7 Oct 11
A friend in Tucson, AZ reports that Tucson’s emergency number, 911, is not working well these days. In fact, it is not working at all!
The helpful response of the fire department, who runs the faulty system, is to automatically channel your 911 call to another number, where you can record a message with specifics about “the problems experienced” with the 911 System.
But, you don’t get to talk with anyone, nor report your emergency. When calling 911, many callers receive a busy signal, and don’t even get to leave a recorded message.
Probably just as well!
The 911 System is hopelessly overloaded in many metro areas, not just Tucson. It takes only the slightest disturbance to overwhelm the System. Many inner-city residents, correctly, regard 911 as worthless. And, city officials, confronted with ever-decreasing tax revenue, have little ability to put in desperately needed upgrades. In fact, they’re laying-off police officers whose salaries they can no longer afford to pay.
It is all symptomatic of our civilization’s general decline. Officials, in the process of getting elected, make ridiculous promises everyone knows can never be fulfilled. They get elected anyway, because there are apparently enough cretins who would rather listen to smooth lies than the lumpy truth. Those sleazy politicians are the same ones who assure you that you’re too stupid to own a gun!
Such politicians, and their pseudo-sanctimonious media apologists, are not credible, not honorable, not even respectable, and they surely don’t give a damn about any of us!
We’re on our own!
“A knave’s religion is always the rottenest thing about him!”
12 Oct 11
At an Urban Rifle Course in UT last weekend, I had several students who had “done some competitive shooting,” but were interested in learning to use rifles for serious purposes.
All displayed the annoying habit of taking a shot at a target, then immediately dropping the rifle out of the sighting plane in order to look over the sights and examine the place where the target was, with, naturally, their feet planted firmly, interminably in cement! In the process, the stock invariably dropped into the elbow, and the muzzle elevated. The trigger finger also lost contact with the trigger and had to be hurriedly, embarrassingly re-established when immediate additional shooting unexpectedly became necessary.
Sometimes called the “Bang/Clang Syndrome,” this habit prevents the shooter from being able to rapidly engage additional targets that suddenly appear, as a result of his first shot. He invariably relaxes too soon, naively assuming that additional shooting will not be necessary.
It comes about as a direct result of chronically shooting “known” courses of fire, where the shooter always knows, beforehand, where each target is, the order in which they will be engaged, and when the bout is “over.”
It makes great recreation, but poor training!
Conversely, we educate aspiring Operators to be flexible, to have no pre-conceived expectations, to be incessantly prepared for any eventuality. Students never know in advance what to expect, nor should they!
Every exercise, no matter how many shots are supposedly involved, ends with the Operator back on target, in his sights, on the link, and eminently ready to deliver the next shot. He then quickly drops the muzzle, leaving the stock in contact with his shoulder (trigger-finger in “register”), and is instantly in motion, scanning for additional threats.
Drills like this are tedious and tiring, but represent the only method through which correct habits are established and embedded.
Training, that is worthy of the term, is invariably frustrating, exhausting, and uncomfortable. It is silly to go to the range and spend our time doing all the things we’re already good at, all on known challenges! We need to spend at least some of our time exercising those important skills which are, by their very nature, awkward and clumsy (such as shooting from the support-side shoulder), on alien challenges.
In training, we should be no more afraid of failure than we are of success. We fail boldly! That is where real learning takes place.
Bad habits, unfailingly gleaned from poor training and practice, will prove themselves fatal during any kind of real challenge.
We train to impress our enemies, not our friends!
“Who discovers a new truth… arrives with hands bloodstained from the slaughter of a thousand platitudes.”
12 Oct 11
Another sign of the times:
Today, PA’s hapless capitol City of Harrisburg filed for bankruptcy! The corrupt mainstream media is avoiding the story, as it avoids all others that make BHO look bad.
But, it is real enough for Harrisburg’s beleaguered residents, who now get to look forward to even higher taxes and fees, fewer and poorer-quality city services, and no resolution/improvement in the foreseeable future. All, who are able, are fleeing.
Retired city employees had better be worrying about the City’s ability to continue to pay pensions at the current level. Bond-holders and vendors better worry as well!
While local politicians concern themselves only with territorial battles, police, fire, EMS, and other emergency services will surely suffer, even more than they have already.
What few residents remain, while being taxed to death, can expect the poorest of services. They really are, “on their own!”
Petitions for state-level bailout are falling on deaf ears, as the State’s financial situation is hardly better!
We’ll see more of this between now and the next election cycle. Many other rotting, dysfunctional, regressive metro areas are on the verge and will follow suit. Those in power don’t really care, so long as they stay on top.
The rest of us are cannon-fodder (and have never been anything else!)
“No nation can last, which has made a mob of itself.”
13 Oct 11
Current investment advice, from a colleague who works in the System:
“Given current market volatility, and world-wide instability, all investments are risky. However, not investing represents far from a risk-free alternative!
Cash will lose value at a dizzying pace during periods of hyper-inflation, which currently are extremely likely. Cash is little more than vacuous government script, and they can print all they want! Many times in history it has become worthless, virtually overnight.
Precious metals, gems, and other high-density commodities are worth only their intrinsic, practical value in industrial manufacturing, or as ornamental jewelry. Any such commodity price, temporarily above its intrinsic useful manufacturing value, is based only on a combination of irrationality, mass-hysteria, or inane speculation. Price will fall precipitously when fickle perceptions change, or when a desperate government intervenes.”
The other issues with high-density commodities are:
Where do you put it?
How do you safely, securely “possess” it?
When you don’t have physical possession, how do you “claim” it, in any practical way, during political/economic/social pandemonium?
When you’re not already hoarding food, guns, ammunition, and other critical, life-sustaining supplies, and not exposing yourself to competent training, my humble suggestion is, don’t put it off. Physical independence and self-sustainability will be difficult to manufacture on short notice!
Remember what happened on 24 Oct 1929, “Black Tuesday!” Like today, pundits back then said European-style economic depression was “impossible” in the USA. Proving them wrong, the “Great Depression” lasted for the next thirteen years, and ended only with the outbreak of WWII.
Ambitious politicians haven’t forgotten that all-consuming world conflagration still represents the best “recovery program” (for them) ever!
18 Oct 11
Currently, all major, metro areas are scrambling to find places to put all the “occupiers” they anticipate arresting during the current spate of protests directed against our capitalist system and most other fundamental American values.
Like all Marxist/Communists, this sleazy amalgamation of assorted trash, trust-fund babies, and various others among the permanently unproductive will predictably wax violent, as they perceive themselves being ignored, even by the leftist media, and certainly by those of us who actually work for a living.
It is going to be an extremely good idea to stay away from areas where these paid “protesters” carry on their act. Even now, one can hear increasingly violent rhetoric spewing forth from their lips. One of their stated goals is to make downtown zones of major, metro areas unliveable, via accumulated filth and personal insecurity. At least in NYC, they have been largely successful!
Lip-service support from pseudo-sanctimonious politicians and assorted, unemployed actors continues to prolong the agony.
We are entering a political “season,” which will continue to the end of 2012, and events, likely and unlikely, such as BHO failing to be re-nominated by his own party, and the nation’s relentless, and increasingly unavoidable, descent into national insolvency, will produce much additional civil unrest and mob violence, mostly confined to metro areas.
For the rest of us, about whom precious few politicians care in the slightest, staying away from NYC, Chicago, LA, Detroit, Philadelphia, et al for the duration makes a lot of sense. But, no matter where you are, preparation, vigilance, and courageousness are ever the keys to personal victory.
Only a fool would want to know the future, but, any way one looks at it, there is currently scant cause for optimism, at least until well into 2013!
“In individuals, insanity is rare, but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule”
24 Oct 11
We see an occasional Ruger Mini-30 (7.62×39) in our Urban Rifle Courses. We had another in a Course in SC last weekend. Like most, it did not run!
Constant failures to feed.
I believe the main problem is poor, after-market magazines, but, in any event, we’ve never been able to get these rifles to run reliably, no matter what ammunition we use, and no matter how meticulous the maintenance.
Curiously, Ruger’s similar Mini-14 (223) normally run satisfactorily.
Who need a serious, military-style, high-capacity rifle in 7.62×39 should look at the PTR-32, RA/XCR, SIG/556 (replace cheesy factory iron-sights with decent ones), or a Krebs/Kalashnikov. All the foregoing will run just fine!
I have scant patience with unreliable guns, poor customer service, and tacky, hobby-grade guns masquerading as Operator-grade guns. We’re in the serious business of teaching and building essential gun skills and advancing our Art. Among us, undependable equipment is not welcome and has no place!
26 Oct 11
This afternoon, I personally witnessed a stirring re-enactment of a George Washington speech, part of an outdoor series being faithfully put on at the Historical Colonial Park at Williamsburg, VA.
I saw uniformed (of the period) troopers carrying their flintlock muskets and drilling with them in unison. It was at once fascinating and educational!
The practice (of the period) of carrying muskets with the muzzle up, whether slung or in-hand, was obvious, and reasons for the custom were obvious too. These military muskets were very long (by today’s standards), and troopers carrying them were, on average, shorter than is the case today. Carrying them with the muzzle down, particularly with bayonets affixed, was nearly impossible. In addition, with the muzzle down, the projectile (ball) may well roll out the barrel! Such lead balls were, of course, generously undersize (in order to facilitate fast reloading), and not much friction held them in place.
Thus, it was the general custom of the era to handle all longarms so that the muzzle was continuously pointed in an upward direction. In fact, as late as WWII, the short, light M1 Carbine was still carried by most with the muzzle up- a classic example of “cultural-lag,” where deep-rooted cultural practices stubbornly lag behind technology, sometimes for generations!
A similar example is the practice in Israel, of carrying pistols with the chamber empty. Starting in the late 1940s, when pistols smuggled into Israel (prior to recognized nationhood) were often defective, even broken, and were thus not “drop-safe,” the empty-chamber-carry practice was settled upon as the only safe way to carry many of these guns. Once more, sixty years after this custom became outdated, indeed altogether obsolete, many in Israel religiously observe it, to this day!
In the foregoing case, I don’t think it can all be ascribed to just naive cultural-lag. I believe many observe this “tradition” (silly as it is) as a way of commemorating and manifesting respect for founders and visionaries like Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, and others.
I can surely understand that, but, for one, I don’t show my respect for George Washington by carrying a flintlock!
We have to maintain our respect, and sense of history, but relentlessly move forward at the same time!
Today, we carry our wonderful, modern, military rifles with the muzzle down, and our modern pistols are always carried fully-loaded. The best way to honor our spiritual antecedents is through ever-seeking new paths to personal victory, much as they did in their time!
“Truth is… a streaming fountain. When her waters are not in perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.”
28 Oct 11
“None are so sure of themselves as those who tell us fables”
Michel De Montaigne
Today, in a local restaurant in VA where we stopped for breakfast, there was prominently posted a large, group photo. In it, twenty-five American soldiers, in full battle-regalia, somewhere in the Middle East, pose, all smiling.
Each soldier is seen carrying an M4. None has a magazine inserted! In fact, no magazine is visible in the photo. One soldier can be seen also wearing an M9 pistol. It is not clear from the photo, but it is probably a safe bet no magazine is inserted in it either!
Interestingly, all dust-covers are dutifully closed, but gaping magazine wells are, of course, wide-open, negating any benefit of having ejection-ports sealed!
To a man, they look naive, unprepared, unloaded, sterile, as if they all think they’re on vacation! They surely don’t look anything like Operators who know what they’re about. Some day, they’ll all be ashamed to have appeared in that photo!
For one, I will never allow myself to photographed carrying a gun, any kind of gun (indeed, any kind of weapon!) that is obviously unloaded/unready, particularly when I’m in an area of active fighting! It would be proof positive that I am not serious and have scant regard for my own life, much less my mission. In honoring our mighty ancestors, such things do neither us, nor our Nation, any good service.
When someone says to you, “… and you’re safe here,” reach for your gun (which needs to be always close at hand, and ever-ready)!
“Any ‘bear-hunter’ who thinks he knows what a bear will do next… is already in trouble!”