Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sherlock Holmes and Names

There is something obsessively compelling about Sherlock Holmes and names.

Sherlock - sure to lock up the guilty.
Holmes - sure to home in on his quarry.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - [need to pick this one apart]
Benedict Cumberbatch - [and this one]
Dr. John Watson - [and this one]
Martin Freeman - [and definitely this one]

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Anti-Federalist's Argument Against Collectivism

The present moment discovers a new face in our affairs. Our object has been all along, to reform our federal system, and to strengthen our governments--to establish peace, order and justice in the community--but a new object now presents. The plan of government now proposed is evidently calculated totally to change, in time, our condition as a people. Instead of being thirteen republics, under a federal head, it is clearly designed to make us one consolidated government. Of this, I think, I shall fully convince you, in my following letters on this subject. This consolidation of the states has been the object of several men in this country for some time past. Whether such a change can ever be effected in any manner; whether [such a change] can be effected without convulsions and civil wars; whether such a change will not totally destroy the liberties of this country--time only can determine. [emphasis added]
- Federal Farmer, no. 1, 8 Oct. 1787
Well, holy crap.

Federal power (and arguably a desire for martial glory and blood cleansing) did lead to Civil War I - Federal power that turned the country against itself by allowing one side to impose its economic order on the other side.  Is federal power handing the reins of power to those that favor one side over the other, again?

Are the statists - those who want to progressively use government power to force their belief system on others - begging for a Civil War II (or, realistically a Civil War III, if the Revolutionary War is included in the count)? Are the libertarians begging for the same? Should the Federal government acquiesce loss of power to states rights and individuals, in order to preserve some kind of union?

It is simple to state that our form of government has gone beyond the strictures of the Constitution, but as so many anarchocapitalists, anarchists, and libertarians have implied: The Constitution invited the overstep of its specific limits to power, because government power begets more government power.

One unfortunate problem with the aims outlined by the Federal Farmer: a belief that strengthening the governments was legitimate.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Open-Source Guns

The battle of the open-source guns. Which is better? Which is the leader? Which is more storied? Which is for you?

What are we talking about? The Colt 1911 and the Česká zbrojovka 75.

Two great guns. Does there need to be winner?

NEXT: History

Monday, June 9, 2014

Global/Personal, Environment/Backyard, Healthcare/Wellbeing

We are living in a bipolar world. Collectivist push for an environmental policy. The individual pushes for protection of personal property - your backyard. Collectivist push for healthcare policy.The individual   pushes for protection of the body - your wellbeing. The examples go on. But we are in a cultural battlefield that pits the wants of the collective verses the "wants" of the individual.

The collective gives us the ridiculous gift of "corporate personhood," which brings a clear example of what collectivism offers - the false promise that groups can have clearly defined wants, and needs, exclusive of the desires of the individual. Oh, wait. I mean in place of the desires of the individual.

I love Star Trek, but Spock's quote, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - or the one." begs the question: Can a group feel, and need, and think?

It is easy to think in terms of sweeping problems and solutions. THE SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES DEPENDS ON IT. But our existence is based on the individual, individual choices, individual rights. And when we abdicate responsibility of every problem - even the ones that could benefit from "collective" action - the the government hammer treats every perceived problem as a nail. Rights get violated, and problems multiply.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Most Elegant Rifle, Most ...

This most-list will be restricted to smokeless-fed cartridge firearms, for no particular reason.

Most Elegant Military Rifle
Karabiner 98 Kurz (aka Mauser 98k). The Mauser has a "whittled" sling attachment in the stock, has a cleaning rod that looks in place, and looks streamlined, while still being made out of wood and steel. And it looks oh-so-more proportional than the original Gewehr 98.

Most Steampunk Military Rifle
L85A1, (aka Enfield bullpup). It has plastic parts, so it is not truely steampunk, but the SA80 family of weapons just look like they are cobbled together with an assortment of parts to make bullet engines.

Most Elegant Military Pistol
 SIG P210 (aka Pistole 49). The machined lines of this pistol are just awesome. And look even more beautiful, when you hold it in your hand. Like the CZ75, it has internal rails. I should have said the 1911, or the Luger. But the 1911 is too rounded, when you are holding it. And the Luger is too menacing. Of course, the P210 is handicapped, because the original military grips are not too attractive. And its profile is hampered by that giant trigger blade. But trust me, when you handle it, it is a marvel of machining.

Most Steampunk Military Pistol
Mauser C96 (aka Broomhandle). This pistol just screams Victorian Era. On a modern pistol, the slide would recock the hammer, if a modern pistol had a hammer. The C96 has a BOLT instead. The integral magazine and pencil barrel combined with the "broomhandle" just screams steampunk. And what other gun with scant modifications could serve as Han Solo's blaster?


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Critical Issues In Policing

... was the title of a textbook for a college course that drove me away from a career in "law enforcement." Now we are at a critical time for policing. State-sponsored and protected policing is making itself dangerous for and irrelevant to the actual goals of policing. The best solution for policing is privatization, and not government contracted policing - private policing, private dicks, private security, private mediation and arbitration, blood money.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Glorious American Rifle of WWI

Recently, my dad unlocked his cedar-lined closet, and we were going through the guns that he inherited from his dad. I pulled out an old military rifle, and he told me it was a M1903 Springfield. I said, "Uh-uh." I could tell by the less-elegant shape of the receiver, for one thing.

And it took me another couple minutes to convince him that it was an M1917 Enfield. It helped that "M1917" was stamped on the receiver.

I listened to the last couple episodes of Guns of Hollywood podcast. I am impressed with Allie Howe and Sam Azner's podcast, especially since their up to only 3 episodes. But what has bugged me through "The Wild Bunch" and "Saving Private Ryan" episodes has been the glossing over of the Enfield in U.S. military service. I understand that the episodes are not all inclusive, that they focus primarily on the guns used in the movies, but the mention of the Springfield, especially as the primary U.S. rifle during WWI, got the paddlewheels of my historical memory churning.

As I recall, Remington was producing Enfields for the British military in .303 during WWI. The USA decided to enter the war, and instead of retooling Remington started producing Enfields chambered for .30-06. And as I recall, there were more Enfields fielded by the U.S. than Springfields in WWI. Also, there is some debate whether Sgt. York used a Springfield or an Enfield to captured the gobs of Germans he temporarily imprisoned.

Am I right?

Well, according to Wikipedia's article about the M1917 Enfield, Remington AND Winchester were producing Enfields for the Brits. And both manufacturers produced M1917s. And fascinatingly, by the time of the armistice, 75% of the Americans in France were armed with Enfields. So it is quite easy to say that the M1917 Enfield, of British design was America's primary fighting implement during WWI.

Yes, the M1903 Springfield continued on as America's bolt-action rifle through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam (along with the M40 Remington, by this point) - having been transitioned to sniper-rifle duty, but the Enfield WAS America's WWI battle rifle.

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