The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bullet RPMs and barrel life

Stealeded this from a discussion on FB. Fascinated for those of us who shoot. If you do not shoot, this is incredibly boring.

The final statement by John is a mind-blower.

Expected barrel life, 3 shots.

BILL: Worthless Info # 3,225! 

Has anyone ever wondered what the RPM of your bullets are coming out of you 45/70’s for example???

405 gr slug for example:

Well, let’s figure a 1 in 20 twist rate. 

That means for every 12” of barrel your Bullet twists .6 revolutions. 

. 6 x 1,600 feet per second = 960revolutions per SECOND. 

960 x 60 seconds = 55,296 RPM!!!!

That, my friends, is SMOKIN for that size slug. 

Now imagine a 3k FPS round with a 1/10 twist rate????!! Wow

GARY: Of course the bullet is only in the bbl a very short time, not minutes and as soon as it leaves the bbl it slows down, all are aware of that.

SAM: The spinning won’t slow down as fast as the forward speed. When Hatcher did his experiments of shooting bullets straight up in the air they returned base first.

MICHAEL: Also, watch this video on shooting at ice to stop the forward movement of the bullet, but it does very little to slow the rotational velocity. It sits and spins like a top for over a minute. If it takes this long with direct contact with a solid to lose its rotational velocity, the short flight time of a bullet only contacting a gas has essentially no effect.

JOHN: Interesting, Next time someone asks you "What's the life of this barrel?" Instead of telling them something like 10,000 rounds tell them the life of the barrel is "about 7.5 seconds." After all, a round going 2,000 ft/sec only spends .00075 seconds traveling through the barrel so 10,000 rounds would only add up to 7.5 secs. Puts things into perspective doesn't it?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Purple fingers

For the past 2-3 years around this time of year, I've enjoyed a special treat every time I pull into the driveway.

A volunteer mulberry tree sprouted years ago just at the corner of the gate. It took a few years, but now it is full of fruit. Depending on the weather the fruit ranges from dry and tasteless to almost bursting with juice and tasteless.

Mulberry trees need just the right amount of water and some heat to produce sweet fruit.

This year is a good one after a watery start.

Each time I come into the drive, I stop under the tree and pluck fruit with my left hand. My thumb and first two fingers are well-stained purple. Mulberry juice doesn't wash off easily It's with me all day long. When I get home, pick more fruit and renew the stains.

The berries have a short stem, which I either bite off and spit out or happily chew with the rest of the fruit.

Every day I pull in and ripe berries wait. I pull and eat all I can reach from the seat of my truck. Next day, more berries!

This year Kittie comes out to where I stop and sits waiting for me to pull around and park so we can have a short conversation and she can have her head rubbed.

The irony is the yard also has an apple tree, a fig tree and a peach tree. Intentionally planted, all three.

We've got a few apples, small but good and a few small and fair peaches. No figs. These three trees are several years older than the mulberry, but the mulberry has eclipsed them all in growth and fruit production. It's also growing up through asphalt instead of the soil in the yard.

I'm reminded of several things as I munch mulberries.

An election in a Middle Eastern country some years ago saw people all around the world vote. After voting, the voters dipped a finger in a purple dye that lasted several days. I'm voting every day for my mulberry tree!

Jesus cursed the tree that would not produce fruit. I soon plan to have a couple of goats run in the yard to trim the various grasses, weeds and vines since I cannot find anyone to mow my yard. I expect the goats to do a number on the apple, fig and peach tree.

This in turn reminds me of a big pear tree where I grew up. It never did anything much except produce leaves. One day, Dad tore half of it down with a bulldozer. The next season, the tree limbs broke under the weight of fruit.

Yeah. I never know where my mind is headed next either.

Anyway, maybe these three trees need some encouragement. Maybe they need some strife. Maybe they need a little hardship so their true natures will really come out. The goats should accomplish that.

Meantime, the mulberry tree is too tall to be really harmed by the goats. They may snag a few low lying limbs and leaves with the berries, but most of the tree is now out of reach for anyone without a ladder.

And I will continue to enjoy my mulberries and purple fingers for a bit longer.

Unlike the grapes that used to be at the front of the house, no one wants the mulberries. Well, no one but me and a pair of doves.

No deeper meaning in this one, folks. Just a man enjoying the fruits of a tree he never planted and never expected.

Which may be a deeper meaning after all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coming soon

The sound of splodey heads.

All your favorites and ALL NEW material too.

Will be available in print format and e-Book.

Pre-order print edition now for $4. Message me.

E-version will be less expensive, but you don't get an autograph.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Slip sliding away

Some people just don't get it. They refuse to see what is happening.

Rose-colored glasses must be marvelous things. Of course, they can't hold a candle to the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

Anyway, take off your reality-perception-altering shades and get a dose of realism right here. 

Gun control is already on a slippery slope with an increasing pitch and someone squirting grease on the track ahead. Don't believe me? Let's take a walk through time and see how far this slippery slope has carried us.

Here's ya proof.

In the 1700s, if you wanted to make a gun, you did it. It did involve a lot of work under a gunsmith to learn the trade. Government regulation was scant. Government orders for guns were common.

Government still stepped in with confiscation efforts. 

"As British troops sailed to Boston in 1768, the Boston Gazette reported that the ministry commanded things 'more grievous to the people, than any thing hitherto made known'" the first of which was 'that the inhabitants of this Province are to be disarmed.' By 1774, the British were routinely conducting warrantless searches and seizures of firearms in the Boston area, leading the Gazette to exclaim that 'what most irritated the people next to seizing their arms and ammunition' was the arrest of patriot political leaders. King George III ordered the seizure of any firearms imported into the colonies.

"This Article reviews the British gun control program that precipitated the American Revolution: the 1774 import ban on firearms and gunpowder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gunpowder; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations. It was these events that changed a situation of political tension into a shooting war. Each of these British abuses provides insights into the scope of the modern Second Amendment."

So der yaggo. This nation created a revolution in part because the government was taking away the guns.


The first draft of the Constitution did not refer to guns. It was added, in the Bill of Rights, because some forward-thinking Founding Fathers said "Hey. We better codify this, even though it should go without saying."

"The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power. For example, what the Founders saw as the natural right of individuals to speak and worship freely was protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions on Congress from making laws establishing a religion or abridging freedom of speech. For another example, the natural right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion in one’s home was safeguarded by the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements."


Guns were sold and manufactured back then without any permitting or processing requirements for the most part. Some gun makers did have permission from the governments at the time; more of a blessing than permission kind of thing. If you can find evidence to the contrary, please let me know and I will update this.

In one respect a government order for guns could be considered a license to make guns. But the true business license is a more modern convention. Now, if you want to produce anything commercially you must have a license.

"In the late 1930s, the Court repudiated Lochner, thereby rejecting its prior understanding of liberty and ushering in a more active regulatory state." Lochner is a term for the economic age where business was not subject to the amount of government regulation now in place.


The first federal law, not the Constitution, but legislation of the modern firearm era, was in 1934. The NFA - National Firearms Act - was created by Congress.

Until this point, full auto firearms and many more weapons were legal for purchase if you had the money. With the 1934 NFA, a $200 tax stamp was imposed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) was in charge of the tax stamp which also amounted to a permit and background check since the BATF could deny the application. This act also put licensing requirements on people who made NFA-eligible firearms and accessories. It also created a national gun registry, something not heard of since Colonial times. 


In 1938, the Federal Firearms Act required licenses for firearm dealers.


Lee Harvey Oswald, famed killer of JFK, bought a gun mail-order in the 1960s. After the assassination, the law was changed. Mail order firearms were not allowed anymore.  With this came background checks, more licenses and regulation. "Under federal law, any interstate firearms sale -- whether the seller is a licensed dealer or private individual -- must be concluded by a licensed dealer with a background check through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System."


The NFA was amended, changed, modified, added, whatever in 1968. "…1968, the first year the federal government set age limits for gun purchases. Before then, regulation for non-machine guns was mostly left to states. It’s not clear whether states had formal age restrictions for guns, but gun access in some states may have followed the 'age of majority,' i.e. the age at which you were considered a legal adult."

"First, the requirement for possessors of unregistered firearms to register was removed. Indeed, under the amended law, there is no mechanism for a possessor to register an unregistered NFA firearm already possessed by the person."

This was the second time the feds created a background check. "House Resolution 17735, known as the Gun Control Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 22, 1968, banning mail order sales of rifles and shotguns and prohibiting most felons, drug users and people found mentally incompetent from buying guns."

1968 is also the start of universal serial numbers on guns.  Before this, guns could have serial numbers, but it was not required. I have a Trapdoor Springfield made in 1878 that has a serial number. I have a single-shot .22 carbine made in the early 1960s without a serial number. The difference? The Springfield was government order rifle. Gummint needs tracking numbers. The SS .22 was made for the civilian market.

Which one is more lethal? Both will drop any animal native to North America in its tracks with one shot. I killed a 1500 pound animal with a .22 firing .22 shorts. A .22 short is the most anemic powder-fired round available.


The NFA was again amended in 1986, the Firearm Owners Protection Act (the title is proof government lies). "The Act also amended the GCA to prohibit the transfer or possession of machine guns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machine guns to, or possession of machine guns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986." This effectively banned the production of FA firearms except for government use.

Ronald Reagan, the liberal president, lobbied for and signed the 1986 legislation. "The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement."


Bush I approved a law banning the import of certain kinds of guns in 1989. "The Bush Administration declared a permanent ban today on almost all foreign-made semiautomatic assault rifles. Imports of the weapons have been suspended since spring."


What we now know as the "background check," the NICS, was started in 1998.

"The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a United States system for determining if prospective firearms or explosives buyers' name and birth year match those of a person who is not eligible to buy. It was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Law) of 1993 and launched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1998."


The 1994 The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Act banned manufacture and import of some specific firearms and accessories. It did not outlaw ownership. The law did have a sunset provision. Attempts to resurrect this law have so far failed.

The 1994 act also moved someof guns into the Class III category.


It is very questionable if the Tiahrt Amendment is pro or anti-gun. "The Tiahrt Amendment, proposed by Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), prohibited the ATF from publicly releasing data showing where criminals purchased their firearms and stipulated that only law enforcement officers or prosecutors could access such information."

The reason I say questionable is because once this information is requested, it eventually becomes part of the public record of a criminal investigation.


No question the Protection of Lawful Commerce act is pro-gun. Gun manufacturers cannot be sued in federal or state civil court by victims of gun violence. 

Now liberal heads will go all splodey. "Since he launched his campaign, (Bernie) Sanders has taken flak from Clinton and other gun controllers for supporting the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which bans lawsuits based on 'the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.'”

Also, that liberal bastion Obama expanded gun rights. "In fact, Obama signed only two major laws that address how guns are carried in America, and both actually expand the rights of gun owners."


The 2008 Heller decision at the Supreme Court was a smackdown on gun bans. The High Court narrowly ruled a Washington DC handgun ban was unConstitutional. "“The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment.”


In a case of one step forward and a major retreat, in 2014 Obama also blocked importing some guns from other countries. "Executive Order 13661, titled, 'Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,' was signed March 16th in response to Russian actions in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine."


The current Liar in Chief has also put the STOMP! of approval on bans. "On June 20, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department added Molot to its list of Ukraine-related sanctions 'for operating in the arms or related material sector of the Russian Federation and for acting or purporting to act for on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Kalashnikov Concern,' the Treasury Department said in a statement."


States and some cities have enacted their own bans.

"With minor exceptions, state law prohibits giving an assault weapon to anyone; distributing, transporting, or importing an assault weapon; or keeping, offering, or exposing any such weapon for sale. It also, with minor exceptions, prohibits possession of an assault weapon unless the owner lawfully possessed the weapon before the ban took effect and obtained a certificate of possession from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for it (in effect, registered the weapon)."

"New York prohibits the manufacture, transportation, disposal and possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device, which New York law defines as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that: 1) has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition; 2) contains more than seven rounds of ammunition; or 3) is obtained after January 15, 2013 and has a capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept more than seven rounds of ammunition.”

Others are trying this too.


Moves to repeal the 2nd Amendment are also on the increase.


The truth is, gun rights are on a slippery slope. Anyone who says otherwise is ignoring the facts here.

Some will insist otherwise. "Nope. No slippery slope here. Nothing to see here citizen. Move along. Uncle Sam will tell you what you need to know and what you are allowed to have."

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dueling experts and horrifying medicine

Will someone please present me with a comprehensive list of why civilians should not own firearms so I can address them at one time?

This is getting annoying.


The current reason that people should not have a firearm is mental instability.

Of all the … excuses given, this is the least rational, least plausible and most indefensible.

Certainly, some metal issues are obvious. For the past 21 years, I have lived with a human being with “limited” mental capacity. Jesse, my son, has Down Syndrome. He can read some words. He cannot drive. He has a hard time answering two-part questions or following a series of commands issued as one instruction.

He is also a hunter, knows more about guns, I bet you, than the average person. He has his own rifle (locked in a gun safe) and he’s made kills with it. We turned it into ground meat because hamburgers are his favorite meat. He also has a bow, thanks to some astonishingly awesome friends in Washington State, and was on the 4-H archery team in high school.



Who gets to decide if a person has mental issues that should prohibit them from owning gun?

Psychiatrists? These are the same people who vote, I do mean VOTE, on what constitutes a mental issue. Vote. 

"It (DSM-5) classifies psychiatric diagnoses and the criteria required to meet them. Gary Greenberg, one of the book's biggest critics, claims these disorders aren't real -- they're invented."

"The paper concludes that while the APA represented DSM-III, and the return to descriptive psychiatry it inaugurated, as a triumph of empirically based decision-making, the evidence presented here fails to support that view."

"Historically, many clinicians have been unaware that the DSM is more political than scientific, that there is little agreement among professionals regarding the meaning of vaguely defined terms, and that it includes only scant empirical data."

Where do these quotes come from? The authorities in the links just above.

S'far as the "empirical data" is concerned, psychologists and psychotherapists are some better than the shrinks. They at least rely on real world results.

As for the ability to prescribe medications, only shrinks get to do that. The record on shrink medications is extremely subject to the Decline Effect. "But the data presented at the Brussels meeting made it clear that something strange was happening: the therapeutic power of the drugs appeared to be steadily waning. A recent study showed an effect that was less than half of that documented in the first trials, in the early nineteen-nineties."

Doctors do not vote on whether or not someone has a broken leg. Doctors do not vote on whether or not the flu virus will make people sick.

You want people who vote on what a mental illness happens to be to decide? This same group once declared homosexuality to be a mental disorder.

A look at the history of shrinkology -

Mental illness? Get you some MORE history.

Some of these “illnesses” now horrify us. We are even more horrified by how these “patients” were treated. Yet, that was is mental health treatment.

I recommend you read The Great Psychiatry Scam. No doubt some of you are gonna “BS!” That and say this guy either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or has a axe to grind.  Dr. Colin A Ross is one of the current psychiatric greats on the planet.

Wherefore dost thou protest now?


Let’s make this more real. Why wasn’t Ted Bundy stopped before he killed more people? I guess enough people didn’t vote to stop him.

The Zodiac Killer. Jack the Ripper. Donald Henry Gaskins. Tsutomu Miyazaki. Luis Garavito.

OK, what about Charles Edmund Cullen? Lots more like him where he came from.


Aight. Forget the voting.

Look at the court cases where people are hauled in front of a judge for competency hearings.

BOTH sides bring expert witnesses, experts in the field of mental health who testify to the exact opposite. Who ya gonna believe?, expert witnesses are the champions of victims and the accused. Legal disputes are increasingly being decided by the battle of the experts who must undergo the ordeal of cross-examination. “

Here, lemme beat you to near death with reality - Expert Opinions Concerning Insanity”

In the case of State v. McGhee, 787 N.W.2d 700 (Neb. 2010), Eric McGhee appealed his convictions for first-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony. He filed a petition for postconviction relief and based his appeal on ineffective assistance of counsel. Mr. McGhee's primary complaint was that his attorney did not acquire a third expert opinion regarding his competency to stand trial and his defense of legal insanity in the face of conflicting expert opinions. He contended that a third expert opinion was necessary to break the “stalemate” between the two opposing experts. The district court denied his appeal without an evidentiary hearing, and he then appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court.”

Got money? Hire an expert to tell a judge and jury that the individual is/isnot mentally competent and hope the other side cannot match the fiscal resources needed to bring in expert witnesses. Then, let the unquestioned NON EXPERTS decide which expert is telling the truth?

And we come right back to voting again. Except now, you want people with no background in mental health to vote on whether or not someone is mentally competent to have a firearm.

Can I submit you to the same examination process to decide whether or not you are competent to do anything of my choosing?



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I have tried, and I mean REALLY TRIED, to not write this one. But dammitall, someone must step in with correct information. (sigh)

A few reminders to start this one:

"No one is coming to take your guns."

"This is about protecting our kids."

"This is about stopping the killing."


Having shot down the top three arguments above, some in the gun grab crowd now say they only want to ban civilian ownership of military firearms.

They do not know what they are talking about. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I explain below.

Also, I am using the exact line of reasoning these people use when calling for gun bans. A major difference between me & them is I am using actual facts and reason to back up my points v. empty rhetoric and emotionally laden vitriol. (Well, most of the time anyway.)

In the interest of just hitting the major points, I will skip over a lot of things like swords, rapiers, man-catchers, advances in projectile tech and etc.


Mr. Peabody, fire up The Wayback Machine. We are visiting the 1100s and the most feared weapon ever created by that time, the crossbow.

"Not surprisingly, the highest European authority of the day, the Roman Catholic Church, called for an outright ban on the weapon. And the Vatican wasn’t messing around — violating its decree could lead to excommunication, or worse: damnation of the soul. Strong language, to be sure. In fact, for much of the Middle Ages, the crossbow was considered to be one of the most destabilizing weapons in existence, not unlike today’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

So, to ban military weapons, we must ban the crossbow.


Mr. Peabody! Take us forward good sir!

Smoothbore rifles, which are on the current banned list anyway in the US, except for muzzleloaders... Well, even the muzzleloaders must be banned.

Loading a muzzleloader - . And that is for 1 shot.

"European military doctrine of the time called for the use of smoothbore muskets as the primary martial firearm.  Although less accurate than rifled arms, the smoothbore allowed for faster reloading, since a lead ball slightly smaller than bore diameter could be rammed down the barrel with wadding quite quickly, even as the barrel became fouled from gunpowder residue from previous shots."

For the sake of space, I shall skip over barrel rifling.

According to the "ban military guns" crowd, we must ban muzzleloading blackpowder rifles. The Brown Bess was issued to the British Army. This is but one example of many.

"It was the standard arm of the British soldier during the American Revolution. Unlike modern weapons, the musket was slow to load, inaccurate and frequently unreliable. The Brown Bess fired round lead balls, some the size of a quarter. With such an inaccurate gun, soldiers were often massed tightly together, firing a shower of lead balls at the enemy. "


Mr. Peabody! We require your services to take us into the time of cartridge rounds. A cartridge round is self-contained. The bullet, powder and primer are all in one unit. The first cartridge rounds were developed for civilian use. So, banning ammo as being for "military purposes" is not permitted under these rules of engagement.

But we can point to cartridges and guns made for those rounds specifically made for military use.

The shoulder-breaker and moose hammer .45-70 Government is once again popular among shooters. As the name implies, this round was developed by and for the government. But we cannot ban ammo.

We can ban the rifle for which this ammo was developed. The Trapdoor Springfield as we call it today was built on government orders for government use. This single-shot rifle is designed to use black powder in the cartridge. Using some modern ammo can cause the rifle to explode. Really.

Single shot is slow to load. The rifle must be opened, the spent brass removed and a new round inserted.

But, this rifle that is more than 100 years old must be banned because it is a military firearm.

I have one. It was probably used to kill Native Americans. Ban it?

Another cartridge we cannot ban is the .30-06. This round was, again, developed by the government for military use. The ammo is on the world's Top 10 list for most popular deer ammo.

The ammo was developed for the Springfield Model 1903 bolt-action rifle. Since this is a military firearm, it can be banned. Never mind the fact that first few years the guns were made in such a way that firing modern ammo in them can cause them to explode. Literally.

It must be banned because it is a military rifle.

Got one of these too, one of the first off the line. I am truly afraid to shoot it because I do not want it exploding in my face.

Lemme point out here legendary Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock used the Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 in Vietnam. This is rifle is also called "a deer rifle" which the military gun ban crowd says they do not want to ban. Functionally, it is no different than the Springfield 1903, except it won't explode with modern ammo.

What is a sniper rifle? Briefly, here. Gonna look at another SERIOUS sniper rifle in a moment.


Someone will point out "Hey Baker, these guns are not used by militaries anymore." You certain?


What is a Mosin-Nagant? A 30-caliber (think .30-06 deer rifle), 5-round fixed box magazine (think .30-06 deer rifle), bolt action (think .30-06 deer rifle) rifle (think .30-06 deer rifle) that started out in Russia made specifically for the military. Other nations started building them too, all for military use.

All. No Mosin Nagant was ever made, except under government contract for government use.

In what will certainly break the extractor (gun humor) of many in the precision shooting crowd who sneer at the Mosin Nagant, it is the most deadly sniper rifle in history based on the number of kills. The world's top sniper is Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Russian lady, who used the Mosin. At the time, she was what the world called a feminist.

In form, function, fit, performance and even appearance, the difference between the Mosin Nagant and a modern Savage .30-06 deer rifle is strictly cosmetic. If you are one who says military firearms should be banned for civilian use - and I prove above the Mosin is still used by militaries - pick the one to ban.

Yes, I have two Mosins. One made in 1918 and it most certainly was used to shoot Nazis and others. I have one made in China, dropped on the battlefield during the Korean War. It was certainly used to shoot at American and other troops. Did the shooter killl anyone? Dunno.

By the "military gun" reasoning, they must be banned. Pick which one from the above must be banned.


The simple truth is people who call for banning military-style weapons do not know what they are talking about. Most cannot tell a Glock 19 from a silhouette single shot target pistol. They certainly do not know what a military firearm is. When pressed they come up with AR 15, AK 47 and a few other firearms with letters in the name. What about the AR7? Ban it? Why? Ban the M77? Why?

Magazine capacity and the ability to shoot rapidly are also brought up. Mag capacity, as I show above, has little to do with a firearm's lethality.

Firing rapidly?

This was done with a REVOLVER. I've shot full automatic firearms that don't cycle that fast. Full auto means you hold the trigger and it keeps shooting.


"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
"To disarm the people...[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them."
- George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

In search of evil

TC posed this - Question of the day... Is profit evil?

What is profit? Profit, grossly defined is whatever is left after deducting all expenses. 

Under this definition, a good bookkeeper and business owner can make sure a business never makes a profit. Simply raise expenses until they exactly match the income and no profit.

Lemme insert a word before expenses - necessary.

Profit redefined is whatever is left after deducting all necessary expenses. 

Now we be getting' somewhere.


The question then becomes, what is necessary. Fortunately, we have that one pretty much nailed to the wall.

Necessary is what it takes to live. To live you need air, water, food and shelter. You can live a few minutes without air. Some critters can go pretty much indefinitely without air, but humans ain't that way.

You can go 3-4 days without water. Unless you are these guys.

Depending on the particular person, living without food is possible anywhere from a few days to a month

About shelter. This is environmentally and geographically specific. People living in the tropic zones just need something to keep the rain off sometimes. Clothes are not needed in a lot of cases. The further north or south people live, the more protection they need from the environment. Get into the polar regions and heavy clothing and substantial shelter is necessary.


With the necessities covered, then anything else by definition must be profit.

For people living in tropical zones, profit can be shoes. Literally. Do people living in tropical zones really need shoes? For most of the history of humanity, they have lived without shoes.

No matter where a person lives in the world, a cell phone is profit. Humanity existed without this technology until the 1980s. Many people still live without one.


If profit is anything exceeding the basic necessities, then certainly more than 95 percent of the people living in industrialized nations (whether under socialism, communism, capitalism or a combination) experience and have profit.

Those people who scream "profit is evil" have a closet full of clothes, multiple sets of shoes, live in a dwelling that far exceeds their needs, have discretionary income, etc etc etc. They make a profit.

But being a hypocrite is part of the human condition.


Which brings us to the last word, Evil. What is evil? At the risk of someone shouting "GODWIN'S LAW" at me, I tell you Adolf Hitler did not believe he was an evil man or what he was doing through the Holocaust was evil. (If you do not believe the Holocaust happened, never, ever make any effort to communicate with me.) Those behind the Russian pogroms did not believe they were evil. 

Here's a fast definition of evil - That which is opposed to the interests of the person defining evil.

Simple. Direct. Accurate.


Back to the central question. Is profit evil? It certainly can be, depending on who is doing the defining.

Generally, those who define profit as evil are looking at what someone else has and get jealous. They stare down at their smartphones, post angry Tweets and invective on Facebook.

Profit much?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

More cooperation, please

Consider this a heartfelt request for more cooperation from all'a y'all.

I need help. If you will simply do a bit more on your part – I'm doing the bulk of the heavy lifting here anyway – things will go a lot smoother.

Here's what I need you to do.

Follow the script.

You cannot imagine how many hours I spend (not many because I have far more important things to ponder, like what color my hair should be next week) thinking and planning these massive arguments I get into with all'a y'all.

I plan these debates out. Point. By. Point.

On every topic, I come up with a list (one) of discussion points. I carefully (not really) plan out my side of the discussion.

Then, and this is where the problem comes up, I plan out YOUR side of this roundtable (sometimes). All you have to do is follow the script. Some improvising is OK, certainly. Don't wanna cramp your style. But you MUST stick the general outline.

I've provided a handy list for y'all to follow.

• Stop bringing up extraneous points.

• Do not deviate from the outline by changing the crux of each of your replies which I have thoughtfully and painstakingly prepared.

• No insults.

• No whining.

It is entirely fine and expected that you do disagree with me. I can even handle ending the discussion with you still disagreeing with me, even though you are wrong. This should be rare.

For my sanity, you must stick to the course and stop interjecting things I have not planned.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this. I look forward to having all of you agree with me more often.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Unknown waters

Had two things hit recently that are leaving me in unknown waters.

Not exactly lost. The distant coastline hovers as a mirage above the water. I hope.

Definitely not floundering. The ship is solid and we will get there. But in the meantime, great care must be taken when navigating through this.

So, to de-obfuscate-

A while back I wrote stories about, one of the commercial DNA sites. In exchange, the company ran my DNA. To my great surprise, my recent ancestry is exclusively west European. The Irish and the German I knew. Grandma Morgan was from Austria. Her ex-husband and my maternal grandfather also German, but an early arrival. That side of the family got here in time for the Revolutionary War. Grandma and Grandpa were of recent Irish stock.

Ennyhoo, I agreed to let Ancestry use the results to match up potential relatives.

If the website is right and this is not a scammer, I have a formerly unknown first cousin in Wisconsin. The lady said she was put up for adoption through the Catholic church. At the time, I had a relative living up there. Said relative has quite a list of arrests for scammer type crimes.

When Mom asked said relative about that time in Wisconsin and whether or not said relative had a child, the subject got changed in a hurry.

Been emailing back and forth with this lady through the Ancestry website. She is now quite irate because I will not give her contact info for her possible parent.

I do not share anyone's personal information with that person's explicit permission.

UPDATE - This woman, who definitely is a first cousin confirmed if she's not lying, went off on me and insulted me and this side of her entire family because I would not share information. So be it.

Ah so.


A friend called. Wants me to preach the dad's funeral. The dad and I met once, about an hour or more, and talked once or twice more.

This left me floundering. How can I bring comfort to the family? How can I give this man the send-off he truly deserves? What if I really make a mess of this?

I turned to two people whom I trust implicitly for advice. I asked what I should do under the circumstances.

They delivered. Fully armed with The Word and advice, I'm ready.

UPDATE - Was the service perfect? Nope. Was it well received? Family members said it was the best funeral they ever heard.


Depending on whom you speak with, we get one ride on this merry go round OR we get a ride here and then maybe have to go to one of the crappier rides for a while or get bounced up to the ultimate ride.

Regardless of that, we're here. Do what you can to make this a better place while yer here.

If you are doing this right, you will make plenty of mistakes. That is not a contradiction nor an oxymoron. To repeat, to get things right, you've got to screw up.

If you never make a mistake, you are not doing anything.

So, go forward. Make mistakes. Screw up. You have my permission, not that you need it, to walk through this life with disasters behind you.

That's the key - Behind You.

Learn, adapt, be better.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Amongst the other things I do, going to prison is a regular event. (I never get tired of that!)

I visit the state lockup in my community regularly for church services. The State of Georgia decided I'm good enough to be a state-certified prison minister. Going and seeing those guys really gives me a boost.

For more'n a year now as I walk in through the double gates, concertina wire overhead, a flock of small birds bounces from coiled wire to coiled wire chittering happily. On a recent visit, I noticed a nest in a corner on a post.


This just now, as I wrote that above, occurred to me. The nest is in the inner fence. The birds roost in the inner fence in the coils of concertina wire. None of them roost on the outside. They also get inside the coils at the top of the fence, settling in at least one layer deep. 


Getting to these birds is certainly not impossible. They get in there. Climbing the chain link fence and slipping across the wires is no problem for the No Shoulders (snakes) that are abundant in the woods a little over 100 yards away. Rats could easily run up and down.

Falcons, hawks and owls, now there's another matter. A screech owl probably could get in through the coils, but that night predator would be going after prey only a bit smaller than himself. Probably not going to happen.

But the birds would have that same protection on the outer perimeter.

The birds also congregate at the gates. The concertina wire is thickest there. So not a great surprise. Yet they still go to the inner gate.



These birds willingly enter a place where most humans want to leave. They seek the security of an artificial briar patch.

You can make all kinds of analogies about prison walls and bars are no barrier to a free mind. The simple fact is, few men who leave that place as a former "detainee" ever want to go back to spend more time as a ward of the state in the Iron Bar Hotel.  Sadly, many will make life choices that will send them back. In a sense, they do want to go back, I guess.

These birds not only enter there, but make it a home, a permanent dwelling. Yes, I have seen a dead bird at the foot of the fence.

They seek safety and find it. They can also leave anytime they wish which makes a major difference. If they were trapped, once freed, they would never go back. A trapped animal learns to avoid the same situation in the future. These birds do not see the trap because for them, it does not exist.


As I pass through the gates when it is light outside, the birds are chirping and chittering. I speak to them. Why? I just do.

Heading out, the sun is down and they sleep. By now they are accustomed to the SLAM! of the two gates closing so they do not budge. In the beginning, the gates WHAMMED! shut and they were all a-twitter. They have learned it's nothing to be concerned about. I leave them to sleep as I exit.

Each time as I pass, I say to myself "There's a message here. A lesson. There is something important going on here."

Each time I pass, whatever it is dances just beyond the reach of this thing I call a mind. It is there, like a deer on the edge of the field just at twilight, or is that a tree and a shadow. 

Regardless, it is something, whether or not I can make it out clearly.

Perhaps that is the message. Perhaps that is the lesson. Maybe it is something to be studied, marveled and wondered and yet never fully understood.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Atlas don't live here

In one of the Classical Mythologies, Atlas carried the world on his shoulders. In Discworld, A'Tuin supports four elephants that support the spinning disc that is the world. (Never mind the friction burns).

A few days agone, I felt like I was toting all of those at once. Yeah. It happens this time of year every year for the past 23 years. (Fire Ant Festival if you hafta know). But this year, lots of added burdens - ask and I shall not tell you.

Anyway, called out, yet again, to help I looked at the 30-minute drive ahead of me. I thought about the situation du minute. I started rolling the expected conversation through my head. The more I thought, the madder I got.

Ever been there? Start thinking and you just get madder by the minute?


On the drive, I came to an intersection. A funeral procession was turning, tying up the intersection. They turned right, I was headed straight. I could have zipped across without interrupting them,

Being raised the right way, I waited until everyone went through the intersection before I crossed.

Suddenly, I was not mad anymore. Seeing those cars with their lights on, following a hearse to a cemetery ... perspective.

The mortal remains of whoever was in that coffin...

They don't have to worry about new tires, mortgage payments, what is for dinner, keeping appointments and so on. Everyone who relied on that person, they cannot anymore. They have to make their own way now or find someone else to lean on.


Until and if I'm taken to the last piece of real estate I'll ever need, I'm still here. More or less ambulatory (depending on this bum knee) and capable of doing stuff. Can't do as much as I used to, but I know more than I used to.

As I sit writing this (ignoring other work that pays a LOT more; made 13¢ this month through my blogs here), I am reminded of people I know and knew. Too many left this realm of existence far too early for my taste. Too many left behind people who needed 'em. I needed them.

I still need some of 'em. But they are not here so I have to manage as I can.

Of those who are not here and are still here, some won the battles. Some lost.

In the meantime, I'm still here. I will do what I can.

In the meantime, people count on me. I'll be there for 'em, as I can. More to the point, I'll be there for 'em if they let me. That's critical and if you don't get it, I'm not gonna explain any further.


David Lee Roth once said, "Don't sweat the little shit. It's all little shit." He is right.

If you don't believe that, visit Emory Children's Hospital one day. Visit the kids fighting cancers that will eventually kill them despite the world's best medical treatment and the most impassioned prayers you can imagine.

It may seem a crushing burden now. Put it in perspective.

It's little shit.


I am burdened. No doubt. But so far I have a 100 percent success rate in shouldering these things.

Whatever does not kill me, makes me stronger.

— wow. That was an impressive burp even for me. It's a LandShark night. —

Where was I? Right. Getting stronger.

I will bear up under this. I will be the person others can lean on.

Because it won't be long until I need someone to lean on, and they will be there for me.

Yeah. Atlas don't live here. He took the burden alone. Me? I gots friends. I gots peeps who I can lean on because they want to be there for me. So many of 'em.

Right now, for some of them, it is their turn to do some leaning.

So, if you need to lean on me. We'll get through this.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The problem is guns II - UPDATED

I hate rereading something just to get updates. So, here's the update. Original below.

The most comprehensive study on guns and gun violence I am aware of,,  shows as gun ownership rises, gun violence rises. Yup. A study of nearly three decades.

"Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio = 1.009; 95% confidence interval = 1.004, 1.014). This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%."

Before the gun grabbers get excited and the gun rights folks draw down on me, read further. 
Here's where some people start mumbling, morons start celebrating and a handful of folks like me want to say "BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU THIS!"

"For each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of household gun ownership, firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%."
"For each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of Black population, firearm homicide rate increased by 5.2%."


"For each 1-SD increase in proportion of household gun ownership, firearm homicide rate increased by 12.9%"

"For each 1-SD increase in proportion of black population, firearm homicide rate increased by 82.8%"

1-SD is one standard deviation. This is more math than I can handle.

What I can tell you from reading this report is race, income inequality and violent crimes increase the gun death rate in percentages and numbers far greater than gun ownership. Non violent crime increased the murder rate more than gun ownership. I can also tell you that locking more criminals up dropped the murder rate in a serious hurry.


I swear I thought I was done with this. My apologies for misinforming you. Maybe this is it.

This is Part II. Read part one here - .

So, guns are the problem. But where is gun violence an issue? Fortunately, we have some fairly reliable information about this. We have some pretty good numbers showing clearly what the problem is. More importantly, we have solid facts, empirical evidence, telling us WHERE this problem exists.

Before I 'splain that, I tell you this. Some people have tried to address this situation. They get shouted down. They get shoved aside. They are insulted, denigrated, attacked and most disheartening to me, ignored.

I ain't talking about conspiracy theory fans either. (If you are a conspiracy theory fan, then please go away.)

Jesse Jackson in his famous "cut his nuts out" comment was attacking a former POTUS for perceived failures to address problems facing a segment of the national community. He decried the POTUS' response to growing violence in that segment of the community. Y'don't hear about that much. You just hear the emasculation comment, not the reason for it.


So, let's lay bare the barest possible facts. Let others interpret, spin, explain, whine and complain as they will. Cry HAVOC! and let loose the dogs of war. Praise the Lord and pass the ammo.

Then turn loose the spirit of UK Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and say "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."


So what about those statistics?

Numbers, as I am about to present, are racist. Well, racist according to the people who cannot dispute facts and have to turn to invective and rhetoric.

So, as much as I DESPISE this word, I have to use it. I hate the word because dividing people into groups based on melanin content is sheer stupidity of the highest magnitude. We are people. Humans. Homo Sapiens. Period. However, some people will only understand things when broken down into moronic categories. So, on with the moronics.

US population:

Black or African American alone, percent, July 1, 2016,  13.3%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, July 1, 2016,  1.3%

Asian alone, percent, July 1, 2016,  5.7%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, July 1, 2016,  0.2%

Two or More Races, percent, July 1, 2016,  2.6%

Hispanic or Latino, percent, July 1, 2016, 17.8%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, July 1, 2016, 61.3%

Got you some numbers? Good. 


So let's look at another set of numbers and facts and see how murder is racist.

I tried to put these into a table that would come out here. I can't. Numbers make my head parts hurt.

You look at the page -

Fair warning. FBI stats are routinely under fire for UNDERREPORTING crime, especially where minorities are concered. Still, it is what we have.

So what you see here is black people kill other people in massively disproportionate numbers compared to the percentage of the general population. Yeah, racist, I know.

The worst offender is black people killing black people. In 2013:

2,245 black people killed 2.491 black people.

2,509 white people killed 3,005 white people.

That is 5,723 people murdered. Black people accounted for 44 percent of the murders. Black people account for 13 percent of the population.


Black people account for less than 15 percent of the population, yet commit nearly four times the number of murders as other segments of the population.


Where are the talking heads? Where are the interviews? Where the HELL is National Public Radio? Where the HELL is the Damnocratic Party?

Where the HELL are you and why are you not screaming about THESE NUMBERS?

How many inner city mommas have to cry over a casket before you get up in arms (arharhar) about these deaths? A handful of rich kids in an exclusive school in South Florida die and we have a national crisis. Black teens and young men die EVERY FREEKING DAY in our inner cities and you can't be bothered?

Racist much?


Guns are responsible for 60 percent or the murders.

Looking at the (questionable but what we got) FBI data, in 2012 of 12,765 murders, 8,855 were done with guns. Narrowing that down, 6,371 were done with handguns. Rifles account for 322 of those deaths. Rifle types are not broken out.

An AR15 is a rifle. Based on the numbers, the AR15 is far less dangerous than a pistol (handgun). So why are you screaming BAN THE AR15?


Some people complain the CDC is prevented, by federal legislation, from studying gun violence.


What's to study? People kill people. The CDC needs to concentrate on the pathogens that kill and cripple people. We have all the evidence we need about gun violence.

What we do about it is another matter.

We have plenty of evidence showing where people kill people and who is killing whom. What we are doing about it is another matter.

Take the guns away, people will still people. In those 2012 stats, fully 1/4th of the murders, 3,920, were committed with something other than a firearm.


The truth is you are screaming for gun control because you are scared. I get that. You are reacting out of emotion, not facts. Gotcha.

More importantly, you are acting out of what so many call "white privilege" because it is white children who are dying.

Scream on. Demand new laws. The fact is, you don't give a damn about the young black people who are dying in our streets. You only care about people who look like you do.

For every child killed in a school shooting, several die in our streets. And you say nothing.

Here is a salve for your conscience - .

Parting company

It is a sad day when a trusted friend throws you over.

For years now I have defended the reporting on NPR, National Public Radio. For years, I've endured side looks and snide comments from my friends on the far right.

"How can you stand to listen to those liberals?" is the most common comment.

I admit once you get past the national level reporters, public radio news has a leftist slant. Even at the national level with new reporters, that is a problem. The experienced national crew did a great job of keeping the slant out of the news reporting.

Look up the studies by nonpartisan media watchdogs. NPR spent more time interviewing Reboobicans than Damnocrats. It spent more time covering the Right than the Left.

NPR delivered news and reports I found interesting, fascinating and useful. The reporters covered topics few others did. I had plenty "Driveway moments." A driveway moment is when you are so engrossed in a story, you just sit in your vehicle in your driveway listening to the report.

At the same time, I admit NPR and Georgia Public Radio infuriated me. Some of the shows, like the now-cancelled Tavis Smiley show, engendered the kind of rage that made me quit listening to Rush Limbaugh and other far-right talking heads.

As far as GPR is concerned, if it doesn't happen in Atlanta, Savannah and sometimes Macon or Columbus, it never happened. The Two Georgias are thoroughly evident in GPR's reporting. At the same time, I get that too. The bulk of GPR's listeners are north of fall line. Play to that audience because that's where the money is and it does cost to run radio stations.


For the past two weeks, I've gotten up in the morning and hit the radio button. The reports are nonstop whining about guns and why they have to be taken away. Non. Stop.

I get in the truck. Hit the radio button - more whining about guns.

You may think I'm kidding.

In the past 2 weeks, I've turned on NPR 40+ times. I have kept track.

If the segment airing right then is not whining about guns, gun whining comes on within 2-3 minutes. The exception is for programs like Marketplace, Snap Judgment (awesome!), the weekend shows, the nighttime music shows and others.

Yet when the shows break for the top-of-the-hour news, gun whining.

Radio goes off.


I do not make a lot of money. I do support causes I care about, when these causes will let me. I cast my bread upon the waters where I believe.

Now, I cannot support NPR. I cannot agree to spend my very limited resources supporting a news organization that has so obviously gone left. Nor will I support right-leaning outfits, in case you don't wonder.

I've never had a "membership" in GPR or NPR. I just sent what I could, when I could. Did it anonymously because I did not want to be inundated with spam.

No more.

That money, as little as it is, will now go to other organizations and services and groups that believe in unbiased reporting. This kinda outfit is getting harder to find, which is another reason they deserve our support.

Your mileage may vary. May your path take you where you need to go, not where you want to go.