Snow reports

Xenia reports on the snow in Moscow with a bunch of pictures. There is a snow drift four foot deep in our back yard:

Nearly everything in town is shut down. The weather forecasts are for more snow for several days.

On the western front the Snoqualmie pass report is interesting too:

Snoqualmie Pass remains closed from milepost 34 near North Bend to milepost 106 near Ellensburg. The earlier estimate of opening Thursday morning was based on a forecast of cooler temperatures and dry snow accumulations. The overnight snow accumulations have more than double the moisture predicted and temperatures have risen. Therefore the avalanche danger has increased instead of decreased and an estimated time of opening is not known. Additional information will be available at 10:00 a.m. // Snowing with areas of poor visibility

Nope. No more information at 10:00. It’s possible Barb is stuck with me for longer than she planned.

Quote of the day–Karl Marx’s mother

If Karl, instead of writing a lot about capital, had made a lot of it … it would have been much better.

Karl Marx’s mother
[I've been listening to The Big Three in Economics by Mark Skousen. Fascinating stuff about Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Hegel, and several others. Then there are the unsolved problems of economics. If I were younger I might consider trying to solve some of them. It's all very interesting stuff. And of course the huge impact these various theories had on the entire world. Marx is responsible for more deaths and suffering than any other human who as ever lived. Adam Smith played a huge part in the industrial revolution.--Joe]

Bummer. My wife is stuck at the summit of Snoqualmie pass

Barb left Moscow this morning to visit me at my super secret hardened bunker in the Seattle area. Traffic stopped moving when she reached the very top of Snoqualmie summit at about 3:15 PM. I’ve been watching the web cam and getting updates via the web. The latest story is that she has been stopped for two hours now and the pass is now closed in both directions. The latest word from WSDOT:

Restrictions Eastbound:
Pass Closed

 

Restrictions Westbound:
Pass Closed

 

Conditions & Weather:
Westbound traffic is stopped at milepost 106 near Ellensburg due to a natural slide that occurred earlier blocking the westbound lanes at milepost 51. The eastbound lanes are closed at milepost 34 near North Bend due to worsening snow conditions. Because the westbound lanes are blocked, snow removal equipment cannot make the necessary circuits to keep the eastbound lanes open. This is estimated to last until early Thursday morning due to the amount of material and debris at road level. // Snowing with areas of poor visibility

She may be spending the night in the Jeep. She has blankets, sleeping bag, and food. She’ll survive just fine but it won’t be fun.

If she had left 10 minutes earlier she would be here by now.

Heavy sigh….

Update: 6:32 PM. She is off the freeway now on a side road near the ski lodge. They are not allowed to travel in either direction.

She went inside the lodge and found “about a 100 people in the lobby”. They had 19 rooms available. She is settling in for the night in her Jeep.

There is a small store open and people are stocking up on supplies. Barb is in a better situation than some. There is one woman there with several small kids. There are also some cars trapped in the slide area. The low tonight is supposed be 26oF so she shouldn’t have any problem staying warm and she has about 3/4 of a tank of gas.

Assuming she can travel tomorrow morning it will just be one of those “interesting stories” you have to tell your grandkids.

Update2: 7:55 PM. Barb says, “This is a very boring adventure. You can put that on your damn blog.”

A police car drove by announcing the westbound on ramp will be opening soon. She may make it over here yet!

Update3: 8:15 PM. A police car drove by again. This time the officer said there was a short delay, “But you guys are going to make it.”

Update4: 8:23 PM. They are taking westbound traffic out in convoys. She should make it to my bunker within a couple hours.

Update5: 8:48 PM. One convoy per hour until 10:00 PM and she apparently missed the first one. But she is moving again now.

Update6: 8:59 PM. No further word from Barb but KIRO has a story and pictures of the avalanche. There were two cars caught in the avalanche but no one was hurt. The video is more impressive.

Update7: 9:23 PM. She made it to North Bend which is out of the snow. She should be here in 45 minutes or so.

Update8: 10:02 PM. She made it to my bunker. All is well.

Conversions

Uncle discusses, “How do we win this political gun battle?”, asks for some help, and gets this suggestion. Then Sebastian offers this.

There is some good stuff there but there were a few items left out.

  • Join pro gun groups. The first group you should join is the NRA; even if you think they compromise too much. They are the 800 pound gorilla in the legislative kitchen and just the raw number of members causes the politicians to think twice before cooking up an anti-gun scheme. Other groups serve useful purposes and should be considered as well. Some of them are 501(c)(3) corporations and your donations are tax deductible.
  • Come out of the closet. In the early days of the gay rights movement there was a phrase, “Silence equals death!”. Getting people to come out in the open about being a gun owner helps the anti-gun people realize we aren’t red-necked, knuckle dragging, Neanderthals, who beat their wives, complain about the “coloreds” lusting after our women folk, and whose idea of a good time is shooting our empties while chugging beer from the tailgate of our pickups. It worked for the gays and it can work for us.
  • Closely related to the previous item is to speak up when someone says something hostile about gun ownership. Know your facts, know the anti-gun position fallacies, and don’t be afraid to share them when someone tries to push that failed agenda. Come up with sound-bites and don’t belabor things. People will “turn off” if your viewpoint takes more than about 30 seconds to explain. If you don’t have anything more directly to the point, ask Just One Question.
  • Invite the media to your pro-gun events and put announcements of your events in their “whats happening” section. Most media outlets are starved for material. If you are having a special event invite them to come, watch, and report on it. Write a decent news release (such that they can easily and quickly plagiarize it for their own use) and you increase the odds of attendance and positive coverage considerably. See, for example, Boomershoot coverage.
  • In the end game, which we may just be entering, we need to drive them to political extinction. You don’t get there by saying, “They have a valid point and everyone is entitled to their opinion.” We must make their position as socially uncomfortable as that of the KKK. See this post for how to do that.

Quote of the day–LawDog

Evil is not defeated by submitting to it. Evil is not defeated by running away from it; nor is evil defeated by ignoring it.

Evil is only defeated by fighting back.

You may, or may not, think you have the right to self-defence — and that is between you and your conscience. As a member of society — as a member of a community — you have the duty, the obligation, and the responsibility of self-defence.

LawDog
Meditations on Self Defence
January 27, 2008
[Via Tam. I’m in full agreement with this philosophy but not all people are.

I had an interesting discussion with my officemate last week. She is from India and a Jain. Just a quick refresher on that philosophy of life:

Nonviolence includes the concepts of vegetarianism. Jains are expected to be non-violent in thought, word, and deed, both toward humans and toward all other living beings, including their own selves. Jain monks and nuns walk barefoot and sweep the ground in front of them to avoid killing any insects or other tiny beings. Even though all life is considered sacred by the Jains, human life is deemed the highest form of life. For this reason, it is considered vital never to harm or upset any person.

They also don’t eat the roots of plants because of the increased chance of harming some organism that lives in the soil or the root. She does eat dairy products but not eggs.

Quite a contrast from me. I asked her, “If a lion was about to have you, or your children, for lunch does your religion require you to submit? The answer was that in the most pure form, yes, you are required to tolerate being lunch. But of course most people would not do that. They would fight back. Similar responses were obtained after gentle probes about taking antibiotics and defending against a human attacker. I dropped the subject. Maybe some other time when we have lots of time (this was to/from a lunch for our group) I’ll explore more. It seems so odd to me that their ideal and the admitted practical are so divergent. And that she is so positive about my explosive videos. Maybe it’s just the contrast from her live experience in a non-threatening form. Or maybe she is just being a Jain and doesn’t want to upset me by showing her disapproval.

[shrug]

Those are questions for another time–we have a product to ship…–Joe]

Follow the money

I recently found out about the site http://green.msn.com/. It’s a site for environmentalists with a significant slant toward the viewpoint, “It doesn’t matter what the cost is if it’s for the environment”. What I found most interesting was the reason for the creation of the site. It wasn’t that MS management particularly shared that viewpoint. It was that there was a major sponsor willing to spend advertising dollars on such a site. MS threw the site up in record time and started collecting the dollars because the viewpoint all MS management does agree on is, “Don’t leave loose money on the table.”

Similar analysis of many of the anti-gun groups reveals money is the significant motivator for them too. For example GunGuys.com gets grants from the Joyce Foundation. The one guy that runs that family of sites gets hundreds of thousands of dollars plus all the donations he can get by dancing in the blood of victims whom most would have had better survival chances had they been armed.

There are no principles–it’s all about the money. Just look at me and all those wheelbarrows full of cash I get for accepting marching orders from the Apex of the Triangle of Death.

More lying from the Clinton administration

I think it must be that they just can’t help themselves.

I was reading this article which mentioned the Reno brief on the Heller case and something struck me as odd. Thinking maybe the WaPo got it wrong I went directly to the Reno brief. Nope, WaPo got it right. Reno et al misrepresented something from the Miller case.

Reno et al say:

In opposing Second Amendment challenges to those prosecutions, the government contended for more than 60 years that the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms for purposes unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia. The government set out that position in its brief in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the only prior case in which this Court has squarely addressed a Second Amendment challenge to federal firearms legislation. In rejecting the defendants’ Second Amendment challenge to the NFA, which rendered unlawful their transport of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun across state lines, the Court agreed with the government that the “possession or use” of a firearm must “ha[ve] some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia” to fall within the scope of the Second Amendment.

What the Miller decision actually says is:

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.  Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

In Miller the shotgun must have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia” to be protected against government regulation. Not that the individual must have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”. Hence by substituting individual for shotgun Reno et al attempt to completely change the meaning of the Miller decision.

Also note that using the reasoning of Reno et al the enslavement of some minority would be completely acceptable if it had not been successfully challenged for 60 years or more. All those runaway slaves in jail might want to challenge their convictions if the courts were to rule this particular minority should be regarded as freemen. And we can’t have that sort of disruption to our society, it just wouldn’t be right.

The world would have been better off if Reno et al had traded places with their victims at Waco.

Spy Satellite

We’ve all head the news about the satellite that’s going to make reentry some day soon.  They say it’s a spy satellite and that it contains hazardous materials.  I don’t know what that tells most people, but to me, even the term “spy satellite” says, “nuclear power on board”.  So, is that uranium or plutonium?  I guess it would have been too much trouble to go and either refuel the bird’s rockets, or at least remove the fissionable material?

 

Shooting steel in the snow

I don’t like to miss an opportunity to mock the shooters in the Seattle area who shutdown their matches in the winter. The shooters in Idaho are made of better stuff.

The following pictures are from the steel match at the Lewiston Pistol Club on Sunday.


This was the scene as I walked out my door Sunday morning.


Scene at the range.


Adam gives us the stage walk-through.


Joe M. is terminally ill and I was pleased to be able to see him again. Don W. is the range officer.


Another picture of Joe M. with brass in the air above his rear sight.

When Joe M. can make it to the range and shoot in the snow the shooters in the Seattle area have truly earned their wimp badges.

I blame global warming

Sunday night I drove from my home in Moscow, Idaho to my secret bunker in the Seattle area in preparation for another week of work for The Borg. The road was compact snow and ice from home to Vantage when I got on I-90. Most of that drive was across the desert of Eastern and Central Washington.

Yes, desert. Othello, Washington only gets about 8.4 inches of precipitation per year. A desert is defined as getting less than 10 inches per year. The picture below was taken a few miles east of Othello:

Quick! Tell Algore global warming is destroying our deserts!

Bigot on the public payroll

The school VP suspended a kid because he had a pen with a Glock Logo on it.

I’d show up to pick up my kid with my lawyer while wearing this shirt:

Then I’d give the VP a copy of 18 USC 242 and tell the VP I was going to visit the Federal Prosecutor next. The tone of my voice would scare him far more than the words I used.

In Moscow Idaho my daughter (above) actually wore the shirt you see above to school. She only showed it to one teacher, but still, he thought it was cool.

H/T to Uncle and Bruce.

Quote of the day–Tom Leonard

Fans are clearly split as to whether a handgun can ever be tolerated on a superhero long regarded as a symbol of untainted righteousness.

Tom Leonard

Gun-toting Captain America comes back to life
January 29, 2008
[H/T to Uncle and Greg and Beth. So, it's not possible to be righteous and possess a handgun? I guess all U.S. police officers are automatically bad guys then. Substitute "black man" for "handgun" and "as" for "on" then provide an estimate on how long would this guy have a job. What a bigot. These type of people should be shamed into oblivion.--Joe]

Someone HATES the TSA

I think the TSA has an impossible job. I think they are way out of bounds on the 4th Amendment. I think they are blowing smoke just to try and keep their jobs. I think they should be abolished and that $5,000,000,000 per year should go toward something useful. But I don’t hate them.

This guy hates them. And I guess I can see his point. Here is a sample:

Hate is a pretty strong word. But it’s not strong enough to express how I feel about the TSA — the Transportation Security Administration or Thousands Standing Around, depending on your point of view — which runs those security checkpoints at American airports.

I may fear the IRS, and I may dread the DMV — but for shear bureaucratic stupidity and its affront to personal liberties, the TSA has earned a special place of loathing in my heart.

[...]

My family and I – which means all three kids, including the baby – were returning home from vacation last week and dutifully filed in line for the ol’ “Papers, please” routine at the Honolulu airport. I handed our five boarding passes and our ID to the lone TSA guy who gets paid to look at boarding documents and, according to TSA chief Hawley, use them to root out would-be terrorists every day. But this genius couldn’t find any of our names on the boarding passes and handed them back to me, demanding that I show him where the names were. Heck, I didn’t know. It’s not my yob, man.

[...]

Apparently there was something in our “behavior” and/or our “documents” which triggered the crackerjack TSA security guards’ suspicions. Yes, a middle-class white family with three young children, including a 16-month-old baby, returning from vacation set off alarm bells in some bureaucrat’s mind. So we were instructed to move to the side for “enhanced” screening while all of our carry-on bags, including the baby’s stroller, were hand-inspected.

Out of morbid curiosity, I asked if this was simply a “random check” that we’d been so lucky to be honored with. The terse reply from the agent on the front-lines of the war against terrorists was a simple, “No.” So our selection couldn’t even be explained away by the stupidity of random selection; these people intentionally singled us out as a potential security threat.

Barney Fife then proceeded to get a female agent to pat down my wife and two daughters before feeling me up-and-down himself. At which point my wife was instructed to hold the baby out with outstretched arms like Rafiki did with Simba on the rock ledge in “The Lion King” for a pat-down. Absolutely ridiculous.

In the meantime, another crackerjack TSA agent was busy rifling through our carry-on bags, and lo and behold, he caught my wife trying to smuggle onboard a tube of skin cream which exceeded the federally-mandated 3-ounce limit. Goober informed us he was confiscating the potentially lethal tube of Lubriderm, much to the relief of the other passengers standing in line who clearly were worried it might be used to send us all to a watery grave in Davy Jones’ Locker somewhere over the Pacific.

With one of our bags now 5 ounces lighter, we finally were allowed to leave Checkpoint Charlie and proceed to the gate. Now for the kicker.

When we finally get home and unpack, I discover that the girls had inadvertently packed a pair of metal scissors they found at the condo where we stayed in their carry-on knapsack. Neither the TSA’s expensive, super-sensitive X-ray machine nor hand-inspection of the bag detected this pair a metal scissors – but they did find the Lubriderm! Don’t you feel safer now?

And here is a video of someone actually sneaking a simulated bomb through security. Anyone that doesn’t believe we need to explore different means for airplane security is either willfully ignorant or has some agenda they aren’t sharing.

U.K. hospitals have given up

A little over a year ago I reported the U.K. hospitals were putting women and men in the same rooms together and the government was fiddling with the numbers to make it look like it wasn’t as bad as it actually was. Now it turns out they have just decided to give up trying:

Labour has admitted it had abandoned its historic commitment to eliminate mixed-sex wards from NHS hospitals.

Health minister Lord Darzi of Denham told the House of Lords that the key manifesto pledge repeated in 1997 and 2001 was “an aspiration that cannot be met”.

But with typical socialist doublespeak they go on to say:

A Department of Health spokesman said Monday night: “Lord Darzi’s comments were fully in line with the Government’s long-standing commitment on mixed-sex accommodation. The aim of the NHS is to reduce mixed-sex accommodation and ensure privacy and dignity for all patients.

Don’t let socialized medicine happen here.

Update: Phil has other news about the “free” (and worth every shilling too!) health care in the U.K.

Queer Arms

A couple of people sent me an email yesterday asking about the caliber of rifle required for Boomershoot, other general questions, and said they planned to be spectators this year and participate next year. I gave them the best advice I could and encouraged them to attend, ask questions, etc.

What was interesting to me was the domain for email address QueerArms.com. They have a website and it appears they don’t get a lot of traffic but it’s a decent site.

They even have a link to Boomershoot under “Games”. Cool! I’ve only received one referral from them but, hey, it’s the thought that counts. I don’t know if it was Tammy that put the link there, but whoever it was, thanks!

STI Sentinel Premier

Just announced:

How do the best outdo themselves? Attention to details. Crafted with classic 1911 design, the STI International Sentinel Premier is a traditional 1911 built to modern highest-end standards for an exceptional competition, duty, and self-defense pistol. With the exclusive new Dawson Precision/STI “Perfect Impact” style white outline Tritium adjustable sights and the STI Tritium competition front, it is ready to compete in either IPSC or IDPA right out of the box (and look good doing it.)

The Sentinel Premier is built on a forged steel, government length, standard width frame that includes a 30 LPI checkered front strap, checkered steel mainspring housing, and custom blended magwell. The controls are STI International’s blued steel single sided thumb safety and knuckle relief high-rise beavertail grip safety. The slide features traditional 1911 styling with STI front and rear cocking serrations, oversized ejection port, and is flat topped with Diamond LPI. The barrel is 5.0″ ramped and supported with a match grade fitted bushing, fully crowned to sit flush with the end of the barrel. This exceptional firearm comes standard with an STI commander hammer, patented STI aluminum trigger system, STI S-7 sear, and titanium strut for smooth, reliable function. The Sentinel Premier comes standard with case, owner’s manual, and one Wilson Combat ® Elite Tactical magazine.

Available in .45 ACP.

In competition I shoot a STI gun, I carry a STI gun and you should too.

Quote of the day–Milton Friedman

Every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence.

Milton Friedman
[Friedman was referring to casual drug users but in regards to firearms things are even worse. There are people, such as Chris Matthews, who want an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on ZERO evidence (H/T to Jeff and Uncle). And of course we already have that for our airplanes. What baffles me is that millions of people put up with it every day with only minor whining.--Joe]

Quote of the day–Don Kornreich

I believe the Supreme Court’s review should not be limited to the construction of the Second Amendment. The court also should consider whether its enunciated constitutional right of privacy extends to an individual’s right to possess a handgun in his home.

[...]

The Supreme Court has held that the zone of privacy applies only to “fundamental” personal rights. Also, the privacy of one’s home has been particularly important to the court: thus, in Payton v. New York the court described the zone of privacy as unambiguously applying to an individual’s home.

Therefore, the Supreme Court should consider not only whether an individual’s right to possess a handgun in his home is expressly protected by the Second Amendment; but, in addition, whether the possession of a handgun within one’s home is a fundamental right protected under the court’s recognition of a zone of privacy.

Don Kornreich
The Second Amendment, gun control and the right of privacy
Originally published January 27, 2008
[Excellent point.--Joe]