Sunday, April 28, 2013

Zen and the Art of Hiking

Between growing up backpacking the Cascades, being a member of Marion County Sheriffs Search & Rescue and spending 22 years as an Infantryman.....it's fair to say that I've spent more time in the woods than the average bear. Whatever your belief system in the creation of this world, there is something inspired and harmonious with the way nature is laid out. Perhaps I am merely trying to channel my inner hunter-gatherer when I go hiking, but I feel more at peace in nature than around my fellow man.

Speaking of my fellow man....props to those who get out there on the trails...but how does one decide to tackle nature, no more prepared than if they were traveling from their barcalounger to the fridge? Last weekend I hiked the Aiea Loop. This is not a tough trail, but the rainy season here in Hawaii had kept me from tackling one more to my liking. Although I maintain a 'deathmarch' mentality when it comes to hiking....this is a state of mind, not a desired endstate. Many weekends it's simply far to muddy to scrabble up and down the knife edge ridgelines on Oahu. So to burn calories and get my sweat on, I head up to Aiea.

Crowded. Easy trail means lots of casual walkers. They all let me pass easy enough, no hard feelings. But towards the end of the loop, I happen across some sort of Explorer Scout troop, or somesuch. One of the adults in the rear was on the trail wearing.....flip-flops [or as their known in the islands...slippers]. Now, as I mentioned, Aiea is not a particularly tough trail, but it IS a trail, with elevation changes and obstacles. And on that day....a right muddy mess.

I realize that I'm a trail snob...and most people tend to not venture outside of their paved world....but this cat is ostensibly a mentor to young boys and girls, and as such, should set some modicum of an example in terms of common sense. I only snapped one photo that I thought was sort of cool from the Aiea Loop, because frankly, most of the trek was green...and muddy.

Aiea Loop overlooking the H3

Yesterday, I tackled Mt Olympus again. On my two previous ascents, it was too muddy to make it up to the very top, and the cloud cover on those days made the really good photos impossible. Damn good workout. Still damn muddy.....but there's a perverse thrill at scrabbling up a rope on the side of a rather sheer mud face with a long plunge to a certain death, should you slip to one side or the other. Not as many intrepid souls, and not everyone I passed on the trail made it to the top. Some turn around when they reach the first of three rope obstacles. Here again,I see people woefully dressed and outfitted for a climb even halfway up this beast. I saw boat shoes yesterday. Seriously? You're going to wear topsiders on a muddy/rocky/steep trail along a knife edge ridgeline? Your funereal. And as usual, most people graciously let me pass, or I them....though in some stretches, this led to becoming very intimately acquainted as we both pass along a trail about two feet wide, with zero room for error. Coming back however, there was a couple heading down also, that simply refused to give way when I came up on them. This was in the easy area, with plenty of room. How about a little trail courtesy people?

I've seen various reviews and estimates for the Mt Olympus trail, of allowing 4-6 hours for the complete trip. I feel really good about making the ascent and back in right at three hours. I am of course, feeling my age today.

Below is Ka'au Crater, the hike I'm waiting for a dry spell before I tackle it.

The view to the south, from the summit.
That start/end point is a looooong way off.

The Kailua side of the Ko'olau Range

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More Common Sense.....Less Propaganda


Historical "Gun Safety"

TTAG

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Huh....who knew that Gun Control clowns were racist to boot?

As TTAG reports, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Cynthia Tucker gets paid well to lay out some easily disproved fallacies.....and some classically ignorant aspersions.
The proposal that appeared to have the best chance of passage last week was modest enough. It would simply have expanded criminal background checks to include guns sold at gun shows and via the Internet, a step supported by 90 percent of Americans, according to polls.
Fallacy number one. The Senate legislation contained far more than simple background checks...which is largely why it failed. Ms. Tucker doesn't go into the meat of the bill....because it simply doesn't fit her narrative.
But as hunting has become less popular and as the number of households owning guns has declined, the ranks of gun owners have become over-represented by conspiracy theorists and assorted crazies and kooks. They can be easily persuaded that the government is on a mission to confiscate their firearms.
Fallacy number two.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that a new survey shows 79 percent of the American public approve of hunting. This marks the highest level of support for hunting since 1995, according to data compiled by Responsive Management, an independent research firm.

And Fallacy number three.

Forty-seven percent of American adults currently report that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property. This is up from 41% a year ago and is the highest Gallup has recorded since 1993, albeit marginally above the 44% and 45% highs seen during that period.

And she ties it up in a neat little leftist bow....with racism.
There is little doubt that paranoia is amplified by the presence of a black president, who represents the deepest fears of right-wing survivalist types. So it was probably naive to expect that he could drum up support for more reasonable gun safety measures.
And there you have it. Never mind that firearm owners and rights advocates oppose the emotionally reflexive hatchet job to Constitutional rights.....with a campaign that is founded upon lie after lie after lie. Nope....we're just big ol' racists.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

This is what we get with a disarmed society


As reported by The Truth About Guns:
Police blame a modern game of tag called "Humans Versus Zombies" for wasting public safety resources this week after two reports of gun calls tied to the competition.

The game pits a zombie team against a human team, which tries to "stun" the zombies with Nerf guns to avoid getting tagged. After police met with students about concerns with the guns, players chose to ban using them for the last leg of the game, which wrapped up Friday night.

About 230 people are participating on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus this week, part of a competition played on campuses across the country.

A passerby reported an automatic weapon on campus Thursday morning, and UW Police responded, only to find out the gun was a toy used in the game. It was the second such call in as many days.

"It is an absolute waste of police resources," said Marc Lovicott, a UW Police spokesman. "Most of our officers went out there because it is a serious incident."
This occurs because the gun control lobby has made such inroads against the uneducated components of our society [usually referred to as vacant-eyed, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing oxygen thieves], convincing them that firearms are evil.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

POTUS throws a tantrum

Obama says the gun rights lobby "willfully lied" regarding the bills up for votes in today's Senate session. Might ballsy for the lead spokesman for a movement built utterly, and completely on lies, distortions and rhetorical invention.

In the pathetic attempt at further demonization against fact and reason, he equates NO votes in the Senate with a "failure to protect America's children"....even though his own cavalcade of gun grabbers admit when pressed, that none of this legislation would have mitigated the recent mass shootings.

Obama takes to the airwaves to insult law abiding Americans and lawful organizations, levying charges against them, but without any sourcing or substantiation. Come on Barry, I can detail the ignorant rantings and willfully produced fallacies by your side of this debate...why can't you? Afraid of a bit of fact checking?

Civil rights won a small battle in the larger war against Statism today. But keep your powder dry and your flint ready....because they're not done yet.

And, as a special shout out to the defeat of Feinstein's amendment.......

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Will Todd North's family get a free ride on Air Force One?

No. No he will not. Because Todd North used a firearm in the defense of others....and that simply doesn't fit the narrative of demonization that the Administration [with your tax dollars]...and the media...are pursuing.
An 18-year-old high school student retaliating after being kicked out of a local bar returned with a pistol early Sunday morning and killed the head bouncer [and former Marine] and injured five patrons in a spray of gunfire and bullet fragments, investigators said.

Jonathan Richard Pugh, 18, of Havelock, faces an open count of murder in connection with the shooting death of Todd North, 39, of Havelock, both Acting Havelock Police Chief David Bratton and District Attorney Scott Thomas said at a Sunday afternoon press conference.

Thomas said the investigation shows that “Pugh got into a fight, and he and one man with him were escorted by North and another bouncer into the parking lot where some additional words were exchanged.”

“He apparently calmed down and left the parking lot in a car, but shortly afterward came back, walked to the door and started firing,” the district attorney said. “North fired back, attempting to keep Pugh from entering the bar, but was shot three or four times. His body will undergo an autopsy on Monday.”
Link

h/t to This Ain't Hell

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Age of American Agitprop

With your tax dollars ferrying Newtown families aboard Air Force One; with a Newtown mother allowing herself to be pimped by the Administration in the POTUS's weekly radio address; and with the endless stream of fallacious meme's over firearms......all because "we've simply got to do something!"....it's important to remember the evolution of such assaults upon common sense, civil liberties and our Constitutional rights.
“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”

”I’ve also asked the school board to make a part of everyday some kind of anti-violence, anti-gun message. Everyday, every school at every level. One thing that I think is clear with young people and with adults as well is that we just have to be repetitive about this. It’s not enough to simply have a catchy ad on a Monday and only do it on a Monday. We need to do this everyday of the week and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
AG Eric Holder, 1995

That's the tactics of your elected and appointed officials. Demonize the law abiding citizen at the expense of actually enforcing the laws we have.

More required reading, courtesy of the ACLU.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Here's one Law Enforcement prop the White House won't be using

Gun Policy & Law Enforcement: Survey Results

The Intellectual Deficit of the Modern Soviets

"We have never invested in public education as we should have, because we've always had kinda of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibity. We haven't had a very collective notion of "These are our children". So part of it is, we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it's everybody's responsibility and not just the household's, then we start making better investments."
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry

My how the rhetoric of modern Liberals/Progressives resonates with that of the Soviets. It's simply not everyone's responsibility. It's the responsibility of the parents. One merely has to look at the state of bureaucracy in our community, and see that this agenda would produce the absolute worst outcome. Harris-Perry's naive and ignorant soundbite doesn't even allude to what this shared responsibility would entail. But I think it would sound something like this:
We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them.
Instructions given at a congress of Soviet educators in 1918 (cited in Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families, by Sheldon Richman, pg. xv).
[The Soviet family] is an organic part of Soviet society. Parents are not without authority … but this authority is only a reflection of social authority…. In our country he alone is a man of worth whose needs and desires are the needs and desires of a collectivist…. Our family offers rich soil for the cultivation of such collectivism.
Soviet family theorist Anton S. Makarenko, The Collective Family, A Handbook for Russian Parents, pgs xi-xii, 42.

And finally:
If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there’s no equality…. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.
Dr. Mary Jo Bane, Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families at the US Department of Health and Human Services, 1993-1996; currently Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Police and Management, Harvard Kennedy School; quoted in “The Family: It’s Surviving and Healthy” by Dolores Barclay, Tulsa World, August 21, 1977.

Quote of the Day - The 'Not all Academics are Tools' Edition

For Progressives then and now, the welfare of the people—not liberty—is the primary object of government, and government should always be in the hands of experts. This is the real origin of today’s gun control hysteria—the idea that professional police forces and the military have rendered the armed citizen superfluous; that no individual should be responsible for the defense of himself and his family, but should leave it to the experts. The idea of individual responsibilities, along with that of individual rights, is in fact incompatible with the Progressive vision of the common welfare.
Edward J. Erler, CSU-San Bernardino

h/t to The View From North Central Idaho

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kaena Point

Saturday was Kaena Point day. Kaena Point is the western most edge of Oahu and only accessible by foot due to a nature preserve, by the North or the South. I opted for the northern route, starting next to Dillingham Airfield, home to Oahu's skydivers. Not a particularly arduous hike, so I opted to scrabble to entire way down to the point on the volcanic rock, around the tidal pools and dodging sometimes massive waves [yes, you North Shore purists, it wasn't an Eddie day...but they were still pretty damn big].

The trip down to the point looked mostly like this
And this
Taking this route was long and a bit dangerous at times, but a far better workout than the dirt road I could have taken. Totally worth it.
Reminds me of the Oregon coast. Except warmer. Make that hot. Damn it was hot.
Note to self. I know there's got to be a trail up there.
It's no wonder they filmed Lost here.


The Diana DeGette Guide to Gun Safety


The gun control lobby uses a select template that is repeated on cable news and by the elected class dedicated to ensuring that only the State has a monopoly on legitimate violence. That template is designed to demonize the opposition and invoke a narrative aimed specifically at those who are ignorant. Ignorant not merely of firearms, but of common logic and reason.

If convincing the public of a particular policy position is the goal, then perhaps the gun control lobby ought to invest in mouthpieces who actually understand the terms and definitions of what they are speaking of. As it stands in this national debate, the public record shows that reason and fact is on the side of those who value and protect our Constitutional rights.

In stark opposition, I remind you of the opposition of this reason:

"Assault weapons... are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

-Josh Sugarmann, [Violence Policy Center] "Assault Weapons: Analysis, New Research and Legislation", March 1989


From Rocky Mountain Right, h/t to The Lonely Libertarian

A humorous but realistic take on the recent comments by Diana DeGette, D-Colorado.

Read the rest here.

Sam needs your help

Courtesy of MSgtB, meet Sam:
Sam is the only son of Hutch.

Last time I talked to Hutch was after Sam's surgery. He talked to me about the chemo and stuff.
As usual, Hutch was upbeat and confident. He talked about all the weapons at their disposal, and how they were going to use them to whup this cancer bitch's ass and send it running home to momma and crying.

I gotta be honest with y'all. If that was my son, I'd be a blubbering fucking idiot.

So here's the kicker. Hutch is going to shave that fucking mustache off his face to help raise some money. He's had that damn caterpillar on his face since before High School, seriously, I've never seen him without it.
His target is only $500, I think he should be getting a lot more than that
Here's what he posted on The Book of Face.

"As you can see I don't have much on the top of my head to shave, so I have decided to shave that which is most important to me, my Magnum, the mustache that has been with me from the start. Literally, I was born with it. I have shaved it twice in my life, both times for elementary school pictures. I will shave it if I can get 500 bucks worth of donations, I know, its not alot, but I'm not that popular. The cause is a good one please help the smart people find a cure for this terrible thing called cancer."

I can't seem to get Sam's video to embed....please head over to MSgtB's hangout, and watch it. Then give. Sam's dad is only trying to raise $500.00......but Sam is going to need more, and you can help.

Didi I mention you should give? St Baldrick's Foundation

Sam looks to me like he's got all the makings of a badass, please give him an assist, so he can be there for all of us when we need him. Make Hutch's mustache worth a fortune.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"Leverages Tragedy"......Well said, Sheriff.

video

But remember....according to the gun confiscation lobby...it's just the evil NRA that is opposing the allegedly 'common sense' citizen disarmament legislation.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Welcome to the 15th century, Virginia

"My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They're intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that."
Ken  Cuccinelli , Virginia AG

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Your effete race pimps lie to you

On Sunday, liberal activist Jesse Jackson repeated his claim that semi-automatic weapons can shoot down airplanes and said they could also "blow up railroads."

“Semi-automatic weapons are not just about gun control, they’re about national security,” he said while appearing on Fox News.

“You know that these weapons can shoot down airplanes, they can blow up railroads. This is really a whole national security issue,” he added.

Jackson said he was okay with having a gun for the house, or a gun for hunting.

“But these semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons -- they shot at the White House two years ago, so none of us are safe,” he added.

Last month, Jackson made a similar claim.

"The young man who did the killing in Aurora, Colorado, with the arsenal he had– he was right near the airport, right near the runways [in] Denver. He could shoot down airplanes, so this is a matter of homeland security as well," he said.

Link

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Your Representatives lie to you....Part V....and then tell you you're going to be dead anyway

This time brought to you by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo:
"What's the efficacy of banning these magazine clips? I will tell you, these are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now, they're going to shoot them," she said.

She went on to say that "the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will be shot and there won't be any more available."

The comment drew laughter from those in attendance.
Link

DeGette also had this to say to a constituent:
The audio was not very clear, but the man can be heard talking about being at a disadvantage when facing an armed criminal.

“The good news for you, you live in Denver. The Denver PD would be there within minutes," she said to laughter.

"You’d probably be dead anyway," she added, smirking.

Link

Welcome to the 15th century, North Carolina **UPDATED**

Your legislators have decided that they need not abide by the 1st Amendment, respecting the establishment of religion.
The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

Bill

North Carolina of course, still maintains the unenforceable Sec. 8.  Disqualifications for office:
The following persons shall be disqualified for office:

First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

**UPDATE**

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis' office said Thursday that a resolution asserting North Carolina has the power to set an official state religion is dead, and won't go any further.

Link

Quote of the Day

We already have a gun control law: Thou shalt not kill.

Link

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A short observation on British influence

It really dawned on me recently how many British terms have infiltrated the US military, especially the SOF community...and that I have fallen victim to it as well.

We now find ourselves using terms like 'kit'...'dodgy'....'cheers' and 'mate'.

And the ubiquitous 'no worries'. Are we trying to emulate the cool kids, or is this a natural occurence?

I'm not really sure what has driven this state of military ontology....but I find it interesting nonetheless.