Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Light blogging of late...

Partly because the bloggable events have been so... infuriating... that I have largely refrained.

Partly because I have been spending my not-at-work time re-reading a couple of books, getting ready for MAG-40 starting tomorrow.

Firearms Academy of Seattle is about an hour and a half from here, for a one day class I'll drive there and back, but for a 4 day class, well, I've got a room reserved. It has wi-fi, of course, but I don't know that I'll have time or energy to do much more than maybe transcribe my notes.

We'll see.

Oddly, I could only find a couple of reviews of the course online. I expect I'll change that...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

#JeSuisCharlesMartel, bis

It needs to be said that this is not, in fact, Edith Piaf singing, but Mireille Mathieu.

A stirring rendition, nonetheless.

I don't really know what else to say about the attack in Nice earlier today.

EDIT: Except that I look forward to posting Je Regrette Rien after Madame President le Pen has Tehran leveled...

Monday, July 4, 2016

"What the Declaration of Independence Really Claimed"

What the Declaration of Independence Really Claimed - The Washington Post, by Randy Barnett, at The Volokh Conspiracy. (Published a year ago.)

Today, while all Americans have heard of the Declaration of Independence, all too few have read more than its second sentence. Yet the Declaration shows the natural rights foundation of the American Revolution and provides important information about what the founders believed makes a constitution or government legitimate. It also raises the question of how these fundamental rights are reconciled with the idea of “the consent of the governed,” another idea for which the Declaration is famous.

When reading the Declaration, it is worth keeping in mind two very important facts. The Declaration constituted high treason against the Crown. Every person who signed it would be executed as traitors should they be caught by the British. Second, the Declaration was considered to be a legal document by which the revolutionaries justified their actions and explained why they were not truly traitors. It represented, as it were, a literal indictment of the Crown and Parliament, in the very same way that criminals are now publicly indicted for their alleged crimes by grand juries representing “the People.”

But to justify a revolution, it was not thought to be enough that officials of the government of England, the Parliament, or even the King himself had violated the rights of the people. No government is perfect; all governments violate rights. This was well known.

So the Americans had to allege more than mere violations of rights. They had to allege nothing short of a criminal conspiracy to violate their rights systematically. Hence the Declaration’s famous reference to “a long train of abuses and usurpations” and the list that followed. In some cases, these specific complaints account for provisions eventually included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Finally, I'm going to re-run this image from last year, because AMERICA!
George WARSHINGTON by SharpWriter, used with permission as posted at the image's URL.
He has stuff on sale, links there, too.

"IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776."

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Earworm, Independence Day Edition

Yes, I run this one every year.

So sue me.

When we were first dating, Mrs. Drang asked me what my favorite musical was, and I said 1776. As she stared at me, all agog, I allowed as how Man of La Mancha was pretty good, too.

Its a wonder she went out with me again.

1776 is good theater, and the movie is good entertainment, even if they did a song ( rumor says to avoid landing on Nixon's enemy list,) but it's not very good history. Aside from the fact that there were no song and dance numbers, John Adams and John Dickinson never came to blows on the floor. The debates depicted actually took place, but mostly in pamphlets and Letters of Correspondence. They cut many Founding Fathers from the script simply because a play cannot afford to have a Cast of Thousands! So Bill "KITT" Daniels as John Adams wound up speaking for cousin Sam.


If you want history watch the Paul Giamatti mini-series John Adams, and then have your barbeque and set off your fireworks two days before the official holiday.

As a mythopoeic retelling of the founding of America, 1776 can't be beat.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Earworm, 07/02

Made a comment elsewhere and suddenly, I had a song stuck in my head.

But Warren Zevon Earworm is a pretty good way to start the day, even if I do have to work on a Saturday.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stick it! A product review

Once you start shooting regularly -- or irregularly, as the case may be -- you will, as I have mentioned before, want to acquire more magazines, since the magazine seems to be the most common point of failure in a semi-automatic pistol.

And once you start shooting regularly and using all your magazines, you will find that, sure enough, some fail and you need to ditch them (or repair them, if possible) but if they all look alike...

So you need to be able to identify which magazine it was that had the damaged feed lips, or whatever.

There are many options. On my 1911 magazines, I used paint pen:
"Drang G.I. 7rd. #4"
Paint pen wears off, but is easy enough to re-apply.

But if you have my penmanship, it looks like crap. If it matters to you...

Anyway, I was looking for a better way to manage my ammo cans, and went looking to see if there was a better looking option than a stencil and a can of spray paint. (Yes, Avery labels and a printer are usable, but ink jet ink runs in the rain. I spent 20 years in the Army. It always rains when I train...)

And I found these folks: STICKIT2THEMAX - Stickers, Banners, T-Shirts and more.

SI2TM (hope they don't mind my abbreviating their name) does ammo can stickers, in a variety of calibers and colors:

Keep reading for some info on the ammo cans!

Turns out that SI2TM also does magazine base plate stickers for several different firearms; they have both "Number and Caliber" stickers in a decent section of text  colors, and what might as well be called "morale stickers." The number stickers come in sets of 1-6 and 7-12, but for the true magazine hoarder it would be easy enough to have, say 1-12 with white on black, and 1-12 with yellow on black, etc.

(For the Sig 250/320, subcompact magazines are a different order item than the compact and full magazines)

(For some foolish reason I neglected to get a picture of the full sheet until I was over halfway through.)

The stickers are printed on a heavy duty vinyl, and seem to have a pretty good quality adhesive, although when I attached on sticker askew, I was able to peel it off and re-apply it.  Obviously, I haven't tried these out with a full destructive testing regime, and I doubt I will, but they seem to be a great option for keeping track of range/training ammo versus defensive/match ammo, both in a magazine and in the can.

I had no idea how we have been conditioned by e-commerce.  I ordered these on Tuesday. Got the order confirmation and receipt in email, then... nothing. No tracking number. What's wrong with these people?!

My order arrived on Saturday. From the east coast. Never mind...

By the way, in the photo above with the can sticker on the cans, the two cans on the right hand side of the photo are old GI 7.62mm cans. The two flat OD Green cans on the left were acquired at... Costco.

$20 for a set of one .50 caliber can and one .30 caliber can.Going back for more, I hope they're still in stock...

Earworm, #Brexit Edition

SoI haven't posted here about the #Brexit vote, because I had little to say without posting uberposts, and no time to write them.

Let's just say I'm glad to see our British cousins reaching the same conclusion we did 240 years ago...

So last week Britain was all:

And now the Eu is all

And the majority of British voters are all

Hopefully the EU won't go all "If you don't come back I'll do something drastic!"

Some feel that as an American it's none of my business. I figure they made it my business when they all lined up to coronate Obama as the Second Coming.