Carnival of Cordite #24

What yours truly the neophyte shoots:

I don’t know if a pistol can truly put a warranty on my lifetime… but its judicious application certainly has the capacity to extend it so that I can get home to my wife… whose idea of the same is a little different…

Boo-boo can be a very obedient little cat after my wife has taken him by the paw and, gently and lovingly, explained both the facts of life and her long, heartfelt affair with cookbooks…

Welcome, to the Carnival of Cordite!

First out of the gate, since I’ve taken a roundabout way of playing “I”ll show you mine,” James Rummel over at Hell in a Handbasket has posted the “what’s next to your headstand?” challenge. Some interesting replies, both in terms of firearms and books.

Okay, now we’re going to change gears a little bit, and go from serious to progressively lighter.


This week has several responses to the shooting in London…

Confederate Yankee points out that they’re not fooling around in England after the 7/7 attacks. If you think the bad guy might have on a suicide vest, why shoot at the explosives? Similarly, he has this to say:

London Cops made a mistake when they killed the man who ran from them in a
packed subway car. Under their own doctrine, he never should have made
that far.

Shoot/No-Shoot is a serious issue, and one of the ones most in the public eye. So, for this week’s “random question by the host,” I’d like to hear some feedback on when theory meets practice. Confederate Yankee just came down with both feet on “theory.” Agree? Disagree?


The Countertop Chronicles has a quick update you might want to see: how does our new Supreme Court nominee stack up on the Second Amendment and other rights of the people?

They named this Center, for a guy named Brady,
and they’re rabid about no-one having guns;
they bend and stretch the truth just like a pretzel,
but it helps their members raise a lot of funds!
The Brady Bunch, this crazy bunch…

I don’t get these guys and the other rabid anti-gun nuts. I’ve got guns, and I haven’t hurt anybody since this kid Terry and I got in a fight back in seventh grade. I even managed to get out from under being mugged by three gypsies in Budapest without having to hurt anybody. But these guys are somehow convinced that the Devil is going to crawl into my pistol or rifle late at night and make it run around like something out of “Not without my handbag.” My pistol is a zombie, from hell? ::Shakes head::

Well, these loonies are at it again. Retired Geezer at Blog Idaho got a letter from his buddy, John, a pro-gun Democrat, that has made the Geezer think that perhaps they’re not just terribly mislead, after all.

Well, apparently S.397 really got under the toenails of these guys in the tinfoil hat brigade. I think that Zell Miller says it best, when he describes why gun manufacturers need protection from lawsuits:

By any standard, S. 397 is common-sense legislation.
Let’s think about it for a second but remove firearms from the equation. We’ll
substitute some other products. Do you believe that Ford Motor Co. should be
dragged into court to be held responsible for damage to life and limb caused by
drunk drivers? Do you believe that Callaway Golf should be held accountable
because someone was assaulted with one of that company’s Big Bertha irons? Of
course you don’t.

And as the Oregon Firearms Federation points out, if lying about legislation isn’t low enough, then how about getting the Senators in your pocket to try to load up your bill with anti-gun amendments? (hat tip, GOA)

On the same lines, Kevin at Technogypsy is on the ball with amendment updates, and smells a rat: trigger locks?

Owen, on the other hand, has a much more serious problem with the trigger lock amendment… what to do with all of them?

Also, Why are they suing a gun store? asks Shamalama at Common Folk, Common Sense. Hrm… because they can? Because they forgot their tinfoil hats?

Jay G from Toys in the Attic thinks that to some extent, gun owners are bringing it on themselves, by selling themselves a pile of bunk: It’s the notion that when you pick up a gun you have the “power of life and death” in your hands. Well worth the read.

The Countertop Chronicles engages in a bit of why do we bring these people in alive, again? musing, after reading about, well, a truly hideous mother.

File it under “why do we have a Second Amendment?”

Glenn Reynolds, at Instapundit notes that some Buddhists in the South of Thailand are arming in order to resist the recent Islamist religious ethnic cleansing going on. (Geez, do these guys ever let up?) Glenn says that they should be sent some guns… and having been right next door to the Balkans a decade ago, I couldn’t agree more.

Then again, freedom can cost you, as when some myrmidons over at Pacific Northwest National Labs apparently fired a guy for supporting the Second Amendment. Michelle Malkin has the scoop… apparently they’re not real fond of the First Amendment, either.

“With my Smith and Wesson, I’m never alone.” Countertop takes a quick look at expanding the nation of riflemen (through some GREAT ads that put it right in perspective).

Peter Davis at Shakey Pete’s Shooting Shack has installment two of his guide to basic handloading. Thanks, Mr. Davis. If you’re a complete neophyte like myself, reading about handloading has always seemed to bear a startling resemblance to translating Linear A. This installment is very heavy on safety, which is a Good Thing(tm).

I’m not ashamed to admit that PawPaw, on the other hand, has just completely mystified me concerning how to modified a standard .45 load so that it shoots like his service revolver. I’m thrilled, on the other hand, to know that there are good guys around who shoot like this.

Cutter, over at Wadcutter, answers one of the exact sorts of questions that newbies like me ask: ”How much heating of a gun barrel comes from friction and how much from the burning powder?” Not only does he do it, he also makes the answer easy to comprehend with a spiffy comparison, too.

The Lighter Side
Mr. Rummel pipes up again with the latest and greatest of modern firearms dressed up in the far future of Battlestar Galactica. NEAT little carbine!
I think this is legit, though. Even in the far future, slugthrowers of some sort will still have a place, simply because they derive their power from chemistry that is very hard to gimmick or shut down at a distance. As opposed to lugging around a power pack. Or will it be like B5, where the battery is considered the ammo for plasma ejectors? (Knowing me, I’d probably push left even with a ray-gun.) My other question was as much about law enforcement as about firearms, so pipe up, especially you guys who went back and forth on Anti-Zombie munitions…

Stuff to put your stuff in,” says Cowboy Blob, home of the harmonica-playing varmint. Because let’s face it: if you’re going to spend an afternoon having fun at the shooting range, carrying your gear around in a slowly-disintegrating cardboard box just doesn’t really cut it. Hmm… I like my pistol’s box… but I have to admit that Cowboy Blob is definitely inside the ring on this one.

Bill at the Freeholder lets us in on some serious quality time he picked up with his Dad, 81, and his Dad’s grandkids at the range. Dad hadn’t pulled a trigger in thirty years: go check out how he did.

Bill, you’re the Blog of the Week. Usually that’s a Second-Amendment post, but I’m awarding it based purely on putting it all in perspective… if more folks understood just how naturally guns fit into everyday wholesome lives, a lot of the rest of the gun debates would simply fold in the public’s eye under their ow weight.

El Capitan over at Baboon Pirates has two posts for us this week. The first is a mine mine mine description of two lovely new rifles in his collection, an FN49, and a custom gal you’ve got to see, chambered for .257. SWEET rifle, Capitan. Along those lines, he’s worried about the expense of the obscure ammo, and wants feedback on whether to change barrels for reloaded 45 long? I’m a total newbie in the rifle world — I own two rifles, a Marlin and a Mosin-Nagant, both picked because they were reliable and cheap — so I officially wimp out and punt, even though I kind of like the idea of a fast tackdriver.

Recreation: Matches and Tournaments

Mr. Completely has the low-down on a couple different tourneys:

–>First up, Mr. Completely has some entries in the “Flyswatter” contest… ” You just wouldn’t think that something that looks so easy could be as tough as it is.” Um, Mr. Completely, that’s just an indication of how far out of my league you really are. Yours truly took one look at it and realized he didn’t even dare.

–>Next up, the CWSA bowling-pin shoot in Coupeville Washinton, and the Missoula MSSA Celebrity shoot from the next day (with some really wild entry classes, too. Bowling-pin shooting with an M-60?)

—>Keewee wins herself “High Lady” at the Missoula shoot, too. Congratulations ma’am!

And “Cabinboy” at the Revolutionary War Veterans Association has an after-action report from the First Annual Wyoming Riflemen’s Challenge. And for those of you who couldn’t make it, you can still make the Wyoming Riflemen Association’s “500 to 50 Challenge” on August 27, as well as the Nation of Riflemen/RWVA Texas Riflemen’s Weekend on October 29-30. “Grab your gun and gear, and we’ll see ya at the range!”

Thanks for waiting so long into the evening, everybody. My intuition was right, and we had several late submitters. Don’t forget next week, when we swing by … oh, heck, the new host list isn’t up yet. Okay, well swing by the Main Cordite Page for updates, and have a great weekend.


Carnival of Cordite in a couple of hours

No hiatus here, folks: having put in a few late entries myself, I wanted to give folks time to put stuff in this morning. And since I can’t access outside messaging from work, that means I’ll be leavning here in about two hours, and then will have it up directly, probably by about 5:30 or 6.

It’s a neat set of posts this week, so stay tuned.

FairTax Debates

Purchased an advance copy of Boortz and Linder's FairTax book. One of the most cogent rebuttals I've heard concerning the FairTax is that in order not to send deficits sky-high, the national sales tax proposed would have to be something on the order of 30% or so… which would inevitably prompt avoidance behavior, further reducing state revenue. Therefore, it will never pass.

I'm not sure of the extent to which the numbers eventually fall into place: nobody is, because it depends on the specific proposal put into law. FairTax is a real piece of legislation, not an incremental wonkish tinkering. Therefore, it faces higher hurdles than the sort of everyday, out-of-sight Congressional business we're accustomed to getting from DC.

However, even if this is true, thhere are four mitigating reasons to support the FairTax proposal.


Carnival of Cordite here this week!

Yes, I, the amateur who knows less about guns than some of these guys do while they’re snoring heavily, am being allowed to host the Carnival of Cordite this week. Maybe I’ll start off by taking a picture of my *vast* firearms collection, mwahahaha.

In case you’re not familiar with it, the Carnival of Cordite is a weekly carnival devoted to guns, shooting, and the Second Amendment (and the issues that come with it, from women’s self-defense through specific-bill-politics). It’s generally non-partisan, PG-13 (at worst), family-friendly, and very, very patient with beginners’ questions.

In short, if you have a post or comments on the subject you’d like to share with us this week (Milbloggers and messages-from-theatre welcome! — anonymity preserved upon request), please either email me your submission at c a r n i v a l o f c o r d i t e a t h o t m a i l d o t c o m, or else use Ferdy the Conservative Cat’s handy dandy “Carnival Submission Form, ” located here. If you like, you can also simply pop on by and drop your urls in the comments box below the post.

The deadline is Friday, at 2 a.m. EST. Hope to see you there.

Carnival of the Optimists #15: Future Dreams

So, I’m sitting around wondering “where on earth is my hovercar?”

And (the oh-so not-safe-for-work) Satire sends me his latest missive about a cool new nicotine-enhanced beer that smokers can use to quit the habit… I have obviously sensed a theme.

Welcome, to the Carnival of the Optimists.

This week’s carnival is fairly small, following upon Satire’s footsteps.

Plain Good News.
Over at Technogypsy, Son #1 is at the Boy Scouts Jamboree, and is doing fine outside of a light heat injury. (Contains some politics, but how can you argue with “be prepared” and “can do?”)

Harvey over at Bad Example, has a serious suggestion. If you have a list of items to be achieved that’s as long as the alphabet, and you finish even more frazzled than you started… why would you call that vacation?

This week is going to be a touch heavy on Progress.

First, a double-whammy from Wired, simply too good to ignore.
#1: What happens when nanotech won’t do the job, and your own field is failing to figure it out, too? You go interdisciplinary, that’s what you do. And in the process, create yet another means of snuffing out cancer not only within our lifetime, but theoretically within the decade.

#2: Living animals have regained locomotion as their spinal cords were mended in the lab with stem cells — theoretically highly-adaptible to humans. Unfortunately, this particular case is embryonic stem cells, which carries truly significant ethical issues when taken to humans… but as a precedent, this is clearly a step in the right direction.

The Third entry is a political entry by Tony Blankley, appearing on RealClearPolitics. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Half of you are thinking “finally, he’s breaking down and coming out with the politics,” and the other is dreading the emergence of the Almighty Political Snarkitude. Well, “I heart the snarkitude.” But not in this particular Carnival. This is Blankley pointing out that the debate over abortion, one of the most horrifically, viciously divisive battles in American politics, may go the way of the dodo not because one side or the other triumphed… but because the stellar advance of embryonic viability technology made it a near non-issue. If you’ve ever known a woman who desperately wanted children in spite of the looming threat of miscarriage… read this link.

And that’s it for today, folks. Keep ’em coming, and we’ll see you next week.

Somebody in the Senate gets it.

May wind up committing us to World War Five, but at least they get it.
Universal democracy, anyone?

Boxing Alcibiades meets the Wayback Machine

It looks like I’ll be able to use Wayback to rescue my old blog posts… (insert happy sounds here).
Now if I can only figure out how to configure my template to allow both a left and a right sidebar, I’ll be a happy man (I’d like to break up the blog roll and the link archive from each other, in order to do a better job with both).

Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer and the 2nd Amendment

Okay, this has made the rounds for a while now, but just in case you were under a rock, we had a medic get drilled in the chest at close range (75 yards, easy shooting), purportedly with a Dragunov, and then get back up on his feet, get a fix on the sniper, and then tend the sniper’s wounds after helping take him down.

Here are the links:

Army Times.
256 BCT.
Video footage care of JACK ARMY.

Okay, for the record, I’m glad Pfc. Tschiderer is okay. I’m also glad that he’s enough of a medic to fix up the sniper, so we can parade him around as a dumbass for all the world to see. And I’m glad our body armor is good enough that we can take this footage and splash it all over the Middle East.

I start to wonder, though, at the ramifications this technology has for the 2nd amendment, which, as we know, is there so that when the boys in charge get too far out of line, we can remind them who’s really in charge.

Now, I’m not donning a tinfoil hat here. Unlike the idiotarians, I have no fever dreams about the US Army taking away our freedoms this week. That’s a job for Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court, and they’re making a fine work of it.

But what are the long-term ramifications when, if things really WERE to go south, the technology, which is continuing to improve by leaps and bounds, particularly with the soon-to-be advent of liquid armor-treated uniforms, an occupying force (anywhere in the world) can simply shrug off the best arms that any civilian can possess?

Granted, I know how to build a mean death-ray, actually, two different ways (one a heat ray, another a lightning gun), but they’d be more than just a little bulky, and REAL easy to take out…

At any rate, let my nagging worry be noted, and I’ll be lifting one tonight for Private Tschiderer. Thanks, friend. Glad you made it.

Carnival of the Optimists #14: Being good to yourself

Wow. First our guest took me longer than expected (in itself a good thing), then the next morning I hit the ground running (insofar as maple syrup runs), and last night before training I thought “Okay, let me get fifteen minutes, and then I’ll get the Carnival up.” Promptly to be woken up by my wife almost two hours later.

In other words, welcome to the (Relentlessly-Late) Carnival of the Optimists.

This week has a little Good News, a Lot of Bootstrap… and something very special. At any rate, I think it’s special, and it’s my carnival, so nyaa nyaa.

Good News:

A fantastic time was had at a Protein Stability Conference, by Technogypsy. Apparently, the relative gullibility of rainbow trout, and turning a pre-teen into a “mental chew-toy” (knowning Techno, this means big-time teasing), were a serious portion of the academic exercises.

We’re shy on Good News submissions, folks. It doesn’t have to be anything of earth-shattering significance. Simple reminders that life is good have all the value they could ever need.


First, one of the best things I’ve seen in a while from Steve Pavlina. There are people to whom I’d like to personally staple a copy of this one… You Have the Right to be Wrong.

Second up, from Bad Example, one simple technique for Time Management.

In lieu of Progress this week, something important. Living. By Cicero at Winds of Change.
Life is a value. Living is itself valuable. Cicero went to the edge of death, and returned.
If I changed the details a little bit, and involved acorns, rather than dim sum, I could tell the exact same story. Like Cicero, I also carry long-term repercussions from the incident that will be with me until I’m not…

but that’s the deal with Optimism. The Pessimist looks at reality, decides it’s not what he wants it to be, and loses hope — or even worse, becomes a cynic. The naif simply remains in denial about the world, because it’s easier to keep wearing rose-tinted glasses. But real Optimism requires seeing the world for what it is… and finding that what is, is good.

That’s all for this week. Go read Cicero, and we’ll catch you next time.
And keep that Good News coming!


Highly speculative, but, um, wow.
He’s stepped out with a couple of major claims. If they bear out… eep.

Hey, look at the bright side.

You could have had this guy’s day.

Melodrama vs. Reality

Off the cuff, as I sit here at work, 33 years old, let me present to you the geopolitical history of my life.

Desert Shield and Storm

The First Wave:
The Scorched Flag of Hungary (The “Trabi” Revolution?)
The Wall is Breached
The Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia
The German Reunification
The Romanian Revolution
Baltic and Caucasian Independence

The Wars Against Milosevic:
The Slovanian Withdrawal
First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Serbian Revolution

East Timor
Tianenmen (sp?) Square
Rwanda and the plight of Sub-Saharan Africa

The Afghan Invasion and Restoration
The Iraqi Invasion and fall of Hussein
The Rose Revolution
The Orange Revolution
The Cedar Revolution
The Tulip Revolution

Upcoming/In Process:
The Return of the Lion (Iran)
Morocco? (reforms from above!)
Syria ?

There are some things I’m not 100% sure how to fit in… for example, the Chechen revolution was one thing, and then another, and now a third. West and Central Africa have not been success stories, by and large. And Eritrea/Ethiopia? I don’t have a clue how whether that fits the pattern. Similarly for the Caucasian border conflicts.

But I think it’s safe to say that within my lifetime, there is an overarching theme: more people on this planet are free from tyranny than at any point in human history. And to a great extent, that march towards freedom is what has been determining the scope of our current conflicts. It can’t be understimated. China threatened to NUKE hundreds of American cities this week. Because we were poised to invade China or North Korea? Nope. Because they feel threatened by our airbases in Central Asia. Nope again. Merely because we stand for, and are willing to fight for, the freedom of 22 million Taiwanese underneath the polite veneer of the “One China” policy.

I think that this needs to be taken as a whole, understood as a whole. However suspicious one might rightly be concerning historical dialectics, this seems to be precisely what we have in motion. On again, off again, cold and hot… is it melodrama, or reality, to call this the Great Freedom War?

Just in case anybody out there is still unclear on the concept….

Tyrants collude with other tyrants, ideology notwithstanding.
Terrorists and gangsters collude with other terrorists and gangsters, ideology notwithstanding.

Why? Because evil recognizes evil, and those who oppress, maim, and slaughter the innocent recognize their own approvingly.

So, why should anybody be surprised when a pro-ETA newspaper in the Basque country supports the 7/7 bombings in London? Of course they do, just like FARC and the IRA collude with Al-Qaeda, and MS13 is hired by “The Spaniard” to smuggle jihadists across the border into the US.

The US and its allies are playing a game of Diplomacy.
China has come right out and proclaimed that it’s playing Civilization, (the PLA likes AQ, and hasn’t backed off its threats to nuke the US, either).
And the jihadis and gangsters are playing a particularly twisted form (insofar as that is possible) of Grand Theft Auto.

Each game has a different set of rules, advantages, and disadvantages. And, each game is competing with the other games for supremacy.

When presented with the facts, only a Noam-Chomsky-reading Idiotarian could come to any conclusion other than that we are faced with something every bit as globally dangerous as the Cold War, where the only rules are those that define you.

OUR rules happen to involve a sense of fair play. Of not punishing the innocent along with the guilty. Heated discussions involving nothing more than the properly ethical response — and even the properly ethical attitude.

Theirs involve (PLA) the wholesale oppression of tens of millions, and, (AQ) literally glories in the mass slaughter of the innocent, the bombing of infants, and stabbings little Jewish girls in their beds, simply because of who they are. None of us particularly relish playing Diplomacy for real. The Great Game is something that, in a better world, would be eschewed for Parcheezi. But, our opponents like playing their games.

So we’d better win.

Zarqawi to force sectarian war?

Well, Sistani is out front calling the Sunni bombings a “genocidal war.” As well he should.

Yes, I am aware that our interests in Iraq do NOT involve a bloody sectarian war. However, Shia interests surely include not having Sunni foreigners coming in from other countries in order to kill them.

Dicey, difficult, and dangerous.

It begins.

The Iranians are slowly starting to fight for their freedom.
(hat tip, WindsofChange)

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