The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Archive for May, 2009

Abortion Doctor Is Murdered. Yes Randall Terry, You ARE At Fault.

Posted by Bill Nance on May 31, 2009

I’m not a zealot on abortion in any sense of the word. I view abortion as at best, a conflict of rights, and sometimes, morally reprehensible.

But I also think the idea of giving a 6-week-old fetus co-equal rights with a woman who must spend the next 8 months pregnant and give birth to it is just silly. One person is here and has rights which cannot be argued. The other is at best, a potential human being.

At some point the choice becomes significantly more morally daunting. For me this is the third trimester. This is because a preemie born at seven months has a pretty good chance of survival, even without heroic life-saving measures. And let’s face it, if you haven’t been able to make up your mind after 6 months, asking you to wait another couple isn’t the end of the world.

There are exceptions to this.

1. The life or long-term health of the mother.  This is an inviolable rule. A potential human being does not have the right to kill, permanently sterilize or otherwise wreck the health of a person already here.

2. In the case where only late-term tests can tell about the viability/health of a fetus. For all you zealots out there arguing this point, Either show me your adopted Downs Syndrome, Autistic or Crohn’s disease children or STFU.  No one should be forced to go through with a pregnancy, usually a very much wanted one, when the child will be horribly disabled.

Enter the latest case of abortion doctor murders, Dr. George Tiller.

Tiller was gunned down in his church, in front of his wife today. No doubt in connection with his work as a physician who provides late-term abortions.

Perhaps Dr. Tiller was not a nice man. I don’t know. What I do know is that he operated within the law and was one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions. Something as I’ve already said I have mixed feelings about, but also something that in some cases is clearly a moral choice. -Unless you’re a religious fanatic like Randall Terry, Godfather of the nut-job organization Operation Rescue.

This organization has been calling doctors who perform abortions of any kind at any stage of development murderers for over 20 years.  Of course they never bother to mention in their disgusting literature that fetuses are spontaneously aborted (miscarried) in about 40% of all early pregnancies. Most women never even know they are pregnant when this happens. So their God is the biggest abortionist of all, but that doesn’t count I guess.

Here is Terry’s Statement on the murder of Doctor Tiller:

George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.

When you repeatedly call someone a mass murderer and inject God into the mix, people will take you at your word. They will say to themselves: “Hey, this is a mass-murderer for Gosh sake!  Killing him will be saving thousands of lives!” And do the deed. Terry knows this very well. And he doesn’t even bother to express sorrow that the doctor was murdered. Merely that “We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.”

If you want to know why I’ve com to truly despise the right wing-crazies in this country, look not further than Terry’s statement. What a dirtbag. He’s an unindicted co-conspirator to multiple murders. We can’t prosecute his speech, but we can sure as Hell call it what it is: Incitement to murder.

Posted in Crime, Law & Order, Politics, Right-Wing Nut-jobery, Theocrat Watch | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sad Puppies

Posted by Bill Nance on May 31, 2009

Our two dogs were boarded last weekend so we could go to Vermont to attend the college graduation of my wife’s baby sister.

At any rate, this morning we started hearing the tell=tale signs of the infamous Kennel Cough (Tracheobronchitis).

Of course both dogs will get it because it’s infectious as Hell. which means two, very sick, very miserable quarantined dogs for the next couple of weeks.  Both the boys are healthy so chances are they’ll be just fine, though the youngest one, Pippin, has it pretty bad this time and is just miserable, off his food and very clinging.

The vet/boarding facility is top notch, but I’m seriously thinking I’ll pay someone to come dog sit for a few days the next time. Heck, at the price it’s quite the nice weekend gig for someone.

All hail the sick pooch:

Posted in Dogs, Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

They Discourage Self Help…Except For Themselves

Posted by Bill Nance on May 29, 2009

Here in the National Socialist Republik of Massachusetts our esteemed Attorney General has stated: “all I’m saying is that, you know, we, we really try and discourage people from self help.” This was in response to a father being arrested when his four-year-old was groped in a public restroom for punching the assaulter.

As usual with gun-control advocates, when their own skin is on the line, all their ideals about waiting for the police to protect them go out the window.  Of course anyone who’s bothered to look at it knows that Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif has had a concealed weapons permit since the 70s. A privilege she would deny all the rest of us.

But now another prominent gun-control advocate has also been outed as a lying, cowardly hypocrite.

Don Perata, D-Oakland has been outed as the scumbag he is by applying for the very permit he would deny all law abiding citizens.  If this degenerate POS doesn’t illustrate the cowardice and hypocrisy of the gun-control movement, nothing does.

Tell me one more time about how only law enforcement can be trusted with guns…When the primary architects of this argument have private security protection or concealed weapons permits.

Color me disgusted.

Posted in Creeping Fascism watch, firearms, Guns Dammit!, Left-Wing Nut-Jobery, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hey Dick…

Posted by Bill Nance on May 27, 2009

Posted in International, Law & Order, National Security | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

North Korea’s Nuke

Posted by Bill Nance on May 25, 2009

When I awoke this morning to the news that North Korea had confirmed an underground nuclear test of a bomb about the same size that detonated over Hiroshima. I knew it was going to be a bad day for U.S. diplomats and policy makers.

Aside from the fact that any time a new nation joins the “Nuclear Club” it’s bad news, North Korea is particularly troubling because of the nature of the regime.  North Korea is a major exporter of missile technology to places like Iran among others, and is listed as a major supporter of terrorism. Additionally it’s been launching very provocative missile tests near to Japan, which quite legitimately fears the prospect of a nuclear-armed North Korea with missile capability just off it’s coast. When you add in the essentially psychopathic behavior of it’s dictator, Kim Jong Il, it’s a scary situation indeed.

So what are the options for the United States?

Nothing military, according to Stratfor, for one simple reason.

North Korea has some 10,000 fortified artillery pieces trained on Seoul. It is essential to understand that South Korea’s capital city, a major population center and the industrial heartland of South Korea, is within range of conventional artillery. The United States has been moving its forces out of range of these guns, but the South Koreans cannot move their capital.

…It comes down to this: If the United States strikes at North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, it does so placing a bet. And that bet is that North Korea will not respond. That might be true, but if it is not true, it poses a battlefield problem to which neither South Korea nor the United States will be able to respond. In one scenario, the North Koreans bombard Seoul and the United States makes a doomed attempt at shutting down the massive artillery barrage. By the time the guns are silenced — even in the best-case scenarios — Seoul will be a mess. In another scenario, the North Korean army executes an offensive of even minimal competence, which costs South Korea its capital and industrial heartland. The third is a guerrilla onslaught from the elite of the North Korean army, deployed by minisubs and tunnels under the DMZ. The guerrillas pour into the south and wreak havoc on U.S. military installations.

Today I had the pleasure of the company of my brother-in-law who has spent the last three years in Japan, speaks the language fluently and is familiar with the culture and politics there. According to him, this could be the impetus to change Japan’s constitution to allow it to have an army and air force beyond the tiny self protection force it currently has. It could also be the impetus for Japan to “go Israel,” meaning that Japan builds it’s own nuclear missiles. -Something that Japan could probably accomplish in a matter of months, if not weeks.

So for Barack Obama, it’s a bad situation all the way around. Negotiations have proved useless, the South Koreans have no interest in a conflict with their brothers to the north and the Chinese have been unwilling to restrain their vassal.

Here’s a fun scenario I thought of: (It will never happen, but it’s fun to think about).

Tonight the president makes a call to the Prime Minister of Japan and convinces him of the existential threat to his nation and proposes a deal:

The United States will provide Bunker-Buster bombs and the best satellite photos and intelligence about North Korea’s nuclear program and have Japan make the strike.

Yes, the world will howl, but the bet, as discussed in the Stratfor article above will be changed to some degree in that the jets are Japanese.  The U.S. can condemn the strikes and make horrified noises while simultaneously blocking any meaningful UN resolutions in the Security Council.

As I said, it will never happen. But wouldn’t it be nice?

Posted in International, National Security | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Our Recession -For Now

Posted by Bill Nance on May 22, 2009

Andrew Sullivan has a terrific series running called: “The View From Your Recession.”

I highly recommend it, you can read every thread from here.

From our end I thought it might be worthy noting what our recession is like.

To be honest, it hasn’t affected us much. We had one credit card cut back on our limit, but other than that we’ve seen no personal effects.

We have a decent income and are able to meet our bills without any great difficulty. More importantly I think, is that we already lived like monks before last fall.

Our discretionary spending has been essentially zero for a very long time. It’s  habit I learned from being poor and I’ve never moved beyond it. When it’s time to give to others we’re generous. But when it comes to us, well, not so much. We do without lots of things, like presents to each other, frivolous things like flowers for a holiday ($100 per) etc.

What does that entail?  Well, first of all our eating out is essentially nil. We don’t go out to movies much and when we do go out it’s usually something free like a park, the local nature preserve where we can let the dogs off-leash to enjoy themselves or something of the like that’s free or at least very inexpensive.

Our only real expense, entertainment-wise is ammunition, which we save on by reloading.  It’s amazing how much money can be frittered away on things like super-expanded extra cable, a couple nights out on the town and lunches eaten out instead of brown-bagged, but it all adds up.

We buy our clothes from factory outlet stores, we shop in New Hampshire a couple times a month in bulk to save on sales taxes and generally try to save whenever we can. All in all I’d say it’s saving us an average of $300-500 a month. I don’t know about you, but $3600-6000 a year is a lot of money to us.

Our needs are very simple. Food, clothing, housing and doggy-care. The rest we take on a priority basis of “What will we be doing with this in six months?” If the answer is “nothing” then we generally don’t spend the money.  Internet is an essential for us, but we figure that’s money well-spent, for employment if nothing else (We both use it for work).  Ammo is strictly an entertainment thing and really one of our few luxuries.

What are you spending?  On what? Does the recession affect you? How?

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CCWs Allowed In National Parks -The Horror

Posted by Bill Nance on May 21, 2009

Jack Cafferty of CNN asks:

It looks like gun rights advocates are about to score a win with a Democrat in the White House. The House and Senate have now both approved bills that would allow concealed and loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges — unless a state law doesn’t allow them.

The measure has been attached to the credit card bill, which is a top priority for President Obama, and could become law this week. The bill passed with the help of moderate Democrats, many of them from the South and Midwest. One of the bill’s supporters, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, says the move isn’t a “gotcha amendment,” but a real step to protect the Second Amendment.

Gun rights groups say the bill will give gun owners the same rights on national park land that they have everywhere else; but they say they don’t want to declare victory until it becomes law.

Meanwhile groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and the Association of National Park Rangers say the bill would increase the risk of poaching and vandalism of park treasures, as well as threats to visitors and staff.

Some Democrats are disappointed in what they see as the success of the gun lobby under a Democratic president and Congress. But aides admit that many Democrats feel pressure to back gun legislation or face political heat from the National Rifle Association. Can you tell there’s a mid-term election around the corner?

Here’s my question to you: Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?

My Answer:

This is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless for gun rights.
As an avid backpacker I’ve hiked the John Muir Trail in California, all through the Rocky Mountains and the Tetons via Glacier National Park.

The right to keep and bear arms doesn’t end at a national park. In fact crime does take place there and an unarmed person is utterly at the mercy of a criminal who IS armed, in defiance of any law you care to pass.

Having been treed by a Grizzly and narrowly missed being mauled, I can tell you that a sidearm in many places is not only appropriate, but a common sense precaution.

As with any right, the human right of self defense is not without costs. Newspaper articles like the ones run in the New York Times and Washington Post helped generate support for the gulf war, even in the absence of evidence to support the Bushies’ claims of WMDs and Al Quaeda connections to Iraq. The Hearst newspapers are known to have essentially started the Spanish American War. But no one sane is claiming the right to a free press should be restricted.

I’d far rather live with the costs of a very tiny minority of lawfully licensed CCW holders acting like idiots by shooting up a sign than be the victim of a criminal in a park with no ability to do anything but beg for mercy and hope they aren’t crazy.

Guns aren’t the problem. Criminals are the problem. And my human right to self-defense should no more be restricted by a national park boundary than my right to protest logging, National Park Service policies or any other exercise of basic human rights.

Self-defense and the means of that defense is a human right.


Posted in firearms, Guns Dammit! | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Gun Pr0n And Range Report: Springfield 1911A1

Posted by Bill Nance on May 20, 2009

This edition of gun Pr0n is brought to you by the letters J, M, and B as in John Moses Browning (Peace Be Upon Him).

My new baby

Back in November I bought a Springfield Armory 1911A1. New, unfired and still in its box from 1987, the year it was manufactured.

The gun as I got it.

The gun as I got it.

Mil-spec 1911s can either be a wet-dream out of the box, a nightmare or something in between. This one was, as I suspected when I bought it, one of the latter variety. The gun shot quite well. The barrel is excellent and the crown was in perfect condition, without blemish. The fit of slide to frame and the fit of the beaver-tail grip safety were something else entirely. I had consistent failures to put the gun fully into battery and the grip-safety failed to disengage on a frequent basis unless I put a death-grip on the gun.

I bought the piece as a kit gun. In Massachusetts we have to live with an “approved firearms list”  which this gun isn’t on, making the $600 I paid for it a screaming deal. So a trip to the gunsmith had always been planned, but with the problems this gun had, that trip became pretty urgent.

Enter msr. Greg Derr of Derr Precision.

I freely admit that my experience with gunsmiths is limited.  My other 1911s, all Colts, were more than acceptable right out of the box. Then again they all cost me upwards of $1100. So it was with both excitement and trepidation that I approached Greg. Excited about the prospect of my first truly custom gun, but fearful about the cost.

The gun as I bought it, as can be seen above, was parkerized. A finish I’ve never been happy with since I’m not in the business of sneaking up on enemies fearing a reflection off the gun. Parkerized finishes also tend to scratch and mar very quickly as well, leaving the guns with a pretty worn-out look very quickly. Additionally, the Mil-spec hammer had to go, since I plan on using this as a carry gun. Finally, stippling of the front and back strap of the gun is a  must if you’re doing major work to any pistol and the trigger was too narrow to be comfortable.

So when I went into Greg’s shop I knew I wanted a few things done. The parts themselves not amounting to too much, about $500, but the labor and finish unknown quantities.

Some of my basic requests:

Ed Brown commander-style hammer, new trigger, and beavertail. Novak sights, botail mainspring housing, stippling of the front and rear backstraps and a new finsh, plus a proper mating of frame and slide. I chose a hard-chrome finish, which I will talk about later.

Greg suggested as well an extended mag release, shaving down the beavertail and slide release and a custom bushing, mated to the barrel, as well as work on the crown. For a finish I decided on hard-chrome, both for the look and the durability.

I picked up the gun on Saturday and the next day got it our to the range the next day.  All I can say is: Wow.

Granted I was only shooting at 7 yards, but putting seven rounds into a two to three -inch group without even working at it, with not a single FtF or failure to go into battery was sweet as could be. The trigger job, which Greg threw in for free, was awesome.

The only thing I wasn’t entirely thrilled with was the finish, The chroming was fine, but because the original was parkerized it limited the shiny aspect.  Something I can certainly live with, and not in any way anyone’s fault. It’s simply a matter of chemistry with a gun that starts out as parkerized.

As to my choices, this gun is meant to be a carry gun. The bobtail in particular is designed to lower the “print factor” when carrying concealed and the sights are workman-like, designed to catch the front sight quickly and easily.

At the range I instantly noticed how easy it was to bring this gun into firing position from a concealed carry, even from the particularly crappy holster I was using as a test model. The grip fits my hand like a glove, the grip safety disengages as soon as I take a firm grip on the gun and the whole package feels exactly like any custom gun should: effortless.

All in all I have $2000 invested in this gun and I think it’s money well-spent. It’s been something of a long trip for this gun, but one well worth it.

Some pics for you all:

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A Thought For Dick Cheney

Posted by Bill Nance on May 19, 2009

How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Posted in Le Snark, Politics, Right-Wing Nut-jobery | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

An Open Letter To The NRA

Posted by Bill Nance on May 19, 2009

Dear sir or Madam:

I’m writing to ask you to please STOP associating the NRA with right-wing politics in general and the GOP specifically.

Our human right to self-defense is not a liberal or a conservative issue. And certainly not a partisan political one.

Like it or not, we live in an era where the demographics all align against gun-rights. We face a giant wall with young people who will be alienated from the GOP probably for the rest of their lives, where so-called “conservatives” have been discredited with most Americans for at least the next decade and where urbanization of the population all work against our interests.

As a group we need to stop making gun-rights a partisan political issue and make it a human-rights issue. Bashing Obama with stupid lines like “The Blame America Beat Goes On” as Chris Cox’ recent article in American Hunter is entitled, won’t convince anyone we are right who wasn’t already on our side. It’s a complete waste of time. We don’t need to solidify NRA members’ support for our rights, we need to reach out to other people. Folks who don’t know the facts. And to do that we need to separate ourselves from any particular ideology.

The facts, our proud traditions and our fundamental right to self-defense and the means to that defense speak for themselves. We need to be stressing those things, not giving the Democrats ammunition with which to kill us by making our human rights subject to partisan political fights.

It’s extraordinarily bad strategy on the part of the NRA, which does so much good in this country, to continue to align themselves with a political agenda that has nothing to do with guns.

On behalf of myself, my wife, (also an NRA member) and our “Evil Black Rifles,” our three high-capacity handguns and our NRA certified instructor credentials, we beg you to see reason on this.  It’s not about all the other stuff. It’s about our fundamental human rights, which the constitution only happens to codify, rather than grant.

We need to reach out, not inward.

Sincerely,

Bill Nance

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