Friday, January 11, 2019

"Sick of the NRA? Read this."

Breach/Bang/Clear: Sick of the NRA? Read this. | Duane Liptak with a reality check
...people bash the NRA a lot without understanding the reality of how the silly reindeer games get played on the hill. Try to at least understand the value that the organization provides because it is big and very real, and critically important. I want a live tank in my front yard and mail order Solothurn S-18/1000’s from Bannerman’s. But the path to get there isn’t exactly a clear one in the current legislative environment. Without the strength of the NRA helping to pack the courts, shape elections the best we can, fight off bad legislation wherever possible and pave the way to improve rights through the judiciary (we’ve confirmed 85 federal judges in addition to the 2 Supremes with 130 more to go), I fear we won’t have a path to it at all. That’s why I’m a member, and helping to make the organization as right as we can get it is why I got involved.

I get the frustration. I’m mad that we’re even in this situation. How could we, a republic, born from free men taking up arms against oppression, even be considering some of this nonsense? It baffles me. And, I used to be super frustrated with the NRA, also. Until…I was forced into being involved in politics and seeing how this whole mess works. Now I know what I have to do, and I hope everyone out there who cares about gun rights can get on board, too.

So, if you want to support GOA or FPC or FPC, or JPFO…that’s fantastic. Join your state organization, also. Be active locally. Let your elected representatives know how you feel on these issues regularly. But…be a member of the NRA, and be active. Vote. Let the board and the staff know where you stand on issues. Help to be a part of the solution. If we, as gun owners, can’t stick together and take advantage of the strengths of all of our organizations where they can do the most good, we will lose this fight. I’m not willing to lose.
 This is the last three paragraphs. Go read the whole thing.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Review Which Should Not Be Necessary

I hear Ted Cruz has introduced a bill to impose term limits on congresscritters.

Must be the beard.

Meanwhile, the ignorance on display daily among voters (or non-voters, if they make that choice) is bad enough, but the media should know better, and anyone in government, whether hired, appointed, or elected...!


So Nancy Pelosi claims that according to the Constitution, she is the equal of the President.

Meanwhile, I keep being told it's the President's fault that a Democratic senator filibustered the budget bill the House sent there, or that the house has since failed to send a clean bill to the Senate, so that body can send it to the President...

While we're at it...

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

{Note: Depending on your browser setting, you may have to click on the link - the part that starts with "pic.twitter" -- or the date in the post to see the Tweet. Sorry about that.}

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Columbia County, OR, Sheriff; a Review of sorts

For those Not From Around Here, the state of Oregon is Shall Issue for concealed handgun licenses for residents, and says that counties "may issue licenses to residents of adjacent states", i.e., California, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington.

Most counties seem to take the position that this means "residents of states adjacent to them", which means that many counties that are inclined to be so generous, only do so for folks directly across the state line; this also means most counties say "there are no states adjacent to us, so we won't do it." For years Clatsop county, at the mouth of the Columbia River, was considered to be the best bet for a non-resident permit, to the point that they were inundated beyond their ability to handle the load (they said), and started restricting issue to residents of Washington counties on the Olympic peninsula; that is, counties that are adjacent (or close to) Clatsop County. (This is a shame, as Clatsop County is a convenient destination for a weekend getaway; Seaside is a rather typical tourist stop which happens to be on a beach that Lewis and Clark frolicked on, but Astoria has some legit attractions, like the Columbia River Maritime Museum.)

Several years ago, the Sheriff of Grant County, which is entirely surrounded by other Oregon counties, and which I am told is the poorest county in Oregon, struck upon a radical plan to raise funds for his department: He would take his concealed handgun licensing show on the road, visiting gun shows in adjacent states.

I believe he did one or two shows in California first, then did one in Washington, and by the third or fourth fun show he had raised enough money to purchase a portable digital fingerprinting system.

Other Sheriff's got into the act; I heard a claim (unsubstantiated) that the efforts were coordinated among the Sheriffs.

So last summer I got a calendar reminder that our OR permits would expire in 6 months. Our latest permits were issued by Columbia County, just west of Portland, east of Clatsop County, and across the Columbia River from Brigid's hometown. I reset the reminder to three months out...

While I had "use or lose" leave time, alas, various things prevented us making plans before the permits expired, so we wound up going one week late.

Here's the deal: Columbia County only issues non-resident permits to residents of Washington. You need your WA CPL. If you go during the week you make an appointment, online, for a half hour block. $60.00.
They process permits on some Saturdays, cash only, on a walk-in basis.

So I made our appointments for 2:00 and 2:30, we got a room in Seaside at the time share for a couple of days, drove over -- in the pouring rain -- showed up at 13:50...
...and we were both done including photographs by 14:00.

Now, a new permit requires fingerprinting, so I'm sure those appointments take longer, but I still regard that as pretty good.

Also, part of the reason we got delayed until after our OR permits expired was that Mrs. Drang had to renew her WA CPL first, and on our way there she realized she had left it sitting on the desk.

Lanie (I think I'm spelling her name correctly) said "no problem" and gave us an email address to send a scan of her CPL to, and said they would process it normally.

So, if you're from Washington State and want to get (or renew) an Oregon carry permit, we endorse the Concealed Handgun Licensing services of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

This guy should get a Nobel Prize

And/or a Medal of Freedom.


I love his line about "over-engineering revenge."

NASA. Get it? Space?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Oh, dear

Warning: Science and math, presented with a rather heavy Ukrainian accent. Mind you, she does a good job of making some pretty esoteric science understandable to the layperson, but some might be intimidated by the very concepts. (One might be tempted to turn on closed captioning, due to her accent. It might help, but I think they used a speech-to-text app, and it gets thrown off by homophones which aren't valid, due to... her accent.)

So that's an hour and a half of in-depth discussion of solar activity, including helioseismicity, sun spots, the corona, poloidal and toroidal magnetic fields...

... the gist of which is that Dr. Zharkova says that not only is the current (imminent, actually) sun spot cycle (25) going to be even lighter than the previous one (24, just ended), but she says that we are headed into a 30+ year Grand Minimum. (A sun spot cycle is usually about 11 years long, by the way.)

Can you say "Maunder"?

No solar activity means amateur radio continues to have poor propagation on the High Frequency bands, but, like the old George Carlin routine, it also means a mini-ice age, so I wouldn't sweat the propagation. As KB6NU points out in the blog post where I learned of this presentation, satellites are a workable alternative. (Yes, hams can and do use satellites. Yes they have their own issues.)

But, hey, at least that rig will be generating some heat...

...assuming there's power.

1. Solar minimum - Wikipedia. Political correctness leads Wikipedia to deny any correlation between solar minima and terrestrial climate.
2. I took a look at the effects of the Maunder Minimum in Quickie Book Review, The Global Crisis.
3. Homepage | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

Saturday, December 8, 2018

“I Am An Adverb!”

So, there I was. 1980. Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, California. Basic Korean Course. (For “listeners”, AKA "geeks"; they had a separate course at the time for interrogators, AKA “rubber hosers.”)

Now, the recruiters had taken one look at my test scores and decided I should take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, or DLAB. I had not done so well in Spanish classes in school, but they insisted, so I went ahead.

When I walked out of the room I felt like my brains were running out of my ears.

There were multiple portions to the test. One checked for general knowledge of foreign languages; I recall one where the sentence said “le poisson est sur la table”, and you had to select the correct drawing, which variously featured a fish and a bottle of poison on, under, and beside a table.

Another section used English vocabulary, but made-up grammar. As I recall, it actually was similar to what I would be learning in Korean: “The boy went to the store” might be rendered “’Boy-ga’ ‘store-ay’ ‘go-ed’”; The “ga” suffix attached to “boy” indicates the subject of the sentence, and the “ay” suffix on “store” indicates his destination. The verb comes at the end of the sentence, and instead of using “went” you use “go” with a past tense indicator. Both the test and the Korean language were/are a lot more complicated than that. As I recall, by the end of that section of the test we were reading paragraphs and answering (trying to answer) questions about who did what to whom.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Told You So

Not that anyone that reads this blog is likely to have needed telling, but...

Dave Workman writes: Gun Prohibitionist Agenda Confirms ‘Slippery Slope’ - Liberty Park Press
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that when the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives convenes next month, “We will pass common sense gun violence prevention legislation soon, and…it will be bipartisan,” which remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, here in Washington AC, NRA-ILA sends:
NRA-ILA | Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda 
On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.  This comes less than one month after the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and Seattle tech-billionaires spent millions to pass Initiative 1639, which made the state’s gun control laws amongst the worst in nation.

Some of the most egregious restrictions in the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s 2019 agenda includes the following:
  • Standard Capacity Magazine Ban:  Targets commonly owned standard capacity ammunition magazines by arbitrarily branding them as “High Capacity Magazines,” and restricts access for self-defense purposes.
  • Government Mandated Training to Obtain CPL:  Would require all new applicants and renewing holders of a concealed pistol license show documentation they have completed a firearms safety course
  • Abolish State Preemption:  Washington’s state preemption statute, passed in 1983, helps keep firearm and ammunition laws consistent throughout the state by establishing that the State Legislature has full authority to regulate and create laws pertaining to firearms and ammunition.  These statutes help prevent a confusing patchwork of gun control laws which make it difficult for gun owners to ensure that they are following the law and also protects the Second Amendment rights of all Washingtonians, regardless of where they reside.
  • Remove Second Amendment Rights without due process:  Impose a firearm prohibition for any person who has been released from a 72-hour mental health evaluation. This type of legislation removes a constitutional right without any mental health adjudication or judicial determination, and without any due process of law.
  • Expand “Gun-Free Zones” to child care facilities and early learning centers:  This type of policy creates arbitrary boundaries around areas where law-abiding individuals are prohibited from carrying a firearm for self-defense.  These arbitrary boundaries do not deter criminals.
  • Firearm Destruction by Washington State Patrol:  Allows for the destruction of all firearms confiscated by or forfeited to the Washington State Patrol.  Like other seized items, these firearms should be sold by law-enforcement to generate revenue instead of spending money to have them destroyed.
  • Require Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms by setting a timeframe for when they must be reported under penalty of law:  Individuals should not be further victimized after experiencing a burglary or other loss.
Your NRA will continue to fight for the Second Amendment rights of Washingtonians and will be at the Capitol on a daily basis throughout the 2019 legislative session.  Your active participation is needed to help protect self-defense rights in the Evergreen state.  Please sign up as an NRA Frontlines volunteer and get at least three fellow gun owners to also sign up to receive timely legislative alerts on firearm-related bills during this upcoming session.  Make plans to attend committee hearings on these bills in Olympia when NRA-ILA notifies you of the place and location.  Also, contact your state lawmakers before and during session urging them to OPPOSE these measures. 
Please stay tuned to your email inbox and for further updates on pre-filed bills and ways to be involved when the legislature convenes on January 14th.

7 December

With five USS Arizona crewmembers remaining, it’s ‘twilight’ for Pearl Harbor survivors - Veterans - Stripes