Saturday, March 25, 2006

El-ahrairah's Iraqi Diary: Another close call

(Posted from an e-mail -- CH)

Yesterday night (March 19th), I had another close call of a rocket-assisted projectile kind. I was driving the van back to the site when the “Incoming, Incoming, Incoming” alarm went off. I started pulling over to the side when I saw this big flash of light against a building like someone lit it up with a flahslight and heard and felt a big BOOM! I stopped for a mintue and then we beat feet out of there. The projectilte was a 120 mm RAP. I don’t know how far away it was, but we didn’t get peppered with shrapnel, so it must not have been that close. But, anyway, it was kind of cool.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We have only a tiny bit of Irish blood in us, but have a happy St. Paddy's anyway.

Grasping at Straws, or Hope Springs Eternal

The LDS Church has released its typical election-year statement about the church being officially non-partisan. But this year a small modification to the normal statement has Utah Democrats and their Dead Tree Media allies all a-flutter. Apparently the Church has added this line:

"Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties."

With typical overreach, Utah Democrats have automatically interpreted this to mean it's okay to be an LDS Democrat and thus votes from LDS members should come rolling in this fall. Of course it says nothing of the sort, but when you've been a rump opposition party for so long you begin to imagine all kinds of improbable things.

It's rather insulting the way Utah Democrats automatically assume that the only reason LDS members don't vote for them is due to some Svengali-like brainwashing on the part of Republicans. The very idea that a simple statement from the LDS First Presidency would automatically translate into votes reveals just how much contempt they hold for the average Mormon. It's especially doubtful that any Mormon would vote for Democrats as long as the best-known Democrat in the state is such an arrogant, left-wing, anti-Mormon bigot.

If the Democrats truly wanted to gain LDS votes, they'd ditch the University of Utah/Park City hard-left Liberals who run the party, along with their devotion to issues such as gun control, abortion, and gay marriage. There's not much chance of that happening, though; the fact that Rocky Anderson is still a Democrat in good standing shows they simply don't "get it".

But this Utah Democrat gets it...I think

Finally, the Salt Lake County Council has noticed gun owners. There is a proposal in the works to expand the existing Salt Lake County Sheriff's gun range and open it to the public. And leading the charge is Councilman Randy Horiuchi.

For those not familiar with Utah politics, Randy Horiuchi is about as Democrat as a Democrat can get. He used to be the state party chairman but then "retired" to the Council a few years ago. He's not known to be a friend of gun owners, so I interpret this as an open effort to build bridges to our side.

Predictably, there are some in his party who aren't as enthusiastic. Even though there is a clear need for another gun range in Salt Lake County, the idea that precious tax monies to support The Arts and Children's Parks would be used for a...gun range is without a doubt not sitting well with the latte-drinking Limousine Liberals who hog the money from the special Zoo, Arts, and Parks tax to support their symphony. Since the ZAP tax committee must approve the proposal first, it's not even close to a done deal yet.

But this is an excellent way for Democrats to appeal to gun owners in an election year. We'll see if Mr. Horiuchi can hold off the left wing of his party and shepherd it through the process. If so, perhaps Utah Democrats can return from the dead.

Is this a joke?

While thumbing through the comics last Sunday morning, I noticed this Doonesbury cartoon. In it, the reporter Roland Hedley compares how well "Red State" Mississippi has fared as compared to "Blue State" Louisiana.

For the curious out there, Louisiana went for Bush by a solid margin in both 2000 and 2004.

I don't follow Doonesbury, so I don't know if this is a subtle dig at the MainStreamMedia by author Garry Trudeau or if this is just another manifestation of liberal wishful thinking parading as reality. But knowing his political views, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Trudeau actually believes Louisiana is a "Blue" state. It just has to be; why else would Chimpy McHitlerburton allow it to be destroyed?

El-ahrairah says "I told you so"

El-ahrairah directed my attention to this Strategy Page post, which detailed how Saddam's deception of having WMDs not only fooled the CIA and European intelligence agencies, but his own generals. Money quote:

As a result of all this fear and deception, anyone outside Iraq, trying to find out what was happening, would gather all sorts of information indicating that Saddam still had WMD. Even Arab diplomats, who could schmooze with senior Iraqi officials, got the same story. Saddam especially wanted the Arab world to believe he had WMD, because that made him a hero in the Arab world. And so it came to pass that Saddam fooled everyone, including himself.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Gun Pr0n: Celebrating the End of the Assault Weapons Ban

Back in September of 2004 I, like many other gun owners, celebrated the end of the Assault Weapons ban. It was by far the stupidest gun control law on the books, one that banned guns because they looked menacing, not because they were more deadly or preferred by criminals. In what will go down in history as one of the most sensible government decisions of all time, the law was allowed to expire 10 years after it was enacted.

At the time, I made a promise to myself I would mark the occasion by converting one of my semi-auto Rugers into an Eeeevil Assault Weapon. Unfortunately, back then I was preparing to move into a new house and we were expecting another child, so money was tight. In addition, manufacturers had not starting producing the Forbidden Folding Pistol-Grip Stocks.

Well, my ship finally came in last week and I received a new plastic Butler Creek folding stock for my 10/22. At last I could stick a figurative finger in the eye of Dianne Feinstein by legally converting my innocent, family-friendly 10/22 into a dark, sinister Black Rifle.

Here is my 10/22 as I bought her some 13 years ago. The only thing I've added is an old Weaver 4X scope. She's been a wonderful rifle and provided many hours of fun at the range.

In the months leading up the enactment of the ban in 1994, I participated in the panic buying of prohibited accessories and hi-cap magazines. I bought this slip-on flash suppressor shortly after I bought my 10/22, intending to add a pistol-grip stock and thus make it a legal "pre-ban" rifle. But since everyone else was doing the same thing, pistol-grip stocks were scarce as hen's teeth in the summer of 1994 and I wasn't able to complete the conversion.

Here is how she looks now, with the stock and flash suppressor installed and a 25-round magazine to boot.

Here's another view, with the stock unfolded. I haven't fired her yet, but she feels good on the shoulder and is easier to grip. I'll have to post a range report when I try her out.