Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Quote of the Day

New one on me:
Newsheimers, the media affliction by which you just can’t recall what you previously reported.  Especially when it concerns Democrats.
Heh™

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Right-Wing Media

I just got introduced to IntellectualFroglegs.com by a video over at American Digest.  The video is on YouTube - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goolag - er, Google:


Watch that, if for no other reason than to appreciate the content creator's real mastery of the multimedia format.

If you had told me six years ago that the American Left would be self-destructing as rapidly and violently as they appear to be today, I'd have had you committed.  But bear in mind, their "long march through the institutions" has secured their (ever more tenuous) grasp on the reins of power.  They own academia, the media, and the entertainment industry almost completely, and that's still a lot of power, power they won't surrender easily.

The .25ACP and Defending Your Life

The third most popular piece on TSM is a reprint of an old Usenet post, written by a Florida pawnbroker who went by the handle Flimflam.  It's the story of how he was attacked in his store one day and had to defend himself from a sword-wielding nutcase.  He wasn't wearing his fully-loaded Glock, the backup .38 in his office was disassembled for cleaning, but while standing with a blade jammed through his abdomen he finally remembered the tiny Beretta .25 in his back pocket and it saved his life.

Well, yesterday someone emailed me a similar story of how a .25 saved another life:
While out walking along the edge of a pond just outside my house in The Villages with my soon to be ex-husband, discussing property settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12-ft. Alligator which suddenly emerged from the murky water and began charging us with its large jaws wide open. She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive.

If I had not had my little Beretta .25 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today! Just one shot to my estranged husband's knee cap was all it took. The 'gator got him easily, and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. It's one of the best pistols in my collection, plus the amount I saved in lawyer's fees was really incredible. His life insurance was a big bonus.
The .25ACP. It ain't much, but it beats harsh language!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Another Update from the Gun Retail Front Lines

Tam posted recently on what she believes is at least partially the cause of the current glut on the firearms market:
(W)hile most firearms companies are privately held and therefore inscrutable on matters fiscal, the goings-on at a few are public knowledge because they are publicly traded.

The news from American Outdoor Brands Corporation (neé Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation) tells a tale that is probably all too common in the industry right now: Shelves groaning under unsold inventory that was churned out in expectation of the mother of all gun panics following a Hillary Clinton victory.
I sent this link to my favorite local Merchant O'Death, and he recently replied:
As I mentioned in an earlier email, and, as others have pointed out elsewhere, it is definitely a buyer's market in the firearms industry right now. The big name companies continue to offer almost absurd "deals" in the form of free gear, mail in rebates and the like. One company was offering a free pair of Oakley sunglasses with he purchase of one of their AR platform rifles. I do believe that particular deal has ended but several other companies have continued deals that were only supposed to last a month or two. Ruger is currently engaged in a program for gun store employees. Sell a certain number of new Ruger firearms, send in proof to Ruger that you have done so and, upon verification that no skullduggery is afoot, they will send the gun store employee a brand spankin' new Ruger firearm of the said gun store employee's choice (from a list of firearms posted by the company of course). . There are some pretty cool choices on the list. Now to the point: the program was supposed to last for a couple of months. It has been extended for a couple more. I suppose that is one way to move product out of the warehouse.

Our distributors call us Monday through Friday with "ganga deals" on firearms we don't need either because we have them on the shelves (and in back stock) or because we have no room for them. The only firearms we have a hard time acquiring are a handful of things that were announced at SHOT earlier in the year. The CZ P-10C is much sought after though availability is getting better. Colt announced the return of the Cobra revolver at SHOT this year. I have almost a double handful of customers with money down on one. I have yet to see one. The Kimber K6S, even though it has been out for over a year is still a scarce beastie on our shelves despite the fact that we are a "Master Dealer". With rare exception ammunition is not hard to come by at all (those rare exceptions leaning toward the "semi-obsolete" cartridges like 30-40 Krag and 348 Winchester etc.) We turn down 22 rimfire ammo every day.

We are still turning customers away with firearms for sale. We are still stacked to the gunwales with black rifles, Glocks, XDs, M&Ps, Sigs, 1911s, pocket pistols and small frame revolvers. We also have a glut of heavy barrel target/benchrest rifles of varying caliber. Had to turn a guy away today with a nice Sako single-shot, heavy barrel bolt gun in 222 Rem. He couldn't understand why we didn't want to buy it even after we showed him the eight other target guns we had that had been there for longer than we wanted them to be.

The old and collectable are still flying of the shelves. Had a non-military/police Sig P-210 come into our possession from an old customer that is getting out of the firearms game due to poor health. That gun never made it to the shelf. Customer saw it as we were buying it and said that he didn't care what the price was he wanted it. Same thing with a couple of semi-scarce Colt 1911A1 models. Same story with some older S&W revolvers.

Things are selling, just not things that are collecting dust on manufacturers'/distributors' shelves.
So, interesting things are happening in the used market, but the market for all that stuff sitting in manufacturer's and distributor's warehouses? Not so much.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Quote of the Day - Gunnie Edition

Paraphrased because I can't find the actual quote at the moment, but seen elsewhere:
Handguns put holes in bodies.

Rifles put holes through bodies.

Shotguns, at the proper range and with the proper load, remove significant portions of bodies and splatter those portions all over the ground.
I'm advised that quote is from Clint Smith, President and Director of Thunder Ranch. And I think that's a pretty fair assessment.

I Wonder What the Earworm from This Would Be?

Seen at the Book of Face, had to share:

Frozen 2:  Lethal Ice

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Yup, It's Official

Photobucket sucks.  I've got to find another photo hosting service.  I'm sure as hell not paying them $40/month (Or $400/yr.) just so I can link photos here.  I don't need 500GB of storage (I'm currently using 2.7G of the 24G I'm paying something like $24/yr for.

This is like when HaloScan/Echo went pay-for-play on their "free" blog commenting service back in 2010.  I lost the better part of 40,000 comments dating back to just after this blog got started.  Through the herculean efforts of reader John Hardin, he managed to recover and host the comments to a large number of older posts, but I'm not going through anything like that again for the literally thousands of photos I've posted over the last dozen years or so.  Screw that.

Breda Fallon has said that blogging is dead.  I think she's right, and in large part because supporting industry business models simply don't work anymore.  It's just not worth dealing with bullshit like this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Houston!

Looks like, barring unforeseen events, I'll be in northwest Houston, Texas the week of August 14-19 with my evenings mostly free.  Anybody want to get together?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Those Were the Days....

I posted this last year and the year before. Here it is updated.


On this day at 02:56 UTC 48 years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to leave one of these on the surface of another astronomical body. Three years and five months later, Eugene Cernan became the last man to do so, so far.

The last Space Shuttle touched down for the last time six years and one day ago.

Elon Musk of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX fame has said that the impetus behind the development of SpaceX came when his son asked him, "is it really true that they used to fly to the moon when you were a boy?"

Now there are two-dozen or more private space ventures around the world. There is a plan to capture and retrieve an asteroid for commercial purposes. Two companies want to mine the moon. One plans on landing a probe by the end of the year.

If we can just hold it together for a couple more decades, humanity might get off this rock, and we might do it in my lifetime.

But it's looking less and less likely to me.

As someone posted on Facebook, "They promised me that by now we would have colonies on the moon. What did we get instead?"

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We got an electorate that put Barack Obama in the Oval Office - twice - and then gave us a choice between Felonia von Pantsuit and The Big Cheeto.

I hate to say it, but the nation peaked in 1969, Viet Nam and all.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I LOL'd. No, Seriously.


Interesting Data from the Trenches

While Form 4473 Background Checks are still at all-time highs, things seem to be shifting for firearms retailers and wholesalers out there. Dennis Badurina of Dragon Leatherworks owns a brick-and-mortar gun shop and reports on Facebook:
I've gotten more calls in the past two weeks by folks asking if I buy guns.

When they tell me what they are selling, and I give them a ballpark of what its worth to me, they start bitching about how much they paid, and my offer is an insult, blahblahblah...

Anyone tries to tell me that the gun industry isn't in freefall, they'll be told to go away. I don't give a rats ass about how many NICS checks are run in a given month, or gun show attendance, or other such meaningless bullshit.

Firearms industry is slowing exponentially, both manufacturers and distributors are dumping their inventory through sites like CDNN, Buds, Grab-a-Gun, etc., and folks can buy a brand-new gun for 30% less than they did last year on those same websites, and even last year those prices were low.

--

I had a customer come in and ask me to price out Wolf steel case ammo. I actually logged in to my dealer portal, he watched me put the stuff in the cart from my distributor, and saw what the ammo would cost as if I were buying it. I was going to simply have him pay me $10 over invoice, and he would WITNESS the fucking invoice being created.

He logged into SG Ammo, and the EXACT SAME FUCKING AMMO in the EXACT SAME FUCKING QUANTITY was $70 cheaper than what the distributor sells to the little mom-and-pop. He saw it with his own eyes.

The distributors are dumping inventory so as to not be left holding the bag on the long-term purchase agreements they have with the manufacturers. They entered those agreements because everyone was certain that Clinton was going to go skipping down Pennsylvania Ave. with 99% of the vote.

Now the distributors are sweating bullets (pun intended) because they bet on the wrong horse.
I sent that info to my local favorite Merchant O'Death and asked him if he was seeing similar things. His response:
That FFL is spot on.

We are buying more firearms right now (the "down season") than we have in the previous eight months. Usually the shop is damned near a morgue come summer time. We are turning people down more often than not when they bring stuff in for sale simply because we can't take another one of what they are trying to sell.
ARs are pretty much dead as are most of the other tacti-cool types of rifles

Several manufacturers have extended promos that were only supposed to last a couple months at the most by a further couple of months. S&W has a $75 dollar mail in rebate on M&P Shield pistols that has been going on since this spring and has been continued until September.

The FFL is also right about the election outcome. I have heard more than one person selling stuff to us remark that they don't need said firearms "cuz Hillary didn't win". Apparently the family vacation to the Free People's Democratic Republic of California is more important than hanging on to the firearms they already own.

Part of the problem with people bitching about low offers from dealers (at least in our experience) is that they are spending way too much time on the internet. When we make the offer, the response is often: " well, on the Internet it is going for [insert random amount of money here]). The other part of that is that they whine and snivel when we tell them we just can't but what they have because we are over stocked as it is. They whine some more and come up with some hard luck story about why they have to sell. We tell them again that we just can't do them any good. Then the same question is asked almost verbatim, almost every time: " can you offer me anything?".

That being said, we are selling quite a bit more than usual but it is largely used stuff. Anything remotely considered "collectible" disappears from the racks in short order. I am still amazed by the number of people coming in looking for Mosin Nagant 91/30s.

Nope. Nobody expected the election to go the way that it did.
Over at AR15.com the recommendation is "Stock up on ammo while it's cheap."

YMMV.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Automotif

Went to Tucson's version of Cars & Coffee this morning.  Here's some of what I saw.  First up, the unique:

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The rare:

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And the damned near unobtanium:

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And a personal "grail" car for me:

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I really have to try to get to the next one by 7AM.  By 9AM a lot of the cars had already left because the temperature was pushing 100°F. Good show anyway, though. I figure there were at least 125 cars there. Followed a C7 Vette into the parking lot with the license plate "HER401K". That was pretty amusing. Didn't see it long 'Vette Row though:

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Monday, June 26, 2017

A Tale of Two Cities

So, Seattle's minimum wage is now $13/hr.  What effect has that had?

According to one story, nothing bad:
The city of Seattle is in the process of gradually phasing in a $15-per-hour minimum wage: It has now reached $13 for workers at large companies and will move up to $15 in 2021 for all workers. As the wage rises, the city is providing a lot of data on the effects of the policy, and that data is continually proving helpful to activists as they work to raise the wage in other cities, states, and nationally (and embarrassing to the economists who sounded alarm bells about how damaging a living wage would be for the city).

One common critique of higher minimum wages is that they also raise the cost of living. But last year, an initial study from the University of Washington found that retailers, despite having to pay their workers more, weren’t raising prices. Another is that higher pay will lead to fewer shifts and fewer jobs. And while those same UW researchers are analyzing the data, other researchers at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) used an innovative model to prove that the city’s increased minimum wage has had no negative effect on job availability.
According to another, nazzo fast, Guido:
In January 2016, Seattle’s minimum wage jumped from $11 an hour to $13 for large employers, the second big increase in less than a year. New research released Monday by a team of economists at the University of Washington suggests the wage hike may have come at a significant cost: The increase led to steep declines in employment for low-wage workers, and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs. Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages — on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage, a small but significant decline.
$125/month is $1,500/year or about a 6% drop for a full-time minimum wage worker at $11/hr. Not to mention that "steep decline in employment for low-wage workers."

Which story do you believe? The one sourced out of a UC Berkeley report, or the one sourced out of a University of Washington report?

And how many jobs were lost due to closed businesses related to the minimum wage increase?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Your Moment of Zen - Seagoing Edition

Check out the work of photographer Ray Collins. For images like this, I'll forgive him the top-knot:

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Quote of the Day - Jay Hafemeister Edition

Responding on Facebook to this Redstate story about Seattle's firearm and ammunition tax neither improving revenue nor reducing gun violence in that city:
Gun Control isn't supposed to reduce crime. It's only supposed to reduce gun owners.
See also this.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

And Now for Something Completely Different ... GUNSTUFF

I've been collecting pieces for this for several months now. I bought the Encore frame back in 2008 right after The LightBringer™ was first elected to office, and I put a .260 Remington pistol barrel on it and took it to Boomershoot 2009. But I've been wanting an Ultra-Violent Rodentblaster for quite some time now, so when I stumbled across a sale on 26" .204 Ruger barrels for the Encore I snapped one up. A 26" barrel doesn't play well with a pistol grip, however, so I needed a rifle stock. And, of course, I needed glass, since this is a 300+ yard rifle.

I ordered a fixed 12x 42mm SWFA Super Sniper scope with the Mil-Quad reticle, a set of 30mm Burris Zee rings, a bubble level and Butler Creek flip-up caps, then I went hunting for a stock maker. I found Tony Gettel, and had him make me this custom thumbhole set to my dimensions out of fiddleback maple. The stock set arrived yesterday.

Not bad, huh?

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Now to build some ammo and get out to the range.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, June 09, 2017

Quote of the Day - Daniel Greenfield Edition

Daniel Greenfield, Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, aka "Sultan Knish" has a piece up on Frontpage Mag entitled The Civil War is Here.  QotD:
We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.

But we cannot have both.

Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.

That is what we have now.

The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.

The question is what comes next.
Yes it is.

RTWT.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Quote of the Day - Be Careful What You Wish For Edition

Third QotD from Hillary Versus America: Knowledge Is Power. Seriously, read the whole thing:
All of this points to a basic, obvious truth of contemporary American politics: the Republican coalition is going to lose. Republicans are clumsy with power; they can’t seem to hold it for long, or ever use it to achieve any vision that fundamentally opposes the Democrats’. Republicans have been fatally outmaneuvered, flanked, and divided. The key institutions, the high ground, belong to the Democrats. Therefore, the Republican base is not going to get what it wants. The Democrats may offer a few expedient compromises along the way, but the state is well and truly caught up in the engine of “progress.” The total transformation of American social and civic life to align with the Democratic vision of the common good is a foregone conclusion.

And this basic truth, in turn, points to another. It’s this second truth that has become my singular political concern in the last several years. And this truth is one that the left has studiously ignored, because if they admit it, they will have to let go of their beloved vision of the common good. The truth is this: the right is not going to accept the left’s victory. The left has treated politics like a game, like a matter of points and position, like a matter of scoring goals and blocking returns. It isn’t a game. There are neither rules nor referees. At its base, the Republican coalition is furious, outraged, boiling. They will not quit the field gracefully. We are not heading into the fourth quarter. We are heading into an explosion. We are heading into civil war.

Everyone who is paying attention to politics knows this, by the way. It’s just something we don’t speak of. But if we want to survive, this silence has to stop. Each side has reasons for staying quiet, but it’s the left’s reasons that matter most. The left remains quiet about the civil war we all know is coming … because they think they are going to win it.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Quote of the Day - America's Ruling Class Edition

Second QotD from Hillary Versus America: Knowledge Is Power, and it echoes Angelo Codevilla's "Ruling Class" thesis:
The reason the Democratic coalition’s Final Solution is nigh is that it was superbly incisive strategy on their part to capture the knowledge-management institutions of mass media and higher education. There can be no serious argument over whether they have captured these institutions, which is why I have only glossed over the evidence here. Everyone knows these institutions belong to the left. Everyone has known it for a long time. But there are implications of this capture that are not as clear to everyone.

First, the left’s capture of higher education, combined with our cultural tilt toward credentialism, means that the only people qualified to hold upper-level positions in the civil service bureaucracy are those who have spent thousands of hours earning those credentials — in institutions of higher education that already belong to the left. As a result, especially considering the Ivy League is the unofficial headquarters of the Democratic coalition, the upper reaches of power in American government are much easier to access for those who have deep roots within the Democratic coalition’s establishment. It was no accident that the 2004 presidential election was between two of Yale’s C-students, both of them members of its most elite fraternity.

Second, the left’s capture of mass media means that every issue, every controversy, and every candidate will be presented in a way that favors the Democratic coalition’s agenda. Even though it is well known in the Republican coalition that the media are compromised, the rhetorical power of “framing” issues remains formidable in the extreme. Even if every Republican ignored the media’s framing, the centrists and undecideds that finally decide every issue can still fall for it, and they do. By holding the high ground of these key institutions, the left has managed to advance its agenda, with a few minor setbacks, virtually without opposition, for more than a century.

One further aspect of the left’s domination of key institutions must be understood before moving on. That is: the Republican party is part of the Democratic coalition. The Republican base, the mass that forms the heart of the Republican coalition, when it is paying attention, has nothing but contempt for the Republican party leadership. It has been paying attention more and more often lately.

The leadership of the Republican party went to Andover and Yale, just like the leadership of the Democratic party. Thus, top Republicans and Democrats share the same general worldview, the same manners, the same values. There are differences, but, from the perspective of the Republican base at least, these are slight. For example, on foreign policy, both the Republican leadership and the Democratic leadership are interventionist and globalist. The difference is that the Republican party tends to favor a global community with the United States of America as its undisputed leader. The Democratic party favors a global community ruled by transnational corporations, non-governmental organizations, and bodies like the United Nations. It’s a difference of emphasis, not essence. And the Republican base knows it.
Drop by tomorrow for the next excerpt, or just go read the whole thing. Strongly recommended.