Friday, July 30, 2010

Article in New York Times I actually agree with... somewhat.

Recently, the New York Times published an article on Project Appleseed. The reporter researched it for months. He even went to at least one Appleseed event, and earned a Rifleman score. Jack Dailey, known as "Fred" from Appleseed, claims the article was edited and re-edited for several more months prior to publication.

A short time ago, Fred sent a message to all Appleseeders. He advised them to "steel themselves" for the result.

I felt the article was surprisingly well-balanced and it hit on the major talking points that the general public has about the program. Of course, Appleseed does not care for some of those facts.

Also, the Appleseed project seems to have officially unleashed the hounds by sending its most ardent followers to "set the record straight" on as many gun forums as possible. - while they allow it to last.(Archived)
The Firing Line
The High Road

I am curious to see how their "pile-on" mentality and tactics will work in a broader forum like the NYT.

Some bloggers, who have pointed out some of the realities of Appleseed in the past, have already commented, too.

Appleseed released its official response to the article - detailed in the above link to the Firing Line.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quote of the Week

This is the best quote I've come across in a while...


Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he doesn't understand what all the fuss is about with regards to Arizona's immigration new immigration law.

He continues by saying: "it's a crime to be here illegally and everyone should enforce the law."

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer

On the job last week, I find out I am losing my third largest client because we cannot do something for them - due to company policy.

Typically, this is not always a problem, as the company can give "relief" to the sales person when a client leaves for a reason out of the control of the sales person.

I found out yesterday that my current boss will not authorize relief. This decision will prevent me from making a normal sized commission check until Feb., 2011.

I took this job due to the possibility of earning 10-25% more than I did at the last job. This turn of events will make it impossible to even match what I made at the last job. Frankly, there are many sales positions available now that pay better than this one might (if my commissions are cut), with a lot less stress.

I get a new boss Monday (due to a set of totally unrelated circumstances). I will ask him as well.

Whether I am with the current employer in 2011 is directly correlated with the new boss's answer. I hope he does not choose poorly.


Post edit: 8/17/2010
He chose poorly.

I have enjoyed working at this company, but now will be forced to shift my career search into high gear.

Since I was hired, nobody in my department has sold more new business than I have. The next best performer is 25% behind. My territory is closing in on becoming the largest (within $20K in revenue per month of the top territory). Why would a company or manager want to throw that away?

Monday, July 26, 2010

In search of history, part 1

Yesterday, I got the OK from Mrs. Usagi to pursue the purchase of an item I have been in desire of for some time.

The M1 Garand is in my sights. It is a rifle of historical significance. It is also one of the standards in the firearm world - being the first standard issue semi-automatic rifle in military service in the world.

I will be purchasing one from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). When you follow their directions, they will send the rifle right to your door!

I have in my possession almost all of the things required:
1. Proof of US Citizenship - check. (birth certificate)
2. Proof of age - check (if the birth certificate doesn't do it, my Drivers License will).
3. Membership in a CMP affiliated organization - in the works.
4. Proof of a marksmanship related activity - check (my HCP will suffice).
5. Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm - check.
6. Order form and purchaser agreement - almost check (need a notary).

As soon as I send off for the rifle, I will be ordering a Schuster gas plug. This will allow me to shoot commercially manufactured ammo. The M1 is tuned to shoot specific loads (M2 Ball), designed in the early 1900's. Modern advances in propellants and different bullet weights make shooting commercial ammo in an M1 hazardous to the shooter and the rifle.

I know that ideally, I should shoot only military surplus ammo in the rifle. Mil-surp is cheaper, and generally as accurate as I will need. However, there is only a finite supply of mil-surp left on the planet. Once it's gone, I'll need the gas plug.


Update - 7/27/2010
Today, I mailed off the application to join a CMP affiliated organization - The M1 Collector's Club.
Also, I got the notarized signature on my application.

Once I get the membership card from the M1 Collector's club (estimated 1-2 weeks), I can send off the purchase form and then the wait will begin.

As of now, the CMP website suggests the wait for the model I will be ordering is approximately 60 days.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great Article!

Here. Read on.

Why liberals should love the 2nd Amendment.

Oh, the irony

This morning, I read an article by Right Minded discussing how the First Lady has an agenda to politicize our food intake.

Earlier in the morning, I had read an article about all-you-can-eat sections and tickets at ballparks.

The funny thing is, that Michelle Obama threw the first pitch at the Orioles' game and was there generally to pitch her "Let's Move" campaign.

The Orioles are the team featured in the article I read this morning as offering the all-you-can-eat tickets.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good fortune in the family

This past weekend, I was told my brother-in-law, Brad Irwin, had accepted the head-coaching position for the East Tennessee State University women's softball program.

Unfortunately, I was sworn to secrecy, as the announcement had not yet been made official.

Well, now it's official.

Congrats to Brad. I know he will bring success with him.

I've seen him coach before. Heck, he even coached me once on an intramural team we both played on. He played Shortstop and I played 1st base on that team. We were the heart of the batting lineup, as well. At the time, we were dating the sisters who are now our respective wives.

Another source on becoming a Rifleman

Here is a link to another source on marksmanship. It basically covers all the fundamentals to firing an accurate shot.

Most of the material seems to come straight from Fred at Fred's M14 Stocks - founder of the Appleseed Project.

- Author covers fundamentals of marksmanship (he calls them the 9 steps to firing the shot, so as to distinguish from Fred's "6-steps to firing the shot").
- Author discusses multiple "steady-hold factors."
- Author discusses minutes of angle and related material for how to adjust sights and compensate for distance.
- Author has some good suggestions for AR15's, and for M1A's.
- Author discusses shooting on a slope (this is rare to find).

- Author strongly discourages sighting in from a rested position. This is folly.
- Author relies too much on sling use.

How to translate Liberal Politician Speak

Here is a primer on how to translate Liberal Politician Speak (LPS) into normal, natural English for the rest of us:

It is a well-known fact that politicians frequently make statements in such a way as to only say certain things, and avoid telling the whole truth - particularly if the whole truth is damaging to them. Generally, a politician will avoid all damaging topics, unless forced to comment.

Liberal politicians are especially well-versed in these tactics. Therefore it often becomes necessary to learn from them, as they have mastered the art of LPS to such a degree that one has to treat them as though they are speaking a different language. Here is a how-to guide for the normal english-speaking American:

Step 1
They mean the opposite of what they say.
Recently, Vice President Biden stated that he didn't think the Tea Party was racist.
Translation: Vice President Biden really means that he thinks the Tea Party is racist.

Step 2
They will say the opposite to distract you.
Recently, Vice President Biden stated that he did not think the Democrats would lose the House or the Senate in the elections this fall.
Translation: VP Biden thinks the Democrats might well lose both the House and the Senate this fall.
***But, he wanted to distract from something else! In this instance, he wanted to distract people from the fact that he feels the Tea Party is racist. He also wants to distract people from thinking about voting conservative due to the false accusations made by the NAACP.

Step 3
They mean the opposite of what they say on multiple levels.
Recently, President Obama stated the GOP lacks faith in the American people.
Translation 1: The Democrats lack faith in the American people.
Translation 2: The GOP has faith in the American people.
Translation 3: The President (a Democrat) lacks faith in the American people.

Three accurate translations in normal english for you to ponder.

If any reader has any question on how to interpret the LPS after reading this primer, they are urged to write Usagi for further clarification.

We have known all along, now here is proof...

I doubt there is any reasonable-minded adult in the US that can honestly deny the fact that the mainstream media is in Obama's corner, and has been since Day-1.

Here is an article that outlines what exactly the liberals in the media have done, with proof. There is also an essay on why.

One must ask why they did these things? The answer is quite obvious - they had an agenda. Now that Obama is in office, they wish to further that agenda.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My son's success!

This past weekend, my son participated in the Nashville Open Karate Tournament. Here's the scoop:

The Good:
My son placed 1st in Forms and 2nd in Sparring in his group (5 & under, beginner belts). As always, he was well-behaved and he really enjoyed the entire event.

He did well, despite the fact that he is a Tae Kwon Do competitor, and this was a karate tournament. Yes, there is a difference in the point system on forms, and an especially big difference in the scoring system used in the sparring.

Also, some of the competitors in the Black Belt divisions that did well were practicing traditional styles. It is good to see the judges give the nod to the traditional stylists instead of always favoring the more modern, flashy (and somewhat useless for real defense) techniques.

The tournament had very good group distinctions to make things fair for all competitors. It was rare that an individual dominated a group.

There were some really excellent displays of martial arts skill among the competitors I had the luxury of watching when my son was not competing.

The price was reasonable. It was $50 for my son to compete in two divisions. This is not bad at all. Most tournaments are 50% more. Some are twice that. The spectator fees were reasonable at $8 per ticket for those over the age of 5.

The Bad:
The tournament was generally well-organized, but had some suspect scheduling. Most tournaments have the smaller children compete first so as to avoid making the young ones wait long times. This weekend, they spaced the forms and the sparring segments out several hours apart. Many children were frustrated by the wait times.

The Ugly:
10 minutes prior to sparring competition, there was an announcement made over the PA system that sparring competitors must have solid plastic face shields to compete.

This item was not listed among the mandatory protective equipment online or in fliers. The local merchandisers only had limited quantities in stock (10 shields - there were over 100 competitors), and they were marked up outrageously.

A quick talk with one of the organizers yielded a loaner for my son. However, dozens of other competitors left, unable to afford or find the right equipment. Some of the organizers tried sticking them with the "no refunds" policy. We will see how well that holds up with the credit card purchases - where charges can be disputed.


That, folks, is why I purchase most things with a credit card. If a merchant sells you a lemon, or does not provide the service promised, the credit card company can charge them back, and refund your money - even if the merchant won't. Merchants who have many charge-backs will lose their ability to process credit cards - and this is a sign to avoid purchasing from this company!

Post-edit 2:
In the days since this tournament, I learned that the karate school that hosted this tournament put an erroneous charge on my card. I attempted to call the school, but my messages were never returned. I had to dispute the false charge.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mourning a loss

I learned today that recently, one of my original martial arts instructors passed away.

Link to the sad news.

Sensei Henderson was an assistant instructor at the Karate classes I took at the Chattanooga Jewish Community Center back in the mid 1980's. I remember that he was an avid fan of lifting weights... in a time when most martial artists eschewed such practices.

Around about 1987, he opened his own karate school, which I trained at part time (I could never get enough martial arts training!). Though I had lost contact with him some time ago, he was part of the organization I belong to.

Steve had been battling cancer the past few years.

Well Which Way Is It???

When pushing for "healthcare reform," President Obama and the Democrats insisted that the measures were not a tax. Link to CNN article stating just that.

Now, they are saying it is legal to have the healthcare mandate, based on Congress' authority to levy taxes.
Link 1
Link 2

Has this President spoken a single truth, yet?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

And Even More Socialism

It seems the Obama administration has no respect for due process.

Recently, thousands of blogs were shut down by the feds.

One link to the story
And another link

Hope they don't take this one. But if they do, I'll get another.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Socialism, Part 2

There are three main ways to enact socialism on an otherwise free country. These can be accomplished in any order:

First, the government must take over the people.
Second, the government must take over business.
Third, the government must ensure they can continue to control the first two.

Consider, for a moment:

1. Our government has taken over healthcare.
This takeover bill was so far reaching, it provides the means to completely control the people and their money.

2. Our government has taken over business.
Today, a sweeping "reform" was enacted in the Senate. It will be signed into law by the President.

3. Our government will ensure it can continue to control the first two.
By passing "immigration reform," and additional "stimulus" packages, and anything else to control the money... the lifeblood of a capitalistic society.

We got Socialism, part 1 when the healthcare bill went into law.

Part 2 is now upon us, because they have already burdened the private sector with taxes to bail out Wall Street and others, now we have governmental control of the financial businesses.

The best way to stop it is to fire them. We, the people, have the most violent means of change in the palms of our hands... the ballot.

Remember in November.

Funny Martial Arts story, July 2010

This event happened several years ago. I was dealing with a family that had spotty attendance. Polite suggestions and other less pointed methods had failed to increase attendance.

Mind you, these students never complained about price, or wanted makeup classes. They were good at the martial arts, just never took enough classes to string together any real learning.

One often used excuse for missing was homework. I am all for kids getting their homework done. I always did.

At this point, I must say that I stole an idea from a nearby instructor whom I knew and I "borrowed" the same method he used.

The next time the mom apologized for her children missing the last class due to having excessive homework, I retorted"
"Homework is no excuse."

Of course, she looked shocked, and began to say: "well, I think children have got to put homework first..."

I cut her off, "of course, homework comes first. That's why it is not an excuse. The kids KNOW they have homework... every day. That should be the first thing they get done. That's how I did it. I never missed a class. I never missed a homework assignment. I think you would agree that teaching the children to keep their commitments affects both homework and martial arts."

There was no response... beyond a pitiful attempt to say I was trying to urge the kids to not do homework... which of course was completely false. It was soon thereafter that she pulled her kids from the class.

A decision, I found out recently, that she has never lived down with them...

A prediction based on, what exactly?

A casual pastime of Mrs. Usagi and myself is watching people interact. One specific thing we look at is couples. We predict, with frightening regularity, the fate of a couple based on a few factors.

It would take a bit too long to detail the things we look for, but rest assured, neither of us is Dr. Phil.

It was announced today that Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are planning to wed. I'm happy for them.

And I predict before too long we will see the demise of this marriage.

Usagi has gone on record with the prediction 7/15/2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


My favorite professional baseball team - the Atlanta Braves - entered the current All-Star break with one of the best records in baseball.

Not only that, but Braves catcher, Brian McCann, was named All-Star MVP last night.

I hope all the magic lasts, but I am only cautiously optimistic.

Fascinating Ruling

The FCC's indecency policy has been overturned by a federal court as being unconstitutionally vague.

While I am all for people being decent - both in appearance, and in verbage - we do live in a society where the Constitution limits the government's authority. We do have a First Amendment, and I feel the court ruled correctly.

If I want to censor certain images or speech such that I am not exposed to them, or that my family is not exposed to them, then that is my right. However, it is not my right, or the Government's right, to limit what another person says.

Just like it is not my right, or the Government's right, to limit the keeping or bearing of arms.

Oh, and for the record...

It has been over a month since the Tennessee Legislature passed the law allowing HCP holders to carry in establishments serving alcohol, provided they do not drink.

Not one story yet of wild-west style shoot-outs, HCP holders killing innocent women and children, or any of the sort.

Also, no stories on folks getting mugged on the way to their car, either. Funny - I guess the criminals prefer not to get shot.

Gubernatorial Debate

Monday evening, I watched the Tennessee Gubernatorial debate. It featurd the four major candidates in the race - Republicans Ron Ramsey, Zach Wamp, and Bill Haslam; and Democrat Mike McWherter.

I say, if the media wanted to elect Haslam any more, they should have just uninvited the other three candidates and called it the Bill Haslam hour.

I pondered for a moment why the left-leaning local media wouldn't want to push Mr. McWherter more, then it dawned on me:
Despite being the son of the Tennessee Democratic party's sweetheart - Ned McWherter - Mike has no real chance of winning this election. Polls show him losing by wide double-digit margins against any of the three republican candidates.
That being said, Ron Ramsey is a devout conservative. Zach Wamp, despite 16 years in Washington, leans fairly heavy to the conservative side. Haslam is as liberal as one can get away with in TN and still have the (R) beside one's name.
That's why the media favors Haslam, he is really one of them, and will do more to accomplish theur liberal goals than will either of the other republican candidates.

Vote Ron Ramsey.

Tea Party & NAACP

Yesterday, the NAACP decided to declare the TEA party racist. I find a few things fishy about this:

1. The NAACP only ever uses the race card. Never real allegations, never anything they can proove, and never any other arguments.

2. Last time I checked, it is not appropriate to call people with dark skin "colored." That is considered an antiquated and racist term. Yet, the term is in the very NAME of the NAACP??? Why don't they change names?

3. The TEA party, according to the data that's out there, consists of people of all walks of life, in the same demographic proportions as the USA as a whole. The numbers don't lie. So is the NAACP saying that having an equal racial diversity to the entire country is racist?

4. The NAACP is known to attack organizations that threaten the "values" held by the NAACP. Being an organization of known liberal policies, it is no wonder the NAACP does not like the TEA party.

5. Just because #4 is true, does not mean the TEA party is racist. Just like the millions out there who dislike President Obama's policies are not racist, either.

It is possible to have a difference of opinion without any ugly ulterior motive behind it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Right Minded hits one out of the Park!

Right Minded has hit a grand slam. One that is to be printed in the newspaper, the Lebanon Democrat. His article? The Racial History of Gun Control.

Sure, it sounds like a ripoff of my previous article, the Racist Roots of Gun Control - which was a spinoff from a previous article. And RM uses quotes and links from those, as well as this one, too.

However, I personally steered RM to those articles and links several days ago as we sipped coffee at a Starbucks. I'm very glad he did that research, and more, when commenting on Justice Thomas' comments from the McDonald case.

Now for the nuts and bolts. I am not chiding with Right Minded for using these quotes. Instead, I am praising his efforts, as he has exceeded my expectations with this article. Now, if only he'd write on his fishing exploits. I need to go fishing more myself so as to do the same.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Awesome Quote

From President Theodore Roosevelt:

“. . . it is unfortunately true that the great body of our citizens shoot less and less as time goes on. To meet this we should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services, by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving the peace of the world. Fit to hold our own against the strong nations of the earth, our voice for peace will carry to the ends of the earth. Unprepared, and therefore unfit, we must sit dumb and helpless to defend ourselves, protect others, or preserve peace. The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come is to teach our men to shoot.”

Finally, the time has come.

This morning, my brother purchased his first home. This event was not without incident... though none of the incidents happened this morning.

My brother had begun his search over a year ago. After being mislead by his real estate agent time and again on whether offers were actually being placed with the listing agents, he fired his old agent and hired a new one.

Boy was he surprised when the new agent informed him, within a week of placing his first offer with her, that the owners had accepted the offer. How quickly one can purchase a house when one's agent will actually place an offer!

Want to know which agency to avoid? email me at

When closing time came, there were issues with the bank (there always are!). But, those were resolved and today he signed the papers!.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A new goal

I have recently been practicing shooting skills with the Appleseed AQT - a challenging course of fire.

However, I will need something of a goal moving forward. Getting a perfect score on the AQT is one goal.

The next will be to get NRA designations - Small Bore and High Power. I'm shooting for the Distinguished Expert ratings. This will take many accurate targets and some time. I've done some of it already and it seems to be a fun course of fire.

Thanks to my Appleseed training for giving me the physical tools to do the job. Now I'm going to just get out there and go for it.

Sad, but true

A recent poll found that 26% of Americans do not know what country we fought in 1776 to gain our independence.

Link to Poll.

Nothing more to say.

An honor and a privilege

Recently, my sister's fiance and his mother asked me to take them to the range to shoot. The fiance had been shooting before, his mother had not. My sister wanted me to show her soon-to-be mother in law some of the basics of shooting.

It was my honor and privilege to do so.

The fiance and his mom had inherited a very nice Smith & Wesson .45 pistol. I was honored to watch as he put the first rounds ever from that pistol down range. A while later, it was a pleasure to do the same myself.

That day, my son also accompanied us to the range. His safe handling of his Crickett .22 was impeccable, and his accuracy is improving. Although I primarily watched over him, from time to time as I instructed or demonstrated, my sister or my inlaws (yes, they went, too!) would watch after him. Or should I say, he watched after them... reminding people to point their guns in a safe direction and keep fingers off triggers until ready to fire.

Funny moment - when my son was asked to shoot the groin area of a target, he complied with a mischievious look. Of course, the shot went right to the groin area of the target. Dead center. Ouch!

Shooting Update

Since I have made trips to Chattanooga the past two weekends, of course I got some range time at Prentice Cooper. Using the Appleseed AQT, I track progress with a consistent measuring stick.

Most recently, I posted a personal all-time high score on the AQT - 245. This was done with my Ruger 10/22 and tech sights. I was using a loop sling in all four stages for those who care. My previous high had been 243, shot with a Marlin 60 and a scope (and sling). Both those scores came with higher quality ammo - CCI mini-mags.

This past weekend, I shot a 238 with the Ruger. While not a personal high score, I must point out that at the beginning of the third stage, the extractor, spring, and plunger came out of the bolt. This had the effect of causing "stovepipe" jams on many of the following shots. I counted 14 jams on 27 shots. Still, I completed the AQT within time limits and with a nice score... despite having to almost constantly clear the malfunctions.

I have since ordered replacement parts for the 10/22, as I had just tuned the rifle to the point where I liked the results it could produce. It is a heavier rifle with a lighter trigger pull than either Marlin in our house - two features I shoot better with.

God & Guns

Two of the things I hold most dear are about to be reunited in Louisianna.

Governor Jindal just signed into law a bill allowing Concealed-Carry Permit Holders in Louisanna to carry in churches and other places of worship.

Of course, the liberals are going out of their minds, thinking there will be wild west moments in churches all over that state.

Here in Tennessee we have had church-carry since the HCP was standardized for the entire state back in the mid 1990's. A couple of times, it has come in handy. Once or twice, there have been instances of church shootings (by non HCP holders) where no HCP holders were present, and carnage was increased.

Most HCP holders I know carry in church. I know of several that carry in my church. It makes me feel safer knowing that.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On car recalls

This morning on the radio, I heard an interesting bit on the news regarding recalls. Specifically, they were speaking of recalls, as dealt with via car rental companies. I have a little knowledge on this topic, so I thought I'd share.

The news article stated rental car companies have no standardized way to handle vehicles with recalls. This is true. However, they do have checks and balances.

Now, this knowledge has not been used for the better part of 10 years, so any inaccuracy or error is strictly my fault.

At Enterprise, we were taught that there were three situations in which Enterprise had the potential for unlimited liability:

1. Negligent maintenance
Faling to perform maintenance that was known to be needed could open up the liability exposure for the car-rental company. Enterprise and the other major companies get notice in advance of the public on recall situations. I knew of the problem with Ford Explorer tires about four months prior to that issue becoming nationwide news. We had long since replaced all Explorer tires.

2. Negligent entrustment
Renting a car to a person who was inelligible from a legal standpoint, or to someone who was intoxicated, acting strangely, or who posed a known threat - these things were liability nightmares. We were trained to look for major red flags that might preclude an individual from renting a car.

3. Employee loss
Any time a car rental employee is involved in a collision, you can bet the ambulance-chasing attorneys try to sue the car rental company. If the employee is at fault, you can count on the courts to find against them.


So while rental car companies may not have "standard" proceedures for handling recalls, there is a good chance they are handled in short order the vast majority of the time. Naturally, it is still possible for something to slip through the cracks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More on the governor's race

A couple of notes on the governor's race here in TN:

1. The Tea Party has endorsed Ron Ramsey

2. I recently asked someone close to me who he preferred in the election. He said Haslam. Why? Two reasons:
First - He felt Haslam was the only one with a chance to win.
(Yes, this individual has not been paying attention to national political swings this year)
Second - He felt he stood a good chance to get a job in Haslam's cabinet.

Talk about two really weak reasons. I reminded him that Haslam is a gun grabber (this individual is a big NRA fan), for higher taxes, and has some other skeletons. Didn't matter. This individual claims to be a republican, but lacks in conservatism.

3. Zach Wamp has a really cool commercial out. It features several famous Tennesseans - John Rich (Big & Rich - Country music band), Dave Ramsey (noted financial adviser), and Michael W. Smith (Christian musician).
If Ramsey does not get the nod, I hope Wamp does.

The Greatest Danger

The greatest danger to liberty is not liberals or other anti-Americans who would outright take away your freedoms. The greatest threat to liberty is the ‘moderates’ or others willing to compromise a little here or there.

You see, everyone can recognize an outright threat. And really, so few Americans are that way that they will not have a definite majority.

The problem is the representative that is willing to compromise. It is this compromise that harbors the danger. Like the saying says, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

These compromisers will often vote away a freedom in the following ways:
- A limitation “seems reasonable.”
- For giving-in here, we get a “better benefit” there.
- It is “for the children.”
- It is “for safety.”

America is unlikely to fall to an outside invader. We are much more likely to crumble from within. And it is compromisers that will cause the crumbling.

More on NRA endorsements

Many in conservative circles are abuzz this morning as the rumor is that the NRA will endorse Harry Reid for Senate in Nevada.

How can this be, you ask?

Reid strategically worked with the NRA to tab some earmark money for the building of a gun range in Nevada. Smart move on his part. And the fact is that Reid has a favorable rating with the NRA because he has voted in favor of gun rights in the past.

Problem is, Reid cannot be counted on to vote in favor of the rights of Americans. This blog post details some of Reid's votes against gun rights.

I detailed this problem with the NRA in a previous article. Again, the ugly truth rears its head.

I am going to write a separate blog entry all about why it is important to look at all the votes of someone, not just their "overall record." Suffice it to say that any single vote against freedom is enough for me to want to vote someone out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A suggestion

And this suggestion will probably earn me more hate mail, but that's OK.

I generally have a rule that I don't poke my head into other people's business. I'm going to keep that in mind as I write this. At the same time, I will be making an observation about something I've witnessed.

A person I know introduced me to the concept of "Attachment Parenting." Because of what I'm about to write, I will have to let my readers google that term.

I've now seen multiple examples of "attachment parenting," and feel fully prepared to give my $0.02.

I suggest my readers practice this methodology if they want to be the people that get escorted out of movies, doctor's offices, and other places because they refuse to take an active, effective role in shaping their childrens' behavior.

People on the attachment parenting websites and blogs get really up in arms if you call their children "mama's boy" or the like... generally because such a name fits.

People who subscribe to the method often subscribe to other odd practices... often claiming health or safety benefits. More often than not, I fail to see any true benefit, and usually, there is great evidence to the contrary. That evidence is frequently ignored, rationalized incoherrently, or just "wished away." (Folks rely on hoping certain things won't happen).

Folks, I will be the firt to admit I cannot possibly be the world's best dad. However, my children listen and obey those in authority, and they get along well with other people - children and adults. Both of them are healthy and growing and learning. Anything else is certainly icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fear is the path to the Dark Side...

Several times in the last few weeks, I've butted heads with some folks I know over differences of opinion. This of course, is nothing new. But I was reflecting this morning on it and I realized there was a common pattern to each of these differences.

Many people live their lives in fear. They may fear one or two things, or many. Generally, when people fear something, it is because they don't know much about it. In these instances, that was true in every case.

Understand, fear is a perfectly normal emotion. It is necessary for survival. However, just like with anything else, to allow oneself to make all decisions based on fear is a mistake.

A wise 'man' once said that fear leads to anger... anger leads to hate... and hate leads to suffering. Wow, what a statement. It is so very true. Every person I've dealt with recently that lives their life through fear also happen to be very angry about some things... even to the point of bitterness (hate) in some instances. Each of these people suffers because of it.

I do not live my life in fear. Not because I carry a gun (though that certainly does help!), but because of personal choice. Most people fear things because they do not understand them. I try to stay well-informed of potential threats, and take reasonable precautions.

Mrs. Usagi wisely points out that one should deal with the things they can have an affect on, and not worry about the things one cannot change.

This is all I have to say.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

As I've said before, I don't find enough quotes I like enough to make this a regular subject for my blog. Once in a while, however, I come across a gem.

"In interpreting this language (referring to the 14th Amendment), it is important to recall that constitutional provisions are 'written to be understood by the voters'."
- Justice Thomas, SCOTUS; case of McDonald v. Chicago, p. 75

This is an excellent reminder to us all. Laws aren't supposed to be written to "be interpreted." The constitution was explicitly written to be understood by the farmer, and the lawyer, and even the politician.