No. 1 hits to his credit as a songwriter in 1997 (Clint Black's "Nothin' But the Taillights" and Garth Brooks' "Longneck Bottle") and a third to come in 1998 as a singer with a duet with Anita Cochran, "What If I Said." Steve got signed to Capitol Nashville sometime in late 1997 or early 1998 partly because of that resurgence, and "Holes" was the first single from that first Capitol Nashville album, Burnin' the Roadhouse Down. I remember that cd very well...I bought it the day it came out, and I was just absolutely floored. If you'll remember, Wariner's hits from the '80s mostly had a very strong adult-contemporary feel to them, with not that many exceptions -- "Life's Highway," "What I Didn't Do" and "Some Fools Never Learn" come to mind. (In fact, that last one's actually my favorite song of all time...) But "Burnin' the Roadhouse Down" was a world away from that, with some great old-school honky-tonk, guitar-driven country-rock and even a little Western swing with the title cut (which was actually another duet with Garth Brooks). Quite honestly, I never thought Steve actually had it in him to do an album like that, but boy, was I ever wrong. If you don't have it, I highly recommend you change that...
Saturday, May 12, 2007
One more time, it's great to live in Texas...
(emphasis mine -- ed.)
The Continental Army and the Redcoats may have to go at each other with baseball bats in New Jersey.
Revolutionary War buffs who annually re-enact historic conflicts like the Battle of Monmouth with muskets contend they will be disarmed by a proposed gun ban aimed at modern .50-caliber rifles that gun-control advocates call potential terrorist "sniper" weapons.
"Just about every rifle carried on the American continent prior to 1855 were larger than .60-caliber," said Peter Hefferan of Wantage, a re-enactor and owner of Reactive Technologies, a private firearms consulting operation that works with law enforcement.
"You'll wipe out re-enactors of the American Revolution. The whole concept of the re-enactment is history, and it is required that everything be accurate right down to the threading of the garments and the number of buttons, even the type of buttons," he said.
"We have no intent of damaging or impeding the ability of hunters to hunt or re-enactors to do what they do," said Bryan Miller of Cease Fire New Jersey. "But every time we try to get people from the other side of this debate to help us draft a bill that works, they refuse. If this bill is flawed, it's their own fault."
I just really don't know where even to begin with this. Instead of standing up and raising ten kinds of hell about one more infringement on their natural rights, New Jerseyans are whining about their damned reenactments. I don't know what's worse, that or this arrogant jerk Bryan Miller blaming them for the bill going too far. Maybe if they'd stood up to Miller and those who think like him 40 years ago they wouldn't be here, but no, they had to sit down and actually work with them instead of telling them to go straight to hell. Sickening. I remember back when I was in college, one morning on the classroom TV one of my professors was showing a clip of Bruce Springsteen in concert, talking about all the American landmarks that were in New Jersey, and he mentioned "the Statue of Liberty, which is actually in New Jersey!" No doubt the irony was completely lost on him.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The Houston Chronicle, by newspaper editorial board standards at least, threw a World Class Temper Tantrum this morning...
Oh, I don't know...how about the fact that if the information fell into the wrong hands, that it could endanger those who carry as well as those who don't? The arguments for keeping the identities of CHL holders secret (absent compelling reasons to disclose the names such as if a CHL holder commits a crime involving his weapon) are and have been well-established for a long time, and it's appallingly dishonest of those in the media to cast the openness of the records as an open-government and property-rights issue. They make a big to-do about "depriving the owners of their property," but apparently they never really stopped to consider the privacy of those who choose to exercise their right to effective self-defense. I guess you could call it more of the same from the mainstream media, but it's sickening nonetheless.
If ever there were a champion of secret government and an enemy of public access to information, it is state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands. This session he has repeatedly gone out of his way to reduce public knowledge of its own government, decreasing the chance that official corruption will come to light.On Wednesday, Williams voted with the Senate majority to make secret all information involving permits to carry concealed handguns. The information was produced and compiled at public expense and is owned by the public. Where is the sense of depriving the owners of their property? If carrying a gun deters crime, what's wrong with letting the carrier's identity be known?
I think I'll drop the honorable senator a thank-you note today.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Indeed they do, but not in the way this fool thinks. Every now and then I am left utterly dazzled by some people's lack of sense God gave people to even come in out of the rain, and, well, this is one of those times. I don't know if you could even call this asshole a Fuddite, I mean, I'd like to think that even they aren't so far gone. Just one more appeaser, I guess, either too stupid to know or too selfish or evil to care (at least right now) that throwing the rest of us to the wolves isn't going to save his precious deer gun in the end; it only means they'll take that sniper rifle last. One more time, from the Geek...
Having owned guns and been an active hunter for more than 60 years, I feel qualified to speak on the subject of guns.
Why do I own a gun in the first place? I can think of only three possible reasons:
1. To go hunting.
2. To use for target practice.
3. For self-defense.
I can't think of any other reason - can you? That being the case, why do we gun owners need an assault weapon? Is it just for kicks? Isn't it time we stepped up and told the National Rifle Association to take the lead in calling for a ban on the manufacture of all automatic and assault weapons of every caliber?
During World War II, a manufacturer had to have a Defense Order to produce anything for use by the armed forces. If we reinstated such a requirement, we could eliminate the manufacture or importation of these "toys" except for armed service or police use and put an end to multiple slayings like Virginia Tech and Columbine.
NRA could expand its membership and win over many anti-gun folks by taking this lethal bull by the horns.
The NRA needs to hear it from us gun owners.
If you own a duck gun or a deer rifle, and see nothing wrong with the "Assault Weapons Ban", I remind you that the Second Amendment is of sober and serious purpose that is not about your trivial right to entertain yourself with sports shooting.
When they come for your duck gun, my battle rifle and I won't be there to help you, because at that point, I either won't have a battle rifle, or it's shards will have been buried with me.
And if that came to pass because you were sitting on your ass, you won't deserve any help either.
It just can't be said any better than that...
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Would that the national Republican Party establishment were so wise as to listen to Steven Greenhut (seen in this morning's Houston Chronicle) and those like him...
Have you ever been in one of those destructive long-term relationships that, at some point, you really just needed to end?
I'm not referring to my marriage to my lovely wife of 23 years, but to my 25-year relationship with the Republican Party. In recent years especially, I have found fewer things in common with the party. I feel used and abused. We've obviously grown in different and incompatible directions.
It's a groan-inducing cliché, I know, but it applies here: I didn't leave the party; the party left me.
Under Republican leadership, the federal government has expanded – without even including war-related spending – far more quickly than it expanded under Bill Clinton. And when it comes to security matters, Republicans have been zealous in giving the feds additional powers to trample our privacy and liberties. Republicans have been unwavering in their support for embarking on nation-building experiments of the sort that traditional conservatives would abhor. The presidential candidates most committed to a muscular central government – Rudy Giuliani and John McCain – are leading the pack.
Now even the rhetoric of freedom is mostly gone. Most "mainstream" Republicans don't talk about liberty anymore. The advocates for this emerging New Republican Party are becoming surprisingly outspoken. A good example is New York Times "conservative" columnist David Brooks, a former editor at the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative journal that shilled vociferously for war in Iraq. (Hint: The results of that policy might offer some warning to Republicans before they jump too quickly on his latest advice.)
In a column reprinted today (beginning on Page 1 of Commentary), Brooks rebutted those of us who argue that "in order to win again, the GOP has to reconnect with the truths of its Goldwater-Reagan glory days. It has to once again be the minimal-government party, the maximal-freedom party, the party of rugged individualism, and states' rights. This is folly."
Obviously unaware of the ever-growing Leviathan around him, Brooks claims that the old days of oppressive government are over. The idea of limited government – that silly, fuddy-duddy notion advanced by our Constitution, and ensconced in the Bill of Rights – is so 18th century. Time for something more appropriate for our time!
He's got a new idea (actually, the oldest of ideas, the one that says that government and power are what matters, and that freedom and individualism are outdated). And he's even got a catchy slogan for it. He calls it, Security leads to freedom.
Forgive me a Dave Barry moment, but I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Doesn't this sound like something out of an Orwell novel? War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Security is freedom. Brooks argues that the "liberty vs. power paradigm" is passé. Government doesn't necessarily mean less personal liberty, he writes. Modern voters aren't worried about an overweening state. Instead, the public wants to be protected from the complex modern threats to their existence: "Islamic extremism, failed states, global competition, global warming, nuclear proliferation, a skills-based economy, economic and social segmentation."
As they say, read the whole thing. (And YES, Mr. Greenhut, Brooks and his kind do indeed sound frighteningly Orwellian!)
I was almost surprised that he did not mention Mr. Giuliani's now-infamous quote on freedom being about authority, but that's really a minor quibble, as Greenhut described to a tee what's wrong with today's national Republican Party and a certain portion of the "conservative" punditocracy. I say that because I really don't think David Brooks is really any more of a real conservative than fellow NYT columnists Paul Krugman or Bob Herbert. Call me loony for that if you want, but anyone who argues for the things Brooks argues for is no friend of conservatives, or, for that matter, libertarian liberals. And furthermore, I don't think it's terribly farfetched to say that the ideals of Brooks and his ilk are what's taking the country that much further away from what the Founding Fathers intended it to be, with apologies to Ronald Reagan, the last, best hope of free men on earth. These people are going to be the death of the Republican Party -- and then where will we conservatives be? My money says the answer is going to be "marginalized dissidents in today's party system." I hope that does not come to pass, but I am more and more afraid that it will.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I must admit, I got a bit of a chuckle out of this...
France risks violence and brutality if right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy wins Sunday's presidential election, his Socialist opponent Segolene Royal said on Friday.Talk about taking demagoguery to an entirely new level. If you ever wonder why the French have the reputation as a nutless bunch of Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys, well, here's your answer right here. Instead of standing up and demanding their rights as a free people, including asserting their God-given rights to effective self-defense, they sit there and let the people who get to be in a potential position to lead them either
On the last day of official campaigning, opinion polls showed Sarkozy enjoyed a commanding lead over Royal, who accused the former interior minister of lying and polarizing France.
"Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told RTL radio.
"It is my responsibility today to alert people to the risk of (his) candidature with regards to the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country (if he won)," she said.
a. demagogue the issue as Segolene Royal has done, or
b. tell them to sit down, shut up and wait on the cops to save them, as Nicolas Sarkozy has done.
God, but it's good to be an American. Things could be better, but they could be a hell of a lot worse, too.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Does the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board get tired of hearing the same songs over and over on the radio? Whatever the answer may be, they certainly haven't tired of singing the same old song on their editorial page...
...The Legislature just passed a bill that expands a resident's right to use a firearm in self-defense at home, in vehicles and at other locations. The legislation would establish a legal presumption of self-defense for the shooter. After overwhelming approval by the House and Senate, the governor signed it.
Another bill moving through the Legislature would allow workers to keep licensed guns in their cars, even if they are parked at workplaces where their employer bans firearms. A third bill would make concealed handgun license records confidential. The records, owned by the public that paid for their creation, are properly classed as public documents.
These bills, should they become law, would encourage the proliferation of deadly weapons into every area of our lives, from the freeway to the shopping mall. Instead of putting the brakes on bad legislation, Perry's latest comments only fuel the domestic arms race.
Arming the public to the teeth will not prevent individuals like Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho from murdering innocents taken by surprise and terrorizing a campus. He bought his killing tools legally and probably could have qualified for a concealed handgun permit in Texas.
Rather, guns in every classroom, car and bar would only make it easier for deadly weapons to find their way into the wrong hands. The odds that an armed population could quickly take down a deranged gunman are much smaller than the chance of being shot by an otherwise law-abiding citizen who becomes emotional and loses control in a stressful public setting.
Sigh. The same old blood-running-in-the-streets rhetoric trotted out by the Brady enuretics every time citizens' rights of self-defense are even proposed to be expanded to the level they should have been in the first place. It gets tiring, and it's quite insulting to boot. With the way the system is, I'd be willing to bet that at least a few CHL holders in Texas get ticked off every day about one thing or another, yet they leave the guns in the holsters, judging by the fact that these stories about innocents being shot by CHL holders who lost control of their emotions NEVER make it to newsprint. Why, it's almost as if the Chron editorialists were talking out of their collective asses! Which, really isn't surprising because, as I heard someone say once, "When you talk out of your ass, a lot of shit's gonna come out." Pardon my french, but this sort of thing just gets really tiring. Let's hope Perry and the Legislature don't listen to the media, and that they put these bills through. When it's all said and done, it's absolutely the only moral and right thing to do.