29 September 2009

Celebrities: some animals are more equal...

As a society, it seems we've become quite accepting of the fact that some of us are "more equal" than the rest. Every day it seems, we hear about another case where a celebrity is let off with a lighter sentence for a crime, or is granted a "priviledge" denied to the rest.

But when is enough, enough?

Appearantly, the line is NOT drugging a 13 year old, forcibly sodomizing her , pleading guilty, then skipping out of the country.

Roman Polanski arrest: Hollywood unites in his defence (from guardian.co.uk)

The most relevent part (to me me, anyway):

Polanski fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to the unlawful sexual intercourse charges and faces up to 50 years in jail should LA County prosecutors commence proceedings and choose to request an extradition.

Salon probably has the best take on the whole thing here. But for those not willing to read the whole thing:

...let's take a moment to recall that according to the victim's grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

Sorry for the imagery, but that's what the grand jury heard. And (at least partially) what caused Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor...

Now, it's been my experience that a guilty plea (usually to a lesser charge) is a way for a guilty party to avoid a finding of "guilty" on the more serious charges. The fact that this case went before a grand jury suggests to me that Polanski intended to fight the charges, and his lawyer (hearing the prosecution's case) advised him to take a deal. After which, he skipped the country...

Personally, I don't care. Some have said he's suffered enough (after all, he wasn't able to personally accept his Oscar)... I don't see it. When you commit a crime, regardless of how "important" you are, you should do the time. Pleading guilty then skipping out before the sentencing should (in a sane world) result in enhanced sentencing.

Not in Hollyweird elites rallying to your defense.

27 September 2009

Friendly reminder...

If you're in or near Louisiana and you need to purchase a new scoot, or have your current ride worked on, you might want to skip Cycles and More.

Just sayin'...

25 September 2009

Hey... did you...?

How many of y'all knew that I'm still writing? I mean, other than here?


The magazine gig from last year went belly up: got tired of busting my hump to line the publisher's pockets. Literally, wasn't getting paid for all the work I was putting in. So I bailed, along with the guy doing layout.

The layout guy (Dub) has another couple projects coming out, and I'm involved in those. I'll give y'all more info when they are actually on the stands )or at least, on the net). But I got another one...

Contacted Concealed Carry Magazine, to see if they'd be interested in a piece on the CCW fight here in Wisconsin. Check out the result.

Blu update

OK... been using the e cigs for close to three weeks now. Things I've noticed:

-NO "smokers cough". It's very rarely I start coughing any more

-no ash or burns on clothing. This ised to be a bit of a problem (Spoon was always joking about me "making an ash of myself". Not anymore)

-My sense of smell is returning. Point of fact, I have to smoke a regular cigarette if I'm going to be around smokers, so I don't smell them.

-My tongue's turning black. Yes, this is a downside: gonna check, and make sure it isn't just the atomizer going bad. And I'm willing to deal with a black tongue for the benefits compared to a regular cigarette...

-These things last forever. Right now, I'm running about 1 a day

If I notice anything else that becomes a problem, I'll let y'all know...

11 September 2009

Today, eight years ago

Eight years ago today, 2974 people lost their lives to senseless brutality, at the hands of 19 who thought they could bring us to our knees.

I can't speak for others in the nation. But here, you are not forgotten.

Something sweet

Seems my brother Mr Fixit had something to say to someone important...

I don't actually remember my wedding day. But we'll get into that another time...

09 September 2009

Shameless capitalist that I am...

Since French and Spanish shipping has been kinda sparse lately, we here aboard the Privateer have been forced to look into "alternative means" of securing income.

For the observant readers, there's a link over on the sidebar for the e cigarettes that I mentioned a few posts back. Yes, if you click that link and place an order, I gets moneys.

For the smokers in the crowd, I have to admit that these things ARE nice. Still smoke a "real" cig every once in awhile, but most of the craving is dealt with via Blu. So if you're thinking of giving them a try, hit the link and help me out at the same time... ;)

Hey... what's today?

Verbatim conversation:

Me: "Hey... is today Wednesday?"

Spoon: "Yeah... for another couple hours yet"

Me: "Shit!" *grabs her Kimber from the nightstand*

Me: "You! Take gun... go stand over there! Point it at the evil mandolin!"

Spoon: "Can I put a bra on?"

Me: "No"

Spoon: "Can I at least brush out my hair?"

Me: "NO! have to get the pic for Humpday Hardware! Go... aim at the wouldbe rapist mandolin!"

Spoon: "sigh"


Contrary to what you might think, this is NOT her first (nor only) handgun. Her first was a USP Compact, that she ended up not really liking. It ended up being "sold" to a friend that owned a coffee shop.

This one, we got off Guns America. Only thing *I* don't like about it is the full length guide rod: to me, that's a sin.

Point of interest: this piece is the one that most women seem to gravitate to (until they see the Automag). And everyone claims it's grip is slimmer than my Colt, although I can't see a difference.

She's happy with it though. And not all that bad with it either: she tends to develop a flinch if she hasn't been on the range in awhile, but it's only enough to lower her POI roughly 12". Since she aims center mas, I'm fine with that "miss".

Here's a better shot of it:


Next week, Spoon goes cowboy!

08 September 2009

Someone snarking at Tam?

Cruising around some of the blogs I haven't been keeping up on, I found this little gem.

Now, I remember Tam commenting on this study. But, for the sake of fairness, decided to go take a look at the actual report to see if the snark was warranted...

From what little I could find, it was.

To recap what others have said: A Dr Wintemute went to several gun shows, along with a hidden camera. What he saw there led him to conclude that gun shows are THE leading source of "crime guns" in America (actually, all of North America). This is in direct opposition to the FBI's findings, that only 2% of guns used in crimes come from gun shows...

Let's actually look at what Tam was snarking at: the concept (and it's rampant in our society) that having a bunch of letters after your name makes you an expert in EVERYTHING.

Unless you've been studying guns (and gun laws), and have vision so good you can differentiate between an actual select-fire m-16 and a semi-only AR* at a distance, you have no basis to judge whether or not a transaction is legal. Telepathy would be another good thing to have here. Allow me to explain.

Judging the difference between an illegal gun and a legal gun, without handling the weapon in question, is impossible. The things that can make a gun illegal (full auto, silencer, size**) can NOT be determined just by a quick glance. Measurements are needed, fake "silencers" were all the rage for awhile as a cosmetic thing, and FA would require a working knowledge of the weapon's inner workings. So simple observation doesn't work for that area if illegality...

Maybe he's talking about illegal activities?

Let's see... I suppose straw purchase of a weapon would qualify. Actually, that is THE only activity that I can think of that you could "guess at a distance"***. Problem being, how do you tell? If my wife wants to get me a Glonkulator 2010 for my birthday (which would be perfectly legal), but wasn't sure what I was talking about, she might go to a gun show with a friend of mine, and ask his opinion. From a distance, this would look like a classic straw purchase (but would still be entirely legal).

Very much in the same way a father picking up his teenage daughter from a teen club might look like someone soliciting a prostitute.

So yeah... Tam's snark (as usual), is warranted in this case.


But what about Mike's assertion that "pro-gun folks resist these intelligent and highly educated men so aggressively? Why is it necessary to attack them on their expertise as well as their veracity? What's wrong with simply discussing the issues?"

He's referring to folks who are vocal anti-gun supporters (including the illustrious Paul Helmke). Still, I think I'll address this one.

Mike... if you're reading this, it's not that we're "resisting these... men so aggressively". We're rejecting their findings, as they do not match the evidence that we have seen time and again. Almost every claim made by the anti side has been refuted, fairly completely. They've been caught in lies so many times that we (on the pro-gun side) have simply gotten to the point that we don't even bother checking.

Honestly, if Paul Helmke came up to me and told me I was on fire, I would doubt him. Despite the sense of heat. It's gotten that ingrained in us now.


* Unless you actually opened the weapon up, or manipulated the selector switch, you can NOT tell any difference. Hell, I have a friend with a lower that's semi-only, but marked for FA.

** Full auto capability, minimum length, and silencers are all regulated by the Federal government. Each requires a tax stamp and paperwork. And it's always possible that someone could be taking legal possession of such at a gun show

*** There are other activities that would be illegal. But how the hell could you tell if someone was falsifying info on the 4473, or was handling weapons as a prohibited person?


I always wondered what Law Dog meant when he used that phrase. Now, I understand.

Arizona Rifleman has a classic up. Check it out!

07 September 2009

Random thoughts, late at night: Where are we going, and what's with the handbasket?

Damn... I hate insomnia...

Anyway... I had mentioned the stupidity of the sin tax on cigarettes. Allow me to steer this ole' girl into some treacherous waters, and ramble on for a bit...


Ok. Now, I'll never claim that tobacco is "healthy", or "safe", or any such nonsense. I think there've been enough studies and experiments to prove that nicotine (not to mention all the other chemicals in cigarette smoke) is a poison. I get that. I also tend to believe that, in a free society, adults should be allowed to do whatever they wish within certain limits*.

The joke our society has become says otherwise. Or rather, takes "certain limits" and defines them as "anything we wish".

We are rapidly approaching the level of Demolition Man. For those not familiar, let me quote the relevant exchange. Went something lilke this:

-You, get me a Marlboro.
-Yes, of course.
-What's a Marlboro?
-It's a cigarette. Any cigarette.
-Smoking is not good for you.
-Anything not good for you is bad
-Hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine,
contact sports, meat--
-Are you shitting me?

Yes, folks: that's where we're heading. Don't believe me? How many of you remember wearing a bicycle helmet as a kid?


But what does this have to do with taxes? Well, that's a fun one.

See, Wisconsin has been using a "sin tax" on tobacco for awhile now. It was never all that big, and it was always described as "an attempt to make it too expensive to smoke".

Of course, what they failed to mention is that nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals we've got. And despite their claims ("we want to reduce smoking"), every year they figure on the take from the sin tax as part of the budget.

Yes, you read that right: they project what their "take" on that tax will be (remember, the one that's supposed to reduce use of the product?), and figure that amount into the budget. Anybody see a problem?

And isn't it funny how Wisconsin's budget is #11 in deficit, with a 2.3 billion shortfall.

Want another joke in there? Anybody remember the tobacco lawsuits? Guess where all THAT money went? Here in WI, it was used to balance the budget... temporarily...


Sorry about the rant, there. It's late, I'm probably not very coherant. But this is getting worse and worse. And I keep asking myself, "Where IS the breaking point?".

No, I'm not suggesting that we should all start putting on web gear and shooting police and politicians. But the nation as a whole DOES have a point where violence will start up. How far away from that point are we?


And for those saying "we've passed that point, and should start hangin' folks now!": the next "civil war" in this nation is going to make the previous one look like a pick-up game of paintball. It's not gonna be "you'n's over thar, and usn's over heah". It's going to be a wild ride of "everybody against everybody", with the fate of the nation in the balance. Watch the end scene of Reservoir Dogs: that's the next American Civil War in microcosm.

So think of hitting the aforementioned paintball field, with several hundred of your closest friends. The field is the city you live in. Each and every one of the players has a different goal to achieve to "win". And each is completely convinced that there can be only one winner. Sounds like it'll be a nice clean game, doesn't it?


Hey, while all the "manly men" are off fighting each-other, how about we take a minute and think about the future. No, not the "Want to help me eliminate Ed?" future of tomorrow, but the "What do we replace the current system and critters with?" future.

I've heard many plans of how to take over the government, overthrow them, run them out on rails, and (my favorite) dress them as clowns and use them as live fire targets. Great: "we" somehow manage to remove these folks and their bloated system. What do we replace it with?

We can try using the Constitution: it was goo for a couple hundred years, before a reset was needed. Right?

Take a look at the US Code sometime. Not in-depth, just a glance at how much is there. Is it ALL junk, that needs to be discarded?

No? Then who decides what to keep and what to toss?

Oh... while we're playing that game, remember that we DO have enemies, and there WILL be people here in the states that are gonna try and steer us back to the nanny state we're in. How much time do we have to get everything figured out and in place, before the Madagascar Expeditionary Force decide to invade?


Sorry 'bout the rambling. I got to thinking, and that's NEVER a good thing...

* "certain limits" means direct impact on another.

06 September 2009

Just about that time again...

Yes it is... Sunday night, and just one hour until BACA Nation!

What... you haven't caught the show yet? Shame on you!

Go to www.bacanation.com, and click on the "live" link at the top.

Then, get yourself into the chatroom, and have a blast!

even old pirates...

... can learn new tricks!

No, your eyes DON'T deceive you: I FINALLY figured out how to size pictures in this bloody thing!

Applause not necessary, just throw money!

05 September 2009

Trying something new to beat da man

Ok... not sure how many of you are aware, but I'm a smoker.

Like many a smoker, I've resigned myself to living my life as a pariah: even joke about it when I enter the designated smoking area at a social function. "Ahh... HERE'S the rest of the social lepers!". And I was ready for this state of affairs to continue, with our legiscritters and goobernor deciding that Wisconsin should be "smoke free". Then I made a discovery...

What I found was the "electric cigarette". Sounds silly, doesn't it? Ran into someone with one at Faire, and thought "this might have it's uses". So I did me some research, and found one that didn't break the bank (I chose the Blu Cig). Good timing on my part.

Last night, while buying chocolate for Spoon, I noticed that the tax hike on cigarettes has gotten out of hand. The pouches of loose tobacco I use to roll my smokes has doubled in price (I'll have a rant about the sin tax and associated stupidity later this weekend). Thankfully, my "e-cig" starter kit was already on it's way.

Point of fact, it arrived today.

So I'm giving this thing a test-drive. So far, my impressions are good.


First off: when I placed my order, I was warned that it might be 4-6 weeks due to backorder. Now, I don't know if this is the "Scotty Ploy", or I just got lucky. But the package showed up in roughly a week.

Here it is, just opened up:

I was actually impressed with the packaging: I had ordered one of the less expensive "starter kits", but this thing was nice.

The starter kit comes with 2 batteries, the "pack" (which is a combination carry case and mobile charger), USB and wall charger units, and a "carton" of cartridges. That's 5 packs of 5 each. Looks like this:

And yes, that's a quarter for size comparison.

Got the batteries all charged up, and started using the silly thing. And again: I'm impressed.

It's not like smoking a normal cigarette... not quite. There's no ash, no real odor. And no sense of smoke invading your lungs. Just a nice clean delivery of nicotine to my system.

Managed to go through one cartridge (actually trying to finish off the second while I type this). Since I usually average between 10 & 20 cigarettes a day, that isn't all that bad. And my usual "smoker's hack" just hasn't really been there...

So tentatively, we're going to give a Privateer Seal of Approval to Blu Cigs as an alternative to actual burning tobacco...


Gonna add in here: smoking IS stupid. It amounts to willingly putting poison into your body. But that's one of the great things about freedom: we CAN choose to do these things.

The day our society actually works like the one in Demolition Man, I'll become a hermit...

03 September 2009

Hey Kiel!

Ok... since asshat got me checking Sitemeter, I noticed someone from Kiel checking me, fairly regularly.

Hey... Kiel! Drop an email: I'll treat for coffee, or something!

I'll make that a standing offer, for anyone who drops in around the NE Wisconsin lakeshore...

Change to Comments

Sorry about the posting: work's been interesting.

Some may notice a change to the posting permissions aboard here: I'm no longer allowing anonymous comments. There's a reason.

Take a look at the first comment about Squeaker's baby. Looks VERY much as if this douche followed me back from Holly's, and a post she made about "childfree people". And felt the need to take a shot here too.

Now, I'm all for freedom of speech. And I have no trouble with someone wanting to take a shot at me: folks have tried everything but actual gunfire, and I'm still standing. But asshats making snide comments behind the anonymity of their computer screen shouts out "coward". And I'll not abide cowardice here. ESPECIALLY when it's aimed (however ineffectually) against a child.

So... new Privateer policy: if you're going to say something, you're gonna have to own it. If you can't, or don't want your name attached to whatever you're spewing, then piss up a rope.