Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rest well from a job well done, MamaLiberty.

An American hero has passed.

Oh, she wouldn't rate that accolade with a lot of the modern popular set, but she's a hero to me, and frankly I seem to care less and less what the popular set thinks anyway.

She said her goodbyes in advance, and I managed to say it best over there:

When I saw this news, I had to explain to my girls why Daddy suddenly had uncontrollable tears.

Mama, I’ve never made a secret of my admiration for you. Years ago now you challenged me just exactly the way I needed to be challenged, in order to fully (as the saying goes) “run out of excuses” and actually embrace people as they are, not as what they think they are or (worse) what they think they should be. I am so much happier now, for doing that, and of course how could anyone manage to repay that kindness?

Well, I do know one thing I can do, and that is to pass it on–pay it forward, if you will–to my children, in the hopes that they will be able to remain at peace and calm in the turbulent world they will outlive me in. They already know who you are, and they came to comfort me when I told them the news.

Love you, Mama. You will be missed, but what you did for me, and doubtless for others too, will live on with gratitude and enthusiasm.

Thank you, for the attitude, and for your example.


Susan Calloway, aka MamaLiberty, rest in peace.

Sigh.  There's another hole in the freedomverse now, and although what she did for me she did long ago now, it still makes me sad.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Yo, Kroger. Is the craven coward thing paying off for you yet?

The following is addressed to the decision makers at Kroger / Fred Meyer, whoever you are and wherever you may be, who have now simply removed entirely gun and ammo counters, even from a store in Alaska, in response to partisan political pressure.  Let me be really clear here:  if you had a hand in promoting or making this happen--then "you" in what follows means you, personally.

Listening?  Good.  This part is important:

You are invertebrate, 
craven cowards.  

Get that?

Do you even know what the word craven means?  It really is not possible to use the word more literally.  Or more sincerely.

Harsh, you say?  Hell yes, what you've done is harsh.  Oh, me, you say?  Ha!  I'm just being honest.  It's not even comparable to say that I am responding in kind;  I am being far more polite than that.

Let's be clear about one other thing, too:

You chose this path.  

You did not have to, but you did anyway.

Oh, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying the choice shouldn't have been yours to make.  It's your business, and I'll defend your right to make your own business decisions until my dying breath.  Even if those actions are spineless, contemptible, and misanthropic.  (Liberty does not require decency, or even mutual respect.)

But the flip side of the freedom to make your own choices, is that then you own them--at least in the eyes of decent people, who do not presume to mind the business of others.

And you do own this misanthropic abomination you now call policy.  You have chosen to hock a giant greenie at untold thousands of customers, quietly loyal to you for untold years, to the tune of untold millions of revenue dollars, across product lines going far beyond guns and ammo.  And you did it in despicably craven deference to a simple loud-mouthed mob, self-arrogated minders of other people's business, crusading with nearly comic religious fervor to forcibly impose prior restraint upon millions of people who have harmed no one.  (You are aware, I presume, that the public face of this lynch mob, prior to the transparent co-opting of its tragic celebrity by veteran partisan zealots, and its subsequent miraculous conversion into instant national gun policy experts, was best known for being unable to resist eating Tide Pods on a dare?)

You do understand, I presume, that their coercion tactics have been wildly successful on you thus far?  I mean, let's not mince words:  they told you what to do, and you could hardly heel-snap into line fast enough.

So, here are some questions for you, now that you've made this bed and have to lay in it.  Even if you're not real happy with me at the moment for being so honest and all, you really should consider what the answers are.  (Truth, and reality, do not require your agreement, nor even your consent.)
  • Do you really believe that, having caved without any real effort at all on this demand, that they will leave you alone now?  Do you?  Because either you do, or you don't.  If you don't believe it, then what's the payoff supposed to be?  If you do believe they'll go away now that you've caved, then you're as stupid as you are spineless--and QED that's saying something.
  • Do you actually buy the stank these meddlesome piddlewits are pimping?  I mean seriously:  this crowd talks as if they are selling their ideas on the basis of some sort of calculable performance, but try this experiment if you want to learn something:  ask any of these people, if they truly believe in this notion of performance, what their "tipping point" is--that point at which their chosen statistic or metric goes the other way and will cause them to agitate against forcible prior restraint, and for actual liberty.  Just watch what happens.
  • Do you think we--both the actual "gunnies", and other liberty-loving types for whom guns may be unimportant but principle still is--will simply not notice what you've done?  The complete removal of the entire gun-and-ammo counter is actually an up-the-ante move from the more well-publicized decision to ignore state law and further restrict sales based on arbitrary age.  (In my local store, the age-restriction sign still hangs above the now-simply-not-there gun counter, mockingly.)  I suppose this idea shouldn't be that surprising, since you've so clearly chosen to throw us under the bus in preference to your new policy-shouting besties, but will your gamble pay off?
  • Did you trade up, in spitting on people like me to welcome the hipster polypragmatoi?  Or did you maybe miscalculate and trade down?  If I were you, I'd pay attention to that.
  • Do you even know how many of your customers you've pissed off, by pissing on?

You could have told the meddlesome nitwits to pound sand in a hundred ways, and you could have simply ignored them into the irrelevancy they so richly deserve in a hundred more.  You didn't.  You capitulated immediately, with not even an obvious objection, much less any meaningful resistance.

The right to make that choice was, and is, yours.  The right to call it out as contemptible, craven cowardice, and pure antipathy to your customers, is mine.  

And here's the final rub:

It was pointless.

Yes, pointless.  No good will come of it.  If you don't understand that yet, don't worry, you will some day.  (I suspect there is a lot you haven't yet figured out about political crusaders;  if you think I'm a pain to deal with here, just you wait.)  

In the meantime, ponder this last question:

What will you do
when you figure out 
you've been played 
for nothing?

The late Mike Vanderboegh--a much missed voice in this tiresome age--used to love to quote Frank Zappa at moments like this, and it is with Mike in mind that I (as an unabashed Zappa fan of my own) offer this Frank-ism in parting:

Do you love it?
Do you hate it?
There it is,
The way you made it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Well hello there, Diana Stormrider.

Somewhat by accident, I recently noticed the Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle.  Actually noticed it.  I've been a bit dormant on the bangy stuff lately, and hadn't even remembered that Tom Gaylord did a series on it, just last year.

You know, that there's an interesting gun, for my contemplation of a suitable platform to come up with an airgun Scout.

Things to like:
  • Sights!  Out of the box this thing has real iron sights, and the platform looks promising both for  ghost-ring irons and even for a scout scope.  One could mount a proper ghost-ring aperture at the back of the receiver on the dovetail with little fuss, and by discarding the "open" rear sight, adding a second barrel band, and adjusting the position of the two bands, have a perfect mount for a real Leupold Scout Scope.
  • The manual safety switch is not perfect, but it is not insane like the Marauder's, and because it's in front of the trigger guard rather than at the back, it's more ergonomic than the Discovery.  It's something one could train with.
  • The interchangeable magazine and single-shot tray is good design--I would argue it is in fact the right design for a beginner and trainer rifle.  Any "airScout" really should be a manual repeater.
  • Stock is old-fashioned wood, and would be very amenable both to shortening LOP and rounding toe and heel, and also to mounting a proper Ching Sling.
  • The bolt system certainly looks pretty robust, and with a longer throw than on the Disco or M-Rod, although it's still going to be shorter than a .22 rimfire.
  • It's light and svelte, from reports, and actually looks like a traditional rifle, instead of the aggravatingly ubiquitous pistol grip pattern of most of the newer offerings.  IOW, it would rate reasonably well on Jeff Cooper's "handiness index", which is the total height of the rifle from bottom of pistol grip to top of sight system.
  • It's reasonably (reasonably) hand-pump friendly, and sounds like it may get over 20 usable and accurate shots per fill--with enough available oomph to hunt with.  

A couple of mostly minor drawbacks:
  • It uses a 3000psi fill, rather than the Disco's 2000psi fill.  That's going to be significant if using a hand pump.  The Disco's ability to deliver many shots on a lower fill pressure, albeit not necessarily at a hunting power level, does still set it apart from others in its class.
  • It's not sound suppressed--but then neither is the Disco.  This is reasonably minor, in light of the advantages.

Promising, in toto.  I find it interesting that it's offered (by Pyramyd Air at least) as a kit, along with its own hand pump.  Someone is paying attention to the success of the Benjamin Discovery!

Anyway, bookmarked for future reference and contemplation.  Interesting indeed!