Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heller of a Good Time (I Hope)

Okay, I'm sitting here on pins and needles. I have ScotusBlog open and ready to see what the Heller decision is. I did the same Monday and yesterday; so much for productivity. I think it will go our way, but who knows. More later.

UPDATE: 10:10 and nothing, these pins and needles are getting uncomfortable.

UPDATE: 10:13 SCOTUS has confirmed what we already know. There is an individual right to own a firearm. Breyer, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg dissented and Scalia wrote the majority opinion. I was hoping for something better than 5-4, but we will have to see how this all shakes out.

I believe that one phase of our fight to protect our right to keep and bear arms is over. We won that phase. Now will come battles to determine what reasonable restrictions might be allowed. These battles could be worse than the Second Amendment battles. Gun owners could divide into several camps; those who believe reasonable is having a revolver and shotgun and those (like me) who like all kinds of guns--other camps are possible.

Let's stay together and fight the next battles. Now back to my real work. (10:20)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Terms (and Vote for Me)

Thanks to the inestimable Rachel Lucas, I just found a new term that I must figure out how to use; "butthurt," or "a butthurtin'."

Maybe something along the line of vote for me in the ParaUSA contest by July 1, or I'll have a butthurtin' when I don't win. Or something like that.

Seriously, I like that term or word in our present political situation. Expect to see it here soon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Campaign Disappointment

I haven’t posted much about politics. It doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the presidential campaign. There’s a lot at stake. You see, I’m disappointed about the whole thing. We have Obama and McCain. What a choice. What a sad choice.

If Obama gets the nod, I’m not sure how he truly intends to govern. I suspect he may not even know. He’s inexperienced and has no idea how to deliver on his promises. Also, we don't know the real Obama yet. We know he’s liberal, but just how much his vaunted bridge-building temperment will affect his decisions we just don’t know.

We do know that his followers want payback. They want their free health care, what I will call greenism, “social justice” (whatever that really is), and an immediate retreat from Iraq.

I believe Obama will disappoint them. He won't be able to pull out of Iraq on any sort of rapid timetable. He can't create “social justice,” because for some of his followers there is no justice if any one person is richer than another. A total adoption of greenism will lead to an economic breakdown and so many unintended consequences that Obama and others would be fools to try (they still might). As to free health care, Obama’s current ideas don't please all of his followers now.

So what happens when these followers get disappointed? What will they do and to whom will they turn? I don’t know. They are unhappy with the current Democratic Party-led Congress and will likely turn on Obama in the same way. Who will they support then? Maybe the “man on horseback” and we could see a fascist government dedicated to “social justice” in our lifetimes. Or maybe they’ll simply drop out (don’t let the door hit ‘em in the ass on the way out).

McCain is another side of the same disappointing and tarnished coin. He has no problem deciding what is right for us, even when we disagree. In the past he’s wanted to institute amnesty for illegal aliens, hamper if not end gun shows, and try to curb free speech about elections with McCain-Feingold.

Who know how he will lead if he gets the nod? He may understand that he was elected by a bunch of people holding their noses while they voted against Obama. On the other hand, he may push his ideas forward and give Obama’s supporters a good part of what they want anyway.

So what an election. I think I’ll go home and sip some Bourbon, followed by a tequila chaser, followed by a vodka chaser, followed by….

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vote For Pedro (er...Vote for Me)

In these times of political strife, there's another election. ParaOrdnance is having a contest for the bloggers who attended the "blogger bash" at this year's NRA Convention. People who vote also enter a drawing in which one person will also go to the session. It closes on July 1, so vote early and vote often.

I am unused to asking for anything on Ten Ring and I had to really think about how to approach this post. I could play the guilt card:
“I’ve given you almost four years of free ice cream. Give me this vote. I don’t ask for much…whine, whine, whine.” I decided I don’t like the guilt card.

I thought about playing the humble card:
“Well, I know I haven’t posted much lately, but I’ve gotten better and though I don’t really deserve it, I would like you to vote for me.” Things to be said for that approach, but not a whole lot.

Then there’s the political approach:
“Okay, vote for me because in your heart you know it’s the right thing to do. A vote for Denise of the Ten Ring will mean there’s a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, and a revocation of all gun laws.” I can’t keep those promises, so that approach is out.

Then there’s the manically aggressive pitch:
“Vote for me or I’ll shoot Cooper the wonder basset.” That idea is completely out the window, down the street, and heading out of town.

I thought about the noble approach:
“There’re other bloggers who work harder, write more, have more readers than I do. Be sure to vote for them.” I like that approach, because it’s all true. Just look at the list of blogs for which you can vote. Yosemite Sam of Ten Ring is listed separately from me, so be sure to vote for him too.

Then I decided not to be too noble. I decided to say vote for me and if I’m a selectee, I will write the best I can about training sessions, the people I meet, and all that stuff. There that’s the right approach.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


John Wayne died on this day in 1979. I've never hid the fact that I was once liberal and have become more conservative and time and maturity caught up with me.

When I grew up, Wayne was associated with "the Man." We didn't like "the man" even though we had no idea who "the man" was other than "the establishment." We didn't like "the establishment" any better than we liked "the man." We did a lot of circular thinking in those days.

Wayne was seen as this craggy-faced, gung-ho, pistol shooting, pro-establishment man. Liberals did not (and many still do not) see him in any other way. Since then, I've come to appreciate Wayne more as an actor and a human being. In fact, I almost reflexively buy his DVDs now when I see them.

So here's to you, Duke.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Monocacy Battlefield and a Tired Dog

Once Yosemite Sam and I got shed of our house guest, we did some fun things. Living near the nation's capital means there's a lot of history to see, to study, and to learn. We visited the Monocacy National Battlefield not too long ago. We took Cooper the wonder-Basset with us (the park allows leashed dogs).
The Battle of Monocacy was one of those short sharp engagements that few people know about, but helped determine the course of the war. Almost everyone visits Gettysburg, many visit Antietam/Sharpsburg, but few visit Monocacy. All are close together.

When we visited, we had the park almost to ourselves. We roamed around taking pictures and letting Cooper have a good walk. The visitor's center has a good selection of Civil War books and I bought and just finished reading Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz (hmm...might be a book review in there somewhere).

We learned a little history, but one other thing we learned, Basset hounds get tired when you walk them too much. Cooper started lagging behind us while we were walking a big loop. He then tried to go back the way we came and because we had completed two-thirds of the loop, it would been the long way back. Yosemite Sam came up with the perfect solution for Cooper. He carried that short-legged heavy dog the rest of the way.

One other thing, the battlefield is about a ten minute drive from where we live. We live in the lap of history.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Destroy Them Guns

The New York Time had an article today on how ATF and some police agencies turn confiscated guns into scrap metal. The article cited 13 guns that were cut up into scrap metal with a value of $7.50. The whole story troubled me:
  • First, it bothers me that guns are being destroyed in the first place.
  • Second, there's the waste of it; the destroying of perfectly good firearms (those that are not safe are a different story) when departments could sell them for needed cash.
What troubled me the most, however, is the condescension on the part of the agents and officers involved. Here are just a few quotes:

“With the destruction of these illegal guns, they’ll eventually be melted down and used as machine parts, piping or whatever the industry can use at this time to help better society,” from an ATF agent (emphasis mine).

“It is smart policing to destroy the weapons,” said another agent.

“There are plenty of guns in circulation without our potentially adding to the problem,” said a New York City police spokesman.

Non-law enforcement people are also involved; the ones who turn the guns into scrap metal. Their condescension is just as bad.

If reminds me that this is the ultimate goal of those who want guns out of society. If they had their way, all the manholes and grates would have once been your or my guns. They have not given up.

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    Fussing with a Houseguest

    Have you ever had the best of intentions and then not lived up to them? So it goes with our blog. Yosemite Sam and I came back from the NRA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky all fired up and ready to blog. We even had notes from speeches, photos, and various other goodies to share.

    The best laid plans and all that. On Sunday (May 18), I got a call from one of my relatives. He just got out of the Marine Corps (I thank him for his service) and will start college in the fall. He is bumming around for the summer. He is planning to travel for about two months across our great land, more power to him.

    Brad (not his real name) asked me in that fateful call if he could stay with us so he could see the Washington, D.C. area. He intimated it would be for a couple of days. Sure I said. Family solidarity and all that.

    He showed up the day after we left Louisville—and we arrived at home after our late night flight sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning. That was cool though. I told Brad that I could not take any time off because of work responsibilities. I gave him an apartment key and told him to knock himself out with the monuments, museums, shopping centers, whatever floats his boat.

    I’m not talking ill of a Marine here (once a Marine always a Marine), but the houseguest turned into a housepest. The first day here, he wanted to talk about the family, his schooling, his Marine career (he didn't serve overseas and was really impressed with Yosemite Sam’s Air Force record). We ended up going to bed in the wee hours again and we get up at 5:30 am. Sigh.

    Then, Brad stayed for a week. He never left the house; he liked our HDTV, enjoyed the air conditioning, playing with the dog and cat too much for that. He watched TV until 3:00 in the morning (didn’t disturb us though) and stayed in bed until 1:00 pm. He didn’t see the monuments, the museums, but we did see restaurants and shopping centers (on my dime).

    Even worse, Brad turned out to be liberal. He thought no one should own an “assault weapon,” that handguns should be licensed and registered, and that Obama would unite the country. I about ground my teeth down trying to politely refute his points.

    I blame his mother not the Marines.

    Thus, Yosemite Sam and I ended up exhausted and not in a frame of mind to blog about the NRA convention (except for a short post I snuck in at work). Most of our notes and photos will remain unseen by anyone other than us. The next week turned out to be tough for us for other reasons, including a sick dog (kennel cough). But, we no longer have a housepest and can resume blogging. Keep watching this space.