Monday, October 17, 2016

Technocrats To The Rescue!

Or Not!
“nothing would be more fatal than for the Government of States to get in the hands of experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge, and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows where it hurts is a safer guide than any rigorous direction of a specialized character.” - Winston S. Churchill    
Churchill was an avid fan of H.G. Wells, but he disagreed with Wells about humanities ability to adapt to rapidly developing technologies. Churchill felt that the generalist was much better able to determine the use of technology and run government than the focused technocrat. Wells favored the later. (Churchill's Bomb by Graham Farmelo)

In pop culture, especially in the 1950s science-fiction genre, the technocrats were seen as the saviors of the world. In the 1951 version of the "Day the Earth Stood Still," the alien Klaatu calls for a meeting of scientists, since world leaders would be impossible to assemble.

It seems nice to look to the experts on a topic to help solve a problem. But a problem arises, when one may think the expert on how to make a bomb or use a bomb is the right expert on when to use a bomb.

Robert Oppenheimer seems like a nice person to turn to, but his reservations about the nuclear weapons fell on deaf ears. And his reservations came after nuclear weapons were a reality. His discomfort with the use of nuclear weapons did not come with a convincing political argument, AND he possibly was revisionist with his timeline for concern over the bomb. (Wikipedia)

On the flip side, a generalist must be informed to make good laws. Even if he turns over all the details to bureaucrats and techocrats (which I think is a very bad idea), the lawmakers needs to, at the minimum, be able to articulate what he is trying to do while having a firm grasp on the facts.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette decided to exercise her God-given authority to rule us all by pushing for legislation to ban highstandard-capacity magazines. Either Rep. DeGette's knowledge is flat wrong, or it is limited to the original 20-round M16 magazine.

"I will tell you these are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now they're going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available." - U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
For some reason, our political system has descended into a reliance on experts that is so debilitating that our elected officials can't even direct them in an informed manner. This calls into question the direction of our huge bureaucracies - and not just the federal ones. This calls into question the ability of people to rule over us who's only qualifications are popularity.

And this is only one more example government should not be trying to control every minute part of our lives.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Private Dicks

Where have all the great (modern) private detectives gone? 

Remember "Remington Steele," "Magnum PI," "Rockford Files," "Simon & Simon," "Hart To Hart?"

Well, they weren't all "greats." But they gave us something more organic, something more cowboysish and individualistic - American - than police procedurals and Sherlock Holmes retreads.

Even "beacons" of freedom in Hollywood, such as Joe Montoya and Tom Selleck have sided with the state in their acting careers. 

Bring back the private dicks. They solved problems with less statist force.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Neither Single Nor Double

There's just an irritating trend of calling guns what they're not. 

The M&P Shield has a "single-stack" magazine. Glocks have "double-action" triggers - along with Kahrs, etc., etc., etc. But it just ain't so.

I've known for a long time that there are striker-fired pistols that are labeled as "double action" (or not), but there is a major problem with that - along with many hammer fired guns. But I just can't overlook the Smith & Wesson Military & Police Shield's magazine. Look at it!


It's really a 1-1/2-stack magazine. You can definitely see it, when you load the magazine.

That's irritating, but in the end it is only about hair splitting. But "double"-action triggers? I like second-striker capability, and there is a plethora of guns out there that are marketed as "double action" that are not real double-action guns. They might have partially-cocked strikers, or a partially-cocked hammer, but that's one-and-a-half action - not double.

There are a few that bridge the gap and give you second-strike capability - like some Tauruses - but the majority are frauds, with help from the gun press and the U.S. government.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


I've done gone created a new blog. Don't know where I'm going with it.

But it starts with Ruger
The P95
It's end
Its predecessors
And its relevance now.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fortified Drinks

I like fortified drinks, such as port and boilermakers.

For a while, I've drinking port and making boilermakers. But the good port is expensive, and the less expensive port is always too sweet. Sandeman ports are a good alternative, but it still comes in a little bit more than I want to pay on a regular basis.

But I've just tried a marsala, and I liked it so much that I just started a second bottle ...

Friday, February 5, 2016

Recoil Reduction: Interlude At The Range, Epilogue

My recent adventures with my wife at the range have been mostly about finding her a carry gun.

The basic criteria are:

1. Comfortable to shoot.
2. Accurate.
3. Safe.  
4. Comfortable to carry.
5. Desirable color.

1. Comfortable to shoot. AND 2. Accurate.
After shooting seven new guns and two owned guns during four hours over two sessions, I think we have some more work to do to cover the first two items in our criteria. During our first range session with the S&W 637 and Ruger SR9c, we were definitely more accurate. During our second range session, our accuracy was certainly degraded by shooting double the amount of new guns.

So for our next range session, I plan to go back to two guns: the Ruger LCR .357 (that my wife loves so much) and a slim autoloader for her. The rub is which one. She wants me to pick for her, when we are at the range. For me, I want to try the S&W 637 again (and end up with the 442). I really liked that little gun.

3. Safe.
My wife has concerns about safety. She was question whether a gun with a safety is, well, safer. That is a very good question, and it brings out bezerkers on both sides of the argument.

4. Comfortable To Carry.
My wife  is thinking thin is best to carry on her hip, but she likes the little revolvers with the cylinder hump.

5. Desirable Color.
This left to the beholder, but my wife is looking primarily for some blue accents or at least pink, but she wants a defensive tool first.

So, the guns ranked:

1. Comfortable To Shoot.
6. S&W 637. The trigger wrapped my wife's finger while shooting. There are after markets grips and grip adapters like T-Grip that can make the gun more comfortable to shoot for my wife.
5., 4., 3. In no particular order, the M&P Shield, Kahr CW9, and Ruger LC9. 
2. In the first session, my wife indicated the Ruger SR9c was interchangeable with my Ruger P95. During the second session, she had forgotten about it.
1. The Ruger LCR .357. I think it gained extra points for its ease of use. My wife really like the fact that she could swing out the cylinder and see that it was loaded, and that she could load it without racking a slide.

2. Accurate.
6. M&P Shield 9mm. I was perplexed by the sights on this gun. My wife was shooting 1-1/2 feet low at 17 feet. Then I tried it, and I was hitting the target at about the same place. We both were focusing on the three-dot sights. Then I tried aligning the top of the sights - and I hit the center of the target, and so did my wife using the same alignment. Maybe the sights just didn't work for US, but I doubt it. If I really liked the gun, then I would just black out the three dots (I don't like three dots anyway). 
5., 4., 3.  In no particular order,  Ruger LC9, Kahr CW9, Ruger SR9c. There was just not enough range time per pistol to parse out the field.
2. Ruger LCR .357. Comfort equals accurate? Seems like every ranking needs a paradox ...
1. S&W 637. My wife just hit what she shot at, period. In the long term, she probably would have done better with a bigger gun, but not yet.

3. Safe.
6. Kahr CW9. Light double action.
5. Ruger LCR .357. Lighter double action.
4. S&W 637. Heavy double action.
3., 2., 1. In no particular order, Ruger LC9, Ruger SR9c, S&W M&P Shield 9mm. Small frame-mounted safeties.

4. Comfortable To Carry.
6. Ruger SR9c. The heaviest and consistently the widest.
5., 4. Ruger LCR, S&W 638. Cylinder width.
3. Kahr CW9. Thin, but heavy texturing on front and back of grip.
2. Ruger LC9. Flat.
1. S&W M&P Shield 9mm. Thin and nicely rounded.

5. Desirable Color.
6., 5., 4. S&W M&P Shield 9mm, Ruger SR9c, Kahr CW9. Limited to colored grip sleeves and grip tape.
3., 2. Ruger LCR, S&W 637. Limited to colored grips.
1. Ruger LC9. 5 feminine (or blue) options available.  

Take Away:
I definitely am an advisor in this whole process, though a more knowledgeable one at that. This is my wife's decision, so I want her to develop the experience and basic knowledge to make her own decision. Oh, and I forgot one of the most basic criterion: 4-1/2. Service Caliber. All guns from this session met that criterion.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Senseless Violence," Not

I love this quote, as it appeared on Michael Bane's blog ("A Few Thoughts for the Deep Breath Before the Plunge..."):
Violence is misunderstood. There's no such thing as senseless violence. All violence makes sense to someone. Nor is violence ever entirely random. The perp chose to be where he was, when he was. Not random. We say the victim was "in the wrong place at the wrong time," meaning where and when the perp was. Bad luck, but not a random event. We can't know the "when" until it's too late, but we can recognize the "where" with some reliability. There are places it's wrong to be, at any time. The principle is simple: when violence occurs, be somewhere else...
-- The Woodpile Report

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