Quote of the day—John D. Clark

They were preparing to ship out, for the first time, a one-ton steel cylinder of CTF. The cylinder had been cooled with dry ice to make it easier to load the material into it, and the cold had apparently embrittled the steel. For as they were maneuvering the cylinder onto a dolly, it split and dumped one ton of chlorine trifluoride onto the floor. It chewed its way through twelve inches of concrete and dug a threefoot hole in the gravel underneath, filled the place with fumes which corroded everything in sight, and, in general, made one hell of a mess. Civil Defense turned out, and started to evacuate the neighborhood, and to put it mildly, there was quite a brouhaha before things quieted down. Miraculously, nobody was killed, but there was one casualty —the man who had been steadying the cylinder when it split. He was found some five hundred feet away, where he had reached Mach 2 and was still picking up speed when he was stopped by a heart attack.

John D. Clark
1972
I G N I T I O N !: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, page 74
[The chemicals these people created and worked with were incredible. Some compounds caused things like dirt, concrete, and test engineers to immediately catch on fire upon contact. Others would burst into flames upon contact with the ground, burn for a while, and then violently explode. The reactivity and energy content is just mind boggling.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Barb L.

He needs to change the chant. I just can’t be enthused anymore about, “Ice cold beer.” It should be “HOT. GREEN. TEA.”

Barb L.
September 16, 2017
[Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of our first date and, among other things, we celebrated by going on a white water rafting trip as part of a company morale event. The guide would give orders such as:

  • Forward one [or two, three, or full]!
  • Back one [or two, three, or full]!

There were others, but for the purposes of this story these are the important ones.

To help keep the participants in sync, depending upon the order, we were supposed to chant one of three things in time with our paddle strokes.

  1. TEQUILA!
  2. NEED. BEER.
  3. ICE. COLD. BEER.

Here is a sample:

It got cold. Even though we were dressed warmly we all got chilled and she got cold:

PHOT0006

PHOT0008

Her suggestion for the change was quite appropriate.

There are more exciting stories from this event but this will have to do until we get the video from when I went swimming in Class IV rapids.—Joe]

Quote of the day—League of Women Voters

  • The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens.
  • The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens.

League of Women Voters
September 15, 2017
LWV position on gun control explained
[The Heller decision explicitly calls out handguns as protected by the Second Amendment. Apparently the LWV doesn’t concern itself with limiting government to constitutional limits.

Don’t they understand that the constitution isn’t a serve yourself buffet? You should remember this position statement should someone suggest infringing the Nineteenth Amendment. Or maybe suggest it yourself when someone wants to infringe other guaranteed rights.

And don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dennis Pratt

I want to admit upfront that gun ownership can not be a universal human ethic. A universal human ethic is true for all time in all cultures in all situations for all humans. And guns have been around only for 650 years or so. So, by definition, there can be no universal human ethic to “own guns”. Stating it as though there is (which unfortunately is done by both sides of the debate) is a straw-man, making the American position even harder for other cultures to understand.

Gun ownership is not a fundamental human ethic, but a derived right from a universal human ethic — the right of self-ownership.

Dennis Pratt
August 27, 2017
Why does the U.S. think gun ownership is an inalienable right given that literally all of the developed world doesn’t feel the same way?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Stephen Gutowski

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun. That’s 3 percentage points higher than when the same question was asked last year. It’s 9 percentage points higher than when the question was asked in 2011, the low point of the poll’s findings for self-reported gun ownership.

The United States Census Bureau estimates there are 249,454,440 adults currently living in America. If the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey is accurate, that equates to 119,738,131 Americans with a gun in their home.

Stephen Gutowski
September 12, 2017
Poll: More Americans Have a Gun in Home Than Ever Before
Nearly 120 million Americans have a firearm in the home

[H/T SayUncle.

This is almost for certain a lower bound on the estimate. As the NRA says in regard to the same poll:

Polling data on gun ownership rates is inherently suspect. Gun ownership is a personal decision, and given the politically-charged nature of the topic and government efforts to restrict gun rights, some gun owners are reluctant to share this personal information with strangers. This could result in polling that underreports gun ownership. Other research further suggests that female spouses living in gun-owning households tend to underreport firearm ownership.

We are winning the war on guns. Keep taking new shooters to the range.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ronald Radosh

Antifa members should read historians of Nazi Germany, like Laurie Marhoefer of the University of Washington, who writes that anti-fascist street fighters who greeted a Nazi rally with violence thought that they had won by disrupting a rally and fighting its speakers back in 1927. They sent a message that “Fascism was not welcome.” But instead, “events like the rally in Wedding [a Berlin district] helped the Nazis build a dictatorship.” The Reds got media attention, but it led to escalating street violence, all of which helped the Nazis, who painted themselves “as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left.”

Leftist violence in the 1930s in Germany led many to support the Nazis in the hope they would put an end to the continuing street brawls and violence. Today, the antifa left may even help to get Donald Trump reelected in 2020.

Ronald Radosh
September 11, 2017
‘Emergency Brake’ Antifa Says It’s Fighting Fascists. It Just Might Be Helping to Re-Elect Donald Trump.
[The political left is violent by nature.

This prediction is consistent with what I have said before.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jonathan Turley

Bray and others have come to use the intellectual freedom of our universities to advance the most anti-intellectual movement in our history. They are destroying the very academic institutions that have protected their extreme views. Just as the father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, said that “physicists have known sin,” the antifa movement is the sin of academia in abandoning our core values.

These protesters believe that history shows the dangers of free speech and the need to deny it to those who would misuse it. It is a familiar sentiment that “all the experience… accumulated through several decades teaches us… to deprive the reactionaries of the right to speak and let the people alone have that right.” Those were the words of another early anti-fascist, China’s Communist Party leader Mao Zedong.

Jonathan Turley
August 29, 2017
The hypocrisy of antifa
[It’s not just the the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms that the political left want to destroy. One can pretty easily make the case that they want total control over a huge portion of your life. Speech, your money, your property, and even what you think. Orwell was correct when he wrote of “thoughtcrime.” I just wish the political left could be persuaded to view Nineteen Eighty-Four as a dystopian novel rather than a “how-to book”.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dave Nammo

When you consider current trends in cultural norms and widely held beliefs, you will see that we are headed toward the end of the American experiment.

Dave Nammo
March 18, 2017
Socialism’s Rising Popularity Threatens America’s Future
[It’s clear we are headed for a financial collapse. And, assuming North Korea doesn’t set off a EMP enhanced nuke over our country, I can see a fairly gradual slide into something significantly different from what we have now. But I’m not sure socialism is the definitive result for the entire country.

Not all voting is done with ballots.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Defens

If DOAbayman and his ilk really think that us gun folk sit around and dream about shooting people, what must be going through his head? Does he dream of boxcars, re-education camps, and gibbets? Or just more mundane things like beatings and stonings?

Defens
September 8, 2017
Comment to Quote of the day—DOAbayman
[Good question.

But, from long experience dealing with people with mental health issues, it’s not a productive use of your time to try and understand the chaos inside their minds. Just avoid them as best you can and have simple and effective plans for your encounters with them.—Joe]

Quote of the day—DOAbayman

the only good reason to have a gun is for expensive recreational activities like hunting or target shooting. otherwise you’re that a****** sitting at home with a gun collecting dust hoping someone breaks into your home so you can live out your fantasy.

DOAbayman
September 3, 2017
Comment to Would you accept this Gun Rights / Gun Control compromise?
[This is what they think of you and our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David Codrea

Where does anyone get off requiring a free citizen to get permission to exercise a right?

Who has legitimate moral authority to impose prior restraints on rights that, depending on your beliefs, are either “endowed by our Creator” or inherent to the condition of being human?

And where do they get off legally, since Supreme Court precedent acknowledges:

“This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed …”

The Cult of Statism is determined to impose faith in a monopoly of violence enforced by follower disarmament, even though all credible observations show its tenets to be superstitious nonsense. And we know what happens to non-believers, heretics, infidels…

David Codrea
September 6, 2017
Amish Photo Exemption Bill Raises Questions about Gun Owner Control Laws and More
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—TrampsLikeUs

The only compromise I’d be a fan of; you don’t have a gun and we don’t send you to jail.

TrampsLikeUs
September 3, 2017
Comment to Would you accept this Gun Rights / Gun Control compromise?
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—1936 CONSTITUTION OF THE USSR

ARTICLE 125. In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law:


a. freedom of speech;
b. freedom of the press;
c. freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
d. freedom of street processions and demonstrations.


These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.

1936 CONSTITUTION OF THE USSR
CHAPTER X
Hammer & Sickle
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS
[H/T Richard.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn might have questioned the efficacy of this article and others. See, for example, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One).

People today would be well served to question the efficacy of our constitution as well. The people of the Soviet Union “believed in the system” even when the NKVD was arresting 25% of entire towns. And even when tens of thousands of people “disappeared” in the middle of the night to never be heard from again.

Read our constitution and Bill of Rights and then look at our Federal Government. Then think about it. Then figure what you can and need to do to fix that. Then, do it.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ayn Rand

Contrary to the prevalent views of today’s alleged scholars, history is not an unintelligible chaos ruled by chance and whim—historical trends can be predicted, and changed—men are not helpless, blind, doomed creatures carried to destruction by incomprehensible forces beyond their control.

There is only one power that determines the course of history, just as it determines the course of every individual life: the power of man’s rational faculty—the power of ideas. If you know a man’s convictions, you can predict his actions. If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course. But convictions and philosophy are matters open to man’s choice.

There is no fatalistic, predetermined historical necessity. Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course.

It is the philosophy of the mysticism-altruism-collectivism axis that has brought us to our present state and is carrying us toward a finale such as that of the society presented in Atlas Shrugged. It is only the philosophy of the reason-individualism-capitalism axis that can save us and carry us, instead, toward the Atlantis projected in the last two pages of my novel.

Ayn Rand
1966
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Is Atlas Shrugging? Pages 181 and 182
[It is trivial to see the dystopia Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged in the world around us. It is also trivial to see her utopian correction to that path is not being, and probably could never have been, followed.

I’m usually accused of being too, if not insanely, optimistic. And even looking through those rose colored glasses I only see a tiny hint of a mirage that might be a path to recovery without going through an extremely dark place and time. I fear we went speeding past our exit years, if not decades, ago and our economic and personal freedoms will suffer violent abuse without realistic hope of recovery without extreme suffering and great loss of life.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Grizzled_Stranger

Of the more than 57,763 restrictive gun laws called gun controls we know of, not one has made anyone safer, or one has reduced crime, and not one has reduced the incidence of politically motivated murders. Given that not one gun control law has produced the promised results, to cut crime, make people safer, or reduce politically motivated murders, perhaps it would be well to examine just what these wonderful laws that were going to eliminate crime, guarantee safety for all, and stop murders such as the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand actually do.

Given the facts, and that the facts are easy to obtain, why are we having this demand for gun control, a law that has never delivered on advocates promises, why the demand to add to the longest consecutive string of failures in human history?

Grizzled_Stranger
August 31, 2017
Comment to A case for gun control
[Note: I corrected a few typos from the original.

Grizzled_Stranger is, almost for certain, asking a rhetorical question. As I have asked many times before, “Since we know gun control doesn’t make the general population safer, what is the real reason some people advocate for gun control?”

Most people these days know the answer. It’s about control, it’s not about public safety. Many people feel their own lives/minds are out of control and it makes them feel good if they can control something and/or someone, even it is other people and/or their property.

For others, they like the power of being able to control other people. People with guns are not nearly as easy to control as those without guns. These people have the same mindset as Vladimir Lenin.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David B. Kopel

The Japanese Constitution, in stronger terms than its American counterpart, guarantees, social equality for women, creates a right to counsel, prohibits prolonged detention, outlaws courtroom use of confessions extracted under duress, and bars convictions based solely on confession. Today, every one of these provisions is routinely violated; action in accordance with those constitutional commands is the exception rather than the rule.

David B. Kopel
1992
The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy
[This reinforces a lesson I have learned many times in other domains and contexts. If you don’t have the means to enforce a contract the contract can and will be violated. The Japanese peasantry were long forbidden to own weapons. Any constitutional “guarantee” in such an environment is laughable. And even in our political environment only a tiny shadow of the constitutional limitations of government are enforced. But one can imagine how, with the right to keep and bear arms, it could be enforced and the limits to government restored.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Mac Slavo

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the climate change debate is over, and that the science on the matter is settled. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that there’s a strict consensus among scientists regarding global warming (and even if there was a 100% consensus, just because a lot of people believe something doesn’t mean it’s true). The people promoting the theory of man-made global warming have been caught lying too many times for us to blindly follow them.

Mac Slavo
August 23, 2017
New Climate Study Throws A Wrench In The Global Warming Debate: “Our New Technical Paper… Will Likely Be Ignored”
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rabbi Dovid Bendory

A funny thing happened after the election…the Left started buying guns.

I know, because I was approached by several congregants in synagogue, and when I asked why they had a sudden interest in firearms ownership, they told me they were concerned about the need to defend themselves against a government out of control. (Ironic, that
explanation—when we freedom-lovers felt that way about then-president Obama, a real and demonstrated threat to freedom, and we were mocked and ridiculed.)

I don’t know where this will lead us. But I do know that many of these first time buyers are in for a surprise when they learn that the Second Amendment community is welcoming, open, and tolerant. That we’re happy to greet new shooters of any political or social background. But more than any of this, I hope they learn the Second Amendment is a right, not a privilege.

Rabbi Dovid Bendory
Rabbinic Director, JPFO
A Funny Thing Happened After the Election
The Bill of Rights Sentinel, Vol 1, No 9, page 3

[A better way to tame an out of control government is to dramatically trim its powers. One would think an explanation of constitutionally enumerated powers would be sufficient enlightenment but, as those who wrote and ratified the 2nd Amendment into The Bill of Rights knew, sometimes words are not enough and more drastic measures are required.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Patrick Morrisey

Banning certain types of firearms steps on the Second Amendment. Law abiding gun owners routinely use these firearms for self-defense or sporting. Such an unconstitutional act cannot stand.

Patrick Morrisey
West Vir