Archive for November, 2017
24 Nov 2017

Thanksgiving Gun

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John Alden‘s Wheel-lock Carbine

Found in John Alden’s house, built in 1653 using material from an earlier house erected in 1632, at 105 Alden Street in Duxbury, Massachusetts “in a secret protective cubbyhole near the front door of the home” during a 1924 renovation, this wheel-lock bears makers’ marks on the lock and barrel indicating it was made by the Beretta, family of Brescia, Italy, known to have been in business since 1526.

It is the only firearm brought over on the Mayflower known to have survived and it is preserved today in the collection of the National Firearms Museum operated by the NRA.

Kristin Alberts article at Guns.com

HT: Vanderleun.

24 Nov 2017

Near Miss

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April 16, 2017, Lampang, Thailand.

My guess is that the snake is a cobra.

23 Nov 2017

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving1

Mike Franc, at Human Events in 2005, identified the real reason for celebration at the first Thanksgiving.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

Just how did the Pilgrims solve the problem of famine? In addition to receiving help from the local Indians in farming, they decided allow the private ownership of individual plots of land.

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

The real story of Thanksgiving is the triumph of capitalism and individualism over collectivism and socialism, which is the summation of the story of America.

23 Nov 2017

A Proclamation

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As published in the Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

23 Nov 2017

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving Via Buffy

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22 Nov 2017

How to Talk About Star Wars at Thanksgiving With Your Ignorant, Rebellion-Backing Uncle

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Sonny Bunch preps you for the inevitable Thanksgiving political arguments with your reactionary uncle.

The Jedi Are a Racist Space Aristocracy

Everyone watches the original trilogy and thinks “Hey, wow, this ‘Jedi’ thing is pretty cool. I can train to control the force and become a knight and help maintain order throughout the galaxy? Awesome!” As we learn in the prequels, though, this is not at all how it works: only those who are born with a certain genetic defect can control the force and this defect is hereditary, meaning the Jedi order is inherently dynastic and anti-meritocratic in nature. Speaking of people who lorded their genetic makeup over others…

Rebellion Celebrations Are Literally Naziesque

As I’ve noted elsewhere, George Lucas modeled the celebration at the end of A New Hope—where the non-white, non-human Chewbacca is denied a medal as a sea of pasty faces look on—on shots cribbed from Leni Riefenstahl’s work. I don’t want to go all Godwin on you, but even your drunk, backwards uncle doesn’t support Hitler, does he?

Colonialist Rebels Exploited Innocent Ewoks

So dig this my dudes: On the forest moon of Endor, the Empire was able to build a shield generator without really bothering the indigenous life forms. They coexisted in harmony, Empire and Ewok alike engaging in a live and let live philosophy. And then the Rebels show up, convince the Ewoks that C-3PO’s some sort of god, and enlist them in a holy war against the Empire! Not only that, they send their newfound teddy bear allies into battle armed with naught by sticks and stones against a garrison that is armed with lasers and AT-STs! AYFKM with this, man? Luke Skywalker is basically a latter-day Hernan Cortes. And, as we know, the conquistadors were history’s greatest monsters.

The Destruction of Alderaan Was Completely Justified

The only trump card that Republican apologists have left to play, at this point, is the notion that the destruction of Alderaan was some sort of horrible war crime. For a variety of reasons, this is ridiculous. However, all you really need to do is say this: “Grand Moff Tarkin was no worse than noted haberdasher and Democratic President Harry S. Truman.” Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to maintain the peace, you know?

Ted Cruz Supports the Rebels

So there you are, a hip young millennial trying to explain why your bigoted, backwards uncle has it all wrong. Here’s YOUR trump: “You know who else supports the rebellion? That dope from Texas TED CRUZ.” You don’t even have to explain why this so obviously proves your point—it’s not your job to enact that labor, after all—because every non-backwards person at the table will recognize how smart you are and will call on your ignorant relative to just be quiet.

Check. And. Mate. Your Salon Dot Com internship is waiting, young sith.

RTWT

22 Nov 2017

Last 1911s in US Army Stock Will Be Going to CMP

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Task and Purpose:

The .45 ACP M1911A1 pistol has served the U.S. armed forces for more than a century in every war zone and hotspot on the planet — and thanks to this year’s federal defense budget, it will serve civilians for the foreseeable future.

The $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that Congress sent to President Donald Trump’s desk on Nov. 16 included an amendment that required the Secretary of the Army to transfer a cache of small arms and ammo “no longer actively issued for military service” to the government-sponsored Civilian Marksmanship Program, including the M1911 and M1911A1 pistols, the M–1 Garand, and .22 rimfire rifles. …

The last transfer of 1911s to the CMP was in 2015, when President Barack Obama signed a defense bill that included a measure to transfer 10,000 pistols for sale to the program; lawmakers har stated that May that the DoD spends $2 a year to store each of its 100,000 surplus 1911s. With 10,000 already transferred and 8,300 additional pistols “sold or disposed of,” per Guns.com, that means there are at least 80,000 1911s ready and waiting for a nasty civilian to give them a good home.

RTWT

22 Nov 2017

Behind You

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21 Nov 2017

Important News!

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Daily Call:

The Pennsylvania Senate is advancing legislation to make the Eastern hellbender the official state amphibian, as researchers say its population is shrinking because of pollution.

The bill passed, 47-2, and heads to the House.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the hellbender is an aquatic salamander that can grow up to two feet long, making them the largest North American amphibian. They are nocturnal and prefer shallow, clear and fast streams with rocks to live under.

RTWT

I know the Great Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) very well, having frequently met up with him on the Loyalsock, and I can testify to his fully deserving the status of State Amphibian.

21 Nov 2017

Painting of Washington’s Tent by L’Enfant Discovered

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Washington Post:

Philip Mead was online late one night in May, looking for possible artifacts from the American Revolution, when a painting up for auction caught his eye and got his heart racing.

The chief historian at the American Revolution Museum had spied an unsigned watercolor from 1782. It was a panorama of an army encampment, and to his expert eye seemed to feature the only known wartime depiction of the tent George Washington used as his command center during the Revolutionary War.

The tent is the marquee exhibit at the museum, which opened in April. And, thanks to Mead’s sharp eye, the museum now owns the painting that will anchor an exhibition next year.

Mead said the discovery seemed almost “too good to be true.”

“I’ve had this level of excitement only a handful of times in my 30 years of looking for this stuff,” Mead said.

When Mead saw the painting, he immediately emailed the image to Scott Stephenson, the museum’s vice president of collections, exhibitions and programming.

“My heart leapt into my throat when I realized what this painting was,” Stephenson said.

They had to quickly line up donors to bid on the piece, which was going up for auction just days after they spotted it. They were concerned maybe they weren’t the only people to spot the rare work, and they weren’t 100 percent sure the painting was exactly what they had hoped.

“Our motto is you must kiss every frog in case it is a prince,” Stephenson said.

In this case, it was a prince.

With only one other bidder, they landed the painting easily, for $12,000. Once in hand, the museum’s curatorial team was able to conclude the painting shows the Continental Army’s fall encampment at Verplanck’s Point, New York, and was created by Pierre L’Enfant, the French-born engineer best known for laying out the nation’s capital.

Before he created the blueprint for Washington, D.C., L’Enfant served in the Continental Army. He was wounded at the Siege of Savannah, taken prisoner at the surrender of Charleston and upon his release went back to serve George Washington for the remainder of the war.

The painting depicts hundreds of military tents arrayed across a rolling Hudson Valley landscape. Perched on a hilltop rising about the scene on the painting’s left side is Washington’s field headquarters, including the telltale tent.

RTWT

21 Nov 2017

“Look What Yale Made Me Do”

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Harvard-made video insulting Yale which was released just before last Saturday’s The Game. Poor Harvard, for the record, got slaughtered 24-3.

I was surprised by all the inaccurate boasting about Harvard’s alleged academic & test-score superiority. I fear these young people are deluded and misinformed. I’m not up on current stats, but I know my own Yale Class beat the same entering Harvard Class’s SAT scores.

The bit at the end, mocking all the other Ivy League schools, was amusing.

20 Nov 2017

Folding Glock!

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I’m not a fan of plastic pistols, especially the fashionable contemporary versions that come without a real safety. My own opinion is that trigger safeties are basically meaningless, and carrying an automatic pistol with no safety with a round chambered just makes me nervous.

I have consequently never bought a Glock, but now here is a version I would not mind owning.

The Firearms Blog:

Full Conceal is now shipping their Glock 19 folding pistol conversion called M3. The folding mechanism allows having a more compact carry package which in a matter of seconds unfolds and becomes a Glock 19 with a 21-round magazine. The reason why they advertise it with the 22-round capacity (21 round mag plus one in the chamber) is that the 21-round magazine most efficiently fits the slide length neither sticking out nor coming short of the overall length of the folded gun. The M3 pistol is available for purchase on Full Conceal’s website for $1,399 (the price includes one Magpul 21-round magazine).

Another important feature of the M3 pistol is the additional safety built into the folding mechanism. When folded, that mechanism blocks the trigger bar preventing any possibility of an accidental discharge when manipulating the folding mechanism. This system allows carrying the pistol with a chambered round being sure that it is safe.

The company also points out that even if the folded gun prints, it will rather look like a cell phone than a firearm. The folded M3 pistol silhouette basically matches the iPhone 7 Plus dimensions.

RTWT

Get yourself a second magazine, and you’ll be all set if you run into an irate Zulu impi.

19 Nov 2017

D.B. Cooper, Be Like Him; Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.

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All these years later, the Daily Mail has news.

A letter newly released from the FBI’s archives may prove that DB Cooper – the 1971 hijacker last seen leaping out of a plane with a fortune in cash – survived his apparent death.

The letter, which was sent 17 days after the hijacking appears to contain information that was not released into the public domain until 13 years later.

If that’s the case it might reveal not only that Cooper lived to tell the tale of his extraordinary heist, but that the FBI covered it up to hide their embarrassment at his escape.

RTWT

18 Nov 2017

Boomers Will Be Avenged

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Promises Kurt Schlichter (who’s been on a roll rhetorically of late).

With all the awful things happening now – the discord, the anger, the stupidity – at least those of my generation can rest easy knowing that the Millennials are going to suffer after we’re gone. Sure, I’m going to die a lot sooner than them – unless someone invents some sort of expensive life extension potion that I can buy but they can’t because they will still be paying off their degrees in Oppression Studies and Virtue Signaling Arts until the year 2083. But at least I’ll know that we left them a suitably terrible world, since they are a terrible generation.

Millennials are the spawn we deserve – annoying, posturing, and frequently pierced. They are utterly convinced of their own moral superiority, and yet they don’t even believe in morals. Well, that’s not quite true – they just confuse morals with the increasingly bizarre patchwork of taboos and fetishes of the social justice weirdos they use as their moral compasses. When you ask people, “What’s the world’s biggest problem,” and they answer, “The structural paradigm imposed by cisgender Western males,” and you reply, “How about, I dunno, ISIS?” and they answer “Well, who are we to judge their culture?” it’s slappin’ time. …

OK, so we dug this country $20 trillion into debt, we have a world full of enemies and a military that’s collapsing, and we saddled Millennials with Obamacare, a magical system that makes healthcare worse, but at least it costs more. Yet they seem cool with it. Oh, and politically, the country is divided as never before, at least not since Lincoln, who you Millennials think owned slaves because … sheesh, you nitwits think Lincoln owned slaves. …

Back in the day, we crushed uppity Russian empires, no thanks to commie-hugging liberals who told us that the Reds loved their children too. You Millennials know that awful Sting song – your mom used to listen to it in the Volvo while carting you to soccer or whatever other sick, soul-killing enrichment activities she forced you into instead of letting you run free in the streets and woods like we did. But now we cower at the same losers Reagan stripped of their Ural Mountain oysters in fear of them posting some super-persuasive Facebook ads targeted at making autoworkers in Michigan fall out of their deep and abiding love for Hillary.

Yeah, we messed up, but you Millennials reading this on your smartphones, which you can see without glasses or squinting, shouldn’t act so high and mighty. You had a chance to fix all of this and instead you’ve chosen to never move out of your parents’ houses and to just sit around and invent new pronouns for genders that don’t exist. A couple decades down the road, when I’m dead from chronic bitterness and drinking too much expensive cabernet that I buy with the Social Security money you’ll be toiling to pay me, you won’t have families or careers. You’ll be my age and still making coffee for the next generation of ingrates, the children of the immigrants and super-religious Christians who represent the only portion of America still making babies. You’ll come home to your used Mitsubishi love robot named Olive, reheat some Sara Lee avocado toast sticks, and watch Saturday Night Live as it tries to make fun of President Donald Trump, Jr.

RTWT

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