Rule Five Friday

2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (1)I had originally intended to spend today’s bandwidth talking about secular arguments on gay marriage, but something else captured my attention – something breathtakingly stupid.  It seems Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein and actress Meryl Streep are planning a movie taking aim (use of metaphor deliberate) at the NRA.  Excerpt:

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein announced for the first time on Howard Stern’s radio show that he is making a full feature drama to try to destroy the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Stern asked Mr. Weinstein on Wednesday whether he owned a gun. The Hollywood heavyweight replied that he did not and never would. “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it,” the producer said. 2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (2)“I think the NRA is a disaster area.”

Mr. Weinstein then revealed his secret project about the gun rights group. “I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,” he said. “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”

If you’ll allow me to make a prediction, Mr. Weinstein (and even if you won’t) I will make one, and also an observation:

  1. The NRA will be just fine, in fact they may gain members because of you, and
  2. You’re an idiot.

2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (3)In the first place, political movies never go down well, whether they are Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth or the right-of-center American Carol.  The American movie-going public wants to be entertained, not to be lectured or harangued – yr. obdt. included.   These kinds of movies attract pathetically low audiences made up almost exclusively of viewers who already agree with the political statements being made in the film.

In the second place, the NRA is nothing like the silly caricature Mr. Weinstein seems to have in mind.  (Full disclosure:  Mrs. Animal and myself are both Life Members of the NRA.)  The NRA is not a sinister organization run by a cabal of masterminds; it is, honestly and in every sense of the word, a true grass-roots organization boasting 2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (5)more than four million dues-paying members.   The NRA’s officers and Board are elected by their members, and the organizations by-laws and organization priorities are likewise decided by the members.

How many other civil-rights organizations can make that claim?

So, the NRA is powerful because its members give it the power.  Through memberships starting at $35 a year, they empower the NRA to act on their behalf, not only to provide training, insurance and a host of services but also to protect their Second Amendment rights in Washington and the several state capitols, because they believe it’s the right thing to do.

So, this film, assuming it gets made, will amount to naught.  But it’s worth examining Mr. Weinstein’s credits as a producer, which include violent, gun-filled films like Django Unchained and 2014_01_17_Rule Five Friday (4)Grindhouse.   Weinstein is a hypocrite of the worst sort.

And, incidentally, this won’t be his first act of cinematographic futility.  Does anyone remember 2009’s Capitalism – A Love Story?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Me neither.

Animal’s Daily News

Sleepy-bearA couple of different things today.  First, the recently departed Ariel Sharon.

In 2006, the always-worth-reading Dr. Charles Krauthammer wrote:

We’re now at the dawn of an era in which an extreme and fanatical religious ideology, undeterred by the usual calculations of prudence and self-preservation, is wielding state power and will soon be wielding nuclear power. 

Dr. Krauthammer was writing about Iran, and was describing a nightmare scenario that the late Mr. Sharon, as one of Isreal’s most able leaders, dealt with, lived with, contended with throughout his life.

Angry-BearConsider the situation in which Israel finds itself.  Israel is a modern, Western democratic state the size of Delaware set in the middle of violent, backward regimes possessed of a Dark Ages religosity and a burning desire to wipe the Jewish state from the face of the earth.

Ariel Sharon dealt with this threat throughout his adult life.  He was a military officer in the infant Israel’s military starting in 1948, distinguishing himself in the Yom Kippur War and the Six Days War.  Later he served as Prime Minister, steering a course largely down the middle of the road, including being one of the first Israeli leaders to openly advocate a Palestinian state.

Sharon was one of the good guys.  We could use a few more like him.

Moving right along, here’s something new from another always-worth-reading scribe, this time Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  The Rural Way.  Excerpt:

Hard physical work is still a requisite for a sound outlook on an ever more crazy world. I ride a bike; but such exercise is not quite the same, given that the achievement of doing 35 miles is therapeutic for the body and mind, but does not lead to a sense of accomplishment in the material sense — a 30-foot dead tree cut up, a shed rebuilt, a barn repainted. I never quite understood why all these joggers in Silicon Valley have immigrants from Latin America doing their landscaping. Would not seven hours a week spent raking and pruning be as healthy as jogging in spandex — aside from the idea of autonomy that one receives by taking care of one’s own spread?

Sad-BearAs the product of a rural upbringing myself, I can appreciate Dr. Hanson’s concerns for his homeland in central California.  The Golden State is collapsing; several of our major cities (Detroit, Chicago) are not far behind.   Worse, the Imperial Federal government has spent us into insolvency.  As noted in the Animal Manifesto, our elected representatives have spent us into insolvency while ignoring the decay of our vital institutions, and future generations will – rightly – damn us for it.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Halfway to Friday!

Not many people know that the United States’ oldest corporation is a gunmaker, namely the Remington Arms Company.  From 1918 to 1927 Remington made the Model 51 pistol, a small pocket piece in .380ACP and .32ACP.  The Model 51 was a popular pocket pistol; George Patton owned one, and reportedly used it to fire at German bombers attacking his North African headquarters in 1943.

Remington 51
Remington 51

Incidentally, even though General Patton is one of my personal heroes and was a warrior without peer, shooting at an attacking bomber with a .32 is pretty much the definition of futility – but, knowing Patton’s flair for the dramatic, it’s likely the motive was a bit of inspirational showboating, rather than effective fire.

Now, in a bid to enter the fast-growing concealed-carry market, Remington has given the Model 51 an update and redesign, and is re-introducing it as the R51.

Remington R51.
Remington R51.

The R51 is a neat-looking piece of hardware.  It’s a 9mm rather than the .32/.380 of the original, which gives it a little more punch.  Better still, the R51 is rated for +P ammo, which gives it quite a bit more punch.  The layout looks simple and usable, with a 1911-style trigger, a grip safety and a slim grip wrapped around a single-stack magazine.

What’s best about this new Remington?  Quite possibly this:  The price tag.  Suggested retail is $420, which means the gun will probably retail most places for $375-400.  Upshot:  Remington is going after the mid-priced compact 9mm market in a big way, and the R51 has the Ruger LC9, the Beretta Nano, the Taurus PT709S and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield squarely in its sights.

Remington went through some bad times in the past, particularly during the phase of importing some truly awful Russian-made P.O.S. shotguns and putting the Remington name on them.  The R51 would seem to be an indication that they are on the way back.  Let’s hope that trend continues.

Animal’s Daily News

Standing-BearThanks to Robert Stacy and Smitty for the Rule Five links!

I’m not sure why certain pundits insist on discussing the 2016 Presidential race this far out.  At this point in the 2008 election cycle, for example, everyone knew the race would be between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.  Look how that one ended up.

So, with that said, National Journal‘s Ron Fournier is wondering aloud if a Donald Trump Presidential run is in the works, due in no small part to the ongoing Christie TrafficGate flapdoodle.

My thoughts?  Trump is no dummy, but he is a buffoon.  If the GOP really wants to lose this race, nominating Trump would be the way to go.

Still.  2016 is an eternity away, election-wise.

Were I to pick my own candidate for President, I’d take a long shot and push former Colorado Governor Bill Owens for the job.  Bill was, brown-bear-1024x768once upon a time, our state representative, before he was Colorado Treasurer and then Governor.  Down side:  Bill has no intention of getting back into politics.

Still, he’s about as likely as Trump – or Christie – at this point.

A couple of tidbits:

Mike Tyson Calls Dennis Rodman an Idiot.  Pot, meet Kettle.  Kettle, Pot.

Supreme Court Appears Poised to Overturn Obama Recess Appointments.   We’ll see.

Food for Thought.
Food for Thought.

Sex Makes You Smarter.  Well, that explains my own particular genius.  (Mrs. Animal may disagree.)

And, finally, I found this interesting:  How Fish Moved Onto Land, Bone by Bone.  And yes, the juxtaposition of those last two stories was deliberate.  Heh.

Well, OK, that was four tidbits.  Oh well.  Have a superior Tuesday, True Believers.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Another day on the road beckons.

Normally on my on-site projects, part of the arrangement involves flying to the site and obtaining a rental car.  Since this project is intended to run until late spring/early summer, I’ve decided to take my own estimable Rojito out to Indiana, for two reasons:

  1. My CCW is good in Indiana and Michigan, and it’s easier to take a sidearm or two along while driving.  Since the trip involves a transit of the People’s Republik of Illinois, that also means arms have to be stowed out of reach while in that state, but that’s a minor annoyance compared to checking firearms while flying.  Also, I can bring a shotgun out and find some trap or sporting clays shooting while out there.
  2. I can smoke in Rojito.  Most, if not all, rental companies now prohibit smoking in the rental cars.  That’s OK – they are private property and I’m sure the companies are concerned with the resale value.  But I like to enjoy the occasional cigar while driving.

I’ll be at my destination this evening.  Back to work tomorrow.

Harp BearSo, a short update today since it’s a travel day and I really have to get on the road, but here are some topics to look forward to this coming week:

  • Secular arguments against gay marriage – is there a compelling argument against gay marriage that doesn’t involve a religious argument?  Not being religious, this is a question I’ve given some thought to, and while we’ve discussed it here before, that post has vanished into the ether, so let’s do it again.
  • The late Ariel Sharon.  Reactions to his death are still coming in, so I’ll give it a few days and post some thoughts.
  • Hemingway country.  Last fall, during the involuntary hiatus, Mrs. Animal and I toured in Ernest Hemingway’s childhood stomping grounds in Michigan, including the areas around Petoskey, Hortons Bay and Mancelona.  We even got up into the You Pee briefly and saw some of the country around St. Ignace.  I hope to do some fishing up there this spring.  I’ll post some thoughts.

Stay tuned!

Rule Five Friday

Some traditions are just too good to give up, and Rule Five Friday is one of those traditions.  Since this is the first serious, content-laden post since the reboot, I’ll touch on several different things today.  Hang on!2014_01_10_Rule Five Friday (5)

Just a few days ago, shops here in the Mile High City (hah) started legally selling marijuana for recreational use.

Interesting, eh?

I’ve been saying for over thirty years that marijuana should be legalized.   It’s arguably no more addictive and no more destructive than alcohol, and probably less harmful than tobacco (don’t ask me to give up the occasional fine cigar or pipeful of good black cavendish, even so.)  So why is it illegal?

Well, until the early 20th century, it mostly wasn’t illegal.  Then again, lots of things were legal then – laudanum, for example, which was an over-the-counter medicine containing a healthy helping of 2014_01_10_Rule Five Friday (4)opium.  So marijuana laws, as these things go, are kind of a Johnny-come-lately.

There are a couple of reasons to favor legalization:

1) Cops have better things to do than chase down stoners.  Also, look at some of the things the War on Drugs has led to, enforcement-wise; no-knock raids, Constitutionally questionable property seizures, and courts clogged with non-violent offenders.

2) It’s not the role of government to shield people from the consequences of their own bad decisions.  With that said, though, it would be a good idea to take the resource now spent on enforcement and instead put them into treatment of genuine addicts.  As with alcohol and tobacco, the casual user isn’t a problem.

2014_01_10_Rule Five Friday (3)Marijuana, of course, remains illegal at the Federal level.  Under the Obama Administration, the Imperial Federal government isn’t doing much about this uncomfortable state of affairs – but that may well change in January of 2017.

 Moving on:  The esteeemed Robert Stacy McCain brings us a concealed-carry tale that brings a  shudder of revulsion.  Excerpt:

A domestic dispute over space aliens escalated Saturday morning when a lingerie-clad New Mexico woman allegedly pointed a silver handgun at her boyfriend, a weapon she retrieved from her vagina, where it had been placed while the accused was performing a sex act, police allege.

To make matters more strange, the arrested woman is the most recent ex-wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy, author of 2014_01_10_Rule Five Friday (2)“The Road” and “No Country for Old Men.”

…After removing the gun from her vagina, McCarthy pointed it at her boyfriend’s head, investigators charge.

Maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up on Rule Five Friday.

It is belaboring the obvious to observe that the whole point of concealed carry is to have a weapon available for use quickly in the event of an emergency.  In this case, since the handgun was placed in the… holster…  during a sex act…

I’m sorry, but what the fuck kind of a sex act involves placing a firearm in any bodily orifice at all?

2014_01_10_Rule Five Friday (1)And what kind of solvent would one use to clean the weapon following that act?  Summer’s Eve, Hoppe’s #9, or bleach?

An old saying, mentioned in the comments section in this story over at The Other McCain, goes “when the going gets weird, the weird go pro.”  That certainly applies here.

Preparations are under way for yr. obdt. to go on the road again starting Sunday, but regular posts will continue uninterrupted from the chilly environs of northern Indiana.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s first reboot Gingermageddon.

It’s good to be back, True Believers; it’s good to be back!

2014_01_10_Rule Five Friday (6)

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.