A Day At The Range.

Thompson-Center Contender
Thompson-Center Contender

An interesting piece of firearms technology is the handy and versatile Thompson-Center Contender, a single-shot break action handgun with interchangeable barrels ranging in caliber from the .22 rimfire to the .45-70.  The Contender (along with the more recent Contender G2) also comes in carbine version and the newer Encore comes in more powerful rifle-caliber varieties, but our copy (above) is the old Contender G1, and we have a .22LR barrel and a .222 Remington barrel for it.

Since I had some business at the gun club this morning, I took the Contender along to check the zero on the .22 barrel and bust some stationary clay birds.

2014-11-20 10.40.58 (960x1280)(Yes, I know the scope is incorrectly mounted; that’s how it came when we bought the gun, already mounted, and it holds zero, so I haven’t messed with it.)

The Contender is aimed at hunters (pun unintended) and that’s where it has found its greatest market.  A good friend of mine has taken several pronghorn with his, barreled for the wildcat 7-30 Waters.  I’ve been watching around for a .30-30 barrel for ours, since I already have ample brass and dies for that venerable cartridge.  This will turn the Contender into a short-range deer-killer, increasing the versatility of what may be one of the handiest thing to grace a hunter’s handgun cabinet.

What’s even handier is that, since stock length is not an issue, Mrs. Animal (4’11”) can use it as easily as yr. obdt. (6’1″.)

All in all a nice addition to the working firearms collection and, as you can see, a pretty good shooter as well.

Animal’s Daily News

Facepalm-bearThe big story of the day is, obviously, President Obama’s announcement this evening of his executive order Imperial decree on immigration policy.

Some opinions and news on what is to come:

From WaPo:  President Obama to announce executive action on immigration Thursday.

New York Times:  Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration Is Unlikely to Include Health Benefits.

From the Weekly Standard:  Sessions: Obama Now ‘Emperor of the United States.’ 

The Hill:  GOP outraged by immigration plan.

 From Politico:  Rick Perry: Texas might sue Barack Obama.

USA Today:  GOP senator warns of violence after immigration order.

Now, outright violence is probably unlikely – not impossible, but unlikely.  But public outrage over what is clearly an unConstitutional and illegal power grab by the President is not, and a Constitutional crisis is in the offing here.

What can Congress do to reign in what is increasingly appearing to be a rogue President?  Impeachment is probably off the table.  But the Executive Branch can spend not a penny without the authorization of the House of Representatives, the People’s House who, by explicit design of the Founders, control the nation’s purse-strings.  They have not done so with any sense of responsibility in recent years, but could this be the thing that tips them over?

Angry-BearBarack Obama’s primary failing as a President is his lack of understanding of the Constitutional limits of his powers.  He took the nation into a brush war in Libya with no Congressional authorization; he launched attacks on ISIL in Iraq with only questionable authorization (claiming he was covered under the same approval Congress gave in 2003) and now he plans to rewrite immigration law with the stroke of the Imperial pen.

This is a Republic, not a dictatorship; a nation of laws, not decrees.  Congress should exercise their own legislative and financial power, to stop this madness.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Mrs. Animal has a fondness for critters (for which, as some point out, I should be grateful) and maintains a bird/squirrel feeder in front of our residence.  For ground-feeding critters she regularly puts out whole and cracked corn on the ground beneath the bird feeder; this is what resulted from that practice yesterday afternoon:

Ducks!
Ducks!

 

Them would be ducks, True Believers. A whole passel of fat, tasty mallards, right there on the xeroscaped front yard.  We live in the suburbs where discharge of firearms without good reason is frowned upon (obtaining a tasty supper is not deemed ‘good reason;’ an axe murderer kicking in your front door, on the other hand…)  Still, one is tempted to obtain a really good pellet gun, as broiled wild mallard is one of the tastiest of meals.

Probably better to take shotgun in hand and head east to a couple of places I know along the South Platte out by Brush, where you can usually pick up a couple of wild ducks.

Waterfowling can frequently be a wet, muddy business.  While I have a fondness for fine shotguns and generally pick up my Citori or one of my restored and refurbished Brownings or Winchesters for upland work, trap shooting or sporting clays, when time comes to kill some ducks or geese I’m as often as not inclined to pick up a very different fowling piece altogether.

A Mossberg user.
A Mossberg user.

Since my 19th birthday I’ve had a copy of the old, ugly but reliable Mossberg 500 in 12 gauge, a gift from my first wife when we were dating.  The old gun has been through a lot in the decades since.  I’ve killed a small mountain of birds, bunnies and such with it, and its original Mossberg “C-Lect Choke” (Mossberg’s proprietary collet choke) barrel was replaced with a 28″ vent rib barrel cut for tubes.  The original hardwood stock was likewise replaced, this with a Hogue overmolded synthetic.

The old Mossberg is sort of the AK-47 of shotguns; not overly attractive, but rugged, reliable, effective, endlessly accessorizable and tough, tough, tough!  I have plenty of nicer, prettier and better-fitted shotguns, but when you’re spending the day splashing through a marsh or sitting in a muddy goose pit, the old Mossberg stoked with heavy 3″ mags is the way to go.

Gratias!

This is what Rule Five is all about.
This is what Rule Five is all about.

Our belated thanks to The Other McCain and American Power for the Rule Five links!

Rule Five, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, originates with Robert Stacy McCain, as defined in his list of rules for getting a million hits on your blog; Rule Five, in effect, is “everybody likes pretty girls.”

If anyone is put off by the display of the Feminine Aesthetic, well, go find some other blog to read.  Here at Animal Magnetism Rule Five posts will continue, because yr. obdt. is a big fan of pretty girls.

So there.

Animal’s Daily News

Bear-with-CubThis just in from the folks at Reason.com:  Obama Immigration Plan: Won’t Know What’s In It Till He Announces It, Or Maybe Not Even Then.  Excerpt:

In a joint conference yesterday in authoritarian Myanmar with long time dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, President Obama said he would institute immigration reforms via executive order, as he said he warned House Republicans he’d do all year if they didn’t pass a bill he supported. Despite the bizarre choice of venue to thumb his nose at the opposition, the president’s actions on immigration could help bring millions of people living and working in the U.S. out of extralegal status.

Reason has in the past tepidly supported various immigration reforms including some kind of amnesty, but what the President is proposing to do is quite different; it is the worst Presidential seizure of unConstitutional authority since Abraham Lincoln suspended habeus corpus during the Civil War.

What does President Obama hope to gain from this maneuver, which is almost unConstitutional?  Does he hope to gain the votes of Hispanics for Democrats in future elections?  That’s a possibility, but far from a certainty; plenty of Hispanics who are here legally do not support a blanket amnesty.

Yes-YOU-bearWhat’s certain is that he will alienate labor unions, as stable a Democrat constituency as one could hope for.  And it won’t stop there!  In a Sunday Commentary Magazine column, Jonathan Tobin noted:

The spectacle of mass amnesty without benefit of law will shock ordinary voters, including many who are Democrats or who think the immigration system should have been fixed. After the orders, responsibility for the failure to do so will rest on Obama, not the Republicans. What the president may be doing with these orders is to remind the voters that parties that grow too comfortable with exercising authority without benefit of law must be taught a lesson, one that will be paid for by his would-be Democratic successor in 2016. Rather than building his legacy, the president may actually be ensuring that his time in office is remembered more for his lack of respect for the rule of law than any actual accomplishments.

A lawless Administration, headed by a lawless President, who shows callous disregard for the Constitution – the supreme law of the land.  Is that to be President Obama’s legacy?

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

An amazing scientific achievement was recently realized when a small probe semi-successfully landed on a comet.  But that’s not what I’m going to discuss today.

What I am going to discuss is the  silly, completely disproportionate and irrational response of some to the shirt worn by team member Matt Taylor at a press conference announcing the wondering-what-those-tatts-areevent.  For reference, here is the shirt:

It’s a custom made shirt, crafted for Mr. Taylor by a close – female – friend, and it depicts a bunch of comic-book women, some in a state of semi-dress.

Which, by the way, is nothing unusual in the comic book world.

Thanks to the screeching of humorless, vapid nonentities, Mr. Taylor was forced to go before the cameras again, to apologize for the shirt.

Now, in most of the businesses in which yr. obdt. does consulting work, the now nearly ubiquitous business casual dress code would balk at such a shirt – as it would balk at a shirt showing male comic characters, as lacking the decorum required in a business environment.  But that’s not relevant here; what is relevant is how the peripatetic-ally thin-skinned are so quick to screech their outrage at the silliest provocations.

There is only one proper reply to such screeching, and it is most eloquently put by the South Park anti-hero Eric Cartman:

Mr. Taylor was wrong to apologize.  He should have adopted what I will henceforth call the Cartman Gambit in reply to the hysterical outrage – “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

Another example, from a few years back; in 1999, an Imperial City mayoral aide, David Howard, was forced to resign his position after using the word “niggardly” in a private meeting.  (To be fair, Mr. Howard was later rehired.)  For those who do not know the word, here’s the definition from Merriam-Webster:

nig·gard·ly

adjective \-lē\

: hating to spend money

: very small in amount

Mr. Howard’s use of the term was taken by some irrational – and probably only marginally literate – attendees as a racial slur, when in fact the word comes from the Middle English words “nig” and “ignon,” which have the primary meaning of “miser.”

No racial connotation in that word.  None.

 Again, the Cartman Gambit was not invoked.  But there can be no rational response to the irrational.  Apologies, though, should not be tendered.  This only serves to feed the beast, and then the next hysterical cry of outrage will be over something even more inoffensive.

Rule Five Friday

2014_11_14_Rule Five Friday (1) (1280x843)Is there cause for optimism in this era of ever-increasing government?  The Ludwig von Mises Institute’s Jeff Diest thinks so.  Excerpt:

If you believe the state is harmful rather than benevolent; if you believe that the state threatens individual rights and property rights, rather than protects them; if you believe that the state decreases our chances for peace and prosperity; if you believe, in sum, that the state is an overwhelming force for ill in our society, a force that makes all of us far worse off, why in the world is it unrealistic to work toward its elimination?

2014_11_14_Rule Five Friday (2) (860x1280)Notice that the charge of being unrealistic, impractical, or overly idealistic is never applied to medicine or crime prevention. Nobody says to the cancer researcher, “you should be more realistic, cancer and infectious disease will always exist. Why not just work on making the common cold a bit less severe?” Nobody says to the criminal investigator, “gee, organized crime and violence are just part of human nature, it’s useless to try to prevent them. Maybe you should just focus on reducing bike thefts.”

So why should we be apologetic or timid or less than fully optimistic in our fight against the state? We should not. Like the cancer researcher, like the crime fighter, we should be bold, we should be optimistic, and we should be vigorous in our opposition to government. We should be every bit as certain as Murray Rothbard was in the eventual success of our mission.

Note that Mr. Deist pushes the libertarian ideal a bit farther than most; personally, I’d be happy if the people in the Imperial City would not only remember that our Constitution exists, but also actually try reading it.

2014_11_14_Rule Five Friday (3) (858x1280)I’d also like to see some semblance of a moral society as well.  Now, when a lot of folks talk about morality, they link it in with religion; the two may at times be complimentary but they are not inextricably linked.

When I think of a moral society, I think of a society in which (for example) I am not required to labor longer and harder, to pay an increased tax burden, for no other reason than to shelter some of my fellow citizens from the consequences of their own poor decisions.  There is a word for such involuntary servitude, and it’s not a pretty one.  But we accept it, as a matter of course, in our modern, increasingly statist society.

There are things that are the legitimate functions of a national government; the military, border security, foreign trade and so on.  Sheltering my fellow citizens from the consequences of their own bad decisions is not one of those legitimate functions.  The requirement that I do this reduces my own individual liberty by forcing me to labor longer and harder, not for my own benefit, but for the benefit of others.

Remember John Galt’s oath?  “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Deist concludes:

2014_11_14_Rule Five Friday (4) (861x1280)So propose liberty, and make the case for optimism. After all, despite the state and its depredations we still lead magnificent lives compared to virtually every human who ever walked the earth — kings and queens included. If we let the state make us unhappy or pessimistic about our future, we will have failed not only our children and grandchildren, but our ancestors as well.

He is correct here; these days it is popular to hear folks wax rhapsodic about the “good old days,” and television programs like Game of Thrones glorifies a medieval lifestyle that, in reality, was horrible for almost everyone, with even the nobility living in unspeakable filth, with double-digit infant mortality, a shocking number of women dying in childbirth, and plagues rampaging unchecked with horrible regularity.

But we can do better.  We should.  Deist is partly correct, technology will continue to push us farther down the road, but it will take more than that; it will take the rediscovery of liberty.

Because make no mistake, most of us have lost the concept.

2014_11_14_Rule Five Friday (5) (1280x843)

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